Monday, January 11, 2016
At the age of 11 or 12, I memorized a poem entitled “The Village Blacksmith” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I can still recite most of it today and with a little bit of practice, I’m confident I can recite it completely, word for word. The poem has valuable life lessons in it and perhaps at that age I was still pure in heart because I took the poem’s lessons to heart. At that stage in my life I believed that all adults were honest and hard working, as depicted in the story of the blacksmith, even more so because it described my father’s character. The Bible says in Titus 1:15 that “unto the pure, all things are pure.” This is what the second stanza of Longfellow’s poem says: [ His hair is crisp, and black, and long, / His face is like the tan; / His brow is wet with honest sweat, / He earns what'er he can, / And looks the whole word in the face, // For he owes not any man. ] As you may have guessed, this blog is about meeting our obligations, specifically about paying our debts. And since we are still in the infant stages of it, may today’s thought serve as a reminder to us, as God’s children, to make a sincere effort to pay them this year.
I know I can’t speak for everyone but I would guess that the majority of us go around feeling uneasy whenever we know we have debts which are unpaid and are familiar, on the other hand, with the feeling of relief when we pay them off. Because there are things which do not look well in people’s lives, Paul wrote: But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints. (Ephesians 5:3) I know we don’t go around conversing in the King James English but I will take the liberty of declaring: "The adjectives “deadbeat”, “tightwad”, or “moocher”, let them not once be named among you as becometh saints." Not paying our debts is one fault which definitely hurts the testimony of God’s people, and it makes it all the more difficult for them to win others to Christ. David wrote in Psalm 37:21: “The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.” As you can see, not paying debts characterizes the wicked, not God’s children.
Even the most excellent debt payers will always have at least one debt which can never be repaid. I am referring to our debt to God. I realize there are many people in this world who are foolish enough to think that they are solely responsible for all their successes in life. They are gravely mistaken. The great thing about that is that God does not expect us to pay Him back. That is the more reason to live our lives in a manner which would honor and please Him. Paying our debts to others is one way of doing it.
Memory verse for the week: (Romans 13:8) “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”
Note: I wrote most of this blog last Friday, and as many ministers do, I was looking for confirmation that my topic for today was of God. Yesterday, pastor Mike preached a very informative and enlightening message regarding giving, something we rarely do in our church.