Reachout

FORTUNETELLER’S DAUGHTER KIDNAPPED BY MUSLIM FOUND JESUS

(September 11, 2020) Eva Carmichael shares a Central Asian testimony…

Anim* remembers the day when an old fortune teller told her mother that Anim had the gift of sight. ‘My mother and grandmother were both fortune tellers,’ Anim tells, ‘so my mom wasn’t surprised when the gypsy confirmed it.’

What did surprise her was the old woman’s declaration that Anim would pay a high price for this gift if she wanted it. The fortune teller said that if she continued to use this gift, it would cost Anim the life of someone she loved. Yet her mother decided it was worth the price.

Not long after, when Anim was 12, her father disappeared under very strange circumstances. ‘I decided right then that I didn’t want to follow in my mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps. I would not try to speak to the spirits if they would demand the life of a member of my family in exchange for their help,’ Anim said.

Kidnapped bride
Later, Anim studied law and found a job she enjoyed. However, after working for a while, she met a young man who wanted to marry her and, in Central Asian tradition, kidnapped her to make her his bride. (more…)

CHOSEN TO BE ACTIVE SERVANTS

(September 6, 2020)
Editorial note:
Last month Dr George Forbes, former director of Australia AoG (ACC) World Missions, passed on to his heavenly home and great eternal reward. Internationally recognised as a missions’ statesperson, he was most certainly actively and passionately committed to faithfully serving Christ and to reaching the lost, even up to the end!

George Forbes’ heart was always for those who don’t know the Lord, not only in his preaching, teaching and writings but even for those around him in his final months in a care facility. Still strongly trusting God he would even take every opportunity to pray for any there who asked for prayer and hope… as well as praying in his daily devotions for missionaries that he’d encouraged and inspired over many years.

Honouring Dr Forbes we re-run his last article, praying that readers will be deeply challenged…
______________________________________________________________________________________

CHOSEN TO BE ACTIVE SERVANTS – SEVEN HIGHLIGHTS
We continue to hear of more Covid-19 cases around the world, of troubled people, even Christians, and of increased suicides and crime… and Jesus Christ is the answer to peoples’ needs.

I would share these seven vital points…

1) Worldwide opportunities to actively reach the troubled
We’re still in a time of desperation worldwide – but with God-given opportunities to share
Jesus Christ’s gospel of hope whenever, wherever we can!
Even in aged-care facilities.

I repeat what I been declaring recently – if ever the world needed hope it is most certainly today and Jesus is still the answer! But I add this challenge… today we (every Christian) are his chosen ones to witness Christ!

2) Old Testament active chosen ones
Throughout Israel’s history, chosen men of faith heard God’s voice –

  • Men whom God called and appointed.
  • Men of faith who pleased almighty God, creator and upholder of all things.

(more…)

ACTIVE CHOSEN ONES

(August 16, 2020) Dr George Forbes, former director of Australia AoG (ACC) World Missions, brings an August challenge…

As I wrote last month, we continue to hear of more Covid-19 cases around the world, of troubled people, even Christians, and of increased suicides and crime.

We’re still in a time of desperation around the world – with God-given opportunities to share Jesus Christ’s gospel of hope whenever, wherever we can!

I repeat what I declared last month – if ever the world needed hope it is most certainly today and Jesus is still the answer! But I add this challenge… today we (every Christian) are  his chosen ones to witness Christ!

Old Testament active chosen ones
Throughout Israel’s history, chosen men of faith heard God’s voice –

  • Men whom God called and appointed.
  • Men of faith who pleased almighty God, creator and upholder of all things.

Abraham and Noah stand out among them. And of course there were others such as Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Gideon, Joseph, David, Elijah, Elisha… and the prophets who also heard God speak to them personally – and acted! (more…)

MORE THAN EVER THE WORLD NEEDS HOPE!

(July 17, 2020) Dr George Forbes, former director of Australia AoG (ACC) World Missions, shares an important reminder…

Daily we learn of more Covid-19 cases not only in our own nation but around the world. One learns of troubled people, even Christians, and of increased suicides and crime.

Yes, it’s a time of desperation and madness around the world – but also a time of opportunity to share the gospel of hope for the world!

If ever the world needed hope it is most certainly today and Jesus is still the answer!

Remembering…
In my lifetime I’ve heard the declaration that the gospel of Jesus is the hope of the world voiced by several preachers all around the world. And I too, I confess, have preached many times that ‘the hope of the world is Jesus.’

And here in this article I would refer to a scripture of the apostle Paul’s that I’ve often quoted – Ephesians 2:12, ‘Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.’ (more…)

CALLED TO COMMUNICATE

(June 28, 2020) Dr George Forbes, former director of Australia AoG (ACC) World Missions, shares…

I’ve always been an observer of missionaries and their activities, and of what happens in nations where missionaries serve – and of churches and individuals’ reaction (or the lack of it) to missionary needs, especially of prayer backup and financial support.

With the coming of the expanding computer age assisting our programs, correspondence and training of new missionaries, I would observe all this too, availing myself and staff of the IT world benefits. And over the past several years since my ‘retirement’ I’ve become an observer of the new generation of missionaries.

Working at Communicating
Missionaries have long shared the love of God… it’s the basis of their ministry! Since my retirement I observed a new generation of committed missionaries, prepared by credible mission schools training, boldly following in the footsteps of honoured predecessors who had set the pace over centuries of missionary enterprise.

And as long as I was able I would work with my generation in my church and community, praying for the younger generation and cheering them on. I strongly believed – and still do – that some of this generation will make their mark for God in the fulfilling of the Great Commission among all nations.

Communicating God’s Love Today
We’re in a time of unprecedented pandemic tragedy worldwide… in the midst of all that’s going wrong and thousands of people needing help, the 1983 song People Need the Lord is so relevant today. (more…)

LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

(May 11, 2020) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, shares Pentecostal insights…

May 31 is Pentecostal Sunday, a perfect time to remember that Jesus promised his disciples just before he ascended to heaven that he would not leave them as orphans: He assured them that he would send the Holy Spirit to be with them and in them (John 14:14,18).

The power and reality of this truth is life changing for all who experience it. Jesus said that we must be born again. This is when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us.  We are born into a new life that makes us a child of God.

The Spirit desires to lead
Because he is in us, the Holy Spirit can lead us. That is a dimension of life only possible for born again believers. His leading is dependent on factors that quite often affect our lives. I think of some of the factors, such as…

  • Busyness
  • Hurrying/rushing around
  • Worldliness
  • Sin
  • Missing devotional time
  • Lack of prayer.

The Holy Spirit is sensitive to our behaviour, our ability to hear his voice, as well as our choices in life. He is ready to guide us in the path of God’s favour and blessing; however, he will not push or compel. (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…)

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…)

LET THE NATIONS BE GLAD!

(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.

(more…)

TIME RUNNING OUT?

(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…)