October 3, 2017
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 3 October 2017
Suppose you were encouraged by someone to live – for ten minutes – as if the goal of life was to have all the pleasure you desired. Abandon all restraints, disregard all laws and rules, ignore the feelings of other people, and just simply indulge yourself. Would you experience personal fulfilment if you lived without restraint for ten consecutive minutes? Certainly, to live in such a manner is ten minutes of absolute foolishness because there is more to live than a brief moment of pleasure.
However, what if someone extended the time to one hour. You could pursue whatever desires or passions that allure you? Increasing the time to one hour is still imprudent. What if the time were extended to an entire day? Do you believe that one day would be sufficient to indulge your cravings? Would it be satisfying to live for one day ignoring your conscience, disregarding any moral standards, and the thoughts and opinions of other people? Would that be fun? I assume your answer would be negative since the consequences for such behaviour render that irresponsible and selfish decision as purposeless.
What if someone promised you a month or year to indulge yourself? What if you could live half your life without personal restraints? Can personal fulfilment be reduced to a day, a month, or a year? When does self-indulgence ever become worthwhile?
If it is wrong to surrender ourselves to insensitivity, lusts, selfishness and sin for ten minutes, is there ever a place and time where such conduct is sensible? If it is foolish to forsake all restraints for a short period of time, then is not the greatest madness indulging ourselves for longer periods, such as a lifetime? In view of eternity, sin is never worth any of our time.
Second Thessalonians 1 encourages believers for their perseverance in spite of persecutions and trials. The true believer needs to have assurance of salvation to the every end of his/her earthly life, yet must also understand that God’s promises are not manifest in passiveness but endurance (i.e. a faith that works). As opposed to surrendering themselves to the influence of a godless society or succumbing to cultural standards, God’s people can live dangerously – not recklessly – but righteously. God’s radical grace enables believers to risk living a life of radical obedience for the Lord.
Abandoned to God – yet anchored in his love – allows believers to live dangerously in the hands of God. You and I are told not to love the world for it “is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). Life is more than the hour, this day, or this week. Life endures beyond our years, where in eternity, the Lord Jesus will pronounce judgment upon every life. For those who indulged their passions and lived a life of self-absorption by refusing God’s mercy and righteousness, there will be eternal destruction (2 Thess 1:8-9). For those who have responded in faith to God’s grace, and (as evidence of such trust) have committed themselves to the Lord’s commands and holiness, there will be glory and reward (vv. 10-12).
For the next ten minutes, why not think with me how you could be more dedicated to a life of self-discipline and righteous living? Double that initial time, then add an hour, and keep persevering. As we keep ourselves focused upon life’s true goal, which is the pleasure of God in eternity, we can continue living with faithful endurance until the time we behold our Lord face-to-face (cf. 1 John 2:28).
Your Missionary to Georgia's Leaders,
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.