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Issue No: 409     Published: 24 Aug 2009

SERMON ON THE MOUNT - THE KINGDOM WAY


The Narrow and Wide Gates

13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)


EXPOSITION: There are two ways of life, represented by the two gates. The majority will enter the wide gate of easy living which leads to hell. The minority will choose a life of change, of trial and testing, in order to finally conform to the image of Jesus. It is these faithful ones who will receive their eternal heavenly reward.

TESTIMONY: Most things in life, I do wholeheartedly. For that is my nature. If I commit to something, I will, most times, give it my all.

In coming to Jesus, in my forties, I had come to the end of my natural, human tether.

Walking on the wide road was easy in many ways, although I still tripped up many times. I had plenty of company! It was downhill all the way. Downhill to destruction!

My way hadn't worked. I needed to make a new start. I chose to commit my life to Jesus.

I chose to enter the narrow gate. I have found that the narrow way crosses mountains and valleys for which I have had to become spiritually fit in order to walk. At times I fall off the side of the road, for it is indeed narrow, and have to pull myself, through God's grace, back onto the path. Trials and testings abound. Being honest, it is hard at times. But the mountain top experiences are incredible and make the valleys bearable for they form an inevitable part of mountain climbing, both in the natural and the spiritual.

There is however, another way in which these verses can be applied. That is, in regards to Christians. Many Christians take the path of 'easy Christianity', where they make a decision for Jesus yet continue to live their lives mainly in the world. In other words, become believers, but not disciples.

There are a number of references in the parables of Jesus. A few are, the Parable of the Sower, the Wise and Foolish Virgins and Parable of the Talents.

In each case, believers are split into categories, and the frightening part is, in each case, apparent believers who have not become disciples, are consigned to hell.

Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. (Matthew 13:12b)

12 “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ (Matthew 25:12)

30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:30)


Read the full parables for yourself in 'FROM THE WORD' below.

"Lord, may I be faithful to you in all that I do."

(To be continued next week.)

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FROM THE WORD

"That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.” The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ”‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”" (Matthew 13:1-23)

The Parable of the Ten Virgins

"“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ”‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour." (Matthew 25:1-13)

The Parable of the Talents

"“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. ”‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 25:14-30)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

BELIEVERS v DISCIPLES

236. A believer praises the Lord in good times, the disciple at all times.

237. The Holy Spirit resides in the believer but shines through the disciple.

238. A believer loves God with heart and mind while a disciple commits the will.

239. A believer loves God and others, but they are the disciple's life.

240. A believer lives in hope, but for the disciple, God's hope is certain.

241. A believer seeks forgiveness for sin but the disciple also determines not to walk that path again.

242. A believer has faith in God but the disciple's faith is tempered in the fire of testing.

243. A believer loves the Lord, but the disciple's love is unconditional.

244. The believer serves the Lord in strength, but the disciple is made perfect through weakness.

245. God is part of the believer's life, but the central focus of the disciple.

246. A believer forgives, but the disciple also forgets.

247. A believer communicates with God at their own convenience, but the disciple's heart is open to the Lord at all times.

430. A believer knows, but the disciple does.

1077. Believing is free, discipleship costs your life.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON






21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”





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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

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

We will continue with the 2 remaining relational aspects this week.

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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." ***

86. A PRICE FOR EVERYTHING
A little girl became restless as the preacher's sermon dragged on and on. Finally,
she leaned over to her mother and whispered, "Mummy, if we give him the money now,
will he let us go?"


85. MODERN IDIOM
A 6-year-old was overheard reciting the Lord's Prayer at a church service: "And
forgive us our trash passes, as we forgive those who passed trash against us."

84. SIXTEEN!
A little boy was attending his first wedding. After the service, his cousin asked him, "How many women can a man marry?"

"Sixteen," the boy responded.

His cousin was amazed that he had an answer so quickly. "How do you know that?"

"Easy," the little boy said. "All you have to do is add it up, like the Bishop said:
4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer."

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Where and when was the first underground
train line opened?

ANSWER: The City and South London Railway opened the world's first
deep-level electric railway on December 18th, 1890, running from King
William Street in the City of London under the River Thames to Stockwell.
(Does the underground ever run overground?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Is it true that turtles don't age?

LAST WEEK'S QUESTION: Thanks Shaun for advising that Pluto has now been removed as a planet. Not reached perfection yet!

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

340. WHAT IS YOUR PHONE NUMBER?
The short-term memory capacity for most people is between five and nine items or digits. This is one reason that generally, phone numbers are kept to seven digits, excluding the area code. (What was that?)

