WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
The renowned novelist, Charles Dickens, pronounced the Biblical story of the “Prodigal Son” [Luke 15] as the best short story ever told. Think of how this story might have ended.
The prodigal son might have prospered and remained in the far country. That is what he envisaged when he initially left home. Prosperity and pleasure might have banished every thought of his father and home. It certainly has done that for countless millions of prodigals in this present world.
The prodigal son might have died in the far country. Had the Lord Jesus told the story as culminating in the death of the prodigal, He would have been giving the biography of untold multitudes. Our cities are crowded with young people who have done just what the prodigal did and never saw home again. Jesus Christ said, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
The prodigal son might have returned to the far country again after receiving food and money. We have all met people who were penitent while they faced great trouble. Sadly, once they got out of their trouble, they returned to the scenes of their sins and lost their taste and desire for the fare of the Father’s table. “According to the true proverb, The dog is returned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” [2 Peter2: 22].
The prodigal son might have been rejected by his father when he arrived home. The father might have been justified in reacting unsympathetically, as did the boy’s elder brother. Instead, the father freely forgave his son’s past and made rich provisions for his future with a robe of righteousness, a ring of sonship, shoes of holiness and the fatted calf for fellowship. We are all prodigals, and soon our story will also end, but how?
[Dr. Alan Cairns].
He never taught a lesson in a classroom … He had no tools to work with, such as blackboards, maps or charts … He used no subject outlines, kept no records, gave no grades, and His only text was ancient and well-worn … His students were the poor, the lame, the deaf, the blind, the outcast … And His method was the same with all who came to hear and learn … He opened eyes with faith … He opened ears with simple truth … And opened hearts with love, a love born of forgiveness … A gentle Man, a humble man, He asked and won no honours, no gold awards of tribute to His experience or wisdom … And yet this quiet Teacher from the hills of Galilee fed the needs, fulfilled the hopes, and changed the lives of many millions … For what He taught brought Heaven to earth, and revealed God’s heart to mankind.
OUR SOVEREIGN GOD
Joseph’s brothers hated him and treated him in an abominable fashion. Yet from these wicked events, God produced deliverance for him and great blessings for the very people who sought to destroy him.
When we survey the dreadful events that led to Golgotha’s hill, the despicable betrayal, the unjust trial, the cruel scourging, the dreadful crown of thorns, all culminating in the woes, misery, and agonizing death of Christ upon a Roman gibbet, all we can see is man’s inhumanity, his utter depravity, his abject wickedness.
Yet wondrously and mysteriously, God overruled these barbaric deeds to produce, through Christ’s sufferings, so great a salvation, a redemption offered to all who will bow at the feet of the nail-pierced One. As Joseph said to his brethren, “Ye thought evil against me, but God meant it unto good.”
[Dr. Bert Cooke]
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)
More and more we are hearing these days about artificial intelligence (AI). AI is intelligence – perceiving, synthesizing, and inferring information – generated by computers, as opposed to intelligence displayed by humans. It is in its infancy now, but has the potential to become a major attack upon Christianity and especially the Word of God.
Recently, I saw AI in operation when a friend showed me it on his cell phone. He entered my name and immediately it started to type out basic information about me. Fortunately, there was nothing objectionable, but if there was how could one get redress when there was no human directly involved?
Seven-time Formula I world champion, Michael Schumacher, was seriously injured in a ski accident in 2013 and is out of public view ever since. His family is suing a magazine for printing a story of a purported interview with him. It looked genuine, but apparently it was AI generated. We need to pray for our youth as they grow up in an increasingly hostile world.