PRAISE GOD IT’S MONDAY!
A WEEKLY ‘WWW (world-wide word) OF ENCOURAGEMENT’
TO THOSE IN MINISTRY

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Issue No: 182     Published: 18 Apr 2005

THE POWER OF 'FORGETNESS'

The general response to last week's leading article has generally been, "Surely 'forgive', but what about the 'forget'. Surely God cannot forget, for then, He wouldn't be an all-knowing God! While He puts aside our sin through the blood of Jesus, He can't forget, neither perhaps, should we."

Yet, in my experience, the ability to both 'forgive and forget' is one of the most powerful weapons I have at my disposal in order to move forwards in my walk with Jesus. It is the key to overcoming offence and getting on with life. For one certainty I have found on my Christian journey is that I will be most offended by others walking the same path! That is reality!

So what do I do about it? Am I going to be like many who say, 'I forgive you but I will never forget what you have done to me as long as I live!' Is that true pardon, true forgiveness? Is that really going to help me walk righteously in God and man's sight in future? Or am I going to burden myself with an increasingly weighty rucksack of life offences that will weigh me down until the day I die? There is nothing sadder, or less effective, than a Christian overcome by ongoing offence, even after forgiving those involved.

My friend, I have been down this path, have experienced the weight of the burden, and seen the effect it has had on my life and ministry. But I have also discovered the release of removing the weight from my back through the 'power of forgetness'. It truly works!

"But David, is it scriptural?" I hear you ask. Yes it is. In fact, it is at the very heart of the New Covenant! Firstly, as prophesied by Jeremiah, then taught in the life and ministry of Jesus, acknowledged by Paul and finally confirmed in the Book of Hebrews, where it says,

12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” 13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8:12-13)

Yes, even our all-knowing God undertakes not to remember, to forget our sins, when removed through the blood of Jesus.

This issue too, is at the very heart of Peter's question to Jesus.

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. (Matthew 18:21-2)

Peter didn't want to forget his offences. How many times? Surely seven is enough? "No", said Jesus, "forever"! For that is the real meaning of 77. (Sorry if you are up to 70 and still counting!) For Jesus was teaching Peter, me and you, the principle that in keeping an account of our offences, we will reach a point where we can no longer forgive. Indeed, each one needs to be as the first.

Paul too, expressed similar sentiments, having learned the power of 'forgetness'.

13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

Of course, we must be wise, and learn through our experiences, both good and bad. By understanding offences, we can possibly prevent recurrence and certainly minimise their effect. In doing so, we can modify our previous reaction to a similar situation, whether with the same or a different person. Too, bad experiences form part of our spiritual growth, helping to refine our godly nature, if and as we learn from them.

I have learned that forgiveness is the mirror image of repentance. Both are required to live an effective life for Jesus. On the one hand, true repentance involves not simply saying sorry, but turning away from my sin and not doing it again. On the other, true forgiveness is not only pardoning an offence, but turning around and walking away from it. Not harbouring hurts. To learn from the experience, but then to forget it, as if it never happened. As God does with our repented sins.

As walking in the opposite direction is an integral part of repentance, so forgetting an offence is integral to effective, healing forgiveness.

Yes, it is difficult. I know. I fail in this area sometimes, as I do with sin. But when I succeed, my life and ministry are greatly enhanced. Yours can be too.

Now, was that 'forgetness' or 'forgetFULness' Can't remember! That's good! Well... maybe not, according to my wife, when I forget to buy milk for her 'cup of tea'!

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FROM THE WORD

"“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”" (Jerimiah 31:31-4)

"Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened. “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” (Matthew 18:21-35)

"But the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises. For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear." (Hebrews 8:6:13)

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained." (Philippians 3:12-16)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

ON REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS
163. True repentance is - a godly principle applied.

