encouragement

‘A MAN NAMED EZRA’

(May 07, 2022) Brian Bell challenges us to be a worthy servant like ‘a man named Ezra’ …

With these four almost inconspicuous words contained in chapter 7 of the book of Ezra, we are introduced to the character of Ezra.

The book of Ezra tells us about the return of Jewish exiles from Babylon, beginning with those who returned with Zerubbabel and at a later time with Ezra. Ezra and the other exiles who returned to Jerusalem with him, got there about 13 years before the return of Nehemiah and other exiles, described in the book of Nehemiah.

The primary action carried out by the returning exiles as described in Ezra, was the reconstruction of the temple led by Zerubbabel, Ezra’s role is what I would describe as leading ‘spiritual renewal’ or ‘revival’ while the focus of Nehemiah was the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls which is replete with spiritual applications.

I believe both Ezra and Nehemiah could be said to be men who were ‘directed’ by the Holy Spirit, while those words are not specifically used when speaking of them, I believe it is borne out in the scriptural descriptions given of them. In this meditation I will share only some thoughts about Ezra.

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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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MOVING ON FROM A BAD RELATIONSHIP

(July 28, 2021) Bonnie-Jane shares an encouraging word from her heart…

That 10 Year Challenge Photo/Image Meme phase was popular a while back, and had people reflecting on their past.

As I reminiscence myself, I feel to share some things from my heart and trust they will help someone else who has gone through similar hurtful and damaging experiences in the past as I did. So here goes…

Suffering from a broken heart
Just over some 10 years ago I met someone who at first seemed to be interested in me and a relationship began. But as the months went by he proved to be most insincere and the relationship became an abusive one.

It was a hard and grim time for me. Always considered a gentle-spirited person, easy-going, thoughtful and kind, able to deal with situations, my heart was being broken and even my very personality was changing.

I praise God for his strength to make a most important decision… with his help I decided that enough was enough and broke that relationship!

From depression to renewed confidence
That decision was so important… but now I was feeling that I would never find anyone who genuinely cared and whom I could trust.

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WORD OF PROPHECY

(March 14, 2021) Robert McQuillan responds to a young man’s question …

Dear Dr Robert
I have a question. Can you tell me what
is a word of prophecy?
Jono
(Not real name)

Dear Jono

Prophesying means a Christian (not necessary only a church leader or minister) under divine inspiration from God boldly bringing a word – a message, short or longish – to bless and encourage people. Paul mentions it in 1 Corinthians 12 as being one of the nine supernatural manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit (Hence the divine inspiration aspect, not from one’s imagination ‘making things up’ just to please, win favour or misguide).

It’s a  gift that’s used in faith (itself one of the nine gifts), believing that we’re being directed by the Holy Spirit. (more…)

GOD SUPPLIES THE VICTORY!

(December 14, 2020) Norman and Margaret Moss share this encouraging Christmas meditation…

Such is the power of inspired scripture that when Charles Jennens gave the libretto of the Messiah to Handel, the composer was so moved and inspired that in 24 days he had completed the oratorio!

Handel said of the Hallelujah Chorus, ‘I did think I did see all heaven before me, and the great God himself.’

Victory lies in scriptureHoly Scripture can do that – and more! We were meditating on Isaiah 9:6…

‘For to us a child is born,to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.’

Victory lies in Christ
Proverbs 21:31 came to mind: ‘Victory rests with the Lord’ and we felt the Lord was saying- (more…)

WE DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING – BUT WHY WORRY?

(August 11), 2020) Life Focus Ministries’ Robert and Maureen McQuillan remind us that God has his mysterious ways…

It’s only natural to wonder what’s going on, not just regarding this pandemic time but about other life issues and incidents. We’re human after all! Our July article I Don’t Know About Tomorrow led to some folk asking, ‘Well, what do you really think about all that’s going on in the world? And win the future of the church – a cleansing time? And what about…?’

Hey… we’re like our state and federal’s leaders: we don’t know everything… but like them we’re concentrating on living one day at a time! With thanks to the Lord for each new God-given day, we commit it to him, asking his blessing and protection – and then get on with it, however the day works out.

But… a question: You ever asked the Lord, ‘Why?’ or ‘What’s going on?’ and didn’t get an answer… or the answer you expected?

