BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for May, 1994

Monday, May 30, 1994

HERE ARE FOUR WAYS WE CAN ROB OURSELVES OF GOD’S BLESSING:

Good Morning!

#1  Judge ourselves:

 “…I do not even examine myself (literally: Judge, try, condemn)…The one who examines me is the Lord…who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts…” ( I Cor. 4:3 – 5)

 Paul did, however “examine” his heart, but the element of self-condemnation was absent:

 “Test (Literally:  assay, scrutinize)   yourselves to see if you are in the faith.”  (II Cor. 13:5)

 #2  Condemn ourselves:

 “There is…no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  (Rom. 8:1)

 “…God is infinitely greater than our hearts ( in not condemning us).  When we realize this,  our hearts no longer accuse us…(and) we may have the utmost confidence in God’s presence.”  (I Jn. 3:20-22 – Phillips)

 #3  Not accept His unconditional love:

 I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness.” …God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Jer. 31:3; Rom. 5:8)

 #4  Not accept His invitation to minister to us:

 “Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to youHe will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.”   (Isa. 30:18, 19).

 God knows and loves you, warts and all. By judging or condemning yourself, you denigrate the great grace of God.  So relax in Him and drink in His unfathomable love.

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, May 23, 1994

EVER FEEL LIKE THE DISCIPLINE OF GOD IN YOUR LIFE IS TOO DEMANDING?

Good Morning!

Following is a poem that has been extremely helpful to me during difficult times of discipline by our heavenly Father:

 “When God wants to drill a man,
And thrill a man,
And skill a man,
When God wants to mold a man
To play the noblest part;
When He yearns with all His heart
To create so great and bold a man
That all the world shall be amazed,
Watch His methods, watch His ways!

 How He ruthlessly perfects
Whom He royally elects!
How He hammers him and hurts him,
And with mighty blows converts him
Into trial shapes of clay which
Only God understands;
While his tortured heart is crying
And he lifts beseeching hands!
How He bends but never breaks
When his good He undertakes;
How He uses whom He chooses,
And with every purpose fuses him;
But every act induces him
To try His splendor out
God knows what He’s about!” (Author Unknown)

 “For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it…in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God.”  (Heb. 12:11 – Amplified)

 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, May 16, 1994

EVER FEEL LIKE YOU ARE STRUGGLING WITH YOUR “MINISTRY’?

Good Morning!

Here are a some thoughts that may relieve the pressure and put the whole “ministry” thing in perspective:

#1  It is God in His mercy who gives us the “ministry.”  It is nothing we can drum up:

 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the “ministry”  the Lord Jesus has given me— the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”  (Act. 20:24)

 “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.”  (or “give up”) (II  Cor. 4:1)

 So…be sure the “ministry” in which you are engaged is the same as the one God intends for you.  It is all to easy to contrive a ministry born out of guilt, pride, obligation,  or even opportunity.

#2  The people to whom you are to minister are a gift from God:

Even the men Jesus worked with were given to Him by His Heavenly Father:

 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours;  you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.”  (Jn. 17:6)

 #3  The chances are that if you are operating within your gifts ministry-wise, you will be doing something:

  •      You are good at
  •      You enjoy, and that
  •      God blesses.

So, relax, walk intimately with Christ and see what He chooses to do through you.  As one believer put it,

 “Well Lord, I wonder what you are planning today.   Do you mind if I tag along and watch?  Perhaps you’ll  even let me participate in a small part of it…”

 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, May 9, 1994

BETWEEN STIMULUS AND RESPONSE, WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE

Good Morning!

Freedom of choice!  How we love it!

What we don’t like is the responsibility that  accompanies our choices…especially when the consequences of our choices  take us sideways.  So we rationalize:

“I came from a dysfunctional family”

“My father never told me he loved me.”

“The devil made me do it.”  (Flip Wilson)

Perhaps for too long we have indulged in this thing  called liberty:  Making choices without bearing the responsibility of those choices.  In the U. S. we have the Statue of liberty on the East Coast.  Maybe what we need is a statue of responsibility on the West Coast.  We could all  then choose to live somewhere between   LIBERTY  and RESPONSIBILITY!

BETWEEN STIMULUS AND RESPONSE, WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE”  

 Often, when given choices, we choose poorly as did the Jews when Christ offered them intimacy and protection:

 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem…How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.  Behold, your house is being left to you desolate.” (Matt. 23:37,18)

 Joshua, on the other hand,  stands out as one who responded correctly in making the right choice:

 “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  (Jos. 24:15)

 BETWEEN STIMULUS AND RESPONSE WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CHOOSE.

We may not always be able to control the stimulus that confronts us, but we can choose to respond correctly. Ultimately, the battlefield of our spiritual lives lies in the will:  How and what we choose will reflect the very core of our secret life in God.

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, May 2, 1994

P-R-E-S-S-U-R-E – EVER FEEL LIKE CALLING IT QUITS? WALKING OUT?

Good Morning!

After awhile, who needs the pressure?  Right?

Certainly that is how we feel!!  But from the Scriptures it is clearly God’s intention to make pressure an integral part of the Christian’s experience:

 “…We (believers) must through much pressure+ enter into the kingdom of God.”  (Act. 14:22)

 The good news is that God is committed to walking with us amidst the pressure, offering us:

COMPANIONSHIP:

 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall pressure+?…(Nothing) shall separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”    (Rom. 8:35, 37)

 COMFORT:

 The God of all comfort…comforts us in all our pressures+ so that we may be able to comfort those who are (under)…any pressure+ with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God…”  (II Cor. 1:3, 4)

PEACE AND VICTORY:

 “…In Me you will have peace.  In the world you have pressure+, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”  (Jn. 16:33)

 CHARACTER BUILDING AND AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE:

 “…We exult in our pressures+, knowing that pressure+ brings about perseverance, and perseverance, proven character, and character, hope.”  (Rom. 5:3,4)

 So don’t let the pressure get  you down!  Rather, recognize its character-building qualities. Take life a step at a time… knowing that your loving heavenly Father is walking with you all the way!

My prayer is that you are having a great week!