341. PROLIFIC READERS
Warsaw, in Poland, holds the distinction of opening the world's first public library in 1747. (Was silence first imposed there too?)

342. IT'S DEEP
It would take 11 Empire State Buildings, stacked one on top of the other, to measure the Gulf of Mexico at its deepest point. (Could a storm topple the top building though?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

LACONIC

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - WATER WATER EVERYWHERE!

17) This prophet prophesied 'But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!'

A - Amos
B - Obadiah
C - Jonah
D - Micah

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! My mind contains many good ideas, but it is not always easy to squeeze one out.

!!!!!! There is a guaranteed way to get what you want: want less.

!!!!! "I told the doctor I broke my leg in two places. He told me to quit going to those places." (Henny Youngman)

!!!! BEWARE: I'm acting under the influence of human nature.

!!! No wonder I'm so confused - one of my parents was a man, the other was a woman.

!! I can't trace my family back very far, but still proudly believe that I, too, had ancestors.

! My strange behaviour as a child is easily explained; I was training to be an adult.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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JUST JOKES

122. A FINE CUT
The personnel manager was impressing the applicant with the prospective job.

"We make parts for microscopes. You'll be required to work with lenses that are ten-thousandths of an inch thick."

"I can handle it," the applicant said, "I used to slice meat in a delicatessen."

121. 10 FINGERS
A man was working with an electric saw when he accidentally sawed off all ten fingers. He quickly rushed to the emergency room. The doctor there told him, "Give me the fingers and I'll see what I can do."

"But I don't have the fingers!"

"What! You don't have the fingers!?" said the doctor, "You should have brought them to me. We have all kinds of operations we could have done like microsurgery and stuff.
We could have put them back as good as new."

"But Doc, I couldn't pick them up."

120. SUCCESS
Customer: "To what do you owe your extraordinary success as a house-to-house salesman?"

Salesman: "To the first five words I speak when a woman opens the door. I always ask: 'Miss, is your mother in?' "

Laugh loudly here.......

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Relationship Between the Shepherd and the Sheep)

FAT TAILED SHEEP WERE THE MOST COMMON VARIETY

The fat tail provides reserve strength for the sheep, similar to the hump on a camel. The tail is valuable when the sheep is butchered, being used for frying. It is mentioned in Exodus 29:22, 'Take from this ram the fat, the fat tail....'

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

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Finding God in Rwanda’s Killing Fields

Tuesday, 18 August 2009 09:09 AM EDT J. Lee Grady Newsletters - Fire In My Bones

It has been 15 years since Rwanda's darkest tragedy. Here's how one pastor suffered in that holocaust—and now offers healing.

Unless you catch sight of the jagged scars on Emmanuel Kadege's* legs, you wouldn't know he is a survivor of Rwanda's genocide. During a conference last week in Pennsylvania he greeted me with a warm hug, a bright smile and a cheerful "Praise the Lord." But after we got to know each other, and I encouraged him to talk honestly, this 31-year-old pastor let down his guard and shared his horrific story.

A member of Rwanda's minority Tutsi population, Emmanuel was only 16 when leaders of the majority Hutu tribe announced on the radio that it was time to kill the "snakes" and "cockroaches"—their ominous code words for Tutsis. For 100 days—from April 6 to July 14, 1994—Hutu militants and thousands of civilians slaughtered an estimated 1 million people.
"After meeting Emmanuel I was reminded of how our merciful God always brings His redemption. The sun always comes out, even after the darkest of storms."

About 400 people died every hour during that period—and as many as 500,000 Tutsi women were brutally raped, many in broad daylight while people watched.

Emmanuel, the son of a Pentecostal pastor, had been baptized in the Holy Spirit a few weeks before the slaughter began. His father told his mother and three sisters to prepare to die. But then his mother received a message from God that they would be spared.

Militants armed with sticks and machetes stormed into the Kadeges' neighborhood in the Byumba province and herded all Tutsis into a field near Emmanuel's church. They shot Emmanuel in the arm to wound him, then struck his legs several times with knives.

Says Emmanuel: "My mother cried out to them, ‘Please don't kill my son in front of me.' But they told her, ‘We want you to die with a broken heart.'" Then two men raped one of Emmanuel's sisters in front of the crowd.

The whole scene was a like a dream to Emmanuel. He had his own wounds to deal with, but seeing so much horror all around him somehow numbed the pain. I asked him what was the worst memory of that day. He answered immediately: "Some men grabbed a pregnant woman and ripped her belly open with a knife. Then they kicked the baby across the field as if it were a ball."

