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

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Issue No: 345     Published: 02 Jun 2008

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 3. FROM KINGS TO KINGDOM (continued)

When we have a child, we show our love not through allowing he or she to do and have anything they might desire, for our role is to teach them how to cope with the life situations they will face in the future. Some parents understand this better than others. So our love is to be expressed both positively in affirmation and through discipline.

This same relationship exists between God and me and God and His church.

I love God. God loves me. As part of this love relationship, God points out to me various aspects of my life and behaviour that are wrong, that do not honour Him. He calls upon me to 'repent', seek forgiveness for, and permanently turn from my ungodly ways to His way.

I love the church (yes I do!). God loves the church. As part of this love relationship God reveals various aspects of church life and behaviour that are wrong, that do not honour Him. He calls upon the church to 'repent', to seek forgiveness for, and permanently turn from its ungodly ways to His ways.

Yes, Jesus loves me, loves you, as we are, with unconditional love. Sin repented of is both forgiven and forgotten by God. But He still desires us individually and as a body to be transformed into His image, the image of Jesus. To become the pure spotless bride for which Jesus is to return.

This involves a change in the church from a 'kings' to a 'kingdom' mindset.

The focus of a king is upon himself. The focus of the church today is upon itself. The best way to illustrate what our true heart is, is what we do with our wallet! Let us see what we do as a church.

Globally, one-tenth of one percent (ten cents per hundred dollars) of all Christian income went to global foreign missions, estimates David Barrett in his annual “Status of Global Mission” report for 2005.

Seven-tenths of 1% went to churches and another 1.2% went to parachurch organizations globally. Fundamentally the issue is stinginess among Christians (at least nominal ones)—churches being composed of Christians—and even more fundamentally, the issue is failing to avail ourselves of the grace of God.

As Barrett put it, “Though Christians number only 33% of the world population, they receive 53% of the entire world’s annual income—and spend 98% of it on themselves.”


Ninety-eight percent of church income is spent on the people of the particular church to which it is given. Two percent is given to missions and helping the poor, the supposed focus of the church.

While you may argue about the detail of the figures, it is obvious that our church is focused upon itself, the characteristic of kings. Spiritually we preach unconditional love, prosperity, good health, an easy life upon earth. All based around self.

In the kingdom age however, our emphasis changes from satisfaction of self to the unconditional love of God and others. This means that our money and efforts will be spent on helping others, particularly the poor and in taking the gospel of our lives as well as our tongue, to all non-believers. The spiritual keys to this change are repentance, holiness and righteousness, all items avoided, or at best given lip service, in the church of kings today.

There is only one place for this to start and that is with REPENTANCE. The call of God today to me, to you, and to the church is to repent of our selfish ways! Genuine repentance requires change. A change of heart! A change of actions! Including a change in both the amount and the way we spend the money the Lord has entrusted us with!

This applies to me too, as well as you, and the church as a whole.

Several months ago we had a minister friend visit and he, very intelligently, although scarily for me, asked Kathy what she thought the main focus of the ministry entrusted to me was. Now Kathy has heard me speak often, and naturally is my greatest critic for she knows me best. Her answer surprised me - which she can still do sometimes, even after 38 years of marriage! I thought her reply would be something about pointing the way ahead for the church. She said to our friend Rodney, 'it is a ministry of repentance.'

I had to think about that! She was exactly right - as she is wont to be in many matters. For repentance is the key to the kingdom. Without repentance, both body and corporate, we, the church, will not be transformed into the bride Jesus desires us to be.

Thank you Doll, for your insight.

It follows the themes of, not only the ministry of John the Baptist;

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”

but also of Jesus.

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

Repentance is the compulsory foundational step in inheriting the kingdom.

(Testimony to be continued next week)

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FROM THE WORD

JOHN THE BAPTIST PREPARES THE WAY

"In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’” John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”" (Matthew 3:1-12)

JESUS BEGINS TO PREACH

"When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the way to the sea, along the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 4:12-17)

JESUS SENDS OUT THE TWELVE

"Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.” They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them." (Mark 6:6b-12)

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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!

1305. True revival is built upon the foundation of tears.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON





17 When Moses sent them to explore Canaan, he said, “Go up through the Negev and on into the hill country. 18 See what the land is like and whether the people who live there are strong or weak, few or many. 19 What kind of land do they live in? Is it good or bad? What kind of towns do they live in? Are they unwalled or fortified? 20 How is the soil? Is it fertile or poor? Are there trees on it or not? Do your best to bring back some of the fruit of the land.” (It was the season for the first ripe grapes.) 21 So they went up and explored the land from the Desert of Zin as far as Rehob, toward Lebo Hamath. 22 They went up through the Negev and came to Hebron, where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak, lived. (Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) 23 When they reached the Valley of Eshcol, they cut off a branch bearing a single cluster of grapes. Two of them carried it on a pole between them, along with some pomegranates and figs. 24 That place was called the Valley of Eshcol because of the cluster of grapes the Israelites cut off there. 25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land. (Numbers 13:17-25)










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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THE NEW COVENANT continues

As we look at the sacrifice and seal of what Jesus has done for us - for you and for me.

