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: 359     Published: 08 Sep 2008

TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 4. CHARACTERISTICS OF KINGDOM PEOPLE

JESUS FOLLOWERS

The third characteristic of kingdom people is that they are Jesus oriented above all else. They love Jesus, follow Him, and desire to be like Him.

This sounds so simple - what all Christians should be!

Sadly, in the church, particularly in 'Spirit filled' streams, people tend to follow a pastor or leader rather than Jesus. The reality of this is seen when a pastor falls. People leave the church and many leave God too. Also, pastors have the almost impossible job, of placating people who are there to have there own needs met, rather than to surrender all to Jesus.

This 'king' style leadership (often initiated by the people rather than the pastor) has led to the church operating in a non-biblical way. You see, our church system today, both in organisation, and often in preaching too, does not follow the teachings of Jesus, nor the pattern of the New Testament church.

This leads to all sorts of problems for kingdom people within the church as others do not understand why they are not prepared to 'follow the system'.

When church leadership have differences pointed out to them by kingdom people, these people are told not to be rebellious, to be real, to be pragmatic rather than idealistic. We must keep 'bums on seats', we can't offend people, hierarchy and rules are necessary to keep 'good order', etc., etc..

The natural tendency of man (more so than woman!) is to take the church back towards the that of the Old Testament with its formal structure and hierarchies, overlaid with a message of wellbeing and success when one accepts Jesus as Saviour.

However this is not the real message, or example, of Jesus.

The message of Jesus was one of both repentance and love. The example of Jesus was both forthrightness when dealing with sin (particularly so to the 'religious' people), coupled with grace, love, humility and servanthood (to the will of the Father and to serving others). This resulted in personal hardship, finally ending in death on the cross. He was opposed by the Romans, the religious hierarchy and often, the common people too, when He taught that their way of life was ungodly. The apostles too, faced similar challenges in their lives, with all except John being martyred for their faith. Following the example of Jesus is not an easy life!

When the New Testament church was formed, it was relational not organisational, organic not structured, family not hierarchical. And it seems, the church in Jerusalem, at one stage had 5,000 odd adherents, so size is not an excuse for excessive formality.

Again, when kingdom people draw attention to 'non-Jesus', unscriptural activities in the church, they receive the same reaction He did! This has been true, down the ages. Consider Wesley, Booth, Finney and many other great 'revivalists' who preached it as it really is! Effective? To many - yes! Reviled? By many also!

Preaching is a hugely difficult thing to do in the image of Jesus! I wonder why so many want to do it! But then, I am human also, and in the natural can understand the desires and status that accompany it. Paul also understood the problem and gave the answer:

5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. (2 Corinthians 4:5)

The consequences of preaching a wrong message are dire!

8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:8)

My friend (I hope you still are!), do me a favour. Please take the time out to read right through the 4 Gospels, putting aside preconceptions, theology etc., and simply absorb Jesus, His character, His life, His teachings, for He comes alive through them.

It could change your life. It will revolutionise your ministry.

Are you prepared to take the risk?

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FROM THE WORD

"From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”"(Matthew 4:17)

"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)

TREASURES IN JARS OF CLAY

"Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (2 Corinthians 4:1-18)
The New International Version, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House) 1984.

NO OTHER GOSPEL

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:6-10)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

GROWING IN GOD

25. To the believer Jesus is Saviour, but to the disciple he is also Lord.

26. The stairway to great faith is climbed one step at a time. A single leap courts disaster.

27. Our most dearly held beliefs often inhibit God’s further revelation to us.

28. The foundation of our spiritual house is to be built upon the solid rock of Jesus, the walls constructed using the insights of the fathers of the faith, while the ‘roof of truth’ is God’s revelation to us today.

29. As we grow in God, what we are to do assumes greater importance, than what we are not to do.

30. A new believer focuses upon the ‘thou shalt not’s’, while a mature disciple develops the ‘thou shalt’s.’ in their life.

