April 18, 2017
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 18 April 2017
A cathedral in Europe is renowned for its arched doorways, which lead from the vestibule into the sanctuary. Above three of the doorways, there are allegedly inscriptions. Over the right entrance, there is an inscription underneath a wreath of roses that asserts, “All that which pleases is but for a moment.” Over the left entrance, which leads worshippers into the sanctuary, is a sculptured cross with the words, “All that which troubles is but for a moment.” Etched over the main archway, which leads down the main aisle, is the inscription: “That only is important which is eternal” (earliest sources for the inscription are The Ave Maria XV [4 October 1879]: 790; and, Rev. J. McLean, Lone Land Lights [Toronto: William Briggs, 1882] 38). If the inscriptions are authentic, it would emphasize an unavoidable message for all who enter into the sanctuary: all that is temporal is vanity. What is truly important today is what will have lasting value for future generations, and ultimately what endures for eternity.
The truth “that only is important which is eternal” is the fundamental message of Psalm 90. We often become concerned with that which is “vanity and striving after wind” (cf. Eccl 1:14). When you and I are fixated upon what is only momentary – whether difficulties or enjoyments – , we are then most vulnerable not to consider what is eternal. Psalm 90 reminds us that what is most important in life is not the temporal (the physical and visible); it is the eternal (the spiritual and invisible) that is utmost priority.
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Cor 4:17-18).
The inscription for Psalm 90 indicates it to be a prayer of Moses, which would be the only psalm written by the prophet, and thus the oldest contribution to the Psalter. Moses likely composed his prayer during Israel’s wilderness wanderings. What should have been an 11-day expedition for Moses and Israel, as they journeyed from Egypt to the Promised Land, became a 40-year tribulation. The people of God wandered aimlessly in the wilderness. Israel experienced humiliating demise through countless disappointments and distresses of their own responsibility. Surrounded by ignominious circumstances, Moses prayed that the Lord God would restore his eternal perspective.
Moses petitioned, “teach us to number our days.” He made his request in light of God’s eternality and humanity’s transitoriness (Ps 90:12). Earthly life is brief in comparison to eternity (vv. 1-4). Therefore, we all need God’s help to live our days wisely (v. 12) and joyfully (vv. 14-15). We need to invest in eternity by being careful not to waste our lives with temporal frivolities. There is genuine satisfaction in doing God’s will (v. 14; cf. 1 John 2:17), revealing the Lord’s glory (v. 16), and experiencing God’s favor (v. 17). In a world that is relentlessly changing, God is the eternal constant. God remains the one true Lord “from everlasting to everlasting” (v. 2).
Zig Ziglar’s most famous saying that he often repeated during his motivational speeches was, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.” A life without direction is wasteful. If we are to fulfill God’s will for our lives, we must live for what is truly important and that which endures. As the book of Ecclesiastes reveals, only a life devoted to God will be a truly satisfying life. God’s Word challenges us to live each day with an eternal perspective by redeeming our time, using opportunities wisely, and investing circumspectly in God’s provisions. Only two things are certain to endure beyond this world: the Word of God and the souls of humanity. Invest your life wisely in these eternal realities!
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.