September 27, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 27 September 2016
A Greek proverb states, "Camels never forget an injury." Proverbial reference to an elephant’s memory is relatively more recent, and thus we are more familiar with the proverb, “An elephant never forgets.” The adjective “elephantine” can even be used in reference to someone with a memory that is virtually limitless. Are you forgetful, or do you have a memory similar to an elephant?
Hebrews 10 begins with a contrast between forgetting and remembering. Whereas an elephantine memory may be helpful in many dimensions of life, I think we can all agree “a reminder of sins year by year” is not a desirable aspect of remembrance. As a result of the Lord Jesus coming to atone for sin, those who believe (trust) in Him are blessed by an experience with God because no longer does He remember their sins (Heb 8:12).
The sacrifice of Christ has the power to transform people; therefore, verses 19-25 of Hebrews 10 contain three appeals. First, believers are urged to “draw near” to God. The conditions for approaching God are fourfold: (1) “with a sincere heart” (i.e. genuine devotion rather than hypocrisy); (2) “in full assurance of faith” (i.e bold confidence that God has provided access to his power and presence); (3) “having hearts sprinkled . . . from an evil conscience” (i.e. confession of sins, and transparency with God and others); and, (4) “bodies washed with pure water” (i.e. a righteous lifestyle).
Second, we are to “hold fast the confession of our hope.” The exhortation concerns spiritual consistency based upon God’s faithfulness to provide enduring stamina and strength. Spiritual steadfastness is the result of God’s faithful character and provision, as evident in the heroic examples of Hebrews 11.
Third, believers are “to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” We either motivate others to good or bad works. Hebrews reminds us that the Christian life is not focused solely upon individual salvation. Believers are obligated to “stimulate” one another, and to help one another in living the Christian life (cf. Col 3:16; 1 Thess 5:11; Heb 3:13). The command herein requires consideration (i.e. careful attention and thought).
God takes delight in those who desire to accomplish his will, and they are able to do so because the Lord’s Word is inherent in their heart and mind. The greatest example of this attitude is the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to earth with the passion of accomplishing the will of God (Heb 10:7). Faithfulness is always the duty of God’s people; it is the Lord’s part to decide (in his good providence) how He will accomplish the effects of our faithfulness. When you truly believe that God has tremendous concern for his people, then you can stop worrying with regard to the events of life, because your focus — the priority of your life — is upon the God who you trust and who loves and cares for his people. A persevering faith in God will manifest itself in a persevering faithfulness to God.
God will honor the faithfulness of his people. Believers need stamina to endure with commitment to the will of God (despite adversity and maltreatment). Only the Lord God can provide struggling believers with the grace and strength to persevere in stalwart service to Him. Trust the faithfulness of God, and maintain commitment to Christ Jesus. Claim the stamina from God to endure!
P.S. Reminder: the next Capitol Commission (interim) Bible Study will be held on the first Tuesday of the month: 4 October 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.