PRAISE GOD IT’S MONDAY!
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TO THOSE IN MINISTRY

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Issue No: 532     Published: 02 Jan 2012

I AM or I am!

Who is at the centre of your universe? Is it God (I AM), or is it you (I am)?

13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 14 God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” 15 God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. (Exodus 3:13-15)

I AM is the personal name of God. In a similar way to me, a human being, being known by the name of David.

Without getting into a lot of detail, the original Hebrew name of God, in English, literally is YHWH. We add vowels, for there were none in the original Hebrew of 3000 years ago, to get YAHWEH. The word Yahweh translates in English to I AM WHO I AM.

Mankind was made in the image of God.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

As we know, mankind chose to walk away from God to do their own thing. However, through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, we have, through faith, the opportunity to become one with God once again. This is a deep truth which we generally fail to get to grips with. Paul expressed it in this way.....

Paul’s Labor for the Church

24 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. 25 I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26 the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. 29 To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. (Colossians 1:24-9)


God, YAHWEH, I AM, was the centre of Paul's universe. Paul's motivation was to bring himself and others into perfection in Christ, who was the image of God.

4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4)

We are indeed, able to become as one with God.

14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:14-17)

His desires are to become our desires, His will, our will, as mentored by Jesus in a life and death situation at Gethsemane!

42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)

Unfortunately, all too often in the church today, our focus has been changed from 'I AM' to 'I am'! From God, to ourselves!

We have applied the worldly maxim of 'What's in it for me', to God. We seek God for all the wrong reasons. For prosperity. For comfort. For health. For happiness. For an easy life. The centre of our universe has become ourselves, our self gratification.

Satan has, in his usual way, twisted the truth of oneness with God in order to bring us into error, so taking us away from I AM. For if we are one with God, we will put aside our own desires, our 'I am', to do the Father's will.

3 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4 The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (1 John 2:3-6)

If we do not walk as Jesus did, we are not in Him! Sobering, isn't it!

Who is the I AM/I am of your life today?

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FROM THE WORD

Paul’s Labor for the Church

"Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me. I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments. For though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit and delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is." (Colossians 1:24-2:5)

Gethsemane

"Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”" (Matthew 26:36-46)

Walking in the Light

"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him. I write to you, dear children,
because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name. I write to you, fathers,
because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I write to you, dear children, because you have known the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you have known him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

Do Not Love the World

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." (1 John 1:5-2:17)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

GROWING IN GOD

25. To the believer Jesus is Saviour, but to the disciple he is also Lord.

26. The stairway to great faith is climbed one step at a time. A single leap courts disaster.

27. Our most dearly held beliefs often inhibit God’s further revelation to us.

28. The foundation of our spiritual house is to be built upon the solid rock of Jesus, the walls constructed using the insights of the fathers of the faith, while the ‘roof of truth’ is God’s revelation to us today.

29. As we grow in God, what we are to do assumes greater importance, than what we are not to do.

30. A new believer focuses upon the ‘thou shalt not’s’, while a mature disciple develops the ‘thou shalt’s.’ in their life.

31. God’s word is a two-edged sword, revealing both love and judgement.

32. To believe in God is good, to hear from God is great, but to obey God reaps the ultimate reward.

33. A man’s wisdom is based upon experience, but God’s wisdom comes through revelation.

34. It’s easy to be wise in theory, but a lot more difficult in practise!

314. The major difference between childhood and adulthood is taking responsibility. Many Christians dislike responsibility!

315. In nature, human growth occurs naturally. We expect the same in the Spiritual and get offended when others grow more quickly than us.

316. Human growth is measured in height, girth and wrinkles, spiritual growth by the 'fruit of the Spirit.' Often we confuse the two.

987. To see the view we must first climb the mountain.

988. Growing pains happen in the spiritual as well as the natural.

989. To grow in our God we must first shrink in our self.

990. 'Going down' is the secret to 'growing up' in God.

991. Without life's valleys we wouldn't truly appreciate the mountain tops.

992. 'No gain without pain' is truly also the dictum of the race of life.

993. The race of life goes round many corners.

994. The race of life is held on a cross country course, not on a cinder track.

995. Growth in God is in spurts, same as in the body. They are normally both challenging and satisfying at the same time.

1000. It's in the valleys of life we develop the strength needed to scale the mountain tops.

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CRANWELLS CARTOONS

18 When I say to a wicked man, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. (Ezekiel 3:18)













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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: 3 KINGDOM AGES
GOVERNING THE KINGDOM


A big problem in the church is the way we structure authority. For, in many cases, we apply structures that apply to previous kingdom ages.

So let's see what is applicable to today's third kingdom age.

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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." ***

434. CHOW DOWN...
A little boy went to stay the night with a friend and ate supper with their family. Before they ate, the boy bowed his head and waited for the blessing to be said. But everyone started helping themselves to the food and he looked back up, puzzled.

"What's wrong, why aren't you eating?" asked his friend's mom.

