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Issue No: 387     Published: 23 Mar 2009

SERMON ON THE MOUNT - THE KINGDOM WAY

7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. (Matthew 5:6)

EXPOSITION
Matthew Henry puts it better than I can.

"The merciful are happy, v. 7. This, like the rest, is a paradox; for the merciful are not taken to be the wisest, nor are likely to be the richest; yet Christ pronounces them blessed. Those are the merciful, who are piously and charitably inclined to pity, help, and succour persons in misery. A man may be truly merciful, who has not wherewithal to be bountiful or liberal; and then God accepts the willing mind. We must not only bear our own afflictions patiently, but we must, by Christian sympathy, partake of the afflictions of our brethren; pity must be shown (Job 6:14), and bowels of mercy put on (Col. 3:12); and, being put on, they must put forth themselves in contributing all we can for the assistance of those who are any way in misery. We must have compassion on the souls of others, and help them; pity the ignorant, and instruct them; the careless, and warn them; those who are in a state of sin, and snatch them as brands out of the burning...... One of the purest and most refined delights in this world, is that of doing good. In this word, Blessed are the merciful, is included that saying of Christ, which otherwise we find not in the gospels, It is more blessed to give than to receive, Acts 20:35.

Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.


TESTIMONY
Another area of challenge in my life!

My wife would say I have (had) the mercy of a pinhead! Not in such words, mind you, but I do get the point!

In the natural I am hard on myself, and have high expectations of others, but not as high as I have of me, if that makes sense. Therefore, pastoring is not a gifting I am blessed with in great quantities! Empathy has never been a strong point!

But God does change us - if we let Him. Over the years I have mellowed and He has put me in situations, such as those with cancer sufferers that I talked about earlier, that have necessitated some development of this trait. People do now seem able to bring me their problems and get a sympathetic ear, particularly if they are genuinely prepared, where it is possible, to take practical steps to overcome them.

While some of the most merciful among you may not agree with me, I believe that while Jesus showed tremendous mercy, He also was quite definite in wanting people to change their lives. An example is the woman caught in adultery.

10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:10-11)

Shortly after becoming a Christian, God gave me a prophetic word for a necessary reconciliation required for a particular church. Before taking the word to the church concerned I spoke to a godly lady who had once been a part of that church. She agreed that it was accurate but gave me an additional Scripture with which to conclude - just the end part of the verse in bold.

12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13 because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! (James 2:12-13)

I have never forgotten that - even if I have not always applied it!

The second basic area of mercy Matthew Henry comments on is that of doing good to others. This really is a key point of witness of our faith to the world. For doing good without expectation of something in return is a key element that distinguishes a follower of Jesus from most other people in the world.

For Kathy and I, completely unexpectedly to me, this has come in the form of Seekers Megamarts where we raise funds for development projects for Africa as well as assisting our local communities with affordable recycled clothing.

I said, 'completely unexpectedly to me', as I thought I would be in full time writing, internet and travelling ministry forever, as I had been for the 7 previous years. However, before I last travelled to Africa, 2 1/2 years ago, the Lord prepared me by saying that He had given me most of the revelation He wanted to give, and now would come a time of getting it out. Then, when in Africa, He led me, kicking and struggling, wondering whether it was Him or not, into the idea of the clothing. Something that has just taken off and which I can see will help get the concepts He has given me spread more widely in the future. I believe there is now a better balance in my life between faith and works.

No, I have not got there in terms of mercy yet, but the Lord is working on it. He has to, for it is outside my ability to change, as indeed is the application of all the Beatitudes. While some prefer to put then to one side as being too idealistic, I believe that the Lord is calling His end time church, His bride, through submission of our lives to Him, to live out the Beatitudes in our daily lives. I know, it is impossible in my own strength. But in and through Him, all things are possible. He can even change me!

(To be continued next week.)

