Monday, October 24, 2011

I was reading today in the book of Deuteronomy in the Bible. This book title means the second law. It is the second account of how God spoke to Moses and how Moses received the Law of God and the Ten Commandments. It makes an interesting read and it is not as hard going as you might imagine. The reason it had to be rewritten was in effect because before the law had been written down the first time the nation of Israel had already broken it. As Moses came down Mount Sinai he and Joshua thought that they heard the shouts of people at war. In fact they were hearing the noise of a wild party where their people were dancing and worshipping a golden calf.

What did God do then? Before Moses left the presence of God he had been warned what was going on at base camp. God had threatened to destroy the nation and start a new one through Moses. Moses in a characteristic act of humility and bravery reminded God of the shame and criticism that God would bring on His name if he destroyed his own people and in an amazing turnaround God agreed not to judge them. Now I don't really know how all this works but it seems to me on a simple reading of scripture that there have been a few men who had real power of persuasion in the presence of God (Moses, Abraham and Jacob to name a few) and God responded to their prayers - that should give us all hope.

As I close I want to summarise by pointing you to a couple of verses in Deuteronomy:

Deut.4.24 - "The Lord thy God is a consuming fire even a jealous God". This is so true and reflects the power and holiness of God. He is jealous (this is not an evil sense of the word jealous) of His holy character and will not allow it to be violated. So where does that leave flawed and sinful people like you and I - look at the next verse and also bear in mind Moses prayer.

Deut.4.31 - "For the Lord thy God is a merciful God". Is this a contradiction in terms? I personally don't think so. God preserves His character and will not allow it to be defiled but in grace he makes provision for sinful people to be forgiven. In the Old Testament it was sacrifices that had the temporary effect of covering sin. These sacrifices pictured the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross. His ultimate sacrifice makes it possible for us to be forgiven and experience the mercy of God. Scripture says "if we confess our sins, he faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1.John.1.9).

May the Lord bless you in this manner today.


PS please watch my latest video on Moses and the Passover


Monday, October 17, 2011

Bible Exhibition

I am in Wallingford this week working with a Gospel Hall. The Christians who meet in the Gospel Hall have erected a Bible Exhibition so that people will be made aware of the history and message of the Bible. From tomorrow we will have schools in visiting every day. This evening we had an invite only event for adults. It was great to share with people the history and truth of this wonderful book that God has given to us and preserved for us.

If you are not familiar with the Bible it is worthy of your attention. Even extreme atheists such as Professor Richard Dawkins agree that the Bible should be read by everyone, of course I know he means from a literary point of view as he does not enjoy the blessing of faith in Christ for salvation but nevertheless you should read it.

Maybe you have an unread Bible at home. Go and get it. Read the word of God, it is able to make you wise unto salvation. Believing and resting on what God has done through Christ for your eternal blessing is what it is all about. Having said that you will not appreciate your need of God's salvation until you admit that like the rest of us you are a sinner. When you do get to that point remember 'Christ receives sinners' and that He came 'into the world to save sinners'. Repentance toward God (or turning away from sin and turning to God) and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ are the key ingredients in recipe that God has provided for our forgiveness and salvation. May God bless you.


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Friday, October 07, 2011

Busy Busy

I don't know about you but I am having a hectic time at the moment. It seems hard to fit everything in and yet I must admit that I really enjoy all the biz! I would be bored if I was not busy.

However we can be too busy! If any of my friends and family are reading this they will probably laugh at me admitting this but it is true. If we are too busy to spend time with our spouse or children then it will damage our relationship with them. If we are too busy to pay our bills or eat properly other consequences will arise. Many things can and do suffer if we do not allocate time to them and give them appropriate attention.

If you read my blog regularly then you will know that I spend a lot of time preaching about the bible and interesting people (or trying to) in their relationship with God, or the lack of it. It is essential to spend time on this part of our lives as this is the only bit that survives.

I was saddened to hear of the death of Steve Jobs of Apple Inc. I know it was inevitable due to his illness but it is always sad when it happens. You feel for his family, friends and colleagues of many years. He will no doubt be remembered for quite a long time by our techie generation but all the success of his life was only for this life. The Bible says we come into the world naked and we leave it in the same way.

