commitment

FROM FAMILY MIRACLE TO FAITHFUL MINISTRY

(September 23, 2022) K.C. Dipak from Nepal shares about his journey in Christ.

Although I was born into a Hindu family in Nepal, my mother used to go to church every Sunday. But my sister Shanti and I never accompanied her. There came a time when my father left us alone and went to India without telling his whereabouts. Sadly, he has never returned to us.

Mother had to work so hard as a domestic to fed us all… they were difficult times. One day, during my early teens, Shanti got very sick, and although Mother took her to many doctors and government hospitals, she did not respond to treatments.

Miracle
Extremely concerned, Mother decided to invite her pastor to pray for Shanti. Instead of just praying in the church, he came to our home and prayed over my sister and within two weeks, she fully recovered, praise God! This was a great miracle for my family and in May 2013 my sister and I started going to church regularly. 

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LEVELLING MOUNTAINS – NOT BY MIGHT, NOT BY POWER BUT BY MY SPIRIT! (Part 1)

(August 28, 2022) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, shares encouragement…

Facing mountains in these dark times?

I’ve been reflecting on a character in the Bible who faced a big mountain and discovered God had gone before him in an amazing way. His name was Zerubbabel – not the easiest name to say, nor would it be likely that you would give your new born child that name.

Most Christians know little about this man, but I find him to be inspirational and also encouraging as we cope with the ‘highs and lows’ in living in these days.

Contemporary scene
We are living in disturbing times. In my lifetime I have never known such worldwide hostility, political instability, social confusion and moral corruption. And according to medical researchers the global rates of anxiety and depression are soaring. News articles and television reports can often be quite troubling as they confront us with a stream of disturbing incidents.

Of course ours is not the only generation that has been confronted by tragedy and emotional stress. Historical records reveal many periods when war, oppression and disease have had a crushing effect on people.

God does not provide a protective wall around His people to prevent their experiencing the pain and struggles of life, but His presence in our lives gives us hope.

In the Bible, living in hope doesn’t mean that we whistle in the dark to keep our spirits up. No, biblical hope means looking to the future with assurance because we know that, regardless of conditions and circumstances, when it seems that everything is spiralling out of control, God has never lost His control! Jeremiah succinctly declared, Our hope is in you’(Jeremiah 14:22).

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YOUR DECISION DETERMINES YOUR DESTINY!

(August 04, 2022) S. Sam Selva Raj challenges Christians to determine their destiny…

Everyone has a unique calling from God; He leads each of us in different ways. Our callings may be different – but the decisions we make determine our destination.

Take Elijah and Elisha for example… and Gehazi, Elisha’s helper.

1. Elijah
God called Elijah to serve as His prophet, and to challenge an evil king (1 Kings 17:1). His decision not to hold back determined his destination.

God’s choice is not necessarily based on one’s educational qualifications, financial standing or family background. Elijah’s qualification was that he was always ready to listen to God’s voice and do what He said.

Now Ahab, Israel’s king, was eviler than any king before him. He had God’s people worshipping Baal, a pagan god (I Kings 16:30-32)!

But God dealt with him through Elijah who was –

(i) Dutiful
Someone whose faith on God was very great, Elijah didn’t fear the consequences of presenting the Lord’s word to this evil king.

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STILL MUCH TO DO!

(January 25, 2022) Maureen McQuillan encourages all who feel unsure about the future… 

A lot of good folks at this time of worldwide troubles have been experiencing disappointments… not being able to do certain things, go places, catch up with family and old friends, getting hit unexpectedly with covid-19 (but, praise God, had been vaccinated and are getting through), job losses, short of ready finance, suicides, troubled minds… and so on.

And so it’s a joy when one hears good news stories, especially of God answering prayer and blessing in various ways. Mark Ellis GodReports regularly shares such testimonies, eg… Muslim Woman Dreams About Man in White With Bleeding Feet. And we ran missionary to Romania David McGuire’s excellent report Grateful for 2021 Successful Outreaching but Moving Ahead Into 2022 With Vision.

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However, one also hears of Christians who have had bad life experiences and my ‘heart goes out to them.’Some are so troubled that as they hear negative news reports from around the world, wonder what’s next, or think ‘the end is near: Is Christ coming back very soon?’

Encouragements from God’s word
To troubled saints, I would say this: Be encouraged! Be blessed by scriptures such as the following…

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ENDURING CHURCH PRINCIPLES – PART 1

(March 22, 2021) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, shares important church growth principles…

 This past year has been a challenging time for churches throughout the world as each local church has attempted to redefine how to perform and survive as a church.

The Covid-19 experience has been challenging and at times oppressive, and, because of the present state of the world, we who belong to the church could so easily sink into despair. But for one fact – God is still in control!

I believe that the challenges of these days may prove to be a positive thing for Christians and churches as it may challenge us to look more seriously at what we honestly believe, to whom we are unmistakably committed, the significance and relevance of how we live as Christians and how we operate as the body that we call the ‘Church.’

There are many Christians today who somehow have embraced the idea that the church as we find it in the New Testament provides a perfect picture of what the church of today should be like. But… the letters of Paul, Peter and John illustrate that the churches to which they wrote were clearly not perfect principally because they were composed of imperfect people – like every church today!