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FROM THE WORD

"But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”" (John 8:1-11)

"Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Colossians 3:12-14)

"“Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”" (Acts 22:32-5)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

FAITH AND WORKS

691. Man is made to work – but not all the time!

692. Show me faith. Show me works. And I will show you a faith that works.

693. Building faith takes time but good works are always ready and waiting.

694. How much faith does it take to do good works?

695. People come, people go, but needs go on forever.

696. Works reflect the light of Christ in us to a dark world.

697. Faith reflects our place in God, works reflect God’s place in us.

698. Faith is internal, works external.

699. Works are the reflection of our faith to a disbelieving world.

700. Works are the single most convincing expression of our faith.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON







6 After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark 7 and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. (Genesis 8:6-12)










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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

NEXT WEEK: TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 1. RESTORATION OF HOLY SPIRIT POWER AND DIRECTION

The Holy Spirit is the first key to transforming the church. Let's find out why and how.

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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." ***

29. EVEN MORE BULLETIN BLOOPERS
*** The music for today’s service was all composed by George Friedrich Handel in celebration of the 300th anniversary of his death.

*** Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and community.

*** The 8th Graders will be presenting Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the church basement this Friday at 7pm. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.

*** The concert held in the Fellowship Hall was a great success. Special thanks are due to the minister’s daughter, who laboured the whole evening at the piano, which as usual fell upon her.

*** Don’t let worry kill you. Let the church help.

28. WHO'S LYING?
A minister told his congregation, "Next week I’m going to preach about the sin of lying. To help you understand my sermon, I want you all to read Mark 17."

The Following Sunday he asked for a show of hands as to how many had read Mark 17. Every hand went up. (Shouldn’t need to continue this but…..)

The minister smiled and said, "Mark has only 16 chapters. I will now proceed with my sermon on the sin of lying."

27. MORE SIGNS OUTSIDE CHURCHES
IF SOME PEOPLE LIVED UP TO THEIR IDEALS THEY WOULD BE STOOPING

EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT HEAVEN AND HELL BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK.

PRAY UP IN ADVANCE

YOU THINK IT’S HOT HERE? ( In an Arizona Church in August)

I WAS GOING TO WASTE BUT JESUS RECYLED ME

K-MART IS NOT THE ONLY SAVING PLACE

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

One of the most comprehensive sources of Christian Humour on the Net with 769 sermon fillers for your entertainment and use at ...

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: What is the fastest time someone has climbed
102 flights of stairs?

ANSWER: The fastest time, at least in 1999, is 10 minutes, 15 seconds.
The person who made that record was participating in a contest
sponsored by the Empire State Building. He had to climb up a total of
1,860 steps to make it from street level to the 102nd floor. The average
person climbing one stair every 2 seconds would take 1 hour and 2
minutes! (Maybe you could try beating this record?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: When did Mother's Day first come into being?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

407. Splitting Hairs
It is possible to drown and not die. Technically the term ‘drowning’ refers to the process of taking water into the lungs, not to the death caused by that process. (Could it happen every day to those who ‘drown their sorrows’?)

408. Squeaky Clean
Floor cleaning products in Venezuela have ten times the pine fragrance of U.S. floor cleaners, as Venezuelan women won't buy a weaker fragrance. These fastidious homemakers may well wet-mop their tile floors twice a day, leaving windows and doors open so the scent can waft out to the street, so ‘scenting ‘ out the message that their houses are clean. (One ‘mopmanship’!)

409. A Friendly Twist
Fagin, the infamous sinister villain in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, was also the name of Dickens' best friend, Bob Fagin. (Is it better to be remembered as a villain, than not remembered at all?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

MICRONS

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 - HILLS AND MOUNTAINS

15) Who dwelt in Mount Seir?

A - Esau
B - Jacob
C - Lot
D - Ishmael

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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


!!!!!!! Some minds are like concrete, thoroughly mixed up and permanently set.

!!!!!! Peace starts with a smile.

!!!!! I don't know why some people change churches; what difference does it make which one you stay home from?

!!!! A lot of church members who are singing 'Standing on the Promises' are just sitting on the premises.

!!! Be ye fishers of men. You catch them - He'll clean them.

!! Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.

! Don't wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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GREAT GROANS!

123. TWO BROOMS
Two brooms were hanging in the closet and after a while they got to know each other so well, they decided to get married.

