Entries by meiling

Jesus is Greater

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 9:18-36.  Let’s go!
 
Luke 9:18-21 (NIV) 
18  Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” 
19  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” 
20  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 
21  Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.
 
On verses 18-21:  The most important question you will ever need to answer is the question Jesus asked here, which is: who do you say Jesus is?  My prayer is that the more you get to know Jesus, like Peter you will come to the same conclusion, which is that Jesus is not just a legend, a fiction, a good person, or a famous prophet, but that Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ) and the one we need.  It matters to God who you think Jesus is. 

挪亞的後裔

創世記十章1節   挪亞的兒子閃、含、雅弗的後代記在下面。洪水以後,他們都生了兒子。

創世記十章32節   這些都是挪亞三個兒子的宗族,各隨他們的支派立國。洪水以後,他們在地上分為邦國。

挪亞的後裔是誰呢?就是我們囉! 洪水之後。全世界的人都是挪亞的後裔。再往前推的話,就是塞特的後裔,亞當和夏娃的後裔。該隱的後裔消失在大水的洪流之中了。所以我們不要輕看神的話,神最後要保留怎樣的人呢?一定是屬祂的人。

挪亞三個兒子的後裔各隨宗族、方言而各聚成族或國,分散到世界各地,這是指在巴別塔之後的分佈。看族諎有時會讓人覺得很無聊。但是從後面往前看,比較有趣。例如,非利士人是誰的後裔?我們都知道大衛和歌利亞巨人打仗的故事,為何非利士人比以色列人高大強壯呢?你找得到非利士人是誰的後裔嗎?他們是從迦斐托出來的。迦斐托是一個很美麗的名字,代表「串珠」,串起來的珠子,多美啊!原來迦斐托是一個海島,有人說那就是革哩底島(又譯:克里特島),也就是新約保羅去傳福音的居比路,今名塞浦路斯。那麼,迦斐托人又是誰的後裔呢?是閃、含或雅弗的後裔?你猜中了嗎?這樣去讀,你就會記得很清楚,原來非利士人是含的後裔。非利士人的名字含有「打滾」之意,在士師的時代,他們已經懂得怎樣治鐵製造武器,成為以色列人最直接的敵人。在大衛王之後開始沒落。

因為篇幅有限,所以只能簡單地舉一些例子。先來看看這三兄弟的名字有何特別?這三兄鈟的順序有很多種說法,在這裡說閃是雅弗的哥哥,有解經家認為含不是老大,所以含和雅弗誰比較大就成了個謎。閃的意思是「名聲」,含的意思是「熱與黑」,雅弗的意思是「擴張、美好」。迦南是指「低窪地、鄙陋、商人」。他們的名字會讓你聯想到什麼?

Rely on God’s Power (Also, When God Interrupts Your Plans)

Hi GAMErs,
 
Today’s passage is Luke 9:1-17.  Let’s go!
 
Luke 9:1-4 (NIV) 
1  When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 
2  and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 
3  He told them: “Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. 
4  Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 

On verses 1-4:  Here Jesus sends out his twelve disciples with his power and authority to go from town to town preaching the kingdom of God, driving out all demons and curing diseases (v1-2).  But notice also that Jesus told them to take nothing else for the journey (“no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic” – v3).  What was Jesus doing?  Jesus was teaching his disciples to have faith in God’s power to use them and to provide for their needs, rather than relying on their own smarts, strength and resources. 

巴別巴別

創世記11章4節      他們說:「來吧!我們要建造一座城和一座塔,塔頂通天,為要傳揚我們的名,免得我們分散在全地上。」

有人說挪亞在五百歲生兒育女之後,就開始做起方舟的總工程師;六百歲時變成方舟遊輪的船長;約601歲時,挪亞全家離開方舟,他轉行作農夫,而且做得很好,不僅栽了一個葡萄園,而且還能用葡萄釀酒。可能太興奮了,他一下喝太多,醉了。還好,他是在自己的帳篷裡喝的;不幸的是,他那時沒穿衣服。

本來,在自己的睡房裡有沒有穿衣服,實在跟別人沒關係。國外也有很多人睡覺時不穿衣服的習慣。偏偏小兒子不知為何事闖進父親的帳篷,看到了父親的祼體,覺得很好笑,便跑出去告訴兩個哥哥。哥哥們比較懂事,他們拿件衣服搭在肩上,倒退著進去,給父親蓋上,他們背著臉就看不見父親的赤身。這裡就是一個心態上尊重和不尊重的分別,尤其是對長輩。

挪亞也是有脾氣的人,當他知道小兒子含那樣輕浮的心態時,他咒詛含的兒子迦南,必給他弟兄做奴僕的奴僕。做奴僕己經很可憐,還要做奴僕的奴僕。這事提醒我們,凡事要尊重別人,尤其是對長輩。有人說,老人家說話有時都帶有預言的成份,像雅各,摩西的遺言何等有份量。話說回來,在我們看挪亞的三子之後裔的分佈情形時,先來看看分散之前的世界是怎樣的。

God Works With Your Faith

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 8:40-56.  Let’s go!

Luke 8:40 (NIV) 
40  Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him.

On verse 40:  In the verses just before this the people of the Garasenes rejected Jesus and told him to go away.  Here another crowd is expecting him and welcoming him.  Likewise, we too need to choose: will we be among those who reject Jesus and push him away, or will we welcome Jesus into our lives?

Luke 8:41-42 (NIV) 
41  Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house
42  because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.

散會比聚會更重要!

2017年10月,夏忠堅牧師於七賢路禮拜堂分享,他說了一句很值得反思的話:「教會最要看重的不是『聚會』,而是『散會』!

