Posts Tagged With: Debt

“Do You have Your Gotham?” > Chapter Fifteen

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

“God has Heard”

Redline faith. Man may not have been listening, but God was.

Man may be blind to needs right under his nose, but God is watching. Christmas came and went, and Don and his wife were still sick. His wife still driving a freezing cold van, and hospital bills in the red. The four Starbuck applications were still out there, but so far no response. He was actually glad because he couldn’t imagine trying to learn a “people job” like that while coughing your head off the whole time. Then 2015 rolled in and yes the virus continued too, as well as the freezing cold and broke down vehicles.

There were actually two vehicles needing fixed, his wife’s van and a 1997 Honda Civic. He had tried to repair the leaky gas tank so many times! His last attempt had been a cheap tank from a salvage yard, that had been drained by way of cutting a gash in bottom of tank. He had worked hard to fix it, but failed, and so the car still sat. The promises of the tank repair kit had proven false, and by faith he and his wife pressed on, believing God would hear. That God had a plan. (And he did.)

January 12, 2015 arrived and Don was in his third cycle of the virus. It was ridiculous, and his wife was just as bad. Nothing but hope and faith were left for them. Finally, a humidifier was purchased with the precious money they had, and Don began to get better, although it did not seem to help his wife. On the day of January 19, he finally felt strong enough to job hunt.

He decided to try a Half-Price Bookstore first, because of his love for books, but they were not hiring and he left disappointed. Okay, time for the Starbucks. He had visited Starbucks many times and loved coffee. He expected to enjoy learning more about the different coffees, but as he walked into the store it was hopping busy, and as he watched the young people moving fast behind the counter, his heart was frozen with fear! He stood their a moment to press away the fear, like he had done many times in his life, but he found himself walking up to the counter, ordering a drink and walking back out the door, silent as a lamb! He flat out chickened out! The fear would not go away! And now depression was heavy upon him! How could he chicken out like this?

By eleven o’clock he found himself back home and trying to figure out what to do next? He felt defeated, and that he was letting his wife down, and possibly even the Lord. Accusations from the devil were coming hot and fast as he questioned everything about this present moment.

As he prayed and asked God for direction, sunlight caught his eye, and he was drawn to it.

It was the middle of January, but it was like a summer day outside. It was beautiful. He walked over to the window and stared out. There was the Honda still up on ramps ready to be worked on again. Don hated mechanical work and was not very good at it, but as he stared at that car and the warm sunny day, “You want me to work on that car “again” Lord? REALLY? What use is it? How many times have I tried?” But slowly, out the door he went.

The tank was removed for the third time, thrown in the back of the truck and driven to his dad’s, where the mesh material and the compound was applied again, but this time the tank was inverted so gravity worked in his favor, and heat lamps were applied for a twenty-four hour period. His dad got involved and Indiana had a one week heat wave in the middle of January. His dad paid for the heater blower motor and during this week Don fixed his wife’s van and got the Honda running! With the Honda running came a new opportunity. A company called “Guardsmark” was hiring a patrol officer to cruise around a parking lot in their own vehicle and guard the property. The place of business was in a bad part of town, a Point of Pain!

Don had no retail experience, but he did have four years military experience, and had worked as a correctional officer in a men’s prison at one time. Now he also had the perfect vehicle! On his second time of going out he landed his perfect job. It would be part-time until April, but he began his first day on January 26. Money was still extremely tight, and his hints continued to be ignored, but after paying the Obama Insurance penalty, their tax returns still proved to be enough to get back into the black financially! The struggle continued till February 12th when the returns arrived. Finally, the storm was over. He had income again. His health had returned even though his wife was still struggling with it. Vehicles were fixed, even though a month later the tank would leak and be removed “again”, taken to a radiator shop and soldered. (Finally fixed.) LOL.

With the financial crises satisfied at least for a while, and having a job finally in place, he could at last dive into the assignment God had given, something called “1000 Houses of H.O.P.E”. All the praying and seeking had come to a head, spiritual forces were in place, Batman was ready to enter the darkness of the night and confront the evil of his day. (This story continues.)

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“Totally Indebted to Love”

Have you ever heard the old saying: “Robbing Peter to pay Paul?” Is there anyone who at some time of their life has not had to do that very thing to get by? And some even spend their whole life stuck in this very situation.

When I’m driving down the road I have a lot of time to think about things and sometimes I get to pondering the strangest thoughts, such as, why would I rob Peter to pay Paul? Well, I came up with two very good possibilities. One, maybe Paul wants his money now and I can put Peter off for a while. And two, maybe Peter is a nicer person to owe than Paul is? Both very valid reasons why a person might rob Peter to pay Paul. So where am I going with this, anyway?

As I see it, God had a serious dilemma on his hands. According to Romans 6:16, his special creation that he “so loved”, had fallen into “OWNERSHIP” of SIN! As the saying goes, I OWED a debt I could not pay!

