40 Days of Prayer

Day 19: Paradoxes

January 19, 2019

My Image

He grabbed him and began to choke him. “Pay back what you owe me!” he demanded.
Matthew 18:28

From Our “Here”…

Every morning I take my blood pressure medication and sip my coffee. Strong coffee. I let the caffeine and lisinopril vie for supremacy.

I’m also prone to reading a thriller in bed before lights out. You’re getting sleepy… but read the next chapter!

My daughter and I have an evening ritual. “Dad,” she asks, “have you put the blankets on my bed?”

I pull four off her blanket stand and arrange them across her bed. She crawls under the sheet. I kiss her goodnight. I’m almost out the door …

“Dad?”

“Yeah?”

“Don’t forget to turn the fan on.”

Go figure. The ceiling fan stirs just enough of a breeze to make the blankets comfortable.

A treadmill in the basement lets me run without going anywhere, fertilizer in the garage makes the grass grow quicker before I cut it, an answering machine intercepts the telephone, and life insurance is payable if death occurs.

But all that is small potatoes compared to the greater paradoxes of life, the big-kahuna questions you can never answer on your own. The Bible’s paradoxes are staggering. God as Three in One. The cosmos’ billions of galaxies created out of nothing. New life through Christ experienced simultaneously with aging and physical decay. The list goes on.

…To God’s “There”

One of the greatest paradoxes described in Scripture is one manufactured through human inconsistency. You can read about it in Matthew 18:23-35.

Jesus told a parable about a wealthy ruler and a servant. The servant owed this king a fortune. There was no way he could repay it. But instead of throwing the servant into debtor’s prison, the king completely forgave the debt. Then this servant, who had just enjoyed the most positive reversal of fortune imaginable, found some poor joker who owed him a pittance. When he couldn’t squeeze a payment out of the guy, he threw him in prison.

Read it for yourself. It’s an amazing display of paradoxical behavior.

Have you ever stopped to think the application of this story just might go beyond the need to forgive people’s various debts? If you have been granted the immeasurable gift of God’s grace and forgiveness at salvation, your own debt of sin is gone, cancelled, as far from you as the east is from the west. But if you do little or nothing to share the gospel with others, you’re allowing them to live with their own debt of sin for all eternity.

Making the Leap

How committed are you to seeing Calvary’s ultimate debt-cancelling transaction that you have enjoyed be replicated in others? What can you do to make sure as many people as possible have the same opportunity for eternal life that you have been given? Begin identifying those people, one at a time, and connecting with them today.

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