PRAISE GOD IT’S MONDAY!
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Issue No: 455     Published: 12 Jul 2010

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MUSINGS ON THE KINGDOM - PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENT

KINGDOM PRESENT - THE KINGDOM PARABLES

The Parable of the Talents

14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 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. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 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.’ 21 “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!’ 22 “The man with the two talents also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ 23 “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!’ 24 “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. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 26 “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? 27 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. 28 ”‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 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. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Matthew 25:14-30)


Like the Parable of the Ten Minas, the major emphasis of the talents, is maximizing the spiritual abilities or gifts we have been given in and for the Lord's service.

Too often we hear, maybe even from our own mouth, words like, "I have nothing to offer God/the church/others for I have no talents, not like xxxx down the road.....!"

This, as the parable says, is a copout! There are several points to be made.

Firstly, all the servants (Christians) of the master (God/Jesus) had at least one talent. No, we are not all the same in terms of gifts given, but every believer can, indeed must, make a contribution to the ongoing work of their Saviour and Lord, for the kingdom to grow.

For we are all, as Paul explains, different but vital parts of the one body;

One Body, Many Parts

12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. (1 Corinthians 12:12-20)


Secondly, there are those who have been given what are called, the 'ministry gifts'. This does not mean that they have a title, or are paid, or are responsible to 'do it all', but that God has given them talents to help train US to DO THE WORK and become MATURE in Christ.

11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

I also hear, "I would love to have his or her talents!" But would you really? For, the greater the giftings, the greater the responsibilities! And, from experience and observation, the greater spiritual attacks also!

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1)

The same would apply to the other ministry gifts as well.

Of course, there is a wider range of spiritual gifts mentioned in several places, such as...

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

Thirdly, in our walk with Jesus, we are all required to develop spiritual fruit in our lives.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-5)

I would suggest that if you and I fully developed these character traits in our life, we would reflect Jesus to others. What a talent that would be!

Our talents are not fixed. As we develop in our walk with Jesus, He may well give more talents to us. We are told to always desire the greater gifts.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But eagerly desire the greater gifts. (1 Corinthians 12:27-31)

Finally, the conclusion of this parable is the same as the previous one. A serious warning! If we don't use our God given talents for Him, we will be banished into outer darkness! It is not enough to simply believe. We must put our beliefs into action in order to receive our heavenly reward.

"Lord, help us to fully utilize Your talents, given to us, for You".

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FROM THE WORD

Spiritual Gifts

"Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

One Body, Many Parts

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But eagerly desire the greater gifts." (1 Corinthians 12:1-31)

Life by the Spirit

"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other." (Galatians 5:15-26)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

KNOWING GOD

351. The more I discover about God the more I realise there is to know.

352. The closer I get to God, the more I realise how big He is and how small I am.

353. While God graciously accepts me as I am, His desire is for me to become more like Him.

354. When God moves, the results are beyond our imagination. Why then do we try and do His work ourselves?

811. Sanctification is 'the means', holiness 'the end'.

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CRANWELL'S CARTOON

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

(The land of my mother! Went there once, but didn't manage to find a 4 leafed clover! Maybe Noah's dove would have had better 'Oirish luck' than me! David)








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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: A REVELATION OF... THE THREE PRIESTHOODS continues.....

.... as we look at the history of the church and see what the Bible says.

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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." ***

213. LITTLE, BUT SMART
A little boy wanted $100 badly and prayed for two weeks, but nothing happened. Then he decided to write a letter to the Lord requesting the $100.

When the postal authorities received the letter addressed to The Lord, USA, they decided to send it to President Bush.

The President was so impressed, touched and amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5 bill. President Bush thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little boy. The little boy was delighted with the $5 and sat down to write a thank you note to the Lord, which read:

"Dear Lord, Thank you very much for sending me the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you had to send it through Washington, D.C., and as usual, they deducted 95 percent."

212. OUCH!
After the christening of his baby brother in church, little Johnny sobbed all the way home in the back seat of the car. His father asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied, "That preacher said he wanted us brought up in a Christian home, but I want to stay with you guys!"

