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: 239     Published: 22 May 2006

GOD'S CALLING HIS CHURCH 12: FROM MATERIALISM TO SPIRITUALITY

As we conclude our 12 part series of God's call upon the church today, we will look at a final, difficult area of church life. The area of a Christians 'right' to material wellbeing, epitomised in the closely related 'name it and claim it' and 'prosperity' doctrines.

One thing I have noticed when travelling around the world, is the makeup of congregations in prosperity teaching churches. It would be reasonable to assume, if the teaching was effective, that the people attending would be of above average wealth for the community in which they live. For prosperity is relative. What is considered poverty in New Zealand is regarded as wealth in Africa. Yet, whether in the USA or the heart of Africa, the congregations of prosperity preachers are invariably poorer than the community average. Why? Because the teaching appeals to the poor, those who see such teaching as a way out of their financial disadvantage. It is noticeable too, that invariably, the preachers are rich.

But what does the Bible say? Much of our confusion comes because we fail to understand the fundamental difference in the manifestation of God's blessing between the Old and the New Covenants.

The Old Testament was based in the natural. Ongoing physical sacrifices of animals were required for forgiveness of sin, while wealth and the possession of land measured blessing. The glory days of God's blessing of Israel were found in the reign of King Solomon. Unfortunately however, In spite of being the world's wisest man, Solomon's character was unable to resist the temptations wealth brings. A sobering warning to us all! From the final part of Solomon's reign onwards, it was all downhill for the Jews.

Jesus came to change the system. Believers accept with gratitude the incredible final sacrifice Jesus made on the cross and are gladly prepared to spiritually apply the power of His blood for the forgiveness of sin. For we have read in Hebrews:

8 First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 9 Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (Hebrews 10:8-10)

Logic would dictate that if the sacrifice were changed from physical to spiritual, blessings also, would take a new form. And they do. Solomon failed through lack of character. New Testament blessings therefore, are focused around character building, rather than the acquisition of wealth. This is epitomised by the 'Sermon on the Mount.'

3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:3-9)

In fact, rather than receiving a promise of the comfort of wealth, we are promised blessings for pain and suffering! The sermon continues:

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. (Matthew 5:10-11) Sobering, isn't it?

Much of the New Testament deals with the subject of wealth. But only in 1or possibly 2 places, in a positive light. Probably the most hard-hitting passage is about the Rich Young Ruler.

22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:22-24)

Of course, everything is possible in God, but this was a huge warning to the Jews (and us!) for they hankered for the return of the days of King Solomon.

The lifestyle Jesus modelled was one of 'daily provision', as expressed in the Lord's prayer. Give us today our daily bread.

His emphasis was on seeking spiritual understanding with its associated blessings:

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:31-4)

Yes, Jesus came with a new covenant. One based on the spiritual 'kingdom of God'. Today God is calling on us to put aside the seductive temptations of materialism and embrace principles of kingdom living. For Jesus died, not that we might become wealthy in the world, but to build spiritual treasure in heaven.

32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:32-34)

There will come a time when the physical and the spiritual will be reunited as it was in the Garden before Adam and Eve sinned. But that is another story, one dependant upon the spiritual development of our character to become like Jesus.

PRINCIPLE 12: God is calling His people to change focus from the material to the spiritual.

"This time, God, I understand. For I have been a millionaire twice and bankrupt twice and know in which state I come closer to you. And recently, you called on us to give away our protective 'nest-egg', Lord. I am learning not to worry about tomorrow - well, most of the time!"

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FROM THE WORD

THE RICH YOUNG MAN
"Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” “Which ones?” the man inquired.
Jesus replied, ”‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’” “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Peter answered him, “We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 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 19:16-30)

CHRIST'S SACRIFICE ONCE FOR ALL
"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, O God.’” First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. (Hebrews 10:1-18)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

LEADERSHIP
372. To be a leader in the world is difficult, in the church, impossible. However, with God's help, we can do the impossible.

