BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for October, 1996

Wednesday, October 30, 1996

ON WINNING THE LOST:

Good Morning!

“Proclaim the message,
Press it home on all occasions,
Convenient or inconvenient;
Use: 

Argument
Reproof, and
Appeal
With all the patience that the work of teaching requires.”  (II Tim. 4:2, 3 NEB)

So wrote Paul to Timothy.

The ideal conditions for sharing the faith or plucking the fruit will rarely be there:

“Whoever watches the clouds will not plant;

Whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”  (Ecc. 11:4)

So:

“JUST DO IT!”

Sow your seed in the morning and at evening let not your hands be idle,
For you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that,
Or whether both will do equally well.”  (Ecc. 11:6)

God has sovereignly placed you in the midst of lost people who desperately need to hear the message of Christ’s love.

From youToday.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, October 23, 1996

FIVE CORE VALUES THAT ARE WORTH LIVING AND DYING FOR:+

Good Morning!

#1  Loyalty to Christ and the Bible

A commitment to follow Christ through uncompromising obedience to His word.  Like two wheels on a bicycle, loyalty to Christ and the Scriptures work in tandem.  

“…Lord to whom (else) shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”  (Jn. 6:68b)

#2  Commitment to the Great Commission

Partnering with God in winning the lost and discipling the saved:   

“…Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father  and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (Matt. 28:19, 20)

#3  Faith in the Promises of God

God has given us His “great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature.”  (II Pet.1:4)

The promises of God are foundational to our faith, giving us hope and the ability to believe God for the furtherance of His Kingdom.  Without the promises, we end in despair.

#4  Vision for Spiritual Reproduction

Investing your life in that of another. Christ invested in the 12.  Paul invested in Timothy: The things you have heard me say…entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others also.” (II Tim 2:2)  Dr. Frank Labauch used the phrase, “Each one teach one.”

#5  Practice of Spiritual Disciplines

  • Abiding in Christ. (Jn. 15:5)
  • Obedience to the Word of God. (Jn. 14:21)
  • Intake of God’s Word through reading, hearing, meditation, memorization and (Jn. 8:31,32)
  • Speaking to God through Prayer. (Lk. 18:1)
  • Sharing your life through Fellowship with others. (Heb. 10:24, 25)
  • Witnessing: Sharing with others what you have seen of Christ. (I Jn. 1:3)

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, October 16, 1996

YOU KNOW YOU ARE MAXED OUT WHEN YOU:+

Good Morning!

#1  Can’t Relax

If this is true, than guard your family time against all but life-and-death interruptions.

#2  Can’t Say No

Are you responding to the urgent rather than the important? Are the “squeaky wheels” deterring you from investing in people who will count for the future? Count for the Kingdom?

#3  Can’t Take A Day Off

When you find it difficult to take at least a day off a week, could it be that you are need-driven rather than God-driven?

#4  Find Little Joy In Family Life

If you are emotionally absent from the family, you can be sure that it will prove destructive in terms of un-satisfying family relationships. Your wife will be critical about your work, feeling you are not giving her quality (and quantity) time and attention. 

#5  Think It’s All Up To You

Here, you are taking on your shoulders that which is God’s responsibility. A friend of mine with an “A” type personality use to say that periodically he had to resign as “Chancellor of the Universe”. Do you need to do the same? 

#6  Find It Hard To Let Your Hair Down

We all need relationships where we can let our hair down. Perhaps this means being vulnerable. Sometime it simply means just having fun.  Beware of believing the lie that says time spent in fun is wasted time.

#7  Can’t Take Vacation Time

Extended vacations are a must, along with occasional briefer times away. If your work  or ministry-load prohibit such breaks, then you are failing to delegate as much as you should.

Keep in mind that “Your enemy the devil , prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  ( I Pet. 5:7)  Lets maintain the  balance, and not afford  him  an opportunity!

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, October 9, 1996

LONELINESS AND ISOLATION: Two maladies of our time.

Good Morning!

Perhaps we have brought them upon ourselves by putting success and the acquisition of things above relationships with our family and friends.

Part of the blame may also  have to do with the garage door opener: With it we can zip into our “fortress” without facing the neighbors!

We could also point the finger at TV. and air conditioning: Both serve to isolate us in that box we call “home.”

Henry Ford may also share some of the blame: With the automobile came urbanization and the loss of community. Who today, for example stands around at the post office jawing over the height of the summer corn or how the local baseball team is faring?

Jesus Christ, having gone to the cross alone, knows all about loneliness and isolation.

And if you are His serious follower, you also are no stranger to loneliness and isolation as you walk the near-vacant, thinning path of the pilgrim.

As Christ’s pilgrim, you can identify with the cry of the Psalmist, “I lie awake.  I have become like a lonely bird on a housetop.”  (Psa. 102:7)

How then are we  to deal with these twin maladies of loneliness and isolation? Well, we can either view them as conditions that are debilitating and paralyzing, or we can choose to allow God to use them as influences that  drive us toward  intimacy with the Lord Jesus. Often, it is in our anguished loneliness and isolation that we find true spiritual depth in God. Can we cry out with William T. Sleeper:

“Out of my bondage, sorrow and night, Jesus, I come…Into Thy freedom, gladness and light, Jesus I come…Out of my sickness into Thy health, out of my want and into Thy wealth.  Out of my sin and into Thyself, Jesus I come to Thee…”

Jesus, reassures us amidst  our loneliness and isolation:       

“…I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support.  [I  will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you).!  [Assuredly not!]” (Heb. 13:5b – Amplified)

 

 

 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, October 2, 1996

IS IT POSSIBLE TO INTEGRATE BIBLICAL VALUES INTO YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE?

Good Morning!

Yes! Jesus did it. And so can you!

As a young man, Jesus Christ was in the carpentry business. Can you imagine Him delivering an inferior piece of furniture to a customer?

Or deceiving people through an advertising campaign?

Or inflating sale prices beyond reasonable profit margins?

Or failing to give top notch service after the sale?

Or underpaying the employees in His carpentry shop?

Can you conceive of Jesus telling the local rabbi, “Well, times are tough. It’s unrealistic to literally apply Biblical principles to business, given  the realities of today’s business climate. We have to bend the rules here and there to survive.” Hardly.

The fact is that Jesus lived a life of total integrity…and He expects the same of us:

 (He) has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet was without sin…” (Heb. 4:15)

Dr. Laura Nash, suggests five questions we might ask ourselves as we seek to apply Biblical ethics to business:+

#1  Am I hiding something?

#2  Am I hurting anyone

#3  How does it look from the other person’s point of view

#4  Have I discussed this face-to-face?

#5  What would I tell my child to do?

If we are unable to integrate Biblical values into our business or profession, perhaps we need to reevaluate our vocation or calling.

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!