And did you ever come to the conclusion that it’s better to appreciate and enjoy the benefits God gives us daily rather than query him about how he works things out? Hmmm?

Worrying? Relax and trust God
Jesus told us (Matthew 6:25NLT), ‘…I tell you not to worry about everyday life.’ And, verse 29, he asked a question, ‘Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?’ Of course not!

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FIVE C’s OF PENTECOST

(June 6, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share serious kingdom thoughts/concerns about some Pentecostals today…

Pentecost Sunday this weekend – the church’s Easter celebration now seems so long ago!

Oh we can never forget the real Easter story… of a Saviour who loved us so much that he freely gave his life for us at Calvary, paying the price of sin, offering everyone full salvation and a way back to our Father God!

Scripture speaks the love that flowed that from Calvary’s hill …

  • ‘He [Jesus] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world’ (1 John 2:2).
  • ‘If you continue in the teaching of Christ, you will have fellowship with both the Father and the Son’ (Romans 8:10, 17).

But… now it’s almost Pentecost Sunday! We need to remember, to joyfully celebrate that the good news of God’s love continues beyond that extraordinary Passover event we call Easter.

Why? God had a further free gift to give to all who believe in his Son Jesus – the outpouring of his Holy Spirit as recorded in Acts 2 to enable us to not only praise him in tongues but to serve him in powerful (dunamis) ways and touch the world!

Yet, as shared on Facebook last weekend we had found it dismaying that we hadn’t at that point come across any adverts or articles mentioning this coming Sunday is Pentecost Sunday. Not even the Pentie church we attended last week highlighted it! Hmm! Let’s look at what we’ll term The 5 C’s of PentecostCarpeting, Correction! Celebration, Cenacle and Challenge. (more…)

DON’T GIVE UP – KEEP FOCUSED!

(August 6, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan encourage renewed confidence and not quitting…

Confidence – typical dictionary definition:

  • Quality or state of being certain;
  • Feeling or consciousness of one’s powers;
  • Faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way.

How we yearn for abundant confidence when challenged to do something new, especially for the Lord and in church life. And how we can feel so disappointed when things don’t work out, or we feel – even wrongly believe that we’ve missed it, we’ve failed – and unfortunately are not aware of, do not discover what we have achieved because we were determined to be faithful no matter what price we had to pay.

The reality is that in our limitation as humans we’re unable to visage the ultimate bigger picture’s ongoing and end results. We’ll never know all we’ve achieved when we even willingly offer a mere glass of water in Jesus’ name… but as the Message Bible says, ‘Count on it that God will notice’ (Mark 9:41). (more…)

PENTECOSTAL PETER

(June 1, 2017) Brian Bell shares a meaningful meditation on the apostle Peter…

When you consider the experiences of Peter’s life from the day Jesus called Peter to follow him, then those experiences – which include presumptuous behaviour and speech rebuke by Jesus, and his denial of the Lord – they would not have pointed to him being the carrier of the powerful Acts 2 Day of Pentecost message for which he is best known.

Personally I draw great encouragement from Peter, for I know I am – at least – as imperfect as Peter, yet the Lord is prepared to use even me!

So, while it is true that aspects of Peter’s life before Pentecost may be less than impressive, it did not prevent the Lord from recommissioning and enabling Peter through the Holy Spirit – what an encouragement is that for every Christian!

Peter – an encouragement for every follower
Luke who penned the book of Acts makes specific reference to Peter’s ‘Pentecost’ message and writes of several of his ministry experiences that flowed on from that day. And while we don’t read of a repetition of the ‘Pentecost day’ experience, we can however see how the Lord clearly led Peter and he became an outstanding preacher, a leader with a pastoral heart in the early church. It is very clear that Peter was a changed follower of Jesus from that day! (more…)

LEANNE’S JOURNEY: ‘WITHOUT TREATMENT – ONLY TWO MONTHS TO LIVE!’

Maureen McQuillan( September 9, 2015) Maureen McQuillan shares an encouraging testimony given this month by a remarkably bright (literally small) little lady:

Leanne John’s journey inspires Christians to trust God for everything, even in life’s dark moments.

Assisted to the platform the immaculately dressed little lady turned to immediately hold the Highton congregation of Moolop and Barrabool Hills Baptist Church mesmerised as she glanced around to tell of her recent encounters with our miracle-working God. (more…)