When Unjust Suffering Leads to Great Redemption

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Peter 2:18-25.  Let’s go!

1 Peter 2:18-25 (NIV) 
18  Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.
19  For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God.
20  But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God…….

On verses 18-25:  Amazingly, in the face of persecution, Peter tells his people not to complain or fight against those who persecute them, but to bear with the suffering and endure it.  He even says it is “commendable before God” (v19) for one to suffer for doing good and endure it while being “conscious of God” (i.e. with God in mind) (v20).   What is Peter’s reason for saying all this?  It’s because we are following in the footsteps of Jesus when we suffer unjustly for doing good (v21).  Peter goes on to talk about the way Jesus put up with unjust suffering – how “when they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats” (v23) and entrusted himself to God who judges justly (v23). 

教堂关闭了

马太福音18:20因为无论在哪里,有两三个人奉我的名聚会,那里就有我在他们中间。

星期五晚上从查经班回来收到一封教会牧师的信件,教会这周日开始停止敬拜聚会了。刚才在查经班里,我们也讨论到这个问题,许多教会都顺服加拿大政府的要求,超过两百五十人以上的聚集必须取消。

事实上,网路上己经不断有这样的消息出现,也有人开始反应网路上的敬拜和实体敬拜的不同感觉。人终归是人,看着电脑或电视敬拜,总觉得缺少了一份敬虔。

以前总觉得不能去教会敬拜是一件离我们好远的事,只会发生在那些没有宗教自由的地方,我们根本不用担心,一个星期想去教会几次都没问题。几曾何时,因为新冠状病毒的肆虐,这样的事也临到了我们身上,不能去教会敬拜了。

幸好有一些牧者提出了一些方案,虽然有网路敬拜,最好不要自己一人或一家子宅在家里敬拜;最好邀请两三个家庭一起敬拜,一起颂赞,一起祷告,一起听道。有的教会只提供讲道,但是敬拜的内容若只是听道就感觉贫乏。

Let Your Actions Speak Well of Jesus

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Peter 2:11-17.  Let’s go!

1 Peter 2:11a (NIV) 
11  Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world…
 
On verse 11a:  Here is the “alien and stranger” theme again from Peter, the idea that as Christians our home is not on earth but in heaven.  So don’t live as if your life on earth is all there is, but every day live with heaven in mind.
 
1 Peter 2:11b (NIV) 
…to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
 
On verse 11b:  How does sin “war against your soul”?  By trying to get you to buy into the lie that you’ll be happier and better off if you sin.  That is the deceitfulness of sin.  Are you tempted to sin in a certain way today? 

耶稣在耶利哥

路加福音19:10人子来,为要寻找、拯救失丧的人。

谈起耶利哥,相信没有人不知道吧! 你第一个想到跟耶利哥有关的故事是什么?

是不是以色列人绕耶利哥七天,耶利哥就倒了的故事呢?真的很神奇吧! 神晓喻约书亚,一周六天内每天绕城一次,在第七天绕城七次;约书亚照做,城就倒了。神不允许以色列人拿取耶利哥的东西,全部要消灭掉,因为是当灭之物;唯有金子、银子和铜铁的器皿,都要归耶和华为圣,必入耶和华的库中。有一个人名叫亚干,他私底下拿了一件美好的示拿衣服,二百舍客勒银子,一条金子重五十舍客勒,结果以色列人在第二阶段的艾城之役大败。亚干的罪也被彰显出来。

约书亚咒诅重建耶利哥城门的人,因为耶利哥是以色列人进迦南攻取的第一个城巿,也就是初熟之物,是属于神的。以色列王亚哈在位的时候,有伯特利人希伊勒重修耶利哥城。立根基的时候,丧了长子亚比兰,安门的时候,丧了幼子西割,正如耶和华藉嫩的儿子约书亚所说的话(王上16:34)。

Crave the Word of God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Peter 2:1-10.  Let’s go!

