Author: Life Focus Ministries

Who are we? Dr Robert McQuillan is recognised as an inspiring encourager, counsellor, mentor to young ministries 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 miistries... and touch the hearts of the unchurched in the marketplace. Contact: connectingwithyou333@gmail.com

RELAX IN TROUBLING TIMES!

(April 07, 2020) Maureen McQuillan encourages …

It seems that many times in life we go through a spiritually dry period where we’re fighting difficult circumstances, sicknesses, doubts, fears, other personal troubles – and perhaps our great enemy, Satan.

The reality is that often the real problem is that we’re fighting in our own strength!

Trusting God in storms
And so we become weary spiritually, physcially,emotionally and even mentally. Much energy is expended with few satisfying results. This is when we need to recall some of the many scriptures which assure us that the Lord will fight for us – if only we will let him!  Eg –

  • Exodus14:14 – ‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’
  • Deuteronomy 1:30 – ‘The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you.’
  • 2 Corinthians 10:4 – ‘The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.’

Admittedly Paul talks of fighting… but this is in respect of the ‘good fight of faith’ (1 Timothy 6:12) – not one of a personal, draining struggle, but of really relaxing by trusting God in the midst of whatever storm that we’re facing. That is to say, trusting God to bring us through whatever the storm may be, even this current covid-19 pandemic.

 In other words, when faced with difficulties, seemingly insurmountable problems or whatever, we do as scripture urges – we hand the battle over to the Lord who is stronger and wiser than us. Then, and only then we can trust him for the victory… in his timing. (more…)

LOCKDOWN!

(April 6, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, reminds us of Jesus’ victory over his ‘lockdown’…

In recent weeks nation after nation have been imposing lockdown measures on their citizens to help prevent the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

Some of those measures have frustrated and, in some cases, angered a lot of people worldwide.  Yet most have responded stoically and have accepted that while, frustrating and depressing, lockdown is necessary for the life and health of millions of people worldwide.

‘Lockdown’ isn’t some new method!
‘Lockdown’ is also a method of control that throughout history national regimes and political ideologies (for example, communism and extreme racist or authoritarian systems such as Nazism) have imposed as a technique of political control.

What a relief and what joy when the lockdown is over! This is what the world is hoping for: Christians are praying for!

This week I have been reflecting on another ‘lockdown’ that happened 2000 years ago and how great has been the joy ever since when it was over.

When Jesus died on the cross on the first ‘Good Friday’ and was placed in the tomb, his followers were greatly distressed and grief stricken and some were even bitterly disillusioned as they were convinced that he was the promised Messiah – but his death appeared to put an end to that hope. (more…)

THE EIGHTH QUESTION

(April 05, 2020) Robert McQuillan shares a fond memory – and brings an Easter missions-centred challenge…

Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes’ Easter article (link below) boldly declares that the heart of every missionary’s message is – Jesus! And goes on to share aspects about that powerful name.

His title reminded me of when we travelled to South Korea back in 1994 to join some two thousand AoG delegates from around the world to celebrate the historic First World AOG Congress in Seoul, hosted by Dr Yonggi Cho, then AoG World Fellowship Chairperson. I also had the privilege of sharing Sheraton Hotel rooms with Dr Andrew Evans, then AoG Australian President.

Each day of the congress, held mainly at Yoido Full Gospel Church, saw outstanding speakers glorifying God, his Son Jesus and the all-powerful Holy Spirit. Later I’d be reporting several superlative quotes by AoG leaders, such as –

  • Andrew Evans: ‘Jesus is the king of glory – everything and everyone is under his throne.’
  • Thomas Trask (USA): ‘When we move under the dynamics of his Spirit and power, it is in order that Jesus is glorified.’
  • Colton Wickramaratne (Sri Lanka): ‘Jesus – we need to be beautified from everything that contaminates.’
  • Peter Kuzmic (Croatia): ‘The greatest power in the world – the God who can change history.’
  • Errol Bhola (Guyana): ‘A big God can do things in a big way.
  • Prince Guneratnam (Malaysia): ‘We need to believe that there is the possibility of our nation – indeed the whole world – coming to know Jesus.’
  • Loren Triplett (USA): ‘Jesus said we ought to pray “Your kingdom come”.’
  • David Yonggi Cho: ‘The sin of greatest concern to me today is disbelief in Jesus.’