31. God’s word is a two-edged sword, revealing both love and judgement.

32. To believe in God is good, to hear from God is great, but to obey God reaps the ultimate reward.

33. A man’s wisdom is based upon experience, but God’s wisdom comes through revelation.

34. It’s easy to be wise in theory, but a lot more difficult in practise!

314. The major difference between childhood and adulthood is taking responsibility. Many Christians dislike responsibility!

315. In nature, human growth occurs naturally. We expect the same in the Spiritual and get offended when others grow more quickly than us.

316. Human growth is measured in height, girth and wrinkles, spiritual growth by the 'fruit of the Spirit.' Often we confuse the two.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON






JESUS CALMS THE STORM
22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”
He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.
In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”




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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

GOD AND MAN continues

We look at 'being filled' with the Holy Spirit- hopefully avoiding theological issues, as much as is possible!

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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." ***

754. PREACH TO A BEAR
A Priest, a Pentecostal preacher and a Rabbi all served as chaplains to the students of Northern Michigan University in Marquette. They would get together two or three times a week for coffee and to talk shop. One day, someone made the comment that preaching to people isn't really all that hard. A real challenge would be to preach to a bear. One thing led to another and they decided to do an experiment. They would all go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it.

Seven days later, they're all together to discuss their experiences. Father Flannery, who has his arm in a sling, is on crutches, and has various bandages, goes first. "Well," he says, "I went into the woods to find me a bear. And when I found him I began to read to him from the Catechism. Well, that bear wanted nothing to do with me and began to slap me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him and, Holy Mary Mother of God, he became as gentle a lamb. The bishop is coming out next week to give him first communion and confirmation."

Reverend Billy Bob spoke next. He was in a wheelchair, with an arm and both legs in casts, and an IV drip. In his best fire and brimstone oratory he claimed, "WELL brothers, you KNOW that we don't sprinkle! I went out and I FOUND me a bear. And then I began to read to my bear from God's HOLY WORD! But that bear wanted nothing to do with me. So I took HOLD of him and we began to wrestle. We wrestled down one hill, UP another and DOWN another until we came to a creek. So I quick DUNKED him and BAPTIZED his hairy soul. And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the week in Fellowship, feasting on God's Holy Word, and praising Jesus."

They both looked down at the rabbi, who was lying in a hospital bed. He was in a body cast and traction with IV's and monitors running in and out of him. He was in bad shape. The rabbi looks up and says, "Looking back on it, circumcision may not have been the best way to start.

753. THE SMOKE ALARM
At her father's wake, a woman told her priest that ever since she was a child she and her father had discussed life after death. They had agreed that whomever went first would contact the other. They had discussed this again just two weeks before his death.

He died in her home and a few days after his death the smoke alarm in her garage went off. She had lived there 28 years and it had never gone off before. She couldn't turn it off so she called the security company that installed it.

The next morning the smoke alarm sounded again and the reason finally dawned on her. She said aloud, "Ok dad, I missed the signal yesterday but I get it now! Thanks for letting me know that you are safe on the other side.

Now turn the thing off so I don't have to call the security company again." The alarm fell silent.

She immediately called her priest to tell him the good news. His response: "Dear lady, if every time your father sends you a message he sets off the smoke alarm, just WHERE do you think he's calling from?"

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: Does your skin shrink in water?

ANSWER: If you spend time in water, you'll notice that the skin on your
hands and feet appears to shrivel. But that's not because the skin is
shrinking, rather that the skin is expanding from the absorption of water.
The skin on our hands and feet is thicker, so when these areas of thicker
skin become saturated, they expand. Because of their denseness,
wrinkles appear and the skin becomes whiter with the increased water
content. The thinner skin elsewhere in our body has more room to absorb
water, so wrinkles take longer to appear. Surprisingly, skin does not
wrinkle from seawater, seawater being so similar to the fluids in our body.
(If we dry out can we get rid of ageing lines too?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What literary sisters used male names when
they published their novels?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

4492. A WOOLY YARN
In 1571 England, a man could be fined for not wearing a wool cap. (A ‘politically correct’ move to avoid embarrassment of the bald? Likely to be re-introduced very shortly!)

