BETA

Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women

Archive for January, 1994

Monday, January 31, 1994

Tell me, is your primary desire in life to be HAPPY or to be HOLY?

Good Morning!

Nothing in the Bible remotely suggests the idea that we should seek “happiness.”

But there is plenty written about seeking holiness:  “Pursue holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord…like the Holy One who called you, be holy your selves in all your behavior.”   (Heb. 12:14; I Pet. 1:15)

 While many blithely pursue the life depicted on “Fantasy Island”, a battle is raging between the forces of heaven and hell…between good and evil.  It is here that Satan seeks to destroy us while God is preparing us for eternity.   It is here that either godly character is being forged, or souls are in the process of  destruction.  Hardly a place for “happiness.”

The whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth…waiting eagerly for our adoption…the redemption of our body.”   (Rom. 8:22, 23)

 The pursuit of “happiness” is centered in self and has about it a kind of Disneyesque surrealism. Surrounded as we are by struggling humanity in the abyss of misery and devastation, chatting about “happiness” seems a tad trite.   Consider King Solomon’s poignant observation:

“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting…to listen to the rebuke of a wise man than…to listen to the song of fools.” (Ecc. 7:2,5)

 Paradoxically, it is only out of a life of holiness and service centered on glorifying God that we experience purpose, meaning, and fulfillment.  Note Isaiah 58:10,11:

 “And if you give yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness, and your gloom will become like midday.  And the Lord will…satisfy your desire in  scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.”

 If “happiness” were achievable in the wealthiest Nation on earth, why than are we plagued by boredom, crime, drugs, the murder of the unborn, teen age pregnancy, and divorce.  It is my suspicion that Satan has been less than truthful to us in holding out the carrot of “happiness.”   What do you think?


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, January 24, 1994

WANT TO HAVE A MINISTRY IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS TODAY? THIS WEEK?

Good Morning!

THAN PRAY THIS PRAYER:

“Lord, make me an
instrument of your peace!
where there is hatred,
let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

 O Divine Master,
grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled
as to console;
to be understood
as to understand;
to be loved
as to love;
for it is in giving
that we receive;
it is in pardoning
that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying
that we are born to Eternal Life.

 -St. Francis of Assisi

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, January 17, 1994

HERE ARE TEN BIBLICALLY BASED GUIDELINES ON SEEKING COUNSEL WHEN FACED WITH A DECISION

Good Morning!

#1  Does the advice I am receiving square with the Word of God?  (Psa. 119:105, 133)

#2  Does the life of the one giving the advice validate the counsel being given?  (II Tim. 3:10, 11)

#3  Does the one giving the counsel walk with God?  (Psa. 1:1)

#4  In seeking counsel, am I drawing from a wide array of people?   (Pro. 15:22)

#5  Am I prayerfully asking God’s guidance as to the person(s) from whom I should seek counsel?   (Pro. 13:20)

#6  Am I seeking out and carefully considering the advice given by my spouse?  (I Pet. 3:7)

#7 Am I only embarking upon a course where I sense a deep inner peace?  (Isa. 32:17; Col. 3:15)

#8  Am I taking my time in making the decision, or am I  yielding to time pressure?  (Pro. 19:2)

#9  Am I seeking counsel from people who have no vested interest in the counsel they are giving to me?  In other words, they do not stand to win or loose by giving it to me straight. (Pro. 27:5, 6; I Sam. 12:1-15)

#10  Am I basically a teachable person, willing to receive counsel from the most humble of sources?  (Ecc. 4:13)

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, January 10, 1994

ARE THE STORMS OF LIFE GETTING TO YOU?

Good Morning!

dynamit

Then take a look at Matthew 7:24 – 27:

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Several observations:

  • The storms of life descend on the righteous and the unrighteous alike.
  • The person who builds his house on the word of God has a solid foundation:  Rock.
  • The person who does not build his house on the word of God has
  • a shaky foundation: Sand.
  • The storms come from every direction:

Above:  “The rains descended

Below:  “The flood came”

All sides:  “The winds blew, and burst against the house.”

Conclusion:

  • Those who go to the trouble of HEARING and APPLYING the word of God will stand up under the storm.
  • Those who refuse to LISTEN to and OBEY God’s word will not stand up under the storms of life.

You and I can count on storms in life!  Whether we survive will depend upon the foundation we lay in God’s word:  HEARING and APPLYING.  The choice is ours.

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, January 3, 1994

EVER FEEL LOUSY ABOUT YOURSELF? (Is the Pope polish?)

You need to know how God feels about you:

You are “majestic” in His eyes  (Literally:  excellent, glorious, mighty, worthy)

You are the source of all His delight (Psa. 16:3)

Zephaniah 3:17 puts it this way:

The Lord is with you

He takes great delight in you

He will quiet you with His love

He rejoices over you with singing

Of you He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.”  (Jer. 31:3)   He has alwaysloved you!  Even before you were conceived!

Yea, I know you are a sinner.  THAT IS NOT NEW INFORMATION.  But in His eyes your problem with sin has nothing to do with your intrinsic worth.   If your daughter contracts cancer, her worth is not diminished in your eyes, is it?

As the kid said, “God didn’t make any junk.”   The truth is that “you are fearfully and wonderfully made…skillfully wrought”:  God’s marvelous creation!  (Psa. 139: 14, 15)

In fact, “while we were sinners” – scuzzball rebels – Christ died for us.  (Rom. 5:8)  Before we cleaned up our act, He crawled up on that cross for us. Is there a more forceful demonstration of unconditional love?…Of your worth to Him?

So, this week as you enter the shark infested waters of the marketplace, keep in mind the fact that you are A CHILD OF THE KING.  A PERSON OF INFINITE, ETERNAL WORTH.