Sunday, June 29, 2014

Penciled Prayers: A Debtor Forgiven Much

"A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly."
(Luke 7:41-43)

All-too-often, Father, I see others owing You a debt greater than my own. I think of how great the forgiveness received by those other great sinners You have forgiven. In doing so, I lose sight; my perspective becomes skewed; the glass filled with the forgiveness I have received becomes opaque, clouded by my blurred spiritual vision. I think too highly of myself in such times because I fail to see the depth of the well of my own sin.

O how deep that well, Father. How slippery the walls of it, covered in the slimy moss of my self-righteousness. How dark the well's interior; the light penetrating only so far, with the bottom nowhere in sight. I drop the rock of my own perceived goodness into the well, fully expecting the sound of it hitting what I believe to be the shallow bottom to loudly ring. But I cannot hear it hit the bottom. The sound of the rock hitting the well's floor is swallowed, covered, muted by the depth of my own depravity. The debt I owe You is greater than I know and greater still than I often fail to admit.

I know I need to love You more, Lord Jesus. Is my love for You hindered by my failure to comprehend, to even try to comprehend, the incalculable debt I owe You because of my myriad sin against You? Is it that I look into the well of my sin and, not seeing the bottom, assume it is not as deep as it is? Do I fail to see, Lord, how deep Your love is for me, how vast it is beyond all measure, because I see myself like the man in the parable whose debt was not as great as the other man's? If so, Father, I am a fool. Please, forgive me.

Lord, please help me to comprehend the depth, the sinfulness of my sin. Shine the light of Your truth, the light of Your forgiveness, the light of Your love, the light of Your cross into the deep, deep well of my sinful and darkened heart. Show me the sinfulness of my sin until I comprehend, with a heart of flesh, that I have been forgiven much--much more than I will ever fully grasp this side of heaven. And let that understanding lead me to love You as deeply as Your forgiving light has penetrated the depths of my well of sin.

O Lord, I do thank You for Your forgiveness--a forgiveness You purchased for me, with Your own shed blood. Thank You for the propitiation You made on my behalf. Thank You for the imputed righteousness credited to my account--an account once graffitied in red ink, with column after column of accrued debt I could never repay. Thank You for canceling my debt, with all of its legal demands, when You nailed my sin--my sin--to the cross.

Who should love You more than me, Lord Jesus? Who should love You more than me--a great sinner who has a great Savior!

How deep the Father's love for us,
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss,
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One,
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders
Ashamed I hear my mocking voice,
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no power, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom.

In Jesus' name; in the name of the God I love, I pray. Amen.

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