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說真話

馬太福音5:33-37_說真話

33 「你們又聽見有吩咐古人的話說:『不可背誓,所起的誓總要向主謹守。』 34 只是我告訴你們,什麼誓都不可起。不可指著天起誓,因為天是神的座位; 35 不可指著地起誓,因為地是他的腳凳;也不可指著耶路撒冷起誓,因為耶路撒冷是大君的京城; 36 又不可指著你的頭起誓,因為你不能使一根頭髮變黑變白了。 37 你們的話,是就說是,不是就說不是;若再多說,就是出於那惡者。

一說到起誓,我們可能就連想到那些想取得人信任的信誓旦旦。但是畢牧師把它譯為Empty promises空洞的應許,也就是信口開河。例如,我們有時會跟人說:“我會為你禱告”但是一回家就忘了。有時我們跟人家說:“願神與你同在”,實際上心裡並不這麼想。我們習慣用宗教用語來美化日常的對話,使我們顯得高尚有義。但是相反的,這樣的說話卻使我們成了虛偽的人。

When Mercy Triumphed Over Judgement

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Hosea 14:1-9. Let’s go!

Hosea 14:1-2 (NIV) 
1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall!
2 Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: “Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips. 

On verses 1-3:  Like a mediator between God and Israel, here Hosea suggests words that Israel can speak to return to God.  He urges Israel to plead with God for forgiveness (v2).  He also tells the Israelites to acknowledge that all those idols they had previously worshiped cannot save them (v3).  

靈的專一

馬太福音5:27-32_靈的專一

27 「你們聽見有話說:『不可姦淫。』 28 只是我告訴你們,凡看見婦女就動淫念的,這人心裡已經與她犯姦淫了。 29 若是你的右眼叫你跌倒,就剜出來丟掉!寧可失去百體中的一體,不叫全身丟在地獄裡。 30 若是右手叫你跌倒,就砍下來丟掉!寧可失去百體中的一體,不叫全身下入地獄。 31 又有話說:『人若休妻,就當給她休書。』 32 只是我告訴你們,凡休妻的,若不是為淫亂的緣故,就是叫她做淫婦了;人若娶這被休的婦人,也是犯姦淫了。

是光是鹽?在光裡,不能有藏污納垢的地方,因為有任何污垢,在光中一目了然。所以我們會良心不安。鹽若沒有味道,表示沒有自己的立場,那就要被丟棄了。有時你看,還沒有信主的人都可以一眼看穿基督徒是否在作假。所以我們不要以為自己可以騙過任何人,其實是在欺騙自己而己。

我們的一個眼神,一個玩笑,一個動作,都在眾人的眼目之中。有什麼瞹眛,明眼人一瞄就清楚了。所以主耶穌在這裡告訴我們的,是靈裡的專一。有靈裡的專一,才會杜絕所有的污穢,只有上帝的聖潔。若沒有靈裡的專一,你就是強迫自己不要去看色情雜誌或電影,看到美麗的女性或帥哥,還是難免會心動。

Stay Hungry and Humble

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Hosea 13:1-16.  Let’s go!

Hosea 13:1 (NIV) 
1 When Ephraim spoke, men trembled; he was exalted in Israel. But he became guilty of Baal worship and died. 

Hosea 13:6 (NIV) 
6 When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me. 

On verses 1-12:  At one time Israel (also called Ephraim) had a close relationship with God and stood strong with Him — so much so that “when Ephraim spoke men trembled” (v1).  But this close relationship with God did not last.  Eventually Israel fell headlong into idol worship (v1b-2).  Israel’s love for God was like the morning mist (v3, see also Hosea 6:4), here one day and gone the next, and this too would be the fate of the Israelites in Hosea’s time (v3).  