211. MODERN TRANSLATION
A six 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."

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: What is an ‘interrobang’?

ANSWER: For a short time in 1967, the American Typeros Association made a new punctuation mark that was a combination of the question mark and an exclamation point called an interrobang. It was rarely used and hasn't been seen since. (Why not?!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Do penguins live at the North Pole?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

202. A LICKING DOLL!
The word ‘puppy’ comes from the French ‘poupee’, meaning ‘doll’. (But what is a grown up doll called?)

203. SACRIFICIAL STOCK
In Pakistan, goats are often sacrificed to improve the performance of the stock market. (The Stock Market makes a goat out of most of us!)

204. AND N'ER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET
While Columbus was seeking a ‘New World’ to the west, Italian engineers were rebuilding the Kremlin in Moscow in the East. (One of life’s unanswered questions – where do East and West meet?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

HURTLE

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - WHERE IS THE QUOTATION FROM?

4) I know that my Redeemer lives

A - Joshua 24:15
B - Mark 15:34
C - 1 Corinthians 4:16
D - Job 19:25

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.

!!!!!! "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened."
- Winston Churchill

!!!!! Actually, should the truth be known, there are a lot of good ways to "handle" a woman. Unfortunately, not a man alive knows any of them.

!!!! What do you call a dear with no eyes? No idea.--Lawrence

!!! If I write a story about my car, would it be an autobiography? --Lawrence

!! The two most beautiful words in the English language
are "check enclosed." --Dorothy Parker

! Be careful about health books. You may die of a misprint. --Mark Twain

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JUST JOKES

LATERAL THINKING
A zookeeper wanted to get some extra animals for his zoo, so he decided to compose a letter, the only problem, was that he didn't know the plural of 'Mongoose'.

He started the letter: "To whom it may concern, I need two Mongeese." No, that won't work, he tried again: "To whom it may concern, I need two Mongooses." Is that right? Finally, he got an idea: "To whom it may concern, I need a Mongoose, and while you're at it, send me another one."

EVEN MORE LATERAL
Two men went into a diner and sat down at the counter. They ordered two sodas, took sandwiches out of their packs and started to eat them.

The owner saw what was going on and approached the men. "You can't eat your own sandwiches in here," he complained.

The two men stopped, looked at each other, and then swapped their sandwiches.

MATHS
A student, needing some learning, goes to the pharmacy and asks what kind of knowledge pills are available. The pharmacist says, "Here's a pill for English literature." The student takes the pill and swallows it and has new knowledge about English literature!

"What else do you have?" asks the student.

"Well, I have pills for art history, biology, and world history," replies the pharmacist.

The student asks for these, and swallows them and has new knowledge about those subjects.

Then the student asks, "Do you have a pill for maths?"

The pharmacist says, "Wait just a moment," goes back into the storeroom and brings back a whopper of a pill and plunks it on the counter.

"I have to take that huge pill for maths?" inquires the student.

The pharmacist replied, "Well, you know--maths always was a little hard to swallow."

THE MAGICIAN
"What's your father's occupation?" asked the school secretary on the first day of the new academic year.

"He's a magician, Ma'am" said Little Johnny.

"How interesting. What's his favorite trick?"

"He saws people in half."

"Gosh! now, next question. Any brothers or sisters?"

"One half brother and two half sisters."

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Manners and Customs - Clothing and Accessories)

BALDNESS WAS SCARCE...

... and a suspicion of leprosy was often thought to be the cause! When the youth said to Elisha "Go on up, you baldhead!" (2 Kings 2:23) he was using an extreme curse.

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

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Next Generation Christian leaders at Ukraine festival commit to live and serve God

By Peter Wooding
Europe Bureau Chief for ASSIST News Service

IRPEN, UKRAINE (ANS) -- Young Next Generation Christian leaders celebrated God's faithfulness, strategic success of this wonderful non-formal training program and re-dedicated their lives to be servants of God at the first ever international School Without Walls festival in Ukraine.

With the theme of 'A Time to Live - A Time to Serve', 520 + participants from the U.S., Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and even India, gathered June 17-20 in Irpen, Ukraine for this historic event.