The boy, who had been taught to give thanks, asked, "Don't you pray at meals?"

The father said they didn't.

"Oh, I see," said the lad, "You're just like my dog--you start right in!"

433. MY APPETITE IS MY SHEPHERD
My appetite is my shepherd; I always want.
It maketh me sit down and stuff myself.
It leadeth me to my refrigerator repeatedly.
It leadeth me in the path of Burger King for a Whopper.
It destroyeth my shape. Yea, though I knoweth I gaineth,
I will not stop eating for the food tasteth so good.
The ice cream and the cookies they comfort me.
When the table is spread before me, it exciteth me for
I knoweth that I soon shall dig in.
As I filleth my plate continuously, my clothes
runneth smaller. Surely bulges and pudgies shall follow
me all the days of my life and I shall be "pleasingly plump" forever.

432. ANDY
Sister Luella died and arrived in heaven. At heaven's gates she met Saint Peter.

St. Peter asked her what God's name was.

"Oh that's easy," Sister Luella replied. "God's name is Andy."

"'What makes you think His name is Andy?" St. Peter asked incredulously.

"'Well, you see at Church we often sing this hymn -- 'Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me.' "

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can now download the book 'Laughing At Ourselves' in PDF format at LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: What is an egg tooth?

ANSWER: Many snakes and other reptiles have an ‘egg tooth’ on their snouts to help them break out of their leathery shells. The tooth slits through the shell when it's time for them to hatch, then falls off shortly after hatching. (An ‘eggcellent’ idea!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: Where are all the baby pigeons?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

1174. NO CRIME, NO RHYME (Sorry its meaningless, but rhyming with rhyme is difficult too!)
No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and purple. (Poets beware, take care, or these words, they will you snare.)

1175. UNDER THE THUMB
The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law that stated you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb. (Farmers wives were at a disadvantage!)

1176. HAVING A BALL!
Ballroom dancing is a major at Brigham Young University. (Mr Fox trotted in with Miss Gay Gordon.)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

VECTOR

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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BIBLE QUESTION - THE KINGDOM OF GOD

20: Who asked Jesus to remember them when he came into his kingdom?

a. Lazarus
b. Peter
c. The malefactor on the cross
d. Mary Magdalene

Source: http://biblequizzes.org.uk

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

!!!!!!! The aging process could be slowed down if it had to work its way through Congress.

!!!!!! I panicked and hung up! What kind of sick company has an actual PERSON answer their phone?!

!!!!! Those who say they "sleep like a baby" obviously haven't got one.

!!!! I took a course in speed waiting. Now I can wait an hour in only ten minutes.
- Steven Wright

!!! The most enjoyable way to follow a vegetable diet is to let the cow eat it, and then eat the cow.

!! The trouble with being punctual is that nobody's there to appreciate it.

! The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.

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WORLD'S GREATEST GROANERS!

215. A STRANGE COMBINATION
What do you get when you cross an atheist with a Jehovahs Witness?.... Someone who knocks at your door for no apparent reason.

216. THE ANGRY ATHIEST
The story is told of the Atheist who accosted a preacher. "Do you believe in eternal life?" The preacher has no time to reply. "Well its a load of rubbish!" shouted the Atheist. "I believe in science, evolution, survival of the fittest, and when we die, that's it! No eternal life, no great judgement, and no God!" The Atheist continues his assault against the preacher repetitiously and tirelessly. "Eternal life! Eternal life! Ha! "Its all pie in the sky when you die." When I die that's it, the end, no eternal life, no nothing. He continues, until he reaches his climax, "I will be buried six feet under when I die and that's it! Nothing! Caput! When I die I am utterly convinced that that will be the end of me!" "Well thank God for that" replies the preacher!

217. GOOD KING WENCELESLAS -Brilliant!
Good King Wenceleslas went out to the pizza parlour and ordered a pizza. The assistant asked Do you want your usual? Deep pan, crisp and even?

218. A TROUBLESOME FRUIT
It wasn't the apple that caused the trouble in the Garden of Eden, it was the pair on the ground.

219. DOMESTIC PROBLEMS
Adam was walking outside of the Garden of Eden with Cane and Abel when the boys were young. Cane and Abel looked into the garden and viewed waterfalls, lovely birds, lush forests and fruit trees bending over because of the large amounts of fruit on them.

Then they took a long look at where they lived at. It was dry, dusty with weeds and sickly-looking trees.

"Daddy? Why don't we live in there instead of out here?" they asked innocently.

Adam said, "Well sons. Eve and I use to live in there at one time. But your mother ate us out of house and home."

Groan some more here.....

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BIBLE TRIVIA (Strange and Amazing Facts)

THE SHORTEST BOOK.....

.....in the New Testament is 3 John, with 294 words in 14 verses. 2 John has 1 less verse, but 4 more words.

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

Russian Christians Prep to Celebrate Christmas

George Thomas
Senior CBN News Reporter

MOSCOW -- From Kosovo to Ethiopia, millions will gather in churches and homes to honor the birth of Jesus Christ. Orthodox Christians around the world will celebrate Christmas on Friday, Jan. 7.

