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World's Largest National Debt

By Pastor Phillip Howell
web posted October 2, 2013

RELIGION – We are a nation in debt. Think how much power debt exerts in your life. Most people work simply to pay debt on things they had to have. The problem with debt is that it grows and grows. I use a credit to pay all my bills and pay it off monthly and rack up Amazon.com gift certificates. The part of my monthly statement that amazes me is the little box that explains that if you only pay the minimum amount due, how much more you pay in the end and how long it takes to free you of this debt.

Amazingly, the average twenty-one year-old has five credit cards with an average debt of $3,000, while 23 percent have credit card debt of $3,000 to $7,000, and 10 percent have credit card debt exceeding $7,000. In the U.S. there are over four credit cards in circulation for every man, woman, and child. Personal debt, excluding mortgages, averages $19,000 per household, over half of which is on credit cards. And, over 40 percent of all U.S. families spend more each year than they earn. Simply, Americans are in financial debt.

That is nothing when you look at the U.S. national debt which as of 30 Sep 2013 at 12:35:00 PM GMT is: $ 16 ,745 ,160,796,636.67. Furthermore, when you look at the estimated population of the United States is 316,752,046, so each citizen's share of this debt is $52,865.20. Amazingly the National Debt has continued to increase an average of $1.86 billion per day since September 30, 2012!  But truth be told, this is not the largest outstanding debt that any nation has!
I read this past week how the German capital of Berlin owes about six times that much—to one tiny German town. Way back in the 16th century, the small town of Mittenwalde in what is today eastern Germany loaned 400 Rhenish guilders, a popular currency of the time, to Berlin to help the growing town meet its financial needs. According to the terms of the loan, Germany would someday pay back the 400 guilder note with a 6 percent interest rate tacked on.
But when authorities in Berlin failed to repay the note in a timely fashion, the debt slipped from the minds of Mittenwalde's inhabitants, only to be found hundreds of years later by a town clerk. Today, with the debt still collecting interest and with a Rhenish guilder still fetching .88 euros, the German capital owes the town of fewer than 9,000 residents more than $106 trillion. And just as they have in the decades since the note was uncovered, Berlin officials recently disavowed the debt. They are simply going to refuse to pay.
Well, as amazing as the numbers 16 trillion and 106 trillion are, we owe God an even greater debt. God made each of us to honor Him by living in obedience to Him. Each time we fail in this obligation through sins of both omission (good things that we ought to do and don’t do) and commission (the things that we ought not do, that we do), in our words, deeds, and motives, we accrue a spiritual debt to God.  When you stop and think of the sheer volumes of wrongs you do in a day it is staggering.
What can we do with this debt to God? Well, we can’t do as Berlin did and simply refuse to pay. Berlin can do that because the little town of Mittenwalde can’t force them to, so Berlin says take that. We cannot look God in the face and say and I will do as I please and just deal God. And although many people try to do just that, it is foolish and those will be eternally reject The Lord in their arrogance.

The fact of the matter is, we cannot pay God back or earn His grace. Berlin is a decent economy, but they could never pay back 106 trillion dollars! Likewise, you could give away every dollar you have and help every old lady you see cross the street and never pay back the debt you owe to God.
So what do we do? Nothing! We do nothing! God does everything that has to be done on our behalf! Our debt of sin was against God the Father’s holiness. Jesus’ death on the cross was the punishment for our sin debt. As Colossians 2:13-14 makes clear “And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses,  (14)  by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

But even more amazing is that now as we stand before God, we are seen as perfectly righteous and right before God even in our sins.  Martin Luther called this the “Great Transaction.” 2 Coronthians 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus takes all our debt on Himself and through the resurrection gives all who denounce personal goodness and efforts to please God and by faith trust in Christ alone.
It is a deal too good to be true! Accept it today.

Pastor Phillip

This is what Jesus was speaking of when He prayed that God would forgive our debts to Him (Matt. 6:12).

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