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', are regular guest speakers. Contact: lifefocusministries@g.mail.com

MISSIONS MILESTONES – GOSPEL FOR ASIA’S MOMENTOUS 40 YEARS

(February 15, 2019) Michael Ireland, media missionary, shares…

Gospel for Asia (GFA) was born 40 years ago when K P and Gisela Yohannan felt the call of the Lord on their lives to minister in his name to the people of Asia.

Even before his specific calling was clear – and every day thereafter – their commitment has been to walk in the beauty of God’s holiness and trust him to direct their paths.

A humanly-speaking impossibility realised!
And Gospel For Asia has ministered in the region for 40 years. No one could have imagined in 1979 how the Lord was going to bless the Yohannans (left) and make GFA as one of the most effective faith-based organisations in the world.

Yohannan, a skinny 29-year-old back then, could have continued to pastor churches in the comparative comfort of the United States. But that was not the way the Lord was telling him and his wife to go. In fact, the way he was telling them to go was humanly impossible.

Looking back to 1979 and the founding of Gospel for Asia, K P and Gisela would acknowledge that they knew the path they were to follow, but they had no idea what marvellous and miraculous blessings the Lord had awaiting them along the journey. Here are just a few of the impossible tasks that have become milestones marking 40 years of passionately sharing the love of Christ.

1986 – Revolution in World Missions published
Originally entitled The Coming Revolution in World Missions, K P Yohannan’s ground-breaking first book was published.

  • More than four million copies of the book that accurately foretold the coming change and the need to support national workers have been distributed around the world.
  • Measured on its impact on the new pattern of world missions alone, Revolution in World Missions must certainly be numbered among the most important discourses in the history of world missions.

(more…)

YOU FIND WHAT YOU SEEK!

(February 15, 2019) Carol Round reflects on the need to know God intimately

While cleaning house recently, I tuned my TV to a local news broadcast. My attention wasn’t completely focused on the interview of a woman who writes book reviews.

I heard bits and pieces of her remarks as I dusted the furniture. It seems I don’t multi-task as well as I used to.

The following statement, which ended the segment, did grab my attention: ‘You find what you are looking for.’

Several scriptures came to mind, including Jeremiah 29:13, ‘You will see me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Seeking God wholeheartedly
In Jeremiah 29, the prophet sends a letter to the Jewish exiles in Babylon. His words to those who had been taken captive by the Babylonians were meant to comfort, to encourage and reveal God’s plans for his people if they wholeheartedly sought the Lord and fulfilled his purposes.

I thought about the times I’d drifted away from the Lord’s plans for me. (more…)

ADVANCE AUSTRALIA… WHERE?

(February 15, 2019) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, considers Australia’s future…

Recently Australia Day, January 28, resounded with the singing of our national anthem, the last line of which the first verse is ‘Advance Australia fair.’

However, in reflecting on Australia – its past and present, and thinking about its future – I sense that a more appropriate final line is not a statement but would be a question – ‘Advance Australia where?’

So the question is… As a nation where are we going? In what direction are we heading?

Before Australia had been put on maps, for over 1500 years many people had speculated that there was a large continent in the southern hemisphere for which there was no documentary evidence. Then, just over 400 years ago in 1606, the Portuguese explorer Fernández de Quirós sailed into the southern waters and, discovering that large landmass, called it La Austrialia del Espiritu Santo which means ‘The Southland of the Holy Spirit.’

The Southland of the Holy Spirit
What a great name for a country!  How wonderful it would be if the Spirit of God really had sovereign authority over this nation! (more…)

BRIDGING THE GAP

(February 15, 2019) Missionary statesperson Dr George Forbes reminds us that God needs heroes…

Believe it or not, God – yes, Almighty God – has a particular need, a big one!

Ezekiel 22:30 tells that he reveals his heart cry: ‘I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.’

Throughout the history of God’s people, both in Old Testament and New Testament times, God has sought for a man or woman to be his voice, to stand in the gap before him for the land. All too often he has not found even one.

Yes, there have been many times in decades past when someone has responded, someone who heard God’s call and obeyed it. But in our generation, our day, he is still looking for men and women who will stand in the gap for a nation, a land, a people.

Heroes of faith, lights in darkness
Some such heroes of bygone times are named in scripture… in the Old Testament and the Acts of the Apostles and other New Testament records: They belong in God’s Honour Roll!

In recent generations of Christian faith there have been other such heroes of faith… many are not listed here, but we can think of –

  • William Carey
  • Hudson Taylor
  • Adonorim Judson
  • Gladys Aylward
  • David Livingston
  • Mary Slessor
  • Amy Carmichael
  • Jim Elliot
  • And so many others…

(more…)

‘RIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH PEOPLE’!

