BETA

Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for May, 2004

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

EXERCISES FOR THE WORKPLACE

 

Dear Colleague,

There are two approaches we can take in accomplishing the work God has assigned us:

 

Our way:+ His way:

Beat around the bush Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. (Matt.5:37Msg)

Run around in circles Because the Lord God helps me, I will not be dismayed; therefore, I have set my face like flint to do his will, and I know that I will triumph. (Isa. 50:7 Living) (See Lk. 9:51, 62; 1 Cor. 15:58; Col. 1:23)

Jump to conclusions What a shame–yes, how stupid!–to decide before knowing the facts! (Pro. 18:13 Living) (See Jos. 9; Pro. 18:17)

 

Throw caution to the wind A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t and even brags about it!The wise man looks ahead. The fool attempts to fool himself and won’t face facts. (Pro. 13:16; 14:8 Living)

Fly off the handle A quick-tempered man starts fights; a cool-tempered man tries to stop them The man of few words and settled mind is wise; therefore, even a fool is thought to be wise when he is silent. It pays him to keep his mouth shut. (Pro.15:18;17:27,28 Living) (See Act. 24:25; Gal. 5:22,23; Tit. 1:8; 2 Pet. 1:6)

Climb the corporate ladder Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it!Godliness with contentment is great gain. (Jer. 45:5a; 1 Tim. 6:6b) (See 2 Ki. 5:19-27;Ps. 75:6,7; Phil. 2:3,4)

Run away from your problems A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful. But if he confesses and forsakes them, he gets another chance. (Pro. 28:13) (See Gen. 3:12,13;4:9)

Jump through the hoops Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Gal.1:10) (See Pro. 29:25)

+ Adapted from Leadershipwith a human touch June 26, 2001

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

JUST WHAT IS IT THAT SHOULD MOTIVATE US TO SHARE CHRIST WITH THE LOST?

A friend of mine asked an acquaintance why he was for everlastingly working at sharing Christ with his lost associates. (See Col. 1:28,29) Without hesitation he responded with these four compelling reasons:

The command from above:

"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creationFor we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade menGod was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors"

(Mk. 16:15b; 2 Cor. 5:10,11a, 19b, 20a) (See Isa. 56:10; 58:1; Jer. 6:10, 17; Ez. 3:17-19;33:6-8; Acts 20:26,27)

QUESTION:

Are you taking Christs mandate seriously to get His message of salvation to the lost?

The cry from below:

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"

(Rom. 10:13b-15) (See Ecc. 8:12,13; Isa 5:11-14)

QUESTION

: Are you attuned to the tragic plight of the lost?

The need from without:

"But the wicked are like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mudThe god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of GodWhen he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

(Isa. 57:20; 2 Cor. 4:4; Matt. 9:36-38) (See Dt. 29:15-68; Isa. 10:3,4; 13:8,9; Rom. 1:24-33; Eph. 2:1,2,11,12)

QUESITON:

Do you share Christs compassion for the lost?

The urge from within:

"But if I say, I will not mention him or speak any more in his name, his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannotYet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!…I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish."

(Jer. 20:9; 1 Cor. 9:16; Rom. 1:14) (See Amos. 7:15)

QUESTION:

Do you have a sense of divine urgency toward reaching the lost?

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JUMP START YOUR DAY WITH A POSITIVE MIND-SET,

Then consider repeating the following before you get out of bed:

"Life is worth living!"

+

Remember, its all about ones mind-set, since the ultimate freedom is the ability to choose the right attitude.

Mallory Code is a 16 year old golfer who is regularly ranked among the top two dozen junior golfers in the country. She also skis expert trails, takes ballet and jazz lessons, and excels in her schoolwork. What makes Mallory unique is the fact that she has cystic fibrosis (CF). And diabetes. And serious asthma that often shortens her breath. The CF also agitates a chronic sinus problem, giving here blinding headaches. Recently she had her ninth sinus surgery; just before she played and won a major tournament while wearing a heart monitor. "Wow," Mallory says, shaking her head and making her blond ponytail bounce. "Guess Im a pretty big mess."++

When we praise God in our circumstances we are acknowledging His good sovereignty over our lives. When we complain, in effect we are telling Him we disapprove of how He is running His universe. So instead of grousing,

"Shout for joy to the Lord…Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations."

(Psa. 100:1-5)

"People are worth loving!"

Yes, I already know that they often smell, cut in front of you in traffic, steal drinks on air planes, cheat on their income taxand spouses; bad mouth their relatives, competitors and neighbors. Yet,

"God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us

He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked." (Rom. 5:8b; Lk. 6:35b) (See Isa. 53:6; I Pet. 3:18; 1 Jn. 4:9,10)

If He thinks that much of people, where does that put you and me in terms of how we are to respond to them?

"God is worth trusting!"

When was the last time you ran into someone who said, "Shucks, I have been trusting God too much. What a disappointment He is!" Rather, most believers seem to lament the fact that they are not trusting Him enough!

"They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straightWhoever trusts in this stone [Jesus] as a foundation will never have cause to regret it."

(Psa. 22:5; Pro. 3:5,6; I Pet. 2:6b) (See Isa. 12:2; 26:3,4; Jer. 17:7,8; Eph. 1:12)

+Compliments of Robert Foster; ++Good Housekeeping August 2001

Wednesday, May 5, 2004

A HEART FOR GOD

How do you and I measure whether or not we truly have a heart for God?

– By our vigilant and disciplined prayer life?

– By our sacrificial service to others?

– By our faithful sharing of Christ with those around us?

Noble as these endeavors may be, allow me to suggest that there is a more fundamental means of measurement:

#1 A Passion for Intimacy: "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ."

(Phil. 3:7,8) (See Jn. 17:3; I Cor. 2:2; Eph. 1:17-20; 3:8-12,18,19; Col. 2:2,3)

Ask yourself:

Can I honestly say that I am enjoying the sweetness of His fellowship on a day-to-day basis?

Given the opportunity, do I gravitate toward intimate time with Him? Or toward some other love?

Do those around me view me as a person in the process of transformation into Christlikeness? Or as one who is dutifully committed to living a religious regimen of performance

#2 A Passion for Holiness: "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost placeCreate in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." (Psa. 51:6,10)

Ask yourself:

Do I honestly hunger for a life free of sin? Or do I secretly pander those base appetites within?

How would people closest to me view my attitude and behavior? As singleness of heart toward God, or as sullied by compromise and expediency?

#3 A Passion for the Glory of God: "Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory,

because of your love and faithfulness." (Psa. 115:1) (See Isa. 48:10,11; Jn. 17:1,2; Gal. 6:14)

Ask yourself:

What really is the motivation behind what I am giving my life to? Is it personal fulfillment, or in fact a genuine concern that the earth indeed know God?

As others observe my life, would they conclude that it is reflective of John the Baptists desire: "He must increase, but I must decrease"? (Jn. 3:30)