493. SUNDAY TRADING
In Providence, Rhode Island, stores aren’t allowed to sell a toothbrush on the Sabbath. Yet, these same stores are allowed to sell toothpaste and mouthwash on Sundays. (A Law with no teeth to it?)

494. BODY SPEAK
Body language changes meanings from one country to another. Grasping one's ears is a sign of repentance or sincerity in India. A similar gesture in Brazil – holding the lobe of one's ear between thumb and forefinger – signifies appreciation. (What you see is not necessarily what you get!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

RENEGED

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - YOU BE THE JUDGE!

7) Where was Samson's wife from?

A - Gaza
B - Timnah
C - Shiloh
D - Bethlehem

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

COMMENT ON LAST WEEK'S QUESTION

Dear David,

Hm - Deborah and Barak, yes. But my mind turned immediately to Exodus 15:1-21:

I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously;
Horse and driver He has hurled into the sea....

Certainly "a song of victory for [though not of!] Israel.

So, though it wasn't precisely one of the choices, my answer would have been Moses (and the Israelites), 15:1, and Miriam, 15:20-21. In his book Moses, Martin Buber suggested that Miriam composed the first verse of the Song of the Sea for the women's dance celebrating the LORD's victory over the Egyptians on Israel's behalf - a spontaneous gesture of worship in the presence of God's saving work. Moses, in Buber's view, later expanded it to the full poem of Ex. 15:1-18. This would be consistent with the practices of nomadic groups in the Near East, both then and later.

Grace, peace - Phil Anthony.


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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

HOMILIES TO LIVE BY

!!!!!!! Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks.

!!!!!! I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and I think, "Well, that's not going to happen."

!!!!! Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.

!!!! Have you noticed since everyone has a camcorder these days no one talks about seeing UFOs like they used to.

!!! All of us could take a lesson from the weather. It pays no attention to criticism.

!! Have you noticed that a slight tax increase costs you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut saves you thirty cents?

! There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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'TIL DEATH DO US PART!

79. TIPS FROM THE EFFICIENCY EXPERT
The efficiency expert concluded his lecture with a note of caution. "You don't want to try these techniques at home."

"Why not?" asked someone from the back of the audience.

"I watched my wife's routine at breakfast for years," the expert explained. "She made lots of trips to the refrigerator, stove, table and cabinets, often carrying just a single item at a time. 'Hon,' I suggested, 'Why don't you try carrying several things at once?'"

The voice from the back asked, "Did it save time?"

The expert replied, "Actually, yes. It used to take her 20 minutes to get breakfast ready. Now I do it in seven."

80. WHY GOD CREATED EVE
10. God was worried that Adam would frequently become lost in the Garden.
9. God knew that one day Adam would require someone to locate and hand him the remote.
8. God knew Adam would never go out and buy himself a new fig leaf when his wore out and would therefore need Eve to buy one for him.
7. God knew Adam would never be able to make a doctor's, dentist, or haircut appointment for himself.
6. God knew Adam would never remember which night to put the garbage on the curb.
5. God knew if the world was to be populated, men would never be able to handle the pain and discomfort of childbearing.
4. As the Keeper of the Garden, Adam would never remember where he left his tools.
3. Apparently, Adam needed someone to blame his troubles on when God caught him hiding in the garden.
2. As the Bible says, It is not good for man to be alone!

And finally, the Number 1 reason why God created Eve...
1. When God finished the creation of Adam, He stepped back, scratched his head, and said, "I can do better than that." (Not true, of course. God is perfect all the time!)

81. CELL PHONE
A young man, wanted to get his beautiful young wife something nice for their first wedding anniversary. So, he decides to buy her a cell phone. She is all excited and she loves her phone. He shows her and explains to her all the features on the phone.
The next day she goes shopping. Her phone rings and it's her husband. "Hi hon," he says, "How do you like your new phone?"

