STEEL AND CONCRETE, June 2000 A Psalm of David: "The earth is the Lord's, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein." (Psalm 24:1)

June 2000

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"Abba, Father"

Leader In Lieder Mit Midi Melodies

by Bro. Gregory Wamsley

As Father's Day comes and goes, people will be thinking of all kinds of fathers. Some will be thinking of biological or physical fathers, step-fathers, grandfathers, fathers near and fathers far, fathers no longer with us at all. But the most grand and important Father is the Heavenly Father. He is the one that should be thought of first, but in the world today He is often thought of the least.

When I was a child it was, "Wait ‘till your father gets home." Today, for me, it's "I can't wait ‘till I get home, Father." From the TV show of my youth, "Father Knows Best," to this present world and beyond, even in the Bible, the man (father) is commanded to be the head of the household. One father (but not mine), Martin DeHann II, author of "God Our Father," along with many volunteers, instructors, and the Holy spirit, have shown to me just what The Father is all about. Over the centuries, fathers have been shown to give faith to the fearful child, hope to a confused teen, and love to all those in the family that needed it. In each of our own personal reflections on just who our father is or was, our minds often remember only the good things. Some would even refer to them as "the perfect father." Only one man had the perfect Father, and that man was Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:48). No matter how special, loving, caring, or honest your father is or was, God the Father is greater. The Bible says that, in oneself, "there is none that's perfect, no not one." We're only made perfect in Christ Jesus: ". . . that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus." Colossians 1:28

All fathers, be they good or bad, are in need of a Savior and Lord. That Savior and Lord can and will help all to experience that close relationship with his Heavenly Father which all our hearts desire. Christ himself made the following statement: ". . . no man cometh unto the Father but by me" (John 14:6). So, to know God the Father, through Christ Jesus, is to know life as he intended it to be. Believe it or not, accept it or not, no other relationship can measure up.

I have known many people who have taken pride in being the offspring of a certain individual. One may also have dreamed of being the child of a rich man or an earthly king. But even if you were not the prince or princess of a king, Christ today is that King. Through and in Christ, we are adopted into royalty, not worldly royalty but spiritual royalty. That makes us more than just princes and princesses. One might ask, how can we be more than that? The Bible shows how a common sinner, through spiritual rebirth, can become a child of God the Father, King of the Universe:

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." 1st John 3:1

"But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!' Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God." Galatians 4:4-7

You see, we are to call God the Father "Abba." That four-lettered palindrome is the Aramaic term which Jewish kids in Christ's day used to address their fathers. The English equivalent today would be "Daddy." While in the office and making use of my free time to take notes, I turned on the radio to find the Gospel station. I ran into the oldies stations and was surprised to hear an old familiar song by the Zombies. The song playing was titled "Time of the Season," and in it was a phrase that went: "What's your name, Who's your daddy?" How fitting for this present day.

In the Bible Christ said: "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other. . . ." All of humanity fits into one of two child scenarios: If you are saved, you are the children of the Heavenly Father; If unsaved, you are the children of the Devil. In John 8:31-44 Jesus speaks of God's true descendants. When you love the parent (God the Father), you won't hate the son (Jesus Christ, God the Son). In verse 44, Jesus states that not loving him makes one the son of the Devil. As servants of God we are to direct those who are lost to the cross, and into that same adoption to be the sons of God, or Children of God, too. This is accomplished by that adoption process, and being born from above:

"But as many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power (The Right) to become the sons (Children) of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13).

Every father expects his children to come to him in time of need. Our Heavenly Father expects us even more so to come unto him in everything. It's because we are family that we can approach our Heavenly Father. There is no need to wait or make an appointment. All you have to do is go to him in prayer. It has been reported that God is called Father over 275 times in the New Testament alone. When you go to the Heavenly Father's throne, remember that it's a throne of grace. That throne is never unapproachable.

Correction is never easy to take. As a child I didn't like the lessons I had to learn. Most of them were learned the hard way. Today it's my Heavenly Father who corrects and teaches me. God's correction, whether seen as good or bad, always works towards His good. Positive correction teaches us how to obey and live for Christ. Punishment, deemed as negative, is to keep us from repeating wrong doings. When I think of all Christ had to endure for God's will to be done, who are we to resist any direction God wishes to take us, regardless of what we'll endure?

