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

A FREE service, currently connecting with Christian leaders from 3,000 denominations and ministries, in 70 countries.

Issue No: 238     Published: 15 May 2006

GOD'S CALLING HIS CHURCH 11: FROM PRIESTLY FOCUS TO PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT

One of the greatest frustrations to church leaders is in getting their people involved in doing the work of the church. We have, of course, previously dealt with the difference between the 'churches work' and 'God's work', so we won't go there again.

Why is it though, that people don't want to be involved? While we constantly hear the excuse that today we are too busy, I would suggest that this is an 'excuse' rather than the 'reason'. For we all find time to do the things that that we consider most important to us. Put simply, God's work is further down the priority list than other pursuits in the time we have available.

I would suggest, even going back 50 years when the pace of life was slower, the situation was little better. Sure, at this time when mothers stayed at home with the kids, there was a greater people resource available, but it didn't result in a big increase in God's kingdom.

So there has to be another, more basic reason why people don't feel the need to become involved, even while claiming that God is their No. 1 life priority!

To find the answer we need to go right back to the time of Constantine and the early Roman church where we saw the formalisation of a paid priesthood placed over the laity. It is no good criticising the Roman Catholic Church about this, for the division has been perpetuated through all the reformations that have taken place since. From priests to ministers to pastors, the basic organisation structure has remained. The common perception is that the 'professionals' are far better qualified to do the job - and this is what we are paying them for anyway!

Pastors will cry out, "No David, you are wrong! We aren't like that at all!"

But 'Pastor Tait' has a title, perhaps wears a robe, or clerical collar, or more subtly, dresses better than his people. He likely has a formal qualification, may even be called 'Rev' or 'Dr'. He stands behind a pulpit on a raised platform, maybe even sitting on a grand throne on the stage. He is placed on a pedestal by his people and takes the place of honour at banquets. Then wonders why the people might perceive him (or her) as a superior Christian to them! To know, deep down, that they are inferior believers and the Lord would certainly use the pastor first to build His kingdom.

Yet this Old Covenant system is not the way it is meant to be under the New Covenant. Jesus criticised the Rabbis for precisely the same things!

5 “Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’ 8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:5-12)

Jesus came to bring a new way, with a brotherhood to replace the hierarchy. It is a sad fact, that in the church, we generally have more hierarchy than in the world. There are very few people accorded leadership titles in the world, yet so many in the church.

God is calling His leaders to a change in attitude, from one of getting the people to help fulfil the pastor's vision towards encouraging and training the people to seek the Lord for personal vision and then helping them implement what the Lord reveals. For it is the saints who are designated to do the work, not the leaders.

11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. (Ephesians 4:11-12)

In those rare situations where equipping and encouraging the people to do the work is the primary focus of ministry, you will almost always find a healthy, happy and effective 'church', of whatever form it might take. One of people willing to work for Jesus in the way the Lord has shown them to do. It is a more difficult road for the leadership, but the truth is, we are to be like Jesus and act as He acted.

28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

PRINCIPLE 11: God is calling all His people to become personally involved in the ministry of the kingdom.

But God, how can I fulfil MY vision if I have no flock to help me, for surely my vision is their vision!" "David, my son, serve your people and give your life up for them, as Jesus did." "But God... OK God!"

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FROM THE WORD

"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. “Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’ “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:1-12)

THE REQUEST OF JAMES AND JOHN
"Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”" (Mark 10:35-45)

"Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first." (Matthew 19:28-30)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

LEADERSHIP
156. In God, being led to lead is a calling. Leading when not led, guarantees an appalling mauling!

157. A Christian leader is but an ordinary person called to an extraordinary task. Both leaders and the led need to be reminded of this!

158. Worldly leadership builds up self, but godly leadership builds up others.

159. In God, understanding and sharing vulnerabilities is a sign of maturity and success, not an acknowledgement of failure.

160. In God, if you’re not led to lead, you’ll be bled to death.

161. To lead or be led? The difference is ‘a’ for attitude!

162. Only God has the required glue to attach ‘super’ to ‘natural’.

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FROM YOU - TO ME - TO YOU

Dear David,
I appreciate and accept the corrections made by our brother, David C, with regard to grace, faith and salvation in the tradition in which he serves Christ. And I feel I need to respond again.

