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: 439     Published: 22 Mar 2010

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MUSINGS ON THE KINGDOM - PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENT

KINGDOM PRESENT - THE KINGDOM PARABLES

THE GREAT PHYSICIAN

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” 12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:10-13)

This brief parable should turn the church upside down! It did originally. But then the church became either, a part of the establishment (eg. Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican), or indirectly associated with the establishment (eg. most Protestant churches today - from 'protesting' to 'conformity').

Most of the people Jesus mixed with, those whom He came to bring into His kingdom, had been rejected by the religious establishment of the time as being beyond salvation. But Jesus came to save the hurting and the lost. Not the righteous, but the sinners, as the parable states. This was anathema to the religious people of the day.

2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:2)

We all know this and accept it in theory. We may run programmes to help the poor, or go out on mission trips, but I would suggest that most of our time and money (the best barometer) is spent on ourselves, maintaining ministers, buildings and programmes that predominantly fit in with the middle class establishment of our society. The emphasis is on meeting our own needs, to become comfortable within the environment in which we live.

The early New Testament church was definitely not part of the establishment. It was persecuted. It went underground in many cases, simply to ensure its survival.

The Church Persecuted and Scattered

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2 Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3 But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison. (Acts 8:1-3)


Persecution is promised still, to those who wish to enter the kingdom. For our lifestyle is to be radically different to that of the world.

10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:10-12)

The disciples of Jesus were a classic example of completely unsuitable people chosen to be 'ministers'. Uneducated, rejected by the religious establishment, who only chose the best and brightest to become disciples of the Rabbis. Yet, in spite of their ups and downs when Jesus was teaching them, after His death, resurrection and ascension, they changed the course of history right through to the present day. A rabble of uneducated men became world changers! For Jesus knew their hearts!

What do we look for today in our ministers? The best and brightest, with quality theological degrees .......... Is this the example Jesus provided to us?

You will, of course, quote Paul, as a rabbinical style example. Yes he was trained. But the first thing that happened to him was to be broken of his training. Let us read what Easton's Bible Dictionary had to say about it.

As he and his companions rode on, suddenly at mid-day a brilliant light shone round them, and Saul was laid prostrate in terror on the ground, a voice sounding in his ears, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” The risen Saviour was there, clothed in the vesture of his glorified humanity. In answer to the anxious inquiry of the stricken persecutor, “Who art thou, Lord?” he said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest” (Acts 9:5; 22:8; 26:15).

This was the moment of his conversion, the most solemn in all his life. Blinded by the dazzling light (Acts 9:8), his companions led him into the city, where, absorbed in deep thought for three days, he neither ate nor drank (9:11). Ananias, a disciple living in Damascus, was informed by a vision of the change that had happened to Saul, and was sent to him to open his eyes and admit him by baptism into the Christian church (9:11–16). The whole purpose of his life was now permanently changed.

Immediately after his conversion he retired into the solitudes of Arabia (Gal. 1:17), perhaps of “Sinai in Arabia,” for the purpose, probably, of devout study and meditation on the marvellous revelation that had been made to him. “A veil of thick darkness hangs over this visit to Arabia. Of the scenes among which he moved, of the thoughts and occupations which engaged him while there, of all the circumstances of a crisis which must have shaped the whole tenor of his after-life, absolutely nothing is known. ‘Immediately,’ says St. Paul, ‘I went away into Arabia.’ The historian passes over the incident [comp. Acts 9:23 and 1 Kings 11:38, 39]. It is a mysterious pause, a moment of suspense, in the apostle’s history, a breathless calm, which ushers in the tumultuous storm of his active missionary life.” Coming back, after three years, to Damascus, he began to preach the gospel “boldly in the name of Jesus” (Acts 9:27), but was soon obliged to flee (9:25; 2 Cor. 11:33) from the Jews and betake himself to Jerusalem. Here he tarried for three weeks, but was again forced to flee (Acts 9:28, 29) from persecution. He now returned to his native Tarsus (Gal. 1:21), where, for probably about three years, we lose sight of him. The time had not yet come for his entering on his great life-work of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles.


To become effective once more, the church needs to follow the example of Scripture and Jesus and become a grassroots organism. Ministering to the 'sinners', showing 'mercy' to those in need. Becoming outward rather than inwards focused.

Talk is easy. But are we ready to change? Are we prepared to meet the challenge?