164. Personal repentance is a verb, not an adjective.

165. True repentance is an action that results in a life changing reaction.

166. Show me one who walks in forgiveness and talks with their wallet, and I will show you a true believer.

167. It is amazing how a sprinkling of forgiveness can calm a raging sea of hurts.

168. Sadly, the human mind subtly subverts the holy, ‘I Am’, into the unholy, ‘I am’!

187. Forgiveness is unique. The more you give the more you get.

188. Forgiveness is the one thing you can have more of by giving it away.

189. There are two inexplicable things in life - that the bumblebee can fly and that the more forgiveness I give, the more I get.

190. Forgiveness flies away, a leaf borne by the wind, soon to be returned upon the wings of an angel.

378. Medicine heals the body, while forgiveness heals the soul.

379. Forgiveness is a mind soothing balm.

380. Repentance brings peace with God - forgiveness, peace with ones self.

381. The simplest way to avoid repentance is not to sin. All too often I forget to follow my own advice!

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON

THE COMING OF THE LORD

13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those
who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have
no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and
so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have
fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word,
we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till
the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who
have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down
from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the
archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in
Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive
and are left will be caught up together with them in the
clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with
the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with
these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)









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FROM YOU - TO ME - TO YOU

Dear Bro. David,
I've come to one conclusion: We all have hurts that we like to nurse. Sometimes the person who has hurt me has been hurt much worse himself. We simply must put it behind us and press on.

Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus

Always good to hear from my down under friend.

Bro. Spooner
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Dear David
Regarding your message today, I often wonder how much are we to forget once we forgive? It seems that if we talk about what happened to us, then we are "accused" of still harbouring unforgiveness or "still carrying the hurts." It is interesting that Jacob carried his limp with him permanently after his encounter with God (Genesis 32:22-32). The experience seemed to sort out his character flaws for him. Another interesting thing is that many Christians think that forgiveness includes the restoration of trust back to where it was before the "offences" took place. That is an interesting subject. I guess you are meeting scores of "battered and bruised" Christians in your travels (as I am) - people who have been "wounded in the house of their friends"!!

As for me, I realize I would not be where I am today in being effective for Jesus, if those "negative and hurtful" things had not happened to stir me out of my comfort zone.

I picked this thought up recently which I will include in a coming Prayer Support Letter: "Unforgiveness is like drinking poison every day, and expecting someone else to die" (an Anglican vicar gave me that).

Thanks for your time.

God Bless,
Rodney.
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David;
If God forgot something, wouldn't that make Him less than perfect? Less than God?
God forgave David, but He didn't forget his sin with Bathsheba... in fact, He wrote it down in His book for all the world to see and know about!

He doesn't say He forgets stuff. He says He no longer holds it against us!

Jer 31:34 And they will no more teach each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for they will all know Me [recognize, understand, and be acquainted with Me], from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will [seriously] remember their sin no more. [Heb 8:8-12; 10:16,17.] [The Amplified Bible]

Jer 31:34 And they do not teach any more Each his neighbour, and each his brother, Saying, Know ye Jehovah, For they all know Me, from their least unto their greatest, An affirmation of Jehovah; For I pardon their iniquity, And of their sin I make mention no more. [Young's Literal Translation]

Ezek 18:22 None of the offences he has committed will be remembered against him. Because of the righteous things he has done, he will live. [New International Version]

Cleve
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Dear David,

The first two paragraphs of the section "The Bible" in today's PGIM is a very accurate description - of the modern Protestant Bible only. A Catholic Bible contains seven more books in the Old Testament - it includes the "apocryphal" (hidden) books, which for Roman Catholics are known as deuterocanonical. The additional books are Tobit, Judith, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Baruch, Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus. Expansions or alternate forms of Esther and Daniel are also part of both the Roman and Eastern churches' Bibles.

This follows the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, which was accepted as authoritative by all early Christians. It wasn't until Jerome translated the Bible into Latin (4th century, if I remember) that anybody questioned the books that weren't part of Hebrew scripture; that's when they became known as a "second canon", or deuterocanonical.

