Devotional Journal 07-14-17

Posted on July 13, 2017 in 每日靈糧

2017年 07月14日

面對面

耶和華與摩西面對面說話,好像人與朋友說話一般。-出埃及記33章11節

如今電訊發達,可以讓世界各地的人時刻保持聯繫,但這種聯繫遠不比面對面相聚來得親密。當我們與人同分享、同歡笑的時候,看到對方臉部的表情,我們便能自然地感受到對方的情緒。只要是親密的家人或是朋友,都會喜歡面對面地談心分享。

我們從聖經看到上帝和摩西這種面對面的關係。摩西蒙上帝揀選帶領以色列民,他跟隨上帝多年,信心也不斷地增長。當以色列民頑梗悖逆,轉去拜偶像時,摩西仍繼續跟隨上帝。當以色列民犯了敬拜金牛犢的罪之後(出埃及記32章),摩西在離營地稍遠的地方,搭建會幕與上帝相會。以色列民只能站在各自的帳篷門口,遠遠地觀望(33章7-11節)。當象徵上帝同在的雲柱立在會幕的門前,摩西就為百姓祈求,上帝跟摩西面對面說話,並應許會親自和他們同去(14節)。

耶穌的受死與復活,除去我們和上帝之間的鴻溝,所以我們再也不需要像摩西這樣的人來為我們代求。如同耶穌稱門徒為朋友,我們也能藉著基督成為上帝的朋友(約翰福音15章15節) ,並且與上帝面對面,像和朋友交談一樣地與祂談心。

面對面歡欣的良辰,面對面萬事知清;面對面見我救贖主,祂的愛何等豐盛。

我們能與主面對面,像朋友一樣交談。

資料來源–靈命日糧

July 14 2017

Face to Face

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Exodus 33:11

Although the world is connected electronically like never before, nothing beats time together in person. As we share and laugh together, we can often sense—almost unconsciously—the other person’s emotions by watching their facial movements. Those who love each other, whether family or friends, like to share with each other face to face. 

We see this face-to-face relationship between the Lord and Moses, the man God chose to lead His people. Moses grew in confidence over the years of following God, and he continued to follow Him despite the people’s rebelliousness and idolatry. After the people worshiped a golden calf instead of the Lord (see Ex. 32), Moses set up a tent outside of the camp in which to meet God, while they had to watch from a distance (33:7–11). As the pillar of cloud signifying God’s presence descended to the tent, Moses spoke on their behalf. The Lord promised that His Presence would go with them (v. 14).

Because of Jesus’s death on the cross and His resurrection, we no longer need someone like Moses to speak with God for us. Instead, just as Jesus offered to His disciples, we can have friendship with God through Christ (John 15:15). We too can meet with Him, with the Lord speaking to us as one speaks to a friend.

Face to face! O blissful moment! Face to face—to see and know; face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ who loves me so!

We can speak to the Lord as a friend.

Copy received from Our Daily Bread

Peaceful, Relaxing Music

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

7 ‘Ms’ to Answer When Considering a Tattoo  — By Will Honeycutt

Tattoos are more popular than ever. Currently one in five U.S. adults has at least one tattoo (21percent) which is up from the 16 percent and 14 percent who reported having a tattoo in 2003 and 2008, respectively, by the Harris Poll. Entertainers, professional athletes, and even a 2009 version of Barbie, have multiple, and very visible, tattoos. With such prevalence and rising interest, Christians rightfully ask what the Bible says about tattoos. 

The short answer is…nothing. At least nothing definitive. The Bible makes no specific reference to tattoos as we understand them in modern times. Some Christians condemn all tattooing as immoral because God clearly forbids them in Leviticus 19:28. Since the word tattoo does appear in this verse in some popular English translations, this argument seems straightforward. For example, the NIV reads, “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.” 

Other Christians say this passage no longer applies to us because it is Old Testament law, and not for Christians. If you go online to try to answer the tattoo question, you’ll see both approaches and contradictory conclusions. Both of these approaches, however, are misleading because, as we will see, the answer to the tattoo question is that the Bible has nothing clearly to say about the practice of injecting ink under the skin to form permanent pictures, patterns or messages—a.k.a. tattooing. 

Leviticus 19:28 literally translates, “And a cutting for the dead you will not make in your flesh; and writing marks you will not make on you; I am the Lord.” The word writing refers to inscribed or engraved symbols/words, and is used only here. The word for marks, also used here alone, has an uncertain root, so we’re not really sure what the word means. Further, the word tattoo did not enter into the English language until the late 1700s.  This is probably why the KJV, written in the early 1600s, is closer to the literal translation saying, “ye shall not…print marks upon you.” 