(Continued next week)

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FROM THE WORD

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
"Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." (Luke 15:1-7)

The Beatitudes

"Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:1-12)

Read the Bible (NIV Version) online at...

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

RELIGION, REVELATION AND GOD'S KINGDOM

1044. God's kingdom breeds revelation, religion, rules.

1045. Religion is man's adaptation of God's revelation.

1046. When religion fails you, turn to God.

1047. So often the church attempts to compete with God's kingdom rather than promoting it.

1048. God's vision is our mission.

1049. Religion is the eager repository of yesterday's revelation.

1050. Revelation is eternal truth meeting today's circumstances.

1051. Revelation is from God's heart, religion, a product of the heart of man.

1052. Today's revelation becomes tomorrow's religion.

1053. One dose of God is worth more than a billion of religion!

1054. When mankind cannot accept God's revelation, they adapt it to become religion.

Please feel free to quote these quotes. Acknowledgement of David Tait as the author would be appreciated. There are now over 1300 David sayings for you to view at ...

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COMMENT FROM LAST WEEK

Dear David.

Greetings again. I was so pleased to read the last words of your message this week about all God's family being one. I wrote a song about this which a number of churches round here have used;

*The Crowning day is coming*

*When God's people shall be One*


*Every knee shall bow to Jesus *

*Hail to David's greater Son*

*Israel finds her true Messiah*


*And the Churches Head has come *

*When the King is in His Kingdom*

*All God's people shall be One.*

* *

*All Praises to the Father *

*All Praises to the Son*

*All Praises to the Spirit*


*For God's People shall be One.*

{*chorus sung twice}

* *

Every Blessing

Mike Mortimer

Pastor, South Wales

CRANWELL'S CARTOON


When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. (1 Corinthians 2:1-3)


TO READ THIS CARTOON AND SEE THE OTHER
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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: SERMON ON THE MOUNT - THE KINGDOM WAY continues.....

... with a look both at fasting and building up treasure in heaven.

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*** ANOTHER DAILY EZINE FROM WWJ!*** 'LAUGHING AT OURSELVES' Subscribe Today

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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." ***

165. MOVE OVER, ROVER
A rather absent-minded pastor observed an interesting sight at the reception for a couple he had just united in marriage. The new husband rose to speak.

"I have a confession to make to my bride in front of all of you. I confess, dear, that before I married you, I spent many happy hours in the arms of another man's wife--my mother." All present enjoyed it and the minister made a mental note to use it at the occasion of his golden wedding anniversary to be celebrated that week at his church.

The big night arrived. The fellowship hall was full of guests to honor the pastor and his wife. He rose to speak. "After fifty years of married life, my dear, I have a confession to make to you in front of all our friends. Before I married you I spent many happy hours in the arms of another man's wife."

He paused for dramatic effect, but his wife's look made him lose his train of thought and he finished weakly, "And for the life of me I can't remember who she was!"


164. THEME SONGS FOR BIBLE CHARACTERS
Noah: "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"
Adam and Eve: "Strangers in Paradise"
Lazarus: "The Second Time Around"
Esther: "I Feel Pretty"
Job: "I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues"

163. PASTORAL VISITING
A new pastor moved into a town, and he went out one day to visit his parishioners. All went well until he came upon this one house. It was obvious that someone was home, but no one came to the door even after he had knocked several times. Finally he took out his card, wrote on the back "Revelation 3:20" and stuck it on the back of the door.

Revelation 3:20: "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will dine with him, and he with me."

Later in the week, as he was counting the offering, he found his card in the collection plate. Below his message was the notation "Genesis 3:10."

Genesis 3:10: "And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked: so I hid myself."

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 ...

http://www.wwj.org.nz/laugh.php

FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: What is the lowest place on Earth?

ANSWER: The Dead Sea, located near some of Israel's most famous
historical sites, is the lowest place on Earth. It lies further below sea level
than any other place in the world. (The only place you can float below sea
level?)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Are pigeons and doves of the same family?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

250. AN EARLY RISER
The alarm clock was not invented by the Marquis de Sade, but rather by a man named Levi Hutchins of Concord, New Hampshire in America, in 1787. However, the alarm on his clock could ring only at 4 am! (Early to bed, early to rise is helpful to invent an alarm clock.)