In Russia, some have used the holiday to bring a deeper understanding for the reason behind the season. All this week, Muscovites have been in high spirits gearing up to celebrate the birth of Christ.

Celebrating Jesus

"Christmas for me means joy," a Russian citizen named Alexandria said. "This is when Jesus Christ revealed Himself to human kind."

"I'm praying for my family to come to know this Jesus who was born in Bethlehem," another named Paul said.

"Just as Christians in other parts of the world celebrate on December 25, we in Russia celebrate it on Friday with friends and family," Angela said.

Like Christians elsewhere, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates its Christmas on Jan. 7, according to the old Julian calendar. On Thursday, Russians will take part in an all-night Mass in the dozens of cathedrals scattered throughout Moscow.

Christmas's Good News

Christmas was banned throughout Russia in 1917. Seventy-five years later in 1992 the holiday was again officially celebrated throughout the former Soviet Union.

However, not everyone is familiar with the Christmas story. In some corners of the city, the emphasis this week is on reaching those who've never encountered the true message of Christmas.

One of the largest evangelical churches in Moscow presented a week of drama performances telling a modern-day version of the story of Christ's birth.

"We use the 7th of January and this whole period in between the 1st of January and the 7th of January to tell people about Jesus," Paul Renner, with Moscow's Good News Church, said.

Reaching Russians

For many in the audience, both young and old, it was their first time to hear the name of Jesus.

"I've never heard this story before," one man said. "It is really moving and very professional."

"This is my first time being in a church and I found it very entertaining," one girl said.

Other evangelical groups are focusing on the next generation. Through an initiative called Project Hope, Russian Ministries distributed some 50,000 Christmas presents to needy children, street kids and orphans throughout Russia and the surrounding regions.

Each box was filled with toys, school supplies, a childrens' Bible and other literature geared for kids.

"We are partnering with more than 200 churches across Russia to bring the good news about Jesus Christ and His birth to many children," Paul Tokarchouk, director of Russian Ministries, said.

Russian Ministries hopes their oureach will change lives for Christ at Christmas.

Source: CBN News

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

‘WALKING WITH JESUS’ COURSE

A 3-part course of understanding based on Revelation 12:11. An easily understood, practical series on living the Christian life today. Compiled in 1993-4, the 3 studies, each accompanied by 6 hours of tapes, have been used by over 10,000 New Zealanders plus many overseas, to gain an increased understanding of what ‘walking with Jesus’ is all about. Is useful for enquirers, new Christians and particularly, those seeking an extra dimension to their faith. Ideal for home groups and church teaching sessions too. A non-denominational course, it is supported by Christians from diverse backgrounds. The 3 parts cover

1. The Way of Salvation: Finding Jesus as your personal Saviour.

2. Life Through the Spirit: Christian living through the teaching of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

3. Jesus is Lord: Living our lives for Jesus.

So if you desire a deeper relationship with your God, this can help point you in the right direction. You still have to make the effort though! Can’t do that for you!

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WAXING LYRICAL

Our God is full of surpises! Comfort is not part of His vocabulary! This becomes a real test of obedience.

A MINUTE IS A LONG TIME IN GOD

When you are relaxed and enjoying life,
And all is normal with kids and wife.
When you are living in such a beautiful place,
And all is going well in running your race.
You are happy with how life is treating you,
Challenges yes - not too many - just a few.

Then along comes God, with His own plan,
Designed to upset the comfort of a man.
One minute the world seems simply so good,
The next, upon its head, is now being stood!

"David, I'm asking you to shift city and church",
My comfortable brain, with pain it did now lurch!

"But surely my God, this cannot be true?"
"Yes my son, it's what I'm asking of you."
"Well Lord , please give confirmation,
To help me overcome my consternation!"

Over the past two weeks, confirmations I've been given,
Logical improbabilities so great, must be God driven.
"Oh Lord, surely this is what you want me to do,
Have your way in my life Lord, I give in to you.
For you know best Lord, your plan for me,
I accept it now Lord, on bended knee."

Yes, one brief minute is a long time in God you know,
But obey His voice we must, if in Him we are to grow.

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A DAVID MUSING

We have had a lot of rain recently, which is most unusual for us at this time of the year, coming into Summer. Instead of our boundary hills being brown, they are still green, and grass is growing flat out on the plains surrounding our twin cities of Napier and Hastings. The amount of grass is 3+ times the normal growth for this time of year. Crops are growing well and yielding highly. Farmers and horticulturalists are delighted!

Contemplating this, the similarities of 'natural rain' to the 'rain of the Holy Spirit', are obvious. There has been a 'dry time' in much of the church as of late. My prayer for 2012 is for Holy Spirit rain to fall upon His people this year, in good measure, so that we may see His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Your prayer too?

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: COVERT

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: 20a. The malefactor on the cross (Luke 23:39-42)

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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

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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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