373. God loves obedient leaders.

374. Leaders are not God - for only God is perfect.

375. Our leaders are not God substitutes. They too, make mistakes, just as we do.

376. Truly godly leaders are more precious than diamonds - and equally hard to find.

377. The Bible tells us that there is only one God. Some leaders need to be reminded of this fact.

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FROM YOU - TO ME - TO YOU

Dear David,

Greetings from Cameroon! Thank you very much for PGIM and Tuesday Teaching. I should say they are very helpful, source of inspiration and strength. I've a question, I don't know if you have ever carried some studies on what is the driven force behind changes in the Church, in the past or in our time. One thing, I've noticed here in Cameroon, the first is money. Many Church will take important decisions, sometimes even on points where Scriptures are clear enough because money is at stake. The second is interest, personal interest of leaders. I would like to hear from you.

I want to really thank you for your help and encourage you to keep on challenging us to serve the Lord wholehearted!

In Christ,
Prosper
-------------------------------------------------------------
A praise report...Our brother in Christ, David Tait sent me his new Psalm CD...a new release from New Zealand. It is a peaceful and inspiring CD that I recommend to anyone. This CD will be a great blessing for those who are lost, in need of hope, seeking peace and freedom from despair. One hour and twenty minutes of Psalms reading and peaceful music. If anyone wants a copy, let me know a and I will pass the request on to David. Giving glory to God, praises to David for a great job...!!!!!

In God's grace,
Jerry and Lori

PS: YOU MAY STILL ORDER A COPY AT: psalms@wwj.org.nz DAVID
-------------------------------------------------------------
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









15 Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men.
16 Then Samson said, “With a donkey’s jawbone I have made donkeys of them. With a donkey’s jawbone I have killed a thousand men.” (Judges 15:15-16)









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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

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

THE LORD IS TO BE FEARED!
Two subjects we hear very little about in the church today are 'fear of the Lord' and 'judgement'. Yet both are at the heart of a balanced faith.

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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." ***

497. CHILDREN'S NOTES TO GOD
Dear God,
Please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter.
There is nothing good in there now.

Dear Mr. God,
I wish you would not make it so easy for people to come apart. I had to have 3 stitches and a shot.

Dear God,
It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about you that people are not supposed to say, but I hope you will not hurt him anyway. Your friend (I am not going to tell you who I am).

Dear God,
I read the bible. What does begat mean?
Nobody will tell me.

496. BIBLE STUDY
A Bible study group was discussing the unforeseen possibility of sudden death. "We will all die some day," the leader of the discussion said, "and none of us really knows when, but if we did we would all do a better job of preparing ourselves for that inevitable event."

Everybody nodded their heads in agreement with this comment.

"What would you do if you knew you only had 4 weeks of life remaining before your death, before your Great Judgment Day?" the leader asked the group.

"For those 4 weeks, I would go out into my community and minister the Gospel to those that have not yet accepted Jesus into their lives." one gentleman said.

"A very admirable thing to do," said the group leader. And all the group members agreed that would be a very good thing to do.

"For those 4 weeks, I would dedicate all of my remaining time to serving my family, my church, and my fellow man with a greater conviction," one lady said enthusiastically.
"That's wonderful!" the group leader commented, and all the group members agreed that would be a very good thing to do.

One gentleman in the back finally spoke up loudly. "For those 4 weeks, I would travel throughout the United States with my mother-in-law in a Ford Escort, and stay in a Motel 6 every night." Everyone was puzzled by his answer. "Why would you do that?" the group leader asked.

"Because," the man smiled, "it would be the longest 4 weeks of my life."

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Are pigeons and doves of the same family?

ANSWER: Yes, they're in the same family. But pigeons are the poor relations. They are pretty much looked down upon as city annoyances. But doves have become recognised as symbols of peace, and in Christianity, the Holy Spirit. The birds are so closely related, though, that some companies offering to release doves at a wedding are really using pigeons. The pigeon and dove family Columbidae consists of 309 species ranging from the sparrow-sized ground-dove, to turkey-sized crowned pigeons. (Is that deception the reason why marriages aren’t peaceful?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Why do some animals have eyes that glow in the dark?

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.

