Devotional Journal 07-10-17

Posted on July 9, 2017 in 每日靈糧

2017年 07月10日

逃過懲罰

亞伯……卻因這信,仍舊說話。-希伯來書11章4節

那是2004年6月,在溫哥華的一間畫廊裡,加拿大越野滑雪選手貝姬·史考特獲頒奧運金牌。這頗不尋常,因為冬季奧林匹克運動會是在2002年於美國猶他州舉行。史考特當時獲得銅牌,但贏得金牌和銀牌的選手,卻於數月後被發現曾使用禁藥,而雙雙被取消獲獎資格。

這不公義的事,給史考特帶來無法彌補的遺憾。因為她最後雖然獲得了金牌,但卻沒有機會站在奧運頒獎台上,聽著自己國家的國歌奏起。

各種的不公義常困擾著我們,而且事情的嚴重性遠比失去金牌更大。該隱殺害亞伯就是一件極不公義的事(創世記4章8節)。乍看之下,該隱似乎逃過了應得的懲罰。至少他能成家立室,最後甚至建造了一座城(17節)。 

但上帝質問該隱,祂說:「你兄弟的血有聲音從地裡向我哀告」(10節)。後來新約聖經也勸誡我們,不可像該隱(約翰一書3章12節;猶大書1章11節)。至於亞伯,我們讀到:「他雖然死了,卻因這信,仍舊說話。」(希伯來書11章4節)

上帝十分看重公義,祂審判罪惡,亦為弱者辯護。將來,沒有人能逃過不公義所帶來的刑罰,而我們憑著信心為上帝所作的一切,祂也必會獎賞。

父啊,我們按聖子曾教導我們的禱告,懇求祢的國降臨,按祢的旨意改變這個破碎的世界。我們感謝祢,因祢救贖了我們。

罪惡終將被審判,不是照我們的意願,而是按上帝的旨意。

資料來源–靈命日糧

July 10 2017

Getting Away with It

By faith Abel still speaks. Hebrews 11:4

In June 2004, at a Vancouver art gallery, Canadian cross-country skier Beckie Scott received an Olympic gold medal. That’s interesting, because the Winter Olympics had been held in 2002—in Utah. Scott had won bronze behind two athletes who were disqualified months later when it was learned they had used banned substances.

It’s good that Scott eventually received her gold, but gone forever is the moment when she should have stood on the podium to hear her country’s national anthem. That injustice couldn’t be remedied.

Injustice of any kind disturbs us, and surely there are far greater wrongs than being denied a hard-won medal. The story of Cain and Abel shows an ultimate act of injustice (Gen. 4:8). And at first glance, it might look like Cain got away with murdering his brother. After all, he lived a long, full life, eventually building a city (v. 17).

But God Himself confronted Cain. “Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground,” He said (v. 10). The New Testament later recorded Cain as an example to avoid (1 John 3:12; Jude 1:11). But of Abel we read, “By faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead” (Heb. 11:4).

God cares deeply about justice, about righting wrongs, and about defending the powerless. In the end, no one gets away with any act of injustice. Nor does God leave unrewarded our work done in faith for Him.

Father, as Your Son taught us to pray, we ask that Your kingdom will come, Your will be done to change this broken world. Thank You for redeeming us. 

Sin will not ultimately be judged by the way we see it, but by the way God sees it.

Copy received from Our Daily Bread

為主而活

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75LEm9ZaFEw

When You Envy, You’re in a Battle with God  –By Rick Warren

“Friend, I didn’t cheat you. I paid you exactly what we agreed on. . . . What business is it of yours if I want to pay them the same that I paid you? Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money?” (Matthew 20:13-15a CEV).

When it looks like God’s blessing somebody in a way that he’s not blessing you, relax and trust God. Believe that he knows what’s best for you, and trust him when life seems unfair.

One of the ways you can tell envy is creeping into your life is the language you use. If you find yourself using the phrase “It’s not fair,” you’ve already fallen into the trap of envy. You say, “It’s not fair! Why them? Why not me? I’ve worked as hard as they do.”

In Jesus’ parable of the vineyard workers, the workers felt that they were being treated unfairly, not because they weren’t paid what they were promised but because other people who worked less were paid the same amount. 