Personally I am enlightened by what Dr. Hans Kung, the brilliant Roman Catholic theologian from Germany, said: "Whoever preaches one half of the gospel is no less a heretic than the person who preaches the other half of the gospel."

This is a temptation for every Christian, namely to preach only one half of the gospel. It is the tightrope we walk: preaching a gospel of either saved by grace alone, or by works of faith alone. James is in the Bible the champion of works. He does not apologise for what he believes to be key to Christianity, namely that we must be doers of the Word and not hearers only. In the centuries since Luther and others defended the truth of saving grace through faith, we saw a battle between two perspectives. One group of (protestant) believers emphasised works of faith over and above grace. Others are accused of bringing a gospel where God’s grace is emphasised in a way that it seems that faith is nothing more than an afterthought reaction to God’s grace.

Christ is both Saviour and Lord:

There are Christians who are so committed to preserving the gospel of "saved by grace alone" that they separate the roles of Christ. They place Christ in a box by saying that He only comes to the sinner as gracious Saviour and makes no claims of Lordship; that it is only after we become Christians that the Lordship of Christ has any claim on our life. The bottom line of that belief often is that it encourages people to claim Jesus as Saviour by simple intellectual affirmation, by saying yes in our mind to a couple of spiritual laws, or an intellectual belief in a plan of salvation, and defer until later, or worse never, the claims of Christ in the transformation of life. This leads people to believe that their behaviours have no relationship to their spiritual life.

So James’ question is not whether works of faith can save us without the grace of God, but whether faith without works, faith without transformation, can possibly be a fruit of God’s saving grace. And the answer is no! There is no salvation without discipleship. It is not enough to claim Jesus as Saviour; we must allow Him to be Lord as well. We must surrender in faith to Him, love Him, follow Him and be discipled by Him. Saving grace, according to James, produces a faith that works in practice, soften our hearts for the poor, prevent us to favour the powerful and wealthy, change our tongues from fires lit in hell to instruments of prophetic proclamation of the love of God and produces a powerful life of prayer that can meet both the physical and spiritual brokenness of every lost seeker!

We find both “halves” of the gospel in more than one revealed truth:

One half of the gospel is that we are saved by grace only and the other half that we are saved through a living faith in Christ only. This kind of reasoning is not strange to the gospel in any way at all. There are also many other examples of this way of thinking in the Holy Scriptures!

God’s truth is not one dimensional, or two or even three dimensional, but divinely multi-dimensional. We may therefore proclaim that only those that persevere in a faith that works until the end of their lives, will be saved. We may also rejoice in the truth that by God’s grace nothing will rob God of His children whom He saved and adores and that we certainly will persevere in a living faith, by the grace of God, until life’s end.

So, let us not give the enemy an opportunity to divide the Bride of Christ by allowing infighting amongst God’s people, because we are “defending our half of the gospel”, lets rather be excited to be enriched and to grow, because we are made aware of the “other half” of the truth by brothers and sisters zealously proclaiming its value and worth!! Lets believe both halves of the gospel.

Love in Christ Jesus,
Andries.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Your comments to me or fellow readers are always welcomed at... david@wwj.org.nz

This is an opportunity for you to express your views, which may not be my views. But none of us have a mortgage on all the truth - except for Jesus!

CRANWELL'S CARTOON








13 So Moses stretched out his staff over Egypt, and the LORD made an east wind blow across the land all that day and all that night. By morning the wind had brought the locusts; 14 they invaded all Egypt and settled down in every area of the country in great numbers. Never before had there been such a plague of locusts, nor will there ever be again. 15 They covered all the ground until it was black. They devoured all that was left after the hail—everything growing in the fields and the fruit on the trees. Nothing green remained on tree or plant in all the land of Egypt. (Exodus 10:13-15)








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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

A REVELATION OF....... THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID - Part 1

THE TENT IN JERUSALEM
As a relatively young Christian, I participated in a course called 'Word of Life', in which we studied both Moses' and David's Tabernacles. I was fascinated by Moses Tabernacle and ‘underwhelmed’ by that of David!

Over the years since the Lord has given me much revelation on the ‘tent in the desert’ and none on the ‘town tent’.

However, I noticed greater interest being shown by others, in more recent years, in the Tabernacle of David, particularly in relation to worship. But still nothing for this David!