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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." ***

726. SATAN WON!
The poor country pastor was livid when he confronted his wife with the receipt for a $250 dress she had bought. "How could you do this!" he demanded.

"I don't know," she wailed, "I was standing in the store looking at the dress. Then I found myself trying it on. It was like the Devil was whispering to me, 'Gee, you look great in that dress. You should buy it.'"

"Well," the pastor persisted, "You know how to deal with him! Just tell him, "Get behind me, Satan!"

"I did," replied his wife. "He said 'You look great from here too.'"

725. HELP ME
When church camp was dismissed, a young camper went to the counsellor. "How may I help you?" asked the counsellor.

"I'd like to know what we learned at camp this week?"

"That's an odd question. Why do you want to know that?" asked the counsellor

"Well, when I get back home, my parents are going to ask me and this time I just wanted to make sure I got the right answer!"

724. WHAT A MEMORY!
Minister: Do you know what's in the Bible?

Little Girl: Yes. I think I know everything that's in it.

Minister: You do? Tell me.

Little Girl: OK. There's a picture of my brother's girlfriend, a ticket from the dry cleaners, one of my curls, and a Pizza Hut coupon.

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can now download the book 'Laughing At Ourselves' in PDF format at LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Why do we ‘bless’ somebody after they sneeze?

ANSWER: : Sneezing has long been regarded as a dangerous thing. The
ancient Greeks feared that a sneeze could accidentally dispel the soul.
People tried hard to hold back their sneezes and one that happened
anyway was greeted with chants to return good fortune. The Romans, on
the other hand, felt a sneeze was the body's attempt to dispel sinister
spirits that could cause illness. Holding back a sneeze made you
vulnerable to sickness. Still, benedictions were in order. A person who
sneezed was congratulated and one about to sneeze was urged on with
‘Good luck to you!’ The Christian expression ‘God bless you’, was begun
by Papal Fiat in the sixth century, issued by Pope Gregory the Great in
response to a deadly plague sweeping through Italy. Sneezing was one
of the symptoms of the plague. Pope Gregory urged healthy people to
pray for the sick and he told them to say ‘God bless you’ when someone
sneezed. If a person sneezed and had no one around to bless him, he
was instructed to call directly on God saying, ‘God help me!’ (I receive
plenty of blessings – from others as I sneeze often, and from God without
the need for a special reason.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Who were the Buccaneers?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

534. DEAD OR ALIVE
'Taphephobia’ is the fear of being buried alive! (Many more of us have a fear of dying – but not those who know Jesus.)

535. FISH FACE
Most lipsticks contain fish scales. (A fishy tale!)

536. ONCE SEEN, ALWAYS SEEN
It takes glass one million years to decompose, which means it never wears out and can therefore be recycled an infinite number of times. (Will ‘glassnost’ last forever too?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

ARSON

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - WORKERS AND TOOLS

14) In the country of the Gadarenes, where Legion was, there were kept...

A - Fruit orchards
B - Sheep
C - Cattle
D - Pigs

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

"A Hatfull Of Spare Thots!"

1. Anger is a condition in which the tongue, works faster than the mind.
2. You can't change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.
3. Love ......and you shall be loved.
4. All people smile in the same language.
5. A hug is a great gift, one size fits all. It can be given for any occasion and it's easy to exchange.
6. Everyone needs to be loved, especially when they do not deserve it.
7. The real measure of a man's wealth is what he has invested in eternity.

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'TIL DEATH DO US PART!

66. TROUBLE
A man went to the doctor complaining of insomnia. The doctor gave him a thorough examination, found absolutely nothing physically wrong with him, and then told him,

"Listen, if you ever expect to cure your insomnia, you just have to stop taking your trouble to bed with you."

"I know" said the man, "but I can't. My wife refuses to sleep alone."

67. MAY I?
My girlfriend took her five-year-old daughter shopping with her. The little girl watched her mother try on outfit after outfit, exclaiming every time, "Mommy, you look beautiful."

A woman in the next fitting room called out, "May I borrow your daughter for a moment?"

68. WITH THIS RING....
A young bride and groom to be had just selected the wedding ring. As the girl admired the plain platinum and diamond band, she suddenly looked concerned.

"Tell me," she asked the elderly salesman, "is there anything special I'll have to do to take care of this ring?"

With a fatherly smile, the salesman said, "One of the best ways to protect a wedding ring is to dip it in dishwater three times a day."

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BIBLE TRIVIA

INSECTS

...such as ants and bees were well respected in the Bible. Ants are both busy and organised, being 'rewarded' in Proverbs. Honey was a prized commodity and so honey bees were prized also.

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

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Young Chinese House Church Leader Making Impact

Open Doors USA 2008

Angela (not her real name), leader of an urban house church in one of the big cities along China’s East coast, probably doesn’t look like the stereotypical evangelist. A slim, young woman in her thirties with long black hair, she wears trendy trousers with glitter buttons, sporty silver shoes, a designer bag and uses a flashy mobile phone.

