PRAISE GOD IT’S MONDAY!
A WEEKLY ‘WWW (world-wide word) OF ENCOURAGEMENT’
TO THOSE IN MINISTRY

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Issue No: 444     Published: 26 Apr 2010

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MUSINGS ON THE KINGDOM - PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENT

KINGDOM PRESENT - THE KINGDOM PARABLES

THE PARABLE OF THE WORKERS IN THE VINEYARD

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. 2 He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. 3 “About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. 4 He told them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ 5 So they went. “He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. 6 About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, ‘Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ 7 ”‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, ‘You also go and work in my vineyard.’ 8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’ 9 “The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. 10 So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. 12 ‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ 13 “But he answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? 14 Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. 15 Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ 16 “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (Matthew 20:1-14)


The primary meaning of this parable is an explanation to the Jews that the kingdom of God, while first offered to them, is not only theirs. In fact, many who come in later, that is, the gentiles, will be their equals, indeed, may well surpass them. “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

There are of course, many sub meanings that have been preached about numerous times over the years. These will not be gone into here.

What I would like to consider though, is the men who, in the first instance, were not hired. They stood round and did nothing. The usual explanation of this is that they were ones living in the world and under satan's dominion or control. The parable of the lost son returning after a life of debauchery is considered to be a parallel example of this principle.

But, at the risk of being declared a heretic, I would like to put forward a more positive view of these unhired men.

In normal circumstances the vineyard owner would hire all the workers he required at the beginning of the day. The chances of getting work would be unlikely if they were not in that first intake, becoming almost impossible the further the day went on.

All through the day they waited. They could have given up and gone home, seeing they had missed out on a job. The longer they stayed, the more desperate for a job they showed themselves to be. Their desperation for the job was recognised in the wages they were finally given.

So it is with the kingdom.

7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

We must actively seek the kingdom. It is not given to us on a platter. Ask and keep asking. Knock and keep knocking.

The kingdom is given to those who are prepared to sacrifice their own wants and desires in order to conform to the image of Jesus.

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)


We need determination and perseverance, as illustrated by the late employed vineyard workers, in order to enter the kingdom.

12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. (Matthew 11:12)

My friend, do not give up! (I am talking to myself here too.) When times are tough, when we think God has given up on us - or we want to give up on God - let us remember the workers who had the patience and determination to wait through the hot noonday sun in order to get into the kingdom vineyard. There wait was rewarded. Their wages were paid in full. Yes, the last, you and me, can become the first in the kingdom of God. The choice is ours.

Are we prepared to pay the price?

(Continued next week)

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FROM THE WORD

Ask, Seek, Knock

"“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:7-12)

Living Sacrifices

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." (Romans 12:1-8)

Be Holy

"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” Since you call on a Father who judges each man’s work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All men are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you." (1 Peter 1:13-25)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

PERSEVERANCE

685. Perseverance perseveres!

686. Perseverance is keeping running the race with feet blistered by the problems of life.

687. Perseverance is wading through the mire of life, confident of reaching our eternal heavenly home.

688. Perseverance is walking through the valleys before ascending to the mountaintops

689. Perseverance is retaining hope when all seems hopeless.

690. Perseverance is …

… forgiving one more time

… one more prayer.

… going on when others are giving up.

… picking yourself up once again.

… loving that little bit extra.

… just one more step.

… serving one more time.

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

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

... as we look at the 'tares'.

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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." ***

180. CHURCH MARQUEE SIGNS
"The best vitamin for a Christian is B1"
"Under same management for over 2000 years"
"Soul food served here"
"Tithe if you love Jesus! Anyone can honk!"
"The wages of sin is death. Repent before payday"
"Never give the devil a ride. He will always want to drive"
"Beat the Christmas rush, come to church this Sunday!"
"Don't wait for the hearse to take you to church"

179. YOU CAN'T WIN
The local post office received a letter addressed "To God." Not knowing where to deliver it, they forwarded it to one of the nearby churches.

