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Whoever Exalts Himself Will Be Humbled

Hi GAMErs,

Today we begin the book of 1 Kings.  1 Kings and 2 Kings together chronicle the history of Israel’s monarchs.  The books cover 400 years of history, beginning with Solomon’s ascent to the throne in place of his father David (in approximately 971 B.C.) and ending with the Babylonians’ invasion of Jerusalem and the release of Judah’s king Jehoiachin from prison (in approximately 560 B.C.)  1 Kings and 2 Kings contain some powerful life lessons and leadership insights for us today. 

刺和梁木

馬太福音7:3-5_刺和梁木

3 為什麼看見你弟兄眼中有刺,卻不想自己眼中有梁木呢? 4 你自己眼中有梁木,怎能對你弟兄說『容我去掉你眼中的刺』呢? 5 你這假冒為善的人!先去掉自己眼中的梁木,然後才能看得清楚,去掉你弟兄眼中的刺。

平常很少看到農民在網上發表意見,但是最近加拿大廣播公司放了一則農夫的申訴,因為他覺得有一些自認保護動物,主張素食的激進份子以偏蓋全地指責農民虐待牲畜,若是有小公牛出生,因為沒有利用價值,就把牠們和母牛強迫分開,並置之於死地。這位農民強調,那些激進份子並沒有實地看到他們怎樣愛護他們的牲畜,信口開河,對他們的辛苦視若無睹,令農民都很不滿。

在我們教會裡以前有伉儷團,有一次在伉儷小組裡,突然有個弟兄說,他不知道為什麼每星期天上教會時,妻子的動作總是特慢,害他經常遲到,不知有什麼辦法可以解決這個問題。他一說完,他的妻子就火了:“你還說我慢?他一個人說走就走,我要幫幾個孩子穿衣穿鞋,根本忙不過來。”然後大家就熱烈地討論起來,原來幾乎每個家庭都有類似的問題。

When People Let You Down

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Timothy 4:9-22.  Let’s go!

On verses 9-15:  Ministry is about serving God but it’s also about working with people.  Because none of us is perfect, you and those you serve with are bound to encounter tension, disagreement and conflict from time to time.  So what should you do?  From these verses we see how a mature leader in God’s kingdom deals with hurt and conflict with fellow servants of God.  In particular here are 3 things I learn from Paul’s example:

1. In all cases, when you have been wronged by someone, you need to extend forgiveness to that person (see verse 16: “may it not be held against them”).  Forgiving that person is not just for that person’s sake. Even more, it’s for your sake, to enable you to move on and not live in the past.  Otherwise, bitterness will start to rob you of peace and poison your life.

不要論斷人

馬太福音7:1-2_不要論斷人

1你們不要論斷人,免得你們被論斷。 2 因為你們怎樣論斷人,也必怎樣被論斷;你們用什麼量器量給人,也必用什麼量器量給你們。

我很喜歡信息聖經這段經文的翻譯:不要挑別人的錯,不要在人家失敗時指責他,批評他的缺點或過失。除非你希望別人也如此對待你,因為這種批判的作風會讓你自食其果。Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. (MSG)

今天是情人節,這段話正是對我們的人際關係的最佳提醒。在第六章我們讀到很多個人與神的關係,在第七章主耶穌開始教導我們怎樣處理人際關係。人和人都不一樣,即使在同一個家庭裡長大,也會有不同的習慣,不一樣的想法和作風。有的人覺得自己的方法和想法才是對的,而人家的想法和作法和你不一樣就是錯的,那就是衝突和紛爭的開始。

Preach the Word and Have a Heart for the Next Generation

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Timothy 4:1-8.  Let’s go!

2 Timothy 4:6-7 (NIV) 
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

On verses 1-8:  In a very formal way where he even calls on God the Father and Jesus Christ as his witnesses (v1), Paul charges Timothy to preach the Word (v2) — that is, to preach Jesus.  He tells Timothy to preach the Word in season and out of season (i.e. whenever he can). 

