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Jesus paid debt He didn't owe, so that we may live!

Built on a Rock
Pastor Andrew Palmquist, Bethany Lutheran Church, Luverne

According to the Gallup Poll (from Nov. 2022) the average American thought they would spend $867 on Christmas last year. Wow! (And that is down from $932 in Oct. 2022.)
Who of us has an extra $800-1,000 lying around doing nothing? No wonder that the joyful hand wrapping of the presents turns to anxious hand-wringing in the New Year as the bills come due.
Does it sometimes seem like our debts own us rather than we own what our debts have purchased? Slavery to unmanageable debts is an overwhelming burden! Oh, to be debt-free! If only we could start over with a clean slate.
The flip of the calendar to a new year can give a sense of being able to make a fresh start, a sense of renewal. But without the LORD that is short-lived. Bills still need to be paid. Life, with all of its stresses, setbacks and disappointments, still needs to be lived. To the pressing realities of life can also be added a gnawing burden of guilt over all that was left undone in the past, as well as all that was done to and against those closest to us in life!
Weighed down we pray with the Psalmist, "O LORD, turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of me...My times are in your hands, deliver me in your unfailing love." (Psalm 31)
And do you know what? The LORD hears our prayer and responds. Now our gracious God doesn't promise to pay off our bills, but he does guide us with his Word to help us set proper priorities and planning. The LORD’s ultimate concern for us has to do with the spiritual debt we incur with our many sins. That bill He paid in full.
Jesus lived a perfect life in our place, and then died to wash away all our sins. On the cross he was shown no mercy, yet he continually shows us mercy and remembers our sins no more. On the third day, Jesus, our victorious Savior rose from the dead. And because he lives, we too shall live into eternity with him, even when our earthly calendars run out. Instead of death, Jesus gives life; instead of sorrow, he gives joy; instead of anxious fears, he brings calm. All of these blessings are ours by God’s grace, through faith, as we look forward to the ENDLESS YEARS of peace and joy in HEAVEN!
Because of Jesus Christ, you and I can enter this New Year with confidence. He loves us and promises to be there for us, and he will work everything out for our good. Our lives have purpose as we serve our gracious Savior King who took away all our debts. Because of his great selfless love, we can reach out to others with the same amazing love that he has showered upon us!

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