“ Friends Indeed ”
“LEARNING TO BELIEVE!"
LEARNING TO BELIEVE!
How long did it take you to come to “come to believe” in God? How many years? For me it didn’t happen right away. It took some years because I had to “learn” to believe in His faithfulness, and I was a slow learner. It did not happen automatically, immediately, or naturally.
I spent the majority of my life going through “the wilderness”. Ironically, for exactly forty years I refused to be content with the blessings that God gave to me. I started drifting into the ways of the world at the age of 21 and stayed there until I was 61. I was like a kid on a see-saw, up for a minute, down for a minute. Jail for me was like a revolving door, in and out—around and around— back and forth. I exercised extreme foolishness and irrationality. I continued “doing the same
things and expecting different results”. I was a true definition of what the 12 step program calls “insane”.
Notice all the I’s in the previous paragraph? That “I” was my main problem… it was all about “I”… What made “I” feel good, what made “I” happy, what pleased “I”, what “I” decided to do. There was no room for God’s will in my daily life. I thought I was perfectly able to handle things better this time around. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever been there? Are you still there? Was it hard for you to “Learn to Believe” that God’s way was the absolute best way to live?
The Bible says that “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Prov. 14:12). I read it and said it, but I did not apply it. I hadn’t come to believe that it applied to me. I had to learn the hard way that my way was killing me. My way caused the death of my spiritual growth. My way caused me to lose family ties, friendships, cars, homes, many material things, and a lot of time. What seemed right was all too often wrong, and I had to learn to accept that. There is only one way to grow
forward …God’s way. The Early Christian believers were called followers of “the Way” or those who belonged to “the Way”. (Acts 9:2). I had to learn about “the Way” and for me, understanding what it really meant did not come easy. Today I know that Jesus is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life! (John 14:6). How do I know that? Because over the years, I’ve been given evidence. God revealed himself to me through the changed lives and uplifting of others who began by following “the Way”.
Personal friends of mine have allowed God to change their twisted lives around. As I looked on, I realized that I too needed my twisted life changed. I came to believe that truly getting to know God was the only way for that to happen. It was revealed to me that the power of the Holy Spirit was what I needed and wanted. I read in Ephesians 1:19 that I already had that power, but didn’t know how to access it… I had to learn.
The Bible talks a lot about learning. In Matthew 11:29 Jesus said “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me …”. Psalm 119:71 says; “It is good that I
have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. Some of us may have to be afflicted before we learn. There are those of us who have to get burned several times before we learn to stop playing with fire…you know what I mean? We also have to learn how to treat other people. Laban told Jacob: “I have learned by experience that the Lord has blessed me because of you” (Gen. 30:27). Have you learned by experience that some folks are blessed by God so they can be a blessing to you (and vice-versa)?
The apostle Paul learned some things from years of experience also. An example of this is in Philippians 4:11; “…for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content”. How do you think Paul learned this? He didn’t learn it on the road to Damascus! It took a while …he had to go through some stuff! We all do. Coming through bad situations is what makes us truly come to believe. Titus 3:14 says: “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives”. I lived an unproductive life for 40 years until I finally came to believe… all because I had a hard time learning.
Why do you think so many of us have such a hard time learning to believe? We do believe in God, right? And those who claim Christianity do
believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, right? We also believe that there is such a thing as the Holy Spirit that is alive “in us”, always telling us not to do the things that we choose to do anyway…right? So what is it that we don ‘t believe? Well, I don’t know about you all, but I had a hard time believing that I was stupid...crazy…and nutty as a fruit-cake, but I was. As a matter of fact, I was insane.
No one likes to admit that they are stupid or dumb, but it’s true anyway. All of us have done some really stupid things, most likely more than once, agreed? I know that I have done some really stupid things, and I did them over and over again in spite of the negative and often painful consequences. Like Paul, I often did it ignorantly in ignorance and unbelief (1Tim. 1:13) That’s insane, but I didn’t see it that way. I was just not convinced? I did not come to my senses until I was 61 years old … not so long ago, and I still sometimes do some stupid stuff and think some rather insane thoughts, but today I know where to turn to get things into perspective.
Today I know about the power greater than myself who can restore me to sanity. It took me a long time, but I have indeed “come to believe” that God is the answer, and that the only way to get to know Him is through Jesus Christ. I’ve been
in some deep valleys, and I’ve been on some very crooked paths. Through It all God has never left me nor forsaken me.
