Thursday, March 30, 2017

Why do we need forgiveness?

Why do we need forgiveness? What does God’s forgiveness look like? And is it possible to truly be forgiven? Stephen Baker explores the topic of forgiveness by looking at what the Bible teaches.

Life is full of questions and often the answers are difficult. Stephen Baker seeks to answer various questions about life and faith using the Bible as his only source. Listen to Stephen’s show, “Life Questions,” on HopeStreamRadio as he tackles the challenge of life questions.
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;”– Ephesians 1:7


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Psalm 32 - Learning from your mistakes

In the book of Psalms there are different categories of Psalms. Some Psalms are grouped according the author i.e. David, Moses etc. Some are called Messianic Psalms as they focus on the coming Messiah who Christians believe was Jesus. This Psalm is in the group of ‘maschil’ Psalms. Maschil means that the reader should learn something from the Psalm. It is a good principle to learn from your own mistakes but it is even wiser to learn from another person’s mistakes.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Psalm 6 - Heartbroken in the Presence of God

Have you ever felt heart broken in the presence of God as a result of sin? You might say that thankfully this has not been your experience very often since conversion. Great men of God, like David, had these experiences on a fairly regular basis. If you have never felt like that maybe you have become desensitised to sin in your life.  

Psalm 6 has three sections. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Studies in the Psalms - The Seven Penitential Psalms

Most people will be aware that the Americans talk about their prisons as ‘penitentiaries’. You may also be vaguely familiar with the concept of ‘penance’. In religious circles this normally means either a feeling of regret for misdeeds or some religious payment for sin.  In Biblical terms the word ‘penitential’ means to ‘repent of sin and to seek forgiveness’. We are going to discover in these psalms a number of lessons about sin, the sinner and how God deals with sin. 

Let me summarise them:

1.    There is nothing that can be done by an individual to atone for sin;
2.    God is extremely angry about our sin;
3.    Sin weakens and exhausts a person morally and physically;
4.    Sin has a defiling and contaminating effect in the life of the believer;
5.    Sin ruins our relationship with God;
6.    God alone can forgive sin;
7.    God is gracious and merciful as well as holy and just;
8.    There are forces against the believer that would seek their downfall (i.e. our flesh, the world and the Devil).

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

European Tour Final Stop - Rome - Acts 28

Scripture Passage

Acts chapter 28

Scripture Verse

Acts 28:28 ‘Therefore let it be known to you that the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles’

This the final episode of Paul’s journey to Rome. How will he get there?

At the end of the last blog post on the Book of Acts all the men on the ship escaped to the shore safely. The soon found out that they were on the island of Malta. The local people were really kind. They made a fire to warm them up. It was rainy and they were cold.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Storm Survival Advice - Acts 27

Scripture Reading

Acts chapter 27

Scripture Verse

‘I believe God that it will be just as it was told me’
Acts 27:25

This part of the story is scary for anyone who does not like sailing. Paul is starting his journey to Rome where he will meet the Roman Emperor. The soldier who is guarding him is called, Julius.  Julius is a nice man. He is kind, thoughtful and polite. He must also have been good at his job. He was part of a group of important soldiers and he was the boss.

Friday, March 17, 2017

How do you tell people you are a Christian - Acts 26

Scripture Reading
Acts chapter 26
Scripture Verse
Paul was sent to ‘open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light”

Acts 26:18  

We have learned lots about Paul as we have read the Book of Acts. I have told you about the places he visited. We are going to see three different things happen to him today, tomorrow and the next day.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Acts 19 - A City Break in Greece

Scripture Reading

Acts chapter 19

Scripture Verse
Ephesians 2.8 ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God’

Some people like travelling; some people don’t! Some people like their own beds; some people can sleep anywhere! I wonder what you are like?

I don’t know if Paul liked being at home but he didn’t seem to stay anywhere for long. We have already read about him travelling about a lot. “And where is he now?” you must be thinking. He has just arrived in Ephesus where he will live for a couple of years.

Five areas of your life that need a clean up

Five Areas of Your Life That Need a Clean Up

By Stephen Baker

Allow Stephen Baker to walk you through five areas of your life that need a clean up. You may be surprised by his suggestions!
Life is full of questions and often the answers are difficult. Stephen Baker seeks to answer various questions about life and faith using the Bible as his only source. Listen to Stephen’s show, “Life Questions,” on HopeStreamRadio as he tackles the challenge of life questions.

