BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for April, 2000

Wednesday, April 26, 2000

ABORTION

Good Morning!

A couple of years ago over breakfast, Darrell, a new believer, mentioned that he and his wife were planning on an abortion. Their lives were extremely fast-paced and complex and another child simply did not fit into the equation. So I took out the Scriptures and urged him to view the issue from God’s perspective:+

  1. Unborn babies are called “children,” the same word used of infants and young children (Lk. 1:41, 44; 2:12, 16; Ex. 21:22), and sometimes even of adults (1Kin. 3:17)
  2. The unborn are created by God (Psa. 139:13) just as God created Adam and Eve in his image (Gen. 1:27)
  3. The life of the unborn is protected by the same punishment for injury or death (Ex. 21:22) as that of an adult (Gen. 9:6).
  4. Christ was human (the God-man) from the point he was conceived in Mary’s womb (Mt. 1:20-21; Lk. 1:26-27)
  5. The image of God includes “male and female” (Gen 1:27), but it is a scientific fact that maleness or femaleness (sex) is determined at the moment of conception.
  6. Unborn children possess personal characteristics such as sin (Psa. 51:5) and joy that are distinctive of humans.
  7. Personal pronouns are used to describe unborn children (Jer. 1:5; Mt. 1:20-21) just as any other human being.
  8. The unborn are said to be known intimately and personally by God as he would know any other person (Ps. 139:15-16; Jer. 1:5).
  9. The unborn are even called by God before birth (Gen. 25:22-23; Judg. 13:2-7; Isa. 49:1; Gal. 1:15)

I am happy to say that they took the advice and today are enjoying a lovely little girl in their home.  Again and again they have expressed how tragic it would have been to abort that fetus. 

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 19, 2000

EVERY PERSON HAS THEIR PASSIONS! WHAT’S YOURS?

Good morning!

For security, “Success”, social status, etc? Or for such eternal values as:

A Passion for God+

“…As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you…” (Psa. 42:1,2; 63:1a)

A Passion for the Lost.

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.’ Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (Jn. 4:34,35)

A Passion to Mentor Others in Becoming Laborers and Leaders.

“…We proclaim Christ! We warn everyone we meet, and we teach everyone we can, all that we know about Him, so that, if possible, we can bring every man up to his full maturity in Christ Jesus. This is what I am working at all the time, with all the strength that God gives me…Ask the Lord of the harvest…to send out workers into the harvest field.”  (Col. 1:28,29 – Phillips; Matt. (9:38)

A Passion for the Nations of the World.

“…You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth…Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” (Act. 1:8; Matt. 28:19a)

 One of these days a nurse will enter your intensive care unit, observe the flat signal on the electronic heart monitor, unplug the life-support system, and walk out the room.

At that moment, you will find yourself in the eternity face-to-face with God. One question He plans to ask you is whether you shared the passions of His heart, or whether you followed your own. How you answer the question will determine the quality of your existence for all eternity.*

QUESTION:  Given the focus of your present passions, is that a present thought?

 

 

 My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 12, 2000

JUST WHOSE “SUCCESS” IS IT, ANYWAY?

Good Morning!

In recent months a number of personal friends have lost their fortunes in a deepening recession. This morning, one of these men and I meditated through chapters 1 and 2 of Hosea. He, like so many “successful” businessmen, rode a wave of prosperity, assuming it was he who had brilliantly put the deals together in creating wealth. This was also Israel’s assumption, so God chose to discipline her:

“She has not acknowledged that I was the one who gave her the grain, the new wine and oil, who lavished on her the silver and gold…”  (2:8a)

But that is exactly what we do, is it not? We believe it is our planning, our selling ability, or our talent that brings “success.”  Thus we, like Israel tend to take the credit unto ourselves.

So God DISCIPLINED her by removing her wealth,

 “Therefore I will take away my grain when it ripens, and my new wine when it is ready. I will take back my wool and my linen, intended to cover her nakedness….” (2:9,10a)

In His enduring love,  He then  “ALLURED” her back to Himself,

…I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.” (2:14) 

Perhaps He will place us in the “desert” in order to help us re-establish intimacy with Himself.

 He then “BETROTHED” her again to Himself,

“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the LORD.” (2:19, 20)

 And finally, He RESTORED her,

 “I will plant her for myself in the land; I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.’ I will say to those called ‘Not my people,’ ‘You are my people’; and they will say, ‘You are my God.’ “  (2:23)

I don’t know your circumstances, but I do know that God loves us too much to allow us to take credit for any “success” we may experience.

Do you

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, April 5, 2000

MAGNANIMOUS AND GRACIOUS

Good Morning!

The other morning I awoke with these two words on my mind. Within two hours I had several opportunities to have them tested:  

  • The hotel clerk failed to rouse Ruth and me for an early morning flight!
  • Because the porter mistakenly went to the wrong room and awakened sleeping guests, I ended up struggling alone with our bags!  (Ruth was having back trouble)
  • The hotel overrode my earlier reservation for a taxi to the airport, thus charging me almost double for an expensive limousine!
  • The chauffeur took us to the wrong airport!
  • After carefully placing my suit coat in the overhead compartment, someone threw a suitcase in on top of it!

After arriving home, I decided to look the two words up:

Magnanimous – “Manifesting generosity in forgiving insults or injuries.  Not given to resentment, or envy. Greatness of soul. High-minded.”+  I was reminded of Uncle Abraham magnanimously deferring to greedy Lot in granting him the better land.  (Gen. 13)

Gracious – From the Greek word charis, conveying the idea of being kind; seeking to bless others. The father was gracious to his prodigal son in prematurely giving him his inheritance, and in receiving him back after he had squandered it. (Lk. 15:11-31)

In the heat of the moment, the test of true godliness is determined not by our actions, but by our re-actions:

“He who restrains his words has knowledge, and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.”  (Prov. 27:17)

 QUESTION – As we respond to life’s incessant and inevitable irritants, do our lost friends and associates view our re-actions as magnanimous and gracious? If we are serious about winning a hearing among them for the Gospel, that is exactly what they must be observing. 

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!