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Issue No: 514     Published: 29 Aug 2011

WILL OR WONT? Part 2 - 'WILL'

Last week we reviewed the negative of religion and the law from which Jesus came to set us free! Hallelujah! Well - it would be hallelujah, if we actually did live our lives in 'His freedom', and not our own!

Today we are going to look at the positive, the 'will' life that is freely available for us to live in Christ. For the law condemns, but Jesus saves!

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:17)

Unfortunately, the law, both in Old Testament times and now, is not successful in liberating us from the prison of sin and death into the liberation and life which total faith in Jesus brings.

21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. (Galatians 3:21-5)

The principles of the primary laws of the 10 Commandments, and other universally applicable laws, were good, pointing the way to Jesus (the primary purpose of the Old Testament) and are the starting point of Christian living today. Jesus came, not to replace the law but to fulfill it. Jesus embodied the law perfectly, the only one ever able to do so.

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (Matthew 5:17)

Rather than talking further about the theological terms of law, faith and grace, which we all interpret differently anyway, I simply want to describe in simple terms a little of what I understand Christian living to be today.

Firstly, I am to follow Jesus, not a religious system, or the law. Wow! I am set free from sin and death by the sacrifice on the cross and resurrection of my Lord Jesus Christ! Now I can truly say hallelujah! HALLELUJAH! What a release! What freedom!

Secondly, although I have freedom from the law, I have a both a desire and responsibility to live in the way Jesus taught and modeled. Pardon! Responsibility!..... What is that? Surely freedom and responsibility are mutually exclusive?

Well, they might be in today's amoral world, but not in God's economy. I have been set free, but if my conversion is real, my desire will automatically become to serve Him and model His behaviour. Therefore I will obey His commandments, not because I have to, but because I want to.

And what are His commandments? Jesus tells us.....

The Greatest Commandment

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40)


These 2 simple commandments embrace all of life. Unlike the primarily negative law of old, and that of today's world too, they are positive statements about how we are to live. This means they must not only cover what we do but also how we are to think. For example, we are now instructed not to physically murder someone but also not to be angry with that person either!

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. (Matthew 5:21-2)

The 'negative' of the 'law' is to be replaced by the 'positive' of 'love'.

You may well wonder why tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament. The answer is simple. Tithing is compulsory giving to God under the Law. We no longer live under the law, so tithing is no longer applicable to us. However, we are to be heart motivated to give. You see, tithing set the principle, but giving is voluntary, arising out a heart desire. We may well be led to give more than the tithe! Our giving, following New Testament principles and practice, is primarily to be directed towards the poor in our communities. For example, the rich young ruler was advised.....

21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)

Yes, you live in complete freedom from the law, but your desire is to be to follow our Saviour and Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. as we saw above.

Sadly, our churches are filled with many who are not truly saved. For our salvation must be reflected in the life we live. Saying the (unbiblical) 'sinner's prayer' is not enough! Of course, none of us are perfect, and we can seek forgiveness and restoration when we fail. But the myth that we can keep on sinning deliberately with impunity, as long as we seek forgiveness, is simply not true. We find in Hebrews.....

26 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. (Hebrews 10:26-7)

The key word here is 'deliberately'. May these verses be broadcast widely, as a warning to believers today!

Yes, I have been set free from the law! HALLELUJAH! Yes, I have been set free from man's religion! PRAISE THE LORD! I have been set free from the religious priesthood. THANK YOU JESUS!

Thank you for your sacrifice on the cross Jesus, for you set me free! You are my priest, my mediator before the Father. I HONOUR YOU. I GLORIFY YOU! I WORSHIP YOU!

In return I give you me! Please grow me into your image. May I be prepared to to follow wherever you may lead. YOU ARE MY ALL!

Can you, can I, truly say, and live, this today?

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FROM THE WORD

The Law and the Promise

"Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law." (Galatians 3:15-25)

The Fulfillment of the Law

"“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Murder

“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny." (Matthew 5:17-26)

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All

"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, O God.’” First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: “This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more." And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin." (Hebrews 10:1-18)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

RELIGION, REVELATION AND GOD'S KINGDOM

1026. 'God given' revelation quickly becomes 'man controlled' religion.

1027. God's kingdom is eternal, mankind's religion, transitory.

1028. Religion formalises the spontaneous informality of God's kingdom.

1029. God's kingdom 'upskills', religion removes the 'ups'.

1030. Religion is really 'the opiate of the priests'.

1031. To get closer to God we need to swap the bonds of religion for the liberation of His kingdom.

1032. Religion creates its own standard mould of monotonous mediocrity. God breaks moulds!

1033. Religion is centred upon man, the kingdom, upon God.

1034. Religion is the outcome of the institutionalisation of a God given vision.

1035. Religion is based upon rules, God's kingdom upon obedience.

1036. Religion seeks to control the Spirit of God which His kingdom releases.

1037. Religion controls, God's kingdom releases.

1038. Religion seeks to define an infinite God. By definition, it is doomed to failure.

1039. Religion seeks to interpret the answers to life found in God's kingdom. Surely a direct approach is best.

1040. As religion goes, God's kingdom grows.

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CRANWELLS CARTOONS

THE PARABLE OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27 He answered: ”‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ 36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)




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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: A REVELATION OF…….
THE SEVEN REVELATIONS OF 'THE LAMB' Part 2
LAMB OF OBEDIENCE
Abraham and the Sacrifice of Isaac


The Bible is the ongoing story of both obedience and disobedience to God, and the resulting consequences for the participants, both good and bad.

