Devotional Journal 06-01-16

Posted on May 31, 2016 in 每日靈糧

2016年 6月01日

不是簡單模式

耶和華的眼目遍察全地,要顯大能幫助向祂心存誠實的人。-歷代志下16章9節

舊約律法似乎給了一個簡單的生活指標,順服上帝就蒙福,不順服就招災禍,這好像不錯,但真的這麼簡單嗎?

亞撒王的經歷好像符合這個模式。當他帶領百姓遠離假神,他的王國就復興 (歷代志下15章1-19節) 。但他在位後期,因倚靠自己而不倚靠上帝 (16章2-7節) ,使他在戰爭和病痛中度過餘生 (12節) 。

亞撒王的故事可說是完全符合這簡單的模式。但當先知哈拿尼警告亞撒王時,他說上帝要「彰顯大能來扶助那些全心歸向祂的人」(16章9節)。為何全心歸向上帝的人還需要這樣的大能呢?因為要做正確的事,還需要勇氣和堅忍。

約伯可說是聖經中遭遇最悲慘的人物,難道他犯了罪嗎?上帝說:「他完全正直」(約伯記1章8節) 。約瑟被誣告意圖性侵他主人的妻子,在監牢中受苦多年,其實是為了成就上帝美好的旨意(創世記39章19節-41章1節) 。先知耶利米遭人毆打、囚禁(耶利米書20章2節) ,他是犯了什麼錯嗎?他只是向悖逆的人們傳講真理(耶利米書26章15節) 。

可見人生並不能套用這簡單的模式,上帝的道路也非同人的道路。要做出正確的決定,可能需要付上代價。但在上帝的永恆計畫中,祂所賜的福分總是會適時地臨到我們。

主啊,謝謝祢藉著聖經讓我們看見勇氣和順服的榜樣。請幫助我們在選擇事奉祢時,能從他們的經歷中得著鑒戒。

上帝幫助那些倚靠祂的人。

June 01, 2016

Not a Simple Story

The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

Life seems straightforward in the laws of the Old Testament. Obey God and get blessed. Disobey Him and expect trouble. It’s a satisfying theology. But is it that simple?

King Asa’s story seems to fit the pattern. He led his people away from false gods and his kingdom thrived (2 Chron. 15:1–19). Then late in his reign, he depended on himself instead of God (16:2–7) and the rest of his life was marked by war and illness (v. 12).

It’s easy to look at that story and draw a simple conclusion. But when the prophet Hanani warned Asa, he said that God will “strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (16:9). Why do our hearts need strengthening? Because doing the right thing may require courage and perseverance.

Job got the starring role in a cosmic tragedy. His crime? “He [was] blameless and upright” (Job 1:8). Joseph, falsely accused of attempted rape, languished in prison for years—to serve God’s good purposes (Gen. 39:19–41:1). And Jeremiah was beaten and put in stocks (Jer. 20:2). What was the prophet’s offense? Telling the truth to rebellious people (26:15).

Life is not simple, and God’s ways are not our ways. Making the right decision may come at a cost. But in God’s eternal plan, His blessings arrive in due time.

Lord, thank You for the examples of courage and obedience in Your Word. Help us learn from their mistakes and from their wise choices, as we make our choice to serve You.

God helps those who depend on Him.

Lift Up Your Hands

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qINNR0Oblsc

A Vertical Focus

I wonder what those ten men, those ten grown sons of Jacob, talked about during that journey from Canaan to Egypt. I have an idea that it might have been the same things we would have talked about had we been in their sandals. I also believe these men were beginning to be broken. Perhaps they spoke of how much they missed their brother, Joseph. With Benjamin now among them, maybe they felt this was a good time to express their sorrow over their past actions and, together, sincerely request El Shaddai’s power and protection. I so want to believe that God was starting to melt their hearts before Him! In fact, that’s the beauty of this story as it progresses. We’re led to wonder what exactly they were thinking. We so desperately want to cut to the chase to see the happy ending, but we must wait. Because there’s always something to learn along the way.

When we’re on our journey from Canaan to Egypt, we tend to be negative rather than positive. We tend to view life horizontally rather than vertically. We tend to be resistant rather than open to that which is new and unexpected. We need some course-correction techniques to break those habits!

