Just For Dads

This entrepreneur’s lesson, Day 5

Today’s reading is drawn from Lamentations 3:22-23.

On my 44th birthday, I received the phone call every entrepreneur dreads. The voice on the other end of the line was a very familiar one. The man had, for 13 years, been one of my closest friends. “Robert,” he began, “we have to call the note on your business loan. I know what this means, and I’m sorry. I’m your friend, but I’m also a man under authority. I have to do what I have to do.”

I hung up the phone and sat there stunned. My five-year-old dream had come to an end. I walked into my business partner’s office, closed the door behind me, and gave him the awful news. Our eyes welled up with tears as we began to realize the impact of what had just happened.

A few minutes later, our whole staff was together, not having any idea what they were about to hear. My business partner and I had done our best to protect them from the rough seas our little enterprise had encountered, but now we had to tell them they were out of work and should start looking for other jobs.

I went back to my office and called my wife, Bobbie. When I heard her voice, I broke down, sobbing uncontrollably. Once I gathered my composure, I told her what had happened. “We’ve lost everything, Honey,” I said. “I can’t believe it.”

Over the next few days I made dozens of phone calls. One of the first was to a man to whom our business owed tens of thousands of dollars. The purpose of my call was to tell him that I was closing the doors to my business and he was never going to see his money. After I broke the bad news, there was a moment of silence. I braced myself.

“I know you’ve done your best, Robert,” Patrick began. “God has been faithful to both of us in the past, and he’ll be faithful in the future. He will provide.”

I was overwhelmed by Patrick’s response. I thanked him for his understanding and promised that if there was anything I could ever do to make this up to him, I would. He thanked me, offered a short prayer over the phone, and we said good-bye. I’ll never forget this man’s wise words.

Jeremiah couldn’t have said it better. In fact, Jeremiah did say the same thing. “[God] has driven me away and made me walk in darkness . . . he has weighed me down with chains . . . he has barred my way with blocks of stone . . . Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed . . . Great is [God’s] faithfulness.”

This was true for Jeremiah in his distress. It was true for me when our business folded. And it’s true for you today. No unexpected phone call will ever take it away.

Bible Gateway

The Words We Speak, Day 5

Power and Promise of God’s Word

Today’s reading is drawn from Genesis 17:5 and Numbers 14:6-9.

One of the explicit teachings of the Bible is the importance of the words we speak. In this text God changes Abram’s name to Abraham and promises Abraham that he will become the father of many nations. “Abram” means “High Father” or “Patriarch.” “Abraham” means “Father of a Multitude.” Thus, God was arranging that every time Abraham heard or spoke his own name, he would be reminded of God’s promise.

Adam Clarke’s Commentary states it well: “God [associates] the patriarch more nearly to Himself, by thus imparting to him a portion of His own name,” noting God added this to Abraham “for the sake of dignity.”

The principle: Let God’s words, which designated His will and promise for your life, become as fixed in your mind and as governing of your speech as God’s changing Abraham’s name was in shaping his concept of himself. Do not “name” yourself anything less than God does.

Bible Gateway

A True Family, Day 5

Today’s reading is drawn from Mark 3:35.

Does Jesus have anything to say about dealing with difficult relatives? Is there an example of Jesus bringing peace to a painful family? Yes there is. His own . . .

It may surprise you to know that Jesus had a family at all! You may not be aware that Jesus had brothers and sisters. He did. Quoting Jesus’ hometown critics, Mark wrote, “[Jesus] is just the carpenter, the son of Mary and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas, and Simon. And his sisters are here with us” (Mark 6:3).

And it may surprise you to know that his family was less than perfect. They were. If your family doesn’t appreciate you, take heart, neither did Jesus’ . . .

[Yet] he didn’t try to control his family’s behavior, nor did he let their behavior control his. He didn’t demand that they agree with him. He didn’t sulk when they insulted him. He didn’t make it his mission to try to please them.

from He Still Moves Stones

Bible Gateway