Monday, May 2, 2011

ARE YOU OUT OF DEBT?

Have you ever owed so much that you may be spending the rest of your life repaying your debt(s)?  Have you ever been so indebted that no amount of time you have could ever help pay back the debt?

The obvious area of our lives that comes to mind concerning debt is money.  Unfortunately, money, instead of love, is what makes this world go 'round.  However, there are many other things that we can be indebted too.  Such things as priceless advice, from an invaluable person, right on time to give us direction - how do you pay that back?  Other areas we can be indebted too are time, energy, and talents.  Many of the handicapped community will never be able to get beyond a hug or simple "thank you" offered back to those caretakers who pour loads of time and energy and talents into care and hopefully cures.  For them it is hard to pay back in full.

Then there is someone who pushes you out of the way of a Mack truck and dies instead of you.  You can't pay him/her back.  Or can you?  You may visit his/her grave every year and care for the his/her family as your own.  You could also go on living remembering him/her every day in some form or fashion.

Apply the Mack truck picture spiritually and what a hit the human race took through our collision with sin! 
Through our original rebellion/disobedience we took on all the wages/debt of sin, which the penalty if you could not pay the debt was death physically and spiritually.  No amount of righteous deeds or attempting to follow a divine Law to the T would be able to repay this debt.  Everyone would eventually slip, do a mistake, lie, cheat.....sin.  Nobody could ever live life perfectly.  Nobody could satisfy the sin debt - the payment required to cancel the debt.  There were great men and women who lived and supplied humanity with ways of living but they did not take care of the debt owed to God for our original rebellion and continual disobedience.  Even spiritual beings could not pay the ultimate price required to take away the sin of every human past, present, and future.

Hell was not originally meant for us, but for all the angels that fell with the rebellion of Lucifer (2 Peter 2:4).  Now because God cannot tolerate sin and will not have it in His immediate presence and His Heaven, humans are also co-signed to hell because when Adam and Eve rebelled/disobeyed sin effected the nature of the whole human race and the creation they were stewards over.  Angels were not made in the image of God and nobody was around to tempt Lucifer into rebellion, which makes his judgment and all the angels with him FINAL.  Humanity, however, was made in God's image and we were tempted, which means if another way was presented it could be the saving grace for our dilemma.  It took, none other than, The Creator becoming His creation, His image/likeness - living a perfect life, dying a sacrificial death, and victoriously raising from the dead - to purchase that option, that saving grace, for us. 

Enter - John 3:16 - "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life."

You have a lot of questions answered in this verse.  Why did God sacrifice Jesus?  Because He "so loved the world".  What did it cost?  It cost Father God "His one and only Son".  Who does this "love" or sacrifice really address?  Salvation is for "whosoever believes in Him".  The reward for choosing this love gift/sacrifice and way of life?  Choosing Christ means you "will not perish but have everlasting life".

Yet put one more way...

Father God sent Jesus, the Son of God, the Word of God, to be the one to live the perfect life, teach how we should live, pay for our healing and the sins of the world with His beatings, crucifixion and death, then conquer death, hell, and the grave to seal the deal and prove His divine mastery over everything.  That is what it took and there was no other person qualified for the mission - Jesus of Nazareth, The Christ.

I cannot begin to imagine, without help, the magnitude of those moments when the sins, the wrath, the judgment was starting to be poured out on Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.  That visual help comes in Mark 14:32-42 where Jesus is seen crying out to Father God three times for this "cup to be taken from Him".  Jesus is even strengthened by an angel during this time so that He can endure all the more what He has to endure (Luke 22:43-44).  Still concerning the aide of angels, Jesus said in Matthew 26:53 - "Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions [72,000] of angels?"  Then the ultimate test - although He could have come down from the Cross, He did not.  "Oh What A Savior, Oh Hallelujah...."  (Sounds like a great song)

Oh What A Savior
Once I was straying in sin's dark valley
No hope within could I see
But they search through Heaven and found a Savior
To save a poor lost soul like me

Chorus
Oh what a Savior!  Oh Hallelujah!
His heart was broken on Calvary.
His hands were nail-scared, His side was driven
He gave His life's blood for even me

Death's chilly waters, I'll soon be crossing
His hands will lead me, safe o're
I'll join the chorus in that great city
And sing up there forever more
______________________________________________________________________

God the Father has sent the full expression of His Love, Jesus, to us and paid the Debt in full.  We still have to choose.  Choose to acknowledge our eternal debt.  Choose to accept Jesus for who He is - The Son of God.  Choose to accept what Jesus did for me, for all of us and believe that we are a new creature because of what He did and Because He Lives (Sounds like another awesome song).

Because He Lives
God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus
He came to love, heal and forgive
He lived and died to buy my pardon
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know, He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives!

And then one day, I'll cross that river
I'll fight life's final war with pain
And then as death gives way to victory
I'll see the lights of Glory and I'll know He lives!