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April 28, 2015

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 28 April 2015

An oxymoron is defined as a "figure of speech in which two ideas of opposite meaning are combined to form an expressive phrase or epithet.” Examples would include the following: act naturally; boxing ring; definite maybe; jumbo shrimp; liquid gas; “now then;” only choice; and, same difference. If an oxymoron is combining two ideas (or words) that should not be combined, then the ultimate contradiction would be “no, Lord.”

Never do the words, “no” and “Lord,” belong together. Nevertheless, I am certain you have – at least, once, if not more – spoken or thought those very words. Why do I have such confidence? I must admit the personal audacity of acting and thinking in such a manner. When one becomes a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, one agrees to obey Him (John 14:15-31).

The Holy Spirit sets his desire “against the flesh” (Gal 5:16-17), and thereby, compels the believer to accomplish God’s will (Rom 8:4-11; Gal 5:16). Scripture commands the believer to “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18-21), which means to be controlled or influenced by the Lord God. Therefore, whenever a child of God does not exhibit Christlike character (Rom 12:1-2), or speaks impure words (Eph 4:29; Col 3:8), or demonstrates negative attitudes (Phil 2:3-4), it is the equivalent of saying, “no, Lord.” How do we validate that Christ is Lord of our lives? We say “no” to sin, and “yes” to the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

A biblical example of these truths is found in Matthew 16:21-23, which is the well-known dialogue between Jesus and Peter. Jesus foretold his atoning death and resurrection (v. 21). In response, “Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, ‘God forbid it Lord! This shall never happen to You” (v. 22). “Never happen” is the same as saying, “no, Lord.” Nevertheless, the follower of Christ Jesus may sometimes respond similarly as Peter (perhaps not as directly, yet just as definitely).

Certainly, the unbeliever says “no” to the Lord God because they do not trust in Jesus Christ as the Savior and Redeemer of their souls. Those who are told that they are sinners and estranged from God (Ps 51:5; Rom 3:23; Eph 2:1-3), and that God calls all people everywhere to repent of their sins and trust in Christ Jesus to be saved (Mark 1:15; Acts 20:21; Rom 10:9-10), yet ignore that message, or persist upon attempting to merit the favor of God or even seek to help the Lord by supplementing the once-for-all sacrificial work of Christ Jesus, are essentially taking God aside and rebuking Him, saying, “never, Lord.”

God assures those who trust in Him that his grace “is sufficient” for us because his power “is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9). To not avail ourselves always of God’s grace available to us by the Living Word (Jesus) and the Written Word (Scripture, the Bible) is to look the sovereign God in the eye and say, “no, Lord.” When we live our lives in a manner contrary to the Living Word and the Written Word, it is to say, “your grace is not sufficient, God;” rather, than heeding the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we say, “my happiness is more important than your glory.”

Recognizing the sufficiency of God’s grace, may we all say, “yes, Lord, to whatever you have ordained for me.”

Interim Bible Study

REMINDER: next Tuesday (5th of May)

is the monthly Capitol Commission (Interim) Bible Study

Room 123 CAP, Georgia Capitol, at 12 Noon