“And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
I got a letter from a collection agency in the mail the other day. Yes, I am talking about the deadbeat, don’t pay your bills kind of bill collector letters.
I was mortified.
This particular bill was for an x-ray reading way back in April for sixteen dollars and fifty cents. The bill had come, and I had mailed them the check, on time. I thought my debt was paid. But for four months each time I balanced my bank statement, that check came up as outstanding and I would think to myself, “I wonder why they haven’t cashed that?” It never once crossed my mind to take responsibility for the situation, pull out the original bill, give them a call and ask them if they had received it. ” I mistakenly thought my debt was paid.
Last Thursday the letter from the collection agency showed up in the mail and I was angry and indignant. Why on earth would they send this tiny debt to collections without sending another bill or at least call me? I pulled out the only bill I ever got and while I was reading it over, I noticed a red box at the bottom of the page that said, “This will be the only bill you receive.” Oh. Of course, that was just fuel for the fire in my mind, I thought “the cheapskates, they can’t send me another bill, but will spend a small fortune on a bill collector, for a measly sixteen fifty.” Lord.
I took a deep breath and called the number and when I finally got a person in the billing department, I greeted her politely and opened with, “I am angry, but I am not angry at you.” I explained the circumstances and how offended I was at receiving the letter, and asked why on earth they didn’t just bill me again. Can’t you just hear her thoughts? “Yeah right, I have heard that all before”. She politely explained that if a bill is under a certain amount they only send one statement, like my bill said. “She told me I had thirty days to pay the bill, and it wouldn’t affect my credit rating. She gave me the address to mail the check.
When I hung up the phone, that still, small voice in my head told me the truth I didn’t want to hear, “ Quit trying to justify your actions, you incurred the debt, you are responsible for paying the bill.”
I mailed the second check that day and I will call next week to confirm they got it.
There is no free lunch. On this earth I have incurred debt, there are things that I have done that make me responsible for paying the bill. Things that have separated me from God and one day my bill will come due. I have heard the good news of what I must do to receive salvation, and it is pretty simple. I have read the fine print. And yet, day by day, month by month, year by year, my payment remained outstanding. I thought foolishly, “It can’t be that simple.” I believed that I had sent the check, thinking that because I was good person, because I help others, and because I haven’t done anything too terrible that my debt was paid, right? That covers my sin, right?
Wrong. The truth is I can’t pay my debt; I can’t earn my way into heaven. Let me repeat that very important truth, I can’t earn my way into heaven. For the longest time my debt was still outstanding because I believed that lie. Being nice just doesn’t cut it; there are plenty of nice atheists who do good deeds. What does make the difference? What pays the bill?
The good news is (Gospel means good news), and this is really, really good news: There is someone who has already paid my bill in full for me. His name is Jesus Christ and he has paid it on the cross with his blood and his life. The only thing I need to do is to receive the gift free of charge. Funny thing is, the hardest part is accepting the simple faith and belief that that’s all there is to it!
Yup, it’s just that simple. Believe and receive so when the bill collector, the Lord of Light and not the Grim Reaper, comes at the end of my life my bill will be stamped, paid in full.
Who will pay your debt? Will you be mortified, angry and indignant when you find out you still owe for your debt? Or will Christ have you covered?
Be joy filled always,