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Issue No: 548     Published: 23 Apr 2012

THINKING GREEK OR HEBREW? continues

We are looking at the differences between the Jewish (Eastern) and Greek (Western) ways of thinking, so that we can better understand the ways and teachings of Jesus. (See the last 14 weeks issues of PGIM!)

FAITH AND WORKS

Greek (Western) Greek thinkers centre on faith. We give pre-eminence to verses such as....

17 For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:17)

and.....

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

As we have mentioned before, our faith is primarily intellectual. If we 'believe' in our minds we are 'saved', that is all that is required of us to inherit eternal life.

Eastern (Hebrew) Jewish thinking, down through the millennia, has been focused on faith, shown to be real through works, by living a lifestyle that reflects what they believe intellectually. We tend to skip verse 10 of the passage quoted above from Ephesians, but it is integral to the whole.....

10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)

James, ever the practical person, was even more definite when he said.....

14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:14-17)

He understood the Greek based thinking, arguing.....

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. (James 2:18-19)


and countered with the examples of Abraham.....

20 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. (James 2:20-24)

and Rahab.....

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. (James 2:25-6)

Most of the parables of Jesus illustrate both faith and action. Of course, the most famous is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It concludes.....

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 10:36:7)


The Parable of the Sower makes this point too. We are to 'produce crops', not just intellectually believe.....

23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:23)

Again, there is to be a change in our character as a result of our conversion, referred to as developing the 'fruit of the Spirit'.....

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. (Galatians 5:22-3)

Yes, our faith is to reflected in action, resulting in a changed life.

SOME SPIRITUAL IMPLICATIONS FOR TODAY

1. Conversion needs to be accompanied by discipling of new believers.

2. Works are to be a reflection of the God within us to the outside world. To achieve this, they need to be done in the community, not just within the church environment.

3. Our teaching and beliefs about evangelism need to be changed to emphasise the need for a changed life, rather than just being an intellectual decision.

(To be continued next week.)

Acknowledgements: http://www.followtherabbi.com and http://hethathasanear.com

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FROM THE WORD

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

"On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 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.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 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. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 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. 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.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” "(Luke 10:25-37)

The Parable of the Sower

"Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.” Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, ”‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’” Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? The farmer sows the word. 15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”" (Mark 4:1-20)

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 5:16-26)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

FAITH

422. Faith moves mountains - shovel by shovel!

423. Faith comes through experience, not learning. Ask the bumblebee!

424. Faith is god's gift to the poor, for it is often all they have.

425. Desperation breeds faith or despair. We make the choice.

426. Comfort kills faith.

483. True faith is the ability to accept the truth, particularly when it conflicts with the understanding of our circumstances.

874. Genuine faith is reflected in heartfelt action.

875. Faith is not merely of the mind, but permeates our life.

876. What 'I believe' is confirmed by what 'I do'.

877. 'To believe' and 'to do' are twin branches of the same tree, nourished by the one root.

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: NEXT WEEK: THE TWO MARATHONERS - AN ALLEGORY continued

Life decisions, like New Year's resolutions, are easy to make, but harder to keep. Ask my waistline!

Next week we will see how our two intrepid marathoners, to be, got on with their training programmes.

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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." ***

481. NOT LOST FOR LONG
Two men were marooned on an Island. One man pased back and forth worried and scared while the other man sat back and was sunning himself. The first man said to the second man, "arn't you afraid we are about to die." "No," said the second man, "for you see I make $100,000 per week and I tithe faithfully to my church ever week. My Pastor will find me."

480. THE THREE ENVELOPES
The new preacher moves his things into his new office and comes across the former pastor, taking his items out. The former pastor says, "I left three envelopes in your desk. If you have any trouble, open them." Well, of course the new preacher thinks he will never have to use them, but in his youthful enthusiasm, he tries to change the order the kids march in during Vacation Bible School. Well, this makes the workers absolutely furious and there is a lot of ugly talk about the new pastor. He remembers the envelopes and opens the first one. It says, "You haven't been here long, but you decided to make a change in the Vacation Bible School; now everyone is mad. Tell everyone that the former preacher had told you this was how you preferred to do it." So the young preacher did that and it worked well.

He had been there about a year and a half when he tried to change the deacon position from being a life-long job to a position that rotated annually. Well, this made the deacons really mad, and they were the ones who made his salary recommendation. So he went back to the drawer and got the second envelope: "You did something to make the deacons mad and there's talk of replacing you. Tell them this is the official denominational policy; that you thought they wanted to comply, but it doesn't make you any difference what they do." He tried this, and again it worked great.

You guessed it. After three years, he finally told the women's organization that they were going to have to open the kitchen so that it could be used without a representative from the women's group being present. This put the women's organization in open revolt. So he went back to that third and final envelope: "You've been here about three years and you finally got the women's organization mad. The only thing to do is prepare three envelopes ... "

479. WHY DADDY?
A preacher's young daughter noticed that her father always bowed his head and closed his eyes for a few seconds before he went to the pulpit to preach. When she asks him why he did that, he explained, "I'm asking God to help me preach a good sermon."

