Devotional Journal 07-18-17

Posted on July 17, 2017 in 每日靈糧

2017年 07月18日

標籤

惟有基督在我們還作罪人的時候為我們死,上帝的愛就在此向我們顯明了。-羅馬書5章8節

在我居住的城市裡,有間教會製作了非常獨特的歡迎卡,充分表達上帝對世人的慈愛與恩典。歡迎卡上寫道:「無論你是一個聖人、罪人、失敗者、贏家、酗酒的人、偽君子、騙子、膽小鬼或是不容易適應環境的人……我們都歡迎你來我們的教會。」其中一位牧師告訴我:「在每個主日聚會中,我們會一起大聲朗讀這張歡迎卡。」

很多時候,我們容易接受別人貼在我們身上的「標籤」,認定自己是個怎麼樣的人。另一方面,我們也會輕易地在別人身上貼標籤。但上帝的恩典足以除去一切的標籤,因著上帝的慈愛,我們就不再以自己的觀點來做評判。不論我們覺得自己是好人還是壞人、是人才還是庸才,都可以得到上帝所賜的永生。使徒保羅提醒那些在羅馬的基督徒,說:「因我們還軟弱的時候,基督就按所定的日期為罪人死。」(羅馬書5章6節)

上帝不是要我們靠自己的力量尋求改變,相反地,祂歡迎我們以本來的面目來到祂的面前,在祂裡面得著盼望、醫治和自由。「惟有基督在我們還作罪人的時候為我們死,上帝的愛就在此向我們顯明了」(8節)。上帝隨時樂意按我們的本相接納我們。

天父,謝謝祢藉著耶穌,彰顯祢的奇妙大愛。

不管人們給你貼上什麼標籤,上帝都願意饒恕你。

資料來源–靈命日糧

July 18 2017

Beyond Labels

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

A church in my city has a unique welcome card that captures the love and grace of God for everyone. It says, “If You Are A . . . saint, sinner, loser, winner”—followed by many other terms used to describe struggling people—“alcoholic, hypocrite, cheater, fearful, misfit . . . . You are welcome here.” One of the pastors told me, “We read the card aloud together in our worship services every Sunday.”

How often we accept labels and allow them to define who we are. And how easily we assign them to others. But God’s grace defies labels because it is rooted in His love, not in our self-perception. Whether we see ourselves as wonderful or terrible, capable or helpless, we can receive eternal life as a gift from Him. The apostle Paul reminded the followers of Jesus in Rome that “at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6).

The Lord does not require us to change by our own power. Instead He invites us to come as we are to find hope, healing, and freedom in Him. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (v. 8). The Lord is ready and willing to receive us just as we are.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your amazing love in Jesus.

God’s forgiveness defies our labels of failure or pride.

Copy received from Our Daily Bread

Sunday Morning Classics

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6jQZzaohVg

Awkward Love   –By Logan Wolfram

Today’s Truth

 Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, and live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. (2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV)

Friend to Friend

They started talking about us the second we walked out the door. You could almost feel the anticipation in the room–no one wanted to shoo us out, but they were all waiting for us to leave so they could talk about us. We didn’t fit in. It was obvious.

Later, I asked my friend how long it took for people to start talking about us after we left. And as I suspected, it began as soon as the door had shut behind us. We laughed about that, she and I, because really, what else do you do?

Our friendship began when she started working for me. I hired her to help twice a month with some housework, and I had been praying for her long before she came into my life. My degree is in Spanish, and it turned out that my Spanish is way better than her English, so somewhere in the middle of all that, we built a friendship.

Lupe is my friend. But we come from and live in different worlds.

So the day she invited us to her house for her son’s birthday party, I knew that if I ever wanted to bridge the gap for her to come here, we would need to go there first. The reason is simple. If you really want to build a bridge, you have to take the first step to know if it will hold or not. When we are divided by different worlds, the gap won’t close until we make a move to close it.

I want to tell you that when we went, there wasn’t a single second of awkward and that we were instantly treated as family. I want to tell you that they taught us how to salsa and we danced the night away under piñatas and twinkly lights in a big backyard talking and laughing and feeling more at home there than if we had stayed at home.

But I can’t.

Even knowing the language, my brain can’t keep up with the cacophony of thirty different voices at a party. So I awkwardly engaged one patient person at a time and translated for my husband as we went. 

One of the ladies who works with Lupe said to me in Spanish, “Oh wow! I didn’t expect to see you here.” I could hear a few people ask, “Who are the gringos? Why are they here?” We were welcomed for sure, and all made definite efforts to engage one another, but man, the gap was a wide one!

We weren’t the first ones to leave, but when we did, Lupe insisted I take home some of her homemade posolé.

Lupe told me later that her friends were amazed we came. In fact she talked so long about how shocked they were that I discovered a deeper level of this truth: If we want to love people well, we must learn how to do so at the expense of our own comfort.

