Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins." Acts 2:38
Heavy indebtedness, to say the least, is a great hindrance. It keeps the debtors from getting ahead. Most citizens cannot comprehend the federal government's debt that runs into the trillions. But they can understand the handicap when nearly a fourth of the revenue collected goes to servicing the debt. The money used for this is taken away from needful items in the budget.
The effects of personal indebtedness are the same. Many persons cannot get ahead because of their debt burden. They need to cut corners, leading to all kinds of deprivation.
Even worse is spiritual indebtedness. Every person born into the world is a sinner, a debtor. Our condition of original sin leads to sinful action. The debt of sin, both as condition and as action, is huge--infinitely more burdensome than what any sinner-debtor could pay for. When Jesus in a parable describes a man as owing his master ten thousand talents, that is, several million dollars, He implies that everyone's life, spiritually speaking, is so deeply in the red that no significant restitution can be made. An accompanying evil is always that the burden of sinfulness keeps people from fulfilling the purpose for which they were created: to live to the glory of God.
All that we can do is to say, as the Latin has it, "Pater, peccavi," "Father, I have sinned." When such a confession is made, together with the confession: "I believe that Jesus Christ, true God ... and also true man ... is my Lord, who has redeemed me," then our debt before God is totally cancelled. Then, when we pray, "Forgive us our debts," God does just that. Then we are free of all spiritual debts, free to forgive our neighbor also, free to dedicate our lives to the service of Jesus Christ.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God, for forgiving all my sins for Jesus' sake. Help me to willingly and gladly serve You. 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 www.cph.org.)
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