Matthew 20:12 says, “These last workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us” (The Message). You can hear the envy: “We slaved all day under a scorching sun. We’re better than them!”

Notice in the next verses the reply of the owner, who represents God: “Friend, I didn’t cheat you. I paid you exactly what we agreed on. . . . What business is it of yours if I want to pay them the same that I paid you? Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money?” (Matthew 20:13-15a CEV).

The bottom line on envy is this: When you’re envious, you’re in a battle with God. You doubt God’s goodness in your life. You resent his decision to bless somebody else. You accuse him of being unfair. You don’t believe he has your best interest at heart. You accuse him of playing favorites.

On the contrary, God’s extravagant, unconditional, unending love is the same for everyone. But he’s not a vending machine — you can’t put in a prayer and get whatever you want. God has a good reason why you don’t have what you want. He knows you better than you know yourself. Practice praying, “God, I’m going to trust that you have a unique plan for my life and that you know better than me what I need right now.”

Envy is the fever. Doubting God is the infection. Any time you start envying, it’s because you doubt God. The medicine you need is to start trusting again in God and his love for you.

Copy was received from Christianity.com Daily Inspirations

經文: 哥林多前書三至四章                                  

鑰節:「……因為在你們中間有嫉妒、紛爭,這豈不是屬乎肉體,照著世人的樣子行嗎?」(林前3:3)

提要:在新國際標準版聖經裏,今天的鑰節始於「你們仍是屬肉體的……」

。如果讓現代人來完成這節經文,或許可以改成這樣:「因為在你們中間有萎靡的音樂、性行為不檢、和濫用毒品的事;這豈不是屬乎肉體,照著罪人的樣子行嗎?」在大部分人的想法中,似乎這些下三濫的事情才叫做屬體的行為,才是罪。

事實上,保羅在其他地方確實談到過這些罪。但現在他是在對一群會眾說話──一群按道理應遵守耶穌「彼此相愛」命令的人。他談的是教會所犯、人際關係上的罪。

在談到教會時,你、我很容易將她想成一個抽象概念,和我們沒有什麼特別的關係。我們可以遠遠的站在一旁加以批判。但教會就是指你和我。我們的關係不好就是我們的罪。我們常貪戀他人的財物,與人爭競或隔離。

我們爭吵之事的瑣細,與生命中其他大問題比較起來,真叫人驚異。我們為教會的停車場要不要舖水泥而吵,在此同時,依索匹亞卻有成千上萬的人面臨死亡的威脅!我們想要將某人從教會長執會中除名,然而有人在黎巴嫩被挾作人質四年之久,我們卻一點也不關心。

嫉妒分爭是政治黨團的特色。但教會能免於此嗎?你、我能避免這些瑣細的衝突嗎?讓我們一起來專注天國的事,以減少我們彼此間的差異。

保羅在這裏寫道:「我被你們論斷或被別人論斷,我都以為極小的事,連我自己也不論斷自己。」(43)最終只有一位審判官是我們應當在乎的。保羅所怕的也就是這位審判官──「但判斷我的乃是主」(4節下)。

但為什麼要受制於審判呢?為什麼不吃、喝、享樂、死亡──快快樂樂的消聲匿跡,不需對任何人負責?

如果你像我一樣平凡,你大概也曾希望自己不必一直對自己、對家庭、對朋友,或對上帝負這麼多責任。有時你真想自私一點。

但對基督徒而言,人生卻非如此。主就快再來。這個真理是我們的盼望,也管制我們的生活。我們都要在主面前交帳。我們將面對最高法院而再也沒有上訴的機會。

感謝上帝,我們已經有一位最好的律師──耶穌基督自己長遠活著為我們「代求」(來725)。祂知道人生的景況,因此能為人作最好的辯護。

禱告:親愛的父上帝,幫助我們每一天將我們的生命建立在耶穌基督的根基上。願我們從這章學習功課,用金、銀、寶石來建造,好叫我們的工程能存得住。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

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

Personal Communication

The LORD said, ‘. . . I will go down and see. . . . .’ – Genesis 18:20-21

When the Lord and two angels visited Abraham as travelers, God had two purposes in mind: to tell Abraham and Sarah that they would have a son, and to see if Sodom and Gomorrah should be destroyed for their wickedness.

