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Issue No: 395     Published: 18 May 2009

SERMON ON THE MOUNT - THE KINGDOM WAY

Divorce

31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery. (Matthew 5:31-32)


EXPOSITION: Jewish men had a cavalier approach to divorce. Initially it was simply by word of mouth but was codified by Moses into a Certificate of Divorce upon the acquiring of a written language. This had the effect of removing divorce from a simple act of passion in the heat of the moment to a more measured legal document. However, divorce could be had for any reason.

Jesus changed this radically both in these verses and in later teachings.

7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:7-9)

TESTIMONY: Obviously, in the modern Western world this command is being ignored both in the world itself and in the church.

My wife Kathy and I have been married 39 years. This would once have been regarded as normal but now is considered exceptional. We have had our ups and downs. As our friends would say, Kathy is an exceptionally forgiving woman! Joking aside, our marriage, any marriage, needs to be worked at in order for it to remain healthy. Taking each other for granted surely is the start of the downward spiral.

Of course, we have to be real and face the fact that in our society there are many who are separated and divorced. The church has faced or ignored this dilemma concerning remarriage and reacted in various ways. It is obvious that Jesus wasn't in favour of it, as recorded in Matthew 19:9 above, and in other places throughout the New Testament.

However I do also know the power of God's mercy, not as a license to do wrong but rather, as with the woman at the well, to enable recovery from a wrong situation.

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)

(To be continued next week.)

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FROM THE WORD

Divorce

"When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?” Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.” Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 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 19:1-12)

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

"The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”" (John 4:1-26)

Overseers and Deacons
"Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus. Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory." (1 Timothy 3:1-16)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

GRACE

846. When I show grace, Jesus can be seen in me.

847. Hurts + Grace = Victory

848. 'Love and grace, go together like a horse and carriage' - in marriage! (With apologies to 'The Sound of Music')

849. An ounce of grace yields tons of love.

850. Grace is like a bumblebees flight. We can't explain how it works, but it does!

851. To grow in grace is to grow in God.

852. God smiles when we give His grace away to others. For He has an endless supply.

853. Grace binds hurts.

854. 'Grace' is God's gift to us, 'love', ours to Him in return.

855. The cross of Jesus is the ultimate example of God's grace and love to us.

1307. Grace is God's love embedded in us.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON






10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 11 While the beggar held on to Peter and John, all the people were astonished and came running to them in the place called Solomon’s Colonnade. 12 When Peter saw this, he said to them: “Men of Israel, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? 13 The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his servant Jesus. You handed him over to be killed, and you disowned him before Pilate, though he had decided to let him go. 14 You disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked that a murderer be released to you. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. 17 “Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. 18 But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. 19 Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, 20 and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. 21 He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (Acts 3:10-21)



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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: TRANSFORMATION OF THE CHURCH: 3. FROM KINGS TO KINGDOM continues

As we start our look at the problems that so quickly developed in the 7 churches of Revelation.

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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." ***

48. HOW MANY CHRISTIANS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHTBULB?

CHARISMATIC: Only one. Hands already in the air.

PENTECOSTALS: Ten. One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

PRESBYTERIANS: None. Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

ROMAN CATHOLIC: None. Candles only.

BAPTISTS: At least 15. One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad.

EPISCOPALIANS: Eight. One to call the electrician, and seven to say how much they liked the old one better.

METHODISTS: Undetermined. Whether your light is bright, dull, or completely out, you are loved - you can be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb. Churchwide lighting service is planned for Sunday, October 14. Bring bulb of your choice and a covered dish.

NAZARENE: Six. One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy.

LUTHERANS: None. Lutherans don't believe in change.

AMISH: What's a light bulb?


47. TRUE FAITH!
Three nuns were returning to the convent after a day of volunteer nursing at a local medical care centre. They were travelling along a back road when their car stopped.

After a quick memory search, they remembered they had forgotten to get gas the last time out.