Abraham is a classic example of both! Fortunately, he is primarily remembered for his obedience in his willingness to sacrifice his most precious son Isaac, if that was his God's will.

Let's see what Abraham's actions are saying to us 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." ***

385. FOR THE PREACHER - GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS
Good News: You baptized seven people today in the river.
Bad News: You lost two of them in the swift current.

Good News: The Women's Guild voted to send you a get-well card.
Bad News: The vote passed by 31-30.

Good News: The Elder Board accepted your job description the way you wrote it.
Bad News: They were so inspired by it, they also formed a search committee to find somebody capable of filling the position.

Good News: You finally found a choir director who approaches things exactly the same way you do.
Bad News: The choir mutinied.

Good News: Mrs. Jones is wild about your sermons.
Bad News: Mrs. Jones is also wild about the "Jerry Springer show," "Beavis and Butthead" and "Texas Chain Saw Massacre."

Good News: Your women's softball team finally won a game.
Bad News: They beat your men's softball team.

Good News: The trustees finally voted to add more church parking.
Bad News: They're going to pave the front lawn of your parsonage.

Good News: Church attendance rose dramatically the last three weeks.
Bad News: You were on vacation.

Good News: Your deacons want to send you to the Holy Land.
Bad News: They are waiting until the next war.

Good News: The youth in your church have come to your home to pay a surprise visit.
Bad News: It's midnight and they are armed with toilet paper & shaving cream to "decorate" your house.

384. CONSTIPATION
Q: Where is constipation mentioned three times in the Bible?
A: (1) Satan is bound. (2) Elijah said, "Nothing will move me." (3) Moses took 2 tablets.

383. WHAT NOW?
The young priest rushed into his superior's office. "Father Murphy," he exclaimed. "Come quick! Our Savior is in our church!"

The two clerics rushed into the church and sure enough, there was the Lord Jesus praying at the Altar.

"What should we do?" whispered young Father McLaughlin.

"Try to look busy!" answered the older priest.

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: Who drew the original Mickey Mouse in his first short cartoon?

ANSWER: Not Walt Disney, as is commonly believed. All of the sketching and animation was done by Ub Iwerks, Disney's chief animator in the early days of Disney Studios. Walt Disney had largely abandoned drawing animated characters to concentrate on the commercial side of business. However Walt did come up with the idea for Mickey and established his personality. He also supplied the voice. (And banked the money!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What do cats, camels, and giraffes have in common?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

25. NOT IN TEXAS!
The largest movie theatre in the world is not in Texas, but rather is the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Opening in December, 1932, it originally had 5,945 seats. (So many could watch Hollywood’s American dreams - all at once.)

26. A LONG, BUMPY RIDE
The first automobile to cross the United States took 52 days in 1903 to travel from San Francisco to New York. (Could they ever have imagined what they had started?)

27. A MIRROR IMAGE
Baseball is the only major sport that appears backwards when looked at in a mirror. (So can you find out the result before the match?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

MIDTERM

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - THE KINGDOM OF GOD

3: Who came into Galilee preaching the Kingdom of God?

a. Jesus
b. Peter
c. John the Baptist
d. James and John

Source: www.biblequizzes.com

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

'A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS!'

!!!!!!! Air Pollution is a mist-demeanor.

!!!!!! A magician might pull rabbits out of hats. but Jesus can pull habits out of rats.

!!!!! The flower that follows the sun does so even on cloudy days.

!!!! I'm trying to invent a microwave television so I can watch "Gone With the Wind" in only 30 minutes. --Lawrence

!!! What is a mosquito's favorite sport? Skin diving

!! Are dog biscuits made from collie flour?

! If you cut yourself, rub thyme into the cut, because thyme heals all wounds.

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LIFE'S A LAUGH

124. DO YOU DISCIPLE?
After teaching a lesson in my kindergarten class on Jesus and his disciples, I was feeling quite proud. It was a model lesson, an A, and included a game, a song and a story.

At the conclusion of the lesson, I opened the discussion to questions. With pride, I looked out at my students' wildly waving arms. My lesson was obviously a success. Teaching seemed so rewarding. I would now let them shower me with this new knowledge that I had so skillfully imparted to them.

I called on Brittney to respond. Since her arm was waving more frantically than the rest, surely her observation would be that much more brilliant. "Brittney, what do you have to say about Jesus and his disciples?" I asked eagerly.

"Well," she began, with true kindergarten confidence, "I just wanted you to know that I know a lot about disciples 'cause at my house we disciple everything. We have a special disciple can for plastic, a special disciple can for glass, and a special disciple can for paper. My mom says it's how we save the earth."

I paused, took a deep breath and said, "Let's get ready for lunch."

