BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for April, 1996

Wednesday, April 24, 1996

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOUR BUSINESS OR PROFESSION STARTS CRUMBLING

Good Morning!

  • Stay awake nights seeking a solution?
  • Allow yourself to be immobilized by fear?
  • Manipulate people and situations in order to survive?

If in our professional life we view ourselves as the resource that brings about success, we will continuously live from one anxious crisis to another. A sense of dread will pervade the organization. 

Recently I had dinner with the president of a company that is faltering. The guy can’t sleep at night. He’s having physical problems that are stress-induced…And he entertains a death wish:  “Lord, it would be OK  with me if this plane never landed and You took me…”

If we are to have inner peace, we must settle the issue as to just who it is that is building our business…Who it is who(as the Psalmist puts it) is building our “house”:

Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat–for he grants sleep to those he loves.”  (Psa. 127:1, 2)

This morning during my devotions, with this friend’s plight on my mind, I came across Proverbs 18:10:

 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe.”

So, when the pressure is on…where do you run first:

–  To carefully orchestrated man-made plans that will bail you out?
–  To human resources that rely primarily upon human wisdom?

Or to the Lord, whose Name is a strong tower of safety?

Prayer“Lord, today, amidst the pressures of business…Amidst the competitive striving of men to manipulate and control one another, help me to rest in You, my Shield, my Wisdom,  and yes!  My Provider…In Jesus’ strong Name.  Amen.”

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 17, 1996

“OUR GREATEST DANGER COMES NOT FROM CULTURAL FORCES WE OPPOSE, BUT FROM THOSE WE EMBRACE.”+

Good Morning!

Most of us would not embrace such obviously denigrated values as abortion upon demand, unbridled pornography and violence in the media, soft laws on drug use and drug peddling, etc.

But is it possible that we, like the frog slowly boiling to death in the kettle, are unknowingly and perhaps unwittingly being seduced to embrace cultural values that violate Biblical Christianity?  For example:

  • Our immobility for Christ that indebtedness and contractual entanglements have fostered? (Rom. 13:8; II Tim. 2:4; Prov. 6:1-5)
  • Our mediocre and callow approach to carefully analyzing, comprehending and applying the word of God to our lives? (II Pet. 3:16b; Ez. 7:10)
  • Our insatiable quest for recognition and affirmation? (Matt. 23:5 – 10)
  • Our relentless drive for material possessions and financial security? (I Tim. 6:7-10)
  • Our abstruse judgmentalism of others? (Matt. 7:1-5)
  • Our dalliance with sensuality through literature and the media? (II Tim. 2:22)
  • Our resistance to living a life of sacrificial service to others? (Jn. 15:12, 13)

The night before the cross, Jesus prayed thus to the Father on behalf of His disciples“My prayer is not that You take them out of the world but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth.” (Jn. 17:15 – 17)

Jesus knew that only through the cleansing power of His word would the disciples survive the Enemy’s seduction of worldly forces…a bewitchment that is blithely embraced today by much of the Body of Christ.                                

And it is precisely because of its deadly seduction that  the Christian community’s  compromising embrace of contemporary cultural values is infinitely more lethal than the more obvious sins the world attempts to foist upon us.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 10, 1996

JESUS said: “ABIDE IN MY LOVE.”

Good Morning!

Easier said than done when you are:

  • Fighting time pressures.
  • Facing unrealistic expectations from clients…
  • Struggling with knarled traffic and self-serving fellow-workers.

So, how is it possible to abide in His love? Let’s take it a step at a time: Jesus said, Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.”  (Jn. 15:9)

JUST AS THE FATHER HAS LOVED ME

The love of the Father for the Son is unconditional, all-encompassing, unchanging and eternal. Christ has always lived in the Father’s love.

I HAVE ALSO LOVED YOU…”

In like manner, Christ’s love for us is of the same quality as the Father’s love for His Son. Whether we performor not,  His love is there!   Whether we feel close to Him or not His love is there! Whether we have spent time with Him or not  His love is thereEncircling us, unconditional… unceasing.

ABIDE IN MY LOVE

Jesus extends Himself to us by saying in effect, “My love for you is available now. You don’t have to work or beg for it. Just accept it and rest in it. Because I have already paid the price for your sin, I offer My love to you freely. Simply live in it. Freely drink of it.”

To abide in His love, we need to understand two truths: First, Christ’s love for us is unconditional. Second, experiencing His love is predicated upon obedience to His word:

If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love.”  (Jn. 15:10 )

As Jesus experienced the Father’s love through obedience to His will, so we experience Jesus’ love through uncompromising obedience to His word.

“Abide in My love”. This is Jesus’ gracious invitation to you today. Take Him at His word and enjoy what He died to give you: His loving friendship.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 3, 1996

WHAT IS THE “REAL” MISSION?

 Good Morning!

Last night I was in the lovely home of a business executive and his wife. The furniture was tastefully appointed, expensive cars filled the driveway, maids scurried about. Impressive and enviable.

This attractive couple routinely host Bible studies, conduct all night prayer vigils, go on mission trips, and  consistently lead people to Christ.
They are generous with their resources beyond measure. Their commitment to Christ and His cause is without question.

These folks have it together, wouldn’t you say? Sadly, the answer is “No”. How is this possible?

The answer lies in the fact  that they are failing in the most basic area of their lives: Their children

In the home confusion reigns. The children are angry, flustered…disrespectful. There is constant jostling for control between parents and children. The decibel level is deafening. 

Guests find it difficult to carry on conversation without being interrupted. Rather than a place of refuge, the home is a center for chaos and discord.

Involvement in God’s work does not absolve us of parental responsibility as Ely, the priest discovered:

For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them.  Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.” (1 Sam. 3:13-14)

Missionary stateswoman Helen Morken has sagaciously observed, “Many Christians have forsaken their children for the mission, living to see their children undo their mission, realizing to late that ”their children were the mission.”

Paul reminds us that an elder must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children  under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his household how will he take care of the church of God?)” (I Tim. 3:4, 5)

The term “manage well” presents the idea of order, discipline, planning, superintending; of giving direction.  Literally of “presiding with beauty or excellence.”

The Christian husband and father is to lead his family with dignity. That is, he is to guide them with reverence, respect, gravity and sanctity.  It is one thing to control one’s family with harshness and cold directives, and quite another to lead with firm compassion.

It has been our observation that chronic behavioral problems are usually an indication of a failure in parenting –generally centering on the father’s failure to lead his family in a Biblical manner.

May God help us to not miss it here.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!