April 12, 2022
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 12 April 2022
Whenever there is an opportunity for effective work, there will be adversaries (1 Cor 16:9). Does that not seem to be a law in pursuing the eternal purposes and will of God – that opposition will accompany opportunity? If the Lord God is using you, the devil will be fighting against you, and sometimes you will have to endure that battle by yourself. The Apostle Paul said, in 2 Timothy 4:16, “At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me” but then quite remarkably he said, “may it not be counted against them.” Paul was alone yet he forgave those who deserted him. Certainly, his attitude demonstrated contentment in his adverse circumstances.
God’s people should not have backlogs of guilt, resentment, and sin. We should be the kind of individuals who readily confess our sins and forgive others as soon as we know something is wrong. Paul’s prayer in 2 Timothy was not original to him. He heard the same prayer earlier from Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Paul did not have faith in Jesus at the time; rather, he gave his approval to the martyrdom of Stephen.
“Falling on his knees” and with a loud voice, Stephen prayed, “‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them!’” and then he died (Acts 7:60). Stephen was dying from stones being thrown at him, yet still he prayed for his killers. However, that attitude was not original to Stephen either. We all know that wicked individuals crucified Jesus, and yet this was according to the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23). Jesus died vicariously as a substitute in the place of sinners, yet He prayed for those who crucified Him: “‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34).
What lessons have we learned or what has been reinforced to us? Live for Jesus even if it means you will do so alone. Forgive the people who hurt you, even those who are not faithful to their promises. The issue is not what occurs to you personally; rather, what is most important is how you respond to what life brings your way. Are you going to be bitter or better? Will you act like everyone else and retaliate, or will you follow the examples of Jesus (“Father, forgive them”), Stephen (“Lord, do not hold this sin against them!”), and Paul (“may it not be counted against them”). Does the world determine your emotions and reactions, or do you follow the examples of Scripture? There are always two options: to be bitter or to be better.
Due to request, the monthly Capitol Commission (interim) Bible Study will be increased to include the 3rd Tuesday of the month.
The next Capitol Commission Bible Study is Tuesday, 19 April (and every 1st and 3rd Tuesday during the legislative interim).
Meeting via Zoom and in 318 CLOB (Senate Committee Room) @ 12 Noon.