STEEL AND CONCRETE, September 2001 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work." (Revelation 22:12)

September 2001

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"Near To The Heart Of God"

by Bro. Gregory Wamsley

The word "wage" is an interesting one. It can either be a reference to a payment for services or a payment for wrongdoing. In 2 Peter 2:15, those who had "forsaken the right way" and "gone astray" were described as "loving the wages of unrighteousness."

Some people think that the only way to consciously stop sinning is to just die. The Bible has a better way. I know I'm not Christ-like in everything I think, say, or do. Becoming like Christ is a life-long process. Only in heaven can one truly be without sin. While in society, my main ambition was to make as much money as I was spending. Many of today's families still have that same ambition. Labor Day having just recently passed, I'm reminded of how much focus is put on job titles and the wages they pay. Money and the things it buys doesn't always bring lasting satisfaction or even peace of mind. The greatest wealth can only be found in a right relationship with God through Christ Jesus. People labor hard to earn wages. They bank away their money and seek the benefits of their dividends. In Matthew 6:19-21 Christ spoke of a heavenly savings account: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Being saved pays us great dividends. Through faith in Jesus Christ, everything we get from God is absolutely free. Spending money or time here on earth is one thing, but investing money or one's time in a life devoted to God pays wages into your heavenly saving account.

The wages of our sins were imputed (placed) to Christ's account. On the cross, the debt was settled. He gave us his position of righteousness and our salvation. Although the full benefits will be rewarded in heaven for all eternity, today God's Spirit (our daily dividend) works in and through all believers. The world offers all kinds of guarantees in the name of "insurance." People have insurance for all kinds of things. To insure your soul, trust in Jesus Christ!

I've learned one cannot spend their life running up a bill with Satan and then expect him to forget about it on payday. That which I sow, I reap! In Judges 1:7, it says: "As I have done, so God has repaid me." In John 4:35b-36, Jesus says: "Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together." The last part of Romans 6:23 says: ". . . but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." The very moment Adam sinned he died spiritually. Ephesians 2:1 tells us that because of that sin, everyone born after him is "dead in trespasses and sins." Physical death, the separation of body and spirit mentioned in James 2:26, is the result of that sin. The Bible tells us that people who die in their sins, in an unsaved state, will face a second death which is eternal separation from God. This is found in Revelation 20:15 which is associated the lake of fire.

When I was younger and unsaved, I didn't always act properly. My parents used to tell me, "Act your age." The first part of the Romans 6:23 puts all in proper light when it says: "For the wages of sin is death . . . ." That death is the one spoken of above. If you are unsaved, it is my prayer that you will seek salvation so you will no longer "ACT YOUR WAGE."

If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, in prayer plead the Gospel truth that you cannot save yourself and you must confess to Him that you are a sinner and are in need of a Savior. Accept him into your heart as Savior and Lord. Christ commands that one must repent from their sins. Read his word (the Bible) and learn of the NEW BIRTH you'll be given in Christ Jesus. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. . ." (Acts 16:31).

From Chicken Soup For The Soul
submitted by Jen Wamsley

I went to a birthday party, but I remembered what you said.
You told me not to drink at all, so I had a Sprite instead.

I felt proud of myself, the way you said I would,
That I didn't choose to drink and drive, though some said I should.

I knew I made a healthy choice and your advice to me was right,
As the party finally ended and the kids drove out of sight.

I got into my own car, sure to get home in one piece,
Never knowing what was coming, something I expected least.

Now I'm lying on the pavement, I can hear the policeman say,
"The kid that caused this wreck was drunk." His voice seems far away.

My own blood is all around me, as I try hard not to cry.
I can hear the paramedic say, "This girl is going to die."

I'm sure the guy had no idea, while he was flying high,
Because he chose to drink and drive that I should have to die.

So why do people do it, knowing that it ruins lives?
But now the pain is cutting me like a hundred stabbing knives.

