BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for September, 1995

Wednesday, September 27, 1995

NOT EVERYONE HANDLES WEALTH SUCCESSFULLY

Good Morning!

According to Proverbs 10:22, God does entrust some people with wealth: “It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.” 

Yet the Scriptures warn us against the perils of wealth. For example, the more you have:

  1. The more people will show up to drain off your resources:

“When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes”  (Ecc. 5:11)

  1. The greater the potential for strife among family members:

And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle.”  (Gen. 13:7)

  1. The greater the temptation to hoard and to take life easy:

And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.”  (Lk. 12:17 – 19)

  1. The greater the tendency to put your hope in material possessions , rather than in God:

“Charge them that are rich in this world, [not to] trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God…” (I Tim. 6:17)

  1. The greater the tendency to become conceited:

“Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded…” (I Tim. 6:17)

Perhaps that is why Solomon struck a balance between wealth and poverty in praying:

“…Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or lest I  be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God.”  (Prov. 30:18, 19)

Clearly, God’s word instructs us to not  love or desire wealth (I Timothy 6:6-10). However, should God entrust us  with riches, we are to then carefully follow Scriptural guidelines on its stewardship, such as those outlined in I Timothy 6:17-19.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, September 20, 1995

ONE OF OUR PROBLEMS WITH GOD IS THAT HE SEEMS TO BE ON A DIFFERENT TIME SCHEDULE

Good Morning!

Living as we do in the fast paced world of deadlines and a “Time is Money” paradigm, the idea of waiting around for God to do something comes off as impractical, mystical, and…well — Irritating. We can identify with the guy who prayed for patience, “Lord, I want patience, and I want it now!!”

And yet…that is often what God expects us to do: Wait. We have to admit that His sense of timing often mystifies us:

  • He calls Abraham, promises him a great nation and then waits 25 years before allowing him to have his first son, Issac (Gen. 12, 16).
  • He allows the Nation Israel to languish under Egypt’s heel for 430 years of slavery before calling Moses to their rescue (Ex. 12:40).
  • And when He finally does call Moses, He first  has him out tending sheep for 40 (Ex. 2, 3)

Certainly we can concur  with God’s statement, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are you ways My ways…”  (Isa. 55:8)

So let me ask you: Are you usually rushed? In a hurry? Driving toward a goal? Anxious about getting things done?

Could it be that from time to time  you get out in front of God by pushing  things your way…accomplishing your agenda on your time table?

Our Sovereign Father who knows the end from the beginning, promises to make  “All things beautiful in His time.”  (Ecc. 3:11).

Everything God intends, will happen:  “…Surely, just as I have intended so it has happened, and just as I have planned, so it will stand.”  (Isa. 14:24)

Perhaps we need to be reminded that the Scriptures usually equate rushing with sinning:

“It is not good for a person to be without knowledge, and he who makes haste with his feet errs.” (Prov. 19:2)

So take heart dear friend in Christ. Rest in the Psalmist’s admonition to “Let go, relax, and know that I am God.”  (Psa. 46:10)

Our loving Father is profoundly interested in every detail of your life. He will see you through to the end…if you will let Him do it His way and on His time table.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, September 13, 1995

STAYING THE COURSE

Good Morning!

QUESTION:  “At what point do I fold up my tent and discontinue the pilgrimage with Christ?” 

Paul, castigated by the very folks he had brought to Christ, set forth the cost of his private pilgrimage:

  • Judged by his fellow believers
  • Condemned to death
  • A spectacle to others
  • A fool for Christ
  • Weak
  • Without honor
  • Hungry and thirsty
  • Poorly clothed
  • Roughly treated
  • Homeless
  • Toiled with his own hands
  • Reviled
  • Persecuted and Slandered
  • Viewed as the scum and dregs of the earth  (I Cor. 4:3-5, 9-13)

How could he possibly survive?  Simply because he was able to view the temporal in light of the eternal:

This is the reason we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. 

“These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain.

“We are looking…not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible are transitory: It is the invisible things that are really permanent.”  (II Cor. 4:16 – 18 Phillips Translation)

So hang in there – Eternity is just one heartbeat away!

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, September 6, 1995

ARE YOU “CALLED” OR “DRIVEN”?

Good Morning!

The imagery of Christ making His way through  the bustling, pawing, and demanding crowds was one of peace, bearing, and purposeCALLED by the Father to complete His task, Jesus never appeared  to be in a hurry…yet always progressing toward His goal.

Because Jesus had a clear sense of His calling, He was able at age 33 — the night before the cross —  to say to His Father, “I have finished the work You gave me to do.”  (Jn. 17:4)

So it is to be with us. God has CALLED us to  a work, be it in the context of the market place or behind a pulpit.

Unfortunately, many of us conduct our lives in a manner more indicative of a DRIVEN person+:

  • He’s results-orientated.
  • He’s in constant pursuit of expansion.
  • He’s restless and very intense.
  • He’s very competitive.
  • His people skills are underdeveloped.
  • He’s “too busy for integrity.”
  • He’s pre-occupied with symbols of achievement

By contrast, Isaiah paints a picture of work accomplished God’s way:

“The work of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever.”  (Isa. 32:17)

If your lifestyle and approach to work reflect a DRIVEN man as opposed to the CALLED person of Isaiah 32:17, perhaps it is time to take inventory.

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!