"I just love it, it's so small and your voice is clear as a bell. But there's one thing I don't understand. How did you know I was at the beauty parlour?"

82. PREGNANCY CALL
A man spoke frantically into the phone, "My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!" "Is this her first child?" the doctor asked. "No!" the man shouted, "This is her husband!"

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BIBLE TRIVIA

JONAH'S 'GREAT FISH'

There has been a lot of speculation about which sea creature could swallow a human. A likely answer is a true fish (not a mammal whale), the man-eating white shark, which also inhabits the Mediterranean Sea. Sometimes growing up to 60 feet (nearly 20 meters) in length, it can swallow a human whole and store its food in its belly for many days before digesting it.

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

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GUINEA: Village Opens to Health Training and Bible Storying

"Two brothers were badly burned while trying to get honey out of a hive when a can of insecticide exploded,' writes Brenda Allen, serving with World Venture in Guinea. "I received word several hours after the event. I was in my village seven kilometers away.
"Arriving at the village of Tenkelen I was shocked to see the severity of the burns that covered the chests, faces, and the arms of the two brothers. After receiving several bee stings plus being burned, one of the men was in shock. I wondered if he would even make it. "I wanted to take them to the hospital in town but their family refused. Thankfully they did agree to send a runner with me to get medications in town that we could bring back. "When I visited five days later they were both starting to heal. My ministry partner Beth and I visited on a regular basis. "Little did I know on my first visit that these two men were the sons of the chief.

Now this village is open to having health training and Bible storytelling. May the doors to this village continue to be wide open!"

Source: World Venture via GO GLOBAL MISSIONS REPORT 2008 No. 64

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

- Compiled with a Grin by: David Tait

500 “Christian!?!” Jokes and Stories to Make You Laugh, Cry and – wait for it…. maybe even Think a Little!

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200 + “QWIK QWIPS”…… to help impress your friends with your quick wit and deep spiritual insight. (Perhaps!)

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WAXING LYRICAL

Our God is full of surprises! Comfort is not part of His vocabulary! This becomes a real test of obedience. Written 5 years ago when we were living in Tauranga, and the Lord told us to shift to Napier.

A MINUTE IS A LONG TIME IN GOD

When you are relaxed and enjoying life,
And all is normal with kids and wife.
When you are living in such a beautiful place,
And all is going well in running your race.
You are happy with how life is treating you,
Challenges yes - not too many - just a few.

Then along comes God, with His own plan,
Designed to upset the comfort of a man.
One minute the world seems simply so good,
The next, upon its head, is now being stood!

"David, I'm asking you to shift city and church",
My comfortable brain, with pain it did now lurch!

"But surely my God, this cannot be true?"
"Yes my son, it's what I'm asking of you."
"Well Lord , please give confirmation,
To help me overcome my consternation!"

Over the past two weeks, confirmations I've been given,
Logical improbabilities so great, must be God driven.
"Oh Lord, surely this is what you want me to do,
Have your way in my life Lord, I give in to you.
For you know best Lord, your plan for me,
I accept it now Lord, on bended knee."

Yes, one brief minute is a long time in God you know,
But obey His voice we must, if in Him we are to grow.

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A DAVID MUSING

Searching through my 'Sent Emails', looking for something specific to put into today's PGIM, I found some things I had forgotten and others I really needed to follow up on. A journey through 'memory lane'!

It is worth us doing this with the dairies (which I am hopeless at!) or notes we have made from inspirations that God has given us over the years. We are likely to find them most encouraging. To see what the Lord has done in our lives and to remind ourselves of what He has yet promised for us.

Must go and do it myself!

For those who are praying for Kathy, she sees the specialist this week. Please pray that the situation may be resolved.

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: GREENED

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION': B - Timnah (Judges 14:1-2)

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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
7 Bull Street
Ahuriri
Napier
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 835 0567 International (+64) 6 835 0567

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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