Matthew 28:18-20

AVOIDING A BITTER HARVEST

Have you ever heard of the ‘Law of the Harvest’?

It simply says: You reap what you sow. This truth has hit home lately having observed it in the lives of a couple whom I’ll call Robert and Ruth.

Robert and Ruth have worked hard all their lives. They both enjoyed their careers and were considered by many to be good workers, having given all their time and energy to their jobs. Their five children, far from being an asset, were more or less considered a hindrance – an intrusion in their ambitious race.

Quite frankly, Robert and Ruth enjoyed their jobs and career challenges far more than raising children.

Children can be so easily hurt
At first it hurt the children that their parents were never around, not even for special days, or for school or sports events but they soon got over it. The children learned to look after themselves, much to their parents’ relief.

They became used to their parents many trips away and endless meetings and learned to cope with the scant attention they got from their parents. They found other meaningful people in their lives to fill the void left by the parents.

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NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN ENCOUNTER

(June 14, 2021) Robert McQuillan reflects on this category’s title, Reachout!

As readers know, this category usually centres on missionary activities overseas and the need to pray for and financially support missionaries, especially in these troubled and dangerous times.

Yet contributors often include a reminder that ‘missionary’ service begins at home, through local churches, and Christians who love their Lord and desire to serve him. That the Matthew 28:18-20 great commission starts in our local Jerusalem.

Interestingly recent American blogs are encouraging churches to reach out locally. Australia’s Wayne Swift, National Leader, Acts Global Churches also wrote: ‘An encounter with God, discipleship and planting pretty much sum up the task of the church and they have for two thousand years, the only change is the impact of the church on the communities in which they dwell.’

In this connection, reaching out locally to the unsaved, a friend phoned confessing he was a little tired hearing his minister preaching about many ‘things’ but never encouraging and teaching how to reach the unchurched.

Unexpected encounter
His call must have been on my mind for I woke up this morning recalling something that happened many years ago…

I’d received a phone call inviting me to meet a Chinese pastor visiting a church nearby the office I used in the days I was editing and publishing a denominational magazine.

Admitting that I’d never heard of this pastor, I agreed… It was to be an appointment I have never forgotten… and never will!

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JESUS CARES…

(May 19, 2021) Carol Round shares great truths from her heart…

Stopped at a busy intersection in a large city recently, I noticed a large, scribbled message on one side of a large grey utility box. In black permanent marker, someone had written, ‘Nobody cares.’

On another side of the metal box, in bold black block letters, someone else had written neatly ‘Jesus loves you.’  

I’m positive the first message, scribbled in haste, was written first. The second appeared to be an answer to the first person’s cry for help, an encouragement to whomever had desperately penned the heart-felt words, Nobody cares.

At the base of the utility box was a pile of belongings – what looked like a bag of clothing, a dark green sleeping bag, and what appeared to be a grocery sack of food. Conspicuously absent was the person who’d left the belongings behind. Was it a homeless person or had someone who cared left the supplies behind for the person who believed no one really cared about their plight?

God wants us to do our part
Throughout the rest of my week, I couldn’t get this snapshot of humanity out of my mind. I still wondered about the person who’d penned the first message. My heart ached for someone who is probably homeless.

I also wondered, ‘Did the homeless person abandon his/her few possessions?’ Why? Had the individual given up on life? Or, had a caring person purchased the goods and left them there – maybe the person who wrote, ‘Jesus loves you.’

I almost wished the homeless person had been present while I sat in my car, waiting for the light to change. My curiosity needed satisfying. I wanted to do my part and offer the person some money. Even more importantly, I wanted to feed his soul with an encouraging message from scripture.

Caring for others is part of reaching out in Jesus’ great commission of Matthew 28:18-20!

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THE MISSIONARY TASK HAS NEVER CHANGED!

(January 24, 2021) As we move ahead into this new year of uncertainties and changes, we rerun this 2017 article by the late missionary statesperson George Forbes, as it is an especially important reminder that  missionary endeavour never changes!

Christian Missions operate in a wide range of areas of ministry internationally, service and aid!

  • Some are big enough to incorporate many activities and ministries.
  • Others specialise in one field of service such as humanitarian aid, education or medical.
  • Significant numbers specialise in language translation and their provision to nations.
  • Most missions that prioritise on evangelism, Bible training and church planting also open schools, medical clinics and other services.

Such services are crucial!
Early in my thirty years of active mission organisation leadership, I discovered that these services were often crucial to our acceptance by indigenous leaders in developing countries. Biblically they were an evidence of Christian love and compassion to people in need.

The missionary task has always been about ‘making disciples.’ Jesus commanded the early church ‘to make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew. 28:18-20). He commanded his disciples to ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel’ (Mark 16:15). Matthew adds the important dimension of the Great Commission by quoting the words of Jesus, As you go, make disciples.’ (more…)

TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN…

(January 15, 2020) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, reminds us of Jesus’ challenges and warnings

We’re already almost halfway the first month of 2020! Christmas is over… and whatever gifts we were given are parts of last year’s history.

However, thinking of gifts given reminds me strongly of the greatest gift ever, that of God’s gift of salvation through his Son, Jesus Christ (John 3:16).

What a glorious free gift from God, all because of his love for us (Ephesians 1:4) and his incredible grace (Romans 5:15)! Unworthy though we are, we have received so much!

As I meditate on God’s goodness, I recall afresh just how much we’ve been given. And I’m also reminded that as disciples of Christ it is our responsibility to share this good news with others – as required by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20, those scriptures known as the Great Commission.

Much given, much required!
In Luke 12 Jesus told a parable about responsibility that speaks of blessings to those who have been given much when the master returns… but also of warnings. (more…)

VALUE OF MISSIONS FOUNDED ON THE WORD, FOCUSED ON THE WORLD!

(March 22, 2019) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us as we approach and embrace the celebration of Easter next month, to also embrace and activate our Saviour’s very clear great after Easter command…

In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus gave very clear direction to his followers: ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

  • Mark (in Mark 16:15-16) also wrote of Jesus’ direction – ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’
  • But Matthew’s gospel records the command of Christ in more detail than Mark by adding the authority of this command as well as the task of making disciples for Christ.
  • All true missions’ work is founded on the word and focused on the world because that is what the command of Christ embraces. It is a result of Christians believing and obeying the word of God.

God’s word is very clear
I believe that the word of God is our ultimate authority and it is so clear – our Lord Jesus commissioned his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. That he would be with them to the ends of the earth. That the power and presence of the Holy Spirit would provide supernatural support to their testimony and ministry. (more…)

THE POTENTIAL OF AN INVALUABLE MISSIONS’ STRATEGY

George Forbes 2010(February 15, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes emphasises a proven strategy…

Perhaps one of the least understood aspects of missionary work among the nations is that of missions’ strategy.  It has the potential to be invaluable or a stumbling block.

In my experience it has been very helpful when it is properly prepared, presented and understood. When it is considered unnecessary or too human, because we are being led by the Holy Spirit, there is the danger of proceeding without a plan, because we think we are trusting God for outcomes.

In some ways it is like the old saying, ‘The thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.’ (more…)