Some time ago I read an article that was titled, Getting Back to the New Testament Pattern. It was based on Acts 2:40-47 and listed 13 items which the writer claimed represented the biblical pattern of Christian worship and behaviour for all ages. In fact several the items listed in the article were never part of the church beyond the first months of its existence after the Day of Pentecost. (more…)

JESUS CAN MAKE ALL THINGS NEW… EACH NEW DAY

(January 11, 2021) Carol Round encourages us to reflect on a major choice for 2021…

Revelation 21:5 declares: ‘He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true”.’

The New Year is here! After the stresses of 2020, I doubt anyone wants to cling to the past. With the turning of the calendar to January 2021, sighs of relief were probably expressed by many.

Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?

While I used to, I don’t anymore. My list used to look something like this: lose weight, eat healthier, save more money, and so on. Those are also some of the more common resolutions made each January 1. (By the way, most people fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions).

I quit making resolutions as I grew in my relationship with Jesus. Looking back, I cannot recall the last time I made a list of things to change in my life. However, I began to choose a focus word for the year. In the past, I’ve prayed and chosen words like trust, focus, and hope. My 2020 word was embrace – embrace more of God in my life. I would write the word at the top of each page in my daily prayer journal. Each time I do, I was reminded of my spiritual growth word for that year. (more…)

BRIDGING THE GAP

(February 15, 2019) Missionary statesperson Dr George Forbes reminds us that God needs heroes…

Believe it or not, God – yes, Almighty God – has a particular need, a big one!

Ezekiel 22:30 tells that he reveals his heart cry: ‘I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.’

Throughout the history of God’s people, both in Old Testament and New Testament times, God has sought for a man or woman to be his voice, to stand in the gap before him for the land. All too often he has not found even one.

Yes, there have been many times in decades past when someone has responded, someone who heard God’s call and obeyed it. But in our generation, our day, he is still looking for men and women who will stand in the gap for a nation, a land, a people.

Heroes of faith, lights in darkness
Some such heroes of bygone times are named in scripture… in the Old Testament and the Acts of the Apostles and other New Testament records: They belong in God’s Honour Roll!

In recent generations of Christian faith there have been other such heroes of faith… many are not listed here, but we can think of –

  • William Carey
  • Hudson Taylor
  • Adonorim Judson
  • Gladys Aylward
  • David Livingston
  • Mary Slessor
  • Amy Carmichael
  • Jim Elliot
  • And so many others…

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TENTMAKERS, BUSINESS, WOMEN AND CHANGES IN MISSION

(July 18, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, reflects on these four important aspects of missions today…

1, Tentmakers in mission
A respected and decisive part of missions in the 20th century was filled by ‘tentmakers.’ I expect that time will prove that this support to long-term ministry missionaries has continued into the 21 century.

The term comes from the Bible – Dr Luke wrote about Paul in Acts 18:3, ‘Because he was of the same trade, he stayed and worked with them; for they were tentmakers by occupation.’  These were men and women using their professional skills in self-support, as they worked as much as their time permitted while fulfilling the ministry God had given them.

  • Over the centuries there have been missionaries who also were ‘tentmakers’ – and ‘tentmakers’ who were not missionaries, however they all supported themselves in practical and active roles in their ministry.
  • Many excelled in literature, radio, and other specialised support areas to release missionaries to their primary role as church planters and Bible teachers.
  • I met many such ‘tentmakers’ and valued them as worthy servants of God in their field of commitment. I became a friend from Australia as we shared fellowship, meals and worship together.
  • Some were builders; others were teachers, printers, literature and Bible distributors. There were pilots, mechanics, engineers, artisans and other occupations.
  • All were committed to the kingdom of God and the growth of national churches.

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FLIES-ON-THE-WALL AND THE SECRET LIFE OF SAINTS

(February 22, 2018) Stuart Reynolds challenges …

Flies-on-the-wall’ documentaries are not new – if our television broadcast schedules are anything to go by, we can’t get enough of them!

And with the rapid progress of camera technology, such broadcasts have become deeper, clearer, even truer, spawning a whole new breed for our watching – from The Secret Life of Pets  to The Secret Life of 4 & 5 Year Olds,’ and, if you really want it, The Secret Life of Books and even of Buildings!

What about The Secret Life of Saints? What would ‘flies-on-the-wall’ learn and admire… or be unimpressed by?

Watchman Nee wrote: This is the test. How much of my life is seen? When men look on the surface, have they seen the whole, or is there more? Have I, in the unseen, a secret history with God?’ (more…)

COMMITTED

(September 30, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes issues a three-fold challenge…

Committed – the word has real meaning to me as a Christian, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Also as a member of my church and then generally as a citizen of Australia, and of groups in my community.

The Encarta dictionary says that commitment means responsibility, loyalty, obligation, dedication, a willingness to give your time and energy to something that you believe in, or have promised Commitment is what transforms the promise into reality.

A committed person, especially a committed Christian person, has a power and influence that can only come from commitment to God, to his word and will. I will seek to cover at least in a limited degree the particular fields of commitment we must respect and follow. (more…)