THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS
Read: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
They will turn their ears away from the truth. - 2 Timothy 4
The recently discovered manuscript "The Gospel of Judas"
alleges that Jesus asked Judas to betray Him. Supposedly, Jesus
hoped that His death would free Him from this world of matter to
become a pure spirit again....There is a big problem with this
ancient text. Judas could not have written this manuscript that
bears his name, since it was written long after the time of
Jesus. But because The Gospel of Judas has been newly discovered,
it provides a novelty for those who like to speculate.
Proposing a fake story to replace the New Testament account
is not new. Paul wrote, "The time will come when they will not
endue sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because
they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves
teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and
be turned aside to fables" (2 Tim.4:3-4).
There's a trend today to look for new theories to under-mine
the Bible. In 1 Thessalonians 5, Paul told us to "test all
things; hold fast what is good" (v.21). Based on the questionable
content and authorship of The Gospel of Judas, we know that it's
a fable. The real gospel (good news) life-saving message in the
New Testament. - Dennis Fisher
The Bible stands, and it will forever, When the world has passed
away; By inspiration it has been given, All its precepts I will
obey. - Lillenas
TO TRUST GOD IS TO TRUST IN HIS WORD.
WHAT'S THE POINT?
Read: ecclesiastes 12:6-14
Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man's all. -
Scientists once thought that the vertebrate with the
shortest lifespan was the turquoise killifish. This small fish
lives in seasonal rain pools in equatorial Africa and must
complete its life cycle in 12 weeks before the pools disappear.
But researchers from James Cook University in Australia have
now found that the pygmy goby has an even shorter lifespan. It
lives fast and dies young. This tiny fish lives in coral reefs
for an average of 56 days. Its rapid reproductive cycle is
designed to help it avoid extinction.
What's the point of a life that goes so fast and ends so
quickly? It's a question asked by one of the wisest men whoever
lived. In his later years, Solomon, the third king of Israel,
wandered from God. He became spiritually disoriented and lost his
sense of direction and purpose. He looked at all of his
accomplishments and found them worthless. Until he remembered his
God (12:13-14), he forgot that we live not merely for ourselves
but for the honor of the One who made us to worship and enjoy
Significance is not found in the number of our days, but in
what our eternal God says about how we have used them. - Mart De
God gives to us the gift of time, To use as best we can, To live
each moment in His will, According to His plan. - Sper
LIFE IS SHORT, LIVE FOR GOD.
HE WOULD NOT GO IN
Read: Luke 15:25-32
He was angry and would not go in. - Luke 15:28
Some theologians divide transgressions into "sins of the
flesh" and "sins of the spirit:" This means that some sins
originate in our physical passions; others come from our "heart"
or disposition. In the story of the prodigal son, the elder
brother's attitude gives us an example of the latter. We're
inclined to single out the prodigal son as worse than his
brother. But it's worth noting that when the story ends, the
prodigal is restored, forgiven, and full of joy, while the elder
brother stands outside and refuses to go in.
The stay-at-home son is more than background filler. He
makes us think about the state of our heart, for sour moods
create untold misery.
Discontent, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, defensiveness,
touchiness, and ingratitude are the dispositions that ruin our
marriages, wither our children, alienate our friends, and
embitter every life - including our own.
It's easy to defend our bad moods and to slide into
deception and hypocrisy. But we must guard our hearts against
such destructive attitudes. When they arise, we need to confess
them, let them go, and experience God's forgiveness.
Don't let your bad attitude cause you to lose out, while others
enter into joy. - David Roper
When anger lingers in our heart, It poisons all we think and do;
When faith seeks ways to show Cod's love, It keeps our spirit
strong and true. - D. De Haan
RESENTMENT COMES FROM LOOKING AT OTHERS; CONTENTMENT COMES FROM
LOOKING AT GOD.
Read: 1 Peter 1:3-12
They ... preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from
heaven - things which angels desire to look into. - 1 Peter 1:12
Have you ever watched people at a tourist spot? At places
like the Coliseum in Rome, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur,
or the Grand Canyon in Arizona, visitors strain their necks to
get a better view. Some call this "rubbernecking," which means
"to observe with curiosity."
The Bible tells us that such fascination also goes on in the
heavenly places. The apostle Peter pulls back the curtain of
heaven to let us see angels gazing at God's plan of redemption -
"things which angels desire to look into" (I Peter 1:12). The
Greek word translated "look into" means "to stoop and look at
carefully with curiosity."
But why are angels so fascinated by man's salvation? The
most likely explanation is that they are amazed at the
astonishing way God solved the problem of sin (Eph.3:8-12). The
cross was the means by which God provided His Son as the
righteous substitute to pay the penalty for sin while upholding
His holy standard (Rom.3:19-31). God now provides redemption to
any human being who will repent, believe, and receive it.