Until quite recently the apocrypha/deuterocanonicals were printed in most editions of Protestant Bible translations as well, including the Authorized (King James) version and Martin Luther's German translation. For most Protestants they were "secondary" books rather than part of an alternate canon, but still worthy of Christians' attention. Protestant composers in Europe drew on them for their sacred works, such as Handel's oratorios.

By the way, Jews would consider their Bible - our Old Testament - as having only 24 books. The Twelve (minor) Prophets is a single book, as are 1-2 Samuel, 1-2 Kings, 1-2 Chronicles, and Ezra-Nehemiah.

Grace and peace - Phil Anthony.

Phil Anthony, Coordinator, Salem Quarterly Meeting
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

A REVELATION OF... THE POWER OF THREE IN GOD AND THE CHURCH - Part 2 of 3

The 'power of 3' is a powerful tool in helping us understand how God works, how we work, and the church too.

Today we are going to look at the application of this principle to our lives.

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Previous teachings on this subject, the First Miracle of Jesus, the Book of Ruth, God's Character and Servanthood and Leadership, the Parable of the Sower, The Two Marathoners, The 3 Rivers of God and The Spring Feasts can be viewed at...

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LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

***Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused***

*** "Those who can't laugh at themselves leave the job to others." ***

362. NO LONGER HOME
After the fall in Garden of Eden, Adam was walking with his sons Cain and Abel.

They passed by the ruins of the Garden of Eden. One of the boys asked, "What's that?"

Adam replied, "Boys, that's where your mother ate us out of house and home."

361. WHAT CHAPTER?
A man has been in business for many, many years and the business is going down the drain. He is seriously contemplating suicide and he doesn't know what to do. He goes to the Pastor to seek his advice. He tells the Pastor about all of his problems in the business and asks the Pastor what he should do.

The Pastor says "Take a beach chair and a Bible and put them in your car and drive down to the edge of the ocean. Go to the water's edge. Take the beach chair out of the car, sit on it and take the Bible out and open it up. The wind will rifle the pages for a while and eventually the Bible will stay open at a particular page. Read the Bible and it will tell you what to do."

The man does as he is told. He places a beach chair and a Bible in his car and drives down to the beach. He sits on the chair at the water's edge and opens the Bible. The wind rifles the pages of the Bible and then stops at a particular page. He looks down at the Bible and sees what he has to do.

Three months later the man and his family come back to see the Pastor. The man is wearing a $1,000 Italian suit, The wife is all decked out with a full-length mink coat and the child is dressed in beautiful silk. The man hands the Pastor a thick envelope full of money and tells him that he wants to donate this money to the church in order to thank the Pastor for his wonderful advice. The Pastor is delighted. He recognizes the man and asks him what advice in the bible brought this good fortune to him.

The man replies: "Chapter 11."

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: What is black gold?

ANSWER: Black gold is another name for petroleum. At over $US50 per barrel it seems it will only be a matter of time before it is true, literally!

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What is black light? A black light trap?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS
684. POPULATION EXPLOSION
The largest known litter (with all kittens surviving) was that of a Persian in South Africa named Bluebell. Bluebell gave birth to 14 kittens in one litter! (Cat-alytic?)

685. GENERATIONAL
General Douglas MacArthur was fired by Harry Truman in a dispute over the handling of the Korean War in 1951. His father had earlier been fired by President Taft for insubordination. One of his grandfathers had defied orders in the Battle of Missionary Ridge in the Civil War. (A feisty family!)

686. DELAYED BIRTH
Armadillos apparently can delay the due date of their delivery. Some female armadillos captured for research have given birth to babies up to almost two years after being captured, without male contact during that period. Normal gestation is much shorter but the female can delay implantation of the fertilised egg during times of stress. (But the inevitable does finally happen.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU
Make another word from this word using all the letters.

DEPICTER

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BE INSPIRED WITH A MESSAGE FROM INSPIRATIONAL TAPES

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THE POWER OF THE LAYING ON OF HANDS

By: Bill Subritzky

New Zealand's leading evangelist for many years. The final in a series of 3.

