Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Post Holiday Stress Syndrome


I'm just back from a week away and trying to get into routine again. Why is it when you come back from a break you often feel more tired than when you left to go? I don't know the answer to this conundrum but I do know the reality of it. Life is a busy business and at times we don't know how tired we really are until we take a break. 
I remember a Doctor saying, many years ago, that you can't really relax unless you take a three week break! Wow, that would be great, wouldn't it! The logic was that you unwound during the first week and then you refuelled for the next two! I can see the sense in it and am feeling that it is really true at the moment. If this is the case then having had one week off I am now ready to relax but have come back to work too early! 
So, see you folks, I'm off for the rest of my holiday!
So let's get down to business; what is today's posting about? 
It's about how to get strength when you are feeling at your weakest. If you are not following me please read on. It might be that you are still a sinner. It's not that you are any different to anyone else - 'for everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard,' the Bible, Romans 3:23. We were all born this way and need a change from an external source to make any difference to our character or behaviour. Thankfully the solution is readily available, the premium has been paid and it's offered free of charge to everyone who has the problem. Remember the bible states that we all are born sinners and therefore imperfect and incapable of this vital change without external help. 
Let me explain the universal solution to the human condition of sin that is freely available to every person who is currently alive on this planet. 
Why do we need someone to save us?
You might be asking why I said that we need someone outside of ourselves to save us? Very simply it's because we all have the same problem of sin. None of us have the moral strength or power to change what we are by nature. So into time stepped the Son of God, Jesus. The scripture says in Romans 5:6 'When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners'. The Lord Jesus Christ was the only person who ever lived who never sinned, nor could he because he was the Son of God. This is why the Bible describes him as the Saviour, the Substitute, the Redeemer and the Prince of Peace. These names describe his character and his achievements on behalf of all who believe.
This act of salvation (Jesus' death, burial and resurrection) was predicted, planned and organised down to the last detail from before the foundation of the world. The Bible is full of predictions (Christians call them prophecies) that can be checked out. Their legitimacy is self evident. One of the key statements in scripture to explain what was going on in the death of Jesus Christ is this. It's found in 1 Corinthians 15:3,4 - 'Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day'.
What you do with this information is the key to your future! Here a few words to the wise!
Time limits 
Let me give you a very sharp reality check. You don't get forever to make a choice about Jesus Christ. The only place where you can choose is here upon this earth. Again scripture states in Mark 2:10 'the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins” and Hebrews 9:27,28 states that 'And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
Choice limits 
Secondly I want you to be aware that there are only two choices. Jesus spoke about coming 'from above' or coming 'down from heaven'. He also spoke about a man who opened his eyes in hell. Please be aware that this topic is not one to be taken lightly and the choice once made, if sealed by death, is permanent.
The moment of truth. 
Finally please remember that there will ultimately be a moment of truth. When you pass the threshold of death and leave this world behind you, you will know for ever whether the Bible is true or false. I believe that you can know the truth before then. Jesus said 'I have come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly'. He also said as it is possible to know the truth and 'the truth will set you free'.
My prayer is that you will come to know God and his great salvation through faith in his Son Jesus Christ. For this to be the case it will involve a choice on your part, turning from your old life and sin and depending on Jesus Christ for eternal salvation.
If I can help you further please get in touch via the blog.
Stephen
Please bear in mind that all of these statements and beliefs are based on the Bible. If you want more information as to why I believe the Bible is trustworthy and the word of the creator, the living God, then you would need to watch one of my videos is it crazy to trust the bible? 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Justice - is our sense of justice inbuilt or created by society?





Justice - is our sense of justice inbuilt or created by society?

We now live in a society where the general opinion about whether things are right or wrong can at times be vague.

I believe that, in the Bible, God has given us clear information about what is right and what is wrong. There is a reality about things being just or unjust.
Here are some things to consider:

·      Why do children cry “that’s not fair” or “it’s not right”!
·      Is there is an inbuilt awareness of fairness in a child!
·      Why is it common for people to have a really well developed feeling for what is right and what is wrong?

The Bible gives us the explanation. It teaches that God “has written His law in our hearts”. God gave us this inbuilt awareness of right and wrong. Holy scripture (the Bible) teaches that we have a conscience. It teaches that we have an inbuilt knowledge within ourselves and a knowledge about ourselves. We automatically can clarify the reality of the rightness or wrongness of the things that we say, feel and do.

For example, most of us feel impulsively that to tell blatant lies is wrong. We instinctively know that to remove property that belongs to someone else is wrong. The Bible teaches these principles but somehow we know them to be true! Is that significant or co-incidental?

The ‘ten commandments’ teach that you shouldn’t steal, you shouldn’t lie, and that you shouldn’t take somebody else’s wife and so on. The list defines prohibitions as well as teaching positive things that we should do. Things like loving God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind (and Jesus summarized the rest by saying “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” – Matthew 22:39).

