faith

NEHEMIAH – GOD’S CALL TO BUILD THE WALL (Part 6)

(August 30, 2022) Hope Flinchbaugh shares some more insights about Nehemiah’s wall- building journey, bringing a challenge to leadership!

The heart of this month’s part six is A Leader’s Faith for Finances.

My friend, whatever God calls us to do will require faith in some realm or another because without faith it is impossible to please him. God looks for faith in action and leaders should be setting examples!

Let’s give God what is due Him and offer your faith, not your friends’ or your congregation’s wallets, in respect of the project in front of you.

God is the supplier of needs
Let me pause here and talk to all of us with platforms and microphones in churches! God called Nehemiah to lead to rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem. As a leader, if we’re feeling a twinge of guilt about asking for another offering, we need to talk to God. God never ever said that the church would pay our way, He said that He would supply all of our needs.

If you’re feeling a twinge of guilt, stop right there. Don’t take one more offering until God’s leading you to do it. Talk about a leap of faith.

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SO WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

(July 12, 2022) Richard Winter brings a timely challenge…

History records both good and bad times that humanity lives through! And we don’t need anyone to tell us that were living in difficult days today… we know! Indeed, bad times these days offer us a perspective of worse times to come!

This was true in the times of Jesus too! And one day He gave His disciples ‘a scripture memory test’ about Noah’s times, linking it to the end of time and His return from heaven.

Most people know the story of Noah and the ark Jesus referred to. Indeed everyone should take note of His Matthew 24:37-38 warning, ‘As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood took them all away.’

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STUPIDIEST QUESTION EVER ASKED!

(April 07, 2022) Maureen McQuillan shares that Jesus truly cares…

When good friend Hope Flinchbaugh (Nehemiah-God’s Call to Build the Wall 2) enquired last month how Robert was going after several sleep-interrupted nights, he shared that he was now sleeping right through each night.

Hope then sent this note: ‘It sounds like you’ve learned to sleep in the boat when the big storm is on you!’ Robert had replied along the lines of ‘Not as restful as Jesus was… but I fully trust in Him.’

With various storms of life round us at this time, one needs to be at rest by knowing and trusting our Lord. Meditating on being at rest by trusting Jesus had me reflecting on Mark 4… Jesus asleep in a boat when a huge storm hit.

Jesus needed rest Himself
Verse 35 tells us that one evening Jesus had requested His disciples to take Him across the lake by boat.

He’d already had a very busy day teaching kingdom truths to crowds lined up along the shore. Now He was not only tired (Yes, ministry can tire us!), but maybe His mind was on the next day’s even busier one of supernatural ministry… finding and freeing that poor Gerasene man bound by many evil spirits, travelling dust roads, raising a little girl from the dead, and encountering that desperately troubled woman who would dare to boldly touch the hem of His robe believing to be healed, not to mention more criticisms (Mark 5).

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NEGATIVITY… TIME FOR A CHANGE IN THINKING!

(March 11, 2022) Maureen McQuillan challenges:

Negativity… it can be so rampant among many people but we Christians don’t need to be negative!

The reality is that if we talk negatively we’re dishonouring God… and also causing others to be wrongly influenced.

We mustn’t dishonour the Lord!
The reality is that if we talk negatively we’re dishonouring God… and also causing others to be wrongly influenced.

Off all people, Christians should know scripture and be living a life of trusting God. We’re meant to be living above and beyond all negativities!

Oh I know, life has its negatives and reversals but, with the Holy Spirit’s supernatural help and by trusting God’s word – even as our greatest example, Jesus, did – we too can overcome such blues and be a good influence on others.

Afterall, it’s not good for any Christian to be acting, talking or even thinking negatively. Doing so must hurt and disappoint our loving heavenly Father God who expects us to fully trust him (as Robert wrote about last month: Trusting God in Everything)!

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HONOURING JESUS

(December 16, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this concerned believer

Dear Dr Robert

You mentioned in your article this month that ‘people, especially Christians, are looking for reality, for truth, not loud music, meaningless worship and hyperfaith! Churches that are attracting followers are those proclaiming the gospel that Jesus Christ is Saviour and Lord and through him a relationship with God is now possible!’ I’m one of those Christians, looking for down-to-earth reality and am really concerned that although I regularly hear consoling messages about the blessings that God gives but never about what it costs Jesus and our responsibilities. Am I missing something or somehow confused? Kelvin.

Dear Kelvin

This reminds of ‘hammered preaching’ (that you referred to before when you expressed other concerns, and that the Acts 20:27 ‘whole counselling of God’ was not being taught).

You mentioned quite a few scriptures that are repeated regularly, highlighting what God must do for us in terms of ‘Giving to get’ such as the often-quoted Malachi 3:8 coming across as ‘You give your offerings, and you’ll get blessed. If you don’t you won’t.’ And that our responsibilities such as our being willing to give not only to our local church but to needy neighbours (whoever that pans out to be) and other worthy causes and wanting to honour Jesus are never mentioned.

