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Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for March, 2016

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

DO YOU WANT TO GET RICH?

Good Morning!

George is young, aggressive, astute in business, and…getting rich. He claims to be a believer in Christ. And probably he is.

But I notice that when I broach the subject of winning the lost and investing time in people’s lives for the Kingdom of God, his eyes seem to glaze over and his attention wanders. In my gut, I get the impression that George is being seduced by the love of money, which as we know “is the root of all kinds of evil.” (I Tim. 6:10a)

So…let me ask you a question “DO YOU WANT TO GET RICH”?

Clearly, God tells us not to put in the effort: “Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.” (Prov. 23:4) (Also consider: Prov. 15:27; 23:5; 28:20; Heb. 13:5)

But if you do, then here’s what you can look forward to :

  • You will fall into temptation and a trap.”
  • You will fall into “many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.”
  • You run the risk of wandering “from the faith and [piercing yourself] with many griefs.” (I Tim. 6:9, 10)

Just where is your focus ? On money? Or on knowing Jesus Christ?

It cannot be on both, because:

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money…For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” (Matt. 6:24, 21)

Jesus reassured us that if the pursuit of Him is our primary focus, He will provide for our material needs:

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matt. 6:33)

God may in fact endow you with wealth. The difference is that when He gives it, it is void of apprehension:

The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and He adds no anxiety to it.” (Prov. 10:22)

QUESTION : Do you want to get rich? Or do you want to know Christ? It is either one or the other. But it cannot be both.

My prayer is that you are having a great week!

R. Dwight Hill

*Original Facts date February 18th, 1998

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

A MESSAGE TO OUR FACTS SUBSCRIBERS

Last week you had received the last of Dwight’s Facts of the Matter. Weekly, without fail, he crafted each one of his messages in prayer with the purpose of encouraging each one of us who are in the trenches fighting the good fight in our marketplace. At his homecoming, April 10, 2014 (on his eightieth birthday) he left with us with 75 Facts that he has written in advance. Our archives include1,167 facts in total, the first of which was published 1/3/1994. This represents a timeless valuable resource that needs to be preserved and redistributed.

I and band of brothers who were Close to Dwight, will begin the task of prayerful organizing and recirculating the archived facts, one at a time for as long as we are able. We will begin next week with some timeless nuggets of wisdom around the topic of Money. During the third and fourth quarter of the year we will present Marriage and Ministry.

We have all been blessed by this one faithful man devoted his life to the Word of God and to seeing Business and Professional Men and Women mature in Christ. I think you will all agree with me that Dwight had accomplished the mission God had laid out for him. His life’s verse was: “ ” Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep” (Acts 13:36a NIV).

(Dwight’s first Facts)

EVER FEEL LOUSY ABOUT YOURSELF? (Is the Pope polish?) January 3, 1994

You need to know how God feels about you:

You are “majestic” in His eyes (Literally: excellent, glorious, mighty, worthy)

You are the source of all His delight (Psa. 16:3)

Zephaniah 3:17 puts it this way:

The Lord is with you

He takes great delight in you

He will quiet you with His love

He rejoices over you with singing

Of you He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” (Jer. 31:3) He has always loved you! Even before you were conceived!

Yea, I know you are a sinner. THAT IS NOT NEW INFORMATION. But in His eyes your problem with sin has nothing to do with your intrinsic worth. If your daughter contracts cancer, her worth is not diminished in your eyes, is it?

As the kid said, “God didn’t make any junk.” The truth is that “you are fearfully and wonderfully made…skillfully wrought”: God’s marvelous creation! (Psa. 139: 14, 15)

In fact, “while we were sinners” – scuzzball rebels – Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8) Before we cleaned up our act, He crawled up on that cross for us. Is there a more forceful demonstration of unconditional love?…Of your worth to Him?

So, this week as you enter the shark infested waters of the marketplace, keep in mind the fact that you are A CHILD OF THE KING. A PERSON OF INFINITE, ETERNAL WORTH.

QUESTION : Where are you on your God given mission? Have you gotten off the trail, missed a turn, if so I can tell you what Dwight would say, “Get back to work”.

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

Rob Pock, Dwight’s friend

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

ARE YOU APPROPRIATING WHAT GOD HAS ALREADY PROMISED YOU ? (Part 2 of 2)

Review : In last week’s “Facts” we wrote about an old friend, who though deeply committed to Christ, missed the central truth of spiritual transformation (Romans 12:2) that could have liberated him from his old bondages into a life of victory and freedom.

Somewhere along the way we have to choose to appropriate what God has already promised us. That is, receive it in faith, and put it into action. By acting on it, we become the living embodiment of that truth. Inertly gawking at the promises of Scripture without applying them petrifies us spiritually. Jesus promised us that if anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own” (Jn. 7:17). (See 2 Pet. 1:3,4)

Years ago I read about a kid who was Student Body President of his high school, who was born with a huge red birth mark one side of his face. Surprisingly, this kid was upbeat, a natural leader and seemingly unaware of his “handicap.” Out of curiosity he was asked about the “birth mark.” “Oh that”, he replied. “Well, when I was a little kid my Mom told that’s where an angel kissed me when I was born, because I was special.” He was freely transformed because he believed and appropriated what his mother assured him to be true about him.