Tell my sister not to be afraid, tell daddy to be brave,
And when I go to heaven put "Daddy's girl" on my grave.

Someone should have taught him that it's wrong to drink and drive.
Maybe if his Mom and Dad had, I'd be still alive.

My breath is getting shorter, I'm getting really scared.
These are my final moments, and I'm so unprepared.

I wish that you could hold me, Mom, as I lie here and die.
I wish that I could say I love you and good-bye.

by Kelly D. Caron
submitted by Delores Wischnowski

When you are tired, and discouraged from your fruitless efforts...
God knows how hard you've tried.

When you've cried so long, your heart is in anguish...
God has counted your tears.

If you feel like you life is on hold and life has passed you by...
God is waiting with you.

When you're lonely and your friends are too busy even for a phone call...
God is by your side.

When you think you've tried everything and now you don't know where to turn...
God has a solution.

When nothing makes sense you are confused and frustrated...
God has the answer.

If suddenly your outlook is brighter and you find a trace of hope...
God has whispered to you.

When things are going well and you have much to be thankful for...
God has blessed you.

When something joyful happens and you are felled with awe...
God has smiled upon you.

When you have a purpose to fulfil and a dream to fallow...
God has opened your eyes and called you by name.

Remember, wherever you are, or whatever you are facing...


by Brother Gregory Wamsley

In life things seem difficult, like deep water ~ one could drown.
In this life I can either build up or tear down.

Our Savior took our sins, gladly wearing our thorny crown.
In this life I can either build up or tear down.

Living in a sinful world is tough ~ thanks to God, I don't wear a frown.
In this life I can either build up or tear down.

To bring Him glory is my walk's purpose on earth's ground.
In this life I can either build up or tear down.

by Brother Dennis J. DeHann

Please help me, Lord, in all I do,
To act and think of motives true;
And by your love reveal to me,
Those sins that only you can see!

Words: Harriet Eugenia Peck Buell, 1877
Music: "Binghamton," John B. Sumner, 1877

My Father is rich in houses and lands,
He holdeth the wealth of the world in His hands!
Of rubies and diamonds, of silver and gold,
His coffers are full, He has riches untold.

I'm a child of the King,
A child of the King:
With Jesus my Savior,
I'm a child of the King.

My Father's own Son, the Savior of men,
Once wandered on earth as the poorest of them;
But now He is pleading our pardon on high,
That we may be His when He comes by and by.

I once was an outcast stranger on earth,
A sinner by choice, an alien by birth,
But I've been adopted, my name's written down,
An heir to a mansion, a robe and a crown.

A tent or a cottage, why should I care?
They're building a palace for me over there;
Though exiled from home, yet still may I sing:
All glory to God, I'm a child of the King.


by Michael Hodgin

A middle aged woman phoned her daughter with more than a little exasperation. "Dear," she asked her daughter, "have you spoken to you grandmother recently? I've tried to call her all week and I've gotten no answer. She really should be at home. I'm beginning to worry." The daughter thought for a second and said, "Oh, they're having a revival at the retirement village this week. I'll bet that's where Grandma has been when you've been trying to reach her." "Revival," the mother repeated, "what on earth do they need with a revival? What kind of sins could they possibly have at a retirement village, for crying out loud" The daughter immediately shot back "Old ones, Mother, old ones."

It has been said that money talks, but have you ever noticed how hard of hearing it is when you call upon it?

A Sunday school teacher had just concluded her lesson and wanted to make sure she had made her point. She asked her class, "Can anyone tell me what you must do before you can obtain forgiveness of sin?" There was a short interval of silence and then, from the back of the room, a small boy spoke up. "Sin," he said.

The deacon board chairman approached the new pastor saying, "Now, pastor, we only pay our pastors fifty dollars a week." "Why, that's an insult!" said the new pastor. The deacon agreed, "Yes, but we only pay every other week. That way, you're not insulted as often."

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