(February 15, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage readers to go the Matthew 5:41 extra mile…

One never knows where a thought, an encounter, an incident, a new link, an observation, a happening, an event, something seen in real life, a movie, on TV or in a movie can lead to further thoughts.

We enjoy good movies, especially great old black and white film noir ones. Watched a detective one recently – 1948’s He Walked by Night – depicting how ‘real’ police-work is so often laboriously painstaking and lengthy before the offender is located let alone caught.

Highlight no 1
One interesting scene showed the entrance to Los Angeles’ city hall where some of the police work begins. This led to ‘other thoughts’ when we saw highlighted above the following great quotation…

Obviously those who chose this inscription knew Proverbs 14:34. Although the ‘old KJV’ reads ‘a nation’ the Hebrew word also infers ‘people’ as its base indicates a ‘massing.’ In any case the second part of this wise declaration and encouragement reads, ‘but sin is a reproach to any people.’

‘Coincidental’(?) highlight no 2!
Drafting this article we had zeroed in on righteousness, exalting, sin, reproach and how Solomon was talking about ‘doing the right thing’ thereby lifting up people up in their own eyes and those of others around them… whereas offensive behaviour – sin – is bad news observable by others.

Imagine our amazement when we received Jim McClure’s this month’s Teaching article Advance Australia… Where? and found he had quoted this same profound scripture! Better and clearer than we could, Dr Jim challengingly expounds these Proverbs 14 issues and the importance of godly righteousness! This is more than a coincidence, it’s timely! Do read it prayerfully.

Here we simply draw attention to the fact that it’s no wonder verse 35 is so punchy… ‘The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causes shame’ or as the Message reads, ‘Diligent work gets a warm commendation; shiftless work earns an angry rebuke.’

Favour, warm commendation. Words indicating God’s delight and pleasure. Yes we want that, not and ‘angry rebuke’ (missed blessings?), don’t we? (more…)

2019 – SURELY THE HARVEST IS VAST!

(January 16, 2019) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us that …

A heart for the harvest is essential to this great spiritual task in the world! Every believer needs a heart that is sensitive, responsive and obedient to the word of God, about gathering this massive harvest.

The Lord Jesus uses terms from the natural world of harvesting to show us the will and the way of God in the primary spiritual ministry of bringing people to Christ. As we embrace 2019, I encourage readers to think with me of such terms! They need to be burned into our memory, written on our hearts and fulfilled by the grace of God.  

Identifying important harvest terms

  • ‘The harvest is vast’
  • ‘The labourers are few’
  • ‘Do not say four months’
  • ‘The harvest’
  • ‘Lift up your eyes’
  • ‘Look on the fields’
  • ‘They are white to harvest already’
  • ‘He who sows’
  • ‘He who reaps’
  • ‘Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.’

The following three texts from the words of Jesus identify each one of these important terms above…

  • John 4:35
    ‘Do you not say, It is yet four months, and the harvest comes? Behold, I say to you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white to harvest already.’
  • John 4:36
    ‘And he who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit to life eternal, so that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.’
  • Mat 9:37-38
    ‘Then he told his disciples, “The harvest is vast, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest”.’

(more…)

VICTORY IN 2019 – ENCOURAGEMENTS FROM JOAB

(January 15, 2019) Brian Bell reflects on winning tactics against an enemy

We’re two weeks into 2019 already!

Over past months I’ve been reading and meditating on Old Testament scriptures and have been encouraged and challenged as the Lord has reminded me of encouraging  truths I can apply to my own life as I seek to victoriously move ahead in 2019 – as can the body of Christ, those believers who make up the church.

In particular I’ve been reminded of spiritual warfare and, knowing my own battles and that if the Lord tarries the enemy will continue to be active in 2019, I share some brief thoughts based on 2 Samuel 10: 6-13 that I trust may be helpful.

I won’t include a historical overview other than to say that Joab was King David’s general. In the verses I mention here, Joab has been sent by David to meet a large army made up of Ammonites, Arameans and others. The story opens as Joab approaches the place of battle… let me share from his winning tactics what I see as lessons for the church.

1) Appraisal
This thought is in the words of verse 9: ‘When Joab saw he would have to fight on two fronts…’

It’s good to be wise and not underestimate the approach and tactics of an enemy – as believers we need to remember that the ‘enemy’ is not ‘people of flesh and blood’ (as the apostle Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6:12). So, for example, people with whom we may disagree even on some point of doctrinal theology should not be seen as enemies!

