Prayer & Fasting - Day 18

Twenty-One Days of Prayer
Devotions for Families

DAY EIGHTEEN – “You Owe, I’ll Pay”
“And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Matthew 6:12

In his book, Everybody’s Normal Until You Get To Know Them, John Ortberg says the reason debt causes us fear is because in our fallen world, there is a very simple rule: “You owe-You pay.” If you doubt that then stop making your house payment or car payment. Quit sending checks to the credit card companies and see what happens. First, their computer will obey its programming and automatically slap you with a nice fat late fee. If you still don’t pay up, you’ll get phone calls at all times of the day and night from mean people-individuals who could care less about your situation. and seem to love making you feel like the scum of the earth. If you keep withholding payment on your debts, they may even take you to court and garner your wages.
You know the pressure of living in a “you owe-you pay” world. You have no doubt spent a sleepless night or two knowing a debt you owed was coming due and you weren’t sure how you would pay it. And to compound the problem (literally) the original debt you incurred had accrued interest! Your debt was mounting by the day! You owe-you pay means you pay what you owe plus the interest on what you owe! Is there anything you are less interested in that the interest?

As stressful as financial debt is in your life it cannot even begin to hold a candle to the spiritual/moral indebtedness you have with God. And as this debt mounts and compounds every day you realize there is no way you can ever settle this debt! There is no currency you hold that God can accept. Good works don’t work. Religious rituals or disciplines don’t work. Personal piety won’t pay the debt. The more you try to satisfy this debt the more you do to deepen it.

But unlike your mortgage company or your bank or GMAC, God’s economy operates on a different system. God’s currency is grace and through the sacrifice of Jesus, God’s offer is “You owe – I paid”! All you need to do is believe Him, humbly accept His terms and quit trying to pay it off yourself!

What does this have to do with this part of the Lord’s Prayer? Pretty much everything! The “you owe – I pay” attitude is what you are asking for when you pray “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”!

Have I sought God’s forgiveness for my many sins or am I still working to pay off the debt?
Am I fully aware and appreciative of God’s “you owe-I pay” offer?
Have I ever extended that offer to someone who “owes” me?

Heavenly Father, thank you for the extravagant price you paid to settle the debt I owed to you! Help me live in the humble gratitude of that grace and to extend it to others today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

By: Pastor Brad
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