Grace Erased $3,185.28
Paul TautgesPaul Tautges serves as senior pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, having previously pastored for 22 years in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Paul has authored eight books including Counseling One Another, Brass Heavens, and Comfort the Grieving, and contributed chapters to two volumes produced by the Biblical Counseling Coalition. He is also the consulting editor of the LifeLine Mini-Book series from Shepherd Press. Paul is a Fellow with ACBC (Association of Certified Biblical Counselors). He and his wife, Karen, are the parents of ten children (three married), and have two grandchildren. Paul enjoys writing as a means of cultivating discipleship among believers and, therefore, blogs regularly at Counseling One Another.
- 2014 Oct 30
God knows we are forgetful people, even as Christians. Therefore, He is gracious to bring to our minds---over and over again---the abundance of His grace toward us in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
The other day, when I returned home from work there was an envelope waiting to be opened. The return address informed me that it was from the cardiologist who performed the stress test my primary physician had ordered at the end of last year. Two trips to the Emergency Room and two EKGs in less than six months were cause for concern. He was pretty confident that it was Stress Cardiomyopathy, and not heart attacks, but ordered the stress test in order to be absolutely certain. Though we were thankful the stress test confirmed his suspicion, we were left with a bill that exceeded $3300, which our insurance would not cover. As a result, we’ve been making small monthly payments as we are able and communicating regularly with the doctor’s office, making clear our intention to pay off the debt completely, and requesting their patience. As a result, they asked me to fill out an application for a long-term repayment plan. Frankly, the application was submitted so many months ago that we finally gave up that any response would ever come, even a No. But then the letter came. I opened it with cautious anticipation, hoping for a reasonable payment plan that would be workable for us. Instead, I was blown away.
The letter began, “Dear Paul, Balance due: $
3185,28 [the balance was crossed out with ink and followed by a handwritten zero, -0-]. We have granted funds to your account for 100% of the charges incurred.” My breath was taken away. As tears welled up, I quickly photographed the letter and texted it to my wife, to which she replied “Wow! I can’t believe it. Praise God!” The Lord continues to amaze us, as He faithfully cares for us.
God Is ‘Every Day Faithful’
Earlier this year, we went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, which has led us to make a number of small and major decisions in an all-out effort to eliminate as much debt as possible, with the goal, for my family’s sake, of eventually getting completely out from underneath the financial bondage which I had failed to carefully avoid. But God is always faithful, “every day faithful,” as our 7-year old recently said at the supper table when I shared with the family what God had just done through the cardiologist’s gift (They had no previous knowledge of any doctor’s appointments or hospital visits so they listened intently with eyes wide open).
Our little guy is right. God is “every day faithful.” We have a Savior who never gives up on us as He never ceases to patiently sanctify us by His grace. He did not give His life for us, and allow His blood to be shed for us, only later to abandon us to ourselves. No, our Redeemer never leaves us and will never forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). There are so many truths He is bringing to the forefront of our minds as we strive to learn what it means to walk, by faith, more faithfully---day by day---with Him walking by our side. His rod and staff really do comfort, train, guide, and protect us (Psalm 23:4).
Our Sins Are Erased Because Jesus Paid the Bill
The letter from the cardiologist was a shot in the arm in another significant way. Not only did it stimulate within us praise for God’s undying faithfulness to care for His children (Matthew 6:25-34), but it illustrated for us, again, what it really means to be forgiven—to have our sin debt erased. Because of the satisfactory death and resurrection of the Son of God on our behalf, God has personally crossed out our debt and placed a handwritten zero where there was once an enormous, too-big-to-ever-repay balance. Why? Because at the moment of repentant faith; He granted to us (to our spiritual account) 100% of Jesus’ righteousness. “He [God, the Father] made Him, who knew no sin [God, the Son] to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). There is nothing left to pay. On the Cross of Calvary, Jesus took our punishment for us and now, by faith, we are received by God as His adopted sons. What greater treasure could we ever possess?
Friend, do you have this freedom, the freedom that Jesus alone gives? Come to Him today, by faith, and He will release you from the debt of your sin and give to you His gift of eternal life.