August 30, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 30 August 2016
Among the cacophony of voices that we hear in our midst, could anything be more relevant than a greater understanding of Scripture, which leads to the wisdom we all seek, the grace to enable us, and to be certain that we are abiding in the truth? The third chapter of First John begins with spontaneous amazement. “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.”
Amazement is one proper response when understanding the depths of God’s grace (cf. Rom 11:33-36). When one does not understand the grace and mercy of God, it is only natural for him or her to dismiss the Christian’s claims as nonsense. One cannot heed the principles of Scripture nor understand its claims, if they do not know God (1 John 3:1; cf. John 1:10-11; 1 Cor 1:18-25). The point here is a primary reason why Scripture exhorts believers ("first of all") to pray for those in positions of authority, which you can do easily by using the Pray1Tim2 site.
Those who are trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation are “children of God,” yet “it has not appeared as yet what we will be” (1 John 3:2). God has already made as children those who trust in Him and given his name to possess; therefore, with an understanding of what a believer already possesses, it is difficult to comprehend all that will be received in the future when we receive glorified (perfected) bodies. When the Lord Jesus does return in power and glory, his followers will be transformed into his likeness (v. 2; cf. Tit 2:13). There is a remarkable glory awaiting the believer!
The word “hope” (1 John 3:3) does not convey uncertainty, as in the modern American usage (i.e. “hope-so”). “Hope” can mean either “anticipation” or “expectation.” Biblical hope is as certain as history because it is based upon the promise of God that cannot fail. The dramatic affection of hope is a pure life, “just as [God] is pure” (v. 3). True knowledge of the future is not mere chronologies; it is knowing you will see and be welcomed by God. The believer is known as a child of God by doing what is right and by loving fellow believers (vv. 10-12). Both actions are operative, that is, they are not mere affirmations but substantive actions.
As a consequence of the antichrists and false teachers, “the message which you have heard from the beginning” is again emphasized (v. 11; 1:5; 2:7). With regard to the Bible, the ad fontes (Lat. “to the sources”) principle is always applicable; however, it is more than that, it is vital, for every genuine revival has been accompanied by a renewed and resolute dependence upon the Word of God, which always results in outstanding political and social reforms. Indeed, it can be proved that the relationship between revival and the destiny of nations has accomplished greater historical revolutions than the Gothic invasions.
God’s Word exhorts the believer to avoid succumbing to pagan actions and thinking, which occurs from becoming overwhelmed with the challenges and responsibilities in this life because such doldrums will hinder your spiritual maturity; rather, set your affections and mind upon the glorious liberty of being a child of God. Will you let the truth and the Son abide in you so that you are divinely enabled? Let us do so with resolute convictions based upon God’s Word and a vital union with the Lord Jesus Christ — enabled (empowered) by the Holy Spirit) — and pray, “revive us again” as a people and nation (cf. Ps 85).
P.S. Important Notice: in lieu of Labor Day, the next Capitol Commission (interim) Bible Study will be held the Thursday following the first Tuesday of the month: 8 September 2016.
Your Capitol Missionary-Pastor,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
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.