His daughter thought about it for a minute and said, "Well daddy, Why doesn't he do it?"

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: 1. What is the youngest book in the Old Testament?
2. What is the oldest book of the New Testament?

ANSWER: 1. The book of Malachi, written about 400 B.C.
2. Probably the book of James, written as early as A.D.45. (400 years of silence until God revealed himself personally through Jesus.)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What did Chester Greenwood invent in 1873?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

1027. FAITHFULNESS
A Florida wedding reception was interrupted when the bride threw macaroni salad at the groom and he responded with gunfire. At the hospital, the wounded bride insisted on checking in under her new married name. (Begin as you mean to continue!)

1028. TOO CLEAN
A women in Royal Oak, Michigan, USA, was arrested, handcuffed, and jailed for putting her
garbage cans out too early. (Was the cell clean?)

1029. WANTING MORE
One of the men arrested for looting in the infamous Los Angeles riots was a $3 million Lotto winner who receives $120,000 a year from the state. (How much is enough?)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

MANLIER

Answer at the end of A David Musing

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

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BIBLE QUESTION - THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW

16: At the judgment, Jesus will separate the people like a shepherd separates the sheep and which other animals?

a. Cows
b. Deer
c. Goats
d. Foxes

Source: http://biblequizzes.org.uk

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

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

SAYINGS FOR YOU TO PONDER

!!!!!! Did you hear about the undertaker who closed his letters with the words "Eventually Yours"?

!!!!! Some people talk, not because they have something to say, but because they have to say something.

!!!! A curious person who asks questions may be a fool for five minutes ~ he who never asks questions remains a fool forever.

!!! To really know a man, observe his behaviour with a woman, a flat tyre, and a child.

!! A shady business never yields a sunny life.

! A gossip is just a fool with a keen sense of rumour.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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JUST JOKES

233. BEST BUDDIES
Mary announced that she was going to start a diet to lose some pounds she had put on recently.

"Great," Sue exclaimed. "I'm ready to start a diet too. We can be dieting buddies and help each other out. And when I feel the urge to drive out and get a burger and fries, I'll call you first."

"Wonderful," Mary replied. "I'll go with you."

232. THE FINAL QUESTION
An eccentric philosophy professor gave a one question final exam after a semester dealing with a broad array of topics. The class was already seated and ready to go when the professor picked up his chair, plopped it on his desk and wrote on the board: "Using everything we have learned this semester, prove that this chair does not exist."

Fingers flew, erasers erased, notebooks were filled in furious fashion. Some students wrote over 30 pages in one hour attempting to refute the existence of the chair. One member of the class however, was up and finished in less than a minute.

Weeks later when the grades were posted, the rest of the group wondered how he could have gotten an A when he had barely written anything at all. His answer consisted of two words: "What chair?"

231. IT'S AN ILL WIND.....
"This house," said the real estate salesman, "has both its good points and its bad points. To show you I'm honest, I'm going to tell you about both. The disadvantages are that there is a chemical plant one block south and a slaughterhouse a block north."

"What are the advantages?" inquired the prospective buyer.

"The advantage is that you can always tell which way the wind is blowing.."

230. HEAVEN AND EARTH
Near the end of a particularly trying round of golf, during which the golfer had hit numerous fat shots, he said in frustration to his caddy, "I'd move heaven and earth to break a hundred on this course."

"Try heaven," said the caddy. "You've already moved most of the earth."

229. MR POE
A professor asked a student to remain for a few moments after class. Holding out the young man's assignment, the professor said, "Did you write this poem all by yourself?"

The student replied, "Every word of it."

The professor said, "Well, then, I'm glad to meet you, Mr. Poe. I thought you were long dead."

228. DOUBLE TROUBLE
"Doc, even though you've diagnosed me as having a split personality, is it all right for me to get married?"

"Oh, sure. Who are you planning to marry?"

"The Johnson twins."

Many more laughs here.....

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

BIBLE TRIVIA (Music in the Bible)

MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS AS WELL AS HUMAN MELODY.....

.....are mentioned all through the Bible. Music was an important part of life in Hebrew culture, being used on both sacred and secular occasions.

PS: Comment follows on last week's fact on Shakespeare and the KJV - and my response.....

David

Shakespeare was born in 1564 and the first edition of the KJB was published in 1611. So should we be looking at the 47th Psalm for hidden messages? This particular Bible trivia is a load of nonsense.

Mike

Hi Mike

Seems to be a bit of debate about this! The article has ? and perhaps in it. Seems to be looking at the time of final editing, in 1610, not the publication date as came from my source. You could well be right though.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Cheers
david

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

‘October Baby’ going strong at box office

09 Apr 2012
Christian Retailing

Pro-life drama October Baby posted another strong showing in its second week at the box office. Released March 23, it claimed the No. 2 spot for films showing in fewer than 500 theaters and ranked seventh in per-screen average for the top 20 films, despite only showing in 387 theaters.

"People don't leave the theater arguing their views on abortion," said Andy Erwin, who directed the film with his brother, Jon. "But it does open conversations that are spilling into the lobbies and parking lots of theaters, and we're hearing that those conversations are meaningful to people."