The pastor read it at the next charity committee meeting. "Dear God," began the writer. "I hate to bother you, but my family is having it tough right now. The rent is two month's due, my wife is expecting, and my car is broke down. Plus I just lost my job as a nightwatchman due to sleeping on the job. Please send us $1,000 and I won't bother you again."

The pastor read the name and one of the committee members recognized it. "He lives right down the street from the church," she said. "This might be a good way to witness to him and show him we care."

The others agreed but the church fund was only to help members. Finally, after much discussion, they decided to pool their resources and give from their own pockets. They came up with $500, then wrote out a check from the church and sent it to him.

Months passed with no word of thanks or even acknowledgement. Some time later they received another letter forwarded to them addressed to God. It was from the same fellow. "Dear God," it read. "I hate to bother you again, but I lost my new job at the shoe store, my car was wrecked, and my wife is in the hospital again. Please send me $1,000 to get these creditors off our backs. Thanks again. P.S. Please send it to me directly this time. Last time you sent it through the church next door and those dirty crooks kept half of it."

178. LATERAL WISDOM
A preacher stepped into the pulpit one Sunday morning with a Band-Aid on the side of his face. He explained at the start of his sermon, “I cut myself while shaving. I guess I was meditating on my sermon.”

An hour and fifteen minutes later a sleepy member of the congregation whispered to his wife, “He should have meditated on his shaving and cut his sermon!”

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Why do we ‘bless’ somebody after they
sneeze?

ANSWER: Sneezing has long been regarded as a dangerous thing. The
ancient Greeks feared that a sneeze could accidentally dispel the soul.
People tried hard to hold back their sneezes and one that happened
anyway was greeted with chants to return good fortune. The Romans, on
the other hand, felt a sneeze was the body's attempt to dispel sinister
spirits that could cause illness. Holding back a sneeze made you
vulnerable to sickness. Still, benedictions were in order. A person who
sneezed was congratulated and one about to sneeze was urged on with
‘Good luck to you!’ The Christian expression ‘God bless you’, was begun
by Papal Fiat in the sixth century, issued by Pope Gregory the Great in
response to a deadly plague sweeping through Italy. Sneezing was one
of the symptoms of the plague. Pope Gregory urged healthy people to
pray for the sick and he told them to say ‘God bless you’ when someone
sneezed. If a person sneezed and had no one around to bless him, he
was instructed to call directly on God saying, ‘God help me!’ (I receive
plenty of blessings – from others as I sneeze often, and from God without
the need for a special reason.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Who were the Buccaneers?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

235. WONDROUSLY MADE
There are 35 million digestive glands in the stomach and 62,000 miles of arteries, capillaries, and veins in the adult human body. (Wouldn’t want to get lost inside!)

236. WATCH OUT
At funerals in ancient China, when the lid of the coffin was closed, mourners took a few steps backward, lest their shadows get caught in the box. (Shadow boxing?)

237. THE PARTY LINE
After being forced to state in public that the earth does not rotate, Galileo is reputed to have muttered under his breath, "But it does move." (A good move!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

DIRECTOR

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - MOUNTAINS

12) In the battle of the Amalekites and Israelites what did Moses do on the hill top?

A - Stood up and cheered
B - Waved them on
C - Held up his hands
D - Prayed

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

HOW OLD?

!!!!!! He looks like a million bucks -- after taxes

!!!!! She's discovered the secret of perpetual youth...she lies about her age.

!!!! She's been pressing 30 so long, it's pleated.

!!! When it comes to telling her age, she's shy -- about 10 years shy.

!! I've stopped exercising. Pushing 50 is enough exercise for me.

! He's so old he just got a prospectus from an old-age home marked "Urgent"

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GREAT GROANERS

87. ON STRIKE
The workers at the Federal Mint went on strike today. They are demanding to make less money!

88. THE NOBEL PRIZE
A man is driving down a country road, when he spots a farmer standing in the middle of a huge field of grass. He pulls the car over to the side of the road and notices that the farmer is just standing there, doing nothing, looking at nothing.