“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants (slaves) to obey, his servants (slaves) ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” (Rom. 6:16)

King James was nice in translating the word slaves as servants. It sounds nicer, doesn’t it? But it really has to do with “OWNERSHIP”. As much as you may not like it, YOU ARE NOT YOUR OWN! I don’t care if you reject God, thinking you are being “YOUR OWN PERSON”, it just is not true. And no matter how much you may want it to be true, no matter how many times you may say it, all of your saying it is not going to make it true! The word “slaves” denotes “ownership”.

We are the created, the creation, and we have a Creator, and he owns it all! (By right of creation.) I don’t have to like it, it just is what it is.

But here is the really cool thing! I was reading a scripture the other day and something I had not noticed before really jumped out at me! God has commanded us to love, right? Jesus said the two great commandments is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and to love your neighbor as yourself! (That is three loves, by the way.) Scripture even goes as far as to say that in the living of those two commandments, we fulfill all the law! But here is what jumped out at me…

God has not only commanded us to love, but he took us out of a condition of being “totally indebted to sin”, a debt I could never pay off, and he put us “totally indebted to love”!!!!! He took us from one debt to another debt! Another debt I can never pay off! I am supposed to spend the rest of eternity loving! I am OWNED by love! God is love and he redeemed me, purchased me from my debt of sin, and now I OWE love! I would much rather owe love, than to owe sin, any day!

Romans 13:9! “OWE no man any thing, BUT TO LOVE one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

This is an important point! It is one thing to be commanded to love, but quite another to be “owned” by love, and “totally indebted” to love.

Most people want to pay their debts. Life may sometimes prevent us from being able to do so, but even at that, most of us will try to pay whatever we can on what we owe. It is the right thing to do. It is part of our sense of honor and integrity. When it comes to God’s love, I owe, I owe, I owe! I wrote out a great big I.O.U. when I got saved! And boy do I owe God! It is one of the reasons I love him so much, not only because of who he is, everything that he is, everything he stands for and defends, but also, everything he has done for me! I owe! I owe! I owe! And what do I owe? According to the Bible, I owe LOVE. And what is so bad about that?

According to the Bible, I owe LOVE. What is so bad about that?

This is pure spiritual logic. Now back in Romans 6 we read starting in verse 17>

“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants (slaves) of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made FREE from sin, ye became the servants (slaves, owned ) of righteousness.”

The Old Testament is a very clear picture of what it means to try to “earn your own way to heaven”. An eye for an eye, as it says. The Old Testament is the Covenant of LAW. Over and over again, in the Old Covenant we see God showing us a better Covenant to come, and why we want to enter it! The Bible leads us from a Covenant of LAW, in which we try to be “good enough” on our own and earn the right to heaven; it leads us over and over again to the Covenant of LOVE. (The New Testament.) The Promised Land!

We have two Covenants to choose from. We are choosing which Covenant we will be “JUDGED” by, on that great day of judgement. The Bible says “Mercy” rejoices against judgement! Choose you this day whom ye will serve! Choose LIFE! Choose the Covenant of LOVE, and spend eternity paying your debt of LOVE. Pass it forward!!!

“OWE no man any thing, BUT TO LOVE one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

I don’t know how much plainer this could be said. God has given us a better way to fulfill the Law. A life of loving. What better life could there be? When someone wrongs me, I OWE LOVE, and I forgive. God has passed it forward! I already owe! He has put me in a position that if I am an honorable person, then I will also pass it forward! It is what I owe! Can I do any less? And why would I even want to? What greater life is there, than a life of love? Praise God!

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, BECAUSE HE …laid down his life for us: WE OUGHT… to lay down our lives for the brethern.”  (I John 3:16) Notice the similarity between I John 3:16 and St. John 3:16?

BECAUSE HE…WE OUGHT…? (I recommend taking time to ponder that. Selah.)

Each of us will choose what we do with the message of the Bible. On the day the foundations of the deep began breaking up, and rain poured out of the heavens, people clawed at the doors to get in. They wished they had listened to Noah. To make an analogy, I don’t know any one who does not wish they had invested in “Apple” back when it first started. If we say “no” to so great a love, the day will come when we will regret choosing to not invest in the Bible. Personally, I am fully invested. I now owe a great debt of LOVE. I once was in completely over my head in a debt of sin, with only a fearful judgement to look forward to. God says he will do the same for you, if you will only truly believe, repent of your sins, and call on the name of the Lord. God says your heart will change, and he will be your God, and you will be his people. Now that is LOVE.

I have one more thing to say, and as God’s cowboy, I must say this. There is a vengeance trail against the devil. In the same chapter of I John 3 and verse 8, we find the Bible speaking of destroying the works of the devil! There is also a warrior side to this path of love. It is part of love to “arrest” the devil every chance we get. To seek it out, and arrest him. I say, lets save as many people as we can before this world erupts in judgement. I say lets save as many people as we can, and let the devil go to hell, not our neighbor! We have a tremendous LOVE DEBT to pay, and we need to be about our Father’s business! (Selah.)

Lets saddle up our horses and ride, cowboys! It is time to champion the God of love in a way that the world cannot deny! Just like Jesus did, and just like his Apostles did! We have a bright future! The darker things get, the brighter light shines! Amen!

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