(June 3, 2019) Dr George Forbes, missionary statesman, reflects on a very special day in church history, one being celebrated by many churches this Sunday…
Suddenly… that word which indicates something out-of-the-blue! Such as what happened to those first followers of Jesus Christ on that special Day of Pentecost over 2000 years ago!
Before the Day of Pentecost came round in the year that Jesus died at Calvary and rose from the dead three days later, and before he ascended into heaven (Acts 1:9), he ordered his disciples not to depart from Jerusalem – but to ‘wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about’ (Acts 1:4).
The incredible gift Jesus promised
- That they would receive power when God’s Holy Spirit fell on them.
- That they would be his witnesses not only locally but across the world!
What a bold promise the Lord Jesus made in Acts 1:8: ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’
And so they waited! Then, we read in Acts 2, the Day of Pentecost arrived… that annual Feast of the Harvest, one of Israel’s three major yearly celebrations, lasting only one day. It was on this particular feast day something powerful was going to happen in the plan and purpose of God!
Note the wording that opens chapter two… that ‘they were all together in one place.’ The ‘all’ this time was different from the group in the first chapter; it was the apostles and other disciples who had joined them to celebrate the Day of Pentecost.
This gathering would be unique in both Israel and the early church’s history because it was believers in Jesus who gathered in the upper room of a particular house on this particular day of celebration. It appears likely that the number was about 120 believers in Jesus Christ (Acts 1:15). And they obviously did not even dream what lay ahead! (more…)
(April 18, 2018) George Forbes, missionary spokesperson, reflects on a special term…
‘All Nations’ – this term ‘all nations’ occurs 72 times in the New Testament. The entire Bible has 452 direct references to all the nations in this world. This alone is substantial evidence of God’s interest in every nation on earth.
When you find that God’s word, the Bible, links ‘all nations’ with the eternal purposes of God, the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and above all, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the value of all nations to God becomes very clear.
The command of Jesus Christ to his disciples recorded in Matthew 28: 18-20 adds vital meaning to God’s love and plan for all nations!
He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, as you go, disciple people in all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age.’ (more…)
(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…)
(December 5, 2017) Geraldine Brandt reminds us of a special lady who willingly trusted God to fulfil his word…
May I bring a particular aspect to the Christmas story – the biblical Mary that I see!
When we think of Christmas we naturally think of Jesus Christ, born of Mary, a virgin – born in a manger, born to die on a cross for the sins of the world. That’s as it should be! There is no greater message to be proclaimed, nor any other focus that should be given.
But can I add that one of the greatest messengers of this truth is the mother of Jesus, Mary herself.
Mary does not preach this message, she lives it! When we take time to go through the gospels and study this woman of God we find a very humble woman, great in faith, persistent in prayer and steadfast in her trust in God, specifically trusting that what he said about her son, Jesus, would come to pass.
Willing to obey
From the very beginning – Mary’s encounter with Gabriel, the archangel of God Most High – we see a woman who is willing to do the will of God, and to do that will without fanfare, complaint, or requested recognition. (more…)
(July 15, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes boldly declares:
Anyone who is moving forward is moving into new territory, new experiences, new challenges and new opportunities.
This is applicable in all areas of life, including world evangelisation. If ever there was a time to move forward, it is now as we move into the second half of 2017!
Obedience is the key word as we consider the world situation of the growth of the church of Jesus Christ. There has been much moving forward over the centuries as his church has grown.
When David Livingstone, the great missionary to Africa, said, ‘I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward,’ he was expressing a heart of faith and commitment.
Dr Livingstone was prepared to face change, uncertainty and unlimited opportunity, to reach people who had never heard the gospel.
Passion, vision, dream, mission, inspiration
Livingstone had set his heart on China, however the opium war blocked his plans to leave England and go to that nation. (more…)
(November 14, 2016) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us of the reality of this promise…
This often quoted statement by a famous missionary has inspired many to see the divine possibilities in every situation. God is on schedule with his plan for planet Earth. The prospects for completion of the task of world evangelisation have never been better.
- God promised Abraham that through him all nations on earth would be blessed.
- He promised Jesus that he would give him the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for his possession.
- He declared that all the ends of the earth would remember and turn to the Lord and all the families of the nations would worship before him.
- He promised that he would pour out his Spirit on all flesh and that whoever called on the name of the Lord would be saved.
The Bible is full of God’s promises
Especially regarding his purpose and plan to gather to himself a people from every tribe, tongue, nation and ethnic group in the world. (more…)
Robert and Maureen McQuillan reflect …
Christians are so familiar with Psalm 23 – the Shepherd’s Song, that best known psalm of David.
Genuine shepherds care so much. Here’s a powerful reminder of our relationship with Jesus, the greatest shepherd. It gives Christians a secure hope in our God and encourages us to trust every aspect of life to our Lord built on a meaningful and powerful relationship.
Even countless non-Christians are aware of this precious psalm. Decades ago when purchasing a used car on learning of our ministry involvements, the salesman remarked, ‘I don’t go to church myself but I ensure my kids do – they know more about the Bible that I can do. But I do remember one thing from my own Sunday school days … the Shepherd’s Song!’ (more…)