How much does it cost?
Estimates project that the average household will spend about $1050 on Christmas gifts this year. Did you know that if you put that on a credit card and just pay the minimum payment you would be paying for this year’s Christmas gifts for 5 years…and in the end pay another $553 for them?
You may not think of this as you are in the “Christmas spirit” and shopping for your family and friends. But then the stress comes in January when your credit card bill comes and you wonder, “Why did I spend all that money?”
Debt is stressful.
Perhaps for some you live in debt so much that it is the “norm” of your household. Yet living “paycheck to paycheck” causes strain on marriages and stress to know you are one paycheck away from not being able to pay for the things you need let alone the consumer debt you’ve incurred.
(Tip – set a budget for Christmas and get creative to stick with it.)
There is relief when the debt is paid off. To know that you no longer owe the credit card company and you can actually save that money reduces the stress and the likelihood of a financial emergency.
This isn’t intended to be a “financial advice” devotion, but hey, you got some of that this morning!
I do want to capture the emotions of being financially in debt and stressed that it seems you will never pay it all off and apply that to the words Isaiah is given to speak to God’s people.
Isaiah 40:2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her … that her sin has been paid for,
How amazing would it be if someone for Christmas paid off all your financial debt…including your house? What an amazing Christmas that would be!
How much greater is the debt our sin accumulates every day. It’s like swiping your spiritual credit card to the limit and beyond. The debt we own our perfect, holy Father in heaven is beyond are ability to pay off. Jesus wanted his followers to understand the debt we owe because of our sin.
Matthew 18:23-27 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
He cancelled the debt and let him go.
What relief this servant should have felt! (Yet as the parable ends, he couldn’t even forgive a fellow servant who owed much less.)
This scenario plays out for you and me.
The baby born in the manger of Bethlehem is truly our Savior from sin. He is the one whom God sent to pay the price for our sins. He is the one who cried out from the cross, “It is finished,” the very words a shopkeeper would stamp when a debt was fully paid.
It would be nice to have our financial debt gone (check out daveramsey.com for help), but what has been paid off is your sin. That’s what we get to celebrate this Christmas: Your sin has been paid for!
Comfort truly does come when the debt of sin is fully paid. Jesus paid…it… all!
Apply: Make a list of sins that plague your conscience. Write them on a piece of paper and then when you are done take a red marker and write over the top of it, “PAID IN FULL by JESUS!”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for initiating a payment plan for my sins through your Son Jesus. I praise you that you have given to me the comfort of knowing that the debt my sin incurred before you is paid in full by the blood of Jesus! AMEN.