Encouragement From The Word

A lesson from an unseen, and unpaid, bill

I get sincerely frustrated at myself occasionally.  One of those occasions happened last week.  We received a credit card bill in our house, which was addressed to my wife.  When she opened it, I heard a loud exclamation from the other room.  When I inquired, she said, “We didn’t pay the last bill.”

Knowing what the bill was for, I said, “I wondered!  We never received the last bill!”  I am the bill-payer in the house, and I didn’t recall ever seeing the bill.

It was true:  the previous month’s bill for that card never came in the mail (it still hasn’t arrived).  So I asked her to call the credit card company, state the facts, and ask to have the interest removed from the bill.

She did, and after a bit of wrangling (and a short lecture), the company removed the interest from the bill, since she is a faithful customer, and the records show that the bill is always paid on time.  Immediately following this conversation, I paid the bill online and carried on with the day.  The lecture my wife received, though, reminded me that even though the bill doesn’t come in the mail, the cardholder is still responsible to pay up.

There are enough bills that come to our home over the course of a month that it’s not hard for one to get lost in the fray – particularly if it never arrives!  I know we’re duty-bound by the cardholder agreement to pay the bill, even if we never receive notice that it is due.  That doesn’t impress me much, in terms of the company’s responsibility to let us know that an amount is due, but it’s still our responsibility to pay.

This reminded me of the reality of God’s grace and love:  even though we may not see a reminder of it, that doesn’t mean it’s not there.  Quite the contrary:  we can be certain that, even if we see no evidence of it, God’s grace and love remain ever-present with us.

There are times in our lives when God’s grace and love seem notably absent.  But make no mistake:  if we don’t sense these traits of God, we can be sure, by faith, that they are still present.  God’s love continues to be ever-ready to enwrap us.  God’s grace continues to be completely ready to forgive us.

When the Lord seems distant, it is not God who has moved – it is us.  Know, by faith, that he is always with us, passionately pursuing the ongoing, deepening relationship we share together.  Reach out, in faith, and receive.  You’ll never be disappointed.

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant.  So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5.20-21, NLT).

And be sure of this:  God will never send you a bill for his love and grace!  The price for that was paid on the cross of Jesus Christ.  Believe, and know.