1 John 2:1

CAST OFF UNWANTED 2023 BAGGAGE

(January 19, 2023) A. Richard Samuel challenges ‘new year resolutions’…

Whenever we enter a New Year we think of resolutions. But, someone once jokingly said, ‘New Year resolutions are made to be broken.’ In effect, we must realise that we can do nothing without God’s help.

Jesus pointed out that ‘apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5). So as we travel further into 2023, let’s look to Him and seek His help! But note…

Hindering baggage
Many would have seen signboards like the one below in railway stations and in major bus stands.

In our life journey, this statement makes sense. Any unnecessary load is cumbersome and burdensome.

In Ephesians 4:31-32, Paul detailed six pieces of unwanted luggage that hinders our travel… Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.’

Paul also suggested that we carry only necessary luggage that will make our travel comfortable and pleasant – as well as our co-travellers… Kindness, compassion and a forgiving nature.

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REAL HOPE CALMS LIFE’S STORMS

(December 21, 2022) Maureen McQuillan shares this encouragement …

A Christmas/New Year greeting from a friend referred to 2022 as a year of mystery, one of ‘What’s going on?’ And wondering if 2023 will be similar, and if so can we get through more mysteries and storms?

Anyone else thinking like this? I wonder… perhaps 2022 has brought disappointments and you’re looking back with regrets and recalling sorrows… hoping for a better today, never mind come 2023.

Whoa… let’s stop right there and remember what we’re celebrating come Sunday! The birth of Jesus, our friend and Saviour. The Christian’s great hope is that no matter what goes wrong, whatever storm hits us any day, we can rejoice that our Lord is no longer the babe of Bethlehem, but advocate in heaven before the Father (1 John 2:1). And in the boat of our life, still our friend and storm breaker!

Storms of life
Mark 4:35-41 tells about Jesus crossing the lake with His disciples and, tired, decides to have a nap. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s verses 37-38a – ‘A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.’

Now this would have been frightening for anyone, never mind Jesus’ disciples. KJV describes this ‘squall’ as ‘great’… megas, indicating big, mighty, loud. Scary! They (friends as He called them!) ‘woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”’ 

Hold it right there! If you’ve been encountering storms, F.B. Meyer has written: ‘They that bear Christ’s company must prepare for squalls.’ Regarding ‘mysteries’ that may lie ahead in 2023, I ask this… are you really a companion of Jesus? If so, you’re ‘bearing’ – are in – the best company, so why act as if you have no hope! Your friend will bring you through!

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WORRYING? HAVE CONFIDENCE IN GOD!

(December 13, 2022) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share…

Unfortunately, some Christians worry instead of trusting Almighty God!

Yes, we should certainly be concerned about troubling matters that arise from time to time… but there is a huge difference between being concerned (taking responsibility to correct matters) and worrying!

Paul gave good advice in Philippians 4:6 – ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.’

Seven don’ts…

1. Don’t worry –
Message Bible is very direct: ‘Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.’ Complete Jewish Bible charges: ‘Don’t worry about anything.’

It’s almost Christmas when we celebrate the amazing coming to planet Earth of Jesus in physical form the incarnational birth of the one who would become our Saviour.

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DOES JESUS RECALL ‘GOOD FRIDAY’ EVERY YEAR?

(May 18, 2022) Maureen McQuillan responds to a query by her husband Robert…

Hi my darling Maureen!

This is a bit unusual… a question from me, not some concerned Christian sister or brother as is normal. But, as I know that you so often have immediate insights into troubling questions or queries, I thought I’d ask you (Hoping that someone else may have had the same thought over Easter as I had and they’ll receive a blessing too).

Okay then, here it is… as you’re only too much aware, I was hospitalised over the recent Easter week and weekend in respect to an urgently needed major operation I had and, although the op was successful, praise God, I was so very sick the next few days as I recuperated. I couldn’t eat the great hospital food, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t even talk to you over the phone and you couldn’t visit me due to restrictions!

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