Today, I look up to the hills from whence cometh my help! So many times I looked up and in my despair there He was, providing for me, guiding me, comforting me, and showing His love for me. I have no way of knowing where I would be if God had not showed up and delivered me all those times. I do know that each time he came through for me, I came to believe in Him even more. I now believe in Him as being all-powerful, omniscient, and omnipresent. How about you?
Maybe you’re one of those who came to believe instantly… like right away. This is the way children believe. Once they jump off of a high place and the parent catches them, they have no further doubt. From that time on, they will jump into the parents arms with confidence. Most of us adults have to be reassured several times before we have the necessary faith to believe that God will catch us when we fall (or jump). We seem to hold on to our disbelief, and must ask God to help us with our unbelief (Mark 9:24).
Have you ever thought about when you came to believe, and why it took you so long? Are you still learning? Let’s hope so. There is always more to learn about God’s faithfulness.
Learning… Still Learning
When left up to me …
I did many things wrong I strayed to those places …
I didn’t belong
I often did things that were not in God’s will Regretting it afterwards ...
I did them still
I am not the most righteous …
please help me to see It’s not me drawing You Lord ...
It’s YOU drawing me
For over the years I have held on to doubt Not truly believing …
I sought to find out
Like “Thomas”, I had to see things for myself
(My “faith by just hearing” ... was up on the shelf)
You are teaching me Lord, through experiences past And I’m learning to trust you …
trust you at last
So many wonders …
I have watched you perform Astounding, Unnatural … out of the norm
Going before me …
preparing the scene Keeping me healthy and keeping me “clean”
Preparing me blessings, before I arrive You quicken my spirit … I’m feeling alive
I am blessed in my Spirit; I am blessed in my seed I am blessed in all places whenever there’s need
The blessings you give … that I’m bound to receive Are impacting my faith ... as I come to believe
I have learned not to trust everything that I’ve heard Unless it’s supported by what’s in Your word
The Bible is fact … It’s been tested and tried For there is the truth that cannot be denied
If we take time to read it … again and again We will learn to believe that our God is our friend
Keep drawing me nearer Lord … nearer to thee Help me to learn how You want me to be
I want to be close to You … Much closer yet And the more time we spend… the closer we get
And I’m getting to know You more … each passing day Believing by faith … in all that you say
I am learning, still learning to trust in you more Please teach me those things I did not learn before.
By Benjamin L. Graham, July 20, 2017
God’s One-Two Punch
God is always calling us. He’s always inviting us into His house. There’s something about His invitation that is intriguing and warming, and when we first begin to notice it we know that something special is happening. We are lured into His presence by the circumstances He orchestrates in our lives. At first we don’t really understand it is truly God doing the calling – it just seems to us to be a good thing to do.
I was invited to be on staff at a church summer camp when my children were young. I had never gone to church camp before in my life, and had no idea how much fun it would be. It was a week that was both the shortest and the longest I had ever experience. We would wake up in the morning and go down to the mess hall for breakfast. I didn’t have to worry about what to cook, or what to wear. Seven t-shirts and a pair of shorts is about all I really needed for the week (plus underwear). Activities were planned by someone else, there was a mission trip to go on during the week that involved volunteering at a social service agency, and daily Bible studies. What was remarkable to me about this experience is the positive attitude everyone had. I loved every minute of it, and at the end of the week, when looking back on my experience, I thought it went by too quickly. It was heavenly.
I ended up going back as a staff member at this camp for 12 years. After my kids were long out of the house, and I’d spend one week each summer at camp with my counselor friends, many of whom were ministers and youth ministers at their churches. I just loved it. The friendships were real, the time spent apart from the regular world was relaxing, and I enjoyed my work with the campers. I felt that I was being of service to God and being useful to the development of children. I didn’t know it then, but this was beginning of the greatest one-two punch ever delivered.
During my years on staff I attended Bible studies at my church, but unfortunately my church was not a strong Biblebelieving church. We studied the Bible more from a historical perspective than from a perspective of truth. The context surrounding the Bible passages was emphasized most, and through these studies I learned to believe in God, but I hadn’t yet learned how to believe God. The Bible studies were fun, they reminded me of my camp experience, and we usually convened to a local bar for a beer and fellowship after the study. What could be wrong with that?
