BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for August, 1997

Wednesday, August 27, 1997

HERE ARE FOUR VALUES YOUR ASSOCIATES WANT FROM YOU IN A DISCIPLING RELATIONSHIP:

Good Morning!

#1  THEY WANT YOU TO APPROACH THEM WITH INTEGRITY. That is:

  • They don’t want you to come with a hidden agenda.
  • They do want you to respect them for who they are.

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified…For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (I Cor. 2:2; II Cor. 4:5)

#2   THEY WANT TO BE ABLE TO TRUST YOU AND FEEL SAFE WITH YOU. Therefore: 

  • Don’t violate their confidence.
  • Never express shock at what they tell you.
  • Demonstrate compassion and empathy at their anguish and pain.

“…People who are well don’t need a doctor! It’s the sick people who do!…I want you to be merciful…For I have come to urge sinners, not the self-righteous, back to God.”  (Matt.  9:12, 13b)

#3   THEY WANT BIBLICAL COUNSEL FROM YOU. Therefore:

  • Recognize the superior value of Biblical truth over personal opinion.
  • Become a serious student of the Bible, making its mastery your goal.

“…The Scriptures are the comprehensive equipment of the man of God, and fit him fully for all branches of his work.”  (2 Tim.  3:17 –  Phillips)

#4  THEY WANT A SHARED PURPOSE FOR THE RELATIONSHIP. Therefore, mutually agree as to the direction the meetings should take:

  • Friendship and mutual accountability?
  • Help in relating Biblical values to the marketplace?
  • Help in influencing others for Christ?

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Prov. 27:17)

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, August 20, 1997

QUESTION: “IS IT POSSIBLE TO LIVE A RIGHTEOUS LIFE IN AN UNGOLDY WORLD?”

Good Morning!

I suspect that many men and women engaged in the tough, driving environment of the business sector don’t think so. At least their experience belies any reality of righteous living.

Daniel of the Old Testament is one person who demonstrated the fact that one can in fact live righteously in an ungodly environment. Here are four reasons as to how he pulled it off:

#1  –  “Daniel resolved in his heart he would not be defiled by the king’s food.” 

That is, he committed himself to purity, rehearsing ahead of time how he would handle the pressure when it came. (Dan. 1:8)

A friend of mine travels a great deal from city to city. Before leaving on a trip he has his wife call the hotel  in the city where he will be spending the night and instructs them to dis-connect the portion of the television that offers pornographic material. Now that is “resolve”!

#2  –  Daniel chose to believe God amidst humanly impossible circumstances.

When King Nebuchadnezzar’s religious advisors failed to interpret his dream, Daniel, in faith stepped forward and offered to give the interpretation. He then got his friends praying, and fell on his knees and thanked God ahead of time for the interpretation. God gave the interpretation, the King worshipped Daniel’s God and Daniel was promoted.  (Dan. 2)

#3  – Daniel was a team player.

When confronted with difficult choices, Daniel made it a practice to seek out the prayer and support of his three buddies. No Lone Ranger here.  (Dan. 1,2)

A friend of mine once said, “I need a band of men around me to whom I am accountable, to keep me from embarrassing Jesus Christ.”

#4  –  Daniel was uncompromisingly a man of integrity.

“…The administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.”  (Dan. 6:3,4)

The secret to Daniel’s victory?  “Daniel was in Babylon but Babylon was not in Daniel.”

QUESTION: “We are in the world, but is the world in us?”

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, August 13, 1997

I AM SLIPPING+…

Good Morning!

 – When I begin to act as if genuine joy is dependent on the state of the circumstances surrounding me.

 – When I begin to lose the distinct aroma of the fragrance of Christ in my life.

 – When I begin to feel or act as if my self-worth and acceptance is dependent on how well I perform.

– When I am losing my grip on the reality of spiritual  warfare. Then I begin to treat my brother or my fellow human being as my enemy and seek to do battle with  fleshly weapons.

– When I act as if victory or success depends on me and my ability rather than on the adequacy of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

– When I place undue emphasis on programming and planning to the exclusion of His direction, leading and guidance.

– When more time is spent in the “activities arena” than in the prayer closet

– When the praises of men and women become more  important than the approval of God.

– When relating to and caring for people is less important  than programs, planning, meetings, and budgets.

– When I assume responsibility to worry and fret over  things and people that God in His sovereignty and power  would take charge of (if I would allow Him to do so).

– When my rights become more important than God’s will and way.

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, August 6, 1997

WHY DOES IT OFTEN TAKE A CRISIS BEFORE WE TOTALLY SURRENDER OUR LIVES TO GOD?

Good Morning!

  • A disintegrating marriage
  • One of our kids on drugs
  • A failed business venture
  • Cancer

My guess is that total surrender to God is not something that comes easily for you, especially if you are the kind of person who can “make things happen” rather easily.

After all, why bother trusting God  when you can pull things  off so effortlessly on your own? 

St. Paul, a man of no meager ability, also struggled with total dependence upon God.  The fact that he was the product of an  enviable pedigree, possessed the equivalent of two or three Ph.D’s, and  had political connections that would be the envy of any power broker, made dependency upon God just that much more difficult. 

After all, if anyone could pull things off on their own, it was Paul.

SO…GOD BROUGHT HIM TO THE BRINK

“We do not want you to be uninformed…about the hardship we suffered…We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life…Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death…” 

TO TEACH HIM THE IMPORTANCE OF DEPENDENCY UPON GOD:

But this happened that we might not rely upon ourselves but on God…”  (2 Cor. 1:8,9)

So…if you tend toward  cool-headed self-reliance that  pushes God to the edges of your daily life, hold on to your hat: 

Your  loving Father is committed to arranging the circumstances in your world

  • to get your attention, or
  • To take you to the brink, if necessary,

IN ORDER TO TEACH YOU “NOT TO RELY ON YOURSELF  BUT ON GOD.”

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!