World’s largest prayer meeting!
Inspiring yes, but what happened on the Monday after Sunday’s several Holy Spirit anointed services was mind-blowing, so incredible that one would later resort to clichés like: ‘You would have had to been there to experience it for yourself!’ So many Christians from all over had gathered to pray!

Can you image over one million people gathering on the huge, runway-long Yoido Plaza to pray for the world? (more…)

FILL-UP ON GOD’S WORD!

(April 04, 2020) Carol Round suggests a Christian angle on ‘stocking-up’ in these times of panic-buying…

Depending on what time of day you go to the grocery or big box store, you’ll find many shelves are empty or almost empty. Some individual’s carts are overflowing.

Discussing this panic-buying trend, a friend and I agreed people were stuffing their pantries and shelves in fear of not having enough.

Shouldn’t we Christians be filling-up on the word of God instead, allowing scriptures to soothe our fears?

After Jesus fasts in the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights, he’s hungry (Read Matthew 4). Satan challenges him to turn the stones into bread if he is the Son of God. Jesus replies, ‘It is written: “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’

Every Word From the Mouth of God
If you’re like me, this new ‘normal’ in our daily lives has us asking questions. We’re desperate for answers. Daily updates we read or hear about concerning this pandemic can lead to two reactions: panic – or peace.

We must make a choice.

To panic? Clearing out grocery shelves and hoarding for ourselves, or to trust God – that he is our provider and we accept his word? (In Philippians 4:19, we’re reminded that ‘God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus’).

Which will you choose? To find peace, we must spend time filling-up on the word of God, instead of filling up our grocery carts to overflowing. This should also be a time for self-reflection. (more…)

WHAT MAKES THINGS BREAK UP LIKE THEY DO?

(April 04, 2020) Brian Bell asks the question above

In my mid-teens I was studying for what was then an ‘O’ level in English Literature. In the process of that study I had to read William Golding’s book Lord of the Flies.

If you have read the novel or are familiar with it from some other source (such as the film version) then bear with me; however, for those who are not familiar let me give you a very brief summation…

The novel is set on an unknown, unnamed island on which a plane, carrying a group of choir boys, has crashed and none of the adults survive. It then describes how the boys form separate groups and their behaviour begins to disintegrate.

Two of the boys are Ralph and another referred to as ‘Piggy’ – as the process of disintegration takes place, Piggy asks Ralph the question, ‘What makes things break up like they do?’

It was this question of Piggy’s which at that time in my life led me to write an essay basically on the topic ‘God is Left Out. This was selected for publication in the school year book but its assertion that our brokenness resulted from leaving God out did not, so far as I recall, impress my English teacher, who was rather sceptical.

And so here I am, some 50 years later and ‘What makes things break up like they do’ is still a relevant question!

Why? The world is still disintegrating, presently in the grip of Covid–19. And so I share some brief thoughts on ‘break up’… (more…)

JESUS –THE MISSIONARIES’ MESSAGE

(April 2, 2020) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, brings an Easter reminder that God so loved the world…

Admittedly the world is going through trying times such as never encountered before! But we Christians know that our God is real, loving and caring for those who know and love him. And… that Jesus is still the final and absolute answer to the greatest need off all – the way back to God and full salvation!

As I reflected this year on Easter as a special time on the Christian calendar, I thought immediately that the message of all true missionaries is Jesus.  He is the reason that we celebrate Easter. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the greatest evidence of the love of God for humanity that could ever be.

I first heard this message in a little Salvation Army meeting in July 1949. That was the day I knelt at the penitent form in that simple chapel and surrendered my life to God. That was the day I called on the name of Jesus and was saved.

That is now seventy years ago and the joy, the peace I found that day is richer and deeper than ever!

Powerful hope!

  • The celebration every Easter by followers of Jesus centres on him.
  • And why? God’s gift to the world was his only Son!
  • This is the good news that has been declared not only at Easter, but all year every year, for centuries.
  • This is the event that changed the world, bringing fallen, sinful humankind a hope that shines brighter every year!

(more…)

IS DIVINE PROTECTION GUARANTEED?

(March 25, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, challenges misquoting of scriptures in these troubling times…

Unquestionably these are exceptional times of national and international stress. Sadly the response of so many people to that stress has been significantly less than commendable!  Selfishness and hostility – especially on the ‘battlefield’ aisles of supermarkets – has been on shameful display.