So, if you doubt that you are special in the eyes of God, and thereby exempted from “his very great and precious promises” offered to us in God’s word, (2 Pet. 1:3, 4), consider this from Ephesians 1:

  • Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (vs. 4). (See Dt. 7:6,7; 2 Thess. 2:13, 14; Tit. 1:1,2; 1 Pet. 1:1,2; 2:9)

  • God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (vs. 5). (See Jn. 1:12; Rom. 8:14-17; 2 Cor. 6:18)

  • “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins” (vs. 7). (See Matt. 26:28; Rom. 3:24; Col. 1:13, 14; 1 Tim. 2:5,6; Tit. 2:11-14)

  • “He has showered his kindness on us” (vs. 8). (See Jn. 1:16; Rom. 20:21)

Sadly, my friend apparently missed the point and failed to respond to the opportunity to be released from the bondage of his fear paralyzing past. Just imagine: He failed to appropriate what has been his from all eternity.

“…The just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him…I t is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Heb. 10:38 – NKJV; 11:6 – NLT).

QUESTION : Where are you on the spectrum between appropriating God’s liberating promises, and shrinking back into paralyzing fear and continued bondage?

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

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

ARE YOU APPROPRIATING WHAT GOD HAS ALREADY PROMISED YOU ? (Part 1 of 2)

Recently, an old friend of many years and I got caught up on our lives. To be sure, he has faithfully served God with unwavering dedication and humility over these many years. Now in his senior years, I came away with the impression that he is a whipped pup: Tentative, regretful, stooped over from years of disappointment and marginal “success” in his service to Christ.

I wondered if my friend had, after all these years, grasped the liberating truth of Romans 12:2:

…Let God re-mould our minds from within, so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all his demands and moves towards the goal of true maturity” (Rom. 12:2 – Phil. Trans.).

According to Adam Clarke, “The word ‘transformed’ implies a radical, thorough, and universal change, both outward and inward.” Thus, a transformed mind is no longer imprisoned in its old life of bondage. So, if we continue to be locked into defeatist patterns of thought and behavior, I wonder if we have truly grasped the reality of the transformation offered to us in this portion of Scripture. (See 2 Cor. 4:16; Eph. 4:22, 23; 5:8; Col. 3:10)

As I reflected back over our time together I could not get several passages of Scripture out of my mind. As His children,

  • We are to “reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17). In the original, reign means to become like a king; to have authority; to hold sway; to rule; to occupy.
  • “[Jesus] came that [we] may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” (Jn. 10:10 – Amp.).
  • We are “heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:17).
  • If God is for us, who can be against us” (Rom. 8:37)?
  • “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God…” (Rom. 8:39)

QUESTION : Are we truly believing and experiencing the truth of 2 Corinthians 5:17: “ If any person is [engrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17 – Amp.)! (See I Cor. 2:16; Phil. 2:5) If we miss this, we are destined to live a life of deep disappointment.

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

R. Dwight Hill

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SEVEN CREATIVE TENSIONS BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONALS FACE IN THE MARKET PLACE (Part #6) 1

Tension 6 : Charity and Wealth:

Money can be a vexing issue . You have to have the stuff to survive in life, yet it can bite you like a snake and suck the life out of you if you chase after it. In her interviews with business leaders, Laura Nash found money to be “a significant source of tension”2

On the one hand, “the blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it” (Pro. 10:22), yet, “ people who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil ” (I Tim. 6:9, 10a). As my friend Walter Henrichsen says, “Money is a seductive mistress.”

As one executive put it, “ Money isn’t totally bad, but it carries great temptations. Look at the men in the Bible whom God used. You see Abraham, a wealthy person; King David, a shepherd boy who became aid to the king, then became king himself. And then he screwed up his life because he had a thing with sex. Then there was Daniel [who] was like a cabinet minister. 3

Generosity verses greed : How much do I give away and how much do I keep? If tithing were taught in the New Testament, we could plug in a formula and be done with the tension. But Paul complicated the issue by stating, “ Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). Literally, a hilarious, prompt, and joyful giver. The antithesis of hilarity in giving is greed, as exemplified by the rich young ruler who rejected Jesus’ call to “sell everything you have and give to the poor…” (Lk. 18:22b). Ravenously indulgent Solomon (Ecc. 2:8-10), and the bloated farmer who built larger barns also epitomize greed. (Lk. 12:16-21) (See Lk. 16:19-31)

The Free Dictionary defines greed as “a n excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.” Jesus struck at the heart of the greed in stating, “any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Lk.14:33). By his example, he set the bar on sacrificial giving: “ For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich ” (2 Cor. 8:9). (See Lk. 21:1-4; Phil. 2:5-8)

Compassion verses exploitation : He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Pro. 14:31). (See Isa. 3:14; 58:6, 7; Jer. 22:31; Mal 3:5; Mat. 25:23-46; Lk. 16:19; Jms. 5:4)

CONCLUSION : I don’t know of a more difficult issue in our lives than money. Thus, would you join me on crying out to God: “ Lord, grant us the grace and courage to explicitly obey you as you direct our path in stewarding things material.” Amen. (See Jms. 1:5-8)

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

R. Dwight Hill

1In this series, we are drawing heavily from Dr. Laura Nash’s book, Believers in Business,”Thomas Nelson, Publishers 1982, 2Ibid 225, 3ibid 227,