BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for March, 1994

Monday, March 28, 1994

MOST PEOPLE WHO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH GOD handle Him in one of two ways:

Good Morning!

(1)   They pretend He does not exist:

Which solves the problem of accountability.  If He doesn’t exist, we are free to live our lives as we please.  There remains however the thorny problem of explaining how we all got here?  The trick is to concoct a fairy tail to the affect  that everything around us just “happened.”  “Chance.”  Talk about living in faith!!

Currently evolutionists are telling us it all started with amino acids.  But where did they come from?  Tough to explain away the  gnarly issue of  “First Cause.”

Perhaps this is why God states “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (Psa. 14:1).

(2)   They re-invent Him:

            Let’s face it, His demand on us for all of our heart, soul, mind and strength is pretty steep,  given  the fact that we’d rather play than carry a cross.  So we cope by:

  •   Reducing God to a manageable size:

 “Knowing God, they refused to honor Him as God…hence all their thinking ended in futility, and their misguided minds are plunged into darkness.  They boast of their wisdom, but they have made fools of themselves…because they have bartered away the true God for a false one.  (Rom. 1:21,22, 25 – NEB)

  •   Collecting around us religious leaders who tell us what we want to hear about God:

 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers according to their own desires.”  (II Tim. 4:2)

            Romans 11:22 speaks about the kindness and severity of God. To those who acknowledge Him for who He is:  Kindness.  To the rest:  Severity.

As always, the choice is ours.

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, March 21, 1994

DISCIPLINE IS THE PRICE WE PAY FOR FREEDOM

Good Morning!

  –  Exercise and diet regularly and you’ll probably live better and longer.

  –  Focus 100 % on one task at a time, and generally you’ll be less frazzled.

 Paradoxically, the same holds true in the spiritual realm.  For example, when we:

  •  Take the time and effort to abide in God’s word we are liberated from the tyranny of sin’s bondage:

 “If you continue in my word…you will know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  (Jn. 8:31, 32)

  •   Joyfully endure trials, God  is then able to forge within us that inner quality of steel belted  strength that results in personal freedom:

  “When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends.  Realize that they have come to produce in you the quality of endurance.  But let the process go on and you will realize that you have become men of mature character with the right kind of independence.”  (Jms. 1: 2 – 4 Phillips Translation)

  •   Gain control over the dictates of our lower nature we are insured longevity in effective service:

 “Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things…Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim…I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. (literally:  rendered ineffective)…for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved.”  (I Cor. 9:25  – 27; II Peter 2:19)

 Paul speaks forcefully to this issue of discipline in stating,

 “Exercise daily in God – no spiritual flabbiness, please!  Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.”  (ITim. 4:7 – The Message Translation)

 I need to ask myself whether I AM WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE OF DISCIPLINE TO ACHIEVE FREEDOM.  The toll exacted upon me for the lack of discipline will, in the long run far exceed the price I now pay for freedom through discipline!

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, March 14, 1994

IF INTIMACY WITH CHRIST SEEMS A DISTANT REALITY, there may be a couple of possibilities as to why

Good Morning!

   (1)  You do not have God’s word in your heart

   (2)  You are not obeying the word of God.

 He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.”  (Jn. 14:21)

 God calls us to simple, unequivocal obedience of His word.  Often, however in our ignorance or rebellion we:

  •   Don’t know what the Word of God says:

 God to Adam“…from the tree…you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surly die.” (Gen. 2:17)

 Eve to Satan:  “…God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it…” (Gen. 3:3)   Eve, after adding to God’s word  soon succumbs to Satan’s seduction.

  •  Challenge the authority of the Word of God:

 “And the serpent said (to Eve)…’You surely shall not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it (the tree) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ “(Gen 3:4,5)

  •    Water down the Word of God:

 “…Many peddle (and) …adulterate the word of God…”  (II Cor. 2:17;3:2)

  •   Twist the Word of God:

 “The untaught and unstable distort (the word of God) …to their own destruction.” (II Pet. 3:16)

 The intimacy with Christ we long for is based on a childlike understanding and response to the word of God.  Do we have the courage, faith and will to seek out, discover and obey the word in this manner?

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Sunday, March 13, 1994

THE PRAYER HAND

Good Morning!

Here is a simple guide to prayer you might want to try — perhaps before getting out of bed in the morning, while walking or driving.  Let’s call it the “Prayer Hand.”

THUMB – Because it is the extremity nearest you, it represents your family.  Pray first for the members of your family.

INDEX FINGER – This is the finger used for instruction and exhortation.  So, pray for your pastor and other Christian leaders.

MIDDLE FINGER – Being the longest finger, it could remind us of the government.   Paul urges us that,

 “…entreaties and prayers, petition and thanksgiving, be made…for all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”  (I Tim. 2:1, 2 )

 FOURTH FINGER – This is the least used finger, perhaps reminding us of the weak or least recognized among us.

 “Now we who are strong ought to bear the weaknesses of those without strength and not just to please ourselves…For even Christ did not please Himself…”  (Rom. 15:1, 3)

 “PINKIE” FINGER – Being the smallest finger, we should pray lastly for ourselves.

WHILE PRAYER IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT OF THE DISCIPLINES, IT IS A MUST.  AS CHRIST ADMONISHED US

  Men ought always to pray and not to lose heart.”  (Lk. 18:1)

 Chances are that if we are praying, we are not loosing heart.

 And…if we are loosing heart,  we are not praying.

My prayer is that you are having a great week!