I can think of at least three that have worked for me:

Recognize and admit your negative mentality. So much of the cure is in the confession. Immediate correction begins with honest admission.

Force a vertical focus until it begins to flow freely. I have never seen a habit just lie down, surrender, and die; we have to make a conscious effort if we hope to break longstanding habits. If you are negative today, chances are very good that when you wake up tomorrow morning you’re still going to be negative. Force a vertical focus.

Stay open to a new idea for at least five minutes. Don’t try it for an entire day; you might panic. Just take on your day five minutes at a time. When something new, something unexpected, confronts you, don’t respond with an immediate “Nope! Never!” Wait five minutes. Hold off. Tolerate the possibility for five minutes. You will be surprised at the benefit of remaining open.

I’ve not seen a habit just lie down and die. It takes conscious effort to break it.

Copy was received from Christianity.com Daily Inspirations

經文: 詩篇第一○七、一○八篇

鑰節: 「你們要稱謝耶和華,因祂本為善,祂的慈愛,永遠長存。願耶和華的贖民說這話……。」(107:1~2 上)

提要:

詩篇第一○七篇在主題上與前兩篇有密不可分的關係。它們都讚美上帝的良善與憐憫。詩篇第一○七篇是回答詩篇一○六篇四十七節的禱告,指出上帝如何拯救祂的百姓脫離仇敵之手。以賽亞書六二章十二節用同樣的話「耶和華的贖民」來指由巴比倫被擄回歸的以色列後裔,但是也可適用更廣泛的解釋。凡是世界各地因上帝的羔羊,我們主耶穌的寶血得蒙救贖的人,都有良好的理由用歌唱讚美上帝的良善(弗 1:7)。

詩人從現實生活中提出四個例證說明,贖民為什麼要感謝耶和華的拯救。在舉出每一個有關上帝救贖聖工的例證之後,詩人都重複這一詩歌中的副歌:「但願人因耶和華的慈愛,和向人所行的奇事,都稱讚祂」。他這樣說,就是要提醒人們,在任何情況中都要感謝上帝(107:8、15、21、31)。第一個例證就是上帝看顧那些在苦難中向祂求助的漂泊的寄居者;祂帶領他們脫離困難,並領導他走正直的道路(107:7)。這是指某些回歸的被擄之民,而其時正值上帝施行神蹟鼓勵他們,並供應他們日常生活所需(比較 87:5~7)。祂不僅滿足他們生理上的需要,更重要的是,也滿足了他們靈性上的需要(107:9)。每一個人心裡都有空虛,祇有上帝才能填滿它;直到上帝這樣做時,他依然不滿足,並且盼望上帝再填滿它(詩 42:1、2;63;1~2)。第二個例證是上帝看顧被擄的人。那些被鐵鍊鎖住的,及被判死刑,即將面臨死亡的人,呼求上帝的幫助。祂神奇地釋放了他們,並且帶領他們走出黑暗(107:13~14)。那些今天為罪所奴役的人也要求祂帶領,走進奇妙的光中(彼前 2:9;西 1:12~13;弗5:8;腓 2:15;太 5:16)。詩人在這裡是指被擄去巴比倫的猶大國百姓,因為他們受苦乃是他們「違背了上帝的話語」(107:11)。第三個例證也顯示上帝所施行的類似拯救。由於罪的緣故,那些人的靈魂與身體都受到折磨。他們處在死亡與毀滅的邊緣,但是耶和華本於愛仍然垂聽他們的呼求:「祂發命醫治他們,救他們脫離死亡」(107:20)。最後一個例證指出,海上旅行者的生命受到暴風雨的威脅。他完全倚靠上帝的慈愛和憐憫,因為祇有上帝才能平靜這場狂烈的風暴,上帝使那些呼求祂的人平靜下來,並且使他們快樂。上帝指引他們受到風暴打擊的船,航向安全的海港(107:30)。那些親身體驗到上帝在救贖之後,所賜各樣福氣的人又有何種反應?詩人一再地要求,耶和華的贖民要感謝祂,公開地及愉快地傳揚祂在施行救贖時的慈愛和憐憫;他們應該在耶和華會眾的面前高舉祂(107:1、22、32)。上帝在祂看顧義人時,近一步表達祂的慈愛和憐憫(107:35~42),也自然會以讚美和感謝的祭回報上帝。

