BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for May, 2000

Wednesday, May 31, 2000

LET’S FACE IT: MEN ARE SUCKERS FOR GORGEOUS WOMEN. And if a woman knows how to flaunt her beauty, we men are capable of responding like dumb oxen:

Good Morning!

“All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter…”  (Pro. 7:22)

So, for vulnerable oxen, here’s a brief course on discerning between  sensual and  spiritual women:

 SENSUAL WOMEN ARE:

  • Proud in their manner“The women…are haughty…walking along with outstretched necks…”  By bending their necks back, the women of Israel were trying to make themselves taller than they were because they possessed an exalted opinion of themselves.  (Isa. 3:16)
  • Impudent with their eyes –   “…Flirting with their eyes…” They allured men with their eyes, by casting voluptuous and erotic glances with an affected air of innocence.  (Isa. 3:16)
  • Seductive in their walk“…Tripping along with mincing steps, with ornaments jingling on their ankles.”  These grown women, who were well versed in sin, tried to give off an air of youthful innocence by “tripping” along [slow shuffling mini-steps] as would a child. (Isa. 3:16)

SPIRITUAL WOMEN ARE:

  •  Quietly submissive to their husbands“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives…” (I Pet. 3:1,2a)
  • Uncorrupted and devout toward God“They (the unbelieving husband) may be won over without words by the behavior of themselves,  when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.” (I Pet. 3:2b, 3)
  •  Adorned in a dignified and modest fashion“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes.” (I Pet. 3:3)
  • Possessed of a humble and tranquil dispositionLet it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.(I Pet. 3:4)

QUESTION:  In your heart of hearts, which type of woman would you really prefer to have?  Why?

 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, May 24, 2000

LOOSING HEART

Good Morning!

Recently I visited with an old friend and fellow-soldier in the faith. Years ago we had dared to believe God could and would use us to do the “impossible”  for His glory. And He did! But in my recent visit with him, the old fire was gone. The  “can do” spirit had dried up into a morose preoccupation with past disappointments. I was reminded of the fact that more people quit ministering to others over bitterness than problems with immorality. 

This morning in my devotions – with that recent visit on my mind – I discovered seven reasons the Scriptures give as to why people grow weary and loose heart – all stemming from the little Greek word, ekkakeo.  Basically the word describes a person who no longer is living life in step with the Spirit.  Rather he has grown selfish and self-contained, exhibiting little concern for others. Here are the seven reasons :

#1  A failure to maintain a vital life of prayer – “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”  (Lk. 18:1) 

#2  A failure to keep in mind the privilege of our divine calling to minister“Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.”  (2 Cor. 4:1) 

 #3   A failure to keep in mind the fact that we will share in Christ’s triumphant resurrection“…We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence…Therefore we do not lose heart…” (2 Cor. 4:14, 16a)

#4  A failure to keep in mind the immediate task of promoting believers’ spiritual welfare and the glory of God  “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart….”  (2 Cor. 4:15, 16a)

#5  A failure to take the long view in reaping the fruit of our efforts“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9)

 #6  A failure to trust that God has a larger purpose when fellow believers suffer “I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.” (Eph.  3:13)

 #7  A failure to press on in righteous living, even when you don’t feel like it “And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.”  (2 Thess. 3:13) 

So, let me ask you: Do you still have that spring in your step! Do you still look forward to getting up in the morning and getting at it for God? Or has the dry rot of self-centeredness set in?

No, you  are better than that! As His children, let’s once again take ourselves by the nap of the neck and determine to  “…stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  (I Cor. 15:58) 

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, May 17, 2000

ARE THERE PARALLELS BETWEEN ISRAEL’S SPIRITUAL DECLINE AND OURS? SHE WAS:

Good Morning!