Abraham humbly served his guests a meal as they sat in the shade, and the Lord told him that Sarah would have a son in about a year. Then, as they began to leave, God said he was going to see if Sodom was as wicked as he had heard. And Abraham appealed to the Lord not to destroy it if even some of the people were righteous, for his nephew Lot and his family lived there.

Some philosophers have said that stories like this are quaint and primitive. To think that the Creator of the universe would bother to talk with a human being and concern himself with the messy situations we get ourselves into! It just doesn’t make sense, they say.

But God is not distant and uncommunicative. He loves us, as he loved Abraham and Sarah. It is a mark of love and friendship that God comes to communicate with us, and that we open our hearts first of all to God and also to one another. Some find this hard to do, but for all of us it is important to put our thoughts into words. We are not strangers on a bus, sitting stony-faced and silent next to each other until we reach our destination.

Are you open to visiting with others today?

Prayer: Lord, give us the love, the will, and the words to communicate with others and with you. Amen.

神來與我們談話

「耶和華說:『…我現在要下去,察看…。』」 -創 18:20-21

耶和華和兩位天使以旅客的身份來見亞伯拉罕,有兩個目的:就是告訴亞伯拉罕和撒拉,他們將會生一個兒子,和查看是否要因所多瑪和蛾摩拉的罪惡而毀滅這兩個城。

客人們在樹蔭下歇息,亞伯拉罕謙恭地招呼他們用膳。耶和華告訴撒拉,她將會在明年生一個兒子,接著,在他們準備離開時,神說衪要看看所多瑪是不是衪聽聞的那麼邪惡。亞伯拉罕便懇求耶和華,如果城裏仍然有一些公義的人,便不要毀滅它,因為他的侄兒羅得和家人住在那裏。

有些哲學家表示,這一類故事是古老和原始的傳說,想像創造宇宙萬物的主宰,竟然會費心親自與人類交談,又關心我們一手闖下的禍患!他們認為,這種事情是不合情理的。

然而,神不是高高在上、冷漠無語的神。祂愛我們,就像衪愛亞伯拉罕和撒拉一樣。神來與我們談話,這是祂要向我們彰顯的愛和友誼的標誌,讓我們也學習向祂和向別人敞開我們的心。有些人覺得這很難做得到,但我們每一個人把心裏所想的說出來又是如此重要。我們彼此並非公共汽車上互不認識的陌生人,冷漠無聲地並排坐著,到了目的地便分開。

你今天願意與別人交往傾談嗎?

禱告: 主啊,求祢賜我們愛、誠意,和言語,來與祢和與別人溝通。奉耶穌的名禱告,阿們。

Copy was collected from BTG Ministries Int’l

今天經文:創世記 18:1-25

1耶和華在幔利橡樹那裏向亞伯拉罕顯現出來。那時正熱,亞伯拉罕坐在帳棚門口,

2舉目觀看,見有三個人在對面站着。他一見,就從帳棚門口跑去迎接他們,俯伏在地,

3說:「我主,我若在你眼前蒙恩,求你不要離開僕人往前去。

4容我拿點水來,你們洗洗腳,在樹下歇息歇息。

5我再拿一點餅來,你們可以加添心力,然後往前去。你們既到僕人這裏來,理當如此。」他們說:「就照你說的行吧。」

6亞伯拉罕急忙進帳棚見撒拉,說:「你速速拿三細亞細麵調和做餅。」

7亞伯拉罕又跑到牛羣裏,牽了一隻又嫩又好的牛犢來,交給僕人,僕人急忙預備好了。

8亞伯拉罕又取了奶油和奶,並預備好的牛犢來,擺在他們面前,自己在樹下站在旁邊,他們就吃了。

9他們問亞伯拉罕說:「你妻子撒拉在哪裏?」他說:「在帳棚裏。」

10三人中有一位說:「到明年這時候,我必要回到你這裏;你的妻子撒拉必生一個兒子。」撒拉在那人後邊的帳棚門口也聽見了這話。

11亞伯拉罕和撒拉年紀老邁,撒拉的月經已斷絕了。

12撒拉心裏暗笑,說:「我既已衰敗,我主也老邁,豈能有這喜事呢?」

13耶和華對亞伯拉罕說:「撒拉為甚麼暗笑,說:『我既已年老,果真能生養嗎?』

14耶和華豈有難成的事嗎?到了日期,明年這時候,我必回到你這裏,撒拉必生一個兒子。」

15撒拉就害怕,不承認,說:「我沒有笑。」那位說:「不然,你實在笑了。」

16三人就從那裏起行,向所多瑪觀看,亞伯拉罕也與他們同行,要送他們一程。

17耶和華說:「我所要做的事豈可瞞着亞伯拉罕呢?