與弟兄和好

馬太福音5:21-26_與弟兄和好

21 「你們聽見有吩咐古人的話說:『不可殺人』,又說:『凡殺人的難免受審判。』 22 只是我告訴你們,凡向弟兄動怒的,難免受審判;凡罵弟兄是拉加的,難免公會的審斷;凡罵弟兄是魔利的,難免地獄的火。

23 所以,你在祭壇上獻禮物的時候,若想起弟兄向你懷怨, 24 就把禮物留在壇前,先去同弟兄和好,然後來獻禮物。 25 你同告你的對頭還在路上,就趕緊與他和息,恐怕他把你送給審判官,審判官交付衙役,你就下在監裡了。 26 我實在告訴你:若有一文錢沒有還清,你斷不能從那裡出來。

耶穌藉著光和鹽向我們啟示基督徒的人生是一個怎樣的人生呢?第一是要守神的律法和教導,言出必行,表裡合一。不能光說不練。其次是與人和好。與人和好裡最重要的就是控制自己的脾氣。有俗話形容一個人刀子嘴豆腐心,但是主耶穌說,“凡向弟兄動怒的,難免受審判;凡罵弟兄是拉加的,難免公會的審斷;凡罵弟兄是魔利的,難免地獄的火。”

From a Deceiver to a Receiver

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Hosea 12:1-14. Let’s go!

To appreciate God’s message to the Israelites (and to us) in Hosea 12, you need to know something about Jacob, one of Israel’s forefathers and the man after whom the nation of Israel was named. Jacob’s life forms the backdrop to a lot of what Hosea 12 is talking about.

You see, Jacob lived much of his life thinking he had to scratch, claw and fight for everything he had. His approach toward all of life was “transactional”. Like a merchant, he was constantly striking deals with people, including when it came to finding a wife (v12), and even with God: “I’ll give you this, if you give me that.” As part of this, Jacob would often lie to get ahead, pretending to be someone that he was not. In this way Jacob lived up to his name, which means “deceiver”.

成全律法和先知

馬太福音5:17-20_成全律法和先知

17 「莫想我來要廢掉律法和先知,我來不是要廢掉,乃是要成全。 18 我實在告訴你們:就是到天地都廢去了,律法的一點一畫也不能廢去,都要成全。 19 所以,無論何人廢掉這誡命中最小的一條,又教訓人這樣做,他在天國要稱為最小的;但無論何人遵行這誡命,又教訓人遵行,他在天國要稱為大的。 20 我告訴你們:你們的義若不勝於文士和法利賽人的義,斷不能進天國。

做世上的光和鹽是怎麼一回事呢?且聽耶穌慢慢道來。第一件事就是不要把摩西的律法當古董,也不要把先知的教當成過時的課本。有的人覺得幾千年前傳下來的律法肯定跟不上時代了,所以把十誡丟到背後,放進倉庫,把聖經當成過時的教科書。甚至當時的宗教領袖也是表面拿著律法,說的一套做的又是一套。

A Father’s Love Like No Other

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage, Hosea 11:1-12, contains one of the most tender descriptions of the father heart of God that you will find in the Bible.  Hosea 11 describes how God was like a loving father to His child Israel (also called Ephraim) (v1), how He taught Israel how to walk, carried Israel by the arms, took care of Israel’s needs without Israel even knowing (v3).  With cords of kindness and ties of love, this loving Father led Israel (v4), helped Israel when Israel was in trouble and humbly fed Israel (v4).

Yet Israel was rebellious toward this Father.  As verse 2 says, “the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.”  As verse 7 says, “My people are determined to turn from Me.” Wayward Israel seemed destined to keep following anyone other than their Heavenly Father. 

世上的光

馬太福音5:14-16_世上的光

14 你們是世上的光。城造在山上,是不能隱藏的。 15 人點燈,不放在斗底下,是放在燈臺上,就照亮一家的人。 16 你們的光也當這樣照在人前,叫他們看見你們的好行為,便將榮耀歸給你們在天上的父。

有沒有人想問問耶穌,這句話是不是說錯了?祂是不是要說:“我是世上的光”,被人記成:“你們是世上的光。”耶穌是世上的光,這句話聽起來很順,也很得體。可是一聽到“你們是世上的光”,你有沒有想立刻躲起來的感覺?有沒有搞錯啊?人怕出名豬怕肥,出名己經夠糟糕了,還要變成光,是不能隱藏的。

要是我跟朋友說,我是世上的光,他們可能都會笑得上氣不接下氣了;若是跟家人講,他們可能都會嗤之以鼻:“就你這角色?不說你發黑就行了,還發光?”作鹽還可以,因為鹽是在暗處發揮作用,鹹不鹹看各人口味;但是作光,行嗎?神對我們竟有如此大的信任! 因此,很多人都有自知之明,只敢說自己是一個小燭光,在風中搖擺不停,幾乎被吹滅掉的小燭光。