June 25, 2012

Forgiven to Forgive

Colossians 2:13-15

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.”
—Matthew 6:12


Amy took her big sister’s beautiful new doll to play with, but she broke it. When her sister saw the damage, she yelled at Amy, “You’ll pay for this!”

Any offense we commit puts us in debt to the person we have offended. They have a right to demand a penalty from us. That’s simple justice. The penalty could be a fine, replacement of property, dismissal from a job, or alienation from family and friends (prison). When prisoners are released after serving time, we often say they have “paid their debt to society.”

Sinning against God places us in a debt that is both un-payable and life-threatening. God warned Adam and Eve that disobedience against him would lead to certain death—physical, spiritual, and eternal (Genesis 2:17). But when our first parents incurred that debt, God showed mercy and promised to send a deliverer so that death would not have power over them forever (Genesis 3:15; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57). That is forgiveness!

The release from our debt to God is available through Jesus Christ. He willingly took on himself the debt we owe by dying in our place. Now we can live without guilt and without the burden of paying that debt.

How much debt has God removed from you?

Lord of all grace, I stand amazed before the blood-soaked cross where Christ paid my debt. In your strength, help me to live for you. Thank you, Jesus! Amen.

About the author — David Zandstra

David Zandstra is a retired pastor living in Marietta, Georgia, having served five churches from New Jersey to California. Along with other ministries, he counsels clients of a pregnancy resource center. He acknowledges his indebtedness to the training and resources of Peacemaker Ministries. David and his wife, Margie, have three children and six grandchildren.

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