The man gets out of the car, walks all the way out to the farmer and asks him, "Ah excuse me mister, but what are you doing?"

The farmer replies, "I'm trying to win a Nobel Prize."

"How?" asks the man, puzzled.

"Well I heard they give the Nobel Prize . . . to people who are out standing in their field."

89. THE PIGEONS
I was driving to work this morning when my car stalled in the damp weather. I was sitting in the car at the side of the highway, contemplating my next move, when a pigeon flew down and landed right in the middle of the hood of the car.

It seemed fairly tame, and I soon became fascinated in watching it up close as it strutted around and made cooing noises.

A few minutes passed, and two more pigeons flew in and joined the first bird. Pigeons seem to be attracted by crowds, and soon I was sitting there with a whole hood full of pigeons, all cooing loudly and beginning to change the color of my hood.

Gradually I noticed that the birds seemed to be trying to get my attention, which was unnerving, since I had always regarded pigeons as rather stupid birds. But, sure enough, several of them were dragging a piece of rope around on the hood, and several others
were flying out in front of the car and returning to the hood.

All of a sudden, I realized what they were doing, so I yanked open the door and wildly chased them all off. No way was I going to be pigeon towed!

90. CANVESSLESS
A news item this morning was about a local coal miner.

It seems That his vocation was painting, but since he couldn't afford to buy canvasses he simply painted on the wall of his small cottage. Unfortunately, a gang of youths broke into his cottage earlier this week and defaced his paintings.

Yesterday the young miscreants were charged in court with having "corrupted the murals of a miner."

91. THE BOSS
The Head of The Church of Humor is the Puntiff.

92. DEFINITIONS
* Antacid: Uncle Acid's wife.
* Antelope: How she married my Uncle.
* Arbitrator: A cook that leaves Arby's to work at McDonald's.
* Avoidable: What a bullfighter tries to do.
* Baloney: Where some hemlines fall.
* Bernadette: The act of torching a mortgage.
* Bottom: What the shopper did when she found the shoes that she wanted.
* Bucktooth: The going rate for the tooth fairy.
* Burglarize: What a crook sees with.

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Old Testament Family Life)

MANY CULTURES TODAY PRACTICE CIRCUMCISION FOR HYGENIC REASONS

Some primitive tribes perform the operation on young boys while others wait for puberty or marriage.

For the Israelites, then and now, circumcision on the 8th day, signifies the infant was being taken into the covenant community.

Flint knives were used until New Testament times when they were finally replaced with metal.

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

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Men’s Event Draws 250,000 in South Africa

Monday, 19 April 2010 11:46 AM EDT Adrienne S. Gaines

A Christian conference challenging men to become mighty men of God drew at least 250,000 men and boys to Greytown, South Africa, last weekend.

Hosted by farmer turned evangelist Angus Buchan, the Mighty Men Conference was the largest gathering at his farm, known as Shalom Ministries, since he launched the event seven years ago. Some estimate the attendance was as high as 300,000 during the meetings, which began Friday and ended Sunday.

"I have farmed maize. I've seen a lot of mielies [corn], but I've never seen a crop of people as big as this," said Buchan, whose autobiography, Faith Like Potatoes, was popularized in a 2006 film that released in the U.S. last year.

Through three days of evangelistic meetings often marked by signs and wonders, Buchan challenged men to become godly leaders in their homes and to rid themselves of such sins as adultery, fornication and hatred.

The event was centered on the theme "watchmen of the house," drawn from Ezekiel 3:17, which says, "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me."

"Angus preaches a simple faith," said South African businessman Bruce Winship told the national Sunday Tribune newspaper. "Potentially it lacks some detail, but the reality of Christianity is that it is a simple message to follow... it's about being down-to-earth, living an honest, wholesome life and correcting your priorities. I have seen the change that Angus has made in many lives, including my own."

A Zambian farmer of Scottish descent, Buchan moved to South Africa in 1977 and became a Christian two years later. In 1980, he and his wife, Jill, established Shalom Ministries, based on the farm, with a vision to help fulfill the Great Commission, take care of widows and orphans and train Christians to reach the world around them.