Amazingly, the militants left Emmanuel and his family without killing them. But armed men returned later and bombed their house. So the Kadege family fled into the woods while Hutu warriors hunted them like dogs.

"All our possessions were burned," Emmanuel told me. "So we hid for five months without any real food. Finally some Tutsi rebels rescued us and took us to a hospital on the Ugandan border."

It took nine months for Emmanuel and his family members to recover from starvation. But when they regained their health they went right back into Rwanda—to bring the message of Christ's forgiveness to a fractured nation.

Emmanuel eventually surrendered his life to the ministry. Today, while Rwandan president Paul Kagame is trying to repair his nation's economy and social structures, Emmanuel is teaching people to forgive. He is also trying to feed and house about 800 orphans whose mothers contracted the AIDS virus from the HIV-infected men who raped them. He hopes to purchase land and build a farm where the children can find work.

Both Hutus and Tutsis now attend Emmanuel's church. "I am preaching reconciliation, and that is really touching the hearts of people," he told me.

"We have forgiven the men who raped my sister," he adds. "Those men are in prison, and she has actually visited them there."

I cannot comprehend the level of demonic hatred that was unleashed in Rwanda 15 years ago, nor can I fathom how much grief still paralyzes people there today. But after meeting Emmanuel I was reminded of how our merciful God always brings His redemption. The sun always comes out, even after the darkest of storms.

J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma. You can find him on Twitter at leegrady. *Pastor Emmanuel's identity was shielded because some Tutsis in Rwanda still live in fear of violence.

Source: CharismaMag.com

© 2009 Strang Communications

via OpenHeaven.com

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... THE 3 RIVERS OF GOD

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WAXING LYRICAL

Feeling dejected that you don't seem to be doing as well as the ministry down the road? Then, this poem is a message of reassurance for you. Yes, God love you too!

YES IT'S TRUE, GOD LOVES YOU!

God loves us all,
The big, the small,
The short and the tall,
At home, at the mall.
Yes it's true, God loves you!

We look at others, see the exterior,
So easy to feel, greatly inferior.
Their ministry is so much bigger than mine!
I'm on the wrong side, of the thin red line!
But it's true, God loves you!

Yesterday, I went past the church down the road,
Everything about it was surely made, me to goad!
From the Mercedes in the carpark, to the automatic door,
Me, in my faithful old jalopy, with four on the floor.
But it's true, God loves you!

With all the trappings of success, God is surely blessing him,
When it comes to my church, expenses, we have to trim!
Oh God, my God, what have I done wrong?
My ministry - it would sell for a song!
But it's true, God loves you!

This man, he's so annointed,
Me - I'm just disappointed!
My Lord, I've given my whole life to you,
Every day, my commitment, I do renew.
But it's true, God loves you!

I love all my people,
More than the steeple.
Many, over the years, have let me down,
But still I bless them, with Your crown.
But it's true, God loves you!

What more can I do for you Lord?
Thought we were of one accord!
But when I see what others have done,
Why have I missed out on all the fun!
But it's true, God loves you!

"I hear you, I hear you, my faithful one,
For you, just for you, I gave my Son,
You are so very precious in my sight,
A shining star, radiating my light."

Yes it's true, God loves you!

"What you perceive, will not always be true,
You don't see things, from my point of view,
For I am looking always, to the heart,
Don't put the horse, before the cart."

Yes it's true, God loves you!

"I do not judge my own by numbers or wealth,
These can be achieved by the human self,
But by how much of yourself you will give to Me,
Commitment and submission - that's what I see."

Yes it's true, God loves you!

"The order in Heaven is so different to earth,
For I am only interested, in spiritual girth!
Not beauty, nor success, nor intelligence, nor size,
I know your heart is for me, that much I realise."

Yes it's true, God loves you!

"So when the glorious day arrives, to finally come, stay with me,
You have built up treasure here, will last throughout eternity,
No, don't get yourself deceived by the glitter of earthly ways,
You are destined to rule and reign with Me - now and always!"

Yes it's true, God loves you!

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A DAVID MUSING

Patience is a virtue! A fruit of the Spirit! And we will be tested!

This week, we have seen our container of used clothing unloaded in Tema, Ghana, but haven't been able to get it cleared through Customs yet.

We won't go near the subject of 'bureaucracy' here, other than to say that it is a common test in today's world!

Had better get on with the paperwork then! And relax in Jesus!

Until next week...

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: CONICAL

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 17) A - Amos (Amos 5:24)

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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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