colossians

Debt Canceled // Micah

Our consumeristic culture comes with rhythms that reinforce bondage. The winter seamlessly moves from “Turkey Thursday,” where we give thanks for excess, to “Black Friday,” where we buy more things we don’t need, into a year of slaving away to pay it all off. An intense appetite for stuff combined with boundariless spending has left most shackled to debt.

That is partly why it is hard for us to grasp freedom. We have gotten so used to the shackles of slavery, we can’t imagine living an unbound life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In Christ we can be made free and we can live free.

In a season, highjacked from the one who “came to set the captives free,” I pray we find release from the norms that bind. May this Christmas find you and I looking to the chain breaker, fully embracing the way of the one who declares our Debt Cancelled.

Colossians 2:14 “He canceled the unfavorable record of our debts with its binding rules and did away with it completely by nailing it to the cross.”

John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

Romans 13:8 “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

 - Micah McElveen

Money: The False Idol // Micah

The pursuit of wealth, a tool used to accomplish great good, can be prioritized to the point of idolatry. In a capitalistic society, we tend to encourage materialism, make gods of the rich and give glory to the wealthy. We are encouraged to place our hopes in monies supposed ability to satisfy, and we are taught to find security in its presumed ability to preserve. We are taught to believe that we generate, own and are in sole control of our wealth. The by-product of this idolatry is broad in scope. It leads to incredible waste, inevitable disillusionment and an inflated sense of self-worth that wreaks havoc on the lives of all those impacted by individuals wielding the sword of their wealth. Like any idol it offers to provide what only God can give and in doing so over-promises and under delivers.

But we don’t have to be idolaters. Great good for all results when God’s people recalibrate to God’s economy in which, we see ourselves as worshipers of God who have been entrusted with management over varying amounts of God’s wealth. Instead of prideful owners amassing resources, we view money as a gift from God to be stewarded for the good of man and advancement of God’s kingdom to the glory of God. Our satisfaction and security are not rooted in a commodity that fluctuates with the market but instead are anchored to the One from whom every good thing comes.  When our hope is in Christ who is eternal we are freed to release money, which is temporal, into hope bearing initiatives. God gives His people great joy when they see themselves as willing stewards of His blessings used for His purpose. As we seek the favor of God may we guard our hearts from the temptation to idolize money. May we not exchange the gift for the giver. For He who is of infinite value calls us to worship Him alone.

“…don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.” Colossians 3:5b

"Be careful not to say, 'My own ability and skill have gotten me this wealth. You must remember the LORD your God, for He is the one who gives ability to get wealth…" Deuteronomy 8:17-18a

“But who am I and who are my people, that we should be in a position to contribute this much? Indeed everything comes from you, and we have simply given back to you what is yours." I Chronicles 29:14

- Micah McElveen

The Perfect Elected Ruler // Micah

In this most contentious election cycle framed in a pivotal time in history, it is easy to get caught up in the hysteria and anxiety of the times. While I personally believe we should exercise the rights a representative government such as ours affords, I am reminded that our future does not ultimately hang on who we elect, but instead, on God’s nomination, The Perfect Elected Ruler.

"Your [God’s] kingdom is an everlasting kingdom (1), and Your dominion endures throughout all generations (2). The Lord is faithful in all His words (3) and kind in all His works (4)." Psalm 145:13

Four applicable truths for Christ followers to be reminded of:
   1.  God “elected" Jesus Christ to eternally reign over His Kingdom
   2. Christ is “unimpeachable" as his “term" spans time, space, and geo-political boundary
   3. The Lord, without fail, faithfully fulfills every single “campaign promise”
   4. All His “policies” and every action He takes flow out of His kindness

It is good to remember that God’s Kingdom is unshakable, His motives are pure, His agendas equitable, and He holds all things together. As the political noise increases and a sense of uncertainty seems to loom we must find solace in Jesus, The Perfect Elected Ruler, who always works for the good of man to the Glory to God.

"He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." Colossians 1:15-17

- Micah McElveen