1 Peter 2:24

DARE ASK ME FOR A SIGN

(December 10, 2019) Brian Bell reflects

It’s almost Christmas when Christians and churches celebrate the birth of Jesus who would become the Saviour of the world.

We’ll sing Christmas carols and choruses and refer to those scriptures that come naturally to mind at this time… from the gospels of Matthew and Luke and also Isaiah 7:14NLT, ‘All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).’

As I mediate on this Old Testament verse the background of Isaiah 7 comes to mind – God prompting Ahaz, the king of Judah, who was in a difficult situation to ask him for a sign… ‘Ask the Lord your God for a sign of confirmation, Ahaz. Make it as difficult as you want –’ (Isaiah 7:11 (NLT).

Now that’s an amazing dare by God – and, equally amazing, when Ahaz didn’t respond was God’s choice of a ‘difficult sign’ (v14).

I wonder… If God were to ask you to ask him for a sign – and you didn’t hesitate to ask – what would come to your mind?

This leads me to several ‘little seed thoughts’…

A Personal Sign
Reading verses 1- 6 of this chapter we get a fuller picture of the situation in which Ahaz found himself. Facing attack and a siege of Jerusalem, in addition to fear he was likely struggling with doubt. And God always knows how best to answer the doubts of his people – remember how God spoke to Elijah (1 Kings 19) and how the Lord Jesus dealt with Thomas (John 20). (more…)

WHAT’S GOING ON, LORD – THOSE ‘SO…’ INCIDENTS

(May 14, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan reflect on one of those unexpected ‘what’s going on’ times…

So… a fortnight ago we had such great interest in something we shared briefly on Facebook. As it links with articles we’ve posted recently about being bold and flowing with the Holy Spirit, we’re running it here too… but with some additional comments.

Really it begins as ‘a Robert incident’… as you’ll immediately realise (He may begin tongue-in-cheek as it were but do note that it’s an encouragement to rise above our circumstances, die to self, and bless others as we allow the Spirit to use us) –

So… For me that Wednesday was a case of ‘So…’ hospital incidents – ‘So…’ followed by other ‘so-es!’ How often people loosely use that little word ‘So…’ as they begin a tale! Actually it’s a word that has several applications – one, when used loosely as a sentence-initial to the words following, uniquely makes the connection more conceptual than grammatical.

‘So…’ conceive (imagine, vision) the following scenarios…

  • So… after much fiddling around, several phone calls, cancelations/reschedulings I finally get confirmation of a booking for a minor operation/biopsy – but I must be chauffeured!
  • So… my bro-in-law, Life4KidsKen Gardiner, kindly escorts me to a hospital some distance away, one I’ve never been to before.
  • So… the receptionist says, ‘So we’re running quite late, Robert. So you’ll be here for some six to eight hours.’ Duh! I think (but with a weak ‘Christian’ smile at the receptionist).
  • So… as Maureen is expecting me home earlier than that time frame, I ask Ken to phone her the latest.
  • So… Ken goes off to phone – and also to the local shopping precinct intending to chattily converse with strangers in his usual ever-so-affable way, finding openings of bringing Jesus into the conversation.
  • So… meantime back at the ranch (the waiting area) I relax with several others. But suddenly, unexpectedly, I begin to feel queasy with troubling chest palpitations and some pressure.

(more…)

STANDING FIRM ON WHAT YOU BELIEVE GOD’S WORD TEACHES

(November 30, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage those going through challenging times, especially leaders who teach solid scripture truths…

Ever wonder which unrealistic idiot came up with ‘Just trust Jesus and everything will be absolutely fine in life’ or ‘The Christian life will be like a bed of roses so no worries’ or led new converts to think Christianity is ‘Easy Street to heaven’ – or that ‘Ministry’s great… all fame and glamour, no hassles.’

Probably some dodo man, think you wise realistic ladies!

The reality is that …

  • Life is a gift from God, to be appreciated each new day and lived to the full as best possible.
  • Ministry is a privilege, not to taken carelessly or irresponsibly as it must honour the Lord.
  • Unfortunately we have a lying, distracting enemy!
  • Although we can fully trust God and his word for our needs, we live in a fallen world.
  • Life itself – not just Satan – can unexpectedly unleash furious storms against us!

Bad things happen, even to Christians! (more…)