You may say to yourself, “I’m not really sure why we all know those things?” Let me come back to what the Bible says - God has planted within us an awareness of right and wrong. Just look across society for a moment. People are very interested in equal rights and equal opportunities. We are very concerned that disabled people are cared for, that ethnic minorities aren’t disadvantaged, that there is religious freedom, freedom of thought and freedom of belief. We campaign for the rights of the unborn child plus we debate people’s rights for free speech. Public behavior is monitored ensuring that people do not overreach themselves and inflict damage on other people or their property. In all of this we try to balance the rights of a society to be free and yet free of criminal activities.

These things are right. I believe we are like this in society because God has implanted in us an awareness of things that are very important to Him - a consciousness of right and wrong and of the realities of living in a way that is fair and equitable. God describes Himself as a just, as well as righteous, doing right. He is a God of light; God is love, a God who is eternal and a God who is all-knowing!

We wouldn’t know these things if God hadn’t revealed them to us in the Bible. This is why the Bible is such a key book for us to read. In fact it is God’s message to humanity and it’s an amazing thing that we have it so freely available despite some societies today that still restrict access to the Word of God.

Let me leave you with a statement from the Bible, the Bible says this, “For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”, 1 Peter 3:18. This verse is saying that if God was being just, if God was being fair He would punish is for our sin, He would penalize us, He would judge us for breaking His law because we are guilty. But the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came into the world and suffered for sins to bring us to God. He personally suffered the penalty for sin by dying for us. Three days later He was brought up back to life. His resurrection is sufficient evidence that the price for sin was fully paid. His resurrection establishes that you can take advantage of salvation. You do this by confessing your sin (to God, not a religious representative) and asking God to forgive you. You are effectively asking for God’s blessing upon your life.

I wonder if you would take advantage of a God’s offer of salvation today. Will you come to Him for forgiveness and rest upon Him for salvation? You can know what it is to be forgiven and saved.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved – the Bible, Acts 16:31


For more information please visit our webpage www.seekthetruth.org.uk


Friday, September 16, 2016

Did Jesus claim to be God?


Did Jesus claim to be God?
One of recurring themes of Jesus’ teaching was the explanation of who He was and why He was here. He didn’t leave that issue open to conjecture. To people around Him, his most controversial and confrontational statements concerned His claim to be God.
Jesus frequently spoke of His unique origin, of having pre-existed in heaven before coming into this world. To the hostile Jews He declared, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world" (John 8:23). In John 16:28 He told His disciples, "I came forth from the Father and have come into the world; I am leaving the world again and going to the Father."
Amazingly, Jesus assumed the prerogatives of deity. He claimed to have control over the eternal destinies of people (John 8:24; cf. Luke 12:8-9; John 5:22, 27-29), to have the power to answer prayer (John 14:13-14), and to have the right to receive worship and faith due to God alone (Matt. 21:16; John 14:1). He also assumed the ability to forgive sins (Mark 2:5-11) - something that only God can do (v. 7).
Jesus also called God's angels (Gen. 28:12; Luke 12:8-9; 15:10; John 1:51) His angels (Matt. 13:41; 24:30-31); and God's kingdom (Matt. 12:28; 19:24; 21:31; Mark 1:15; Luke 4:43; John 3:3) His kingdom (Matt. 13:41; 16:28).
When a Samaritan woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us" (John 4:25) Jesus replied, "I who speak to you am He" (v. 26). In His high-priestly prayer to the Father, He referred to Himself as "Jesus Christ whom You have sent" (John 17:3); "Christ" is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word translated "Messiah." When asked at His trial by the high priest, "Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?" (Mark 14:61) Jesus replied simply, "I am" (v. 62). He also accepted, without correction or amendment, the testimonies of Peter (Matt. 16:16-17), Martha (John 11:27), and others (e.g., Matt. 9:27; 20:30-31) that He was the Messiah. He was the One of whom Isaiah prophesied, "His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6).
The Lord's favorite description of Himself was "Son of Man" (cf. Matt. 8:20; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:22; John 9:35-37). Although that title seems to stress His humanity, it also speaks of His deity. Jesus' use of the term derives from Daniel 7:13-14, where the Son of Man is on equal terms with God the Father, the Ancient of Days.
The Jews viewed themselves collectively as sons of God. Jesus, however, claimed to be God's Son in a unique sense. "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father," Jesus affirmed, "and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him" (Matt. 11:27). In John 5:25-26 He said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself." After receiving word that Lazarus was ill Jesus said to the disciples, "This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it" (John 11:4). When asked at His trial, "Are You the Son of God, then?" Jesus replied, "Yes, I am" (Luke 22:70). Instead of rejecting the title, the Lord embraced it without apology or embarrassment (Matt. 4:3, 6; 8:29; Mark 3:11-12; Luke 4:41; John 1:49-50; 11:27).
The hostile authorities clearly understood that Jesus' use of the title Son of God was a claim to deity. Otherwise, they would not have accused Him of blasphemy (John 10:46). In fact, it was Jesus' claim to be the Son of God that led the Jews to demand His death: "The Jews answered [Pilate], 'We have a law, and by that law He ought to die because He made Himself out to be the Son of God'" (John 19:7). And in John 5:18 "The Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God." Even while He was on the cross, some mocked Him, sneering, "He trusts in God; let God rescue Him now, if He delights in Him; for He said, 'I am the Son of God'" (Matt. 27:43).
Jesus further outraged the unbelieving Jews by taking for Himself the covenant name of God, "I am" (Yahweh). That name was so sacred to the Jews that they refused to even pronounce it, lest they take it vain (Exod. 20:7). In John 8:24 Jesus warned that those who refuse to believe He is “I am” will perish eternally. Later in that chapter "Jesus said to [His hearers], 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am'" (v. 58). Unlike many modern deniers of His deity, the Jews knew exactly what He was claiming, as their subsequent attempt to stone Him for blasphemy makes clear (v. 59). In John 13:19 Jesus told His disciples that when what He predicted came to pass, they would believe that He is “I am”. Even His enemies, coming to arrest Him in Gethsemane, were overwhelmed by His divine power and fell to the ground when Jesus said "I am" (John 18:5-8).
All of the above lines of evidence converge on one inescapable point: Jesus Christ claimed absolute equality with God. Thus He could say, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30).
Thus we can conclude that "in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9), and we can worship Him accordingly as "our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus" (Titus 2:13).

