When I bought my first house in Kansas, I carefully figured out my monthly budget and how much I could pay each month after making the down payment. Other than owing my dad about a thousand dollars after I finished college, I had never owed money to anyone before deciding to buy the house. Since I viewed the home as an appreciating asset, I thought it was a good investment, but taking on a big debt was still a major life change for me.
Roughly six weeks after buying the home, I began to wonder where I was supposed to send the monthly mortgage payment. I had thought it was a monthly payment, so surely I should have been sending a check somewhere, just as I did when I had paid rent at the beginning of each month for my first apartment. I asked a friend what she thought; her response was a question, “Didn’t the mortgage company give you a little booklet with payment slips to mail in each month?” No… I hadn’t received that…. “Didn’t the mortgage company send you a bill for the beginning of the month?” No… I hadn’t received anything from them in the mail…. And so I began to dig around among all the papers in my mortgage file, found a phone number and dialed it.
The phone number was to the automated account information system. I keyed in my account number, and to my astonishment, I heard the message, “Your debt is paid in full. No more payments are due.”
Wow – what a feeling to have a home with a large yard paid for, when I had expected to continue paying on the mortgage for a long time! I was amazed and really couldn’t believe it. I asked my mentor at work, and he asked if I perhaps had a relative or former school teacher who wanted to anonymously give me a wonderful gift. But, I couldn’t imagine how anyone could have discovered where my account was in order to pay off my debt without my knowledge. For a few days, I was elated to have received such a gift – a home with no debt… but, I still had some doubts – some questions as to how or why this came about. I decided to write a letter to my real estate agent since I needed to thank him for his house-warming gift anyway.
Through that, one discovery led to another… and yes, I still had a debt for my home. The sellers had used the same mortgage company to buy their new home, and the staff mistakenly assigned to me the credit due to the sellers, instead of crediting that value to them toward their new down payment. “Well,” I thought, “I did experience the wonderful feeling of having a debt canceled while receiving an exceptional gift….”
And that reminded me of an even greater debt of mine that had been paid in full by my Savior. However, I can immediately think of two big differences between my spiritual debt and my house mortgage. The first difference is collateral – in the case of my financial debt, I had a house as collateral that I could sell to finish paying the debt. In the case of my spiritual debt, I had absolutely nothing in my account to pay the debt I owed God due to my sin. Even my “good deeds” were as filthy rags in His sight.
Secondly, in the case of a house mortgage, the payments were based on my budget – had I continued at the rate I was going, the house would have been paid for in 12 years. However, my spiritual debt was insurmountable. My sin against an infinitely holy God meant I owed an infinite debt. Only He could pay the debt I owed Him, and He graciously chose to. He kindly chose to remove my hard heart and give me a heart that is soft towards Him, and He showed unbelievable grace in paying my debt to Him. As my pastor has reminded us, God absorbed within the Trinity His own wrath against my sin.
There’s a similarity in these experiences, too – a credit was applied to my account. In the case of my house mortgage, the staff mistakenly credited my account, thereby canceling my debt. But in the case of my spiritual debt, God intentionally credited my account. He gave me the perfect record of Jesus, who lived a truly human life while perfectly keeping all of God’s moral law. Knowing that my spiritual debt is paid is even better than hearing that my house mortgage has disappeared…. And I have a better and lasting home in Heaven due to God’s grace to me! I truly have no debt with God AND I have a home of my own, and this time, there’s no doubt!
Pictured is my Yummy Hummus recipe. Yummy Hummus is my favorite way to eat garbanzo beans, and crackers are my favorite addition to hummus. The crackers are from the cookbook and are one of the Sample Recipes on this site. I have discovered since we printed the book that the xanthan gum is not necessary, so I now omit it. I made the darker crackers using roasted quinoa and tapioca flour and the lighter ones from rice flour and tapioca flour. For the Yummy Hummus recipe, I started with the recipe from VitaMix in their Whole Food Recipes Copyright 2010, page 102. I made some changes to fit with my way of cooking and the ingredients I have on hand, and here’s the result:
1 cup dry garbanzo beans
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp cumin
salt, black pepper to taste
fresh oregano (optional)
1. Rinse and then soak the garbanzo beans overnight.
2. Cook the beans until they are tender enough to pierce them with a fork.
3. Add the beans and 1 cup of the liquid from the beans to the Vitamix along with the flax seed, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin.
4. Starting on low and then switching to high speed, blend all the ingredients together until smooth.
5. Add salt and black pepper to achieve the taste you like.
6. Add fresh oregano if you like.