At some point in time, through circumstance that were manifold, I started to attend a serious Bible study. By serious, I mean one that involved homework and emphasized the central questions “What do you think God wants you to know in this passage?” and “How is this manifest in your life?” We really studied the Bible and didn’t treat it as the opening line in a night of fellowship. The Bible study (Bible Study Fellowship, or BSF) covers one book of the Bible
each year, and we took our time cross-referencing the Old Testament and New Testament passages. I was startled by the consistency of the message. I then realized that the Bible was super-natural, and that there was no way it could have been written alone by 40 human authors over 1500 years in three languages, and yet have such a consistent message. I was intrigued, and the warming I experience at camp was magnified by realizing that the Bible is a gift to us from God.
The year I joined this serious Bible study was the year we studied the book of Romans. The beginning part of Romans emphasizes man’s sinful nature and that none of us are excused from believing. I was quick to see my colleagues at work in Romans. I also began to realize where the fall of man has lead us as a society. And then an amazing thing happened to me – I saw myself as being steeped in sin. God convicted me that I couldn’t remain the person I was. This was punch number two – I had to get away from me!
The year I spent in Romans was transformational. One of the most profound things I learned was that man, by his nature, is bound by sin and that he can serve only one master. I learned that I am either a slave to sin or a slave to God. I don’t get to choose whether or not I’m a slave, I only get to choose to whom I am a slave. So, I chose God, and asked Jesus to bear the cost of my sins. And, while I continue to sin, I know that God is right beside me. I’ve learned to listen for the voice that says “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” and respond by saying “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)
Learning to Believe
My first thought on this topic is that everyone’s testimony is totally unique. That being said, there are fundamental similarities with faith having three components: 1. Content 2. Warming of the heart and 3. Action. I don’t believe there is “blind faith”- that this is not true faith. We must know something about the object of our faith. Hebrews 11:1 says “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” How do we have hope and assurance in what we cannot see? How do we even learn about it? Praise God He has given us His-story book as a road map/GPS and instruction manual all wrapped up in the Bible! I can see in retrospect that God has been drawing me to Himself since childhood.
Even though my parents did not express or practice faith, God drew me to Sunday School and especially during Confirmation Class. Then after a long hiatus in the world I tried to read the Bible on my own because of an interest sparked by people God put in my life, but I couldn’t understand it. Finally, in my late 40’s, after several invitations by a friend I started an in-depth Bible study called Bible Study Fellowship (BSF).
God had prepared me and the warming of my heart which corresponds to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit happened quickly. I was convicted by much of what I read and it seemed like God was speaking to me in each verse!
This personal testimony demonstrates the components listed above and that both God and we play a role in this process. He prepares us each uniquely – in just the way we need. Then there needs to be some response on our part – being willing to make an effort to learn and admitting that we have been wrong. The older you get the harder this is – habits and mindsets fall hard. Paul states in Romans 8:30 “And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” If you are reading this Newsletter he is calling you! God knows just how to prepare us and if He has chosen you, He will continue to draw you to Himself. 2 Peter 3:9 says “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” He is the Hound Dog of Heaven!
We must make an effort – go to Him in prayer and ask Him to reveal Himself as it says in Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.” Commit yourself wholeheartedly to a solid Bible Study -– be open to what He has to show you. It is only Him that
can accomplish the warming of the heart – the giving of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises in Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
If you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the work is not done. In Philippians 1:6, Paul says to the early believers that he was trying to encourage “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” The “day of Christ Jesus” refers to the time when Jesus will return for believers – our bodily resurrection. As long as we are here on earth we should never stop studying and learning about Him and being willing to act on it. This is our sanctification and it is a lifelong process of striving to be more like Jesus.
The third part of faith that I mentioned above is action and after we come to believe we cannot be stagnant. Living out our faith in love and grace shows others what true Christians look like. Also, we are commanded to share the Gospel when the opportunity arises. Getting back to that hope on which faith is based 1 Peter 3:15 says, “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” Amen!
The Triune Effect of God's Call
1. God's call is Christ centered! 2. God's call is relationship driven! 3. God's call is purpose mandated!
We were made in the likeness and image of our triune God: "And God said, let us make man in our image, and after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." (Genesis 1:26) When we respond to God's call, we will experience the triune effect of our decision.
First of all, we are called to live Christ-centered lives. When Jesus began calling his disciples to share His early ministry, the call was Christ-centered: "And Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers." (Matthew 4:18-19) The 20th verse tells us that they answered our Lord's Chirst-centered call by leaving their commercial fishermen occupation. To follow Jesus and become fishers of men. God's call bestows the divine privilege on us of being His sons and daughters. "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." "Beloved, now are we the Sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: Be we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." (1 John 3:1-2) When we answer God's call, by accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our relationship is restored to that kind God had with His son Adam before he sinned. As a mentor, I have experienced fatherly love for my sons-inChrist, although my love pales in comparison to God's love. The father-to-son love that God bestows on me compels me to live a life that glorifies and honors Him. When God took a wretch like me, and made me His son, He changed the dynamics of my life to become relationship-with-God driven! His loving call inspires me to give him the best of my selfsacrificial service.