The background to this law was that Israel, after being rescued from slavery, was between Egypt and Canaan. Recent archeology indicates that, while Egypt did tattoo, it was limited to women. Evidence suggests that tattooing the body parts of women associated with fertility (breasts, thighs and abdomen) was believed to be a good luck charm to protect the birthing process. Women also frequently had imprints of the fertility goddess, Bes, which seems to support this theory.

In Canaan, evidence indicates that instead of marking the body with ink, more extreme scarification measures, like branding, slashing or gashing the skin were used. Archeology, backed by biblical texts, indicates the Canaanites would customarily slash their bodies for ritualistic purposes (1 Kings 18:28), especially to mourn their dead and honor their gods. Leviticus 19:28 seems to imply this when it says, “you will not make cuttings in your flesh, for the dead, nor print marks on you.” In light of this information from Egypt and Canaan, it would seem God was forbidding scarification, not tattooing as we know it.

With this said, while there may be no clear passage in the Bible addressing tattoos, this is hardly a license for unrestrained tattooing. You still need to think before you ink, especially if you’re a Christian. The following are guiding questions to help you think through your decision. 

Modification – Since the Bible does not explicitly forbid tattoos, are there any limits? We know our body is not our own, but rather God’s temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The Bible has a high view of the body as God’s handiwork, which is not to be disfigured. Non-Israelites did not hold this view. Today, some have permanently modified their bodies to look more like animals or aliens than humans, who alone are created in his image. We must ask ourselves how much we can modify our bodies to suit our desires while not disfiguring the beauty of the human form as God made it. 

Motive – Why get a tattoo? If it is in rebellion to parents, it is clearly not acceptable (Ephesians 6:1-3). And while artistic self-expression can be OK, our primary motive for anything we do should be to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). This means seeking to honor and draw attention to him, not ourselves. Getting a tattoo for purposes of witness may be acceptable, but remember, this is not the primary or most effective way to evangelize. It is in no way a substitute for verbally communicating the gospel. You are not fulfilling the Great Commission simply because you have a tattoo of a Bible verse.

Modesty – Modesty means not being self-promoting. Are you seeking to direct people’s thoughts toward God or yourself? Tattoos often accentuate certain areas of the body and get our thoughts on that body part. It is hard to believe that anyone with a “tramp stamp” (a tattoo on the lower back) is really seeking to direct people’s thoughts toward God. Thinking modestly will lead you to think about, and even limit, the size, number, and locations of tattoos.

Marketability – Will employers want to hire you? Numerous companies don’t want your tattoo to be visible, and it can actually prevent you from being hired. Many employers will restrict your tattoos, requiring you to cover them up because they are not socially acceptable from a business standpoint.

Message – What is it about yourself that you want to communicate to the world? Tattoos are powerful messages, automatically conveying what you value. They are nearly permanent and will likely be with you for life. A growing experience with tattoos is what has officially been termed, “tattoo regret.” As you mature, you may, like increasing numbers of people, regret your tattoos because you have outgrown their messages and changed your values. 

Money – Is this the wisest use of money? One website, Tattoo Info, says, “In America, you can expect a basic price of $80 to $100 an hour…very few shops will ever touch you for less than $40” (2004-2009). We are responsible to God for how we use our money. It’s also important to keep in mind that the removal technologies being developed are even more expensive than the cost of getting a tattoo in the first place.

Medical concerns – There are real health risks with tattoos. The Mayo Clinic warns, “don’t take tattooing lightly”. They’ve resulted in severe allergic reactions, infections, unsightly scars, and blood-borne diseases like Hepatitis B and C. Tattooing deliberately opens skin and exposes your blood to unknown bacteria. Tattoo parlors are not medical clinics, although they are puncturing skin and exposing blood.

Please, think before you ink. Don’t make this decision hastily or rashly. Use these guiding questions to think through your decision. Discuss them with mature Christian adults you trust.

This article originally appeared in Reach Out, Columbia magazine and is used with permission.

Will Honeycutt has been a professor of contemporary issues and apologetics at Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA, since 1995. He lives in Forest, VA, with his wife of 25 years and their adult daughter, and enjoys teaching college-aged adults in his church.

