Jul 29, 2019 1835
In investment circles, you’ll hear people talking about “good debt” versus “bad debt.” Bad debt is when you take out a loan against a depreciating asset, but good debt is when you borrow money to acquire an asset that goes up in value, especially when the rate of appreciation exceeds the rate of interest.
It that’s getting a bit too technical, I want to tell you that I’m here to tell you about an even better kind of debt: a kind of debt that doesn’t involve money.
If you google what you need to do to receive a blessing from God, you will find answers like: “pray more,” “keep the commandments,” “bless others,” and “send us your money.” Some of the websites had whole lists of things you needed to do. I’m always suspicious of lists telling followers of Jesus what they need to do so that God will be good to them.
A gift isn’t a gift if it isn’t free. The gifts of God are always free (Isa 55:1; Rom 3:28). The gifts of God are never given with “terms and conditions” like the special offers we hear about on various forms of media. Furthermore the gifts of God are never conditional on our future behaviour. As the apostle Paul says in Rom 11:29:
the gifts… of God are irrevocable(NASB);
or as the Message paraphrase puts it,
God’s gifts… are under full warranty—never cancelled, never rescinded(MSG).
The Gifts of God Never Come Without Obligation
To receive God’s blessings all you must do is simply to accept them through faith. They are yours from the moment you believe and for as long as you believe.
When you have freely received, you freely give
However, this obligation is not a condition of receiving the gift. It is an unforced obligation, because it is the obligation of love. When you have freely received, you freely give (Matt 10:8). That’s the very best kind of debt. The apostle Paul refers to this obligation:
If Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness… 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation… (Rom 8:10,12, NIV).
The reason why the gifts of God always come with an obligation is because they are always personal gifts. When God gives you a gift, he is always giving himself (John 3:16).
That’s why when you receive a gift from God you are receiving the Giver. You cannot receive the gift and reject the Giver. They always go together. Receiving a blessing from God isn’t a business transaction; it involves a personal relationship.
So, when you receive a blessing from God, you are under a moral obligation to God to pass it on. To receive from God and not to give is to turn around and to reject the blessing. That’s the moral of Jesus’ parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18.
If you have been blessed by God, especially with eternal life, you are a debtor to grace.
We all are. Live accordingly.
– Eliezer Gonzalez