詩篇第一○八篇是一首勝利的詩歌,表達對耶和華的盼望和信心,因為祂拯救祂的百姓脫離仇敵之手,也戰勝強大的仇敵。其中的某些部份是摘自大衛所撰的前兩篇詩篇。有些經節是摘自詩篇五十七篇七至十一節;其中的第六至十三節則是摘自詩篇六十篇五至十二節,不過,稍作改變而已(有關此一問題的近一步研究,可參看這些經節的釋義)。有一個區別乃是,我們在第三節中發現,希伯來字「Yahweh」(耶和華)被用來代替「Adonai」(主),但是這兩個字都被翻譯成「Lord」(耶和華)。「Yahweh」是一個非常個人化的名字,表示與上帝有親近的關係。祇有祂的僕人才能使用這個個人化的名字稱呼祂。不論這位詩人是大衛本人,或是編輯,為了鼓勵百姓事奉上帝,這類讚美詩是不可少的。請注意,這一詩篇祇包含前幾篇中歡愉的部份。大衛在撰寫讚美詩文之前,所經歷到的苦難情況,則不在本篇引用之列。我們總是要鼓勵人們聽好的報告,及思想上帝的慈愛(比較腓 4:8)。

禱告: 哦,上帝啊,我們讚美祢,感謝您滿足我們屬靈的空虛:我們的空虛,祇有祢才能填滿。我們能列在祢的贖民之內是多麼大的權利啊!奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

Copy was collected from ACC- Two Years Bible Reading Plan.

Creator Spirit

The earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.」— Genesis 1:2

One of the most frightening features of life for ancient people was chaos. Health, food, and security were unpredictable. Chaos was symbolized by the formless sea, the abyss, an empty void, a chasm, or a gaping hole. The threat of chaos struck terror in people’s hearts.

The Bible’s opening words speak of order and comfort in the face of chaos. Genesis 1:1 boldly proclaims, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Then chaos is introduced: “The earth was formless and empty.” And next come words of great comfort: “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Some Bible versions use brooding here.

But hovering or brooding isn’t something that ended when God made the world. The Creator Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, still hovers or broods over his creation. Like an eagle hovering or brooding over its young, the Holy Spirit still sustains the world, because our world belongs to God.

Today we fear chaos too. So many things can come at us from so many directions so quickly that it can seem our world is threatened with destruction and death.

Are you afraid? Today, deep in your heart, may the “Creator Spirit, by whose aid the world’s foundations first were laid,” assure you that he is present, hovering, brooding, upholding, sustaining you and his world.          

創造天地的靈

「地是空虛混沌,淵面黑暗;神的靈運行在水面上。」 – 創 1:2

古時候的人類最害怕的一件事,就是生活混亂,居無定所。健康、飲食、和安全,皆無定數。一望無際的海洋深淵、虛無的空白、鴻溝或是枯裂的坑窪,這些景象都象徵著混沌不安;而混亂無定的景況,總威脅著人類,導致人心惶惶。

聖經一開始的話,給我們帶來安慰,呈現混亂當中所應有的秩序。創世記開篇第一節就清楚地宣告說:「起初神創造天地。」然後我們看到的,是一片混亂的景象:「地是空虛混沌。」但接下來的話帶給我們極大的安慰:「神的靈運行在水面上。」(有些聖經版本則用徘徊來取代 運行。)

神創造了天地之後,並沒有停止運行或徘徊。創造主的靈,就是三位一體神的第三位,繼續祂創造的工作。有如老鷹在雛鷹之上徘徊那樣,聖靈也一直在支撐扶持著這個世界,因為這個世界是屬於神的。

今天,我們對混亂與不安也同樣感到害怕,諸多的意外從四方八面以驚人的速度臨到我們,以致我們認為自己似乎要被摧毀和滅亡了。

親愛的朋友,你感到害怕嗎?但願這位「起初立定世界根基的聖靈」,在你心靈深處安慰堅固你。祂保證與你同在,不斷地運行、徘徊、托住、並支撐著你,還有祂所創造的世界。

Copy was collected from BTG Ministries Int’l