CASTLE

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - THE GOSPELS

What is the King James Version?

a. An English translation from the Latin version of the Bible that was a favorite of James I of England
b. An English translation commissioned by James I of England and first published in 1611
c. An English version of the Bible used by the Church of Scotland, but banned in England
d. The first English translation of the Bible produced in the American colonies, and dedicated to King James of England

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"""

RANDOM THOUGHTS
!!!!!!! Never leave your wife's anniversary present in a Wal-Mart bag.

!!!!!! Definition of a will: It's a dead giveaway.

!!!!! I don't need beauty sleep, I need a coma.

!!!! When you breathe, you inspire. When you do not breathe, you expire.

!!! A skeptic is a person who when he sees the handwriting on the wall claims it's a forgery.

!! It isn't difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill - just add a little dirt.

! You'll notice that a turtle only makes progress when it sticks out its neck...

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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EXTENSIVE EXPLANATIONS

PAST JOBS
My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned - couldn't concentrate.

Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me the axe.

After that I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn't suited for it. Mainly because it was a so-so job.

Next I tried working in a muffler factory but that was exhausting.

I wanted to be a barber, but I just couldn't cut it.

Then I tried to be a chef--figured it would add a little spice to my life but I just didn't have the thyme.

Finally, I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn't cut the mustard.

My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn't noteworthy.

I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn't have any patients.

Next was a job in a shoe factory; I tried but I just didn't fit in.

I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn't live on my net income.

I managed to get a good job working for a pool maintenance company, but the work was just too draining.

I got a job at a zoo feeding giraffes but I was fired because I wasn't up to it.

So then I got a job in a gymnasium (work-out-center), but they said I wasn't fit for the job.

Next, I found being an electrician interesting, but the work was shocking.

After many years of trying to find steady work I finally got a job as a historian until I realized there was no future in it.

My last job was working at Starbucks, but I had to quit because it was always the same old grind.

You got any ideas? I'm opened for suggestions .........maybe you have something that WORKS..........because I don't.

THE 10 MOST COMMON FORMS OF OFFICE ILLNESS
1. The Macy's One Day Sale Flu.
2. The Drivers License Renewal Appointment 24-Hour Virus.
3. The Friday-Afternoon-Start-The-Weekend-Early Sudden Unbearable Stomach Pains.
4. The I'm Looking for a New Job and I Don't Know How Long It's Going to Take, but I Want To Stay On The Payroll Until Then Mysterious Infection.
5. The My Boyfriend's Got the Week Off So Suddenly I'm Too Contagious To Come In To The Office Disease.
6. The I Need a Hair Cut and My Stylist Doesn't Make Evening Appointments Bout of Influenza.
7. The There's No Federal Holidays for Two Months and I Want a Day Off Sickness.
8. The It's Spring Break and I Want To Pretend I'm a Teenager Again General Ailment.
9. The I've Screwed Up Royally and I Won't Come In To Face the Music Terminal Illness.
10. The I Really Am Sick and I've Got The Doctor's Bills and the Completed Medical Expense Reimbursement Forms to Prove It Infirmity.

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MANNERS AND CUSTOMS IN BIBLICAL LANDS

FATHER THE FAMILY PRIEST

In the time of the early patriarchs, the father was the family priest. The honour and responsibility was passed down to the oldest son, upon the father's death. This continued until God gave the Law to Moses, when the right was transferred to the tribe of Levi, who became priests for the whole nation.

