Entries by meiling

God Is At His Best Even When You’re At Your Worst

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 8:16-29.  Let’s go! 

2 Kings 8:16-18 (NIV) 
16  In the fifth year of Joram son of Ahab king of Israel, when Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat began his reign as king of Judah. 
17  He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eight years. 
18  He walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for he married a daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. 

On verses 16-18:  Jehoram succeeds his father Jehoshaphat as the king of Judah.  But instead of being a humble, wise, God-fearing king like his father Jehoshaphat was, Jehoram is said to have “walked in the ways of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done” (v18). 

體貼神的意思

馬太福音16: 21_23體貼神的意思

21 從此,耶穌才指示門徒,他必須上耶路撒冷去,受長老、祭司長、文士許多的苦,並且被殺,第三日復活。 22 彼得就拉著他,勸他說:「主啊,萬不可如此!這事必不臨到你身上。」 23 耶穌轉過來,對彼得說:「撒旦,退我後邊去吧!你是絆我腳的,因為你不體貼神的意思,只體貼人的意思。」

在耶穌和彼得短短的對話中,主耶穌給我們一個很明確的信息:主知道祂在做什麼,祂要做什麼,祂不需要我們的意見。祂只要我們跟祂一樣,順服神的旨意。

其次,莫小看主耶穌對彼得的責備。當主耶穌指出彼得不體貼神的意思,只體貼人的意思時,祂用的名詞是:撒旦。

主耶穌是有備而來,在祂即將離世前,祂把門徒們帶到該撒利亞腓利比。在那裡,祂給了門徒一個畢業考。該撒利亞腓利比充滿了偶像崇拜和世俗的污穢,道德的敗壞。主耶穌也要我們看清楚自己身處的環境,也是和當年的該撒利亞腓利比一樣,換湯不換藥。

當我們置身在這樣的社會裡,我們能清楚地認識耶穌是誰嗎?還是人云亦云?我為什麼信耶穌?你又為什麼信耶穌呢?我們能像彼得受感而說:「祢是基督,是永生神的兒子。」嗎?假如現在有人問你為何信耶穌,你會怎樣回答呢?我聽過一些答案:信耶穌有平安,信耶穌有喜樂,耶穌會幫助我度過困難,幫我解決問題,等等。但是還沒有聽人回答:「因為祂是基督,是永生神的兒子。」

The King Has Spoken and You Are Restored

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 8:1-15.  Let’s go!

2 Kings 8:6 (NIV) 
6  The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.” 

On verses 1-6:  Elisha the prophet tells the woman whose son he had raised back to life to move away from Israel for a time due to a severe famine that would hit Israel.  After being away from Israel for 7 years, the woan returns to Israel, but by this time the government has taken over her land.  Now the woman is at the mercy of the king, who has power to decide whether or not to give the land back to her.  It just so happens that on the same day that the woman appears before the king to request that her land be restored to her, Gehazi the servant of Elisha had been telling the king about what Elisha had done for this woman.  On this basis, the king speaks the word to restore the land to this woman, including all the income that her land had generated during her seven year absence.

Faith and Unbelief

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 7:1-20.  Let’s go!

2 Kings 7:3-4 (NIV) 
3  Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? 
4  If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’–the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” 

On verses 1-20:  In the middle of a siege and famine in Samaria where food resources are increasingly scarce and expensive, Elisha the prophet predicts that within 24 hours the finest flour and barley will be sold for extremely cheap.  An officer of King Joram does not believe it.  In response to the officer’s unbelief, Elisha states that this officer will see it with his own eyes but will not eat any of it (v2). 

