Facts of the Matter

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

Archive for August, 1995

Wednesday, August 30, 1995

IF JESUS CHRIST WERE THE CEO of a “for profit” company, what would be its objectives?

Good Morning!

Consider this:


Jesus:  I have brought You glory on earth by completing the work You gave me to do.”  (Jn. 17:4 NIV)


Paul:  “We [teach] every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.” (Col. 1:28a)


Paul: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, wherever is admirable–if anything s excellent or praiseworthy–think about these things.”  (Phil. 4:8 NIV)


Solomon:  “All hard work brings a profit…plans of the diligent lead to profit.” (Prov. 14:23a; 21:5a)

These are the objectives of Service master, a Fortune 500 Company that provides services to hospitals, colleges, plants and homes.

Perhaps at the root of many of our conflicts in business lies a confusion about affection and motives relative to God, money, and people:

We are to love God and hate money.  (Matt. 6:24)

We are to serve people and use money.  (Phil. 2:3; Ecc. 5:19)

When we reverse the order, God simply removes His hand of blessing from our efforts. Work then deteriorates from a divine calling into a chore, and the stress level escalates to exponential  proportions.



My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, August 23, 1995


Good Morning!

Here’s a simple but effective approach:

Christ called us to be “Fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19).  And in order to fish, we need a”N-E-T.”

N  =  Nerve ending: Identify the area of pain in their life – the “nerve ending”.

E  =  Empathize as best you can with their pain.

T  =  Teach them how Christ can heal their pain.

And what are the “nerve endings” in people’s lives these days?  Well, according to The Barna Research Group:

Financial – 39%

Job – related – 16%

Personal health – 12%

Time and stress – 8%

Parenting – 7%

Educational attainment – 6%

Fear of crime – 3%

Personal relationships – 3%

Key Scriptures on:

Finances:  Deut. 8; Matt. 6:19 – 33; Phil. 4:12, 13, 19; I Tim. 6:6 – 10, 17 – 19; Heb. 13:5

Job: Prov. 10:4; 12:11, 24, 27; 13:4, 11, 23; Ecc. 5:18 – 20; Eph. 4:28;  I Thess. 4:11, 12;

                 II Thess. 3:6 – 15

Happy fishing!


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, August 16, 1995


Good Morning!

#1  Always put God first in your life and business

“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  (Matt. 6:24,33)

#2  Get to know God’s word and apply it to your life and business

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes…The ordinances of the Lord are sure and altogether righteous. They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. (Psa. 19:7-11)

#3  Expect big things from a big God

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Eph. 3:20)

#4  Place more value in people than in products

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”  (Col. 3:23 )

#5  Give God the first pick of your profits

Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” (Prov. 3:9, 10)

#6  Be committed to honesty and integrity

The Lord demands fairness in every business.” (Prov. 16:11 TLB)

#7  Be diligent in your pursuit of business success

“Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.”  (Prov. 10:4)


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, August 9, 1995


Good Morning!

Last week we talked about the twin problems of ISOLATION AND LONELINESS and the importance of having a mentoring relationship.

We listed four of seven good reasons for such a relationship: Focus, Wisdom, Encouragement, and Networking.

Here are three more reasons:

  • MODEL – “People will learn at the school of example, and they will learn at none other,” stated Edmund Burke. Remember the little girl lying in bed who was afraid of the dark? “Mommie, would you come in here…I’m afraid.” Mother: “Just ask Jesus to help you.”   Little girl: “But I need someone with skin on.” A mentor is someone “with skin on.”

Paul: “Be imitators of me, just as I am also of Christ.”  (I Cor. 11:1)

  • MATURITY – A mentor who is committed to his protégé, offers his wisdom and resources to help him succeed in making wise choices.

“The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice… and the God of peace shall be with you.”  (Phil. 4:9)

  • EMPOWERMENT+: Giving another person authority. You and I need people to challenge us to change ourselves and our world.  And we seem to need people who will “give us permission” to do great things for God. Note the commissioning of Barnabas and Paul (Saul) who then blazed a trail for the Gospel through Asia:

“…The Holy Spirit  said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work to which I have called them…Then…(the spiritual leaders) laid their hands on them, (and) set them free for this work.”  (Act. 13:2, 3 – NAS; Phillips)

Let’s keep in mind the fact that one of Satan’s master strategies is to exploit our proclivity toward isolation and loneliness by dividing and conquering.

It was no accident that Jesus sent the disciples out in pairs. And of course Solomon reminds us:

“Two are better than one because…if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion.  But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.”  (Ecc. 4:9, 10)



My prayer is that you are having a great week!

Wednesday, August 2, 1995

ISOLATION AND LONELINESS are two of Satan’s master strategies in “getting to” business and professionals who carry demanding responsibilities.

Good Morning!

One way to counter this subtle drift toward aloneness is to seek out a spiritual mentor.  Let me suggest seven benefits  (We’ll cover four today and three next week):

  • FOCUS  – We need people around us who will help us maintain crisp spiritual and career goals, and assist us in developing strategies for achieving them; people whose lives  model “focus”. Certainly St. Paul serves as an example:

“…This one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal…the call of God in Christ Jesus.”  (Phil. 3:14, 15)

  • WISDOM  –  A mentor can help us access skills, tools, concepts, ideas and resources in achieving our goals. He can also serve as a wise model. Paul reminds Timothy of their mentor-protégé relationship:

But you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings…”  (II Tim. 3:10, 11a)

  • ENCOURAGEMENT  –  We all need people who will encourage and  believe in us:

“…You know how we were...encouraging…each one of you as a father would his own children, that you may walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you…”  (I Thess. 2:11, 12a)

  • NETWORK+  –  Once you have won his trust, a mentor will access you into his network. St. Paul was a master at connecting people, often operating his ministry with teams of men. No Lone Ranger here:

And (Paul) was accompanied by Sopater… Aristarchus…Secundus…Gaius…Timothy, Tychius and Trophimus…”  (Act. 20:4)

Over the years it has become apparent to me that the believers who choose to isolate themselves spiritually  from their peers, and who miss out on a mentoring relationship, run a high risk of developing spiritual imbalances  and set themselves up for moral failure.


My prayer is that you are having a great week!