Our Great CreditorIn Ireland and around the world at large today, people love to talk about money with things being said like “He’s givin’ her the brown envelope”, “They must be on serious money to afford that” or “What would you do if you won the lotto – a girl can dream!” We seem so obsessed about what other people have that we seldom look at what we have right under our noses.Some people also seem to owe a lot of money too. They owe it to banks, building societies, credit unions, loan sharks etc. I have also come across the a phrase saying “moneys’ short – times are hard, here’s your ‘fruity’ Christmas Card” A lot of people seem to be struggling to make ends meet and are living week to week. Some seem to be working “every hour God sends them”Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what is the root cause of all this envy and misery?The main reason is because of our sin. We fall short of the standard in our dealings towards God, towards others and ourselves. We have left undone things which we should to have done. Equally, we have thought, said and/or done things which we shouldn’t have. For all these things we face a massive debt which we can never hope repay.Let Me ExplainAn Example from farmingI work on a farm which is close to me. Part of the business of that farm is to buy in cattle which have been weaned from the cow. Cattle are bought for a pretty penny these days – the farmer pays around €1,000 for each animal bought. That animal then has to be fed on grass during the summer and pickled grass “silage” during the winter. They have to be checked to make sure they have enough water, that they are all there in summer, In winter, their bedding of straw has to be maintained – they must not lie on their own excrement. If one or more get sick, the vet has to be called and whatever medicines needed have to be bought and given.Now for all that expense, care and attention that each animal gets how do you think they can repay their owners? None of them that I have ever seen come with a wallet on them stuffed with a large wad of cash to cover any of the expenses they incur.Therefore they are indebted to the farmer – a debt which they can never hope to repay – regardless if they did hard manual labour, or if they were cows which could have calves, then there would be more work and expense (not to mention sleep lost if a cow gets into trouble while trying to give birth around 3am) which would only add to their debt.Similarly, with us, every time we break one of the commandments, fall short of the standard which has been set for us or in general, are ill-behaved towards God, towards others or ourselves (and let’s be fair, a lot of us tend to shoot ourselves in the foot in one way or another), we add to our debt – a debt which it is impossible for us to repay.An Unpayable DebtIn case you are thinking “my good will eventually outweigh the bad that I have done” this is what The Lord has said about good deeds and self-righteousness:But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags; We all fade as a leaf, And our iniquities, like the wind, Have taken us away. Isaiah chapter 64 verse 6AndThere is none righteous, no, not one;There is none who understands;There is none who seeks after God.They have all turned aside;They have together become unprofitable;There is none who does good, no, not one.Their throat is an open tomb;With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;“The poison of asps is under their lips”;“Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”“Their feet are swift to shed blood;Destruction and misery are in their ways;And the way of peace they have not known.”“There is no fear of God before their eyes.Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.Romans chapter 3, verses 10 to 20.We see from the above that we have no righteousness in and of ourselves and there is NO WAY that we can ever pay back the debt we owe.So, is there a way out?Well, that all depends, if you try to depend on your own “self-righteousness” or “good works” to deliver you, it will be like threading a whole camel through the eye of a needle or if you like:the wages of sin is death (wages are given for what we have done). In other words – it’s impossible.But, on the other hand if you trust in what Jesus Christ, the only Son of God did on the cross – who took your debt on himself and paying for it in full, you can escape the punishment which is to come:But He was wounded for our transgressions,He was bruised for our iniquities;The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,And by His stripes we are healed.Isaiah 53:5God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.John Chapter 3, Verses 16 -18Or in a more condensed version:He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.John 3:36Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works:“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,And whose sins are covered;Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”Romans 4 4 – 8The Conclusion of the whole matterThe Lord asks:Why do you spend money for what is not bread,And your wages for what does not satisfy?Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,And let your soul delight itself in abundance.Incline your ear, and come to Me.Hear, and your soul shall live;However, this way out is not going to be around for ever. As soon as you kick the “proverbial bucket” (die) it ends and NO ONE knows the hour of his/her death.Therefore:Seek the Lord while He may be found,Call upon Him while He is near.