251. SETTING A TREND
Anne of Burgundy became the first woman to receive a diamond engagement ring. It was given to her by Maximilian I of Germany, in 1477. (Diamonds have now become a girl’s best friend. Or is that her husband really?)

252. SNAIL TRAIL
The colourless, sticky discharge that a snail produces forms a protective carpet under them as they travel along. The discharge is so effective that they can crawl along the edge of a razor without cutting themselves. (Living life on the ‘cutting edge’.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

SEVERED

Answer at the end of A David Musing

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can download the full version of our Trivia Book at TRULY TRIFFLING TRIVIA

Or view all 1232 online at...

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BIBLE QUESTION - MOUNTAINS

7) Which was the Mount of Blessing?

A - Gerizim
B - Nebo
C - Zion
D - Olives

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

Heaps more fun and serious 'God Facts' are found at...

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

SAYINGS FOR YOU TO PONDER

!!!!!!! Church members, like automobiles, usually start missing before they quit.

!!!!!! The world at its worst needs the church at its best!

!!!!! People will judge you by your actions, not your intentions ~ you may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg.

!!!! Charity begins at home ~ but should not end there.

!!! It's the little things that hurt. You can sit on top of a mountain, but you can't sit on top of a pin.

!! Note on Church Bulletin Board: "Parents, be the soul support of your children."

! Some people use religion like a bus ~ they ride on it only when it's going their way.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

http://www.wwj.org.nz/thought.php

EXTENSIVE EXPLANATIONS

12. PROCRASTINATION
The procrastinator’s creed.

1. I believe that if anything is worth doing, it would have been done already.

2. I shall never move quickly, except to avoid more work or find excuses.

3. I will never rush into a job without a lifetime of consideration.

4. I shall meet all of my deadlines directly in proportion to the amount of bodily injury I could expect to receive from missing them.

5. I firmly believe that tomorrow holds the possibility for new technologies, astounding discoveries, and a reprieve from my obligations.

6. I truly believe that all deadlines are unreasonable regardless of the amount of time given.

7. I shall never forget that the probability of a miracle, though small, is not exactly zero.

8. If at first I don't succeed, there is always next year.

9. I shall always decide not to decide, unless of course I decide to change my mind.

10. I shall always begin, start, initiate, take the first step, and/or write the first word, when I get around to it.

11. I obey the law of inverse excuses which demands that the greater the task to be done, the more insignificant the work that must be done prior to beginning the greater task.

12. I know that the work cycle is not plan/start/finish, but is wait/plan/plan.

13. I will never put off until tomorrow, what I can forget about forever.

14. I will become a member of the ancient Order of Two-Headed Turtles (the Procrastinator's Society) if they ever get it organised.

14. SENSATIONAL SIGNS
Genuine signs seen….

• On a Plumbers truck:
We repair what your husband fixed.

• On the trucks of a local plumbing company in NE Pennsylvania:
Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.

• Pizza shop slogan:
7 days without pizza makes one weak.

• At a tire shop in Milwaukee:
Invite us to your next blowout.

• Door of a plastic surgeon's office:
Hello. Can we pick your nose?

• On an electrician's truck:
Let us remove your shorts.

• In a non-smoking area:
If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.

• On a maternity room door:
Push. Push. Push.

• At an optometrist's office:
If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place.

• On a taxidermist's window:
We really know our stuff.

• In a podiatrist's office:
Time wounds all heels.

• On a fence:
Salesmen welcome: Dog food is expensive.

• At a car dealership:
The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment.

• Outside a muffler shop:
No appointment necessary. We hear you coming.

• In a veterinarian's waiting room:
Be back in 5 minutes. Sit. Stay.

• In a restaurant window:
Don't stand there and be hungry. Come on in and get fed up.

• In the front yard of a funeral home:
Drive carefully. We'll wait.

Enjoy more extensive explanations here.......

http://www.wwj.org.nz/exex.php

BIBLE TRIVIA (Old Testament Family Life)

ADOPTION PRACTICES WERE COMMON IN ANCIENT TIMES

Adoption solved many problems. An adopted son would care for his adopted parents in their old age, give them a proper burial and inherit their property.

However, if a natural son came along later, he would then become the rightful heir.

After Bilbah's baby was born, it was placed in Rachel's lap - a central part of an adoption ceremony. Other adoptions include Moses and Esther, who was adopted by Mordecai.

