April 13, 2008
. . . and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Matthew 6:12
Most of us try to be good stewards who faithfully try to pay our debts.
That’s good and right. After all, when we don’t pay our debts, businesses suffer.
Suffering was what was happening to William Webb, a butcher from West Worthing, Canada. Bad debts had crippled his business.
Knowing the end was near, he put a sign in his window that read as follows: 'This business has been compelled to close because of bad debts. A list of the names of the people that owe us and the amounts that they owe will be posted here in a short time."
Do I need to share that money rolled in, and the butcher shop was soon flourishing?
That story started me to wondering…: what if God wasn't so understanding about the things we do wrong? Suppose the Lord decided to place a sign above our heads which listed our evil thoughts and actions? It probably wouldn’t take too long before people started to shape up, would it?
Of course, God doesn’t work that way. He knows our sins, but He doesn’t advertise them to everybody as a way of getting us to shape up. He would prefer His people look at His innocent Son upon the cross and acknowledge Jesus suffered and died to remove their sins.
God works this way because He believes His forgiven people will live differently after they have seen how Jesus has paid all of their bad debts. God does what He does because He knows His redeemed people will be thankful for His great grace.
For a sign which isn’t over our heads, let’s give thanks today. Let’s give thanks and share the Savior Who has forgiven our debts.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for forgiving, rather than punishing my mistakes. Today and every day, I ask for Your strength and wisdom as seek I to live my life to Your glory. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries