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

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF A SIGN

(May 21, 2022) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, reminds us a great truth regarding our almighty God…

There are almost 40 miracles of Jesus recorded in the four gospels and John mentions seven of them. The miracle of the feeding of the 5000 is so significant that all four gospel writers mention it… but there are some notable differences between John’s account and that of the others.

What a crowd gathered on the hillside that day. In John 6:10 we read that there about 5000 men. In his account, Matthew’s adds that there were also women and children present (Matthew 14:21).

Jesus and His disciples had gone there initially to relax and enjoy some privacy. Can you imagine, therefore, the stress the disciples would have felt when this great crowd arrived? Despite this ‘inconvenience’, we are told by Luke that Jesus preached to the crowds and healed those who were sick (Luke 9:11).

That day an amazing thing happened. With five small loaves and two small fish Jesus fed the hungry crowd and when they had eaten their fill, there was a surplus of twelve baskets of pieces of the five loaves. John wrote, ‘The people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did’ (6:14).

When Matthew, Mark and Luke referred to  miracles, they used the Greek word dunamis whichrefers to an act of power and force and it is the root of our English word ‘dynamite.’  

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FIVE RELIABLE REASONS TO REJOICE THROUGH UNEXPECTED TEARS

(May 18, 2022) Mama Lava shares personally and deeply from her heart…

I got down on my belly, forehead to forehead with him. I petted him and spoke softly to him, reassuring him and telling him how much he was loved. I texted my son and husband to come quick, but I felt his last breath on my cheek before they got downstairs.

I am surprised how hard this hit me. Makali’i (AKA Maka) had just turned 12 and because of his breed, pug mixed with Japanese Chin, he’d already exceeded lifespan expectations and had been slowing down. I knew this was coming, yet is anyone ever really prepared?

(Photo right: Maka, on our first snowy walk, in our new hometown)

As sad as today has been, I have found five reliable reasons to rejoice through the many – oh so many – unexpected tears.

1. God’s Timing
‘There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die…’ (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a).

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DOES JESUS RECALL ‘GOOD FRIDAY’ EVERY YEAR?

(May 18, 2022) Maureen McQuillan responds to a query by her husband Robert…

Hi my darling Maureen!

This is a bit unusual… a question from me, not some concerned Christian sister or brother as is normal. But, as I know that you so often have immediate insights into troubling questions or queries, I thought I’d ask you (Hoping that someone else may have had the same thought over Easter as I had and they’ll receive a blessing too).

Okay then, here it is… as you’re only too much aware, I was hospitalised over the recent Easter week and weekend in respect to an urgently needed major operation I had and, although the op was successful, praise God, I was so very sick the next few days as I recuperated. I couldn’t eat the great hospital food, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t even talk to you over the phone and you couldn’t visit me due to restrictions!

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FIVE BURDENS YOU DON’T NEED TO CARRY

(May 15, 2022) Richard Winter reminds us that…

It’s often been said that it’s been a hard life and there have been many tough times. Well, l guess most of us can resonate with that… after all, who hasn’t lost a little sleep through worrying?

We’ve all carried burdens real and unreal… and, if we are honest, we have worried most about some things that never materialised. So here is the word of God that applies to our worries –

Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you… and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ (Matthew 11:28–30).

A yoke is something Jesus would have made in a carpenter’s shop. It’s a wooden frame joining two animals (usually oxen) at the neck, enabling them to pull a plough or wagon together. The function of the yoke is to make the burden easier to carry.

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‘MAN IN WHITE’ APPEARS TO MUSLIMS, BRINGING SALVATION

(May 14, 2022) Mark Ellis shares another good news incident…

During Ramadan, CBN News detailed some notable stories from the last few years about how Jesus has been revealing Himself to Muslims in dreams and visions.

In one story, a Middle Eastern missionary named Yazid (*name changed) shared about a man visited by Jesus every night for a month, asking him to write down what He said.

God at work in the Middle East
McLean Bible Church’s Pastor David Platt interviewed the missionary during The Gospel Coalition’s Something Needs to Change simulcast’ and Yazid had stated that ‘God is moving inside the Middle East with dreams, visions, and personal visitations.

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‘A MAN NAMED EZRA’

(May 07, 2022) Brian Bell challenges us to be a worthy servant like ‘a man named Ezra’ …

With these four almost inconspicuous words contained in chapter 7 of the book of Ezra, we are introduced to the character of Ezra.

The book of Ezra tells us about the return of Jewish exiles from Babylon, beginning with those who returned with Zerubbabel and at a later time with Ezra. Ezra and the other exiles who returned to Jerusalem with him, got there about 13 years before the return of Nehemiah and other exiles, described in the book of Nehemiah.

The primary action carried out by the returning exiles as described in Ezra, was the reconstruction of the temple led by Zerubbabel, Ezra’s role is what I would describe as leading ‘spiritual renewal’ or ‘revival’ while the focus of Nehemiah was the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls which is replete with spiritual applications.

I believe both Ezra and Nehemiah could be said to be men who were ‘directed’ by the Holy Spirit, while those words are not specifically used when speaking of them, I believe it is borne out in the scriptural descriptions given of them. In this meditation I will share only some thoughts about Ezra.

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LIVING LIFE ON PURPOSE

(May 05, 2022) Carol Round challenges us to live a purposeful life…

A recent devotional I received from Dr David Jeremiah via email was titled Cross Purposes. He cited an October 2021 editorial in The Economic Times titled ‘Life Has No Purpose.’
 
Quoting the writer, Dr Jeremiah shared the following: ‘The most significant thing to remember is that life is not a business. It does not exist for any particular end. It exists for the sheer joy of existing. There is no goal as such.’ 
 
Dr Jeremiah added, The writer blasted the concept of purposefulness, saying life is supposed to be nothing but sheer joy, playfulness, fun. It’s not to fulfill some purpose, just to be fulfilling within itself.’

They’re not completely selfish, but they have no intention of surrendering their life to God’s purpose. As Dr Jeremiah adds, ‘That’s a fair description of how much of the world lives.’
 
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, ‘The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honourable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.’

1 Peter 2:9 better describes our purpose for being here… ‘But you are not like that, for you have been chosen by God himself – you are priests of the King, you are holy and pure, you are God’s very own all this so that you may show to others how God called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.’
 
Why are you even here?
If you’ve ever wondered, ‘Why am I even here?’ or ‘What is my purpose in life?’ you’re not alone.

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HOLY – EMPHASIS HOLY – COMMUNION

(April 08, 2022) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to a friend troubled by certain ‘pushed’ teaching…

Dear Dr Robert

I always delight to take communion. But many times our ministers talk so much about receiving ‘other blessings’ beyond being forgiven of our sins, rather than solely remembering and honouring God and the Lord Jesus Christ for His tremendous sacrifice of paying the debt on our behalf. It seems to me that they just keep pushing other blessings, not what communion is all about. As it’s almost Easter, please comment on this. Kelvin.

Dear Kelvin

Yes, you’re right… Easter is a special time to Christians when we should remember and honour our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. But then we should always do this. You’re right too about communion… it’s a momentous time when He should be honoured for all He has done, especially securing forgiveness of our sins, and not other blessings alone being constantly pushed (or ‘constantly hammered’ to use a current catchcry).

Communion… Holy Communion, The Eucharist, Last Supper, Lord’s Supper, The Sacrament. Holy Sacrament or whatever name your church may use for this special service is indeed a very precious time.

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STUPIDIEST QUESTION EVER ASKED!

(April 07, 2022) Maureen McQuillan shares that Jesus truly cares…

When good friend Hope Flinchbaugh (Nehemiah-God’s Call to Build the Wall 2) enquired last month how Robert was going after several sleep-interrupted nights, he shared that he was now sleeping right through each night.

Hope then sent this note: ‘It sounds like you’ve learned to sleep in the boat when the big storm is on you!’ Robert had replied along the lines of ‘Not as restful as Jesus was… but I fully trust in Him.’

With various storms of life round us at this time, one needs to be at rest by knowing and trusting our Lord. Meditating on being at rest by trusting Jesus had me reflecting on Mark 4… Jesus asleep in a boat when a huge storm hit.

Jesus needed rest Himself
Verse 35 tells us that one evening Jesus had requested His disciples to take Him across the lake by boat.

He’d already had a very busy day teaching kingdom truths to crowds lined up along the shore. Now He was not only tired (Yes, ministry can tire us!), but maybe His mind was on the next day’s even busier one of supernatural ministry… finding and freeing that poor Gerasene man bound by many evil spirits, travelling dust roads, raising a little girl from the dead, and encountering that desperately troubled woman who would dare to boldly touch the hem of His robe believing to be healed, not to mention more criticisms (Mark 5).

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FINDING JESUS WHILE STUDYING FOR HIS BAR-MITZVAH

(April 06, 2022) Charles Gardner shares…

An innocent question about Jesus from a primary school classmate set a 10-year-old Jewish boy from London on the road to discovering his Messiah.

Gerry Cohen, now 63, looks back on the monumental effect this has had on his life, and why he is still passionate about the need for fellow Jews to find Jesus for themselves.

Searching
In an interview with Jane Moxon for the CMJ (Church’s Ministry among Jewish people) website, Gerry recalled that time, 53 years ago, when his friend Nigel asked him: ‘What’s Jesus when you’re Jewish?”

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