Since he started the annual Mighty Men Conference in 2004, attendance has grown steadily from 240 men to 7,400 in 2007 to 60,000 in 2008. That year, the Sunday Tribune noted that to draw more than 60,000 men to a non-sporting, Christian event "is not just an achievement, it could be deemed a miracle."

This year's event had 60,000 participants registered before the gathering began.

Buchan said 2010 would be the last hosted at Shalom. But the events would continue to be held elsewhere, both in and outside of South Africa, with various leaders organizing the meetings.

"Jesus took 12 men and changed the world. I see hundreds of thousands of men in this place," Buchan said. "We need to seize the moment. The future of South Africa, indeed the world, lies in the believer, in your hands and my hands. God is asking you 'what are you going to do about it?'"

Next year's conference could be held in Soweto. Buchan also has announced plans to begin a television broadcast, The Mercury reported.

via OpenHeaven.com

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WAXING LYRICAL

Another Bowentown adventure. It is amazing how the Lord communicates with you
when you are genuinely seeking Him. I am one of those strange people who enjoys
running – well, most of the time anyway. This poem shows how the Lord is not 2000
years behind the times, but communicates with us in ways that are relevant to our
circumstances and life.

ON THE RUN

Running down the beach, exhausted I was feeling,
Reaching the end, before long I would be keeling.
So I stopped, taking some time to look around,
It was perfect, sea beaten rocks there did abound.

Stark cliffs, forcefully thrusting through the sand,
So powerful there, showing God’s mighty hand.
But from wee crags, big trees were able to grow,
A loving God too, one who we can get to know.

I sat down on a rock to rest my weary legs,
The water is close by, my attention it begs.
As I watched the meandering of the sea
The Lord said, "It has a meaning for thee."

So I looked through the rocks at the lip of a wave,
Rolling gently towards me, as though through a cave.
"Was the tide going out or was it coming in?"
"It could it be the Spirit", I thought with a grin.

I watched the waves, resting on my perch of ease,
Flitting in, sliding out, look at us! they did tease.
"What is it Lord, you’re trying to show me here?"
"Bide your time, my son, no need to shed a tear."

Patiently I waited as the waves lapped on the beach,
The Lord had a lesson, me he was trying to teach.
Yes, the tides coming in – no, maybe it’s going out,
My decision making process, churned all about.

I can see it now, for the water’s coming close,
An answer revealed, before I become morose!
"But what does it mean Lord, please reveal it to me,
This incoming tide, the meandering of your sea."

"Now I have your full attention, the time is here,
For in the right direction, you I will now steer.
The waves are those of My Spirit, my son,
With the tides of life, in and out, they do run."

Yes now I see, how the waves ebb and flow,
Like moves of the Spirit, they come and they go.
But the longer I sat, the more persistent they became,
Greatly increased in power, it was no longer a game.

The Lord said, "This is what happened, over the times,
For My Spirit is always with Me, He perfectly rhymes.
My Spirit’s tide was out, for many hundreds of years,
But now is coming in, will put to rest, man’s fears."

(Continued next week)

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A DAVID MUSING

BUSY, BUSY

Lots of perspiration,
But no inspiration.
So please bear with me,
Until I'm set free!

Another shop to open this week,
The toilet there, it does leak!
So many things there are still to do,
While also to God, to remain true.

When you are expanding in the business
Tis easy to get taken over by busyness
Take a rest David, seek the Lord,
With Him do now strike a chord.

What is my priority?
Who gets seniority?
It's so very very easy to go astray,
In the good intentions of the day.

Tomorrow I will take time out to preach,
Maybe the message, it will me teach!
God can grab our attention,
In ways we never mention.

Now as I do finish this rhyme,
Feeling better about my time.
Thankyou Lord for speaking to me this way,
For giving me strength to face the day.

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: CREDITOR

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 12) C - Held up his hands (Exodus 17:8-16)

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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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Archived Newsletters...

04 Nov 2019

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