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

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

http://www.wwj.org.nz/gfacts.php

Poll: Abortion Support Falling among Young Adults

by Audrey Barrick, The Christian Post

Over the last 20 years, support for legal abortion has continued to drop among young adults, a new Gallup poll shows.

In 2009, only 24 percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 said abortion should be legal under any circumstances, a drop from 28 percent in the year 2000 and 36 percent in 1990.

Even compared to 30- to 64-year-olds, the young cohort is now less likely to support abortion, the Gallup survey on Friday revealed.

Young adults (23 percent) are also most likely to say abortion should be illegal in all circumstances compared to their older counterparts, including those aged 65 and older (21 percent) – who have been the most conservative in abortion views.

Gallup notes, "This is a sharp change from the late 1970s, when seniors were substantially more likely than younger age groups to want abortion to be illegal."

In 1975, only 18 percent of young adults said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances while 32 percent of seniors said the same.

Currently, 51 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say abortion should be legal only under certain circumstances.

Overall, Gallup found that Americans of all age groups were more supportive of legal abortion under any circumstances in the early 1990s but have subsequently shed some of that support since the late 1990s. Further decline has been seen since then.

The widespread pro-life views among today's youth and young adults have been documented by a number of organizations. Population Research Institute in 2008 found that the hundreds of thousands of people who walk in the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., are getting younger every year. PRI refuted Planned Parenthood's claim that America's youth are primarily pro-choice.

A newly released documentary, titled "Thine Eyes: A Witness to the March or Life," also shows that contrary to media portrayals of marchers being angry and old, the majority of March for Life participants are under 25 years of age and not violent.

The Gallup report is based on annual averages of Gallup's abortion surveys, from 1975 through 2009. All individual surveys are based on interviews with a random sample of approximately 1,000 national adults, aged 18 and older.

via OpenHeaven.com

Many more Godfacts at...

http://www.wwj.org.nz/gfacts.php

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF……. 3 KINGDOM AGES OF GOD

An excellent tool to help better understand Bible history and God's plan for mankind throughout the ages. Kingdom ages, that is! And to get a glimpse of the kingdom yet to come and how we can participate in it.

Download your free PDF File here.....

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WAXING LYRICAL

We need to understand that even after coming to Jesus, we have both good and bad weeks. I hope this encourages you that you are not alone!

THIS WEEK

I would like to write good things about this week,
With a magnificent achievement of which to speak.
But reality is, the week's been hard!
Really, truly, caught me off guard!

Would love to have huge shop sales of which to skite,
But to be truthful, Kathy and I just had a fight!
It doesn't happen very often between her and me,
Been together for thirty-eight years, you see.

But all is now well, for we finally sorted things out.
After a slow week, on Saturday, sales turned about,
You see, all in all, I can't now complain,
Life wouldn't be life, without some pain.

If life was a bed of roses, from week to week,
My Jesus I would have, no real need to seek.
But life, like roses, does have thorns,
We all have, both good and bad morns.

So I do hope this little ditty may now encourage you,
That in tough times, light can still shine through.
For Jesus has come, not the perfect to save,
Nor the streets of earth, with gold to pave.

But to offer us comfort and support through life,
Also to correct us, when we argue with the wife!
For in Him, we have a friend in whom we can trust,
Until that day we too, go from 'dust to dust'.

Then we can be with Him in heaven, forever to reign,
No more worries, no more arguments, no more pain.
"But first Lord, establish Your kingdom here on earth,
So as a very human human, I may be of some worth."

This week I will again seek to become more like Him,
Spiritual sails, to His wind of wisdom, will I trim.
"Lord, please mould me in your image,
May I truly grow into your visage."

More of David's offerings at...

http://www.wwj.org.nz/waxing.php

A DAVID MUSING

This week we have been looking at opening a second shop in the city of Napier, where we live. We worked out a deal with the landlord, then went to the City Council, just to check all was okay.

It was then we learned of a number of things that we would have to do before proceeding. Good intentions, but costly and time consuming bureaucracy is involved. (I am being very restrained here!) We will overcome though, but the rules are certainly not user friendly!

Reminded me about many of the formal and informal rules we make in our churches. Codes of dress, codes of behaviour, our ways of doing things etc., that may be okay with those brought up in 'the system', but which are barriers to an outsider wishing to come in.

Worth thinking about, and adjusting, isn't it?

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: DESERVE

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: A - Gerizim (Deuteronomy 11:29)

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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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