heart

JESUS STANDS AT THE DOOR OF YOUR HEART

(September 28, 2022) Norman Moss tells a children’s story – and invites you to share such Bible-based stories with boys and girls as you have opportunity, encouraging them to know about Jesus and accepting Him as Saviour and caring friend. (The subheadings below are a guide).

As D. L. Moody was so concerned to reach children in his troubled day, more than ever so should we be in these desperate times. Remember Matthew 18:14GNB! ‘… your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost.’

Hi boys and girls… as you know, we all have a heart inside us. It’s what we call an organ. And a healthy heart keeps us alive by pumping blood around our body.

Now it’s hard to draw a picture of a real heart but often you’ll see it drawn something like this…

Good! You’re all so attentive, boys and girls.

A very special organ
Now then… the heart I want to talk about to you is something very special, very important. You know… those feelings, emotions and desires inside us, especially with which we love people.

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‘HELP, HOLY SPIRIT!’

(August 30, 2022) Maureen McQuillan recalls a bad incident, and shares her favourite prayer…

Dear Pastor Maureen
This is a thank you for your article,  brrr-baby-its-cold-outside. It so encouraged me. Caroline.

Hi there, Caroline

So glad to hear that my little article blessed you. The Holy Spirit is always there to help us, encourage us. Many times something comes up out-of-the-blue, so unexpectedly and it’s great to know that we can call on Him to help.

This reminds me of a really unexpected catastrophic incident I encountered when visiting Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania quite a few years back…

Our very hospitable hosts had taken us to their favourite Rotary restaurant and afterwards decided to show us a few local sites. One was the famous Duquesne Incline and we really enjoyed travelling up and back down, seeing the beautiful panoramic night views of the city.

Unfortunately, as we were walking back to their car chatting away, I stumbled over some uneven paving I hadn’t noticed and had a very painful fall! My ankle immediately swelled up and I hurt so much.

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SET YOUR HEART ON THINGS ABOVE

(August 5, 2022) Carol Round encourages us to think deeper about life…

‘O Lord,’ I cried out, ‘be with him in this heat. And Lord, if he doesn’t know you personally, please place someone in his path who can lead him to you.’

My prayers were for a man who was striding across the bank’s parking lot toward a large grocery store.

What stirred my heart to pray for him was the heavy backpack he was toting and the sweat pouring down his face. In my heart, I was almost certain he was homeless.

As I drove away from the bank, I thought about the backpack weighing him down in the triple-digit heat. Was he toting all his worldly possessions with him? What was his story? Why was he out in the daytime heat? Where was he headed?

Where our heart leads us
Our hearts can lead us astray when we value worldly things over a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s so easy to be seduced by today’s latest gadgets which can distract us from a simple life lived for Him.

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‘AND THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS’… BUT IS IT?

(July 19, 2022) Robert McQuillan challenges…

Psychologist Dr Andre Tessier, counselling a friend who is wondering about himself, who he really is, his future, answers honestly… ‘I’m only a doctor. I can’t tell something I don’t know… but let me show you something. See those books over there?’

Tapping several books in the packed bookshelves, he names Carl Jung and other well-known thinkers commenting, ‘Hundreds of books! Sum total of man’s knowledge of his fellowman. Yet in a moment like this, they fail. That’s why when I’m faced with such a moment, I always turn to this book, older than all the others by thousands of years.’  

Taking a black jacketed book, he searches through it. ‘Ah, here we are,’ he smiles, ‘Proverbs, twenty-third chapter, seventh verse,  “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”’

Leaving it with the troubled man to consider the reality of Solomon’s words, Dr Tessier encourages him tobelieve deeply in his heart, his soul, emphasising… ‘And that’s all that matters.’

Believing in one’s very soul
‘Heart’ is an interesting word found throughout that ‘ancient book’, speaking of various hearts troubled by  grief, deceit, discouragement, hatred, hardening (that’s the short list!).

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WORD MEANINGS… NEPHESH AND LEB

(July 19, 2022) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, explains …

There are two different Hebrew words in the Proverb 23:7 – nephesh and leb, that have in some English translations been translated by the word ‘heart.’  However, there a significant difference between the two Hebrew words.   

1) ‘Nephesh
This word is used many hundreds of times in the Hebrew Old Testament. In the KJV it is translated inmultiple ways such as, life, creature, soul, persons, mind, lust, heart, any, one, thing, yourself, dead, man and so on.

Nephesh‘ is a difficult word to translate into English, but its most frequent translation as ‘soul ‘ possibly comes closer to the meaningalthough ‘soul’ is not an easy word to understand!

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KNOWING GOD’S WILL

(August 15, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a concerned couple…

Dear Pastor Maureen
We have to make decisions on certain important matters. How can we know what God wants us to choose, to do? How can we be certain we’ve made the right decisions? Morris and Hilda.

Dear Morris and Hilda

I can understand your apprehension as I’ve had to make many important decisions myself over the years. Still do. Here’s what I’ve learned to do… Call these keys if you like.

1. Firstly I remind myself of that encouraging scripture which assures us our God won’t let us down if we ask trust him to help us‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5). Verses 6-7a go on to say ‘in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes.’

The Message Bible is very strong on this great truth – ‘Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.’

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WHAT’S GOING ON, LORD – THOSE ‘SO…’ INCIDENTS

(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 that it’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, Life4KidsKen 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.

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REBELS WITHOUT A CAUSE

(March 19, 2018) Stuart Reynolds reflects …

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 TWO COMMANDMENTS OF THE NEW COVENANT

Mike ShreveMike Shreve shares good advice…

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…)

EVANGELISTIC PREACHING

Murray CapillDr 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…)