Copy was received from Christianity.com Daily Inspirations

經文: 哥林多前書十章                                  

鑰節「你們所遇見的試探,無非是人所能受的,上帝是信實的,必不叫你們受試探過於所能受的,在受試探的時候,總要給你們開一條出路,叫你們能忍受得住。」(10:13)

提要: 「所以,自己以為站得穩的須要謹慎,免得跌倒!」保羅是要我們活得不確定、沒有信心、對自己的信念沒有把握嗎?不,他是警告我們不要失去謹慎的心──明知自己的弱點何在,卻一點也不防備。我們「以為」自己站立得穩,並不表示我們的想法一定正確。謹慎一點還是好的──特別當每件事看起來都沒有問題的時候。

當試探來臨時,我們最好記得,試探並不是專為我們設計的。你碰到性的試探?金錢的試探?或者權力的試探?現在正有成千上萬的人面對相同的試探。

你要記住的是:「上帝是信實的」。祂總是應允那些在試探中向祂呼求的人。祂從不失敗。

並且,如果你是認真的求助,救援一定會來到。上帝會為你開一條出路。而這條出路行不行得通端賴於你的選擇。你必須咬緊牙關,轉離可見的快樂,走進自我否定的陌生領城裏。否則「犯罪──認罪──犯罪」的遊戲就會一再重演。

禱告:噢,神聖的上帝,藉著主耶穌基督賜給我們的恩典,我們已決定要真正的悔改──懷著神聖的憂傷停止罪行。主啊,祢應許祢所允許的試探臨到我們時,祢必為我們開一條出路,但我們也知道,我們必須立刻決定走祢為我們開的路而不犯罪。靠祢的恩典,我們決定每一天都如此行。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

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

A Certain Toughness

Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem, look around and consider, search through her squares. If you can find but one person who deals honestly and seeks the truth, I will forgive this city. - Jeremiah 5:1

Love calls for a certain toughness of mind—not looking down on others or hating them, even if we know their sins and flaws. Jesus is the perfect example of this combination of toughness and gentleness.

Jeremiah 6:14 says, “They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.” Of all people, Christians should not be gullible. We should know how deeply sin has corrupted the world and how hard it is to restore relationships. The apostle Paul, echoing our verse for today and other passages, says, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). That includes us—unless we turn to Jesus. Thankfully, God’s grace is greater than all our sin.

It is said that the ancient Greek philosopher Diogenes went around Athens, holding up a lantern, peering into people’s faces, looking for an honest man. Their consciences, it seems, couldn’t meet his gaze, and they looked away.

People from every economic and social level cover up dishonesty. No one wants God’s searchlight to uncover their sin. It takes a tough attitude to achieve justice, to sift through lies to find the truth. Getting to know people takes time.

Do we even know ourselves?

Prayer: O God, you see into our hearts. Give us eyes to see what is really there. May we turn from our sin and honor you. Teach us from Jesus’ example. Amen.

要有堅韌的心看罪

「你們當在耶路撒冷的街上跑來跑去,在寬闊處尋找,看看有一人行公義、求誠實沒有?若有,我就赦免這城。」 – 耶 5:1

愛,需要包含一個堅韌的心——即使明明看到別人的罪過和缺點,但仍然不會蔑視或恨惡他們。耶穌便是堅韌和溫柔兼備的完美例子。

耶利米書 6:14說:「他們輕輕忽忽地醫治我百始的損傷,說:『平安了!平安了!』其實沒有平安!」在這世界上,基督徒最沒可能是無知的一群,因為我們十分了解,罪對這世界的遺害是多麼深遠,而恢復已經破裂的關係是多麼困難。使徒保羅也這樣回應今天這節經文和其他的經文:「沒有義人,連一個也沒有」(羅馬書 3:10)。連基督徒也包括在內——除非我們轉向耶穌。感謝神,神的恩典遠超過我們一切的罪。  

據說,古代希臘哲學家戴奧吉尼斯走遍雅典城,提著燈籠,仔細窺視每個人的面容,為要尋著一個誠實的人。人心中的良知叫自己不敢正視他的目光,所以人人都轉頭走開了。

事實上,任何經濟和社會階層的每一個人,都在隱瞞自己的謊話,沒有人喜歡被神的探照燈暴露他們的罪。我們需要有一個堅韌的心,才能實踐公正、分辨出謊話和真理。要真正認識一個人,是很費時的。

我們又是否真的認識自己呢?

禱告: 神啊,祢看透我們的內心,求祢賜我們眼睛看清自己裏面是甚麼。惟願我們遠離罪惡並尊榮祢,又求祢用耶穌的榜樣來教導我們。奉耶穌的名禱告,阿們。

Copy was collected from BTG Ministries Int’l

今天經文:耶利米書 5:1-5

1你們當在耶路撒冷的街上跑來跑去, 在寬闊處尋找, 看看有一人行公義求誠實沒有? 若有,我就赦免這城。

2其中的人雖然指着永生的耶和華起誓, 所起的誓實在是假的。

3耶和華啊,你的眼目不是看顧誠實嗎? 你擊打他們,他們卻不傷慟; 你毀滅他們,他們仍不受懲治。 他們使臉剛硬過於磐石, 不肯回頭。

4我說:這些人實在是貧窮的,是愚昧的, 因為不曉得耶和華的作為 和他們  神的法則。

5我要去見尊大的人,對他們說話, 因為他們曉得耶和華的作為 和他們神的法則。 哪知,這些人齊心將軛折斷, 掙開繩索。    

美國大法官奇特的畢業典禮致詞:祝你不幸      (本文選自:水深之處)