One broom was, of course, the bride broom and the other the groom broom. The bride broom looked very beautiful in her white dress. The groom broom was handsome and suave in his tuxedo. The wedding was lovely.

After the wedding at the wedding dinner, the bride broom leaned over and said to the groom broom "I think I am going to have a little whisk broom!!!"

"IMPOSSIBLE!!" said the groom broom. "We haven't even swept together!"

124. THE ROTTWEILER
A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet. "My dog's cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?"

"Well," says the vet, "let's have a look at him."

So he picks the dog up and examines his eyes, then checks his teeth. Finally, he says "I'm going to have to put him down."

"What? Because he's cross-eyed?"

"No, because he's really heavy."

125. WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE
A married man had only one complaint: his wife was always nursing sick birds. One February evening, he came home to find a raven with a splint on its wing sitting in his
favorite chair. On the dining room table, instead of dinner, there was a feverish eagle pecking at an aspirin. In the kitchen, his wife was comforting a shivering little wren
she found out in the snow.

The furious husband strode over to where his wife was toweling down the cold little bird. "I can't take it any more! We've got to get rid of all of these #(@ birds!"

The wife held up her hand and cut him off in mid-sentence. "Please, Dear, no cuss words in front of the chilled wren."

126. I'M SORRY
I was being shown round a cheese factory the other day, when I fell into a giant vat of milk by-product.

"I'm sorry", I said.

"Am I in your whey?"

Groan (or laugh) here...

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BIBLE TRIVIA

Rachel...

... stole her father's gods, before leaving home. These idols were typical of cults in Canaan and wider Mesopitamia. Small statues of fertility symbols, they were placed in homes. When Laban caught up with Jacob's caravan, Rachel sat on a saddlebag in her tent, saying she couldn't get up as it was her period time. This story would have been told by the Israelites with derision, as Rachel sat upon the idols in her time of 'uncleanness'.

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

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

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North Korea again topped Open Doors' list of the world's 50 worst persecutors of Christians.

Feb. 04, 2009 --The world has become a more dangerous place for Christians.

So says Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, which Tuesday released its annual World Watch List naming the 50 countries that are the worst persecutors of Christians.

Topping the list for the seventh consecutive year is North Korea, an isolated, communist nation that has a long history of religious repression and human rights abuse. But Moeller said he was surprised to see a surge in anti-Christian violence in nations that had been considered relatively stable, such as India and Algeria.

"Militant religious fundamentalism worldwide is the biggest problem facing Christians today," said Moeller, whose Southern California-based organization advocates for the persecuted church.

"Twenty [or] 30 years ago the ... atheistic philosophies of communism dominated the discussions of Christian persecution. Today the challenge is not to defend the existence of God and Christianity and our right to worship Him, but it's the challenge of Islam and other fundamentalist perspectives that challenge us on who is God. And that challenge is one that the Christian church is answering, but it's answering it in the face of great opposition and great persecution in many places."

India rose from No. 30 to No. 22 on the World Watch List after Hindu militants torched churches and attacked Christian villages, killing more than 100 people and leaving thousands homeless.

In Algeria, which rose from 31 to 19 on the list, government officials in the predominantly Muslim nations have been closing churches and arresting Christians, sometimes for simply carrying a Bible, Moeller said.

In Iraq, which rose from 21 to 16, churches were bombed, and several Christians were kidnapped and/or murdered in a series of attacks in Mosul last year. And in northern Nigeria, clashes between Christians and Muslims led to more than 100 deaths and the destruction of several churches.

"So many of our liberties here in the United States and throughout the West are under threat ... as they are in many of these countries around the world," Moeller said. "These lists serve to warn us, to cause us to watch what is happening and to determine from those signs the course of action we should take as a church."

In North Korea, Christians are routinely tortured, imprisoned and even murdered for resisting Kim Jong Il's communist ideology. Suzanne Scholte, chairman of the North Korea Freedom Coalition, said Kim Jong Il's regime fears losing its ability to control access to the outside world. More and more, outsiders are using radios and balloons to send messages into the isolated nation.

"In order for them to keep people under control, they have to keep the people in the dark-spiritually and literally," said Scholte. "There will be a crackdown because of Kim Jong Il's fears about people knowing about what's going on in the outside world."