As they were deciding which one would walk for to a gas station, a pickup truck drove up. The driver had plenty of gas and offered some, but he didn't have anything to put it in.

The nuns realized they had the ideal container for the donated gas, they thanked the driver and he went on his way.

A few minutes later an eighteen wheeler came down the road and saw the nuns pouring the contents of a bed pan into their gas tank.

The driver nudged his partner and said, "That's what I call true faith."

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: What is a Welsh rabbit?

ANSWER: Welsh rabbit (also called Welsh rarebit) isn’t an animal at all.
It's melted cheese on toast or crackers. It was called this so peasants
could imagine themselves eating real rabbit -- or at least make fun of the
fact that they couldn't afford it. The name originated in an era when only
the Welsh nobility could hunt rabbits. The poor peasants had to melt
cheese on toast and simply call it ‘rabbit’. (Unable to acquire the habit of
eating rabbit.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Where did the term ‘private eye’ originate?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

382. CAT LOVE
Felix the Cat's girlfriend was named Phyllis. (Good to ‘phyll-is’ in on that!)

383. UNBELIEVABLE?
According to studies conducted at Northwestern University in the US, men change their minds two to three times more than women do. Women tend to take longer to make a decision, but once they do, they are more likely to stick to it. (Can I believe it? Yes… No…)

384. TALKATHON TIME
According to the New York Telephone Company, there are 398 million telephones in the world, of which more than one-third are in the United States. (Do Americans have more ears than others?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

SEALER

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 - WATER WATER EVERYWHERE!

3) This sea is almost 1300 feet below sea level:

A - Red Sea
B - Dead Sea
C - Caspian Sea
D - Sea of Galilee

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! No one is listening until you make a mistake.

!!!!!! Always remember you're unique -- just like everyone else.

!!!!! Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

!!!! It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

!!! It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

!! If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

! If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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'TIL DEATH DO US PART!

140. CUSTODY!
My friend is engaged in a major custody battle.

His wife doesn't want him... and his mother won't take him back.

141. PERSPECTIVE!
A mother and a daughter are shopping in the mall, when the mother eyes an expensive fur coat. "This year," she says, "I think that I will buy my present instead of making you and dad shop for me." The daughter nods in agreement. "And I think this fur coat would be perfect too."

The daughter protests, "But mom, some helpless, poor creature has to suffer so that you can have this."

"Don't worry honey," says the mother, "your father won't get the bill for a couple of weeks."

142. A SPECIAL ANNIVERSARY
There is this couple celebrating their 20th anniversary. The husband decides to do something special for his wife. So he gets up early to make her breakfast in bed.

When the wife wakes up, she is totally amazed. "Oh John, thank you so much. I didn't expect this!" The husband than tells her that he has another surprise, but for that she must wear a blindfold. So the woman is blindfolded and the man leads her the way.

Twelve hours later John tells his wife to take off the blindfold.

She takes it off and is totally stunned and very excited she shouts: "Oh John!!!! We are in Paris, aren't we ??!! This is the best gift you could ever give me! What can I expect when we have our 40th anniversary?!!"

"Well that's quite simple," John answers. "That's when I come to pick you up again!"

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BIBLE TRIVIA

THE GREAT COMMANDMENT...

... 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5) is called the Shema, and is the most commonly used prayer in Judaism. Traditionally, it is called the 'Great Commandment'.

Christians know it in the form Jesus used it: 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:29-30)

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

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Night Clubs and Street Chaplains – a Late Night City Ministry Making a Difference

Christian Today Australia

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - It’s 3 AM and Black Betty’s nightclub is winding down. People around and inside are drunk and noisy. Street chaplains walking past notice a girl crying. One of the chaplains, a middle aged mum in her own right goes up to the girl, gives her a hug and some tissues. They spend time together and the girl’s story tumbles out between her sobbing. It’s the old story retold of coming in earlier with her boyfriend, but now he has left her and gone to the next club with his buddies and another girl!