125. A BOOB OR TWO
What Kind of Manager?
I am a missionary with Operation Mobilization OM for short. Part of our Ministry includes running two Ocean going Passenger Ships as floating Book Shops, that visit ports around the world. Late last year the OM people around the world all got an email advertising
vacancies on the two ships. One position was for a "Book Exhibition Manager with the necessary experience." Unfortunately in the typing of the email it came out as "BOOB Exhibition Manager with the necessary experience!" In spite of the error we still got plenty of applicants. -- Barry Wannell, Operation Mobilisation, Zimbabwe.

126. DOCILE DUCKS
A buddy and I were golfing one afternoon and getting somewhat bored with the round; so when we came upon the water hazard with two ducks sitting quietly on the water, I bet him ten bucks he couldn't hit a duck and five dollars he couldn't even get one to move. Being a guy, he took the bet.

He launched four tee shots toward the ducks, and even threw two by hand, and the ducks still wouldn't budge. Only after he lost six golf balls did he realize the ducks were decoys.

127. SETTING THE CLOCK
Every morning for years, at about 11:30, the telephone operator in a small Sierra-Nevada town received a call from a man asking the exact time. One day the operator summed up
nerve enough to ask him why the regularity.

"I'm foreman of the local sawmill," he explained. "Every day I have to blow the whistle at noon so I call you to get the exact time."

The operator giggled, "That's really funny," she said. "All this time we've been setting our clock by your whistle."

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Famous Words and Phrases)

FEET OF CLAY

Now meaning a personal flaw in an individual. First used by Daniel in describing the statue he saw in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, as the feet of the statue were made of clay mixed with iron, a weak base for a heavy monument.

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

Messages of Encouragement from the Desk of Billy Graham and the Heart of the Lord

Aimee Herd (August 16, 2011)

"He does not guarantee to reverse every misfortune, but if Christ lives in our hearts, we have His promise that nothing 'in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.'" –Billy Graham

Saying there's a need for people to be encouraged these days seems like a gross understatement, especially considering the financial headlines of the last few months.

Rev BillySomeone who is always ready with God's encouragement for troubled hearts is the Rev. Billy Graham, whose character, integrity and faith have stood the test of time.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) has compiled a page on their website giving access to several messages which are very relevant to us today.

Who looks forward to turning on the news these days? All we seem to hear about are problems. People are losing jobs and savings. A person can get depressed listening to it all, and many people are fearful.

If you are facing hardship during these tough times, my heart goes out to you.

Life isn't always fair or easy. You may feel you do not know where to turn. But one of the Bible's greatest truths is this: God never abandons us when life becomes difficult. He is always with us and wants to help us, even when things seem to be going wrong.

He does not guarantee to reverse every misfortune, but if Christ lives in our hearts, we have His promise that nothing "in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:39, NIV).

What a guarantee! Instead of being fearful about the future…we can trust and believe that God is working a purpose in our lives. We can have hope! -Billy Graham

Source: BillyGraham.org

Via BCN www.breakingchristiannews.com

via openheaven.com

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF... HOLINESS

A Christian is called to walk towards holiness. While not pretending to give you the complete answer, the 5 examples included here should help you in your understanding of what true holiness is about. And if you so desire, in its application to your life too!

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WAXING LYRICAL

Faith is an issue for all of us. As humans, doubt is a greater part of our nature than we would like it to be! But why?

FAITH

I wonder why, when 'faith' is an issue,
So often then, we reach for a tissue,
To mop up the tears of doubt you see,
That assail us now, both you and me.

For on the one hand, we trust God with our all,
On the other, human doubt, our faith does stall!
"Will He or wont He?" we are wont to think,
Our faith, once so strong, begins to sink.

"You've always proved faithful to me, my Lord,"
While former blessings, I wish I could hoard!
Each new level requiring greater trust in Him,
Memories of past successes faded, now so dim.

If today's faith was the same as in the past,
Our belief in Him, just simply wouldn't last.
It would just be our own strength that had won,
Not that of our Lord, Jesus Christ the Son.

Now, today's challenge is to break new ground,
Then our faith in Him, it will be truly found.
Oh Lord, please help me in my unbelief!
You've come through again - what a relief!

Put simply, it's the way God's faith works,
Though to our human spirit, it still irks!
So if now, we are to mature and grow,
Trusting Him's, the only way to go!

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A DAVID MUSING

By the time you receive this, Kathy and I will be away on a week's holiday in the south of the South Island of New Zealand, primarily to go to a friend's wedding next weekend. It is a beautiful part of our country (see the photo), and one that I have not visited for probably 30 years. My, how time flies!

For me too, this will be my first proper holiday since starting our Seekers clothing business, 4 1/2 years ago. Fortunately work is not a burden for me as, most of the time, I enjoy the challenge of what I do. It is a struggle at present I must admit though!

We do need to relax, as well as to work, which I have also learned to do over my years with Jesus. For I have had to learn to put my trust in Him, no matter the situation and to know that He loves me, even when I fail in the sight of the world.

You too?

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: TRIMMED

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 3a. Jesus. Mark 1:14

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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
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Walking With Jesus Ministries
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Email: enquiries@wwj.org.nz
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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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