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April 10, 2018

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 10 April 2018

Good leaders are sensitive to the needs of others. Scripture compares this servant leadership to a mother who tenderly cares for the needs of her children. For anyone around children, the word picture is compelling. A mother may nurse her young children, without giving one thought to her own needs. Watching my own wife gently cradle our children when they were infants, and lovingly providing for their needs, helps me understand what Paul meant by "gentleness." His ministry was characterized by a gentle nurturing of the flock. Paul said (in 1 Thess 2:7), "I was like a mother nursing a child, in my manner among you." If God has placed you in a leadership responsibility, the Bible urges you to cultivate a spirit of gentleness because it is a fruit of the Spirit (according to Gal 5:23). Your gentleness will work wonders in the lives of those you lead.

Elijah’s gentleness is profoundly impressive. When a woman’s son became sick and finally died, she blamed the prophet Elijah, who remained silent throughout her flaring accusations. Mintmarks are those letters or symbols identifying the mint at which a given coin has been made. Gentleness, one of the fruits of the Spirit, could be considered “the mintmark of heaven.” When it is present in a tense environment, such as Elijah experienced, it becomes a testimony of the Holy Spirit at work in the life of a believer, who could respond with anger yet does not. At that gentle moment, it is the life of Christ Jesus being made evident; the life of the One who gentled Himself by “taking the form of a bond-servant,” who “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:7-8).

The grieving mother is also extraordinary. Without question or hesitation, she placed her lifeless, precious son into Elijah's arms. Perhaps the prophet's gentleness suddenly calmed her and prompted her, once again, to trust him (as God's messenger). Then, Elijah, the man of God, silently climbed the stairway to the room where he had been wrestling in his relationship with God on a regular basis. Elijah spent hours, even days, on his knees in that room. He had formed that habit while alone with his God.

Are you disciplining yourself spiritually to spend time in Bible study and prayer? If you are not, God’s Word – the Holy Bible – compels you to provide yourself just such a time. Disciplining yourself spiritually prepares you for life's contingencies; without it, you will lack the necessary fortitude in your foundation of faith.

What is your response when tragedy strikes? What is your reaction when a difficulty arises? Is your first response to complain . . . to be angry . . . to blame . . . to take matters in your own hands? Conversely, have you formed the habit of doing what Elijah did? Do you go to a special place and spend time alone with God (as simple as what you are doing now briefly)?

Elijah provides a wonderful example for us. No doubt . . . no fear . . . no panic . . . no rush. His spiritual courage was sustained only as he disciplined himself to know God better and to trust Him more. Determine to treasure the Word of God in your heart (Ps 119:11), and then know as you experience the crucible of life that you do not go alone; rather, the Sovereign God goes with you and He is able to overcome your infirmities by the Person and work of Jesus Christ and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit; therefore, go forth fearlessly and obediently. Thank God for using his Word to challenge, inform, and meld your motivations.

Your Missionary to Georgia's Leaders,

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

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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.