BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for April, 1994

Monday, April 25, 1994

MOST OF THE GREAT WORK OF GOD IS DONE QUIETLY BY GOD’S UNSUNG HEROES.

Good Morning!

In a day when everyone, it seems wants their name in lights or print, the idea of being an unheralded laborer for God goes down painfully.  Yet, God’s true work is done without fanfare.  For example, who ever heard of:

  •      Dorcas.  At her funeral this quiet servant of God was exonerated for her “deeds of kindness and charity.”  (Act. 9:36, 39)  And what were her deeds?  That of making underwear for others. UNDERWARE !  (Literally: “undergarments”)  
  •      The little nondescript guy who saved a city“There was a small city with few men it and a great king came to it, surrounded it, and constructed large siege works against it.  But there was found in it a poor wise man and he delivered the city by his wisdom.  Yet no one remembered that poor man.”  (Ecc. 9:14, 15)

 God commands us to do His work without seeking recognition:

      “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself…just do it — quietly and unobtrusively.”  (Matt. 6:1, 2 – The Message Translation)

 Even our private life of prayer with God is to go unnoticed:

      “And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either.  All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom!  …Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role–play before God.  Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage…”  (Matt. 6:5,6 — The Message Translation)

 The true servants of God understand that God does not take kindly to sharing His glory:

“…My glory I will not share with another.”  (Isa. 48:11)

 That is precisely why the real work of God is done quietly and humbly, and most often without the notice or appreciation of others.

Such service may appear to be sacrificial, but God’s mature servants are aware that the true rewards will be handed out by Him in eternity.  And for this they are willing to wait!

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, April 18, 1994

GOD HAS PROMISED TO SUPPLY ALL OUR NEEDS

Good Morning!

THAT’S WHAT WORRIES ME, BECAUSE HIS IDEA OF “NEEDS” MAY NOT SQUARE WITH MY IDEA OF  “WANTS“.  

 “Godliness with contentment is a great means of gain…If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.”  (I Tim. 6:6, 8)

 My problem is that I not only want food and covering, but also a full menu of choices as to what kind of food…and covering He is to supply. Israel had the same problem:

 “In their heart they put God to the test, by asking food according to their desire.”  (Psa. 78:18)

 THEN THERE IS THE PROBLEM OF WANTING TO BE RICH:

 Those who desire to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires   which plunge men into ruin and destruction…” (I Tim. 6:9)

 I wonder if our appetite for wealth has something to do with our desire to have more than one day’s provision at a time.  Christ taught us to pray for “daily bread.”  (Matthew 6:11)  In supplying the Israelites with manna, God allowed them to pick up only one day’s provision at a time.  If they attempted more, the manna rotted! (Exodus 16:20).  Obviously, God was dealing with their greed and teaching them to trust Him one day at a time.

So, what does “godliness with contentment” mean?  Try this:

 “That I will view work as a sacred trust and responsibility. That I will conscientiously seek to provide for my family while balancing the other legitimately competing demands in my life (family, church, ministry, personal growth, etc.).  I will then rest the issue of income and standard of living with Him:  I and my family will determine to be content with however and with whatever He chooses to provide (whether it is a day’s provision at a time,  or a year’s). 

COVETOUSNESS IS DISCONTENTEDLY WANTING AND EVEN DEMANDING AS A RIGHT THAT GOD ALLOW ME TO LIVE AT A LEVEL THAT CATERS TO MY WANTS.  When these “rights” are not met, I become discontent…even angry.  AND WITH THAT GOD IS NOT WELL PLEASED.

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, April 11, 1994

JUST HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW GOD?

Good Morning!

While most of us possess encyclopedic knowledge about God, how many of us give evidence of true intimacy with God in the daily crucible of our market place existence?    For example:

#1   THOSE WHO KNOW GOD HAVE GREAT ENERGY FOR GOD:

          His power is at work in their lives over:

  •      Sin:  “…The Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”  (Rom. 8:2)
  •      Circumstances“But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.”  (Rom. 8:37)

 #2  THOSE WHO KNOW GOD HAVE GREAT REST IN GOD:

            It is because they accept His sovereignty in the superintending of His universe that they can rest:

 “…I am God, and there is no one like Me, declaring the end from the beginning…saying, ‘My purpose will be established, and I will accomplish all My good pleasure.'” (Isa. 46:9, 10)

            “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” (Psa. 37:7)

#3  THOSE WHO KNOW GOD HAVE GREAT CONTENTMENT IN GOD:

 While chained to a prison wall, and awaiting execution, Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say to you, Rejoice!I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances may be…”  (Phil. 4:4, 11; NAS and Phillips Translation)

 Shoe leather Christianity evidences itself in the crucible of daily living through energy, rest, and contentment.  Tell me, JUST HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW GOD?

 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, April 4, 1994

WANT TO IMPACT THE LOST FOR CHRIST?

Good Morning!

Then stop complaining about life.

Did you know that a prerequisite to reflecting Christ  and effectively sharing the word of God is to stop the griping?  Consider:

 “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, (so) that you may prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent…above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life…”  (Phil. 2:14-16)

 The fact that the people around you fornicate, steal your money and ideas, ogle your wife, rip off the company, smoke pot, and cheat on their income tax is not unusual behavior.   That’s how people in a DYSFUNCTIONAL SOCIETY live.  The technical term used in the Bible for such demeanor is sin.

Why then are we so surprised?   And so angry?  The “Rose Garden” ended the day the “First Couple” chose to eat the wrong fruit.  We need to settle the fact that tough times for followers of Christ is now the norm — A training ground in preparing us for eternity:

 “Through many tribulations we (believers) must enter the kingdom of God.” (Act. 14:21)

 Israel failed in this regard.  As they trekked across the desert  from Egypt to the Promised Land they bellyached about almost everything.  Of them Paul writes:

 “…With most of them God was not well-pleased…for they…grumbled:  ‘…Why have you (Moses) brought  us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?    For there is no food and no  water, and we loath this miserable food.'”  (ICor. 10:5,10; Numb. 21:5)

 Once we accept the reason as to  why we are here, we may find it easier to respond to Paul’s challenge in I Thessalonians 5:18:

 “In everything  give thanks; for this is God’s will concerning you…”

 Hopefully folks outside of Christ will notice when a thankful spirit prevails over an angry attitude, thereby opening the door to minister the word of Christ to them.

My prayer is that you are having a great week!