Please take time today to consider your soul and your need to eternal life. If you want to know more read my other blogs to listen to some of my podcasts on Alternatively follow me on Facebook -

Monday, October 03, 2011

Appearances can be deceiving!

It would appear that pilfering money internally from a Bank is easier than an external attempt by seasoned bank-robbers with their elaborate plans involving explosives and getaway vehicles. In the early to mid 1990’s Nick Leeson worked in Singapore for Baring’s Bank as general manager of their Futures Markets. By the title of his book he became a ‘Rogue Trader’, meaning that he fraudulently ran up debts against the Bank of US$1.4Billion. Eventually, in 1995 he was charged with fraud and sent to prison for six and a half years but was released in 1999 having been diagnosed with colon cancer. It was alleged in the New York Times that the British Press had uncovered accounts linked to him for the value of US$35million.

Springtime 2008 at Societe Generale Bank was not a happy place to be. In January another trader, Jerome Kerviel caused the Bank losses of US$7.2Billion by fraudulent trading. Then in March the Bank sued a Turkish Jeweller for the non payment of 15 Tonnes of Gold, the Jeweller accepted responsibility of payment for only 3,250 kg of the precious metal valued at US$94Million. This now you see it, now you don’t, has all the appearance of a massive scam.
German International Broadcaster Deutsche Welle, reported on 24th. September, ‘The chief executive of Swiss banking giant UBS, Oswald Gruebel, resigned on Saturday in the wake of a rogue trading scandal that cost the bank some $2.3 billion (1.7 billion euros).’ A London based trader for UBS, 31 year old, Kweku Adoboli has been charged with fraud and if found guilty could face a long custodial sentence. Barings, Societe Generale and UBS all appeared to be sound financial houses but each were found wanting in relation to security, no proper checks and balances were in place to avert such happenings.

About 25 years ago, my wife and I took our Motorhome/Gospel Van to the ‘Elephant Fayre’ in Cornwall. A word about the title, it had nothing to do with elephants other than if you look at a map of S/W England you will see that the County of Cornwall is shaped like an elephant’s head. The three day Rock/Arts Festival was staged at Lord Elliot’s estate at St. Germans, styled on the Gladstonbury Festival. Drugs and alcohol being an indulgence of many of the 30,000 people attending. We attached a market type stand to the side of our van, displaying free literature and presented a Gospel Witness to those that passed by, promoting some good spiritual conversations. Two young ‘Punk Rockers’ presented themselves to my wife with the question. “Does your religion give a cup of tea away?” She replied, not only so but if they wanted to join her in the van she would prepare them some cheese and tomato sandwiches. Their faces brightened, then they told her that they had been living out of the bins the past few days. I joined them at the table in the van and got talking to them and my heart went out to them as I told them the gospel. We had two sons of similar age to them! Their appearance was typical to their following, both had mohican hair cuts, one was dyed pale green, the other orange. From a distance you might have thought that they had got a parrot on their head. During the conversation one boy said to me, “Don’t judge us by our appearance”. I replied that I never judge a book by its cover! Their brashness seemed to disolve as we got under their radar and targetted their souls with the life giving message of the gospel.

Some appearances can be pretence, but the three appearances of the Son of God in Hebrews ch.9 have nothing false about them. “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”

The first reference tells us where Christ is presently; He is in the presence of God in Heaven. This statement confirms the fact that He is a living Saviour and that He is there FOR US! People that believe on Him and have committed their life to Him have the assurance that their Saviour is presently in Heaven for them, interceding on their behalf. It is good to know that one’s life is in the hands of the highest person in the highest place.

All this has been secured because in time passed He appeared on earth to deal with the offensiveness and guilt of man’s sin. He did this by giving His life at Calvary, where He died on our account that He might bring us undeserving sinners back to God. I love the gospel because it tells me of the grace of God (GRACE = God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense). He loved me and gave Himself for me. Paul said that and so can all those that are saved by faith in His death and resurrection.

Soon that third reference will take place, He is going to appear the second time, apart from the sin question, because He is coming to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

It is not popular in today’s secular atheistic world to believe in any of those three appearances of Christ found in Hebrews ch.9, but I do and would encourage you to start with the middle one relating to the past, He appeared to put away your sin. Believe that and your present life will take on a different meaning and your future will be no pretence but you will appear with Him in glory. How about that?  God bless.

Written for Stephen Baker by Stan Burditt of Northampton       

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