(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 thatit’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, Life4Kids’ Ken 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.
It was Swiss theologian Karl Barth who said, ‘Take your Bible and take your newspaper, and read both. But interpret newspapers from your Bible.’
In this connection, do note how the Bible is a commentary on our times today:
The Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:1: ‘But mark this: There will be terrible (literally ‘violent’ in the Greek) times in the last days.’
But note also a testimony to God’s triumph in Psalm 2, which begins with these words:
‘Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his Anointed One, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”’
Almost every news story could be introduced, explained and concluded with those words. Bad news is so often linked with rebellion against God or ignorance or breakage of his laws.
Let’s consider three important issues:
1) Humanity’s Petulance A father was driving to school one day. His youngest child was standing on the back seat. Realising the danger, the father said, ‘Sit down, son, I may have to stop suddenly and I don’t want you to get hurt.’
‘No!’ squeaked the rebellious refusal from the rear, ‘I don’t want to!’ Again the father said, ‘Please sit down, I don’t want you to get hurt.’ ‘No!’ came the stubborn reply. (more…)
The ten commandments of the old covenant are a primary part of our spiritual foundation. Bible believers often display them in an effort to influence others toward righteousness. God himself proclaimed them from Mount Sinai in a fiery display, and engraved them on tablets of stone.
However, they are part of ‘the Law’: a system of religious, moral and lifestyle demands Paul later labelled ‘the ministry of condemnation’ and ‘the ministry of death’ (2 Cor. 3:7-9). (more…)
Dr Murray Capill, author and Reformed Theology College’s principal, writes…
All biblical preaching should be gospel preaching. But some gospel preaching is specifically evangelistic. That is to say, some preaching particularly aims at presenting the gospel to unbelievers as clearly, accurately and winsomely as possible, so that they might be saved. (more…)
Charles Gardner, Special to ASSIST, shares an inspirational testimony…
A Muslim man from Turkey went on a pilgrimage to Mecca in a desperate bid to get his life straightened out – and met Jesus!
A wife-beater who was addicted to alcohol, Ali Pektash was on a visit to the famous shrine when he fell asleep under the burning sun. Jesus twice appeared to him in a dream, telling him to leave the area and spread the gospel, and left a permanent mark where he touched him on the chest. (more…)