Before getting up this morning I was laying there thinking about how God has made the forgiveness of sin available to us by the blood of Christ Jesus.  What a wonderful and generous offering from our Creator.  And the more I thought about it, the Lord impressed me with a few things that I’d like to share with you.
   Let’s use credit card debt for an example that most people can relate to.  We will say you have a credit card, and you buy certain items with it each month, then at the end of the month you send payment in full for the debt, so it is settled. You do that for several months or even years, then one month you don’t have enough money to pay the bill in full, so you just send a partial payment.  And, of course, you are still buying stuff on credit, so the debt is now growing larger.  One day you wake up and realize you are no longer in charge of your life, but you’re living to pay off your debt.  To make matters even worse, most of the stuff you charged on the credit card is either used up or worn out or gone, and you don’t even have it any more, but yet you still owe for it.  The reality sets in that you owe and the bill is so big you can no longer even visualize being able to pay it off, and every day it’s getting bigger.  Finally the time comes you’re struggling to even pay the minimum payment, yet you’re still charging more on the card because you can’t afford to pay cash for the things you need.  You’re trapped and there’s no way out.
     One day, someone comes along and offers to pay off your bill in full, and for the first time in ages, you’re debt free, and it feels so good, doesn’t it?  But before long, the temptation comes again to have a credit card, and for a while, just like before, you manage to pay the bill in full each month; that is, until you hit a bad month, and the bill starts growing again, and just like before, it grows and traps you, and you’re right back where you started….again.  Sound familiar?
    Let’s consider another angle, think of sin as a poisonous snake.  You find a snake in your yard, and you know it’s poisonous, but it’s so pretty you decide to catch it and put it in a cage.  Each day you look at the snake with caution and respect, being very careful when you feed it to stay out of harm’s way.  Months and years pass, and you’re still fascinated by the beauty of this snake.  Up to this point nothing bad has happened to you, and you think the snake is becoming accustomed to you after all this time. One day as you’re feeding the snake, it bites you, and as you lay there dying, you wonder how this could happen to you.  After all, you took good care of the snake, fed it faithfully, and made sure it was comfortable.  But there’s one thing you forgot: the snake is still a snake, and its nature is to bite and kill. 
   You see, you can’t change the nature of a snake, and you can’t change the nature of sin.  The Lord Jesus said in John 10:10;   The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  The thief Jesus was talking about was Satan and the sin he entices people with.  His nature never changes. 
   While you may think you can “manage” sin, sooner or later, it will manage YOU, just like credit card debt does.  You will often see that people who get out of debt end up going right back into debt again.  Why is it that once they taste freedom, they want to be enslaved again?  Simple: they think they can manage debt and still stay free.  Friends, it just doesn’t work like that.  Debt means you owe, and there’s no changing that.  How can you say you’re debt-free if you’re continuing to make debt? 
   Debt and sin are brother and sister, and come from the same parents; sin and rebellion.  Most of the time we don’t want to wait for God to provide us the things we need, so we take it upon ourselves to make it happen.  Most people won’t save up to buy a home or a car, but will buy it on credit. And so, they spend most of their lives in debt.  But from the beginning, God had a better way for us.  He said if we would seek Him, that He would meet our every need.  I’ve never seen God meet a need by providing a payment book with it; that is, except one.
   We owe a debt to God concerning sin that we cannot pay.  He provided a payment book, that is, the Holy Bible which tells us how He presented His own Son as payment for our sin.  At that point, we are presented with a choice; whether to keep our sin debt and try to “manage it”, or to turn it over to the Lord Jesus and have it forgiven once and for all.  Knowing how much success we have “managing” credit card debt ought to tell that we will be equally successful “managing” our sin.  We just can’t do it, can we?  Therefore, it’s time to quit trying to do something we were not created to do in the first place.  We were created to be “overcomers”, not “managers of debt”.  One who is an overcomer has done just that; overcome.  Now it doesn’t matter HOW the debt is overcome, just as long as it is, right?  Face it, friend, you will never overcome debt and sin on your own, but the Lord Jesus can come along side of you and you can roll all your problems over on HIS shoulders.  He will take all your sin upon Himself and remove it from you forever.       Now, that doesn’t mean for you to go out and sin again.  Jesus once found a person He had healed in the temple and told him, Go and sin no more lest a worse thing come upon thee With that charge, the Lord Jesus will also provide you the strength and grace to stop living in sin, but you must put that strength to use.
   Remember the poisonous snake in the cage I spoke of earlier?  Quit playing with the snake.  Don’t go near the cage anymore, yeah, he will starve and die, but who cares?  Some people think God will give you the grace to safely play with the snake.  Not so.  But he DOES give you the sense to leave it alone, if you will listen.  As for debt: quit making new debt right now, and ask God how He would have you deal with it.  God has only one way to get you free, and that is through the Lord Jesus, but there are many ways Jesus may apply His grace to help you.  The “how” is not important to you.  That’s HIS job.  Your job is to stay free once He has set you free.  Remember, a snake is still a snake, and sin is still sin.  That never changes.