Monday, April 25, 2011

The ultimate guest list

We all like to be invited to a wedding. When the invite drops on the doormat it is so exciting. A new outfit, meeting old friends, a relaxing day, sharing joy with the happy couple. One problem for the couple is - who to invite? If you have lots of friends the bigger problem is - who to leave out?

I have been looking at the guest list for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. There are some people on the list who you would expect to be there. There are other guests who you've never heard of. Why will they be there? Simply because they are friends and have been invited.

It struck me that heaven will be like that. There are some people who you might expect to be there and others who you might be surprised to see there. Everyone who is there will have one thing in common. They were invited and they accepted the invitation. Incidentally we are all invited, there is room for all!

Jesus still says to everyone who will listen 'come unto me and I will give you rest'. The open invitation to come to God for forgiveness is still available. Listen to the offer 'he that hears my word, and believes on Him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life'. Naturally we are all heading for separation from God but God offers an invitation to heaven.

By the way any invite to a wedding assumes that you do not pay to go (forget for a moment the cost of the new outfit etc). The wedding is paid for and you go free. It's not that the wedding is cheap it is that someone else is paying. Heaven is like that. It's not cheap to gain entry but it has been paid for by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.

To ensure you can go to the wedding you have to accept the invitation. RSVP it says on the invite. You can't just turn up, you have to accept the invitation. It's just the same with heaven. The invitation has been made but you need to reply accepting or rejecting. As in wedding invites failure to reply implies you are not going. Failure to reply to God implies that you are not going to heaven either.

Will you accept the invitation and come to the greatest wedding and reception of all, in heaven.

If you have time please listen to my latest podcast. It is about memorable expressions we use in everyday life. I hope that you find it interesting and helpful.

God bless you today.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Home Sweet Home

I have just arrived home after a week of work in Northern Ireland. It was a busy week with lots of activity and I really enjoyed the time away. Despite meeting new and interesting people, seeing new places and having the opportunity to gain a little insight into how other people think it is always good to come home. Home for most of us has a special attraction.

It's where we feel most comfortable, we don't need to be on our best behaviour and we are loved unconditionally. At home you don't feel the urge to explain yourself or to watch what you say. Home is a wonderful place. I am aware that for many home can be a difficult place but God intended it to be a safe and secure environment where all of the above and much more is true.

While I was in Ireland I attended the funeral of an elderly gentleman. He was in his mid to late eighties. He was a Christian gentleman and was well known in the community. The funeral was a large affair with over 250 attending. One of the things that was said about the passing away of this man was that though he had died he was now 'at home with the Lord'. The truth is that he had only died physically but his soul is now in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven - the verse from the bible that was quoted was "absent from the body but present with the Lord'. A statement that is only true of those who have accepted the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

This is the ultimate homecoming! It is great to come home on earth but the homecoming of the believer in Jesus Christ when the individual leaves earth and arrives in heaven is indescribable.

I wonder what your departure from earth will be like. Will it be an abundant entrance into the presence of the Lord Jesus or a fearful waiting in Hell for the judgment of God. It is possible to be saved and safe. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.

Listen to my latest podcast about the influence of Mothers and Grandparents in our lives on my podcast

God bless you this week, Stephen.

Friday, April 08, 2011

The Grand National

This weekend is the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool. I am reliably informed that there is standing room only, all the tickets have sold. Quite amazing really when you consider the financial state of our nation and the constant encouragement to tighten our belts financially speaking. Its a day out, a bit of fun, a chance to forget our worries and enjoy ourselves. I am sure that these are among the many reasons given for spending the money.

How do you cope with pressure? What is your escape value? We are all different and cope in differing ways. The bible points us ultimately to God and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. God says in Isaiah - 'Look unto me and be ye saved all you ends of the earth for I am God and there is none else'. God is offering rescue and deliverance from the ultimate danger - the second death, which means permanent separation from God, love, joy, hope and all that is good. God is saying He is the only means of salvation. God has made this available through the death and resurrection of his own Son, Jesus Christ.

'Neither is there salvation in any other for there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved'.

This is a grand and international, timeless message. may God bless you today.

Friday, April 01, 2011


On Saturday 26th March the TUC organised a march in London to demonstrate against the government’s spending cuts. An estimated 250,000 people attended what was initially a peaceful good- natured rally, but an anarchic element turned some areas into a riot situation. BBC News reported on their website, that Police Commander Bob Broadhurst said: "Unfortunately we have had a group of approximately 500 criminals committing some disorder including throwing paint at Topshop in Oxford Street and at the police, and scaring the public who are trying to shop."

‘There have been separate incidents involving a number of protesters, some with their faces covered by scarves, away from the main march:

  • A sit-in organised by the campaign group UK Uncut took place at Fortnum & Mason department store in Piccadilly. The group has previously mounted protests against tax avoidance measures by big businesses

  • A bonfire was lit by protesters at Oxford Circus, where earlier police said light bulbs containing ammonia were thrown at officers
  • Topshop on Oxford Street had its windows smashed and was doused with paint
  • Missiles were thrown at the Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly
  • Bank branches including the Royal Bank of Scotland were attacked with paint and had windows broken, while branches of HSBC and Santander were broken into.

Scotland Yard said there had been 202 arrests for public order offences, criminal damage, aggravated trespass and violent disorder.’

The questions raised here are ‘Were the organisers justified in arranging the demonstration with the potential of an unlawful element using the occasion to commit acts of violence?’ Answer - Perhaps?

‘Were the rioters justified in stepping over the law and order line to commit serious criminal acts?’ The answer to that is unquestionably, NO!’

The United Nations Security Council felt justified in passing Resolution 1973 of March 18th, against Muammer Gaddafi. The following quote was reported by the Press Association in the Guardian newspaper, The resolution expresses the UN's "grave concern at the deteriorating situation, the escalation of violence, and the heavy civilian casualties", condemns "the gross and systematic violation of human rights, including arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and summary executions" and says the attacks against civilians "may amount to crimes against humanity" and pose a "threat to international peace and security".

• A no-fly zone is "an important element for the protection of civilians as well as the safety of the delivery of humanitarian assistance and a decisive step for the cessation of hostilities in Libya".

The Bible says in Luke 7:35 “Wisdom is justified of all her children.” Time will tell whether their resolution will work for the good of all the people of Libya, the Middle East and the rest of the world.

The Book of Job is one of the oldest books of the Bible, ch.4:17 asks. “Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?” The answer is obviously NO!

Then in ch.9:2 the question is raised, “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?” That is an excellent question because it leads a person on the path of getting right with God, of knowing all the past failings of one’s life to be dealt with, permanently.

The Epistle to the Romans is presented like a Courtroom scene and it is in that Book that we find the answer for our need in being made just with God. There are three essential fundamental facts for a person to be justified with God.

It is by GRACE. Ch.3:24 reads, “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” The source of justification is with God and not with man. His plan of redemption was determined before the world was made, and central in that plan is the Son of God Himself, the “Lamb slain before the foundation of the world.” Rev.13:8

It is by BLOOD. Ch.5:9 declares, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Redemption is by blood and by power; both were at work when God delivered Israel from Egypt, the blood of the Passover Lamb and dividing the Red Sea. The blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin; it is the basis upon which God can meet us with forgiveness and cleansing. Not by anything that we could do.

It is through FAITH. Ch.5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Faith in Christ is our responsibility! We will never be justified with God other than by placing our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. To be justified with God it is all of HIS grace; HIS blood and YOUR faith. Got it? God bless

Written by Stan Burditt for Stephen Baker

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