It’s so much easier to talk about bridging gaps than it is to actually do it. But Lupe makes a way for me in her spaces, and I make a way for her in mine. And while we wear a path back and forth between our two worlds, I’m sure that eventually those present divisions will become part of the very things we value most about one another

Engaging the awkward, out of place, not-knowing-what-to-say moments in which we step across our own discomfort and into love, those are the times that make a life. And when we start seeing people instead of their differences, I’m convinced we will see God more than we ever could have before.

Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, thank You that out of a love so great for us, You willingly walked through not only discomfort but also even pain. Give us opportunities Father to rejoice in that extravagant love and to work towards restoration, unity, and peace among one another. Thank You for Your creativity in making Your children unique, and Lord, I pray that we would see more of You as we celebrate the ways You have made us different from one another. Lord, make us more concerned with love than we are with our own comfort. Show us more of You as we learn to love one another well.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copy was received from Christianity.com Daily Inspirations

經文: 哥林多前書十四章                                  

鑰節:「因為上帝不是叫人混亂,乃是叫人安靜。」(14:33)

提要: 結果子本身還不是目的。有一更大的目的是:上帝得榮耀。「叫人得益處」還在這個目的之下。屬靈恩賜和果子的終極目標是使人歸向上帝。保羅這麼說:當一個罪人來到一個有活力的、恩賜運行中的教會,「他就必將臉伏地,敬拜上帝說,『上帝真是在你們中間了!』」吸引人的不是靈恩,而是上帝的同在。

我們這些經常上教會的人或許都需重新認識什麼是屬靈事工。活動並不一定等於事工。我們「奉主的名」做太多太多的事。不幸的是,如果我們誠實的話,我們所辦的許多活動其實與一般人參加的社團活動沒有兩樣。籌備會、長執會、退修會、聚會、特別聚會、節慶──都是奉主名做的。

而我們總是在開始時作「期許」的禱告──像餐前的謝飯禱告一樣──好像當我們要求,上帝就有義務要祝福;好像一個禱告就能神奇的將人間的熱情轉變成天上的燈火。

老實說,我們許多的「屬靈」活動大部分是使我們疲憊不堪。我們變得緊張過度、不能自抑;當我們再與其他緊張、狂亂的弟兄姐妹相處時,衝突和混亂就不可避免的產生了。

保羅說,在我們的教會事工中使上帝得榮耀的最後結果是安靜,不是混亂。這或許可用來檢驗你是否真的在服事。你因著某種企圖心而無法自抑的工作嗎?或者你的心平靜安穩?

禱告:主啊,今天的經文一開始就勸我們要追求愛,並要切慕屬靈的恩賜,特別是作先知講道(預言)的恩賜。聖經在其他地方也說,「預言中的靈意乃是為耶穌作見證」。求祢再次用祢聖靈的能力充滿我們,使我們與失喪的人分享耶穌。奉主耶穌聖名,阿們!

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

Loneliness

God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing. - Psalm 68:6

The lonely—widows, orphans, prisoners, the homeless—what can be done to ease their sense that no one cares? Ultimately, God in his love is our dwelling place. As “a father to the fatherless,” he adopts us as his children. He defends the widow, sets the lonely in families, frees prisoners, and puts a song in their mouths. 

When God led Israel through the desert wasteland of the Sinai Peninsula after freeing them from Egypt, he scattered their enemies and refreshed his weary people. And in his law he made special provisions for widows and orphans, for foreigners, visitors, and all who were poor.

To be a part of the people of God, the church of Christ, heirs of the promise, recipients of salvation—this is a great, great blessing. There are people who think of Christ’s church as boring and a waste of time. They go to worship once or twice and soon give up. But they miss the fellowship that they could enjoy—the fellowship of all who share in God’s deep love and grace, made possible through Christ’s sufferings for all who believe. God’s caring people have a heart for those who are suffering.

Are you following God’s example and caring with compassion for others today?

Prayer: Lord, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26). May I reach out with your love to people who are lonely. In Jesus, Amen.

關愛孤單的人

「神使孤獨的有家,使被囚的出來享福。」 – 詩 68:6

對於孤單的人——寡婦、孤兒、被囚的、無家可歸的——我們可以做甚麼,來幫助他們看到並不是沒有人關心他們呢?歸根究底,愛我們的 神是我們的居所;祂是「孤兒的父」,衪願意收納我們成為祂的兒女。衪為寡婦伸冤,叫孤獨的有家,釋放被囚的,又叫他們快樂歌唱。

在釋放以色列民脫離埃及為奴之地後,神便帶領他們走過西乃半島的曠野,祂使他們的敵人四散,又叫祂疲乏的子民重新得力。在衪的誡命中,祂特別設例照顧寡婦孤兒、外邦人、客旅,和所有貧苦的人。

能夠成為神的子民、基督的教會、神應許的後嗣、得蒙拯救的人,這是何等的福分!有些人認為基督的教會十分枯燥,到那裏只是浪費時間,所以參加過一兩次崇拜後,很快便不再去了。可惜,他們錯過了他們本來可以享受到的主內情誼——就是與那些經歷 神的大愛和恩典的人的交往。因著基督為人所受的苦,凡相信祂的人也樂意與人分享愛和恩典。對,神的子民,願意關懷受苦的人。

今天,你有沒有效法 神,以憐憫的心去關懷身邊的人呢?

