Holy Spirit assistance

PENTECOST SUNDAY REFLECTIONS

(May 22, 2023) Dr Robert McQuillan recalls Pentecostal memories…

May 28 is Pentecost Sunday when it’s expected Pentecostal and charismatic churches will celebrate that Acts 2 occasion when the Holy Spirit fell powerfully on those first Christians.

Pentecost (pentēkostēfifty) is the Jewish holiday festival of Shavu`ot.Originally firstfruits of the wheat harvest were presented to God 50 days after the Feast of Unleavened Bread (See Leviticus 23:16-17), celebrating the expectation of a great agricultural season ahead. Its theme became one of revelationof God Himself, His power and His Torah (teaching, direction, guidance, law).

Reverberating
Traditionally where Jesus followers gathered in Jerusalem has been known as ‘the upper room.’ Acts 2:1 calls it a ‘place’, but interestingly this word is a reflexive pronoun linked with ‘a baffling wind.’ Little did those faithful believers image the roaring wind ahead!

That windstorm (NLT) blew through on that first Pentecost Sunday! Acts 2:2CJB records the ‘place’ as a home – ‘Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house’ 

Act 2:3-4 records, ‘They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues…’ They were a changed, charged and challenged people!

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DARE TO SAY, ‘YES, LORD!’

(April 28, 2023) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share

Over the years you’ve probably heard how certain Christians heard the Holy Spirit’s whisper and responded to some calling from God. How the Lord has used their response for His kingdom, let alone a local church.

Like C.T. Studd the great British cricketer who gave up everything to become a pioneering missionary to China, Africa and India… because he’d heard from God he responded, ‘If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.’

Maybe you also heard about someone who didn’t respond and missed out.

We would dare you to believe that the Holy Spirit is ‘for real’ and wants to use you in different ways to share God’s goodness with needy folk.

Now we won’t hear God thundering from heaven these days (well… probably not until we meet our Lord in glory – Revelation 12:10, 14:2). Rather we can learn to discern the Holy Spirit’s gentle leading, like a whisper in our ear, in our inner being.

Dare be listening
Heard experienced servants of Jesus speak about ‘that quiet voice’, directing about something current or soon to be? Prompting some decision-making?

Our own experience has been that it is always wise to respond to that ‘still small voice’ heard by Elijah (1Kings 19:12), that ‘gentle whisper’(NIV), ‘quiet, subdued voice’(CJB).

Yes, there are times when that sacred voice seems a mere whisper from heaven, but you can know that you know that you know it’s God. But note: This ‘knowing’ comes about through having developed a close relationship with the blessed Holy Spirit – that great friend whom Jesus promised in John 14:16NRiV.

As we discover more about the Spirit in scripture, how He spoke to and guided the early church, and we commit to kingdom service, we will know in our heart that He’s there for us! Jesus promised this when He talked about this great friend: ‘He will guide you into all the truth… and He will tell you what is yet to come’ (John 16:14), that ‘the Spirit will receive from me what He will make known to you’(v15). 

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‘… AND A KIND WORD’

(October 17, 2022) Robert and Maureen McQuillan drop a hint…

In the midst of all that’s bad in our world or on the local scene, our everyday living, our seeking to achieve whatever we’re led to aim for – despite sicknesses, heartbreaks – or whatever is bugging us, hindering us, strife  that causes us to feel low, there’s one thing that always perks us up!

What, you wonder, could that be? Just three little words… so meaning and powerful – A kind word.

Thankyous
Such  encouragement may only be a simple thank you… which we were parent-taught to say when someone gave us something, or did something for us.

Acts of kindness and thankyous and encouragements are often missing today! For example, on purchasing a very inexpensive 2023 dairy this morning we said a meaningful thankyou at checkout. The young clerk had been smiling but stopped in surprise. ‘Too many customers forget to say that’ he nodded sheepishly.

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‘COURAGE TO CONTINUE’

(July 26, 2022) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, challenges every Christian to be a role model…

One of the great world leaders many decades ago was Winston Churchill. Recently I came across a statement he made which made me stop and think. He said, ‘Failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.’  

1. Present experience
One of the things that has encouraged me in my ministry has been the courage of the prophets. One of their principle roles was to remind the people to live faithfully for God and to reject any ‘moral’ standard that opposed what He had revealed. Often the prophets were vigorously opposed as they declared what God had revealed. They were prepared to confront the ruling powers that were leading people away from God and they challenged the people to be faithful to God’s revealed truth.

They never preached compromise!