The call of God also makes it mandatory that we find and fulfill His purpose for our lives. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His Purpose." (Romans 8:28) The word 'mandatory' means 'binding or imperative.' It is imperative that we pursue God's purpose for our lives. God works it all out for our good. It blows my mind how He takes the good, the bad and the ugly parts of my life and uses them to give me purpose. He took the 40 years of Moses staying in Egypt, the 40 years of his life as a shepherd of his father-in-law's
sheep and used that training to lead His people out of Egyptian bondage. God asked Moses (from the burning bush) what is that in thy hand (Exodus 4:2) and Moses said "a rod." After Moses laid the rod at God's feet it became the rod of God! (Exodus 4:20) When we lay it all down at the feet of Jesus, we will become the rod of God, ready to be used for His purpose!
The Holy Trinity of God is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost. Man is also a triune being. Man has a spirit and a soul that lives in a body. The initial call of God, which saves us from sin, restores our original position being made into God's likeness and image. So, yes, the call of God is from one triune being to another triune being.
The Bible is filled with many examples of this truth, time will only allow me to use a few. From the days of creation and the fall of man (because of sin), God has continued to call man. Even when Adam hid from God in the garden of Eden, after he had sinned, God still called him! "And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou?" (Genesis 3:9) It is a high calling. The Apostle Paul said "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:14) So when we hear God calling us to salvation, to sanctification, and to selfsacrificial service, expect the call to have a triune effect on our triune being.
May God bless you.
Your fellow servant, Dwight J. Nichols
Dr. Sharron Tucker
Coming to Believe….Again!
I came to Believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity…..& Step&2&Alcoholics&Anonymous& & Lately I’ve been worrying a lot. So many tasks to accomplish, so many goals to meet. And in the middle of the mess, a report from the doctor that was not something I wanted to hear. Back in the day, it would have been the perfect excuse to self-medicate but today I leave chemistry to the professionals. Today a Power greater than myself has restored me to sanity. Still, I tend to think I’m Captain of the World—problem solver extraordinaire—so when life gets chaotic, I try to figure things out. I begin what my Aunt Alice calls “fretting and stewing”—driving myself crazy—and the LORD has to restore me again. Aunt Alice believes if you’re patient and trust God, things have no choice but to
settle down. She says, “It’s a poor road that doesn’t have a turning. Mark my words. God will send a sign that things are about to change.” Aunt Alice is right.
The other day God inserted a sign into my craziness, a reminder that He will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves (2 Corinthians 3:4-5). I raised a window to let in some fresh air and saw a flash of lavender, a bit of white in a neglected corner at the back of the house. It was a weed, a wildling. A vine had popped up uninvited, perhaps a gift from some random bird. On the vine were many buds, two in gorgeous, exotic bloom. It was a Passion Flower.
A Passion Flower is fascinating. Its five petal blooms are about 4 inches in diameter, whitish in color with a corona or fringe of blue or violet filament. In the center are five greenishyellow stamens and three purple stigmas. They say you can use the flowers to make tea that will relieve stress and anxiety but I told you nowadays I stay away from chemicals.
What’s more important is the plant’s symbolism. The flower’s structure is said to represent the Passion (suffering) of Christ at crucifixion. The pointed tips of the leaves represent the lance that pierced Jesus’ side. • The tendrils represent the whips used when Jesus was beaten. • Ten petals and sepals denote the ten faithful apostles (not including Peter who denied Christ and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Him). • The blue or purple filaments represent the crown of thorns. • The chalice shaped ovary with its receptacle represent a hammer or the Holy Grail. • The 3 stigmas represent the 3 nails … and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance). • The blue and white colors represent Heaven and Purity
I was amazed to see this beauty tangled in the hedge. I had tried to grow a Passion Flower once—ordered it from a catalogue and paid good money, too. I worked the soil, planted it with care and watered and fed the vine. But it died quickly and flowerless. I may have had difficulty growing a passion flower but God does not. In an unkempt patch behind the house, it flourishes with no assistance from me. A Power greater than
myself has kissed it. A Power greater than myself reminds me that His Son paid the price to restore my sanity, my peace and anything else that you or I might need. We just have to look to the LORD and not at whatever’s driving us crazy. # Step 11 of Alcoholics Anonymous states: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. When the world makes you crazy, be reminded that there is a Power greater than ourselves who is very much in charge, who wants to encourage us and who gives us the Word to help us out. Scripture tells us: The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof (Psalm 24:1)
God owns everything, including us, and knows exactly what we need. Therefore, we don’t have to be Captain of the World.
Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10) Trust in the LORD and do good (Psalm 37:1)
While you’re waiting, trust and follow God’s instructions.
The LORD will give us beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. He will make
us “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor (Isaiah 61:3)”
God’s promises are beautiful and true. Forty-plus years ago, I was insane in my addiction and God restored me to sanity. He did it then and he does it now when I slip. The other day I stared at the flower as craziness was replaced with awe, as God restored me to sanity… Again. Amen.
*** “I’M TELLING YOU WHAT I KNOW”
I used to fight with all my might … to live a life that wasn’t right Gaining nothing losing sight … of God
I was just trying to get my share … did stupid stuff and didn‘t care Moving too fast, going nowhere … is that odd?
I couldn’t stop … not on my own … I was fighting the devil all alone He formed a cast … from all my past … and left me skin and bone
My friends were fakes … I made mistakes …I sought the life of crime I spoke my voice … and made my choice .. and wound up doing “time”
Not what I read … or what someone said about how a life can go! Not telling you … what might be true … I’m telling you what I know!
There I sat behind those bars … away from my home and my clothes and my cars Away from family and so-called friends.. a list of things that never ends
The sex … the drugs… the money… the stuff, the arguments and the fighting
God took me away from the lifestyle … that I found so exciting Away from the things that were killing me... the things I held so dear How do you think God changed my course? … … He let me come in here (prison)
And it was strange embracing change from all I used to be Then I looked at my history book … and found … that wasn’t me
God began to speak to me … and I began to listen Through all those years of tears and fears … I didn’t know what I was miss’in
It’s all right there in this Bible … You will have to read God’s word I’m telling you what God done for me … I’m not telling you what I heard
God gives us skills ... and makes us deals … to see which way we’ll go He’s waiting for you to straighten up ... I’m telling you what I know Have you ever seen faces … being in places … you didn’t want to be? Have you looked around, up and down and said … “This really isn’t me?
Well, learn of God … don’t find him odd … he’ll rescue you indeed He IS our very present help… whenever we have need He took my drinks … He took my drugs and put them up on the shelf HE has been far better to me than I could be to myself
He wants to use you … all of you … to help perform His will And to each and every one of you … He gave a special skill
We learn some things from experience … as through this life we go And God told me to sit and write … and tell you what I know!
GOD IS GOOD!
By Benjamin Graham 7/16/17
Pastor Brian Hall
“Thank YOU for my journey!”
It is interesting to note the word “Believe” or the variation of (belief, believed, believers, believest, believeth, believing, unbelief) is mentioned 144 times in the Bible according to the Strong’s concordance.
When John “the Revelator” was on the Isle of Patmos, he heard a strong angel proclaim with a loud voice, “who is worthy to open the Book, and loosen the seven seals?” There was no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth able to open the book or look thereon (Rev. 5:23). John wept much, the scripture says because no man was found worthy. One of the four and twenty Elders that fall down and worship HIM that sits on the throne forever and ever, said weep not, for the Lion of the tribe of Judah hath prevailed to open the Book.
I have come to “Believe” that JESUS is worthy. Believe me, It’s personal! The four angels who were standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds, were instructed not to hurt the earth until the 144,000 were sealed. Could they have possibly been “Believers?” There
was also a great multitude (Believers) that no man could number that came out of great trials and tribulations, and washed their robes and made them white in the Blood of the LAMB.
True believers who endure to the end are sealed (us) also because we continually examine ourselves, not others, and are willing to learn obedience by the things we suffer. Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction (Isaiah 48:10). Yes, coming to believe involves suffering! If JESUS learned obedience by the things HE suffered (Hebrews 5:8), what about me (let’s continue to make it personal)? When you come to believe, like Abraham, it is accounted to you for righteousness.
Those who come to believe were predestinated before they were conceived in their mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). Coming to believe is a process, however, orchestrated by the HOLY GHOST in a receptive heart which is being prepared by the “Shepherd and Bishop of our souls” (Proverbs 16:1). The first time the word “Believe” is used in the Bible is in Exodus 4:1, And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee. Has the LORD appeared unto you?