This changed however, last night, as I was reading the chapter in Chronicles where David's Tabernacle is mentioned, the Lord started to reveal new meanings for me, showing me that it truly is a picture, a representation of the end time church. I was so excited that I hardly slept! For I now know another 'missing link' in the teaching the Lord has given me! Of course, in God, there is always more revelation to come! And will continue to be until the day Jesus returns.

So, as I write, and you read this teaching, we will be learning together! I trust you will be looking forward to it and as excited about it as I am!

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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." ***


495. SLAMMING THE DOOR
Two church members were going door to door, and knocked on the door of a woman who was not happy to see them. She told them in no uncertain terms that she did not want to hear their message and slammed the door in their faces.

To her surprise, however, the door did not close and, in fact, bounced back open. She tried again, really put her back into it, and slammed the door again with the same result the door bounced back open.

Convinced these rude young people were sticking their foot in the door, she reared back to give it a slam that would teach them a lesson, when one of them said, "Ma'am, before you do that again you need to move your cat."

494. THE EVILS OF TV
A pastor was preaching an impassioned sermon on the evils of television.

"It steals away precious time that could be better spent on other things," he said.

He advised the congregation to do what he and his family had done.

"We put our TV away in the closet."

"That's right," his wife mumbled, "and it gets awfully crowded in there."

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: What is the lowest place on Earth?

ANSWER: The Dead Sea, located near some of Israel's most famous historical sites, is the lowest place on Earth. It lies further below sea level than any other place in the world. (The only place you can float below sea level?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Are pigeons and doves of the same family?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

509. GIANT TOWELS
Tablecloths were originally designed as giant towels with which dinner guests could wipe their hands and faces after eating! (Some still do – and they are really right!)

510. NO FACIAL HAIR
The Mona Lisa has no eyebrows. It was the fashion in Renaissance Florence to shave them off. (Raises a few eyebrows, does this revelation!)

511. ALWAYS TALKING
New Yorkers make around 36 million phone calls daily. (How many ‘busy’ signals do they get.)
A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

MARCHER

Answer at the end of A David Musing

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can download the full version of our Trivia Book at TRULY TRIFFLING TRIVIA

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BIBLE QUESTION - THE GOSPELS

Who was responsible for producing the first printed version of the Bible?

a. Johann Gutenberg
b. John Wycliffe
c. King James of England
d. Pope Gregory the Great

Answer at the end of A DAVID MUSING.

Source: "TwoPaths Bible Study, www.twopaths.com"

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

"""OTHER'S SAYINGS TO ENLIGHTEN, AMUSE, OR BEMUSE"""

More of "MURPHY'S OTHER LAWS"

!!!!!!! It is hard to understand how a cemetery can raise its burial costs and blame it on the higher cost of living.

!!!!!! It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them.

!!!!! Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.

!!!! The shin bone is a device for finding furniture.

!!! A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

!! Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

! Syntax is all the money collected at the church from sinners.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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JUST JOKES!

SEVEN WORDS
A woman from the deepest, most southern part of Alabama goes into the local newspaper office to see that the obituary for her recently deceased husband is written. The obit editor informs her that the fee for the obituary is 50 cents a word.

She pauses, reflects and then says, "Well, then, let it read, 'Billy Bob died'."

Amused at the woman's thrift, the editor says, "Sorry ma'am, there is a 7 word minimum on all obituaries."

Only a little flustered, she thinks things over and in a few seconds says, "In that case, let it read, 'Billy Bob died - 1983 Pick-up for sale.'"

CHICKENS
The farmer's son was returning from the market with he crate of chicken's his father had entrusted to him, when all of a sudden the box fell and broke open. Chickens scurried off in different directions, but the determined boy walked all over the neighborhood scooping up the wayward birds and returning them to the repaired crate. Hoping he had found them all, the boy reluctantly returned home, expecting the worst.

"Pa, the chickens got loose," the boy confessed sadly, "but I managed to find all twelve of them."

"Well, you did real good, son," the farmer beamed.

"You left with seven."

LOOKING
"I hear the First National Bank is looking for a new teller."

"I thought they just hired a new teller last week."

"Right. That's the one they're looking for."

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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN BIBLICAL LANDS

MUTUAL GODS

Just as the Israelites were attracted to Canaanite gods, so were the Philistines. Their 3 deities, Dagon, Ashteroth and Baal-zebub, were all related to Canaanite gods.

