Author: Life Focus Ministries

Who are we? Dr Robert McQuillan is recognised as an inspiring encourager, counsellor, mentor to ministries and Bible teacher ministering meaningfully on the prophetic edge. Robert and Maureen, a gifted communicator with an uncanny insight into knowing 'where people are at', delight to bless and encourage God's people and ministries... and touch the hearts of the unchurched in the marketplace. Contact: OnlinerConnect@gmail.com

STILL MUCH TO DO!

(January 25, 2022) Maureen McQuillan encourages all who feel unsure about the future… 

A lot of good folks at this time of worldwide troubles have been experiencing disappointments… not being able to do certain things, go places, catch up with family and old friends, getting hit unexpectedly with covid-19 (but, praise God, had been vaccinated and are getting through), job losses, short of ready finance, suicides, troubled minds… and so on.

And so it’s a joy when one hears good news stories, especially of God answering prayer and blessing in various ways. Mark Ellis GodReports regularly shares such testimonies, eg… Muslim Woman Dreams About Man in White With Bleeding Feet. And we ran missionary to Romania David McGuire’s excellent report Grateful for 2021 Successful Outreaching but Moving Ahead Into 2022 With Vision.

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However, one also hears of Christians who have had bad life experiences and my ‘heart goes out to them.’Some are so troubled that as they hear negative news reports from around the world, wonder what’s next, or think ‘the end is near: Is Christ coming back very soon?’

Encouragements from God’s word
To troubled saints, I would say this: Be encouraged! Be blessed by scriptures such as the following…

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CALLED TO SERVE? ENCOURAGEMENT NEEDED, NOT DISCOURAGEMENT

(January 24, 2022) Robert McQuillan challenges…

Most of us are ‘moving on’ into 2022 believing that ongoing tragedies such as covid-19 won’t hinder us from enjoying life, and doing whatever God wants us to be about. Whether our church is a ‘Zoom’ one – as many churches are now called – or with limited attendance, individual members have needs, as do those outside the traditional four walls.

Previous years’ catchcries such as ’Moving On’ or ‘Moving Forward’ or ‘Moving Ahead’ are being echoed afresh. This is good, for we all need such inspiration so as not to be living in the negatives and disappointments of the past couple of years.

And it’s been interesting to hear of pastors – backed with good sermons and challenges – encouraging their people to be involved in growing their church, that it’s all not just up to leadership.

But… I’ve also heard some sad outcomes! Take this story for example…

Discouragement
Jon
(not real name… but, interestingly, means ‘gift of God’!) responded to such a challenge some time back to help his church move on, move forward.

Seeing a great need among the men, he became burdened and very enthused to play his part by running a men’s group… but sadly, to his surprise he wasn’t greatly encouraged by his pastor (who had just delivered a challenging message about being involved!).

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FIVE WAYS GOD GUIDES YOU

(January 23, 2022) Richard Winter challenges Christian commitment for 2022…

Well, it’s been a challenging and tiring time with the likes of covid-19! I’m not sure what has tired you the most but personally I’m tired of zoom meetings! Tired of making YouTube videos! Tired of not being in church like we used to be.

But… I’m also a realist and recognise that the world and even the church has changed a lot!

We may get some old things back – but it will never be the same way as before. Possibly at no other time in our lifetime, we – you and I – are being called to evaluate our commitment to Christ and His church (think local church, not just universal church) and how we will propagate the Christian faith in a world that is actively hostile to our beliefs and worldview.

Reaching ‘our destination’
Everyone is lost until saved by Jesus… so how will we accomplish the task of reaching everyone for Jesus?

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DOES GOD ‘THINK’ ABOUT THINGS?

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(January 23, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to an unusual question…


Dear Pastor Maureen

This will probably seem to be a silly question… but I’m asking it anyway. I was watching a good TV family movie the other night and in it a little boy was saying his prayers. Cute. But as he was asking a special blessing on his dad and mum, he finished off this way: ‘Will you please think about it, Lord?’ Well, it had me wondering if God has to think things through as we do. What do you reckon? Sarah.

Hello, Sarah

How unusual a question indeed! But I think I know which movie you mean. Sounds like one we recently watched in which the above happened and, for a moment or two, with smiles we thought as you did.

Well then, I’ve never been asked your question before but, on reflection, a few thoughts come to mind (See what you think)…

Firstly, we believe that as God is Almighty God, He knows everything, indeed knows everything already. His word (the Bible) is His mind and His word doesn’t change.

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YES, STILL PRAY FOR HEALING

(January 21, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this believer who asks for prayer for a healing…

Dear Dr Robert

I know from your writings over the years that you strongly believe in healing. Would you please pray for me…? I don’t have Covid or anything like that but I’m having trouble with what I’ll call my ‘gut.’ Can we still believe for healing by God these days… these troubled days of so many people being hospitalised? Yours, ‘Clarke.’

