May 23, 2017
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 23 May 2017
Perseverance is one of the most frequent words using throughout the New Testament Epistles. Christians are continually exhorted to preserve. Why? The reason is because we experience challenges, difficulties, and opposition that prevent us from persevering. Consequently, we find the continual encouragement to persevere.
Most people were not familiar with The Lord of the Rings prior to the release of the movie. Perhaps now most are, at least, familiar with the general plot. One of the primary characters, Frodo, must bring the accursed “ring of power” (a symbol of evil) to be destroyed in Mordor, where it was forged by Sauron, the Dark Lord, who is the primary antagonist. Throughout the fiction series (whether the book or movie), Frodo’s perseverance is apparent. Frodo is always aware of the tremendous duty that is his alone. Realizing the challenges, difficulties, and opposition to persevere, Frodo remarks repeatedly, “I know what I must do.” Scripture teaches us that same perseverance.
Hebrews 12:1-2 – Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
We are taught by both example and precept to persevere (in the lives of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, Paul, and others). Repeatedly, the Bible exhorts the people of God to persevere. The supreme example of perseverance is the Lord Jesus Christ, “who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame.” Our Lord persevered, and He is our supreme example in Romans 15.
Christ was willing to suffer reproach even though there was absolutely no reason for such shameful actions. The exhortation to believers is that we would also reserve our personal preferences, if such self-denial would benefit someone who needs to be encouraged to persevere in faith, and to do so with joyfulness. The same Old Testament passage that prophesies and describes the behavior of the Lord Jesus Christ should give us encouragement and guidance for how to persevere also.
The “perseverance” and “encouragement” that one derives from reading the Old Testament, practicing the behavior of Jesus Christ, and serving one another grants God’s people the ability “to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus” (Rom 15:5). How valuable would it be for fellow members of the capitol community (or whatever group to which you belong) — who are Christians — to speak with “one accord” and “with voice glorify the Lord God”? Would we witness revival in our state and nation? Ask yourself whether your actions demonstrate belief that you (or someone else) are the answer to the needs of Georgia, or whether your behavior demonstrates that God is the answer. After assessing yourself honestly, what would you need to change “to be of the same mind . . . according to Christ Jesus”?
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.