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May 15, 2018

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 15 May 2018

God has not completed his work of salvation at the moment of a person’s conversion. God intends for each person who truly believes in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior to be transformed into his likeness. Consequently, spiritual growth is not optional or trivial in the Christian life; rather, it is expected. Growth is abandoning the old self and “press[ing] on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:14).

Spiritual maturity is the life of Christ produced in the believer, by the Holy Spirit, through the Word of God, as it permeates every aspect of life, in response to obedient faith. One of the greatest joys in life was the first word from my children. Hearing a flower called “flou-ooh,” and then being addressed as “Da, da” for the first time were tremendous delights. However, to hear those words now, as my children are older is not expected, and would be a regression in their development. In terms of the spiritual, Ephesians 4 admonishes maturity: “no longer to be children” (v. 14). The writer to the Hebrews lamented, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God” (Heb 5:12). Christians are to “long for the pure milk of the word” to reach maturity “in respect to salvation” (1 Pet 2:2).

A relationship with Jesus Christ – by grace through faith – is the beginning of spiritual maturity. Belonging to Christ allows one to appropriate God’s Word and to know the spirit of truth (John 5:25; 8:43; 1 John 4:6). “The old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor 5:17b). The Holy Spirit enables the believer to “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16), thereby integrating God’s thoughts and truths into one’s life. The Word of God enlightens the believer, and thus reading Scripture must be a daily discipline. Memorizing the Word ingrains God’s truth into one’s thinking. The more that Scripture is recalled, the more difficult it is to disobey. “Mediate” on the Bible “day and night” so you are careful to heed it (Josh 1:8), being a doer of the Word and not merely a hearer (Jas 1:22). Obviously, the life of a Christian requires discipline (1 Cor 9:24-27).

The Bible is “a mirror” (1 Cor 13:12; Jas 1:23) for you to examine yourself, and be “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12:2), thereby being “conformed” into Christ’s likeness (Rom 8:29). God’s Word should cause us to examine our actions and attitudes that may be contrary to the will of the Lord. The majority of us have a GPS for navigating roads from one location to the next; similarly, the Bible directs the course of our life so our Lord will declare, “‘Well done, good and faithful slave” (Matt 25:23). Are you maturing spiritually? Are you nourishing yourself “on the words of faith and of the sound doctrine” (1 Tim 4:6)? Are you able to declare, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim 4:7)? Believing in Christ is belonging; living Christlike is keeping the faith; and, laying aside whatever “entangles us” will “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us” (Heb 12:1).

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.