THE STEEL AND CONCRETE MISSION FIELD NEWSLETTER August 2000
"FAITH IN RAVENS?"
by Bro. Gregory Wamsley
It's that time of year again. The N.F.L. begins planning for the fall season. Players report to training camp, dreams and hopes are born. It only seems fitting that as I was walking back from the chow hall the other day I spotted a raven. The first thing to pop into my mind was the biblical story told at one of the weekly chapel services. The teacher spoke from the book of 1st Kings 17. I noticed that the fellow inmate walking in front of me had a Baltimore Ravens hat on. I got his attention, pointed out the large type crow and said, "Does that remind you of anything?" The stranger smiled with glee and said, "That's my team's mascot? And he tipped his cap. He then turned to his walking buddy and said, "The Ravens are number one, and we're going to the Super Bowl this year." I found his strong worldly profession of faith strange. I remember being a diehard Washington Redskins fan, but now I'm a diehard Jesus fan. I saw the perfect opportunity to share my profession of faith with him. I told him, "You have a lot of faith in the Baltimore Ravens. I know of a Bible story of someone who showed faith in ravens also." I could see he was confused. He said, "I don't read the Bible and I don't believe I'm saved." To my surprise he didn't walk away, but then asked, "There in the Bible is my fellow Ravens fan?" As I began to tell him the story and explain the difference between him and Elijah, he listened intensely.
Some of the things I shared with him are as follows:
The book of Kings, though initially only one volume in the Hebrew text, was later made into two books. These books contain the accounts of Israel's spiritual conduct as the people of God's covenant. The scriptures of my reference are taken from the New American Standard
version of the Bible:
The word of the LORD (Jesus) came to him (Elijah), saying, "Go away from here and turn eastward , and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. It shall be that you will drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to provide for you there." So he went and did according to the word of the LORD, for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he would drink from the brook. It happened after a while that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. (1st Kings 17:2-7)
It was now clear to my inquisitive friend that I was talking about the raven bird and not his Baltimore Ravens.
There is an old saying that goes: "It's always darkest just before dawn." Since darkness precedes light, dark times in our lives should call for God's light. It was in a time of Israel's Spiritual Darkness that God provided light in the form of his servant and prophet, Elijah. Elijah was a crucial figure in defending the cause of the living God against extreme paganism of his day. He accomplished this by stressing his unconditional prophecies, emphasizing loyalty and faith in God.
A moment later, my listener was still with me so I proceeded on. Today, it seems, for the most part that people keep placing their faith in all the wrong things. In the wilderness God provided for the needs of Elijah. In our wilderness, this world, God will also supply our need, but not our greed. I quoted Acts 17:28: "For in him we live and move and have our being; . . ." So I told him the next time he sees one of his football teams' players score or perform a miraculous play, he better thank God for giving them the ability to do so. I also quoted Colossians 3:2: "Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things of the earth." He listened as I explained that his team can, and probably will, fail him, but God won't. It is in the Bible that God promises to never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). As I left him with the Gospel's Salvation message, he said, "What's wrong with football?" I said, "Football games can be an interesting form of entertainment, but there's nothing more entertaining that living your life in and for Christ." So, the next time you have the desire to put your faith in ravens, they better be the ones sent from God and not the ones sent from the City of Baltimore.
~ GOOD NEWS ~
If you are unsaved, then I beg you to do the following four things in prayer to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ:
1. Admit you are a sinner,
2. Be willing to repent (turn away) from all sin,
3. Believe that Jesus died to save you, and
4. Accept him into your life as Savior and Lord.
God is not into long fancy prayers. Just pray and speak to him from your heart.
~ POEM PAGE ~
"WE ARE GOING TO A BETTER PLACE" author unknown
We are going to a better place,
We will make it by God's grace.
I want to see that city so bright and fair,
I hope that all will be there.
After we have run this race,
We'll see Jesus face to face.
Oh, yes, we are going to a better place.
"WHEN I GET TO THE THRONE OF GRACE" By Brother Gregory Wamsley
When I get to the throne of Grace,
There'll be no more tears but a smile upon my face ~
I was once viewed as mud,
I live a sinful life, dirty and full of crud ~
It was that sinful life once empty and void of vision,
I there any wonder it lead me to prison ~
Today God's Love rushes in like a flood,
I've been washed white as snow by my Savior's blood~
The day I was saved was the day I cried,
No Sanctified and Justified ‘cause Jesus bled and died ~
Living my life for Jesus has turned the years' tide,
Grace and time are now on my side ~
For me in God's eyes will be no condemning look,
Today, my name's written in the Lamb's book ~
Even though I've not been released from this place,
God's put a smile upon my face.
