December 31, 2019
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 31 December 2019
In the closing verses of 2 Thessalonians 2, the emphasis of the Bible is upon God’s calling, which is the act by which the Lord has provisioned for beginning a saving relationship with Him. Thanks is given for the believer’s salvation, and praise is ascribed for the Christian's perseverance. Exhortation is then given for the believer to appreciate the comfort and hope that is the result of affirming the truths revealed in Scripture.
The Apostle Paul expressed gratitude for his readers: those who are part of the church. The reason for the Apostle’s joy (v. 13) is the result of God’s choice of them for salvation prior to the Lord's creation of the world. Consistently throughout the New Testament, “from the beginning” indicates a time prior to the world being created, prior to the foundation of the world, prior to creation itself; the emphasis is upon God’s choice of individuals for salvation. The initiative for salvation comes from God; it is his choosing; it does not come from human beings; rather, God accomplishes his salvation through the work of the Holy Spirit, which is the reason for Paul’s joy (i.e. the fact of God choosing for salvation). Paul gave thanks for those that have received God’s salvation.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:14, Paul gave thanks that God called the Thessalonians so they could share splendor with the Lord: “that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The experience of being made holy (sanctification) occurs in three different realms. Positional sanctification is equivalent to justification. Experiential sanctification is the believer becoming more and more Christlike (i.e. demonstrating spiritual maturity). Ultimate sanctification is the glorification of the body when believers are confirmed in holiness. Paul addressed the latter when he referenced believers receiving splendor and honor.
Praise God for his revelation regarding the present times and what the future entails for believers. God is gracious in calling sinners unto salvation. What longing there should be for the day when believers will be with God, and experience all the splendor and honor of their relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Scripture gives a hope unlike any other. Praise God for His grace and salvation! The grace of the Lord should continue to enable his people to stand firm, to affirm the truth of Scripture, and do all things by God's grace and for his glory. Praise God for the indwelling Holy Spirit and the Word of God to both strengthen, guide, and empower those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Wishing you a blessed New Year,
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.