Without doubt this has been a distressing and troubling time and Christians are inevitably asking such questions as:

  • Why has God permitted this epidemic?
  • Why doesn’t he stop it?
  • Is he using it to accomplish some greater purpose?
  • Is this evidence that we are living in the End Times? and then of course…
  • Can Christians avoid contracting the virus? (the BIG question so many Christians are asking).

Hyper-faith distortion
Let me first state that I firmly believe that God miraculously heals many people today. I have both personally experienced and witnessed it. It is appropriate to ask God for healing.

But I do not believe that it should be a Christian’s unalienable right to be protected from illness or tragedy as neither the biblical testimony nor that of Christian history substantiates that position.

In the last few weeks many Christians have been placing posts on social media asserting the ‘correct’ position a Christian should take regarding the Coronavirus (or any) worldwide viral infection.

From a hyper-faith position there are those who are telling us that the Bible affirms that God has given solid assurance that his children will be protected from such epidemics and that we need to embrace those promises, fully place our trust in God and the authority of his word and claim deliverance from those diseases that threaten us.  I have read such affirmations eg ‘I believe the Lord will protect you and that none of your family will die before their time and that you and your family will live to be a blessing to many, many people!’ (more…)

WE HAVE A REDEEMER, A PASSOVER LAMB OVER US!

(March 16, 2020) Hope Flinchbaugh shares encouragement in these days of virus panic…

Daily news from around the world regularly reports people panicking over the COVID-19 virus… the resultant sicknesses, deaths, sports events and shows being cancelled, businesses closing, insufficient stocks of various essential and other grocery items in stores… and more.

For Christians it’s a time not to be panicking but to recall we have protection as we trust in Jesus our redeemer and his power.  And as I do so afresh I’m reminded of something that happened back in 2002.

I had accompanied my father – Reverend Glenn Keenan – on one of his missionary trips, this time to China. In meetings arranged by my dad I would play the piano and sing.

One evening Dad drew this chalk picture for the Chinese people.

As Dad drew the picture I played and sang, then he spoke on its meaning. These are the Chinese characters (pictures really) for the word ‘redeemed.’ The characters mean ‘Lamb over me’ – the top is a lamb and the bottom character translates ‘me.’

Isn’t that beautiful? ‘The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, over me.’ Jesus is over every Christian!

Power in the blood of Christ
Just as we left China in October 2002, the SARS epidemic broke out – face masks everywhere, panic setting in. (more…)

THE END OF HUMAN CIVILISATION?

(March 8, 2020) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, sounds a battle cry…

In keeping with its objective of vigorously propagating ‘politically correct’ ideas and globalist theories, on March 3 the ABC published an article titled ‘The human race is not special. So why do we think we’re immune to mass extinction?’ (Link: Global-warming-mass-extinction-psychological-impact).

The article was written by Geoff Dawson who is described as ‘a psychologist and Zen Buddhist teacher.’ On the bases of these incontestable (?) credentials he writes, ‘A report written by Paul Gilding, a fellow at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, and commissioned by the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, put forward the view that there is a “high likelihood of human civilisation coming to an end in 2050” if action is not taken to curb climate change.’

Then, after stirring up the panic warning of mass extinction in 30 years’ time and standing on what he clearly considers to be the triple high grounds of intellectual enlightenment, godless Zen Buddhism and the pretence of profound compassion (particularly for panicked children), he continues… (more…)

REALLY?

(March 07, 2020) Charles Schwab shares a reflection on this month’s Encouragement article, declaring that every Christian is a minister so let’s cut through the challenges…

I appreciate Dr Robert and Maureen McQuillan’s article Just Hanging Around encouraging Christians to be active in their local churches.

And as I read it I felt a quickening to share my long-term convictions about Christians taking up their God-given capacities to be vessels of God towards a whole range of needs in the lives of others.

But there can be challenges to Christians – ordinary Christians – when it comes to being mobilised in ministry. We will come to these challenges in a moment.

Highlighted biblical truth
Since the Protestant Reformation (1517 AD – 500 years ago) which highlighted the biblical truth that justification being made right with God is a consequence of faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord (Romans 5:1), various other biblical truths have been resurrected from relative obscurity.

One such truth is that every believer has one or more areas of ‘ministry’ or service to which the Lord has called and is equipping them. We don’t get to ‘call the shots’; God determines and in such a way that we are not consulted!

The notion that ‘the priest is the minister and does everything that is central in the life of the church’ had its ‘back broken’ in the Reformation. (more…)