The chaplains spend time with the girl until she has poured it all out and they can give her some wisdom about life. It’s another incident in a busy night. Somewhere else in the city the girl’s parents will be grateful a chaplain was beside her daughter that night.

This is but one incident in a busy night for the chaplains. By 4 AM the city is slowing down, so they drop into the city’s hospital and spend time sharing the pain and offering support to those in the waiting room. The Triage nurse expresses his gratitude for them being there again.

There are currently 20 trained Street Chaplains in a voluntary ministry working on Friday and Saturday nights in Perth’s premier nightclub scene and usually do a roster twice a month. They meet regularly every six weeks, share their stories with one another and work out how to improve the ministry. Perth’s population is a little over a million and some 40,000 people come to the night life precinct of a weekend.

Training is taken seriously with a full year of training available at a city Bible College to degree level. Training includes Christian conflict management, pastoral care and team roles as well as evangelism. Police and other Service Providers are so supportive of the ministry.

Source: au.ChristianToday.com

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

DAVID'S DOODLINGS

A 'pot pouri' of 900+ diverse thoughts to muse upon, have a chuckle over, and which may even inspire you to reach deeper into God.

From the ‘peculiar pen(cil)’ of David Tait.

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WAXING LYRICAL

This poem was 2 years in the writing! The inspiration came, half was written, then I got busy on other things! In the last day or two I have had some spare time, so thought to finish it. (Actually I have had more spare time during the two years but never quite got 'a round tuit'!) I hope the result is worth waiting for!

MR BUMBLE

(Continued from last week.)

“You humans are simply so superior
Us bumbling bees, greatly inferior!
You know more about me than I do!
So what you say, must surely be true.”

“It's true then! I can’t really fly?
Yes, about to fall from the sky!
Life now seems just not worth the living!
Even with all the effort, I’ve been giving!

So at that very moment he gave up trying,
Knew he should, no longer now be flying,
From a rapid ten thousand beats a minute,
To wings folded, his heart no longer in it.

So our 'brmm-brmm bee' plummeted to the ground,
Fortunately for him, landing on a very soft mound
Of leaves gently fallen from a nearby tree,
Disaster averted, I was so thankful to see.

"Why are you down here Mr Bumble", I asked, surprised,
When suddenly it dawned - my mistake, I now realised.
You shouldn't have taken to heart what I said,
Was only theoretical, straight from my head.

Of course you can fly, everyone knows that fact,
Indeed we would rather like to get in on the act!
For God made you in a very special way,
To humble us humans, each and every day.

For when we see how well you can fly,
We realise, no matter how hard we try,
There's knowledge money can't buy,
That's of our God, up there in the sky.

"But I believed you," Mr Bumble sadly said,
"Look at me now, I could easily be dead!
Thank God for the leaves of the tree,
Now I know, He is looking after me"

"Forgive me please," I cried out loud,
Feeling foolish for being so proud,
So full of worldly knowledge is my brain,
To consider others feelings, too much strain.

(Concluded next week.)

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A DAVID MUSING

We have a TV cheese advertisement in New Zealand stating that 'good things take time'. It is fronted by a couple of old farmer type people whose main job seems to be to relax and sleep while waiting for the cheese to mature. How do I get a job like that!

Sending our first container of clothing to Africa has been like the cheese - it has taken time! And effort! There just seem to be so many obstacles in the way. However, we are now seemingly at the final hurdle - how to get the bales into the container! The forklifts we are looking for don't seem to be available in our city. Maybe we will just have to use our muscles! Oh well!

Our walk with Jesus, contrary to what many preach, takes both time to come to maturity and the path is strewn with obstacles along the way. If you have experienced these frustrations and setbacks, don't be discouraged. These are normal! All a part of making us a little more like Jesus.

Now, how can I get 119 of these bales into the container? Answer next week - I hope!

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: RESALE

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 3) B - Dead Sea

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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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