(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…)
(March 6, 2020) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, brings a pre-Easter reminder that God loved the world…
‘O let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for you [God] shall judge the peoples righteously and govern the nations on earth’ (Psalm 67:4).
When this short psalm was written and then sung in Israeli households and other places, the truth of God’s love for all nations, as well as his eternal purpose for them was expressed well.
But… Israel did not often consider the nations. In fact, many of them were enemies of Israel. They were not thought to be worthy of God’s favour or blessing and in Matthew 23:15NLT Jesus denounced Israel’s history of making gentile converts to Judaism – ‘What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you cross land and sea to make one convert, and then you turn that person into twice the child of hell you yourselves are!’
Since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, people have gone their own way, in sinful rebellion and self-centredness. Even after God gave Abraham his favour and made his descendants his chosen people, giving them the Ten Commandments, religious leaders added burdens of religious rites and ceremony that became impossible to bear.
There is only one way to enable the nations to be glad and sing for joy. And that is God’s way.
(February 10, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage making the best of our ‘time’…
With Australia still going through its bushfire disasters and coronavirus, this latest concerning virus … and other bad news from around the world catching our attention each night on TV news, some are wondering if time is running out for humankind and planet Earth, if ‘the end’ is indeed nigh.
Despite doomsday bad news harbingers the truth is that no one knows the exact time of Christ’s return! So many so-called prophets have been proved wrong and dates keep being reworked. Oh Jesus will return… but there is still so much to do relating to getting the good news out into a world of lost souls!
And there’s a quote in itself about time… ‘The clock is ticking and time is running out.’ One can think of several other well-known quotations about time… Google indicates that it can give us at least 8544!
Scripture has several too… for example Ecclesiastes 3:1 GNB, ‘Everything that happens in this world happens at the time God chooses.’
God’s ‘big clock’
God’s time… Genesis 1:3-5 GNB tells us ‘God commanded, “Let there be light” – and light appeared. God was pleased with what he saw. Then he separated the light from the darkness, and he named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening passed and morning came – that was the first day.’ (more…)
(February 4, 2020) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, reminds us of Jesus’ ongoing challenge …
As I keep myself abreast of world of missions, missionaries and their activities – and follow world news reports, I’m reminded that the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) must be uppermost in our minds. That the theme of missions – sharing the gospel to the whole world – must never be forgotten or downgraded in our minds, nor in any church program.
In fact this vital charge given by the Lord Jesus to the early disciples was by extension to everyone who converts to Christ ie… to the church.
This means that every church member, every follower of Christ, has a responsibility to assist with this great task.
‘Missions’ is not only for…
- Those called to life service as missionaries (international workers are they now called)
- Church planting missionaries
- Bible teaching missionaries
- Linguists and –
- What’s been termed ‘Specialised Missionaries’.
Although much has been achieved by mission organisations and missions over the centuries, the reality is that there is still much to do! Yet the labourers – missionaries – are still too few and money for missions is too limited!
Advancing the kingdom in 2020
As a major task given to the church, missions – the Great Commission – must be fulfilled by the church. (more…)
(January 24, 2020) Robert McQuillan encourages continued prayer and caring for Australia in this time of need …
The bushfires ravaging our nation, the total devastation of towns, businesses, homes and forests; the loss of livestock and nature’s animals – and sadly some lives including brave firefighters, two from the States – has seen Australia foremost in the news recently and even declared a war zone.
In short, Australia is currently in great need! And I’m reminded of Psalm 136, that psalm that rings loudly of God’s unceasingly love. Verse 25 (Message) declares: ‘[God] Takes care of everyone in time of need. His love never quits!’ That’s so precious, so reassuring to those who trust in God.
Worldwide caring prayer
It’s been great to hear from friends overseas sincerely enquiring about our safety – and we can advise that we’re not in the fire danger areas. Their caring becomes even more precious when they say that they’re praying and caring not just for us only but for our nation, that the bad news on TV has touched their hearts! (more…)
(January 15, 2020) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, reminds us of Jesus’ challenges and warnings …
We’re already almost halfway the first month of 2020! Christmas is over… and whatever gifts we were given are parts of last year’s history.
However, thinking of gifts given reminds me strongly of the greatest gift ever, that of God’s gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16).
What a glorious free gift from God, all because of his love for us (Ephesians 1:4) and his incredible grace (Romans 5:15)! Unworthy though we are, we have received so much!
As I meditate on God’s goodness, I recall afresh just how much we’ve been given. And I’m also reminded that as disciples of Christ it is our responsibility to share this good news with others – as required by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20, those scriptures known as the Great Commission.
Much given, much required!
In Luke 12 Jesus told a parable about responsibility that speaks of blessings to those who have been given much when the master returns… but also of warnings. (more…)
(December 9, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, asks a challenging question …
2019 is almost gone! Christmas – a time when people are expecting good things and encouragements by way of cards and gifts – is only a couple of weeks away.
But beyond meaningful cards and gifts, churches and Christians will be celebrating that the heart of God and the gospel message that speaks of the greatest gift of all – God’s gift of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
It’s every Christian’s responsibility to share the good news of the gospel. And, as the Holy Spirit leads, we can find opportunities to share the good news of the real reason for the season. We may not be a missionary overseas but even here at home we can fulfil the great commission in our local suburbs!
The babe of Jesus Christmas would grow up to become the Saviour of the world, calling many to follow him and share the good news of the gospel.
(November 14, 2019) Michael Ireland, media missionary, shares about an unusual adventurous missions duo…
Richard Ellerington, an English church leader known as the ‘Ginger Vicar’ has embarked on a 500-mile trek along the Camino route with a surfboard attached to his back, to raise awareness of the growing global Surf Church movement.
The Ginger Vicar is the first pilgrim ever to walk the Camino with a surfboard strapped to his back… for all 500 miles.
Richard Ellerington with his surfboard
Vicar Ellerington, originally from Bristol, Somerset will be hiking the famous pilgrimage over a 35 day period and will be the first to do so with a surfboard in tow. (more…)
(November 13, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, challenges us to be involved in God’s business – now…
‘And this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world as a witness to all nations. And then the end shall come’ declares Matthew 24:14.
Too often we are prone to look for the end before we have really considered the allotted task – and before we have really done enough that is realistic about witnessing to even one nation, let alone all of them.
Nevertheless the end is ultimate! But between the beginning and the end there are many factors, including time, season, opportunity, and God’s enabling.
The certainty is that the gospel must be proclaimed in the entire world, nothing less, as a witness to all nations not one less, and then and only then, will the glorious end come. Then and only then…
- Christ will appear in the clouds
- The dead in Christ will rise
- We (who are still living) will be caught up and together we will meet our Saviour Jesus in the air to be forever with him!
The biggest business on earth!
Meanwhile we must be about our Father’s business. With his guidance, enabling and power, there is much work to do that must be done! (more…)