Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Capitol Bible Study: "A Matter of Life and Death in the Capitol"

From this week's Bible study at the West Virginia statehouse, "A Matter of Life and Death in the Capitol":

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain."

Philippians 1:21

In this amazing statement, we see that being a follower of Jesus Christ, living as a citizen of heaven, is indeed a matter of life and death. The supremacy of Christ is what filled and dominated Paul’s life. The desire to be with Christ gave him comfort and encouragement to face and even relish his own death. In a world like that of the statehouse and politics which can easily consume our values and priorities, it will be helpful to concentrate on this verse that reminds us that each of us faces a matter of life and death.

Download the complete study here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Ministry Update: Advancing the Gospel in the Capitol

Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, so that my imprisonment in the cause of Christ has become well known throughout the whole praetorian guard and to everyone else…” Philippians 1:12-13

Yesterday I stood at one end of the main floor of the West Virginia capitol building and looked down that grand corridor, across the rotunda, towards the Senate chamber at the other end. The hallway was packed with people—legislators, lobbyists, staff, state employees, and regular citizens—all gathered for one of the special days held throughout the regular session. I was overwhelmed with the main thought of this week’s statehouse Bible study, “Advancing the Gospel in the Capitol”. The question that captivated me was “How can we see the gospel advance more openly and effectively here in this place among these people?”

In our studies of Philippians we see how Paul rejoiced in the midst of difficult circumstances. He saw that the challenges he faced only served to “advance the gospel”. The gospel progressed to the point that when Paul offered greetings from the saints at the end of his letter, he included “especially those from Caesar’s household” (4:22). Paul rejoiced because he saw the gospel advance to some of the highest levels of leadership in the Roman Empire.

I prayed as I watched the crowd that God would grant us more opportunity to see the advance and progress of the gospel in the West Virginia state capitol. Please partner with us in prayer, as the Philippian believers did with Paul, that the “cause of Christ will become well known throughout the whole state capitol”.

  • Pray for our ongoing Bible studies during the session as the notes are distributed in person and by email each week. (You can find a copy of this week’s study here).
  • Pray that I might have more courage and boldness to proclaim the gospel personally as I regularly visit throughout the capitol.
  • Pray that God will bring about circumstances and situations that might serve to turn out for the greater progress of the gospel in the capitol.

As always, thank you for your support and prayer for our ministry.

Tim Pauley

State Director, Capitol Commission West Virginia

Capitol Bible Study: "Advancing the Gospel in the Capitol"

From this week's Bible study at the West Virginia state capitol, "Advancing the Gospel in the Capitol":
"In Philippians we read of those whose passion was to see the good news of the gospel progress and advance to all those who are sinners in need of a Savior. We are examining how Paul encouraged the believers to live in a manner worthy of their citizenship in heaven (1:27; 3:20). Paul demonstrates that a believer, a good “citizen of heaven” will be involved in the task of advancing the gospel, the cause of sharing the good news of salvation through faith in Christ. This is true of believers serving in the capitol. Those who believe strongly and feel passionately about the gospel will seek to see it advance both in the capitol and at home."
You can download the complete study here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ministry Update: How to Pray for Leaders

How should we pray for our legislators and elected officials? An important part of our ministry is encouraging churches and individual believers to faithfully and specifically pray for their leaders. That is why we developed the West Virginia Prayer Column, an online version of our daily prayer guide. There you can find the names of several legislators and leaders for whom you can pray each day. When we do pray for them, how should we pray? We find a good example in the ministry of the Apostle Paul.

This week’s Bible study in the West Virginia state capitol is titled, “A Great Prayer for the Capitol Community”. In it we are studying Paul’s prayer for the church in Philippi found in Philippians 1:9-11. Indeed, in it we see a great model of how we might pray for those serving in the statehouse. We must certainly pray for those who do not know Christ that they might believe in Him. Paul gives us a wonderful example of how we can pray for believers there as well. We can pray:

  • That their love may abound more and more in real knowledge and all discernment

  • That they might approve the things that are excellent

  • That they might be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ

  • That they might be filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ

  • That all they do might be to the glory and praise of God

Of course, this is a great prayer for every church and for each one of us as believers. I believe it is also a great prayer for those serving in the capitol community.