MasterCard Called – Your Debt Has Been Canceled!
I always get a kick out of watching kids use their imagination to play games. My two-year old daughter is just getting to this imaginary and pretending stage. Her new thing is to pretend she’s sleeping when we go to get her out of the car. When we are about to get her, she “wakes up” and yells “boo!” to scare us. She gets a great laugh out of it every time and so do we.
Let’s play a little pretend game for a moment and imagine that you had an average job making about forty thousand dollars per year, but you owed $80,000 on your Mastercard. Your interest alone would be around $1,300 a month at a 20% rate. You can hardly make the minimum payment and you’ve had to use your measley savings to keep up with the debt so now you are walking a tightrope. If something goes wrong, you’d be in serious trouble.
Then your worst nightmare happens. Your company informs you they’ve experienced a downturn due to the economy and they had to make some cuts. You recieve notice in your paystub that this would be your last check indefinitely. They are closing down their doors. Jobs are scarce and it doesn’t look like anyone will be hiring for a while.
“How am I going to pay my bills, I can’t even afford the minimum payment on the credit card as it is”, you say to yourself. Imagine the feelings and raw emotions you would have. The utter despair, loss of hope and total despondency. Perhaps you’d feel like you had the weight of the world on your shoulders. You would have no freedom to enjoy life because you’d be a slave to your debt. Feeling dejected, hopeless and overwhelmed you cry out for help.
Suddenly, the phone rings. It’s your credit card company. “Oh great”, you say, “here come the debt collection calls already?.” The man identifies himself as the CEO of Mastercard. This has to be a joke you think to yourself. “I’m calling to let you know that you don’t owe us anything anymore”, the CEO says. “How could that be?” you ask, “That’s a lot of money I owe you. You can’t just wipe it away?”
“I’ve decided to pay the debt myself. Your account balance is now $0.” explains the man. You stand there in silence. “It’s true” says the CEO. You desperately want to be believe this, but it seems so crazy. It just doesn’t make sense, why would he do something like this when you racked up all that debt yourself through foolish decisions? The CEO repeats himself, “I’ve wiped out your debt myself, your account balance is now $0.” “But sir, I don’t deserve this” you say with tears streaming down your face. “I know, that’s why it’s called grace” says the CEO “consider this a gift from me to you.”
Imagine the feelings you have after hearing that news! You would be humbled the CEO’s generosity. You’d probably feel the weight of the world lifted off your shoulders. You’d have freedom to enjoy life again. There’d be no more sorrow or despondency. You’d probably tell everyone you knew about the CEO’s kindness and would do anything for that man. You wouldn’t have to worry about trying to work harder to pay off your own debt because it’s been taken care of by someone else! Your debt has been canceled!
Now, let’s step out of the pretend game and talk reality. Every single one of us is in this situation whether we realize it or not. We all have a major debt that we cannot repay. In fact, this debt is way more than $80,000. It’s called our sin. The Bible uses the debt metaphor in a few passages to correspond to our sin (Luke 7:41-50; 11:4; Matt.6:12; 18:21-35). Because it is an offense against a holy and just God, the debt must be repaid. Our future is hopeless and we could never work hard enough to pay it back. But, God in his kindness through the sacrifice of his only son Jesus Christ, extends grace to us. Jesus steps in and pays our debt.
What should our response be to the fact that God has provided a way for us to receive the forgiveness of our debts? We should be humbled by His generosity and kindness towards us and put our faith and trust in Him. We should live our lives to please Him and tell everyone we know about God’s mercy.
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, you are free from being enslaved to sin, you don’t have to worry about trying to work harder to pay off your own debt and appease God any longer. Look to Him, Look to Jesus and put your faith and trust in Him today. Friends, your debt has been cancled!!