INNER LEADINGS

(September 14, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this query about trusting the Spirit …

Dear Dr Robert
I know you assured me that the Holy Spirit is within me and can lead me and help me be an achiever. Here’s the thing at the moment… I have to make a major decision about taking on a new staff member. She seems to be the right person; says she can introduce new profitable clients and so on. But I have this feeling – that’s the only way I can describe it, a strange feeling – that although everything seems okay, I should not take her on. Could this be the Holy Spirit warning me… just like you’ve said that there’ll be times when one feels to either do something or not? Am I making sense? Simon
(not real name).

Dear ‘Simon’

Of course you’re making sense. Yes, as we commit everything, including our business life to the Holy Spirit each day, there will be times when he will warn us not to down a certain road, to reject something… just as easily as we can feel it’s okay to accept something or do something new.

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FELLOWSHIP – κοινωνία  – KOINONIA  

September 13, 2021) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, shares…

‘Fellowship’ is a word that Christians often use. It is one of the great New Testament words but is has been used so much to describe such a variety of ‘church meetings’ that it has become devalued. 

What is ‘fellowship?’  Is it just a term given to differentiate Christian groups from non-Christian groups – Men’s Fellowship, Women’s Fellowship, Youth Fellowship and so on? 

Or, does the New Testament use the word in a different way? That is what we are going to explore.

The Greek words κοινωνία and κοινωνέω
In the KJV the Greek noun κοινωνία (koinonia) has been translated by the words…

  • Fellowship (12 times),
  • Communion (4 times),
  • Communication (once),
  • Contribution (once), and
  • Distribution (once).

The verb κοινωνέω, ‘to share’, has been translated to partaker of, communicate and distribute. It is clear that it is a much more significant word than is suggested by the way we frequently use it.

Before it became a New Testament word, it was used in secular Classical Greek generally as a business word to indicate, for example, partnership in a business. 

It was also used in the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, to translate the Hebrew word חבר (chaber), which means to bind or join together in any context.

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FULL STEAM AHEAD!

(September 9, 2021) Caloundra, Qld, Mercy Ships shares more good news…

Firstly, it’s full steam ahead for the new Global Mercy!

As we speak, a small crew on board is sailing to Belgium for the ship’s final equipping. Soon, the decks of our new ship will be filled with volunteers from all corners of the globe, ready for the journey of a lifetime.

Could you assist them in some way? Find your purpose at mercyships.org/makeyourmark.

Liberian reasons to celebrate
We’ve got big reasons to celebrate in Liberia, where our latest class of Biomedical Technician students just wrapped up their course!

Over the span of eight weeks, this group has learned how to use and repair biomedical equipment to strengthen the quality of care in their hospitals.

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ABIDING, RESTING AND TRUSTING IN JESUS

(September 9, 2021) Geri B encourages remaining in Jesus the vine…

Continuing along my earlier article on the theme of the grape vine (Abiding in the Vine)…

Jesus makes it clear that the Father wants his children to be fruitful and tells us that… ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing‘ (John 15:1-5).

Remaining… to bear much fruit

  • If we remain (abide) in him, we will do just that – bear fruit.
  • And if we bear fruit, the Father will prune us so that we will be even more fruitful.
  • But the warning comes to us twice in this short passage… remain in him, otherwise you cannot bear fruit, you can do nothing!

Not only is it the Father’s desire that we bear much fruit by abiding in him, but there is that oft-missed warning that unless we remain in him, we cannot bear fruit, nor can we do anything of true value!

With all the gifts we have been endowed with there can often be a tendency to take ownership and believe that we can use them whenever and however we so choose… but the truth of it is, we are simply stewards of the manifold gifts of God and to really see lasting fruit from what has been entrusted to us, we must take our direction from the Lord – we must abide in him.

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IRRESPONSIBLE, THOUGHTLESS AND DISRESPECTFUL!

(September 6, 2021) Maureen McQuillan shares a concern…

Not a response to a question this month, but simply my thoughts about someone overseas that we were informed made the following comment – ‘Well, I’m not getting covid-19 vaccinations! It’s all a hoax. If God wants to take me home to heaven by covid-19, then that’s okay with me.’ Straight off, I thought along these three lines…

1. How irresponsible!
That’s what I immediately thought. Would this person (Let’s call him ‘Mr X’) walk out onto a busy road without looking right or left because of an attitude of ‘Well, If God wants to take me home to heaven by a terrible car crash, then okay.’ I doubt it!

2. Thoughtlessness regarding others!
Scripture is very clear… Jesus commanded us in various passages such as Mark 12:33 to love our neighbours. Leviticus 19:16 is very strong: ‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbour’s life. I am the Lord.Paul wrote in Romans13:10 ‘Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.’