So if Jesus is God my question to you is - what are you going to do about it. He died to save you from your sins but he will come again as Judge in a coming day.

The advise of scripture is "Prepare to meet thy God"



For more information text the word INFO to 07747 101352 

To access podcasts and videos explaining the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk


This site will give you access to Bible Teaching Audio's and Video's as well.


All posts have the aim of pointing people to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour or to aid Christian growth and development.




Thursday, September 15, 2016

Nobody's Perfect!! is that true? - STT Bible Media Podcasts



I’ve been thinking recently about characters in the news, public figures. It’s sad to notice that so often people we once held in high respect end up having some part of their character exposed as being defective. Think of Lance Armstrong. A man who was outstanding and respected. He had overcome many struggles, difficulties and problems in life and yet there’s a whole area of suspicion over him in terms of being drug-fuelled in his ability to win sport.



Jimmy Saville, a man that who was given great respect in many ways and many opportunities to affect people’s lives and then you think about what he really was like.

There are others. I resist from mentioning names but it’s disappointing at the regularity of the downfall of those who were once respected.

My simple point today on this is. When we look at men and women we see people who are flawed and who will inevitably let us down.



BUT when you come to the life of Jesus Christ He is exemplary. The Bible says He is holy, He is harmless, He’s undefiled, He is different. The Bible says that He is the Lamb without blemish and without spot. The Bible says about Jesus that “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth” (1 Peter 2.22 – the Bible). The Bible says in Him was no sin. In fact the Lord Jesus actually refuted the accusations of men and said to them directly, point blank in their face, which of you convinces me of sin?

And that brings me to the point, of why is this true? It is true because He is God become man, born of a virgin, so He wouldn’t carry human guilt and sin. Miraculously conceived but naturally born. The Son of God (Jesus) came into the world (God was manifested in flesh) and the reason He came was so that He might deal with sin by his sacrificial death on the cross. He paid the price by suffering and taking the just judgment of God for sin. The purpose was that unjust people, like us, could be forgiven. The Bible says “He suffered the just for the unjust, so He might bring us to God”.
Jesus is just, we’re unjust, He’s right, we’re wrong, He’s pure, we’re dirty. He took our judgment, He paid the price, so that we could have forgiveness.

You might look at the great characters of society, politics and sport, scratch your head and say well they don’t seem to come up to the mark. But I want to tell you today about one who does. He will never fail nor be discouraged the Bible says. If you trust Him, if you confess your sin to Him (not to a priest nor a church or an organization), if you come to Him confessing in prayer your sin and asking for cleansing He will forgive. “He saves to the uttermost those that come unto God by Him”.

Look at  ‘Seek the Truth’ or Stephen Baker on YouTube, and look at some of the videos there and make use of them. We trust that they will be helpful. Thanks again for reading this.

For more information text the word INFO to 07747 101352 

To access podcasts and videos explaining the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ visit www.seekthetruth.org.uk


This site will give you access to Bible Teaching Audio's and Video's as well.

All posts have the aim of pointing people to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour or to aid Christian growth and development.