Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

As Far As The East Is From The West

Psalm 103:12

…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

My wife and I have worked our whole adult lives staying out of debt. We have been married for 37.5 years and we have tried to never be in more debt than we could pay off (paying off credit cards when they came due each month). Of course – buying cars and a home mortgage have been exceptions to the general rule until most recently. We have always paid off all of our credit cards each month when they have been due (which was hard when we were younger – trying to establish a home and staying within our budget or means). It has produced fruit as both my wife and I have great credit ratings – never really felt like we deprived ourselves – and have a good start on the next season of our life (retirement). We had a plan and we stuck with it! We paid back all of our debt. If we couldn’t for a short season – we worked hard to do so – at times holding down two and three jobs at a time. Hard work and good financial planning have produced good fruit. I understand some have had a plan and have not been as blessed. We have been blessed – even as we have worked hard.

Moving away from finances into the world of sin – we all have a sin debt. It is a debt we cannot pay. It doesn’t matter how hard we work. We are all sinners. We do not have the where-with-all to pay our debt of sin – no matter how many good deeds we accomplish. We may have tried to follow the Golden Rule and the Ten Commandments but we have failed way too often. Our sins are more than we could ever repay to God. My debt – our debt with God through my/our sin is not something I/we can/could pay off. Since good deeds do not repay sin – we cannot pay off sin by doing good deeds. The only payment for sin is the blood of Christ. Without the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world – we will all die with debt we could never pay off. If we die in our sin debt – the just punishment is eternity in hell.

Here’s today’s passage in partial context. Psalm 103:1–14 – Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

Let me rephrase some of today’s passage – Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits— who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases, who redeems our life from the pit and crowns us with love and compassion, who satisfies our desires with good things so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s… For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

My financial plan has been to work hard – curtail expenditures – and stay out of debt. My spiritual plan is to rely on the grace of God to forgive the debt of sin I have developed through my life. He has promised to remove my sin from my soul as far as the east is from the west. If I yield my life to Him – He will forgive me and wipe out my sin debt. I rest easy with my financial plan – but I rest with more ease in my spiritual plan to rely on the grace of God!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

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January 9, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Marriage, Personal, Theology, Vision | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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