  • Isaiah didn’t mince his words when he declared,  ‘Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter’ (Isaiah 5:20).
  • Amos was told by the leading priest in Israel told Amos, ‘Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there’ (Amos 7:12).
  • Jeremiah, during his 40 years of ministry was physically attacked, insulted, imprisoned in a hole in the ground, and put on trial for the things he preached were not what the people wanted to hear. The king even destroyed the scroll containing God’s word that Jeremiah had written, but God told Jeremiah to rewrite it.

All those men were threatened and abused because their preaching did not agree with moral and religious values of their day.

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OWING GOD?

(March 16, 2022) Maureen McQuillan responds to a someone who’s concerned about ‘owing God’…

Dear Pastor Maureen

I know I owe God so much for all He’s done for me… salvation through the gift of His Son Jesus and so much more. How can I pay Him what I owe? Yours, Jane.

Dear Jane

Owing God? Yes, we owe Him so much… but it’s impossible to pay God back for anything He’s done! At least not financially.

Look up the word ‘owe’ in the KJV and you’ll find that the only place this word is mentioned is Romans 13:8, Owe no man any thing, but to love one another…’

‘Owe’ here is opheilō… to be under an obligation and we could easily think in terms of money owed to someone or an organisation, especially when we recall that Jesus had something to say about owing people! (Matthew 18:28, Luke 16:5. And Leviticus 25:53 instructs business owners to pay workers what they owe them).

But nowhere does scripture require us to ‘owe God’ financially! What scripture does encourage us to do is support our local church. By extension this can also be some purposeful evangelist, missionary, or other genuine ministry God has directed us to support.

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MIRACLE IN THE MANGER… MIRACLE IN THE SINK

(December 12, 2021) Maureen McQuillan reflects…

Trust you’re looking forward to Christmas Day as much as we are. Once again our family will be with us, especially our great-granddaughter Avaleigh Grace for her first Christmas.

And, of course, our precious daughter, Wendy, who was born on Christmas Day… Wendy who when younger always reminded me, ‘Two pressies, Mummy; Christmas and my birthday. Not together, Mummy, but given separately.’

The real Christmas present
This is the one discovered in the Bethlehem manger by those shepherds who’d been so scared by the angelic visitation…

‘An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests”’ (Luke 2:9-14).

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OTHERS AND YOU – THE CHALLENGING VESTIBULE

(August 25, 2019) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring some challenging reflections…

Vestibule – now there’s a word that indicates a chamber or channel opening into another. Hmm.

As we follow Jesus many times doors open that lead into new discoveries and adventures in God as we hear and yield to the Holy Spirit’s soft whispers to our heart. In this connection we recall the following challenge that speaks of discovering an important vestibule leading to heaven’s riches…

Others May, You Cannot … over the years there have been a number of items, tracts or articles based on this challenging thought and its relating issues.

Some 40 years we were handed the following thought-provoking piece that we were told was written by Bill Britton – one that’s still fresh, challenging and meaningful, especially if you’re sold out to the ministry call of Christ on your life. 

‘If God has called you to be really like Jesus, he will draw you into a life of crucifixion and humility, and put on you such demands of obedience that you will not be able to follow other people, or measure yourself by other Christians.

‘And, in many ways, he will seem to let other good people do things that he will not let you.

‘Other Christians (and ministers), who seem very religious and useful, may push themselves, pull strings and work schemes to carry out their plans, but you cannot, and if you attempt you will meet with such failure and rebuke from the Lord as to make you sorely penitent.

‘Others may boast of themselves, their work, success and writings, but the Holy Spirit will not allow you to do any such thing. And if you begin to, he will lead you into some deep mortification that will make you despise yourself and all your good works.

‘Others may be allowed to succeed in making money, or have a legacy left them, but it is likely that God will keep you poor because he wants you to have something far better than gold, namely a helpless dependence on him that he may have the privilege of supplying your needs day by day out of an unseen treasury. (more…)

REACHING OUT… MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN 2018

(February 25, 2018) Brian Bell challenges…

One of my favourite songs contains a chorus which includes the phrase ‘It always makes a difference when Jesus passes by…’

The message of the song is derived from specific instances in the life of Jesus. The brief meditation I share here is based on one – with suggestions as to how he made a difference and how we may try to follow his example.

Our daughter was married back in 2002 and I well remember the effort we made and (to be honest) the money spent to try to ensure the wedding guests were comfortable and would enjoy their meal.

Remember the incident of the wedding in Cana of Galilee (John chapter 2)? Let’s recall how the presence of Jesus ensured the guests Cana guests were able to continue enjoying the wedding. (more…)