Rely on God's word to guide your life and to develop your faith.
by Elizabeth Peale Allen — Posted on Jul 28, 2014
Ask someone to name the Gospels, and chances are they’ll reply, “Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.” But in addition to the four gospels featured in the Bible, scholars have unearthed ancient manuscripts containing at least a dozen other gospels.
By the fourth century, a consensus emerged among most Christians about who Jesus was and what His teachings meant. Gospels and other texts, such as the Book of Acts and Paul’s letters, which agreed with this consensus, were adopted by church leaders as part of the canonical Bible.
Other gospels and texts, such as the Gospel of Judas, were rejected and are now called apocryphal.
Here are some practical ways to make the Bible part of your daily life:
1. Trust that the Bible is vital for your spiritual health.
As the Psalmist says, “The Lord’s instruction is perfect, reviving one’s very being” (Psalm 19:7). Or as Paul puts it, “Whatever was written in the past was written for our instruction so that we could have hope through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures” (Romans 15:4).
2. The faith, hope and love encouraged by the Bible benefit you in every way.
Paying sincere attention to God’s Word leads to abundant life. “My son, pay attention to my words….They are life to those who find them, and healing for their entire body” (Proverbs 4:20, 22).
3. You cannot be a growing believer without reading the Bible regularly, thinking and praying about it, and following its instructions.
It is essential that you apply what you read to your daily life and that you share the Bible’s insights with those around you, both in the way you live and in what you say. “You must be doers of the word and not only hearers...” (James 1:22).
Accept and know your Bible for what it is: God speaking through centuries of prophets, historians, poets and faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Find in the Bible examples, stories and wisdom to guide your own life and to direct your relationship with God. As Paul says in his second letter to Timothy, “Every scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character, so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Can you trust the Bible? Oh, yes!