harvest fields

CALLED TO SERVE? ENCOURAGEMENT NEEDED, NOT DISCOURAGEMENT

(January 24, 2022) Robert McQuillan challenges…

Most of us are ‘moving on’ into 2022 believing that ongoing tragedies such as covid-19 won’t hinder us from enjoying life, and doing whatever God wants us to be about. Whether our church is a ‘Zoom’ one – as many churches are now called – or with limited attendance, individual members have needs, as do those outside the traditional four walls.

Previous years’ catchcries such as ’Moving On’ or ‘Moving Forward’ or ‘Moving Ahead’ are being echoed afresh. This is good, for we all need such inspiration so as not to be living in the negatives and disappointments of the past couple of years.

And it’s been interesting to hear of pastors – backed with good sermons and challenges – encouraging their people to be involved in growing their church, that it’s all not just up to leadership.

But… I’ve also heard some sad outcomes! Take this story for example…

Discouragement
Jon
(not real name… but, interestingly, means ‘gift of God’!) responded to such a challenge some time back to help his church move on, move forward.

Seeing a great need among the men, he became burdened and very enthused to play his part by running a men’s group… but sadly, to his surprise he wasn’t greatly encouraged by his pastor (who had just delivered a challenging message about being involved!).

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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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