Despite reports of the dictator's declining health, Scholte believes the persecution will continue. "Christians are always going to be on the front lines of persecution in North Korea because they are the ones to believe that Kim Jong Il is not god," said Scholte, who was awarded the Seoul Peace Prize last year for her work assisting North Korean defectors.

Open Doors compiled its World Watch List based on responses to a questionnaire sent to missionaries and indigenous church leaders around the world.

Ranking second and third, respectively, were Saudi Arabia, where a young girl was killed by a religious police officer for writing about her faith online, and Iran, where a major crackdown on house churches led to dozens of arrests.

Afghanistan moved up three spots to No. 4 as a result of increased pressure on religious minorities from Taliban militants. Somalia and the Maldives ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, with Yemen at No. 7, Laos at No. 8, Eritrea at No. 9 and Uzbekistan at 10.

Although they are still repressive of Christianity, Bhutan and China dropped out of the top 10 and ranked at No. 11 and 12, respectively. Last year, Bhutan was fifth and China was 10th on the list. (Read the entire list.)

Moeller said he was encouraged that Vietnam fell from No. 17 last year to No. 23, a sign that fewer believers are being harassed. Open Doors also recorded fewer reports of persecution in Colombia, causing the longtime violator to fall completely off the list.

Moeller urges Christians in the West to pray for the world's persecuted church, particularly those in North Korea. For the last three years, Open Doors has been leading a 24/7 prayer effort for the nation that will culminate with North Korea Freedom Week April 25-May 2.

Although she encourages advocacy, including sending letters of support to North Koreans, Scholte agrees that spiritual warfare is the most effective action Christians can take.

"Ultimately what we're facing in North Korea is spiritual warfare," she said. "We're attacking a stronghold-really, a principality over that nation. When we say words like ‘North Korea freedom' and ‘North Korea human rights,' we are directly attacking that principality. Where do freedom and human rights come from? They come from God."

Many more Godfacts at...

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

GOD'S VICTORIOUS CHURCH

A revelation of the church to come from the book of Ruth + a prophecy on the 3 armies (type of Church ) of God. Fascinating.

Download your free PDF File here.....

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WAXING LYRICAL

It is so easy to blame the Lord, or others, when things go wrong in our life. Yet the answer is found not in struggle, but in submission. Putting our life in His hands.

LORD - HELP ME!

Now's the time when you are feeling low,
All your effort, with so little to show.
When life is getting on top of you,
God's Word doesn't seem true.
You're looking for a boost,
Chickens home to roost!
Nothing's working,
Life so hurting!
Indescribable!
Unbearable!

"Hey!
Pray!"
"Do I hear,
Voice in ear?"
"Now, listen to me,
One plus two, can be three!
If today, you will let me help you,
Your dreams, they can still come true.
When you rest your all in my gentle hand,
Your horizons, I will again, begin to expand."

Why do we ignore His advice?
Unwilling to pay the price,
Of giving all our being over to Him,
Rather let life's light, grow so dim.

Yes I'm still learning to understand,
Life, when it's placed in His hand,
Will simply, so much better be,
Than if it's only guided by me!

More of David's offerings at...

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A DAVID MUSING

This afternoon I had a visitor, one of our local City Councilors. She is helping to promote our business amongst the temporary imported labour force, mainly from the Pacific Islands, here to help our area cope with the harvesting of our apple and grape crops.

She had been criticised for a statement she had made. We got talking how, if you poke your head above the parapet, you will get shot at. This is true both in the secular world and in Christianity. It particularly applies in New Zealand today in the crossover between the two. If one stands up for their Christian beliefs, you are likely to be ridiculed. However, other religions will be tolerated or even welcomed in the name of inclusiveness! Sad funny, in a country built upon Christian principles!

Our general reaction in to pull our heads in, to say nothing that could be regarded as offensive to others.

I made the comment that the best way in life not to be criticised is to do nothing!
That is a choice we have.

Are we prepared to stand up for Jesus?

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: CRIMSON

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: A - Esau (Genesis 36:8)

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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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