January 14, 2016
The pre-legislative convocation was held the second Sunday of the month, and the Georgia General Assembly returned to the Capitol in Atlanta on Monday, 11 January. Governor Nathan Deal delivered his priorities for the year on Wednesday, which included changes to Georgia’s educational system, in addition to his proposal for the state budget. The State of the State address is always an inspiring event as both legislative bodies assemble with all the constitutional officers and the Supreme Court justices. The gallery in the House of Representatives chamber is always filled to capacity, and is quite impressive to watch as leaders file into the stately room, prepared to hear the governor’s speech.
Every time I sit and watch this event, I am overwhelmed by the opportunity to share the gospel and minster to these leaders. God has once again given us an open door to serve and minister at the statehouse during the forty-day session.
State lawmakers are already anticipating a lively session of the Georgia General Assembly. The new year commenced with the start of the legislative session, and will include a plethora of familiar debates, such as an education overhaul, infrastructure improvements, legalized gambling, medical marijuana, and “religious liberty” legislation. Add that to the nearly always combative nature of politics and the regular session can be a difficult time.
The classic American comic strip, Pogo, made the following words famous: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” The assertion was most notable as an appropriate summary towards the foibles of humanity and the nature of the human condition. As one reads the end of 1 Kings 2, it would appear that Solomon’s rule was well established, yet it will only be assured by the condition of his heart. The greatest threat against Solomon’s kingdom, however, still remained: the heart of the king. Solomon’s greatest enemy to his reign was himself.
The Lord was unequivocal that Solomon’s greatest need was to “keep the charge of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies” (2:3). God created all human beings in his image (Gen 1:26); therefore, to be fully human is to place oneself under God’s authority. Either divine blessing or judgment would be achieved by the determination of a political leader (and those supporting them) to “keep the charge of the LORD.” The primary battle of life is being certain that one maintains a heart of faithfulness to the Lord God, as evident in a lifestyle of obedience.
For this reason, our Bible studies during the 2016 legislative session will focus upon how we measure our lives by God’s standards (and especially how apparent success can sometimes mislead us from what is truly significant). I believe this will be a challenging and encouraging series for this year. Our first Bible study began on Tuesday, 12 January. You can find a copy of that Bible study here.
Please be in prayer for our leaders and for our ministry to them during the next forty days.
- Pray we will have opportunities to share Christ with those who do not know Him.
- Pray for believing leaders who face difficult and challenging times during the session.
- Pray for God to grant success to his Word as copies of the Bible studies are distributed throughout the statehouse each week.
Thank you once again for your prayers and support of our ministry.
God's Grace and Peace to You,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia