Author: Life Focus Ministries

Who are we? Dr Robert McQuillan is recognised as an inspiring encourager, counsellor and Bible teacher ministering meaningfully on the prophetic edge. Robert and Maureen, also a gifted communicator with an uncanny insight into knowing 'where people are at', delight to bless and encourage God's people... and touch the hearts of the unchurched in the marketplace. Contact: connectingwithyou333@gmail.com

CLEAN YOUR HOUSE AND RENEW YOUR SPIRIT

(June 7, 2019) Carol Round encourages us to ensure our ‘inner house’ is clean…

Psalm 51:10 TLB speaks of ‘being cleaning’ – being filled with clean thoughts and right desires.

I like a clean house. But, as I grow older, it seems to take me longer. But what used to take me three to four hours on a Saturday morning, now takes all day – and then some. I attribute it to my wandering mind, or should I say forgetfulness.

Here’s how it works
I start in one room, usually the master bath, with intentions of working my way from north to south.

However, while wiping the bathroom mirrors clean, I remember something I need to do in the kitchen, like thawing a frozen chicken for my supper. After taking care of that task, I see something else that needs doing while I’m there.

Then I notice the trash is overflowing, so I remove the bag and deliver it outside to the garbage can. (Some of you can probably relate).


By the time I return to the master bath, I’ve wasted time. It also requires me to refocus on my original task. Now where did I put that bottle of Windex?

Cleaning out the unnecessary
In the process of a recent house cleaning, I decided to go through cabinets, drawers and closets to rid myself of things taking up space. I’m blessed with an abundance of storage in my house. I’m also a coupon clipper and redeem them to stockpile items I need before the coupons expire. (more…)

FIVE C’s OF PENTECOST

(June 6, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share serious kingdom thoughts/concerns about some Pentecostals today…

Pentecost Sunday this weekend – the church’s Easter celebration now seems so long ago!

Oh we can never forget the real Easter story… of a Saviour who loved us so much that he freely gave his life for us at Calvary, paying the price of sin, offering everyone full salvation and a way back to our Father God!

Scripture speaks the love that flowed that from Calvary’s hill …

  • ‘He [Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world’ (1 John 2:2).
  • ‘If you continue in the teaching of Christ, you will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son’ (Romans 8:10, 17).

But… now it’s almost Pentecost Sunday! We need to remember, to joyfully celebrate that the good news of God’s love continues beyond that extraordinary Passover event we call Easter.

Why? God had a further free gift to give to all who believe in his Son Jesus – the outpouring of his Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 2 to enable us to not only praise him in tongues but to serve him in powerful (dunamis) ways and touch the world!

Yet, as shared on Facebook last weekend we had found it dismaying that we hadn’t at that point come across any adverts or articles mentioning this coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. Not even the Pentie church we attended last week highlighted it! Hmm! Let’s look at what we’ll term The 5 C’s of PentecostCarpeting, Correction! Celebration, Cenacle and Challenge. (more…)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHURCH!

(June 6, 2019) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares about ‘the dynamite’ of Pentecost

The Christian Pentecost is sometimes called the ‘Birthday of the Church.’  While some question the accuracy of that description, it nevertheless is a helpful reminder of a unique day in the life of the church.

Almost 2000 years ago a group of about 120 people (Acts 1:15) began a journey that was to impact the whole world. As that group of Jews who were followers of Jesus met to worship and celebrate the Jewish festival of Feast of Harvest (aka the Feast of Weeks), they were not expecting that what they were about to experience would change them, the church and ultimately the world!

The first Christian Pentecost was a hugely significant event. Luke recorded the event in this way: ‘Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them’ (Acts 2:2-4).

That is what happened, but why did it happen?

Peter explained it this way, ‘Exalted to the right hand of God, he (Jesus) has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear’ (Acts 2:33).

Pentecost was not just a random spiritual revival-type experience for those first Christians – it was a fulfilling of Christ’s promise in John 14:16-17. And it bonded those Christians together as a new community of faith.

The day of Pentecost is significant for many reason, such as:

1. Presence
In the midst of that group a mighty wind began to blow and flames of fire appeared.  In this startling and memorable way God demonstrated his presence with his people. They certainly would never forget those symbols of his powerful presence. (more…)

SUDDENLY – POWER FROM ON HIGH!

(June 3, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, reflects on a very special day in church history, one being celebrated by many churches this Sunday…

Suddenly… that word which indicates something out-of-the-blue! Such as what happened to those first followers of Jesus Christ on that special Day of Pentecost over 2000 years ago!

Before the Day of Pentecost came round in the year that Jesus died at Calvary and rose from the dead three days later, and before he ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9), he ordered his disciples not to depart from Jerusalem – but to wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about’ (Acts 1:4).

The incredible gift Jesus promised

  • That they would receive power when God’s Holy Spirit fell on them.
  • That they would be his witnesses not only locally but across the world!

What a bold promise the Lord Jesus made in Acts 1:8: ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’

And so they waited! Then, we read in Acts 2, the Day of Pentecost arrived… that annual Feast of the Harvest, one of Israel’s three major yearly celebrations, lasting only one day. It was on this particular feast day something powerful was going to happen in the plan and purpose of God!

Note the wording that opens chapter two… that ‘they were all together in one place.’  The ‘all’ this time was different from the group in the first chapter; it was the apostles and other disciples who had joined them to celebrate the Day of Pentecost.

This gathering would be unique in both Israel and the early church’s history because it was believers in Jesus who gathered in the upper room of a particular house on this particular day of celebration. It appears likely that the number was about 120 believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 1:15). And they obviously did not even dream what lay ahead! (more…)

THE COST AND THE CROWN OF DISCIPLESHIP

(May 16, 2019) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, solemnly opens ups on a reality that many Christians tend to either ignore or are unaware of…

Around 67 AD the apostle Paul was in a Roman prison awaiting execution under the order of the Roman Emperor Nero who intensely hated Christians.

As he waited for the sentence to be carried out, he wrote to Timothy, ‘The time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing’ (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

About ten years earlier Paul had written in his letter to the Christians living in Rome, ‘I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world’ (Romans 1:8).

Personal witnessing
In his commentary The Epistle to the Romans the late theologian Karl Barth made the following comment on this Romans 1 verse: ‘The resurrection has proved its power; there are Christians – even in Rome.’ Barth was explaining that Paul was rejoicing and thanking God because the message of Christ crucified and resurrected had penetrated right to the heart of the Roman Empire, to Rome itself, where Christians were living and worshipping.

How amazing it is that within about 25 years from the resurrection of Jesus the good news of his redeeming love and gifts of forgiveness and eternal life had spread ‘all over the world.’ Without the help of mass evangelistic rallies and without the modern aids of radio, television and Facebook the Christian gospel spread like a fire through the simple and effective method of personal witnessing.

And so the Christian message continued of spread for the following centuries and in 311 AD the Roman emperor professed his Christian faith.

But …
1. The successful penetration of the Christian message throughout the world came at a cost!
First of all, the greatest cost of all, the suffering and death of Jesus. (more…)

DON’T LET FEAR DOMINATE YOUR LIFE!

(May 14, 2019) Carol Round encourages us to move on in life unafraid…

On April 29, I found myself huddled in a closet with my dog. Tornado sirens were blaring for the second time that evening. I took deep breaths, and then exhaled prayers for safety, not only for myself, but for everyone who was in the path of the storms relentlessly barrelling across several states that day.

According to the news, at least 18 tornadoes were sighted across Oklahoma this past Monday, leaving behind destruction and flooding with the torrential rains that also fell. Two people were killed and 22 injuries were reported. While there have been deadlier tornadoes and destruction, living in a state known as tornado alley can lead even the most fearless person to shelter when the sirens go off.

When fear governs your life
I’ve overcome most of the fears from my past – the ones holding me hostage, the ones keeping me from stepping outside of my comfort zone and the ones denying me a joy-filled life.

Before a tornado hit my previous house in Claremore in 2016, I never feared stormy weather. Growing up in Louisiana, I survived multiple hurricanes during my 16 years living there. I can’t recall being fearful. We always had plenty of advance warning to prepare or evacuate.

Although I know God watches over me, I can’t stop racing to my hidey-hole when I hear the warning sirens. Even though I prepare in advance with pillows and blankets piled on the floor of my closet, the sound of approaching danger rules my human heart, which threatens to jump out of my chest. (more…)

I HAVE SET BEFORE YOU BEFORE YOU AN OPEN DOOR

(May 14, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, encourages us to enter every fruitful door of gospel opportunity…

In Revelation 3:8 (MKJV) Jesus declared: ’I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it. For you have a little strength and have kept my word and have not denied my name.’

He know our works too!

Jesus knew the situation of the local church in Philadelphia, their faithfulness, their testimony to people where they worshipped and where they lived.

And he told them that he had set before them an open door that no one could shut. A door of opportunity, witness and fruitfulness. He did this because he knew their works; he had watched and seen their faith at work and knew they could achieve even more.

I feel it is appropriate to apply this challenging word of encouragement given by the Lord to that early church to every Christian today, to every church because…

  • He knows the works of every one of today’s churches.
  • He knows the works of every servant of God.
  • He rewards faith, hope and love.
  • He trusts those who trust him.

There are doors and there are doors
Some are basic, providing simple access to a room or place. Others are designed to be beautiful and even, magnificent. Others to secure valuables, treasures, money, gold ingots crown jewels and the like. (more…)

WHAT’S GOING ON, LORD – THOSE ‘SO…’ INCIDENTS

(May 14, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan reflect on one of those unexpected ‘what’s going on’ times…

So… a fortnight ago we had such great interest in something we shared briefly on Facebook. As it links with articles we’ve posted recently about being bold and flowing with the Holy Spirit, we’re running it here too… but with some additional comments.

Really it begins as ‘a Robert incident’… as you’ll immediately realise (He may begin tongue-in-cheek as it were but do note that it’s an encouragement to rise above our circumstances, die to self, and bless others as we allow the Spirit to use us) –

So… For me that Wednesday was a case of ‘So…’ hospital incidents – ‘So…’ followed by other ‘so-es!’ How often people loosely use that little word ‘So…’ as they begin a tale! Actually it’s a word that has several applications – one, when used loosely as a sentence-initial to the words following, uniquely makes the connection more conceptual than grammatical.

‘So…’ conceive (imagine, vision) the following scenarios…

  • So… after much fiddling around, several phone calls, cancelations/reschedulings I finally get confirmation of a booking for a minor operation/biopsy – but I must be chauffeured!
  • So… my bro-in-law, Life4KidsKen Gardiner, kindly escorts me to a hospital some distance away, one I’ve never been to before.
  • So… the receptionist says, ‘So we’re running quite late, Robert. So you’ll be here for some six to eight hours.’ Duh! I think (but with a weak ‘Christian’ smile at the receptionist).
  • So… as Maureen is expecting me home earlier than that time frame, I ask Ken to phone her the latest.
  • So… Ken goes off to phone – and also to the local shopping precinct intending to chattily converse with strangers in his usual ever-so-affable way, finding openings of bringing Jesus into the conversation.
  • So… meantime back at the ranch (the waiting area) I relax with several others. But suddenly, unexpectedly, I begin to feel queasy with troubling chest palpitations and some pressure.

(more…)

TAKE UP YOUR CROSS!

(April 23, 2019) Carol Round shares an after Easter reflection…

‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’ wrote Paul in Galatians 2:20 (ESV).

Can you feel his pain? With eyes closed, can you imagine the sounds, sights and smells of that bleak Friday, when our Saviour and Lord was nailed to the cross, not for his transgressions, but for ours?

Have you ever sat quietly, considering what he did for you and become overwhelmed by the thoughts of his sacrifice? Did you ever ask why he willingly gave up his life for yours?

Not my will, but yours
‘And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Take this cup away from me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will”’ (Mark 14:36).

Jesus’ words, as well as his actions, the night before his crucifixion reveal a life of obedience. He knew the pain he would face, not just physically, but emotionally, mentally and spiritually. He accepted willingly the cross he would bear for all mankind.

What Paul understood
The apostle Paul understood the sacrifice made by his Saviour. However, it took a mighty act of God –being struck blind on the road to Damascus – to open the eyes of this persecutor of Christ’s followers.

After Paul’s life-changing experience on that dusty road, he was baptized and instructed in the Christian faith. The most determined of the apostles, Paul suffered brutal physical pain, persecution, and eventually martyrdom. What was Paul’s secret to enduring a lifetime of hardship for the sake of the gospel?

We can do all things
Paul’s secret can be ours, too. In Philippians 4:13TLB, he says, ‘. . . for I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.’ (more…)

DARE TO BELIEVE!

(April 23, 2019) Mike Shreve encourages us believe we are more than conquerors because of Jesus’ resurrection.

It matters little if you have had great failures or problems in your life! You are an heir of resurrection life – and that means coming back from the dead.

You may have gone through tough times spiritually, to the point where you almost felt dead mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. But remember the bold statement Jesus made at the gravesite of Lazarus: ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live’ (John 11:25). 

So, dare to believe! No matter what you have been through, reflect on what we’ve just celebrated over Easter and dare to say, ‘I believe…

  • In the cross;
  • In the blood;
  • The price that was paid;
  • That the stone rolled away by the power of God;
  • That Jesus arose victorious;
  • That he conquered death – and because he did…
  • I can be “more than a conqueror” by claiming the present-tense benefits of the One who arose victoriously for me.’

Grasp these present-day benefits of Jesus’ resurrection
Most believers view the resurrection of the Lord Jesus either through a historical or a prophetical lens!

They tend to look backward to Jesus’ victory over the grave or look forward to the resurrection of believers at the conclusion of this age.

But seldom do believers grasp present tense benefits that have come to us as a result of this spiritual conquest… here are some powerful ones: (more…)