In Proverbs it speaks of the Father: "My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth" (Pro 3:11-12).

As a child, my disobedience towards my parents provoked them to discipline me. Evil parents may abuse, but only loving parents discipline. Jim Carpenter said: "Your Heavenly Father never makes a mistake in discipline. His timing is perfect, his motives are pure, and his methods are never destructive: they are always beneficial" (Discipleship Journal #51).

Everyone loves children, but children are born to one day grow and mature. If a child failed to grow, all kinds of experts would be called in to find out why. As newborn Christians, we are also expected to grow. Choosing to remain a child or "babe" just won't be allowed. God's will in our lives must be accepted by faith in Christ Jesus to fulfill Gods' plan.

God the father has many means to his beck and call. If you are a child of his, he has already done great things for you. Al our hope is only to be in our Heavenly Father. There's all kinds of hope in this world. People put hope in people, finances, and things. All of these things are false hopes and poor father substitutes. Satan keeps us preoccupied and distracted. No matter how bad things are, remember your true reason for hope now is that we have a Father in Heaven.

It's no doubt that two of the most important questions one can ask are: "Can you say God is your Father" and "Have you become a child of God by declaring your personal faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord?" Without a sound "yes" to both questions, you won't know the joy of a relationship with your true Father now or throughout all eternity. If your answer to either of the questions was anything other than "yes," then God the Father desires to adopt you. Just go to him in child-like faith. Accept his forgiveness for your sins that have kept you out of his family. The ability to come to the Father in heaven is proof of his love for you. That love can and will manifest itself in other ways such as: caring friends in time of need, inner peace that only God can give, maybe a God-fearing son or even a little butterfly discretely placed in your path to say, "I'm here, my child, and I love you." Today you may or may not still have an earthly father, but you can have a heavenly Daddy (Abba) Father. So, as in the golden oldie song, the question today isn't "What's your name?" but, "Who's your daddy?"


submitted by Bro. J. Edmondson

A pastor was talking about the cross and the need to believe in the Christ who died on it. A woman who was not a Christian, but who had been raised in a "religious" home, had heard about Jesus but she did not understand these things and therefore obviously had never actually trusted in Jesus.

As the pastor spoke of the cross to the congregation he said, "Imagine the cross as a door, or imagine that it has a door in it. All you are asked to do is to go through it. On one side, the side facing you, there is an invitation: ‘Whoever will may come.' You stand there with your sin upon you and wonder if you should enter or not. Finally you do enter and as you do all your burdens of sin just drop away. You are safe and free forever. Joyfully you then turn around and see written on the back side of the cross, through which you have just entered, the words: ‘Chosen in him from the foundation of the world.'"

The pastor then invited those who were listening to enter.

found on the Internet and submitted by Tom and Lois Goodling
author and year unknown
may have originated in 1985 in a different version

Now I sit me down in school
Where praying is against the rule.
For this great nation under God
Finds mention of Him very odd.

If Scripture now the class recites,
It violates the Bill of Rights.
And anytime my head I bow
Becomes a federal matter now.

Our hair can be purple or orange or green,
That's no offense, it's the freedom scene.
The law is specific, the law is precise,
Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall
Might offend someone with no faith at all.
In silence alone we must meditate,
God's name is prohibited by the State.

We're allowed to cuss & dress like freaks,
And pierce our noses, tongues & cheeks.
They've outlawed guns; but FIRST the Bible.
To quote the Good Book makes me liable.

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen,
And the unwed daddy, our Senior King.
It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong,
We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong.

We can get our condoms, & birth controls,
Study witchcraft, vampires & totem poles.
But the Ten Commandments are not allowed,
No Word of God must reach this crowd.

It's scary here I must confess,
When chaos reigns the school's a mess.
So, Lord, this silent plea I make:
Should I be shot, My soul please take.

by Bro. Gregory Wamsley,
inspired by M. R. DeHann II
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