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DO YOU KNOW? (On Water)

1. Where did John the Baptist baptize Jesus?

In the Sea of Galilee
In the River Jordan
At the shore of the Salt Sea

Answer at the end of A DAVID MUSING.

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3. TIPS ON MARRIAGE FOR LIFE

If marriage is to be a part of intrinsic faith, a lifelong commitment, what does that mean in practice?

1. We must accept living in conflict with our culture;...

2. Our marriage must become a chief occupation, rather than just a status...

3. Along with evaluation comes adjustments...

4. Marriages have to be protected...

5. Love for spouse must be developed...

6. Forgiveness is essential...

An interesting article by Greg Swenson, Ph.D. Read the article in detail at...

http://www.wwj.org.nz/maffacts.php

TILL DEATH DO US PART

IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU LOOK AT IT!
An English professor wrote the words, "Woman without her man is nothing" on the blackboard and directed his students to punctuate it correctly.

The men wrote: "Woman, without her man, is nothing."

The women wrote: "Woman! Without her, man is nothing."

WHERE WOULD MEN BE WITHOUT WOMEN
A women's lib speaker was addressing a large group and said, "Where would man be today if it were not for woman?"

She paused a moment and looked around the room.

"I repeat, where would man be today if it were not for woman?"

From the back of the room came a voice, "He'd be in the Garden of Eden eating strawberries."

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BIBLE BITS (The 'Minor' Prophets)

JOEL

Joel's theme is 'The Day of them Lord'. A day of reckoning, one of judgement. When God brings down the wicked and proud and raises the humble. So involving destruction for some and deliverance for others. For Israel it was described as a plague of ravaging locusts.

Lots more 'God Facts' are found at...

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A REVELATION OF... PARABLE OF THE SOWER

Find out the real, 'hidden' meaning of this famous parable, as it applies to Christians today.

Complements this week's Tuesday Teaching well.

NOTE: Takes a little longer to download as it contains pictures. But its worth the wait!

Picture of sowing seed in Israel.

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A DAVID MUSING

In spite of inactivity on the 'twins production front' by our family in Scotland, it has been a good week. Lot's of encouragement and finally, after 5 months of waiting, we have some excellent African music for the backing of our pilot TV programme.

Hopefully this week will see it completed. But then again, you never know whether 'African Time' will continue for a little longer!

But we all need good weeks don't we? Amazing though, in spite of not liking them, it is generally during the bad weeks that we are more open to God changing us! It is the old cliche of more change in the valleys than on the mountain-tops. Perhaps, if we were equally open to change when things are going well, we would have more mountain top experiences... Remember that this week, David!

So until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: DECREPIT

TODAY'S 'DO YOU KNOW?' ANSWER: The River Jordan. 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented. 16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:13-17)

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ABOUT US

WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES is a non-profit, non-denominational, Bible based ministry located in Mount Maunganui, New Zealand. A ministry dedicated to developing discipleship, fostering unity amongst God’s people to achieve the Great Commission, and in doing so, preparing for Christ’s return. It is securely based upon the foundational principles of the Apostles Creed while recognising the wide and rich diversity of beliefs amongst Christians in other areas. In accordance with the Lord’s direction, materials produced by the ministry are available, free of charge, to genuine enquirers upon request. The ministry is solely funded by donations, as the Lord provides. A list of materials available (plus some fun!) is obtainable and freely downloadable from our website
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Our role is to bless and encourage those in ministry while promoting co-operation and unity of direction amongst the body of Christ, as emphasised 3 times by Jesus in His longest prayer, immediately prior to His arrest and crucifixion. "… so that they may be one as we are one." (John 17:12, 21, 23-4) Our website is currently being developed to encourage your participation one with another, to share resources, and to enable you to promote events and items of interest to the body as a whole – and have a smile while doing it!

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