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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"About Paying Debts"

May 24, 2005

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He [God] forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us … nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:13-14

“The wicked borrow and do not repay” (Psalm 37:21), says the Bible. The reference is not to unfortunate ones who want to but are unable to repay. It rather means those who borrow money or anything else without any sense of moral obligation. So they run off without paying their bills, pay with checks that bounce, or use credit cards in an irresponsible way. People are being robbed as though held up with a gun.

Two prominent Americans set us examples to the contrary. When Mark Twain lost every penny and was saddled with a debt when a printing firm he partly owned went bankrupt, he, at age 60, began to travel, lecture, and write vigorously until the debt was paid. The second man who went heavily into debt when an investment firm went broke was Ulysses S. Grant. Although ailing, he rented a cottage in New York State to write his memoirs. He completed his work three days before dying of cancer on July 23, 1885. He, too, paid his debt.

The Bible speaks of debt-paying people – like Zacchaeus, who repaid everyone fourfold. The Bible cites examples of persons who considered themselves indebted because of solemn promises made. The psalmist states that he will go to God’s house to fulfill his vow. The woman, Hannah, paid her debt when she took her son, young Samuel, and returned him to God’s service in the temple, for she considered him a loan from God.

We need motivation and power for leading honest, Christian lives, and this comes from faith – from our appreciation that God “loaned” His Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem us. Although himself sinless and without debts of His own, He paid our debts. He atoned for our sins. In love to Him we pay our earthly debts, thankful that our spiritual debts before God are paid in full.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for paying all my debts before God. Help me to be a good steward of my possessions. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at

Today's Bible Readings: Psalms 12-14    John 8:28-59

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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