最近美國首席大法官約翰羅伯茲在一所中學的畢業典禮上,嚴肅又風趣地發表了一篇特別的致詞,並且立即透過網路風靡了全球。有趣的是,大法官的兒子也在畢業生行列中,所以這番話也可以看成是父親說給兒子聽的。

他說,通常畢業致詞會祝你們好運,心想事成,但他絕不會那樣做。相反的,他要給大家一些另類的「祝福」:

在接下來的幾年,我希望你們受到不公平的對待,這樣你們才知道公平正義的重要。

我希望你們嘗到背叛的滋味,這樣才能學習到忠誠的重要。

我希望你們有時會感到孤單,這樣才不會把朋友視為理所當然。

我希望你們三不五時就遭遇不幸,這樣才能意識到機率和運氣在人生中的角色,了解到你的成功不完全是你應得的,而別人的失敗也不是他們應得的。

當你們失敗時—人生一定會有失敗—我希望你的對手幸災樂禍,讓你們理解運動家精神的重要。

我希望你們被人忽視,這樣才會知道聆聽他人言語的重要,我也希望你們遭受充分的痛苦而學習同理心。

不管有沒有這些「祝福」,我說的事情終究會發生。至於你們是否能從中獲利,則取決於你們從不幸中是否參透某些「訊息」。

當我看完這篇致詞,我會心一笑,因為大部分有些經歷的基督徒都知道,這正是在他們得救以後,神在他們身上所做的安排。

有些人剛信主時,以為他即將進入一片坦途,人生除了光亮還是光亮。哪知道神並不一定挪走原有的困境,反而本來沒甚麼事的,信主後卻多了好些雜事鳥事惡事。

他轉頭看看別人,奇怪,同樣是信主的,怎麼  神就為他們除掉擋路的石頭,把他們的難處給移開了?

這是做錯了甚麼事遭受了咒詛嗎?不是的,這正是大法官所說的「祝福」。 

在一般人的生活當中,也會有不公平,有背叛,有孤單,有不幸,有失敗,有從人來的幸災樂禍,有被人藐視忽視,也曾遭受許多的痛苦。在這樣的為難當中,有的人學了功課,打從心底明白了某些事物有多麼重要,並且被訓練而使某些歷練化作他生命和性格的一部分。有的人正好相反,變得比原來更會抱怨。他完全沒有進步,反而被那些環境打敗,只能說幾年下來他白白受了苦,而且過幾年可能又得重新再來一遍,直到他學會為止。

但基督徒不只是學會不抱怨,不浪費  神的安排,也不只是從環境中被神訓練而變得更老練,他們更是被這些苦楚切開、割開,於是神就有機會從切口進入,把更多的恩典分賜到他們裡面。

就像植物接枝,在神那一面,也就是基督那一面,祂已經嘗盡了人世間的苦味,甚至倒空自己,被人榨乾了生命,釘死在十字架上,因此也就湧現了復活的結果,成就了最美的救贖和生命的分賜。但在接受的人這一面,他也需要有切口。的確只要信,只要打從心裡呼求主名,照著他的信受浸,他便受了這生命。然而這生命要如何加深加廣持續湧流?乃是藉著環境中的種種切割,打破我的一切。

打破我的封閉,打破我的自滿,打破我的小雞肚腸,打破我的守舊,打破我的安逸,打破我對物質的迷思,打破我習慣性的犯罪,打破我的貪愛世界,打破我的死沉,打破我的胡思亂想,打破我的茶來伸手飯來張口,打破我的自我中心,打破我不讓基督掌權的小小世界,打破我的肉慾,打破我對折磨自己的偏好,打破我所有的鬼主意。

你破碎了,住在你深處的那靈卻從拘禁中出來了。這樣,你好像死了,其實你活了,而且活得比原來更好。這不是真正的祝福,又是甚麼?

但我並不願像大法官一樣,祝你遭遇那些「祝福」。我乃願祝你無論何事臨到你,看起來好或者壞,你都能學到秘訣。就像使徒保羅在腓立比書上說的:「我知道怎樣處卑賤,也知道怎樣處豐富;或飽足、或飢餓、或有餘、或缺乏,隨事隨在,我都得了秘訣。我靠著那加給我力量的,凡事都能作」。(腓立比書 4:12-13)

親愛的朋友,但願你在一切的幸運或不幸中,都能記住這一個寶貴的訊息!