June 17, 2014
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 17 June 2014
When concerts are held in large auditoriums, the “riggers” are the individuals who walk the rafter beams, which are often a hundred feet above the concrete floor, to secure the sound speakers and spotlights. They often confess that they are not bothered by the height. What they do not like is working in auditoriums that have false ceilings consisting of acoustical tile, which is only a couple feet below the rafters. The tile gives the workers a false sense of security because if they slipped they would fall through the flimsy tile. They do not like the deceptive look because it lulls them into being careless. The enemy of our soul uses similar tactics by making dangerous things appear safe.
Jude 17-19 remind us to remember the past warnings and prophetic announcements. Having warned us to recognize those who threaten the Christian faith (vv. 5-16), we are now exhorted positively to motivate us to persevere faithfully in spite of the spiritual dangers that we may encounter. Whereas the Epistle of Jude began with a passionate denunciation of apostates, the last verses provide loving encouragement and guidance to believers even amid apostasy.
Jude 20-21 exhort those of us who are believing/trusting in the Lord Jesus for salvation to remain constant in our pursuit of sanctification (from the Hebrew and Greek, to be sanctified is “to be set apart” from common use, i.e. “to be made holy”). The nature of sanctification is twofold: (1) believers are made holy by grace through faith in Christ; and (2) believers continue to mature in and strive for holiness by obeying the indwelling Holy Spirit (by studying and heeding God’s Word; cf. John 14:23-26 and Eph 1:13-21) until we experience ultimate conformity to Christ (viz. glorification).
Jude 20 (cf. v. 3) instructs us explicitly to study God’s Word so that we are able to gain discernment and wisdom in our faith, and the process will be spiritual strength for encountering the challenges of life. Secondly, we are to pray, knowing that the Holy Spirit enables our prayers (cf. Rom 8). We should pray that God will sustain us so that our attitudes will be glorifying to Him, and that our memory of Scripture will cause us to live its truths, as is pleasing to our Savior.
Jude 21 commands us to keep ourselves “in the love of God.” The instruction here is abide in and obey God’s Word. Do not be a prodigal who abandons the blessings of God’s love (cf. Luke 15:11-32). We are also exhorted to be “waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life.” “Waiting” is an action verb, which means we are to live with expectancy (in the same manner as one would be prepared for a special guest until they actually arrive). The three exhortations in Jude 20-21 (build yourself; pray; keep yourself) are foundational for “contending earnestly for the faith,” and also cause us to have good expectation with regard to the outcome, as we expectantly await the Lord’s arrival.
The enemy of our soul does not seek to scare us to death, but gives a false sense of security that the danger of a spiritual fall is only minimal. For this reason, 1 Peter 5:9 exhorts believers to be firm in their faith. Jude 17-21 exhort us with regard to protecting ourselves by commitment to spiritual maturity through studying Scripture, praying in God’s power, abiding in God’s love by obedience, and expectant waiting.
If I may help you in your commitment to spiritual maturity, please let me know, as this is why the ministry of Capitol Commission exists.
Your missionary to our Capitol community,
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.
* Is there a ministry example that is based upon Scripture, and which then demonstrates how to serve elected officials in a manner that God desires? Indeed, there is! Capitol Commission is a nationwide ministry, with fulltime pastors/missionaries (state ministers) serving in 24 states. Capitol Commission seeks to accomplish the Great Commission in the Capitol communities of the world. As one examines Scripture to learn what God has said concerning the relationship between the church and the state, the primary thought is that the church is called to pray for our president and those in governmental authority (1 Tim 2:1-4). While many things could be prayed on behalf of our elected officials, the context of the passage in First Timothy directs one to pray evangelistically for those whom God has placed in authority.
For a leader to believe, however, the message must be declared, which means someone must be sent with the “good news of good things” (Rom 10:12-15). Therefore, the work of Capitol Commission is to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ within state capitols (as those who are “sent”). The mission of Capitol Commission is to reach the Capitol community for Christ, one person at a time, to disciple them, and to prepare them for a lifetime of ministry, wherever God chooses to place them. Won’t you join Capitol Commission in praying evangelistically for all those “who are in authority,” and then seek to have the Gospel sent to them for “how will they hear without a preacher”?