BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for January, 1995

Monday, January 30, 1995

A GOOD NAME:

Good Morning!

  • “Is to be more desired than great riches…”  (Pro. 22:1a)
  • Is nearly impossible to restore…once sullied.

The next time you are on the edge of giving in to sin…think about your GOOD NAME.

Is any sin worth the price of loosing your GOOD NAME?

Here are two reasons why the answer is no

#1  Our private sins have a way of becoming public property:

Be sure your sin will find you out…A bird on the wing may carry your words…(and) report what you  say…” (Numb. 32:23b; Ecc. 10:20b) 

#2  Our private sins will affect our family for generations to come:

“…I the Lord your God (visit) the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the  third and the fourth generations…”  (Ex. 20:5)

Visualize one of your grand kids a few years from now saying,

“There’s nothing to this religion stuff.  My Grandpa messed around with women…ripped off  his company…and went to church on Sunday.  Same with my ole man.  Forget this Christianity stuff!”

Or:

“My Grandpa loved God…just like my Dad does.  I wanna be like them!!”

Is any temporary satisfaction worth the price of your GOOD NAME?

The answer, of course is “NO“!

 

 

 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, January 23, 1995

IF GOD IS FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, WHY ARE WE SO INCLINED TO CHASE AFTER THE BIG PEOPLE?

Good Morning!

God demonstrates the fact that He is for little people in choosing:

  • A teen age girl from a humble village to become the mother of Jesus.
  • A dozen laboring men to turn the world upside down.
  • A lowly prostitute to assist in Israel’s conquest, thereby becoming part of Christ’s lineage (Rahab – Matt. 1:5).

Why then are we so enamored with the rich, the beautiful, the influential, and the famous?  Answer:  Because being associated with these people bolsters our ego — feeds our PRIDE.

Paul and Jeremiah remind us:

  • “…Do not aspire to eminence, but willingly adjust yourselves to humble situations…” (Rom. 12:16b – Berkeley Translation)
  • “Are you seeking great things for yourself?  Do not seek them…” (Jer.  45:5)

Jesus, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe+, chose the modest career of a carpenter.  Not exactly the strategy for becoming part of Jerusalem’s powerful elite.

By His humble choices, He was “…despised and forsaken of men……like One from whom men hide their face…and we did not esteem Him.”  (Isa. 53:3)

Isn’t it ironic that most of us could not recall the name of the wealthiest person in the world, but we could readily name a Yugoslavian nun who feeds, clothes and houses Calcutta’s dying poor.

So, if we are in hot pursuit of the world’s “Big People”, perhaps our goals are too small!

 

 

 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Friday, January 20, 1995

LOOKING FOR A CODE OF ETHICS for your business or profession?

Good Morning!

 

               THE    TEN    COMMANDMENTS    for    BUSINESS+

 

 

  1.  “I am the Lord your God…you shall have

     no other gods before Me.”  

 

 

Show proper respect for authority.

 II. “You shall not make for yourself an

      idol.”

 

 Have a singleness of purpose.
 

III. “You shall not misuse the Name of the

        Lord your God.”

 

 

Use effective communication in work and

deed.

 IV. “Remember the Sabbath Day by

keeping it holy.”

 

Provide proper rest, recreation, and

reflection.

 

 V. “Honor your father and mother, so that

      you may live long…”

 

 Show respect for elders.
 VI. “You shall not murder.”

 

 

Show respect for human life, dignity, and

rights.

 

 

VII. “You shall not commit adultery.”

 

 

Maintain stability of the sexes and the   family.

 

 

VIII. “You shall not steal.”

 

 

Demonstrate the proper allocation of resources.

 

 IX. “You shall not give false testimony.”

 

 

Demonstrate honesty and integrity.

 X.  “You shall not covet.”  

Maintain the right of ownership.

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, January 16, 1995

Jesus Christ bids us, “ABIDE IN MY LOVE”+

Good Morning!

A lot easier said than done!

Remember the story about the guy who falls over the cliff, grabs a branch and cries out, ‘Help, is there anyone up there?’  God calls down, ‘It’s Me, God.  What do you want?’ To which the man replies, ‘Help me out of here!’  God:  ‘Let Go…Trust Me.’  And the man responds, ‘Is there anyone else up there?'”

Obedience, the prerequisite to ABIDING IN HIS LOVE, is simply “letting go” of our choices and adhering to His, just as Jesus obeyed the Father and thereby ABODE IN HIS LOVE:

“If you keep My commandments, you will ABIDE IN MY LOVE, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and ABIDE IN HIS LOVE.”  (Jn. 15:10)

The more insidious sins that we resist “letting go” of are usually the ones that reside in that private domain of our lives slightly beneath the surface; subtle sins which still allow us the luxury of maintaining the facade of Christian respectability:

  • A smug sense of superiority amidst our worldly success.
  • Mentally writing  people off who no longer matter in furthering our career or status.
  • Greedy control over our resources.
  • Satisfaction over beating out the other guy in a competitive bid.
  • Secretly harboring sins that pander to our lusts.

Christ’s example of obedience toward His Father was immediate, unequivocal and enduring, and cut to the very core of the Lordship issue. It is this standard to which He is calling us:

“…My Father, if it is possible, let this cup (the cross) pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”  (Matt. 26:39)   With this surrender He went to the cross.

Obedience, the “letting go” of our will, means giving God total access to that private domain of our lives where those secret sins reside.

To continue pandering covert sins while maintaining a facade of Christian respectability is a high price to pay for missing HIS ABIDING LOVE.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Friday, January 13, 1995

HOW IS IT GOING IN THE “TIME WITH GOD” DEPARTMENT?

Good Morning!

  • Rushed?
  • Shallow?
  • Dutiful?

Or do you have  it under control with:

  • Quality time
  • Regular time…      At the level where the tap roots of your soul are being fed?

M. Bounds cautions us that “TO BE LITTLE WITH GOD IS TO BE LITTLE FOR GOD.”

Keep in mind:  Satan’s strategy is to dull your spiritual hunger by playing upon your inclination towards:

–  Procrastination

–  Materialism

– Sensuality

–  Over work

“Take care…lest any one of you be hardened  by the deceitfulness of sin.” (Heb. 3:12, 13).

Let’s be honest enough  to admit that basically we do exactly what we want to do, finding time for:

*  Golf

*  T. V.

*  Favored friends

And let’s be reminded that a casual approach to knowing God simply won’t cut it:

“…You shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jer. 29:13)

Passion  and pursuit are the criterion for knowing God. Are you man or woman enough to rise to and sustain the challenge?

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, January 9, 1995

THE BATTLE WITHIN – “…Every person will have to bear…his own…load of oppressive faults.” (Gal. 6:5 – Amplified)

Good Morning!

One of the toughest battles you will continually face in life is with yourself:

  • Your self-incrimination from an over-active conscience
  • Your fear of rejection…failure…the future.
  • Your inner spiritual turmoil over re-appearing sin.

Someone has jokingly said, “If life is a bowel of cherries, why am I always in the pits.” Well, at times, life is the pits!…For ALL of us:

–  Paul spoke of being perplexed…wretched…(despairing) even of life.”+

–  Jonah and Elijah harbored a death wish; Moses approached burnout.  (Jon. 4:8; I King. 19:4; Ex. 18:13-20)

–  Luther, Spurgeon, and Billy Graham struggled often with depression.

So…What is the answer to bearing my “own load of oppressive faults”?  Escape to the Figi Islands or South America?  Hardly, since you still have to face yourself.

Perhaps the simplest answer is JESUS:  “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest…for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.”  (Matt. 11:28, 29)

He is the solution to every heartache, every dilemma, every un-solvable problem, every disappointment…the deepest loneliness.

Have you ever crawled up on His lap…buried your head in His shoulder and wept?  Poured out your soul to Him?

It is doubtful that all the psychology and self-help books in the world can give you the peace and release that true intimacy with the Lord Jesus affords.

It is to us He says, “…How often I wanted to gather (you) together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling…”  And when our inclination is to turn to everyone but Him He says, “…your house is being left to you desolate.”++

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Monday, January 2, 1995

“HOW DO YOU LOVE YOUR WIFE WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT ?”

Good Morning!

Tough assignment when the fizz has gone out of the marriage…As it does from time to time in every relationship.

Contrary to popular belief, life was never intended to always be lived at the “fizz” level…at the “feeling” level.

In a society where people reside on the edge of their emotions; where “feelings” override commitment, truth, and fidelity, it’s difficult to maintain the commitment of hanging in there when you don’t “feel” like it anymore.

This idea of commitment is of course, contrary to the message being spewed from Hollywood which has re-written the wedding vows to read: “…In sickness and in health as long as we both shall love(i.e. have the warm fuzzies).

In Paul’s admonition for husbands to “love (their) wives, just as Christ also loved the church…”,+ the Greek word for love is agapao, which has nothing to do with  “feelings,”  and everything to do with mercy, sacrifice, compassion…Yes, even suffering.

As Christ’s love for us translated into His death on the cross, so our love for our wife must translate into suffering the death of selfish desires in sacrificing ourselves for her.

How you choose to respond to Christ’s command to sacrificially love your wife–even when the feelings have dissipated, is a clear statement as to the quality of your spiritual life. 

After all, the hallmark of a life controlled by the Spirit, is love as evidenced by “patience”, “kindness”, “gentleness”, and “self-control”  (Gal. 5:22, 23)

So, the important issue in marriage is not so much how you “feel” about your wife at any given moment, but whether you are choosing to behave toward her in loving ways reflective of Galatians 5:22, 23.

When you do, you can be quite sure the emotion of love will return.

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!