Are you thankful for you salvation? The angels are! They
rejoice every time a sinner repents and puts his faith in Christ
(Luke 15:10). - Dennis Fisher
I look at the cross upon Calvary, And O what a wonder divine! To
think of the wealth it holds for me, The riches of heaven are
mine. - Christiansen
THE CROSS OF CHRIST IS THE BRIDGE BETWEEN GOD AND MAN.
THE COMEBACK KING
Read: John 14;1-6
A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you
will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. - John 14:19
We admire anyone who makes a comeback after failure and
defeat. In 2001, "Sports Illustrated" magazine featured an
article on the greatest comebacks of all time. Surprisingly, they
selected the resurrection of Jesus as number one. It was stated
this way: "Jesus Christ ... Defies critics and stuns the Romans
with His resurrection."
How discerning! In any list of history's comebacks, Jesus'
victory over the grave surely merits first place.
Indeed. His resurrection is in a class that soars above any
other comeback. Death ultimately triumphs over life. When a
person dies, there is no possibility of renewed existence - at
least not to this world. But that wasn't so with Jesus. He had
promised His disciples that after being crucified by His enemies,
He would come back to life - triumphing over the grave. Matthew
records this in his gospel: "Jesus began to show to His disciples
that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things ... and be
killed, and be raised the third day" (16:21). And that is what
happened to our Savior.
Jesus Christ's comeback assures us that we too by faith in
Him will come back when we are resurrected from the grave (John
11:2$-26). - Venn Grounds
When Jesus died upon the cruel cross, "This is the end," thought
many standing by; But we can put our faith in what He said: "If
you believe in Me, you'll never die." - Hess
THE EMPTY TOMB IS THE FOUNDATION OF OUR FAITH.
SOMETHING FOR THE SOUL
Read: Psalm 119:9-16
Your Word I have hidden in my heart. - Psalm 119:11
Filled to the brim with inspiring anecdotes and stories, the
books in the series, "Chicken Soup for the Soul," quickly became
bestsellers. It's no wonder. A title that includes "chicken soup"
brings back memories of childhood, stuffed-up noses, and scratchy
throats - a time when only a warm blanket and Mom's steaming
chicken and rice soup will bring about relief.
Scientific evidence now indicates that Mom was pretty smart.
Chicken soup is beneficial for fighting colds. It's also one of
the foods that people describe as "comfort food."
When it's not my body but my heart that is aching, I long
for the comfort of God's Word. Soothing words like "[Cast] all
your care upon Him, for He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7); assuring
words that nothing can "separate us from the love of God which is
in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom.8:38-39).
The Bible--the world's all-time bestseller - is filled with
promises, reminders, challenges, and knowledge of God. When
you're feeling discouraged, try ladling up a big serving of God's
Word. Having a Bible within reach (or better yet, Scripture
hidden in your heart) infinitely trumps a bowl of Mom's chicken
soup. It will warm your heart and begin your healing. - Cindy
God's Word is the healer, the comfort, the strength,
To fill your heart's need, giving food for your soul; Instead of
exhausting all sources you find, O taste the Lard's goodness for
making you whole. - Hess
IF YOU FILL YOUR HEART WITH GOD'S WORD, HE'LL BRING SPIRITUAL
HEALTH TO YOUR SOUL.
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER
Read: Matthew 9:1-8
My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in
deed and in truth. - 1 John 3:18
Irritated with a young athlete who had accomplished little
yet boasted about his ability, a TV commentator said, "Don't tell
me what you're going to do - tell me what you've done!" Actions
speak louder than words.
This principle is seen in Jesus' life. In Matthew 9, a
paralytic was brought to Him. Jesus' response? "Your sins are
forgiven." When the religious leaders objected, He raised the
question of the hour: "which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are
forgiven you,' or to say, 'Arise and walk'?" (v.5).
The answer is obvious. To say He had forgiven the man's sins
was simple, because it couldn't be proven or disproven. But, to
say "Arise and walk" was different. It was instantly verifiable.
So, to prove His authority to forgive sins, Jesus said to the
paralytic, "Arise, take up your bed, and go to your house" (v.6).
And he did!
Jesus' actions supported His words, and so should ours. John
wrote, "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue,
but in deed and in truth" (1 John 3:18). What we say is
significant to a watching world only if it's consistent with what
we do. As we tell people about Christ's love, those words will
communicate powerfully if surrounded by acts of love and
kindness. Actions do speak louder! - Bill Crowder
I'd rather see a Christian, Than to hear one merely talk,
I'd rather see his actions, And behold his daily walk - Herrell
OUR WORKS AND WORDS SHOULD SAY THE SAME THING.