BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for April, 1997

Wednesday, April 30, 1997

TWO KINGDOMS:

Good Morning!

GOD’S +
SATAN’s  ++

One represents the spiritual, the other the material.

TWO CHOICES:

Between the eternal, and the temporal

One choice offers a life of peace and purpose.

The other choice leads to a life of self-centeredness and emptiness.

God’s Word makes the choice clear:      

  • “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live.” (Deut. 30:19)
  • No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (Matt. 6:24)

Indecision is not an option:

The person who vacillates [between faith and unbelief] is like the surf of  the sea, driven and  tossed  by  the  wind; for  let  not  that  individual  be  supposing  that  he will receive anything from the…Lord, [being] a dubious, undecided man, vacillating in all his ways.”  (Jms. 1:6b-9 – Wuest Translation )

Actually, you and I  have already made our choice — either by:

Design, or  Default

TWO CONSEQUENCES:

Eternal life  leading to  heaven, or eternal  death  leading to hell.

In  making decisions of a spiritual nature,  the battlefield  is not the intellect, but the will.

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 23, 1997

HOW ARE WE TO UNDERSTAND AND RESPOND TO SUFFERING?

Good Morning!

For example:

  • A friend’s twelve year old boy dies of cancer.
  • An unforeseen change in tax laws suddenly wipes out an established business.

Why do people suffer? Is it the result of sin? Circumstances?  Bad luck?  Evil forces winning over good? 

How much suffering is self-inflicted through our sloth, greed, ignorance, or stupidity?    

It seems that a considerable amount of the pain we suffer happens at random.   Few would disagree that life, taken at face value, appears to be unfair. (Ecc. 7:15; 8:14)

In my recent reflections on suffering from the Book of Job, five observations emerged:

  1. In the struggle between good and evil, God may allow the righteous to  suffer without their knowledge of the issues at stake. (Job, chapters 1,2)
  1. Because our lives are expendable for  the glory of God, He is the One who determines  their quality and duration.  (Job 1:9-20; 2:6-10; 42:10-15)
  1. Our friends may well mis-judge the cause of our suffering by failing to comprehend God’s  inexplicable purposes at work behind the scenes.  (Job 42:7,8)
  1. How we respond to suffering reveals the quality of our faith. (Job 1:21, 22; 13:15; 23:8-12)
  1. This side of eternity, God may choose not to explain the reasons for our suffering. He gave none to Job.  (Deut. 29:29; Ecc. 8:17)

HOW THEN ARE WE TO UNDERSTAND AND RESPOND TO SUFFERING?

Certainly Job’s response to the destruction of his family and fortune is worthy of our consideration. Upon learning of his losses, Job

…Fell to the ground in worship and said: ’Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’

In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1:20-22)

QUESTION: DO WE?

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 16, 1997

TEN RESOLVES FOR THOSE TRAFFICKING IN THE MARKETPLACE:+

Good Morning!

  • To try to learn to be thoroughly poor in spirit, meek, and to be ready to be silent when others speak. (Matt. 5:3,5; Jms 1:19)
  • To learn from everyone. (Job 8:8; Prov. 24:32)
  • To try to despise the prevailing principle of “blowing your own horn;  and to feel it a degradation to speak of my own doings, as a poor braggart.  (Prov. 27:2; I Cor. 4:7)
  • To speak less of self.  (Prov. 20:6)
  • To try to overcome the mentality of building one’s own “kingdom.  (Jer. 45:5; Rom. 12:16)
  • To preserve as sacrosanct all secrets committed to me, especially any confidential communication of spiritual complexities. (Prov. 11:3)
  • To take a deep interest in the difficulties of others. (Phil. 2:3, 4; I Cor. 10:24)
  • To perform vigorously the examination of conscience. (Act. 24:16; Gal. 6:4)
  • To contend one-by-one against evil thoughts of the mind. (II Cor. 7:1; 10:5)
  • To watch over a tendency toward the uncharitable judgment of others. (Matt. 7:1-5; Rom. 2:1)

 

 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 9, 1997

ARE YOU A PAROCHIAL OR WORLD CHRISTIAN?

Good Morning!

Jesus made it abundantly clear that you and I are to think globally:

“…Go  and make disciples of all  nations…You shall be My witnesses…to the ends of the earth.”  (Matt. 28:19a; Act. 1:8b)

As a business or  professional person, you are uniquely positioned to help fulfill The Great Commission in three ways:

#1  RESOURCES

It takes money to get the message of the Cross to the ends of the earth.  If God has  given you  the gift  of making  money (Rom. 12:8), then  you have a unique opportunity and responsibility to distribute  resources toward  His causes. 

The  late Dr. Richard C. Halverson wrote,

“There is a greater problem than need — Greed! — Commendable as it may be, compassion for the hungry and starving is not the best we can do — as long as we give simply out of our abundance, and allow such giving to justify continuing acquisition beyond our needs…”+

#2  ACCESS: 

By the year 2000, 85% of  the  world’s lost will  live  in countries closed to traditional missionary entry. The only other means of  personal  “access”  is through the business and professional person. 

Today, most developing countries are crying out for the kind of expertise  you possess.  But this is big league stuff, so  only those possessed of courage, vision, know how, and determination need apply.

#3  INFLUENCE: 

Because the majority of the  developing countries still recognize the West for its advanced expertise, you as a business or professional person  have leverage to influence.

QUESTION:  ARE YOU A PAROCHIAL OR WORLD CHRISTIAN?” 

One acid test in answering that question is to take a hard look at the ledger in your checkbook. Does the pattern of your check-writing over the past several months reflect a person possessed with a PAROCHIAL OR WORLD PERSPECTIVE? 

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”   (Matt. 6:21)

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 2, 1997

TRUSTING GOD WHEN THE BOTTOM FALLS OUT

Good Morning!

Our true mettle is revealed not in times of success, but in times of testing… In times of  “failure.”

How do you respond when:

–  Everything you have worked for over the years disintegrates before your  eyes? 

–  You feel you are no longer  viewed by  your peers  as a  paragon of  business  acumen…no longer perceived as a leader in your field?

–  There are lingering, hushed question as to whether someone else could have done a better job of pulling the company out of the fire?

One of the most sterling individuals I have known is presently going through an excruciating experience. As the CEO of a long-established, respected  firm, he  has been forced  into the  painful experience of down-sizing in order to survive new market realities.     

No one has handled this agonizing process of change with greater dignity than this friend.  

Following are excerpts from his recent letter:

“Life is hard, but God is good…The love of God is better than life.

“We’re leading a couples [Bible] study…God is working wonderfully in the lives of all…

“Staying in business is quite a challenge still, yet after incredible downsizing, things seem to be turning around…

“I have gone through a major ‘business lifestyle’ change and am ready to adjust some more as God leads…It has gotten down to focusing on a day at a time, which is where I believe God wants us, but depending on Him daily is still difficult for me, yet at times thrilling.”

Beautiful, isn’t itWe would be fortunate to share his perspective…to possess his godly character. It is obvious that he has learned, in effect to respond with Job in declaring,

“‘…Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’ In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”  (Job 1:21, 22)

QUESTION:  Is the present tenor of your life such that IF AND WHEN THE BOTTOM  FALLS OUT, you will respond in similar fashion? If not, what changes do you need to be making at this time?

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!