May 31, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 31 May 2016
Charles Perrault's tale, "The Three Wishes," begins with a woodcutter who is preparing to chop down a tree. However, the tree is home to an elf, who promises three wishes to the woodcutter, if the man will spare the tree. The woodcutter waits until dinnertime with his wife to reveal the good news regarding the elf’s three wishes. Without thinking, the woodcutter’s wife took a sip of her wine and said, "I wish I had a string of sausages to go with it.” Instantly, the sausages appeared; however, the woodcutter was not pleased. With anger, he shouted, “What a stupid waste of a wish! You foolish woman! I wish they would stick up your nose!" Immediately, the sausages leapt to the woman’s nose and remained stuck there. The couple sat sadly upon the floor, and realized there was only one thing to do, which was to restore the woman’s nose with the last wish. The woodcutter said, “I wish the sausages would leave my wife’s nose.” The husband and wife hugged each other tearfully, and remarked, “Maybe we will be poor, but we will happy again.” The sausages were fried for dinner, and the couple thought gloomily as to how they wasted their wishes.
Perrault’s tale reminds us how easy it is to waste our lives with the insignificant, that is, to lives our days without any purpose. The “tyranny of the urgent” is always looming (as Charles Hummel wrote in 1967), thus we can busy, yet not truly making any significant progress. According to Hummel, the problem is not shortage of time; rather, it is a lack of priorities. One of the greatest tragedies in life is allowing the urgent to hinder the important.
Mark 1:35 – In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up . . . and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.
The Gospel accounts reveal that the Lord Jesus was never in a hurry, even when his friend Lazarus was dying. Mark 1:35 indicates the priority that the Lord Jesus had for prayer. The reason for this prayerful waiting was to await his Father’s instructions; of course, Christians today receive such instruction solely from God’s Word. Consequently, the foundational precedence for the believer is to prioritize Bible study and prayer.
God is the Lord who created time and who uses it for his purposes, in accordance with his sovereignty. Throughout the Bible, it is evident that God works within time, and works differently at various points in time. The repeated emphasis of Scripture is that God revealed prophecies of the future in the Old Testament, and then accomplished those actions in a latter period in time. Therefore, one manner by which we can understand time is that God created it so that everything does not occur at once, which certainly refers to his work within time to bring redemption to his people, yet also with regard to the ordering of the daily events of our lives (cf. Eccl 3:11).
Ecclesiastes 3:11 – He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.
Do not expect that you will have the time to accomplish everything that you desire to achieve. You may find that it is difficult enough to accomplish what you must do. Therefore, make it your resolve not to allow the urgent to control the important things in life, and then you can experience how it is that God “has made everything appropriate in its time.” Second Thessalonians 2:13-17 is an exhortation to respectable and responsible living, that is, to make it important to hear and heed God’s Word for the purpose of glorifying Christ. The importance for doing so is simple: the will of God is the goal of life, and He is the believer’s reason for living.
If the ministry of Capitol Commission can serve you in any manner that would establish and equip you, please do let us know; and, if you have not allowed us to do so, please grant us that wonderful privilege, and we promise our pastoral attention, care, and counsel to you.
P.S. Reminder: the next Capitol Commission (interim) Bible Study will be held on the first Tuesday of the month: 7 June 2016.
Your Capitol Missionary-Pastor,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
P.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.