你們說我是誰

馬太福音16: 13_20你們說我是誰

13 耶穌到了該撒利亞-腓立比的境內,就問門徒說:「人說我人子是誰?」 14 他們說:「有人說是施洗的約翰,有人說是以利亞,又有人說是耶利米或是先知裡的一位。」 15 耶穌說:「你們說我是誰?」 16 西門彼得回答說:「你是基督,是永生神的兒子。」 17 耶穌對他說:「西門‧巴約拿,你是有福的,因為這不是屬血肉的指示你的,乃是我在天上的父指示的。 18 我還告訴你:你是彼得,我要把我的教會建造在這磐石上,陰間的權柄不能勝過他。 19 我要把天國的鑰匙給你,凡你在地上所捆綁的,在天上也要捆綁;凡你在地上所釋放的,在天上也要釋放。」 20 當下,耶穌囑咐門徒,不可對人說他是基督。

我們都很希望知道別人是怎樣看我們的,也希望自己對自己有多一點的理解,看看兩者合在一起準不準,從而更加認識自己。因此很多人喜歡做個性測驗,看星座,看血型,看喜愛和討厭的顏色,等等。但是耶穌與我們不一樣,祂很清楚知道祂是誰,祂也希望世人知道祂是誰。

該撒利亞-腓立比座落在黑門山的山腳下,是約但河主要的發源地,和「但」城相距不遠。舊約時代以色列人在此膜拜巴力,希臘統治之後用潘神取代,此地改名為潘尼亞斯。除了潘神廟之外,大希律為了感謝羅馬該撒賜他此城,也在此地蓋了一座奧古斯都廟;此地還有希臘主神宙斯廟、聖山羊墳墓洞,等等。

防備法利賽人和撒都該人的酵

馬太福音16: 5_12防備法利賽人和撒都該人的酵

5 門徒渡到那邊去,忘了帶餅。 6 耶穌對他們說:「你們要謹慎,防備法利賽人和撒都該人的酵。」 7 門徒彼此議論說:「這是因為我們沒有帶餅吧!」 8 耶穌看出來,就說:「你們這小信的人,為什麼因為沒有餅彼此議論呢? 9 你們還不明白嗎?不記得那五個餅分給五千人,又收拾了多少籃子的零碎嗎? 10 也不記得那七個餅分給四千人,又收拾了多少筐子的零碎嗎? 11 我對你們說要防備法利賽人和撒都該人的酵,這話不是指著餅說的,你們怎麼不明白呢?」 12 門徒這才曉得他說的不是叫他們防備餅的酵,乃是防備法利賽人和撒都該人的教訓。

耶穌的門徒有時很可愛,十分糊塗。當耶穌提到要謹慎,防備法利賽人和撒都該人的酵時,他們竟因為帶餅而聯想到食物的酵。當他們回想這一段時,大概都會覺得很好笑。因此耶穌提醒他們,何必為了忘記帶餅而憂慮?幾個餅幾條魚給五千人、四千人吃飽的主,難道不能餵飽他們12個門徒?我們有時候會不會像門徒一樣,因為缺乏而忘記主是賜恩的神,只顧擔心而忘了在神沒有難成的事?

在當年耶穌要門徒防備法利賽人和撒都該人的教訓,在今天主會叫我們防備誰的教訓呢?在假新聞假消息充斥的世界裡,我們怎樣保守自己的心一直向著耶穌?

法利賽人和撒都該人都是當時宗教界的領袖,他們按著摩西五經教導之外,還加上許多人的見解;法利賽人自認虔誠,可是說一套做一套。在現在的社會裡,你可曾覺得來自上面的教導不合乎《聖經》?

Don’t Play the Blame Game + Know Who Your Real Enemy Is

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 6:24-33.  Let’s go!

On verses 24-32:  King Ben-Hadad of Aram has laid seige to Samaria, Israel’s capital city.  Without ongoing access to food, Samaria suffers a severe famine.  The Israelites in Samaria are so desperate that in verses 26-29 we read about two Israelite mothers who apparently agreed that they would eat their sons to survive.  Now that one mother’s son has been eaten, the other mother refuses to let her own son suffer the same fate.  So they call out to Joram King of Israel to make a decision.  (This conflict between two mothers recalls a previous conflict in 1 Kings 3 when King Solomon had to judge between two mothers who both claim claim that their own son is the living one while the other’s son is the dead one.)  