禱告:主啊,「除你以外,在天上我有誰呢?除你以外,在地上我也沒有所愛慕的!我的肉體和我的心腸衰殘,但 神是我心裏的力量,又是我的福分,直到永遠」。惟願我能以祢的愛去關愛孤單的人。奉耶穌的名祈求,阿們。

Copy was collected from BTG Ministries Int’l

今天經文:詩篇 68:1-10

1願神興起,使他的仇敵四散, 叫那恨他的人從他面前逃跑。

2他們被驅逐,如煙被風吹散; 惡人見神之面而消滅,如蠟被火鎔化。

3惟有義人必然歡喜, 在神面前高興快樂。

4你們當向神唱詩,歌頌他的名; 為那坐車行過曠野的修平大路。 他的名是耶和華, 要在他面前歡樂!

5神在他的聖所作孤兒的父, 作寡婦的伸冤者。

6神叫孤獨的有家, 使被囚的出來享福; 惟有悖逆的住在乾燥之地。

7神啊,你曾在你百姓前頭出來, 在曠野行走。(細拉)

8那時,地見神的面而震動,天也落雨; 西奈山見以色列神的面也震動。

9神啊,你降下大雨; 你產業以色列疲乏的時候,你使他堅固。

10你的會眾住在其中; 神啊,你的恩惠是為困苦人預備的。     

改變我人生的七段小禱告      (本文選自:BYJAMIE MORGAN | 基督郵報客座專欄作家)

過去25年中,我每天都禱告,其內容、要求各不相同,然而其中有7段禱告可謂出類拔萃。雖然這些禱告本質上說都很簡單,但  神以大能回應其中每一個,讓我的人生在屬靈上取得極大長進。

如下就是改變我人生的七段小禱告:

1)“我人生的目標是什麼?”

剛剛成為基督徒時我就開始這麼禱告,每日如此,年復一年。當第一次這麼禱告之後十年,神回應了我,當時他在我每日禱告中奇妙地遇見了我,召喚我投身事工之中。因為我持續不斷地在關乎人生目標的禱告中尋求  神,現在我將我的人生獻給他的夢想。

2)“以我受召要做的事來膏我。”

神在我們能為他做的事情上給予的大能會帶來超自然的結果。在我的受召真正顯露出來之前很久,我就主動的這麼禱告。我知道,無論我的目的如何,都需要  神的大能來做成。我依然極其渴慕  神的恩膏,所以繼續每日如此禱告。

3)“我需要智慧和分辨能力。”

通過  神的視角來看待他人和環境,這對精準解讀、干預來說至關重要。我求  神將與我所受召相適應的智慧和分辨能力賜給我。我以此作為每一天禱告的開始,也將此禱告貫穿于全天以及所需的時候。這是我最頻繁的禱告需求。

4)“將一切自私與驕傲從我人生中清除出去。”

天國的反面就是以我為中心的國度,天呢,我是不是在重生的時候還保留着很多老我(驕傲依然晃着那醜陋的腦袋)!神用我生命中的人和環境回應了這禱告,讓我向自己而死,行在基督一般的謙卑之中。這不斷磨礪的過程總是非常痛苦,但為了帶來更大的果子,這都是不可或缺的……這也帶來的下一個禱告……

5)“提升我痛苦的耐受門檻”。

我們成為基督徒的水準與我們對痛苦忍耐程度相一致。我從來不想要在沙地上畫根線說:“不要再有更多痛苦了!”如果我這麼做了,那我會妨害自己的成長。沒有痛苦就沒有收穫。我總想要在痛苦中生長,離開自己的安樂窩,得到必要的糾正。我也想要有能力去應對挑戰性的變化,做出不同的選擇並且努力拚搏。然後,還有拒絕的痛苦,有原諒那些錯待你之人的痛苦、有迫害的鞭笞、有把自己的血肉釘在十字架上的痛苦等等,這列表可以很長很長。我如此禱告,祈求挪走我成長的一切極限。

6) 我祈求你每天都給我一次屬  神的安排。

豐盛地收穫靈魂永遠是我的首要目標,我知道這需要每一次一個人一個人地去完成。哇,神回應了這個禱告!每天,神至少將我帶往一個丟失的靈魂那裡,使用我把他們帶近耶穌一步。我驚嘆于神在最不可能的場合下安排好了着神聖的會面(嗯嗯,這是未來文章的話題)。

7)“曝光需要曝光的,揭示需要揭示的,將暗中進行的帶到光明底下。”

黑暗是魔鬼的樂園,因此求  神暴露出仇敵的陰謀詭計對贏得屬靈戰爭至關重要。當  神將魔鬼對我人生的陰謀揭發出來,他就讓看不見的變成看見的,讓潛在的變成顯現的。這樣的禱告乃是決定勝敗的關鍵。

我想要知道你有哪些改變人生的禱告。是什麼鼓勵你做出如此的禱告呢?神如何回應這些禱告?這些禱告對你的屬靈成長又有什麼影響呢?