不要為明天憂慮

馬太福音6:34_不要為明天憂慮

34 所以,不要為明天憂慮,因為明天自有明天的憂慮。一天的難處一天當就夠了。

在第六章裡,耶穌用許多例子叫我們不要憂慮,不要為明天憂慮。這個道理很容易懂,但是做起來不容易。我們也希望能像天空的飛鳥,野地的花一樣,不用為明天的飲食擔憂,不必為沒有得體的衣著而煩惱。可是生活在這個人組成的社會,怎能逃避得了這樣的憂慮和煩惱呢?

在耶穌的教導裡,祂要我們看到在不憂慮的後面,有一位強大的神要為我們承擔這些憂慮,祂要供應我們的需要。有一位聖經學者用了18個月的時間把《聖經》裡神的應許一一找出來,一共有7486個應許。我們所信的耶和華神是一位賜下應許的神。保羅說:「神的應許,不論有多少,在基督都是是的,所以藉著祂也都是實在的,叫神因我們得榮耀。(林後1:20)」

The Purpose of God’s Word

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Timothy 3:10-17.  Let’s go!

2 Timothy 3:10 (NIV) 
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 

On verse 10:  The false teachers disturbing Timothy’s church were known for their immoral character (see verses 1-9).  In contrast, Paul sought to show Timothy what a true man of God and a true leader in God’s kingdom looks like — not just in his teaching, but in his lifestyle (“my way of life”), his character (“my…faith, patience, love, endurance”) and his ambition and his reason for living (“my purposes”).

先求祂的國和祂的義

馬太福音6:31-33_先求祂的國和祂的義

31 所以,不要憂慮說吃什麼、喝什麼、穿什麼。 32 這都是外邦人所求的。你們需用的這一切東西,你們的天父是知道的。 33 你們要先求他的國和他的義,這些東西都要加給你們了。

憂慮是人的生活裡很重要的一部份,因為我們不敢不憂慮。但是主耶穌告訴我們,憂慮於事無補。不信主的人追求這世界的一切物質享受,但是信主的人應該有不同的生活方向。

我們要怎樣先求神的國和神的義呢?神的國和神的義似乎離我們很遠,我們怎麼管得到那麼多?事實上,那是一種尊神為大的生活方式。換句話說,不要在爭取這世上的一切時,忘記了神的原則,要活出光和鹽的特質,讓人看見神的榮耀。

How to Recognize a False Teacher

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Timothy 3:1-9.  Let’s go!

2 Timothy 3:1 (NIV) 
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 

On verse 1: By “last days” what does Paul mean?  “Last days” is a term used by various New Testament writers (e.g 1 Peter 1:20; 2 Peter 3:3; Hebrews 1:2; James 5:3).  It refers to the entire period between Christ’s ascension to heaven and his eventual return to earth.  

Here Paul is saying that during these last days, something terrible will happen:  false teachers will try to influence Christ’s church and lead Christians astray.  

野地的花

馬太福音6:28-30_野地的花

28 何必為衣裳憂慮呢?你想野地裡的百合花怎麼長起來,它也不勞苦,也不紡線, 29 然而我告訴你們:就是所羅門極榮華的時候,他所穿戴的還不如這花一朵呢! 30 你們這小信的人哪!野地裡的草今天還在,明天就丟在爐裡,神還給它這樣的裝飾,何況你們呢?

在第6 章25節裡,主耶穌提醒我們:生命勝於飲食,身體勝於衣裳。祂要我們把生命的焦點調對了,把憂慮的方向擺正了,頭腦就自然清楚了。我們的飲食若為了生命的好處而吃,衣裳若為了身體的好處而穿,生活裡的煩惱和憂愁就會相對地減少。

更重要的是,若一直擔心想要怎樣吃來延年益夀,或是為了體面或漂亮來考慮衣著裝飾,就會遠離了神給我們生命的初衷。神要我們明白的是祂的信實,而不是要我們去追求那些虛浮的華貴亮麗。