Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? How far are you willing to go to be indebted to someone? Are you willing to carry that indebted for a lifetime? How willing are you to serve that indebtedness?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
When we were in the home market 30 years ago we were relying on a budget that was very limited and the optimum selling price for our 60 year-old home at the time. Unfortunately home values suddenly decreased and it became a buyer’s market. We weren’t able to sell our house for what we had hoped for. When we found the home we wanted it came with a price that was slightly out of our price range. Although it needed some updating, it was 50 years newer with nearly four acres of land. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford the down payment needed to reduce the loan to an affordable mortgage. We were stymied. I happened to be having a lunch with a friend the day after Holly toured the home. He was a successful businessman I had known for years. He listened to my story about the new unaffordable house and then did something I will never forget. He took out his checkbook and asked, “How much do you need?” He wrote the check and our offer to purchase was accepted. To this day, every time I look around at this beautiful place in the woods I feel a huge debt to this generous friend. It’s a debt that will never be repaid except with love and a dedication on our part to maintain this place and keep it for our family long after we’re gone. That was his wish. We could sell the house today for great profit, but that’s not what my friend had in mind when he wrote that check. As I keep this house I serve that debt. It is as it should be.
How far are you willing to go to be indebted to someone? Are you willing to carry that indebted for a lifetime? How willing are you to serve that indebtedness?
Here’s a story. John Kenneth Galbraith, in his autobiography, A Life in Our Times, illustrates the devotion of Emily Gloria Wilson, his family’s housekeeper: It had been a wearying day, and I asked Emily to hold all telephone calls while I had a nap. Shortly thereafter the phone rang. Lyndon Johnson was calling from the White House. “Get me Ken Galbraith. This is Lyndon Johnson.” “He is sleeping, Mr. President. He said not to disturb him.” “Well, wake him up. I want to talk to him.” “No, Mr. President. I work for him, not you.” When I called the President back, he could scarcely control his pleasure. “Tell that woman I want her here in the White House.” (Houghton Mifflin in Reader's Digest, December, 1981.)
In Roman 1:14 the Apostle Paul writes “I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish” (Romans 1:14). Paul here is saying that because of his debt to Jesus Christ he is indebted beyond that which he is ever able to repay. There was nothing he could do to bring satisfaction to that debt beyond the one thing he owned–his ability to serve others in the name of his benefactor, Jesus Christ. This made him loyal beyond what many might call reasonable, but what Paul terms as just and right. I am loyal to my friend as concerns this home because we would not live here today except for his generosity. Similarly, Emily Gloria Wilson could not back away from her loyalty and debt to Galbraith. May you and I be so bonded to Christ that in our service to him, although knowing we can’t repay him, we can serve him loyally, keeping the promise he has entrusted to each of us–Go an tell others about the Good News! We can do nothing less.
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We pray. Thank you Lord for taking on our debt of sin as your own. Father, we often forget just how much Jesus has done, how great a sacrifice you made, just to save us from ourselves; we own you a great debt that can never be paid except by our obedience to your will. Help us Father to dedicate our lives to serving others in the name of Jesus Christ. In his name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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