Matthew 28:18-20

PENTECOST’S FIVE ‘C’S

(June 3, 2022) Robert and Maureen McQuillan bring a challenge to both Christian leaders… and so-called ‘ordinary’ Christians.

Shavuot or Pentecost, the Hebrew celebration of the Festival of the Weeks, is here. As mentioned in Christian Pentecost-the Feast That Never Ended  it was initially a special time of remembrance and celebration for Israel.

We Christians celebrate (or should) our Pentecost this Sunday! Our celebration is the good news that God’s love continued beyond that extraordinary Passover event we call Easter.

Our thoughtful God had a further free gift to giveto all who believe in His Son Jesus – the outpouring of His Holy Spirit! That powerful Acts 2 infilling of God’s Spirit as promised by Jesus meant (and still means)…

  • Enablement praising God in that special prayer language called tongues.
  • Empowerment – serving Jesus in powerful ways and touch the world.
  • Enthusiasm – caring for/generously sharing with fellow Christians, ministries and missionaries needs (See Pentecost Sunday-Shavuot).
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DON’T ASSUME!

(January 18, 2022) Jerry Wiles challenges us not to assume that someone is a Christian because they attend church or work at a Christian college!

In the early 1990s I was introduced to the work of Living Water International. At that time, it was estimated that 1.2 billion people around the world were without access to clean, safe drinking water. (That number has been reduced to approximately 770 million today).

That was an eye-opener for many of us who have grown up with indoor plumbing and safe water at the turn of a tap. We in the modern Western world enjoy many benefits and privileges, that we often take for granted. The more time we spend in other parts of the world can give us a greater appreciation for the things we sometimes take for granted. 

It can help us overcome some of our false assumptions. While spending some time in a communist country a few years ago, a young lady asked me, ‘Is it true that in your country, there is a church in every village?’

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GRATEFUL FOR 2021 SUCCESSFUL OUTREACHING, BUT MOVING AHEAD INTO 2022 WITH VISION

(January 05, 2022) David McGuire brings a colourful, picturesque report from Romania…

Those engaged in overseas missions ‘send in’ reports to headquarters back home, to supporting churches, friends or contacts. This is often pages of typed information.

Rather than a lot of text, I thought I’d like Connecting with You readers to know visually what’s been happening here by way of photos. After all, there’s an old saying: A picture is worth a thousand words.

In short, despite ongoing troubles around the world last year we have continued to reach out to children, build houses for gypsies, and meet other needy people… where they’re at here. These following pictures speak for themselves!

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Mesmerised children

Christmas presents joy
Over 2000 presents
, received from four sources of the body of Christ, were distributed giving great joy for so many kids as well as adults.

Some presents left over from home distribution were perfect for kids who beg in supermarket carparks, as below…

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PRIORITISED 2022 RESOLUTIONS

(January 01, 2022) Brian Bell shares afresh on some of his December thoughts as we move for Jesus into this new year…

Christmastime is over and 2022 is here!

Like some others, maybe you too are looking back on difficult 2021 life experiences. Amid the uncertainties of life perhaps some situation injured you, people may have hurt and or disappointed you.

Perhaps you had failed the Lord in some way, or you made poor decisions and thought He won’t forgive you. Well, a December Features was on the very spirit of Christmas… forgiveness (Christmas – Perfect Time for Forgiveness).

There is a wrong tendency with Christians to feel difficult circumstances must be an indication of sin in our lives, or that we have displeased and or failed the Lord… and this can hinder us from moving ahead, especially into every God-given new year.

Now there may be times when we have made choices that have contributed to our certain circumstances. But we need to remember that varied, changing and indeed difficult circumstances of life are common to everyone, believer and non-believer. So, I encourage you to deal with whatever needs dealing with, perhaps putting things ‘right’ with another believer… and resolving to move on!

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DARING FAITH IN DARK TIMES

Editorial note: We always like to honour the late missionary statesman Dr George Forbes with one of his Christmas articles. This one is as meaningful as when first published six years ago!

(December 13, 2021) George Forbes reminds us that wherever we live, we must be active Christians…

‘Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see!’

I came across this powerful saying in a great little booklet titled, God’s Little Instruction Book. It tends to stick in one’s mind as it encapsulates a fundamental truth.

A faith that dares
We know that God’s word declares that –  

  • ‘Without faith it is impossible to please God!’
  • It is not possible to be a Christian without faith.
  • It is equally impossible to live the life of a believer without believing.
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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…)