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

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CHURCHSPEAK

MORE ON COLOURS AND METALS

BLUE:.....Heavenly - Holy Spirit.....Num. 15:38

GOLD:.....Divine Nature.....Rev. 3:18

GREEN:.....Life Everlasting.....I John 5:12

IREDESCENT:.....Overcoming.....Rev. 21:11-19

ORANGE:.....Praise.....I Chr. 23:13

PINK:.....Right Relationships.....Rom. 3:25 & Rev. 19:8

PURPLE:.....Royalty - Kingship.....John 19:2 & Jude 8:26

RED:.....Blood Atonement.....Mat. 27:28 & 15:1-18

VIOLET:.....Invisible - Supernatural.....Eph. 2:7 & Ex. 35:6

YELLOW:.....Shekinah Glory.....Eph. 2:7 & Ex. 35:6

WHITE:.....Purity.....Dan. 12:1O

BLACK:.....Sin - Death.....Jer. 8:21 & Lam. 4:8-5, 1O

SILVER:.....Redemption.....Mat. 27:3-9

GOLD:.....Divine Nature.....Rev. 3:18

BRASS:.....Judgement.....Num. 21:9

WOOD:.....The Root Humanity.....Is. 11:10-11 & Jer. 23:5

COPPER:.....(Same as Brass)

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... DIVIDING THE WATERS

A revelation based upon the 3 times the waters were divided in the Bible (The Red Sea with Moses, The River Jordan with Joshua and The River Jordan again with Elijah and Elisha.) and their meanings for the restoration of God's church in these end times.

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VICTORY!

The inspiration for the first two parts of this poem came from a cross-island trek Kathy
and I went on when we were staying on the beautiful Island of Rarotonga, in the Cook
Islands. For those who don’t know, The Cooks are situated around the Tropic of Capricorn
in the Pacific Ocean. A great place to visit! The last part is based loosely on the book
of Revelation, Chapters 21 and 22, the biblical promise of what is to come. Hope it is
both enjoyable and challenging to you. Of course it is just verse, so is not all strictly
theologically accurate! Called poetic licence! (Part 1 of 9)

VICTORY!

THE MOUNTAIN CLIMB

I rang a guide, booking a trip for the day,
So Kathy and I, could go out and play,
"Any special offers?" as I always ask,
"Yes sir, but are you up to the task?"

"How much will it cost?" showing more interest,
Now more open to tackling Mount Everest!
"Our special offer is entirely free,"
This now, I couldn’t wait to see!

So off we go in a very smart minibus,
Kathy and I, some others, a group of us.
There we first meet our new guide to be,
Jesus by name, seemed friendly to me.

Hopping off the bus, now ready and eager to go,
Our lot in with Jesus, we were all willing to throw.
Until Jesus said, "There’s a small catch to my generous offer,
The trip’s tough, no turning back," the advice he did proffer.

Two people looked at the track ahead,
Could see the markers, all coloured red.
"Don’t think we can do it," was what they said,
"We’d rather stay in bed, being newly wed!"

"The choice is yours," our guide kindly does cry,
"Maybe another day, you will come back and try,"
As he leads the rest of us on, up into the trees,
"You must try in life, even when there’s no fees."

As we wend our way ever upwards on the path,
Sweating heavily now, would love a cold bath!
The blood red markers were now on every side,
To tree after tree, with love they’d been tied.

This Jesus our guide, is oh so strong,
Always encouraging us to move along,
And when the load is heavy on our backs,
He helps us out, willing to carry our packs.

(To be continued next week)

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A DAVID MUSING

There is a famous poem called 'IF' that my father taught me. It starts off:

"If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you"

It goes on in a similar vein about coping with life's problems, before ending in:

"Then you will be a man. my son."

The poem is very true, if not easy to apply in times of challenge and stress. As Jesus followers, we can be so grateful that we need not rely simply upon ourselves in times of difficulty, but unlike those in the world, can share our problems with Jesus and let Him carry our burden. Of course, as we all know, this can be difficult for us to remember to do in the pressssssssure of tough times. But I can testify this week, that it does work! "Thank you Lord for helping me get through life's difficulties thrown at me this week." Yes, He is always there when we remember to call on Him. PTL!

So until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: CLEATS

TODAY'S 'DO YOU KNOW?' ANSWER: b. An English translation commissioned by James I of England and first published in 1611. King James commissioned a group of 47 scholars to produce a new English version of the Bible, and the KJV was first published in 1611. The translators were masters of English style, and the KJV has enjoyed wide public acceptance among Protestants to this day. Today, the KJV sounds majestic with its "thee", "thy" and "thou" pronouns and other archaic language, and many people still prefer it. However, the archaic language often prevents modern readers from fully understanding its meaning.

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
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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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