BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for October, 1997

Wednesday, October 29, 1997

HOW TO REMAIN A “ONE WOMAN MAN”+ –

Good Morning!

The Scriptures require spiritual leaders to be a “One woman man.”  (I Tim. 3:2).

Here are a few suggestions that may prove helpful:

EYES  –  Remember the song, “I Only Have Eyes for You”?  We must determine to only “look” at our wives. Lustful gazes are acts of adultery.  (Matt. 5:29; Job 31:1)

S. Lewis said, “If you look at ham and eggs with lust, you already have committed breakfast.”

EARS – How easily we can be sexually stimulated by what we hear. Proverbs cautions us,  “For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil.”  (Prov. 5:3)

LIPS – A man committed to his wife does not flatter other women: “Whoever flatters his neighbor is spreading a net for his feet.”  (Prov. 29:5)

HANDS – Paul admonishes us to  “Treat…younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.”  (I Tim. 5:2).  The manner in which we relate physically to our sisters should serve as a guideline in our association with other women.

FEET – We can easily identify with the statement,  “I can resist anything but temptation.”  Perhaps that’s why the Scriptures warn us to  Flee youthful lusts…”  (II Tim 2:22a) 

David stood and looked at naked Bathsheba and ended up committing adultery and murder.  By contrast,  Joseph fled Potifer’s seductive  wife and remained pure.  (2 Sam.11; Gen. 39)

MIND – It is only by the renewing of the mind that we can expect to live a pure life:  Let God remold your minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good…”  (Rom. 12:2b – Philips Translation) God’s word is central to the renewal process.

QUESTION: Are you allowing anything into your mind that is making the renewal process unnecessarily difficult?

HEART – Wise old Solomon cautioned us,  “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”  (Prov. 4:23)

Thus, emotional involvement with a person of the opposite sex is often an early step in the process that culminates in the act of adultery. 

QUESTION:  Does your present attitude and pattern of behavior indicate a deep resolve to remain a “ONE WOMAN MAN”?

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, October 22, 1997

YES! WE DO HAVE HOPE AND A FUTURE!

Good Morning!

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’” declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”  (Jer. 29:11)

I turned 60 years old the other day. And I am surprised! I thought by this age I would be shot. Angry. Out of  breath. Cynical. Brittle. Burned out. Over the hill. A “Busted Flush”- as my Father would say. 

Here are two good reasons why it does not need to turn out that way:

#1  GOD CAN BE TRUSTED!

In 1951, at age 15 I stumbled forward in a Billy Graham Crusade and genuinely met Jesus Christ.  Over the next several years God brought men into my life who discipled me. As my understanding developed, I set out to believe and obey the Word of God without equivocation.

As I began to grasp God’s eternal purposes, I chose to surrender my life to Him without reservation – To give my life away in serving others for the Gospel.  That is not to say that I was always victorious, but I sincerely sought to grow in that direction.

I can testify from 45 years of experience with God that Joshua 21:45 is true! 

Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

#2  WHAT YOU SOW, YOU REAP!

What goes up, must come down. “…A man reaps what he sows.” (Gal. 6:7)

In those early years I chose to deal with my hang-ups; with the enslaving sins, the fears, and the bitterness. I brought these needs to Christ, claimed His promises, and appropriated His grace and victory.

So here I am at age 60 experiencing His joy and freedom in great measure. No “Busted Flush” here! Rather, I am encountering the truth of Psalm 18:19:

“He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because he delighted in me.”      

What a joy! What an adventure! What hope and a future

The good news is that this hope and future is available to anyone who chooses to live it His way! 

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, October 15, 1997

WHAT IS OUR ROLE IN WINNING THE LOST TO CHRIST?

Good Morning!

