February 9 - The Price of Betrayal

By Mike Clarensau

Central Thought: God's gift of salvation is truly priceless.

Devotional Scripture: Matthew 26:14–16

    American Indians once sold Manhattan Island for around twenty-four dollars. The Boston Red Sox gave Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for a little bit of cash. Stan Clark's partner got $4,000 for his interest in Eskimo Joe's, a Midwestern restaurant empire. But Judas Iscariot arguably cut the worst deal in human history.

    Judas' choice seems unfathomable when you consider what we know. Somehow he thought a few coins were sufficient reward for giving up God incarnate. Though God's plan wouldn't be compromised by Judas' dealings, Judas sold more than a late-night opportunity to arrest Jesus. He turned away from his place in God's eternal kingdom—all for silver he would soon discard.

    Some might argue that Judas didn't fully appreciate the ramifications of his choice. He likely didn't have any idea that his name would be synonymous with traitor. After all, nobody names their newborn son Judas anymore. But while his name is rarely chosen, his choice is often repeated.

    A few coins, a life of lustful satisfaction, and a grasp for power—all are marked on the price tags of abandoning God's kingdom. Numerous individuals, with even more knowledge than Judas, have traded God's gift of love and eternal life for the shiny beads of this world. And while it took the Red Sox 86 years to break an imaginary curse, the curse that comes with betrayal of Christ is far from imaginary and is far more enduring.

    What would you trade for your salvation? If you have any answer at all, you're in the midst of a terrible transaction.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, keep me from allowing the temptations of this world to pull me from You. I know that nothing can separate me from You, except for me.

Today's Bible Reading: Exodus 29:1-30:10; Matthew 26:14-46; Psalm 31:19-24; Proverbs 8:14-26