November 29, 2016
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 29 November 2016
French doctors were startled when they discovered the reason why a man was suffering from severe stomach pain, and it was not a cancerous tumor. A 62-year old man swallowed approximately 350 coins ($650 worth), in addition to various necklaces and needles. Doctors concluded that the patient suffered from a rare condition known as pica, which is a compulsion to swallow items that are not typically consumed as food. The man was obviously insane, correct?
Certainly, no one reading this devotional is tempted to swallow coins, especially $650 worth. Even young children need to be cautioned that swallowing coins is dangerous. We can be thankful that pica is a rare condition.
Nevertheless, we could ask ourselves whether we have ever gorged ourselves with things that are dangerous, such as the tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values (i.e. materialism). The pursuit of money, possessions, and power as a primary goal of human existence is not only spiritually hazardous but also it results in despair. God’s Word – the Holy Bible -- should always cause us pause as we examine our lives in light of its eternal truth. Are we sacrificing much time from our family and God because we crave wealth (and the influence, power, and prestige associated with it)? Are you losing necessary rest for the sake of your work or other responsibilities? Are you working too much for earthly, material gain?
Many biblical passages discuss the misuse of money, and thus how to have a proper perspective. Riches (money) is a prime theme of both Old and New Testaments. God initially created wealth as a component of his creation over which humanity was given dominion (Gen 1:26). The dominion mandate remained subsequent to humanity’s Fall into sin (Gen 3; 9:1-3), yet sin greatly tainted the process. Money, therefore, is addressed in sixteen of the thirty-eight parables of Christ Jesus, and wealth is addressed more times in the New Testament than a combined reference to heaven and hell.
Money is addressed five times more than prayer, and while more than five hundred verses mention faith and prayer, there are greater than two thousand verses that address money and possessions. Why is there such an emphasis upon money in Scripture? The answer is “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:21).
The Bible reveals that how a person uses money and possessions may be the single greatest evidence of his or her spirituality or lack thereof. Scripture demonstrates that meaning in life is not obtained in ease or the abundance of things. God reveals that He has created everything, and thus (ultimately) only He can make us happy. Success can never truly satisfy us when we do not know how to enjoy it because we do not recognize the “good things” from the Lord God (Eccl 6:1-2). Foolishness would be to think that happiness is derived from things. Therefore, in the will of God, be certain to make the most of today’s blessings and opportunities, and then you will be ready for eternity.
Perhaps on this GivingTuesday which begins the charitable season, and is the time when many focus upon their holiday and end-of-year giving, you would consider investing in the ministry of Capitol Commission which allows us to provide a pastoral presence in the capitol communities of our nation. In these communities, we purpose to reach every person with the gospel of Jesus Christ, to disciple them, and prepare them for a lifetime of ministry in whatever arena God chooses to place them. Thank you to those who are already strategic prayer and financial partners with us in reaching capitol communities for Christ.
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.