Unappreciative  “Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Thy wonders; They did not remember Thine abundant kindnesses, but rebelled by the sea…”  (Psa. 105:7) 

Independent “They quickly forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel…:” (Psa. 106:13)

Sensual “[They] craved intensely in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert.” (Psa.  106:14)

Secular “…They exchanged their glory for the image of an ox that eats grass…They mingled with the nations, and learned their practices…And served their idols, which became a snare to them.”  (Psa. 106:20,29,35,36)

Discontent ”They despised the pleasant land…[They] grumbled in their tents…” (Psa.106:24a, 25a)

Void of Faith “They did not believe in His word…They did not listen to the voice of the Lord.” (Psa. 106:24b, 25b)

Resistant to the Holy Spirit”They were rebellious against His Spirit…” (Psa. 106:33a)

Willing to sacrifice her children “They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan…”  (Psa. 106:37,38a)

We identify with William Bennett’s comment, ”We have a real problem in this country when it comes to values.We have become the kind of societies that civilized countries used to send missionaries to.”

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Prov. 14:34)

When God rescues a nation, He always uses a man,

“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.”  (Ezek. 22:30)

 QUESTION: What do you think God would have you do on a personal level to make a difference in the Nation?  Are you up to the challenge?

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, May 10, 2000

CREATION: CHANCE? OR DESIGN?

Good Morning!

 As I write, I am situated on a South Sea island, amidst a menagerie  of nature’s exquisite beauty: Bursting yellow flowers pocked with blotches of red; a cacophony of chirping birds; beautifully ripening mangoes falling from heavily laden trees. And this of course, is all happening by chance!  Hardly:

“…That which is known about God is evident within [mankind]; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”  (Rom. 1:19, 20)

French philosopher, Henri Bergson (“Creative Evolution) questioned the validity of random selection in the evolutionary process, especially as it related to the complexity of certain life forms.  The eye for example,

Bergson found it implausible to suppose that the co-adapted variations in the countless parts of the eye could have been random. What was maintaining the continuity of functions while the various forms were altering?  Surely, he proposed, there must have been a vital impulse directing and channeling the growth of these complex parts and organisms as a whole:

‘Two points are equally striking in an organ like an eye:The complexity of its structure and the simplicity of its function…Just because the act is simple, the slightest negligence on the part of nature in the building of the infinitely complex machine would have made vision impossible.’”+

Yet Bergson, by refusing –  as evolutionists typically do – to even consider the possibility of a divine being behind the creative process, exhibited the truth of Psalm 10:4, “The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’”

According to Professor Philip E. Johnson (U.C., Berkeley), “The issue is whether (evolutionary) materialism and rationality are the same thing.  Darwinism is based on an a priori commitment to materialism, not on a philosophically neutral assessment of the evidence. Separate the philosophy from the science, and the proud tower collapses.”  ++

God’s answer to creation is obvious to the believer, but foolishness to the atheist, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.”  (Heb. 11:3)  As His followers, we choose to rest on the truth of His word!

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, May 3, 2000

ABORTION (Continued)

Good Morning!

Friends of ours were urged by their physician to abort an imperfect fetus.  “Severe complications; will never be normal” they were told.  Well, they prayed, poured over the Scriptures, and asked God what they should do.  Their conclusion?   Because God was sovereign in giving them their baby, abortion was not an option.

Before you abort, consider the growth of this tiny person in the mother’s womb:+

FIRST MONTH – ACTUALIZATION 

Conception – All her human characteristics are present
She implants or “nests” in her mother’s uterus (one week)
Her heart muscle pulsates (three weeks)
Her head, arms, and legs begin to appear

SECOND MONTH – DEVELOPMENT

Her brain waves can be detected (forty to forth-two days)
Her nose, eyes, ears, and toes appear
Her heart beats and blood (her own type) flows
Her skeleton develops
She has her own unique fingerprints
She is sensitive to touch on her lips and has reflexes
All her bodily systems are present and functioning

THIRD MONTH – MOVEMENT

She swallows, squints, and swims
She grasps with her hands, moves her tongue
She can even suck her thumb
She can feel organic pain (eight to thirteen weeks)

FOURTH MONTH – GROWTH

Her weight increases six times (to one-half birth weight)
She grows up to eight to ten inches long
She can hear her mother’s voice

FIFTH MONTH

Her skin, hair, and nails develop
She dreams (REM sleep)
She can cry (if air is present)
She can live outside the womb
She is only halfway to her scheduled birth

As it turned out, their child was born normal.  Some months later they discovered that the lab reports had mistakenly been mixed.  Had they aborted, a healthy, innocent child would have died. 

“You shall not commit murder.”  (Exo. 20:13)

 

My prayer is that you are having a great week!