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April 23, 2013

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 23 APRIL 2013

"GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD"

The Old Testament book of Amos provides a prophetic vision (8:1-14) of a basket filled with summer fruit. The fruit, however, appears to be overripe, which would be common in Israel at the end of the harvest. The message that the prophet Amos communicated was the end had arrived for Israel, just as the basket of overripe fruit indicates the end of the harvest. As a consequence of their persistent sin and rejection of Gods Word, the nation would soon experience a famine that would be worse than anything previously encountered. The famine, however, would be spiritual as opposed to being corporeal. The people would hunger for Gods Word, and hunt for it as a person hunts for bread; but they will not find it (Amos 8:12).

Gods Word is readily available in our nation today to nourish us on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine (1 Tim 4:6), but this may not always be our experience. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew, and translated into Greek between 300200 BC. The Septuagint is the name for this translation, and was used widely among Hellenistic Jews because many were beginning to lose their Hebrew language. The Greek translation also provided many non-Jews with the opportunity to read the Old Testament. The New Testament was written in the common Greek (Koine) of the day, which allowed its dissemination to spread rapidly throughout the first centuries of the church, yet its availability was scarce throughout much of the medieval period.

One could make a case that the Word of God is becoming scarce in our time. People do not know the biblical teaching with regard to marriage and sexuality; therefore, families are being destroyed. The Word of God is discounted and mocked in much scholarship; consequently, our schools and institutions of higher learning are absent of moral values because there are minimal to no values taught. Many civic leaders do not know the teaching of the Word of God with regard to government and politics; therefore, public affairs and policies may be without any substantive purpose. The Word of God is scarce in the business and labor world; consequently, there is exploitation, greed, hatred, and wastefulness. Although the Word of God is abundantly available in our nation today, there is much evidence that it is becoming removed from contemporary life. The Word of God is readily available today as a lamp to [our] feet and a light to [our] path (Ps 119:105), yet many grope in darkness. If the Word of God is rejected persistently, God may withdraw its availability. The result would be spiritual starvation.

We may be guilty of adopting the same actions and attitudes of Israel if we regard the study of His Word and the regular worship of Him in fellowship with His people as an inconvenient burden. We do not live on bread alone but must have every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matt 4:4). Therefore, let us learn to pray, Give us this day our daily bread (6:11).

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. . . . "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. -- Jesus

Blessings in Christ Jesus,

Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Pastor/Missionary, Capitol Commission
ron.bigalke@capitolcom.org
www.capitolcom.org

P.S. Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.