弟兄姊妹散會後,是否真的在家庭、社群、職場活出基督徒生命?」看一家教會會友聚會人數成千上萬,但重要的是有多少會友活出「散會」後的生命?

夏忠堅牧師引用〈列王紀〉上十四章25-28節「金盾牌vs.銅盾牌」的故事—羅波安王製造銅盾牌想代替被竊奪的金盾牌,提醒今天教會的運作是否也是這樣:用銅的想代替金的?他指出,教會五種基本功能:敬拜、團契、成長(門徒)、事奉、宣教,目前的光景為何?

例如弟兄姊妹的敬拜只在週日,那週一至週六有無活出敬拜生命?在團契小組裡愛的死去活來,但散會後有去愛鄰舍及職場遇到的人嗎?又或是參加團契(名詞),到底有無與其他肢體真正的團契(動詞),還是戴著面具來參加?

他問大家:「你的教會有多少人只參加主日,在教會沒有小組團契生活?」根據統計,沒有穩定小組團契生活的基督徒,本身靈修、奉獻、傳福音也比較差。而初代教會一開始,是在各個家庭過小組生活,是建造一群人像三一神團契的樣子。所以小組生活與結構,比較可以建造真實的教會生活及基督徒生命。

Don’t Push Jesus Away

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 8:26-39.  Let’s go!
 
Luke 8:26-33 (NIV) 
26  They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 
27  When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 
28  When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 
29  For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. 

永遠的彩虹之約

創世記九章12-16節   神說:「我與你們並你們這裡的各樣活物所立的永約,是有記號的。我把虹放在雲彩中,這就可做我與地立約的記號了。我使雲彩蓋地的時候,必有虹現在雲彩中,我便記念我與你們和各樣有血肉的活物所立的約,水就再不氾濫,毀壞一切有血肉的物了。虹必現在雲彩中,我看見,就要記念我與地上各樣有血肉的活物所立的永約。」

因為神看世界敗壞了,人思想的盡都是惡,地上滿了強暴,所以祂決定除滅祂造的各種活物,只留下挪亞一家和有限的活物。經過四十晝夜的大雨,大淵的泉源都裂開了,天上的窗戶也敞開了,在山上蓋的方舟也飄浮起來。人以為不可能的事終於發生了,大水淹沒了世界上最高的山,人想要進方舟逃難,方舟的門卻己經被神關閉,連挪亞也打不開。

滅世洪水水勢浩大,在地上共150天。今年長江流域洪水肆虐,也有幾個月的時間,加上暴雨,在兩個月裡淹沒了莊稼和眾多社區,中國防汛抗旱總指揮部秘書長周學文說,至少有6300萬人受到影響,5.4萬座房屋被毀。他說至少有219人死亡或失蹤。最近美國西岸大面積森林慘遭焦燒,以加州為主的沿岸城市,多日來被數百公里之外飄來的大火煙霧籠罩,導至數千人疏散。即使這些天災人禍十分慘烈,也不及當時滅世洪水的幾分,因為人無處可躲,無地可逃。

Listening to God’s Word Means

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 8:16-25.  Let’s go!
 
Luke 8:16-18 (NIV) 
16  “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 
17  For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 
18  Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.”

On verses 16-18:  After telling a parable about the importance of having a hungry, humble heart when listening to God’s word (verses 1-15), what is Jesus talking about in verses 16-18?  When Jesus says in verse 18, “Thereforeconsider carefully how you listen”, this suggests to me that verses 16, 17 and 18 are also talking about how to listen to God’s word.
 

為祢癫狂

創世記6章14-16/22節    神就對挪亞說:「你要用歌斐木造一隻方舟,分一間一間地造,裡外抹上松香。 方舟的造法乃是這樣:要長三百肘,寬五十肘,高三十肘。方舟上邊要留透光處,高一肘。方舟的門要開在旁邊。方舟要分上、中、下三層。」 挪亞就這樣行。凡神所吩咐的,他都照樣行了。

最近有人在臉書上分享,他的牧師叫他們要為主癫狂。當然這主要的意思是要他們去傳福音,可是我發現為主癫狂的最佳例子是挪亞。因為神要他做的事,當代人一定都覺得這人真的是癫狂了,大晴天在高山上建方舟,逢人就說有滅世的大洪水要來。大家都活得好好地,又娶又嫁,日子過得好緊湊,只有他不幹正事,去蓋什麼方舟?蓋了方舟賣給誰?有錢賺嗎?一點錢途也沒有,盡幹儍事!

但是挪亞排除眾議,開始按著神的吩咐去搜集歌斐木和松香,然後像現代人蓋房子一樣,根據神給的藍圖,一層層一間間地建。在大陽光下,挪亞帶著三個兒子搬著一棵棵的大樹,削掉樹皮,抹上松香,不停地忙碌。

張文亮教授說,根據《聖經》的記載,有一些專家認為歌斐木應該是大樹,是在當地森林裡常見的樹種,且材質堅硬,又能夠自樹中提取松香油;並且古人早己知道,樹幹底部的黑色膠油,塗在木頭表面,是防水與防腐的上好材料,這些膠油與近代的瀝青相似,皆稱為松香類。

張教授也指出,方舟尺寸的長寬比是6:1,長高比為10:1,是船隻在水中穩定航行的最佳比例,表示方舟的重心較低,乘客較為舒服。方舟分上、中、下三層,可能使較重的生物住在下層,體重中等的在中層,體重較輕的大概住上層,這可以增加方舟的穩定度。