(dagon pictured.)

Adapted from: '1001 Surprising Things You Should Know About The Bible' MacGregor & Prys

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SHIFT OF CHRISTIANITY FROM WEST

A report released last month by the Lausanne Researchers' Network highlights the profound southern geographical shift of global Christianity in the past century. "USA Evangelicals/Evangelicals in a Global Context" provides new data on the southern shift in the evangelical movement from its roots in the U.K. and the U.S. The study shows that 80% of all Christians in 1900 came from Europe and North America; by 2005 it was less than 45%. This statistic correlates with the finding that of the estimated number of evangelicals worldwide, growing to 688 million from 250 million in the last 105 years, most are increasingly found outside of the Western world. Africans, Asians and Latin Americans are more typical representatives of evangelicalism than Americans or Europeans. People of African descent represent 31% of evangelicals while Asians and Latin Americans make up 15 and 13% respectively.

[CHRISTIAN POST, 2 Jan.'06]

Many more evangelism facts at...

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... THE 3 RIVERS OF GOD

The principle of the 'river' in scripture and how it applies to our lives and the church today.

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LIFE'S ROSES AND THORNS

Many expect life to be easy once they come to Jesus. But His life was not easy - and we are meant to be like Him!

LIFE'S ROSES AND THORNS
Life may be short,
It could be long.
Will we be caught?
Or end up strong?

Money comes,
Money goes.
We do our sums,
But no-one knows.

Healthy one day,
Sick the next.
For wellness we pray,
When ill - now vexed.

All's under control,
Now it falls apart!
We're first on a roll,
Then back to the start!

In God too, we must face this place,
For all's not smooth, in life's race.

Him we are called, ever to revere,
And in daily life, to persevere.

He hasn't promised a fine bed of roses,
Nor simple solutions, to all life poses.
For roses were created with thorns you see,
Representing life problems, for you and me.

Yet when we see the rose in triumphant bloom,
Its shining beauty overwhelming the gloom,
The thorns' pricks and scratches are all worthwhile,
Put aside, forgotten, when with pleasure we smile.

For there cannot be a rose, without the thorns,
So with trial and testing, we do lock horns.

In order to become the rose God wants us to be,
We must overcome the thorns of life, you see.

Then He will pick us, now His richest bloom,
Taking pride of place in His heavenly room.
Eternal blooms, never ever to fade,
For by His hand, we have been made.

When locking horns with our latest thorn,
Remember the rose - no, it does not mourn.
From glory to glory, we are being made,
The price of the Cross, now fully paid.

http://www.wwj.org.nz/waxing.php?poemId=00003

A DAVID MUSING

There is something satisfying in seeing a vision fulfilled. This week we distributed Psalms CD's to those who requested them through PGIM and dispatched sample copies for each of the Hospices in New Zealand. At last! All the work, all the challenges along the way, have proved worthwhile.

Many people have visions. But lots simply expect their vision to fall in their lap. My experience doesn't match up with this fatalistic attitude. Sure, you need to wait for God's timing. But when He says go, it means work! And generally lots of it! The step from inspiration to perspiration is the death knell of many visions.

And after all the work, all the glory must go to Him! For it was His idea in the first place! Praise the Lord!

So until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: CHARMER

TODAY'S 'DO YOU KNOW?' ANSWER: : a. Johann Gutenberg Johann Gutenberg, a German goldsmith, invented the movable type press in the 1440's and began production of his printed edition of the Latin Vulgate. Gutenberg lost his printing shop to financier Johann Fust in a 1455 lawsuit, but is believed to have completed the major part of the production prior to that time. This was the beginning of making the Bible widely available, instead of only to the privileged few who could afford a hand-copied edition. 47 copies of the Gutenberg Bible are still in existence.

REPRODUCTION OF NEWSLETTER CONTENT

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ABOUT US

WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES is a non-profit, non-denominational, Bible based ministry located in Hastings, 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
wwj.org.nz or by contacting us as follows.

Walking With Jesus Ministries
290 Flaxmere Avenue
Flaxmere
Hastings
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 8799 911 International (+64) 6 8799 911
Email: enquiries@wwj.org.nz
Web: wwj.org.nz

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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