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Monday, December 3, 2012

What is the Balance on God's Credit Card?

Romans 6:23 (New International Version)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I dreamed I had a credit card with God's company. I charged on it without restraint. My balance went up fast. One day Jesus reminded me of the payoff. The charges on the card represented sins. He said the card would soon come due and the only payment was my life. (Ezekiel 18:4 says "Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine; the soul who sins shall die."

I told Jesus that I would quit charging on my card.

"That is good," He said. "But it doesn't take care of the balance so that you can live."

"I'll make up for sins," I assured Him. "I like to help people. I'm really not a bad person; just have some bad habits, you know."

He was very pleased that I wanted to take action.

"Will my good things cancel out the sins?" I asked Jesus.

"No," he said. "But you have an option that can take care of your problems so that you can live."

"Really? What can I do besides not adding sins to my account and doing good deeds to make up for the bad ones?"

"It doesn't work like that," He said gently. "Sins require that the sinner must die. There is no other way."

"I would die? I thought I was supposed to get to live?"

"Yes, that is what I said."

"Please explain," I said. "I don't understand."

"Your sins deserve death. You committed them. It is right that you die, but if you have an acceptable substitute who takes your place, you will live. I am that substitute. I can pay off your card, and you will no longer have a balance." Jesus was very persuasive.

"You mean I wouldn't even have an account anymore?"

"No, you still have an account!"

"So I guess if I sinned again, it would start all over," I said. I knew I wouldn't be able to stop right away. I'd really have to work on a few things.

"No, it doesn't start again. Once I have taken on your account, I keep the balance at zero all your life. You are obligated to change, though," He explained. "I pay for your sins and you live my life. The card changes, too. It no longer represents the balance of your sins, but the balance of my grace. (Galatians 2:20: "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.")

"So you die and I live. I give you my sins, and you give me your righteousness. I ran up the bill and you pay it. You didn't sin, and you don't have a bill to pay. Say, Jesus, will you stay with me and help me understand all you have said? I want to hear the part about grace again."

"I'll be there all the way," He said.

Dear Lord thank You for paying our debt, a debit that we could not pay our self. Help us today not run up any more debt. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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