18亞伯拉罕必要成為強大的國;地上的萬國都必因他得福。

19我眷顧他,為要叫他吩咐他的眾子和他的眷屬遵守我的道,秉公行義,使我所應許亞伯拉罕的話都成就了。」

20耶和華說:「所多瑪和蛾摩拉的罪惡甚重,聲聞於我。

21我現在要下去,察看他們所行的,果然盡像那達到我耳中的聲音一樣嗎?若是不然,我也必知道。」

22二人轉身離開那裏,向所多瑪去;但亞伯拉罕仍舊站在耶和華面前。

23亞伯拉罕近前來,說:「無論善惡,你都要剿滅嗎?

24假若那城裏有五十個義人,你還剿滅那地方嗎?不為城裏這五十個義人饒恕其中的人嗎?

25將義人與惡人同殺,將義人與惡人一樣看待,這斷不是你所行的。審判全地的主豈不行公義嗎?」    

你總是在遇到難處時才禱告神嗎      (本文來源:水深之處—聖經福音網)

你只在困難時才會想起神嗎?

前陣子有一則很有意思的報導,大意是說一架從澳洲柏斯飛往馬來西亞的亞航班機,在飛行途中發生引擎故障,導致機身劇烈振動,危急迫降的過程中,機長兩度廣播,要乘客齊心向  神禱告。

這架載著359名乘客的空中巴士A330,在起飛後一個多小時就開始發出巨響,機身也開始振動,因此機長決定折返。雖然A330有兩具發動機,只靠一具發動機也可以飛,但飛機一路這樣振動,飛了兩個小時才回到出發地伯斯,令人有點心慌,所以飛機降落的時候,機長要求乘客全部屈體抱膝禱告。當飛機平安落地,機艙響起歡呼,機長還特別到機門邊,和每一個乘客握手。

為難的時候禱告,很好。這是真的,很多人再怎麼為難他就是不願意禱告,凡事都只想逞強靠自己,卻不想想人不是掌握萬事的神,你不可能樣樣抓在手裡。神本來就是神,靠一下神,難道會折損你的顏面嗎?

但是,只在為難的時候才轉向神,這是不夠的。更好的是,暴風雨的時候禱告  神,萬里無雲的時候也禱告  神;掉淚和尖叫的時候禱告  神,歡笑與平安的時候也禱告  神;工作不順家事紛亂禱告  神,眼前一片坦途也禱告  神,生病禱告  神,什麼病也沒有更要禱告  神。禱告,原不是應付環境而已,而是因為人需要神,神也需要人;神想和你說說話,你也理當和祂說說話,讓祂把愛給你,把光給你,把聖潔給你,把祂的公平公義給你,把心意告訴你,也聆聽你的心聲,因為這才是禱告。

有時候(不是每個時候)遇到凶險和不順,是因為我們太少接觸  神,神也就放手,容許本來就很想攻擊你的撒但伸手來攻擊你,好使你想起還有一位神,想起你可以禱告。這是不得已的。你應當趁著吃飽喝足睡得也甜,就放下手邊事來尋求祂。而有時候(不是每個時候),縱然你是一個時常尋求天上旨意的人,神還是容許某些環境臨到你。這就不是由於你不願意禱告,而是  神願意你有更多的禱告,神知道經過這些事,這些人,這些不容易走過的路,你將更為成熟,更能夠明白並活在祂的旨意中,更看見祂真正要的是什麼。為此安排,你也該禱告,好預備迎向你即將活在其中的那些人事物,那些黑與白,以及彩色。

讓我們操練這件事:每天都來禱告  神,無論你是否屈膝,無論你感覺如何,都像夫妻相見那樣自然,來禱告  神!