What can we learn from this?  These mothers were willing to eat a son in order to survive, yet even their son’s flesh would not sustain them forever.  In contrast, in John 6:53-55 Jesus makes a statement that many would misunderstand:  

分辨神蹟

馬太福音16: 1_4分辨神蹟

1法利賽人和撒都該人來試探耶穌,請他從天上顯個神蹟給他們看。 2 耶穌回答說:「晚上天發紅,你們就說『天必要晴』; 3 早晨天發紅,又發黑,你們就說『今日必有風雨』。你們知道分辨天上的氣色,倒不能分辨這時候的神蹟! 4 一個邪惡淫亂的世代求神蹟,除了約拿的神蹟以外,再沒有神蹟給他看。」耶穌就離開他們去了。

有一些慕道友說,只要神在天上顯個大神蹟,寫幾個字叫我信,我就信了。法利賽人和撒都讓人也是這樣要求耶穌。但是這些人是不是真的要信耶穌呢?

耶穌說這些人哪,會分辨天上的氣色,卻不會分辨這時候的神蹟!祂的意思是,不是沒有神蹟,而是這些人根本看不懂何謂神蹟!耶穌在他們面前醫治了那麼多病人,瞎子、瘸子、長大痲瘋的、手枯乾的、趕鬼,甚至還使人復活,但是他們看到這些神蹟的反應如何?有的說祂干犯安息日,有的人說祂靠鬼王趕鬼,他們從來不去思考那些神蹟的可能性,在這種情況下,他們指望看什麼神蹟呢?

神蹟就是神的作為,耶穌以神子的身份,用神的能力所做的事,算不算神蹟呢?問題是,這些人並不是真的要信耶穌是從神來的,他們對待耶穌就像對待耍雜技的人一樣,再耍一個給我們看,我們就跟你拍拍手。

Don’t Lose Your Edge + The Importance of Vision

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 6:1-23. Let’s go!

2 Kings 6:5-6 (NIV) 
5  As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. “Oh, my lord,” he cried out, “it was borrowed!” 
6  The man of God asked, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float.

On verses 1-6:  The number of prophets Elisha is discipling is growing, so Elisha’s disciples propose that they build a new facility for them to meet near the Jordan River.  They begin to cut down trees in the Jordan.  While one of the young prophets is cutting, his ax head flies off its handle and falls into the water.  The young prophet is distraught because the ax head was not his, but was borrowed.  Elisha asks the young prophet where the ax head fell.  Elisha throws a stick in that vicinity and the ax head floats to the surface, enabling the young prophet to reach out and recover the ax head.  

耶穌餵飽四千人

馬太福音15: 32_39耶穌餵飽四千人

32 耶穌叫門徒來,說:「我憐憫這眾人,因為他們同我在這裡已經三天,也沒有吃的了。我不願意叫他們餓著回去,恐怕在路上困乏。」 33 門徒說:「我們在這野地,哪裡有這麼多的餅叫這許多人吃飽呢?」 34 耶穌說:「你們有多少餅?」他們說:「有七個,還有幾條小魚。」 35 他就吩咐眾人坐在地上, 36 拿著這七個餅和幾條魚,祝謝了,掰開,遞給門徒,門徒又遞給眾人。 37 眾人都吃,並且吃飽了,收拾剩下的零碎,裝滿了七個筐子。 38 吃的人,除了婦女孩子,共有四千。 39 耶穌叫眾人散去,就上船,來到馬加丹的境界。

耶穌從推羅出來,北上西頓,繼而南下低加波利,來到低加波利的加利利海邊。這裡靠近祂上次趕鬼的地方,那時眾人都央求祂離開,但是這次眾人跟著祂,聽祂講道聽了三天,還不肯走。現在的福音營或培靈營會一般也都是三天兩夜,要是沒有供應飲食和住宿,可能很多人都不會去參加。但是這些人跟了三天,沒有吃旳,還不肯走。可見他們靈裡的饑渴是何等大。

再一次耶穌顯現祂的憐憫,耶穌看到這些人這樣的跟隨,卻記得他們只是人,人就有肉體的需要。當耶穌看到人的需要時,祂就主動出擊,不會袖手旁觀。假如我們記得在摩西帶領以色列人出埃及時,他們走曠野四十年,神餵養那超過兩百萬的以色列人,四十年如一日地供應,就明白耶穌用五餅二魚餵五千人或用七餅數魚餵四千人,都不是大問題。在神豈有難成的事嗎?