But listen to her, and her passion comes through. “I have no fear, because if the leader has fear or is hiding away, then the church members also lose courage. And I feel a special responsibility because of all the youth in our church – that (acting fearfully) would give them a bad example.”

Angela was born in a small village in the countryside. When she was 5 years old, her mother became very ill, facing death. Through prayer she was completely healed. Her entire family became Christian, and they started to pray together every night. Four of the family’s six children are in the ministry now.

“I also became ill,” Angela said. “The doctors had given up. However, the Lord healed me. He gave me life, so I want to give my life to Him.

“In the house church that we belonged to, I received training in leading worship and preaching. When I was 20 years old, God called me to go to the big city because there are so many people from the countryside who move to the city who need to be cared for practically and spiritually. Especially the teenage youth who need to be educated and strengthened in their faith.

“When I arrived in the big city, I contacted the Three Self Church (government controlled Three Self Patriotic Movement) and wanted to discuss how we could co-operate. But they said, ‘You are too young, you did not get an official education, you do not know how to handle finances. You should stop and go back.’

“I was very disappointed with their response. But on the other hand, I understand. Many leaders in the Three Self Church suffered a lot in the sixties and seventies; they are afraid that they might have to suffer again. Therefore, they are cautious. Nevertheless, I have to live now. I look forward to the future. God is Lord; I want to do what He wants. I am an evangelist. I am not afraid, and if necessary, I will look the authorities right in their faces.”

Angela believes the church of China is in transition. “The church has to adapt to the changing society: urbanization, life’s increasing pace, busy schedules and hard work to earn income. So for instance, in the cities we do not have time to talk to each other like we had in countryside in the fields. We have to find new ways to be the church.”

Though determined, Angela has faced obstacles. She planted three house churches in the city, one of them in downtown. But according to the authorities they grew too fast, up to several hundred members. “The authorities wanted us to stop, because it is not allowed to gather with more than some dozen people at the same time in the same place.

“Once, 20 policemen came and surrounded the place where we were having our church meeting. ‘Who is responsible?’ they asked. I walked outside and said, ‘I am. If you want, you should arrest me.’ They did not. You have to let them know that they cannot frighten you. However, I was ‘invited’ to the police station. They said to me: ‘We know that you are only preaching the Gospel and that you have only a house church, but the government just does not allow what you are doing.’ So they started to explain China’s law to me. In return I started to explain the law of God. In three months I was regularly ‘invited’ by the police to be interrogated, yet not aggressively. So I had many opportunities to explain the Gospel to them.”

A few years ago, the house church split into smaller groups of 10 to 20 people because there were no buildings that could facilitate such large meetings.

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VICTORY

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WAXING LYRICAL

Just couldn’t leave out this story of the sailing of my friend Neil’s yacht from Whangarei
to Tauranga, a 30 hour journey down the North Island of New Zealand’s east coast.
One of the longest 30 hours of my life! The agony ends!

DAYS OF ‘CHUNDER’!

As I reflect upon what I have done,
Of a victory earned, a race won.
The surprising parallel of life at sea
With God’s working, occurs to me.

For as He continues to purify us in the fire,
To remove the dross of sin, as is His desire.
It can be likened to the act of ‘chunder’,
Which wrenches the stomach asunder!

To empty ones gut, overboard,
With some, will strike a chord.
An example of removing sin from life,
As God seeks, to keep us from strife.

Letting go of things, is not always easy,
Amazing, how we hold on to the sleazy!
But once we have given our homely habit away,
We wonder, why so long, we allowed it to stay.

But surely Lord, there can be no more!
I’m good enough now, to be in your store.
But like the spew spraying forth, from the gut to the sea,
The Lord finds more that needs changing, inside of me.

No more Lord! Please – I’ve had enough,
My life’s spew is horrible tasting stuff!
But as the seemingly endless bouts of ‘chunder’ go on,
A voice says "eat my food, and your sickness will be gone."

For as we give over our desires to Him,
He then rebuilds us, limb upon limb.
Until we come into His likeness you see,
Yes, that’s the place, He wants us to be.

(The pain will be extended into next week!)

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A DAVID MUSING

Last Wednesday, my wife Kathy left on the plane to visit our family, both in London and in Aberdeen, Scotland. New Zealand is as far away from Scotland as you can get. Literally on the other side of the world - or in language we more easily understand today, 24 hours in the air, sitting upon an aircraft seat.

So, for a month, I am batching. Of course, the house will now always be tidy! Probably because I wont be there much!

It is interesting being 'a bachelor' again, albeit temporarily. One thing I do know is that it is easier to get closer to God when your spouse is not there to distract you - either male or female. I have heard others say this and can now understand why.

It does help one understand these words of Jesus a little more:

10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” 11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” (Matthew 19:10-12)

For those of you out there who are single, for whatever reason, be encouraged, not discouraged. For you have a very special place in God's heart. Let Him be your spouse today.

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: SONAR

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION':D - Pigs (Mark 5:1-11)

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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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