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Faith Matters.

HAVE you ever got into what seems like an endless loop of correspondence and telephone calls with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs - the income tax people? Two years ago I informed them of a change to my circumstances, meaning that certain tax returns would no longer be applicable.

A few weeks ago, I received a warning of an imminent penalty for not submitting a tax return for 2016-17.

As the letter was received a fortnight later than it was dated, time was pressing. The letter was somewhat intimidating, threatening a PS10 a day additional penalty if the initial penalty was not paid in time.

I found the whole thing frustrating and a cause for concern!

I needed to hear that HMRC had declared my account was cleared.

Thankfully, after not too long and in a response to my petitions, I received a letter from HMRC saying, 'this is confirmation that there are no outstanding returns and the penalties for 2016-17 have been cancelled.' That brought me the relief that I was seeking.

I was never in debt to HMRC. The threatened penalties were the result of a confusion in administration.

Nevertheless, I had a sense of the weight of a debt that I could imagine escalating like a snowball rolling down a hill!

Last weekend was Easter, when millions considered the death of Jesus on a cross and his subsequent resurrection.

How many people, I wonder, realise that these critical events were all about dealing with a debt - a debt that we each owe to God? When we live as though God and his ways for us were of little or no consequence, then we are liable to receive the due penalty.

Unlike HMRC, however, His administration is faultless and so we are given advanced notice of our problem.

What is more, He has provided the best of debt relief counsellors to help us.

That counsellor is Jesus, who died to take the weight of the debts that we have no hope of paying off ourselves.

If we will put our trust and confidence in Jesus who was crucified, we are told in the Bible that, 'He forgave us all our sins, having cancelled the charge of our legal indebtedness which stood against us and condemned us. He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.' I experienced relief when I received the cancellation of penalties from the good people at HMRC.

How much more so the cancellation of the debt owed to God!

This week sees the start of the new tax year.

Hopefully you're not having issues with HMRC.

How about Jesus and the cross?

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Publication:Solihull News (Solihull, Birmingham, England)
Date:Apr 6, 2018
Words:438
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