During the festival 27 excellent national speakers challenged these young Christian leaders to be more pro-active, more progressive and more effective in terms of their outreach in their communities on behalf of their churches. Each day also centred round different themes from praise to discovery and then commitment.

Rakhuba says School Without Walls leaders, who'd travelled from very difficult circumstances in places like Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan at the height of violence and tension between the two nations, displayed an amazing unity of purpose: "The young people were united around the same idea with one voice. They were so determined that despite of any challenges we have to continue pushing."

On one of the days of the festival participants looked at the theme of discovery, including discovery of their relationships with God, of fruitful and strategic ministry and discovery of God's fullness.

Organisers were overwhelmed on the second day when half of those in attendance responded to the challenge to sign up to short term ministry trips in remote places such as Arctic Siberia, villages on the Mongolian borders and war torn Northern Caucasus to bring the Gospel there.

"Also on the final day of dedication it was exciting to see many of them come forward and kneel down on the ground re-dedicating their lives and committing their talents, committing their resources, committing their young families. So it was so exciting to see that despite pressures we see in Russia or Ukraine or in Northern Caucasus or Central Asia, these young people dedicate their lives to continue leading and expanding God's kingdom in their communities and beyond, bridging their churches with current realities in contemporary society," said Rakhuba.

Rakhuba concluded by saying that despite so many challenges facing these young leaders, he's very optimistic that their School Without Walls program will continue to bear much fruit: "You hear a lot about apathy and depression in the evangelical movement because the predominant Orthodox Church is monopolising Russian territory and moving into other areas and trying to limit evangelical movement. Also the current economy isn't in favour of mission growth.

"You hear all about this war going on in Northern Caucasus or Central Asia or persecution in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, but at the same time when you see all these young people together, they're all united by one great purpose and idea, eager and committed to continue expanding God's kingdom.

"This School Without Walls program is expanding so quickly and already becoming a significant movement and we see a lot more fruit to come. I want to thank all our supporters and partners for all their contribution. I also want to give a tribute to all our multiple ministry partners and generous supporters for their faithful partnership in expanding God's kingdom through out my still needy and troubled homeland. Through this strategic and successful program we can enable the evangelical church in the former USSR to raise the next generation of ministry leaders that will lead the church into the glorious future."

For more details go to: www.russian-ministries.org

Source: (ANS) www.assistnews.net
via OpenHeaven.com

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DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

THE POWER OF THREE

A brief look at the amazing way both God and HIS Church are patterned in three’s. An insight to the past present and future.

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WAXING LYRICAL

Those important, yet unimportant jobs that have to be done! Oh, to get on the plane for a rest! A timeless poem - for it happens every time! This time it is to the Pacific and Vanuatu!

ON THE WAY - NEARLY!

The time has come to catch the plane,
Off to Africa, we're to go again,
Must get all the last minute jobs done,
Before getting on board and having fun.

So much to do, so little time,
Had better then, finish this rhyme.
Must go now and ring my Mum,
Then Uganda, here we come!

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A DAVID MUSING

New Zealand is a small island nation in the South Pacific. Because we are surrounded by sea, our temperatures are temperate, not hugely hot in Summer, nor really cold in Winter. Where we live, in Napier, on the east coast of the North Island, our highest day temperature in Summer is just over 30C and in Winter, round +10C. Most of the time temperatures are in the 15-25C range.

Yet we still complain about the heat and the cold! For such things are relative to the experience of the area you live in.

Being in the Southern Hemisphere, we are in the middle of Winter at the present time, so it will be very pleasant for us to travel to Vanuatu where the temperatures are an attractive and relatively cool, for them, 27C at the present time. Looking forward to a day off to go snorkeling!

In God too, we all have different spiritual experiences. It is my prayer, as we leave NZ, that we may all be may be tolerant and accepting of others with different spiritual understandings. Our worst enemies are not actually, other Christians! Though sometimes you would wonder! Jesus came for all who would believe in Him.

Worth thinking - and repenting of bad attitudes - about?

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: LUTHER.

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: D - Job 19:25

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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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