January 3, 2017
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 3 January 2017
Psychologists report that 10,000 thoughts are processed by the human mind each and every day, which amounts to 3,654,000 a year. Imagine what the number of thoughts would be, if we were to give an account of every idle word. Jesus said, “‘But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment” (Matt 12:36).
Jesus’ point is that our words are an accurate portrayal of our lives, and will thus form a suitable basis for either acquittal or condemnation. How great will be the condemnation for those who speak disdainful and vile words against God’s holy Son! In the case of believers, the penalty for careless words has been paid through the death of Jesus Christ. However, idle words that are unconfessed will result in loss at God’s judgment seat (Rom 14:10; 1 Cor 3:10-15; 4:5).
Words reveal character! Christianity should always be more than intellectual assent to particular doctrines and theologies, and thus a sanctified life and speech must accompany belief in the Bible. Right living (orthopraxis) is assisted by clarity and conviction regarding fundamental beliefs, which lead to right doctrine (orthodoxy).
Why should someone prioritize Bible study? One answer is that biblical understanding is not only a corrective to incorporating habits that are inconsistent with biblical truth but also to guide your speech and thought with biblical approaches that are founded upon wholesome doctrine and theology, which can be used in responding to circumstances and persons.
Philippians 2 provides an example of theology used in a practical manner, and is indeed exemplary for all who confess faith in Jesus Christ. Note also the importance that one’s affirmation of biblical truths has not only in addressing a disputant’s behavior and thinking (in a significant manner), but also, simultaneously, to communicate facts regarding God, government, humanity, and the world in a manner that is consistent with God’s desire for “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2:4), especially those “who are in authority” (2:1). Careful use of our actions (behavior) and speech (thinking) has a twofold effect for good.
God’s people will truly impact society for the better as we give priority to our own spiritual maturity. Furthermore, to truly impact political communities for Christ means witnessing hearts transformed by the gospel. While exhorting us to evangelize and disciple “kings and all who are in authority,” the Bible reassures us that our lives and our nation will be better if leaders are those who believe and live the gospel message. Generally, those who are believers are more discerning, wise, reverent, and overall better role models for a country.
“The world through its wisdom does not know God” (1 Cor 1:21). “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they foolishness to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14). Changing the heart is the biblical means to change the nation.
P.S. We will be studying the book of Ecclesiastes during the 2017 legislative session, which will begin on Tuesday, 10 January, and will continue every week on the same day of the week.
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.