Mark 4:26 – 29 gives us four helpful insights:

  1. WE ARE TO FAITHFULLY SOW THE SEED ON ALL KINDS OF SOIL:
    In the parable of the sower (Mk. 4:1-8, 14-20), Christ told of the person who threw the seed (the Gospel) on various types of soil (men’s hearts): hard, shallow, weed-infested, and “good.”
    The sower’s job was not to inspect the condition of the soil, but to faithfully  “scatter seed on the ground…”  (Mk. 4:26b)
  2. WE ARE TO STEP BACK AND ALLOW THE GOSPEL TO DO ITS WORK:
    The inner-working of the Gospel upon a person’s heart is mysterious, God-directed, and beyond our control or efforts:
    “Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain…”  (Mk. 4:27)
  3. WE ARE TO OBSERVE THE SOIL:
    It important for us to understand that before reaping the harvest,  an orderly and timely growth process must first transpire:
    “…First the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.”  (Mk. 4:28)
  4. WE ARE TO REAP THE HARVEST:
    Because of our inclination toward procrastination, we could easily miss the opportune time to reap the harvest:   “Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months and then comes the harvest’?…I tell you…the fields  are ripe for harvest.  As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.” (Jn. 4:35; Mk. 4:29)
    I am intrigued with the fact that when Christ spoke of the partnership between sower and reaper He only offered a reward to the reaper:  “One sows and another reaps…The reaper draws…wages…”  (Jn. 4:37, 36)
    Perhaps He knew that reapers were in scarce supply and needed the added incentive!

At any rate,  let’s get out there and sow the seed, step back, observe, and…harvest!

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, October 8, 1997

THE NEXT TIME YOU ARE TEMPTED TO TRIFLE WITH SIN, CONSIDER WHAT IT COST THE LORD JESUS TO PAY FOR YOUR REDEMPTION:

Good Morning!

The disciples deserted Him and fled+

The authorities:  

Condemned Him

Spit at Him

Blindfolded Him

Struck Him

Beat Him

Bound Him

Handed Him over to Pilate to be crucified

Accused Him

Flogged Him

Led Him away

In derision put a purple robe on Him

Mockingly called out to Him, “King of the Jews

Spit on Him

Ridiculed Him by  paying  “homage” to Him

Led Him out to be crucified

Forced Him to carry the cross

Crucified Him

The Father forsook Him

Joseph buried Him

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, October 1, 1997

ARE YOU SHOWERING OR SOAKING?

Good Morning!

Sam is a high-geared executive  with a multi-national  corporation who is routinely engaged in analysis, problem solving and decision-making.

Recently I sat down with Sam and asked him to share his observations from a passage of Scripture.  In seconds he grasped the essence of the section and in crisp fashion spewed his assessment back to me. His analysis was correct, but seemed cold…lacking in heart.   “What’s next!?” came his inquiry. 

K-N-O-W-I-N-G  God,” is what I felt like answering.

Sam knows the Bible, but does he K-N-O-W God?

Like Sam, most of us approach the Scriptures with all the depth of taking a shower. That is, we splash under the water, rub on some soap, rinse off, and are out of there!

By way of contrast, soaking in a bath tub is considerably  slower and more deliberate. You choose to  lie there, relax,  and  allow the hot water and bath oil to  penetrate the skin, and open the pores. You soakBut it takes time. When you finally do step out of the tub your body is soft and mellow.

Sam needs to learn how to soak in the Scriptures.

For example, in Matthew 18:3,4 Jesus said,  …Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” 

If  Sam were “soaking” on this passage, his thoughts might run something like this: He would picture  Jesus’ gentle and relaxed manner with children as they climbed up on to His lap.  Perhaps he would realize how he tends to dismiss little children and their world as “irrelevant.”

As Sam pondered the scene, his mind might flash back to the sophisticated and self-assured people in his business world. Then he would visualize the innocent and unaffected children gathered around Jesus. Doubtless he would be struck by the contrast between his world and theirs.

Almost without realizing it, he could find himself praying, “God, forgive me for being so unlike Christ.  I need to exhibit Jesus’ quality of gentleness with children, by being gentle with the people in my office. I need to take more un-rushed time with my own children.  In the crush of corporate life, I have lost much of my childlike innocence. Father forgive me for my stiffness, and air of self-importance.”

That is soaking on the Scriptures!

QUESTION“Are you showering or soaking when it comes to the Scriptures?”

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!