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December 27, 2016

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 27 December 2016

The ministry of Capitol Commission demands much mental and physical energy (and, of course, all divine grace and provision), yet it is also the most joyous of ministries in which I have ever served. Nevertheless, as with all us, I do find the need for rejuvenation, and thus, I have found cooking to be one means of relaxation. Cooking is enjoyable and relaxing because generally all I need is basic ingredients to cook either “comfort food” or even something considered gourmet. My daughter enjoys helping me as a Junior Sous Chef, and she has become quite an assistant, especially with baking, which I do not enjoy.

My daughter’s cooking abilities improved when my wife and I bought her a cooking set called “Cook It in a Cup!” because it taught her fundamental cooking skills. The set was designed by a chef, and is great not only for basic cooking, but also for understanding basic chemistry and math. The easy-to-follow instructions include appetizers, miniature entrees, and desserts. Of course, the cooking set was designed to teach basic skills, and none of the adults expected to be wowed by exceptionable taste. “Cook It in a Cup!” is a miniature representation of true cooking, and the food is only a pale imitation of food prepared with all the capability and potential of a kitchen. Truly tasteful food requires all the design and gadgetry of a kitchen, not from colorful silicone baking cups (yet, in all fairness, the novelty is to inspire kids to desire true cooking).

The gifts and sacrifices of the earthly tabernacle were like “Cook It in a Cup!,” that is, they were “a copy and shadow of the heavenly things” (Heb 8:5). The cultic rituals of the Old Testament could never permanently remove sin. The offerings could make the worshipper ritually clean before God. The law, by its ceremonies and rites, was a “tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith” (Gal 3:24).

When the Lord Jesus was born safely in the city of David, an angel of the Lord announced his birth to shepherds who were “staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). The role of the shepherds may be all the more appreciated when considering that it was possible that they were guarding the sacrificial lambs. Jesus is “the Lamb of God” who would remove “the sin of the world” (John 1:29). The shepherds would have been the first witnesses of Jesus, who would sacrifice Himself as the propitiation for sinners (1 John 2:2).

The sacrificial system in the tabernacle (and later in the Temple) represented only a copy of the work of Christ “at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens” (Heb 8:1). True forgiveness of sin is received on the basis of faith/trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ upon Calvary’s cross. Hebrews 9 reveals how Christ’s remedy for sin affects the conscience, provides forgiveness to sinners, and never needs to be repeated.

Christ Jesus is a priest of a better tabernacle, which is not a material but a spiritual structure. Moreover, the blood of beasts does not sanctify the “greater and more perfect tabernacle;” rather, it is made holy by the Lord’s own blood. The sacrifice of Christ was unique because it is never to be repeated, as it fully accomplished salvation for all who are united with Him (Heb 9:11-14).

Have you ever forgiven your favorite sports team for losing, or perhaps a candidate who did not get elected as expected or who failed to meet expectations? Your act of forgiveness was likely made with jest and maybe some degree of sincerity. However, the work of Jesus to secure forgiveness for those who trust in Him was entirely genuine! Jesus provides permanent forgiveness, which cleanses the believer’s conscience. God’s grace richly blesses those who seek Him with trust in the Living Word (Jesus) and the Written Word (the Holy Bible). How will you express that trust today? How can you encourage others to do likewise?

Your Capitol Missionary-Pastor,

Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia

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P.S. Pastor Greg Laurie referenced something he heard from Farmer David Jackson: “For the fruit to grow, the farmer’s shadow has to fall on the field.” If the field is to be harvested, it is essential for the farmer to be tending it. The principle is directly applicable to the ministry of Capitol Commission. If there is to be fruit harvested, Capitol Commission State Ministers need to have a regular presence in the Capitol communities in which we serve. Our shadows need to fall upon the people serving in the Capitol communities of our nation. Capitol Commission State Ministers need complete financial support if abundant fruit is to be produced in Congress and our Statehouses.

Please invest with Capitol Commission by sending the “fruit” of a charitable partnership (cf. Rom 15:28). You can partner with us by submitting a check payable to “Capitol Commission Georgia” to the following address: Capitol Commission, P.O. Box 63118, Charlotte, NC 28263-3118, or donate online.

Nearly one-third (31%) of all annual giving occurs in December. Please remember Capitol Commission Georgia in your end-of-year giving (in addition to your missionary budgets for 2017), which is vital to us as God continues to grow and expand this ministry. Thank you to those who are already strategic prayer and financial partners with us in reaching Capitol communities for Christ.

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.