But people like Mr X have no consideration for others and local government requirements! If such careless people catch covid-19 there would be concerned relatives, not to mention already overpacked hospitals and flustered, over worked medical staff. A major concern with the current Delta strain is that people in our communities (especially those who won’t wear masks) could catch this virus unknowingly and be spreading it before it’s caught on. And oh what covid-19 sick hospitalised people are suffering! No wonder we hear of many pleading from their hospital beds that we be wise and not only wear masks but get vaccinated as our governments require!

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WORDS OR ACTIONS?

(September 5, 2021) Mama Lava shares this challenge…

Are you a word wrangler?

I am. Words intrigue me! In fact, a compliment like ‘Well said!’ is high praise which can make my whole day. That is why, when I recently read somewhere that ‘Well done’ is better than ‘Well said’, it really started me thinking.

Words or actions?
Both are critical for communication. Consider the artful quote by Samuel Beckett that says: ‘Words are the clothes thoughts wear.’

Words get our thoughts out of our heads and into an arena where they can be tangible to others. Words have the power to affect the world with ideas, sentiments, and information.

Actions accomplish what words can only suggest. They reveal true motives. ‘Actions prove who someone is, words just prove who they want to be.’ (Author unknown)

As much as I adore words, I can think of at least three reasons why ‘Well done’ is better than ‘Well said.’

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IN GOD’S GOOD TIME

(September 5, 2021) Samuel Thomas (* Note: Not real name but good friend of Dr Robert and Pr Maureen McQuillan) praises God…

As I reflect over the last few years, I recall being advised by quite a few folk that I was too old (I’m now 64) to work any longer, especially due to medical issues.

What? I thought, believing that Jesus Christ wants me to share his good news until I die… especially still in the work force!

I had been a senior consultant with a multinational company specialising in sales and customer service for about 10 years. Prior to this position I was an executive, real estate consultant and franchise owner for over 20 years.

My faith in Jesus Christ has been front of mind and spirit for most of my life.

Refusing to accept the negatives
I refused to think that Jesus Christ wanted me to quit job hunting and sought advice and prayers from a few Christian friends.

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GODLY ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!

(September 4, 2021) Maureen McQuillan reflects…

It was Francis Bacon, who served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England, who said, ‘Knowledge is power.’

Never underestimate the power of experience. Most importantly, never underestimate that key word in trusting God and living the Christ-life – attitude! Not only is attitude a key word in our Christianity, but it’s also a major one. And why you ask? Well, let me explain by linking attitude with experience, the knowledge of what we’ve learned.

Experiences
Admittedly certain experiences aren’t pleasant… yet we still learn from them. In fact many times experiences are incidents that have taught us something from which we learn and gain life values. Such as the ‘hard lesson-teaching experience’ I had some years ago when…

Oh, let me quickly give you the background, We had just moved into a new home and I decided to save us some expenses by doing some painting. As quite a few of you know, as well as ministering, I’m also a designer/decorator and I had decided to save finance by painting the inside doors myself – all 22 of them! So, Robert’s study first and, paint and brush in hand, up the ladder I go and begin painting. But, twenty or so minutes later… Crash!

Foolishly I had walked backwards off the wrong side of the ladder!

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WHY DO WE COMPLAIN SO MUCH?

(September 4, 2021) Carol Round challenges us about grumbling…

Most people probably aren’t aware of how much they grumble!

James had something to say about complaining – ‘Friends, don’t complain about each other. A far greater complaint could be lodged against you, you know. The Judge is standing just around the corner’ (James 5:9Mge).

I used to laugh when my dad used that expression, which originated, according to some sources back to medieval times when people had to be hung with a new rope to ensure it didn’t break. The idiom became a satirical way of chastising those who tend to complain even about the most trivial things.

Thus, the irony of complaining about the roughness of new rope around the neck when one should be really worrying about the much more important matter of being executed.

Without realising it, griping can become a habit, leading to overlooking the good in life and in others.

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FINISHING WELL

(September 2, 2021) Brian Bell encourages finishing the race of life…

Exciting and yet in the current climate, challenging as the 2020 rescheduled Olympic Games in Japan may have proved, they may not have been your favourite ‘must watch’ event of 2021 to date.

In 1 Timothy 4:8, Paul tells Timothy that ‘Bodily exercise is of some benefit, but godliness with contentment is of greater gain.’

While I believe the apostle’s words about bodily exercise were specifically directed to Timothy’s situation, as with all scripture we too may benefit from its general exhortation.

Paul’s words remind us about priority (a common theme in scripture) our aim as believers is for ‘God likeness’ in our attitudes and daily living but if we are able to take physical exercise, it is good to do so within our limitations.

Keep going
At the 1968 Olympic Games held in Mexico City, Tanzania was represented in the marathon by John Stephen Akhwari. Part way through the race, Akhwari fell and was injured. He decided to get bandaged up and continue, which he did, finishing in last place over an hour behind the other runners.

 When interviewed later Akhwari was asked, ‘Why did you bother to get up and finish the race’ to which his reply was ‘My country didn’t send me to Mexico to start the race, they sent me to finish.’

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