Dear Clarke

Firstly, my apologies! It’s been a couple of weeks since you contacted me and I’m only getting back now (in writing that is! But I have prayed for you!).

If you’re following our Onliner you’ll know that this month we’ve once again pointed out that even though we may be Christians washed in the blood of our Saviour, Jesus, we still live in this fallen world. And, unfortunately, that means we may be subject to sicknesses. To be truthful, that one reason I’m only getting back now… I’ve had to rest back a bit myself!

But, to cheer you on, Clarke, the good news is that, yes, we can still pray for healing (and for other things!) and expect answers from our great, caring God!

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2022? FIND A NEED AND FILL IT

(January 18, 2022) Wayne Swift shares on realistic matters…

I can recall entering 2021 with a sense of optimism regarding the impact of covid-19. I thought we were through the worst of it. It didn’t turn out that way.

As we begin 2022, I simply don’t carry that same optimism but am rather realistic about our prospects. In an investment sense you might say I have downgraded expectations!

Plans are tentative and my hopes focus more on wellbeing than on activities. I do think of the health system and the many faithful people working under extreme pressures, they need our support, patience and prayers.

1. The church’s task is uncompromised!  
What I am optimistic about is the God’s sovereignty and our ability to persevere. Jesus’ words remain the same, I will build my church.’

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DON’T ASSUME!

(January 18, 2022) Jerry Wiles challenges us not to assume that someone is a Christian because they attend church or work at a Christian college!

In the early 1990s I was introduced to the work of Living Water International. At that time, it was estimated that 1.2 billion people around the world were without access to clean, safe drinking water. (That number has been reduced to approximately 770 million today).

That was an eye-opener for many of us who have grown up with indoor plumbing and safe water at the turn of a tap. We in the modern Western world enjoy many benefits and privileges, that we often take for granted. The more time we spend in other parts of the world can give us a greater appreciation for the things we sometimes take for granted. 

It can help us overcome some of our false assumptions. While spending some time in a communist country a few years ago, a young lady asked me, ‘Is it true that in your country, there is a church in every village?’

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FAITH IN A TIME OF FEAR

(January 15, 2022) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, shares insights regarding 2022 confusions and questions…

We have entered into a New Year with many Old Year questions unanswered and many more being asked. There is a lot of distress, deceit and confusion in today’s world. 

This isn’t new.  About 2600 years ago Habakkuk was confused and disturbed by many of the things that were happening in his world which was evil and violent and full of fear. He was confronted by the political, social, moral and religious collapse that was taking place around him and he could not make sense of it.

Habakkuk was totally baffled and began to question if God really cared. Where was God while all this injustice and corruption and disaster was happening in the world? If God was truly loving and caring, why was the world falling apart and why wasn’t God doing anything about it?

So he addressed God directly. In Habakkuk 1:3 we read, ‘Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.Habakkuk was calling out, ‘Where are you, God?’

Have you ever felt like that? I have! As we read the newspapers and watch TV and witness the corruption, deceit and violence that is intensifying worldwide, we can identify with Habakkuk’s appeal to God.

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FIVE REALITIES

(January 14, 2022) Robert and Maureen McQuillan challenge…

Many times Jesus spoke about truth: the classic scripture is that precious one of John 8:32, ‘Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’ – relating to the gospel message.

And when He was before Pilate, His inquisitor asked Him emphatically, ‘What is truth?’ (John 18:38). Well, the Greek word here is aletheia – and as Dr Jim McClure pointed out in his November 2017 Words of Life (#G7), ‘can be translated as either “truth” or “reality.”’ (Link: Truth and Reality-Aletheia)

Ah… reality. A dictionary meaning of this word is ‘the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them.’

There’s been times when I (Robert) have been able to work in two particular incidents to sermons to get a reality, not a notional point across. One is kind of humorous yet serious, the other clearly serious. In fact, they’re both quite serious! I’ll share the humorous one first…

A guy is running very late for church… let’s call him Kristian Kristianson. As he reaches the door, he stops abruptly because he finds the devil standing outside crying his eyes out. Astounded, but with concern, he thoughtfully asks, ‘Why, what’s wrong, Mr Satan?’

Between tears, the devil sobs, ‘Why it’s those Christians in there! They blame me for everything!

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MUSLIM WOMAN DREAMS ABOUT ‘MAN IN WHITE’ WITH BLEEDING FEET

(January 08, 2022) Mark Ellis shares a good news testimony…

A young refugee woman from Syria recently awakened from an unsettling dream.

In the dream, Hala (*Name changed for security reasons), a Muslim, saw a man in white. She also noticed her feet bleeding and feared the bleeding feet might portend illness or some other trouble.

‘When I woke up, I was afraid,’ she told Christian Aid Mission (CAM). ‘Was something bad going to happen to me?’

Recognising Jesus
Hala had visited a church several times at the invitation of a local missionary, so she recognised the man in white in her dream as Jesus of Nazareth.

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