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DARING FAITH IN DARK TIMES

Editorial note: We always like to honour the late missionary statesman Dr George Forbes with one of his Christmas articles. This one is as meaningful as when first published six years ago!

(December 13, 2021) George Forbes reminds us that wherever we live, we must be active Christians…

‘Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see!’

I came across this powerful saying in a great little booklet titled, God’s Little Instruction Book. It tends to stick in one’s mind as it encapsulates a fundamental truth.

A faith that dares
We know that God’s word declares that –  

  • ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God!’
  • It is not possible to be a Christian without faith.
  • It is equally impossible to live the life of a believer without believing.
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PRACTISING HOPE LEADS TO BOLD FAITH

(December 5, 2021) Carol Round reminds us to activate our faith…

‘Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful’ encourages Hebrews 10:23.

As the first candle of Advent was lit this past Sunday at our church, it set the tone for this season – a season of hope. For those unfamiliar with the Christian liturgical year, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, and ends on Christmas Eve.

For Christians, Advent is a time to reflect. It’s a time of anticipation, a time of waiting. During this busy season, we seek the quiet reflected in the starry night, thanking God for what he has done in our lives, wondering what God is doing, and… for what he will do next.

While Advent celebrates Christ’s birth – his first coming, it’s also a time of excitement and preparation as Christians anticipate his second coming, his return as Christ the King. It’s a time for imperfect people – all of us – to look forward to something greater to come, something greater than ourselves. The hope of better things to come.

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SHARING AN INNER WORD FROM GOD

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(November 27, 2021) Maureen McQuillan encourages an anxious ‘Sarah’…

Pastor Maureen… you’re great at answering questions in a very clear way, and easy to understand. Please help me with this query I have… How do I know that I’m really hearing from God? Sarah (Not real name).

Well, ‘Sarah’, to put it briefly… You’ll know that ‘you know that you know that you know!’  Here’s the key: As we grow in the ways of the Lord, we learn to become so sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, to his gentle voice. And we’re aware that it’s he who is guiding us and that we’ve nothing to be afraid of.

Let me share something that I felt in my inner being to say to… oh, let’s call her ‘Jean.’ This lady, a Christian too, had determined to move on in life, leave her suburb and start afresh as it were. But as she was telling me that she didn’t think she would get much for her old home as it needed work done to it, I immediately felt to say, ‘No, I believe you’re going to get an amazing price for it, Jean. You believe it too.’

A simple word of encouragement but I felt was from the Lord and didn’t hesitate to speak it… in faith, Well, she couldn’t quite take it on board at first as it seemed impossible… but guess what happened? Yes, her home sold quickly and for many, many thousands of dollars more than she had perceived! Jean is now a changed lady, with great hope in her heart for a much better lifestyle.

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STORMS OF LIFE? JESUS CARES!

(October 24, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan remind readers that Jesus truly cares…

Life is like a terrifying storm to several at this pandemic time – including some Christians!

And not just because of uncertainties regarding loss of income, delayed/postponed desperately needed operations, increased crime, unruly behaviour in our streets and beaches, lockdown, and such.

Many, including some church leaders, are concerned about the future… and seemingly unanswered prayers. We’ve had some share feelings of ‘I don’t know what I’m meant to be doing… now or in future days. Doesn’t Jesus care?’

Doesn’t Jesus care?
What an audacious, unwarranted question! Of course, he cares!

Remember the Mark 4 incident where Jesus directed his disciples to cross over the lake by boat to a different region?

Verse 37Message recounts that ‘A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it.’  Verse 38a appears to casually mention that in all this fury ‘Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping!’  Then we read that the obviously frightened disciples ‘woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?”’

See the bigger picture here… Jesus’ friends are accusing him of not caring! And with the storm raging around them, they would not have been gently whispering in his ear! No, this would have been a harsh, possibly screaming frantic, ‘Hey! Don’t you care?’ And no acknowledgement of his status as either Rabbi, Teacher or Friend! (more…)

I DON’T KNOW ABOUT TOMORROW, I JUST KNOW…

(July 26, 2020) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring a timely challenge…

Every day TV news in our state of Victoria (and worldwide for that matter) announces more new covid-19 cases and people are talking either about the next stage of lockdown, the loss of business, revenue and jobs.

And the big questions: ‘Where’s it all going to end, what’s next, and what will tomorrow bring?’

Tomorrow?
It’s a matter of living one day at a time – and making the best of every day! The reality is that none of us what tomorrow will bring.

Oh we can make plans for each new tomorrow and believe we can/will accomplish them… and most times we will without any hassles, especially when we rely on the Holy Spirit’s help.

But… life is life and every now and then something goes amiss and we can get thrown for a sixer, sometimes a catastrophe, some horrible disaster that can ruin us in some or several ways hits us.

And when that happens to Christians, our faith can be so shattered that we could easily lose confidence in ourselves, even our trust in our caring God. We can even feel that life isn’t worth living or caring about, that we don’t want to go on because we can’t work it out. (more…)