Jeremiah said, The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (Jer. 31:3). For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men (Titus 2:11).
I came to believe because of the “Loving-kindness and Grace” of GOD which have followed me in spite of my many years of disobedience and rebellion. HIS “Grace and Mercy,” like the Apostle Paul, have persuaded me that HE will keep that which I have committed unto HIM “against that day (II Timothy 1:12)!”
I came to believe because on one occasion and there were several in my life, in 1972, as I walked in the middle of the street at 3:00 a.m. in the morning on my way willingly to a potentially volatile situation, HE caused a sparrow to fall from heaven when there were no trees around directly in my path, essentially preventing me from taking the next step as I proceeded to the house of a woman whose boyfriend killed a man shortly then after. I did an “about face” and went back home. If you come to believe, you will go back home!
One thing that I know without reservation, GOD is a Master of getting our attention. He is not willing that any should perish. If you do not come to believe or make it to Heaven, it’s nobody’s fault, but yours! “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living GOD!” (Hebrews 10:31) We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak (II Cor. 4:13). I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted. (Psalm 116:10) Don’t let the devil continue to steal, kill and destroy. Believe GOD, it’s personal!
Blessings - Brian
A LITTLE TRIVIA
1. According to Romans 2:4, what does God's goodness lead us too?
o Repentance o Heaven o Good works o Righteousness Romans#2:4
2. In Romans 5:20-21, what two things are mentioned in opposition?
o Good and evil o Sin and grace o Light and darkness o Wisdom and foolishness Romans#5:20
3. Which two old testament prophets does Paul quote in Romans chapter 9?
o Daniel and Jonah o Nathan and Joel o Amos and Micah o Hosea and Isaiah Romans#Chapter#9
4. In Romans 14:17, Paul lists three things as being the kingdom of God. Which one is not part of that list?
o Righteousness o Love o Peace o Joy Romans#14:17
5. By whose hand did Paul write the book of Romans?
o Tertius o Gaius o Timothy o Silas Romans#16:22
6. Paul said that if Christ is in you, the body is what?
o Free o Dead o Alive o Strong Romans#8:10
7. Why was Paul so worried about his Jewish brothers who did not accept Jesus as the Christ?
o Paul was angry with them o Paul knew that, to accept God was to accept Jesus o Paul was a Gentile o Paul thought the Jews were despicable Romans#10:3
8. Paul says that God's people, both Jews and Gentiles, should refrain from judging one another concerning the laws of God. Why?
o Jews don't know God's law o Gentiles don't know God's law o What is right for one may be wrong for another o Only priests can determine right from wrong Romans#14:20
9. Paul instructs the Jews to avoid what type of teaching?
o From the New Testament o From the Old Testament o Teachings from Jewish leaders o Those who cause divisions contrary to the Bible Romans#16:17
10. In the book of Romans, to what two groups of people did the apostle Paul say he was a debtor?
o Jews and Gentiles o Greeks and Barbarians o Men and women o Americans and Europeans Romans#1:14
11. Paul refers to righteous persons dying with Christ. What does he mean by the word 'death'?
o Physical death o Death unto our own desires o Both A and B o Death unto our sins Romans#6:6
12. Paul, in the book of Romans, made a reference to scripture that described a stumbling block placed before the Jews. What was this stumbling block?
o Jesus o God's law o Righteousness o Meekness Romans#9:33
13. What act now fulfills God's Law, according to Paul?
o Love o Not committing adultery o Abstaining from killing o None of the above Romans#13:8
14. According to Paul in Romans chapter 6, what are the wages of sin?
o Guilt o Death o Money o Troubles Romans#6:23
15. What tribe of Israel did the Apostle Paul belong to?
o Benjamin o Judah o Naphtali o Levi Romans#11:1
! A!Transition!House!for!Reentry! A!Three2Quarter!House!to!Continue!! !
! !Covenant!House !2709!Agler!Road ! Columbus,!OH!!43224! Fort!Jackson! 3845!Westerville!Road! Columbus,!OH!!43224!
Covenant House and Fort Jackson are ministry houses affiliated with
• Friends Ministry http://www.friendsministry.org/
• Friends Indeed Ministry, Benjamin Graham
• House of David, Pastor Brian Hall
• Faith Covenant Church in Westerville, Ohio
Friends Indeed Ministries, Inc. PO Box 24003 Columbus, OH 43224
“To offer the Hand and Heart of true friendship to those held captive and to the free, and to increase hope and encourage righteous living through the word of God, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord”