How should we report about Justin Bieber, Kanye West and other cases of well-known personalities who are considering the Christian faith?
His arms are open wide, waiting for you. You'll not find a more secure and loving place.
I bet everyone's heard of the sinking of the Titanic. It's not often that such a huge tragedy happens: 1,513 people dead and hundreds injured.
Many thought that for those involved in the tragedy life had lost all meaning, and so it was.
However, a few years later, one of the survivors, NORRIS WILLIAMS, won a gold medal at the Paris Olympics in 1924. Noris had learned that a race finishes at the tape and not before; he had survived a shipwreck to become a winner!
Few have fallen as low as the Apostle Peter. He went so far as to deny the Lord, saying to those near him that he did not know Jesus at all. He blasphemed and swore he had nothing to do with that Nazarene who had been sentenced to death.
And when Jesus looked him in the eye a few moments later, Peter cried bitter tears; he had failed the greatest test. He had let his saviour down just when he most needed to be counted.
Peter crept away in despair, believing that God would never forgive him. So he threw in the towel and went back to fishing. His life no longer had any meaning. He had given his all to follow Jesus, but when push came to shove he had denied him and walked away.
He would never be the same again. After his denial each shadow reminded him of his fear; every sound became an echo in his ear which said,
'You'll deny me three times.' He couldn't sleep well; he'd spend the nights sobbing, remembering his Master, the one who had walked the lonely path to death because Peter had denied him.
Three days later, some people came to find him. They were his friends, some of Jesus' followers. Peter thought they'd come to tear him off a strip but that wasn't the case.
They were ecstatically happy! They told him, 'Jesus has risen from the dead and has been seen by the women and he's said he's coming back. He wants you to join us again!' (Mark 16:7).
Peter couldn't believe his ears. He ran off, bursting with joy, seeing for himself that the body was no longer in the tomb. When he saw Jesus that evening (John 21) he just didn't know how to make things up.
So he went to work, catching some fish and getting everything ready. This guy's become a Mr Do-it-all!
But Jesus wisely asked him a single question, three times: 'Do you love me?' Three times - just like the denial. It was then that the penny dropped and Peter understood he'd been let off, forgiven. The Lord will never ever deny us!
I wonder if you've ever denied the Lord? Surely you've disobeyed him at some point? Are you going along a path that's not the one he's marked out for you? 'Put away your false gods and return to the Lord'.
You think you've gone too far? Are you frightened of God? His arms are open wide, waiting for you! You'll not find a more secure and loving place