Challenge Central: a CBC devotional

By: Pastor Jeremy Heikkinen

Aaaahhh! Why did you have to bring that up at a time like this? With Christmas around the corner, inflation, and rising interest rates being what they are, we are all thinking about this a little more these days. As horrible as financial debt is (Prov. 22:7), there is something even worse, spiritual debt!

You might be saying, “thanks a lot Pastor Jeremy you just ruined my day, I thought this was suppose to be an encouraging devotional”! I promise, I am getting there.

Were you at the Church House on November 27th…when Alissa Cooper painted the main point of the text? Do you remember where we were in God’s Word…how about what point we were on in the sermon…maybe you do and maybe you don’t. One thing is for sure, you probably can still remember what she painted and how she used the red paint at the end.

I was preaching through the Declaration of “Disarming Triumph: “God Made us Alive” (2:13-15). The text says,

13 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. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (ESV).

According to the text, we were all dead in the debt that we owed God. There was no hope for ever being able to pay back what we owed to God! We couldn’t consolidate, declare bankruptcy, or anything; we were dead! But praise the Lord, God made us alive together with him. He forgave us all our trespasses. He cancelled all our records of debt. He wiped it all way by paying for it Himself with the precious blood of His Son. Who does that?

Financial debt is a burden, one that we all want to do without. Where as we are probably not going to write a cheque to help someone out this season financially, what about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and how they can have their Spiritual debt paid in full for all of eternity! 

If you are facing the weight of debt, whether financial or spiritual, and you feel like you are being crushed with shame, talk to someone you know that loves Jesus. Jesus died a very public death to show that our need for Him is very public. Please don’t struggle alone.

What “rulers” or “authorities” does Jesus’ triumph need to be applied to in your life today? I challenge you to write out the top three things that you feel are the heaviest struggles in your life today. Substitute them for the words “trespasses” and “the uncircumcision of your flesh” of verse 13 and pray these verses back to God. Then, call a friend and ask them to help you in these areas.

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