The Gift
One day as I was sitting in my office an old friend happened to drop by. He was very upset and in a desperate situation. He had just been through a divorce and had a $50,000 debt. He told me, "The debt has to be paid within a few days or all my property, house and assets would be seized within a short time." What made things worse, he lost his job and didn't have enough money for just his daily needs like food. Because I loved my friend, I will call him Jack, I decided to do two things:

First, I offered Jack a job. I told him that at least he would have some income to help with his daily necessities.

Second, I offered to loan Jack the $50,000. I said, "Jack, I have $50,000 but this is my entire life savings. I am willing to loan it to you if you promise to pay me back. When you get your pay check you can begin to make me some kind of payments." Jack was very thankful and promised to pay me back.

After Jack made a few payments the problem began. I don't know what Jack did with his money but he certainly wasn't fulfilling his promise to pay me.

How do people tend to act around someone when they owe them money and haven't paid them? Do they call them up and say, "Let's have lunch!" or "Let's play golf tomorrow!" No, they do everything possible to avoid them. In other words, they don't want to hang around a person to whom they owe a debt?

Eventually Jack wouldn't look me in the face when we were together. One day without a word he didn't show up for work. A week later I found out he had gotten a job on a merchant boat and went to South America.

Cliff, another mutual friend to Jack and me heard about the $50,000 debt that had put a division in our relationship. I told Cliff, "I like Jack and wish we could be friends again. He was a good worker and I would hire him back.

Cliff was a wealthy man and paid Jack's debt so that we might be reconciled. Now as far as my "accounts receivable" is concerned, the debt is paid. So, what is there? Nothing, it is clear! But Jack doesn't know this.

Now Debbie, a mutual friend of ours also goes to South America on a mission trip and finds Jack while she is there.

"Jack," Debbie says, "I've got good news for you! Cliff has paid off your debt and Don has written it off his books. You don't owe a thing! Don says he wants you to come back and work for him."

How many responses and choices could Jack make?

Jack could say, "No. I don't believe it. It's a trap. Don's just saying that to get me back to the United States so he can have me arrested."

Or

Jack could deny he owes Don money. He could say, "Don is lying and just trying to get me to pay him money I don't owe."

Or

Jack could say, "Really! You mean the debt is paid. I can go home to my friends and family that care about me. I can get my life back again?"

The answer is "Yes! Come on back."

The point of this parable: The gospel message of Jesus Christ is "good news." Jesus paid the debt of sin for the whole human race. But the world doesn't know it. God has done something that is to be shared as "good news." Christ died for your sins. The burden is not on you to pay the debt. Don't deny the debt of your sins, rather come back to the Savior that has paid the price to bring you back into a relationship with the Living God. Salvation is an accomplished fact that has already been paid for by the death of Jesus. Your part is only to "come back" and accept the mercy of a loving Savior.

Can you see that salvation is by Grace? It's all based upon what God has done for you. He has paid the debt of our sins so that we may have eternal life and a right relationship with Him.

Would you like to come back (we've all gone astray), and receive this gift of right standing with God?

The Scriptures say, "They which receive the abundance of grace (God's kindness) and the Gift of righteousness (right standing before God) shall reign in life... (Romans 5:17)

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(Tract No. 15 by Don Krow)
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