1 Peter 2:1 (NIV) 
1  Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
 
On verse 1:  Here’s a Bible reading tip: whenever you see the word “therefore”, look at the verses just before “therefore”.  Then you can better know what the “therefore” is there for.  In this case, just before verse 1, Peter has been telling his readers to “love each other deeply from the heart, since you have been born again by the imperishable word of God” (1 Peter 1:22-25).  So it is with the goal of loving each other deeply that Peter tells his readers to rid themselves of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 
 

想跟男友复合

There’s No Expiry Date on God’s Word or Jesus’ Blood

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Peter 1:13-25.  Let’s go!

1 Peter 1:13 (NIV) 
13  Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

On verse 13:   Peter is telling believers everywhere in the Roman empire: don’t place your hope in money, pleasure, people, or anything else you have now.  Instead, place your hope fully on the grace you will be given when Jesus comes again: the future grace of being united with Jesus, of knowing Him intimately, of experiencing His presence so closely and without limit, and of being home together with Him and with God’s family in heaven where there is no more death, sickness, suffering or sorrow.

耶稣在伯大尼

约翰福音11:25  耶稣对她说:「复活在我,生命也在我。」

在国外有不少同样名字的城巿,例如温哥华Vancouver,在加拿大的英属哥伦比亚省有一个,在美国华盛顿州也有一个;而列治文Richmond,在世界上有60个地方都取这个名字。圣经上的伯大尼也是如此,新约里告诉我们,在以色列这小小的地方就有两个地方都叫伯大尼。这两个伯大尼都很出名。

因为第一个伯大尼是耶稣接受施洗约翰施洗的地方。在〈约翰福音〉一章28节记载:「这是在约但河外,伯大尼,约翰施洗的地方作的见证。」这地方称为约旦河外的伯大尼,大多数人认为是在现代约旦国境内、约但河下游的东岸地区。这约旦河外的伯大尼就在比利亚境内。

所以当耶稣还在比利亚时,有人来告诉耶稣,他所爱的人病了。耶稣听了的反应是:「这病不至于死,乃是为神的荣耀,叫神的儿子因此得荣耀。」但是,拉撒路却死了。当我们为病人代祷时,总认为病人要得医治,神才能得荣耀;人若死了,神还有什么荣耀呢?换个角度思想,假如所有的病人经过祷告就不死,世界会不会太拥挤了?

耶稣在比利亚

路加福音15:10 我告诉你们:一个罪人悔改,在神的使者面前也是这样为他欢喜。

比利亚在哪里呢?这地方对我们而言有点陌生,因为她在约但河东,是旧约的基列地,新约一般用「约旦河外」(太 19:1、可 10:1、约 10:40)来形容此地。此地地势很高,树木很多,有长达 1000公尺的悬崖,可俯视约旦河。当以色列人要过约旦河进迦南时,流便、迦得、玛拿西半支派的人看到它,竟然不想进入迦南了! 摩西答应把这片土地赐给这两个半支派,但是要求他们的男丁仍然和其他人一起进迦南并肩争战,直到得到应许之地。他们也答应了。

在主耶稣的时代,比利亚住的大多是犹太人,由希律安提帕统治。此地与加利利和犹大地相连,因此犹太人若想从加利利区去犹大地,或从犹大地去加利利区,却不想经过撒玛利亚,就可以取道比利亚。

主耶稣在最后一次前往耶路撒冷之前,也就是受难之前,曾隐退到约旦河外,也就是在比利亚住了一小段时日。四福音里都有这个记载,只是各取记录耶稣的教训有别。分列如下:

一, 论离婚 (太19:3-12/可10:1-12/路16:18)

耶稣在比利亚时,有法利赛人来跟耶稣讨论离婚(休妻)的问题。犹太人当时对离婚的看法有保守和自由两派。摩西在〈申命记〉 24:1 吩咐以色列人:「人若娶妻以后,见她有甚么不合理的事,不喜悦她,就可以写休书交在她手中,打发她离开夫家。」什么是「不合理的事」呢?犹太人对这一点有许多的争论。比较保守的沙买学派(Shammai School) 认为不合理的事只有一项,就是淫乱。稍自由的希列学派(Hillel School)认为它涵盖较广,于是到最后变成几乎不论什么理由都可以休妻。