We can be sure the enemy will always seek to display his best and most subtle attack formation – the word ‘appraisal’ is a way of describing how Joab sized up the situation. (more…)

2019 – ONE QUALITY MOST LIKELY TO HELP SUCCEEDING

(January 15, 2019) Ed Delph shares a helpful 2019 challenge…

As we embrace 2019 the following idea moves us forward, onward and upward!

Most everyone these days is looking for success in one way or another. Here’s a life-changer for youa spiritual and natural principle applied in a practical way.

The marshmallow test
One of my one of favourite writers, James Clear, offers this idea in his latest book, Atomic Habits. Read on…

‘In the 1960s, a Stanford professor named Walter Mischel began conducting a series of important psychological studies. During his experiments, Mischel and his team tested hundreds of children, most of them around the ages of four and five years old. It revealed what is now believed to be one of the most important characteristics for success in health, work, and life.

‘The experiment began by bringing each child into a private room, sitting them down in a chair, and placing a marshmallow on the table in front of them. At this point, the researcher offered a deal to the child.

‘The researcher told the child he was going to leave the room and if the child did not eat the marshmallow while he was away, they would be rewarded with a second marshmallow. However, if the child decided to eat the first one before the researcher came back, they would not get a second marshmallow. The choice was simple. One treat right now or two treats later. The researcher left the room for 15 minutes. (more…)

GOD THE FATHER OR FAIRY GODMOTHER

(January 15, 2019) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, challenges us to think outside the proverbial box…

‘Happy New Year!’

How often have we said that this year? And we truly hope that all the people to whom we have given this greeting will indeed have a happy year. However we know that for some this year will not be happy. Regardless of how committed to God we may be, the vagaries of life often present us with unwelcome problems, unrelenting sickness, unexpected sorrow or overwhelming disaster and no one is immune from such events.

The reality is that some quite evil people in the world prosper and some truly godly people suffer. So there is no correlation between Godliness and a trouble-free life.

Yet some Christians try to give the impression that everything is always well in their world – and they maintain this façade until some problem is encountered which often causes them to fall apart.  As we live in a fallen world, inevitably we all struggle at some stage with disturbing and destructive experiences regardless committed we may be in our discipleship or how pious we may present ourselves.   Only self-delusion can maintain the myth that all is always well in our world.

Fairy Godmothers aren’t real!
Recently I have been reflecting on two alternative ideas that Christians have concerning God – God the Father or God the Fairy Godmother.  If we think of God as some kind of ‘fairy godmother’ our conception of God will be one in which he always acts by solving all our problems and ensuring that good things always happen to us.

This is not, however, the character of Lord God Almighty who is revealed in the Bible. We know that fairy godmothers are not real! Nor is such a God real!

The book of Job gives us some telling pointers on which we should reflect. (more…)

EXPECTING FANTASTIC ADVENTURES IN 2019

(January 15, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encouragingly share…

Incredibly this is now our fourth month since journeying away from Geelong to Doreen our new territory, discovering much of its surrounds and meeting new folk… as we’ve been sharing on Facebook. Our ‘fantastic adventures’ seem to be intriguing readers who insist they look forward to hearing our latest news/who we’ve met/opportunities we’ve taken to bless strangers and been blessed in turn/ and more.

In all our these ‘adventures’ we’ve simply been allowing the Holy Spirit to direct us each new day… as we exercise our faith and trust our Lord. And things have been happening, including unusual ones! Even the other hot arvo… we blessed a young Turk who then blessed us with a bottle of needed icy cold water (no space to give all details but we now have four new friends!).

We like what Hope Flinchbaugh, our insightful good friend from Pennsylvania, wrote us: ‘It’s like you’re opening a large gift package from heaven with many little extra gift boxes inside! God is blessing your new beginning!’

Right on… and we’re expecting to make more fantastic discoveries. For years we’ve called the Christian life one big Indiana Jones adventure… one never knows what’s round the corner! But it’s God ‘making it up’ not Indy! Never a dull moment it seems as we trust and follow Jesus in faith. And we’re believing it all to continue as we embrace more of 2019.

2019! Almost two weeks gone already!

‘Where does the time go?’ becomes so much more relevant as one grows older. Life is an incredible God-given gift and, as we’ve always encouraged folk, we should all make the best of it every day! Despite media bad news daily naming new troubles in our cities and around the world, we Christians can still enjoy life and make every day count as we…

  • Adventure onward (not looking back to what was or could have been)
  • Make new discoveries (assignments, places and people)
  • Responsibly serve our God (whatever our calling)
  • Continually let the Spirit lead us (new territory, job, church, decisions, relationships…)
  • Have faith in – and trust – Jesus (essential!).

(more…)