"D-68" By Brother John Dragomanovich, Hatawa, Hawaii
When I get to heaven's gate,
I won't be known as D-68.
My Sin that put man's laws to the test,
Has been sent away, like the East from the West.
It's Jesus Christ that frees us,
I love the way he sees us.
No longer seen by him as felons, cons or crooks,
only sinners give me dirty looks.
Yes, when I get to heaven's gate,
I won't be known as D-68.
"THE NEW TESTAMENT FAITH HANDOUT" by Brother Gregory Wamsley
Below are some statements and scripture references pertaining to faith found in the Bible, New Testament section. Many of these are and probably should be memorized to assist us all in the keeping of our faith.
We are to have faith in God (Mark 11:22).
You are saved by faith (Luke 7:50).
Ask for your faith to be increased (Luke 17:5).
Be full of grace and the Holy Ghost (Acts 6:5).
Have faith to be healed (Acts 14:9).
God opens the door of faith to us (Acts 14:27).
You are justified by faith (Romans 3:28 and Galatians 3:24).
Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).
Stand fast in your faith (1st Corinthians 16:13).
Have ". . . the same Spirit of faith . . ." (2nd Corinthians 4:13).
"For we walk by faith, not by sight:" (2nd Corinthians 5:7).
Be sure you are ". . . in the faith . . ." (2nd Corinthians 13:5).
Christ is to dwell in your hearts by faith (Ephesians 6:17).
There is only ". . . one faith . . ." (Ephesians 4:5).
Faith is our spiritual weapon against Satan (Ephesians 6:6).
We are to be steadfast in our faith (Colossians 2:5).
We are to fight the good fight of faith (1st Timothy 4:7).
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).
If you have no faith it's "impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6).
". . . the trying of your faith worketh patience" (James 1:3).
"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering . . ." (James 1:6).
Faith, if it has not works, is dead (James 2:17).
It's our faith that overcomes the world (1st John 5:4).
We are to ". . . earnestly contend for the faith . . ." (Jude 1:3).
Build up yourselves on your most holy faith (Jude 1:20).
Most important, keep your faith in Jesus (Revelation 14:12).
"THE SPIRIT IS" collected from the Bible by Barbara Timm
THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES TO US FROM GOD: He is the Holy Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ. He is the Breath of the Almighty. He is the Spirit of Sonship and testifies to our adoption as God's sons.
HE IS OUR HELPER: He is The Gift, the Promised Holy Spirit whom Christ said He would send to be our helper, Another Counselor. He is The Spirit of Life, The Spirit of The Living God.
HE TESTIFIES OF WHAT IS IN STORE FOR US: He is the Holy One, the Holy Spirit, the Voice of The Lord. He is The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation.
HE HELPS US PRAY AND PRAYS FOR US: He is The Spirit of God and The Spirit of His Son. When we pray, He is the Spirit of Grace and Supplication.
HE SEARCHES GOD'S MIND AND TELLS US GOD'S WILL AND TRUTH: He is The Spirit of Counsel and of Power, The Spirit of Knowledge and of The Fear of The Lord, and The Spirit of Wisdom and of Understanding.
HE ANOINTS US FOR GOD'S WORK: The Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Spirit of Our God, is Our Seal. He is Our Deposit, as earnest money, for the heavenly kingdom.
HE HELPS US DISCERN WHAT IS AND IS NOT THE SPIRIT OF GOD: The Spirit of Faith, The Spirit of The Sovereign Lord, helps us to make Godly decisions based on Godly discernment.
HE IS THE WITNESS OF TRUTH WITH THE WATER AND THE BLOOD: He is The Spirit of Fire, The Spirit of Glory, The Spirit of Holiness who declares, in The Spirit of Truth, that Jesus is Lord.
HE CONVICTS THE WORLD CONCERNING SIN AND RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUDGMENT: The Spirit of The Lord is The Spirit of Judgment and The Spirit of Justice. He is The Voice of the Almighty.
The Hebrews 11:6 "FAITH" Wordsearch Puzzle
To save this word search, right click and save picture to your hard drive.
"All Things Bright And Beautiful"
Words based on Genesis 1:31 by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895)
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.
Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
God made their glowing colors,
And made their tiny wings.
The purple-headed mountains,
The river running by,
The sunset and the morning
That brightens up the sky.
The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden:
God made them every one.
God gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.