Distributed by Samuel Goldwyn Films and Provident Films, October Baby claimed the No. 8 spot at the box office (No. 1 in limited release) its opening weekend against competition that included the record-setting The Hunger Games, which opened in 10 times as many theaters.

Goldwyn and Provident plan to hold the theater count steady until Easter, then expand April 13, possibly to 150 additional theaters. For the film's opening weekend, groups in 70 communities purchased enough advance tickets to guarantee local showings, and groups can still go to OctoberBabyMovie.net for details on how to bring the movie to their local theater.

Rated PG-13, the movie stars John Schneider (Smallville, Dukes of Hazzard), Jasmine Guy (A Different World) and newcomers Rachel Hendrix and Jason Burkey. It tells the story of 19-year-old Hannah, who discovers she's adopted and is the survivor of an attempted abortion. With friends, she sets out to find her birth mother and ultimately finds the power of forgiveness.

Producers have assigned 10% of the film's profits to the Every Life Is Beautiful fund, from which the money will be distributed to organizations helping women face crisis pregnancies and to adoption agencies and agencies caring for orphans.

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF……..... THE WAY 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

An introduction to the weird world of David Tait! You may like him (me – this is
confusing!) or you may not, but he (I!) is what he is. (I am!) Written many years ago now when I had black hair! But a memory!

'TIS ME'

’Tis me, David John is the name,
Born for business to be my game.
For 30 odd years, I did give it a go,
Often successful, other times low.

Ten years ago now, it collapsed all around,
Misery in my life, did plentifully abound.
So I gave my heart to the Lord, you see,
For by now, I had come to the end of me.

In the time since then,
My God I have sought and fought,
In these years of ten,
He has of me, taught and caught!

He restored me in the business world.
At the same time, my desires He curled.
Now he has me writing this book,
I trust you find it worth the look.

David John is the one I would like to be,
A ‘King David’ with a heart after his God,
If only the Lord would say the same of me,
A real sinner, but still worthy of his nod.

The Apostle John too, has a special place,
In the shadow of Jesus, he did run his race.
Given revelation of our heavenly destiny,
Proved his love for Jesus was a reality.

Now when God gives you a book to write,
Should you show yourself in the best light?
Surely people, God won’t want to offend,
Our image, it’s all-important in the end.

But my friend, that is not my style,
Sweet savours, my readers to beguile.
To be honest, revealing warts and all,
For me, that has always been the call.

I’m far from being the perfect man,
If I were, God wouldn’t need a plan.
Not needing to turn me around, into his image,
Life would be boring for Him, or so I envisage!

For spiritual gifts are given, as He does choose,
Yes, they are ours for life, them we never lose.
Even at times when our behaviour,
Does not do honour to the Saviour!

When I look at the television or stage,
And see the perfect person, strutting their stuff,
I begin to wonder, with the benefit of age,
Is it really God, or are they calling my bluff!

The fruit of the Spirit on the other hand,
Need to be worked at, with Him to stand.
Not just for a splendid hour on the podium,
But in all actions, we are to show no odium.

No, not all can be good looking, I’m certainly not!
But the fruit of the Spirit, we are to display the lot.
For it is in the life we lead from day to day,
The depth of our commitment, we’ll display.

So when I come to read a book,
I always want to take a real look,
At the life of the person who pushes the pen,
What is he thinking, while writing in his den?

Now here you will find David’s Musings,
Over which I have taken some ‘abusings’!
Why are you focusing on yourself? Some do say,
Others, revealing yourself, a dangerous game to play!

But life is a journey my friend,
To be run out to the very end.
To see where I’m at, on the way through,
Will I trust, be of some benefit to you.

Now you may well not, be used to my style,
I have many faults, not just one in a while!
Have endeavoured to be as open as I can be,
What you see here, good and bad, it’s reality!

I normally seek to build a logical case,
On which my conclusions, then to base.
So if at the start, you know you’ve heard it all before,
Don’t give up! By the end, there’s far more in store!

As you read through, you may notice some change,
Being young in the Lord, I am to give him full range,
So if you aren’t too keen on the person you first meet,
Read on, by the end, you may find a new one to greet.

So now, that is a little of the story of my life,
For the full version, you need to ask the wife!
One day I hope we will meet in Heaven,
All our failings healed, no sin, no leaven!

More of David's offerings at...

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A DAVID MUSING

I enjoy driving - and I have been doing a lot of it lately.

I have recently bought a new, old car, which has yet to have its non-working radio replaced. So when I travel by myself, I have plenty of time to think. I don't know about you, but my thoughts hop from one to the next, generally in no logical order.

When we spend our 'God time', it is easier to read or pray, for that we focus a lot more easily. But it is really important for us just to listen to our Lord speak directly to us. This is much harder, for our mind quickly fills with extraneous thoughts, many of them, most ungodly! But we need to keep trying, to keep listening, so that we can hear what our Lord wants to say to us personally.

If we persist, He will speak. For He does to me - when I give him the opportunity! How about you?

Until next week.......

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD.

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: DOWNLOAD

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: c. Goats ... (Matthew 25:32)

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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
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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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