Around the House

It’s funny but true that most of us like to get things cleaned up regularly. Maybe some of us leave it a little longer than others but eventually we feel the need to get into action. It might be washing the car, tidying the garden or cleaning the house.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Acts 17 - Laughed out of court

Scripture Reading

Acts chapter 17

Scripture Text

‘God, who made the world and everything in it’

Acts 17:24

A couple of days ago we visited Cyprus with Paul. Now we are going to visit Athens. Maybe you have been to Athens and have seen what it is like. When I visit somewhere for the first time I like to look around. In fact I like to take a bus tour. I am sure Paul didn’t do this, as they didn’t have buses, but I think he would have walked a lot and looked carefully at everything.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Acts 16 - From a Prayer Meeting to a Prison

Scripture Reading

Acts chapter 16

Scripture Verse

Acts 16.14 Lydia - ‘The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul’

Yesterday we discovered that Paul travelled a lot to tell people about Jesus and salvation. People who do that are often called evangelists or missionaries. Today Paul travels by boat and arrives in the city of Philippi.


Sunday, March 12, 2017

Acts 13 - The forgiveness of sins

Scripture Reading

Acts chapter 13

Scripture Verse

Acts 13.38 ‘therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins’

I really like seeing new places. It’s great to visit different areas to learn about what goes on there! In Bible times people didn’t travel as much as we do, as there were no planes, trains or buses. Travelling would be by walking, on horseback or by sea. Sea travel could be quite dangerous. People often stopped travelling in winter when it got too dangerous.


Friday, March 10, 2017

The eye in the sky - is there too much surveillance?

In 2013 it was reported that the UK has some of the most surveillance cameras per head in the developed world. The surveillance commissioner, Tony Porter – a former senior counter-terrorism officer – said ‘the public was complacent about encroaching surveillance and urged public bodies, including the police, to be more transparent about how they are increasingly using smart cameras to monitor people’.


Thursday, March 09, 2017

How to rejoice in the face of adversity

In every thing give thanks – 1 Thessalonians 5. 18

Thankfulness is not dependant on our present circumstances. How will you react to things that happen to you today? Will you be thankful? 

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Fearing tomorrow - Acts 12

Suggested Scripture Reading
Acts chapter 12

Verse for the Day
Acts 12.17 ‘He declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of prison’

Imagine that it’s time to go to bed and you are feeling really tired. You want to sleep but you can’t. Lots of things keep popping into your head. Maybe you are a bit worried about something! A new job, project or someone who is threatening you! Or maybe you are excited and can’t wait for the next day to come!

Jesus’ disciple, Peter, was fast asleep one night when an angel came to visit him. He was in such a deep sleep that the angel had had to hit him on his side to wake him up.

"Where am I?", Peter must have thought? "I remember now. I’m in prison. Herod, that wicked King, locked me up and says he is going to kill me! I was a bit scared until I remembered what Jesus had told me before He went back to heaven. He said I wouldn’t die until I was old. Wow, that helped me get to sleep last night. Jesus is in control and I trust Him".  

The angel was really in a hurry. “Quick” he said, “get up”. Suddenly Peter’s chains fell off. He had been handcuffed between two soldiers but all of a sudden he was free. When Peter looked one way, the soldier was asleep, and then the other way, he was asleep as well. Amazing!

While all this has been going on Peter’s friends has been praying for him. They prayed at breakfast, in the morning, at lunch, in the afternoon, in the evening and at supper. They even stayed up all night to pray as well. It seemed like Peter was never going to be freed! He had been in prison right over the Easter holidays (the Jews call it Passover). But God heard their prayers and Peter got home safe and sound.

God can answer your prayers and will help you sleep when you are scared as well.

Suggested Prayer
Dear Father, sometimes I am scared and I want to thank you for looking after me when this happens.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Are you listening to God's voice? - Acts 10

Daily Bible Reading - Acts chapter 10

Acts 10.36 
‘preaching peace through Jesus Christ – He is Lord of all’

Cornelius was a soldier in the Roman army. He was a centurion, which meant he looked after 100 soldiers. They were part of the Italian Regiment based in Caesarea. Lots of soldiers lived in this town. The Romans used this town as their military base.


Thursday, March 02, 2017

A religious terrorist becomes a Christian - Acts 9

Daily Bible Reading

Acts 9.1-31

Verse for the Day

Acts 9.20 “Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God”

I am sure there are some people who you think could never become a Christian. When you see them you try to get out of the way. They laugh at you and make you feel silly. In a previous post we thought about how Christians behave when things like this happen.

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