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Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for February, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

RESTORING A FALLEN BROTHER (Part 3 of 4)

In the last two Facts we covered the following points with Kevin after he fell: (1) You are a child of God.  His grace and forgiveness are yours to appropriate now. (2) It was your pride that brought you down, (3) You underestimated Satans power, and (4) You failed to fight Satan with Gods spiritual armor.  We then covered the first of six powerful truths available to Kevin to insure future victory when the temptation or trial hits:  1. Develop a deep  relationship with Christ.

We continue:

2.  Understand the importance of the Holy Spirit in empowering you to not succumb to Satans seduction and the pull of your fleshLive by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful natureBecause through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and deathin order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace  (Gal. 5:16; Rom. 8:2b, 4 6)

 

3.  Understand the essential role of the word of God in overcoming temptationHow can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against youTo the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."  (Ps. 119:9, 11; Jn. 8:31, 32)

 

4.  Understand the path that leads to  sin as pointed out in James 1:12-15:

 

–  Persevere under the trial (Literally: Adversity, testing, temptation): Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial (vs. 1:12a)

–  Recognize there are rewards for those who dont give in to their trails or temptationsBecause when he has stood the test  (Literally:  Purified as metal tested by fire) he will  receive the crown of life (Literally: His eternal reward) (vs. 1:12b)

–  Dont blame God when you are tested (As did Adam: The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it – Gen. 3:12) The Scriptures instruct us,  When tempted, no one should say, God is tempting me.  For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone (vs. 1:13).

–  Recognize that it is your lust that entices you: [A person] is being solicited to sin when he is taken in tow and enticed by his own craving. Then when the aforementioned craving has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and this sin when it is full grown brings forth death (Jms. 1:15b Wuest). (See Gen. 3:1-6; Josh. 7:21; 2 Sam. 11)

We will conclude our discussion in next weeks Facts.

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

RESTORING A FALLEN BROTHER (Part 2 of 4)

You may remember that  our first point covered with Kevin in last weeks Facts was,  Kevin, you are a child of God. His grace and forgiveness are yours to appropriate now. 

We continue:

  Kevin,  in your pride you thought you could handle the Enemy in your own strength.  Not possible. Heres whyThe Scriptures inform us that if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall…Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall (I Cor. 10:12; Pro. 16:18).

 

 Kevin, you underestimated the power of the Enemy.  Lets understand from Scripture who he is:

He is a lion out to destroy you (I Pet. 5:8).

He is continually scheming against you (Eph. 6:11).

He has marshaled the very forces of Hell against you (Eph. 6:12).

He chose last night as your day of evil (Eph. 6:13).

 Kevin, you failed to put on Gods armor and approach Satan in Gods power.  In detail we went over each aspect of the armor mentioned in Ephesians 6:10-18.

 Kevin, lets talk about several powerful truths that will help you prepare for Satans future attacks: Let me suggest seven powerful ideas that will help move you from defeat to victory:

1.  Understand the importance of developing a deep relationship with Christ that will hold you true in the hour of temptation.  I am speaking here about spiritual disciples such as regular times alone with Christ in prayer and meditation on His word, Scripture memory, becoming involved with a band of like minded brothers, etc. (See Heb. 10:24.25; Ecc. 4:9,10; Jas. 5:16). Observe from 2 Cor. 5:14 the power of a deep relationship with Christ  in times of trial or temptation:

The love which Christ has presses on me from all sides, holding me to one end and prohibiting me from considering any other, wrapping itself around me in tenderness  (Wuest Trans.)

Next week we will continue our discussion on preparing to win over Satans attacks.

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

PRAYER: LETS KEEP IT SIMPLE (Part 2 of 2)

You may remember from last weeks Facts we made the point that

God simplifies

Man complicates

Satan confuses

Jesus profound  but simple approach to prayer is reflected in His instruction:  When you pray say, Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon.  Give us each day the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And dont let us yield to temptation. (Lk. 11:2-4- NLT)

Last week we stressed that we are to Pray upward: Father, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon.

Todays Facts discusses how we are to:

Pray downward:

For provision

Give us each day the food we need. That is, we ask our Father to grant our physical needs without interruption.  By daily, we are signaling our dependence on Him every moment.

For forgiveness

Forgive us our sins. That is, we receive His grace in personalizing the fact that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. (2 Cor. 5:19b)

As we forgive those who sin against us.  That is, we are to extend the same grace to others that He has extended to us.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Col. 3:13). (See Matt. 18:15-35; Jms. 2:13)

For victory

Dont let us yield to temptation. As Greek scholar Wuest puts it, Do not bring us into the place of testing where the circumstances in which we are tested may lead on to the place where we are solicited to do evil.  (See Matt. 26:41; I Cor. 10:13)

This week, may you experience His grace, peace, and protection.

R. Dwight Hill