Entries by

雅各家歡聚一堂

創世記46章3-4節     神說:「我是神,就是你父親的神。你下埃及去不要害怕,因為我必使你在那裡成為大族。我要和你同下埃及去,也必定帶你上來。約瑟必給你送終。」

自從約瑟的哥哥們把那件染血的彩衣送到雅各手上,雅各的悲哀就一發不可收拾,因為他失去了和拉結的愛情結晶,那個美好的孩子約瑟。約瑟的哥哥們看到老父蒼然隱泣多年,他們的心裡也不好受。一個隱瞞了十四年的秘密,誰也不敢說。若是被雅各知道他們賣了約瑟去做奴隸,雅各會不會就這樣一路下埃及去找他?雅各怎麼捨得讓約瑟去受做奴隸之苦?

十四年,自從約瑟被賣,沒有一個人過得舒暢,被罪轄制的日子實在苦不堪言。幸好,接著有七年穀物的豐收;但是七年的乾旱也接踵而至。豐收時,誰也不知道苦日子在前面;正好像我們在2019年開心的計劃時,沒有人曉得全球的人在下一年會被一隻病毒禁足。豐收時日容易過,饑荒的時候度日如年。埃及的情形代表了她附近地區也都有類似的氣候。雅各家在迦南也開始擔心糧食的不足,因為迦南地也有饑荒。

聽到埃及有糧,雅各便叫兒子們下埃及買糧。但是雅各留下了便雅憫,拉結產難時生的兒子,怕他和約瑟一樣遭到不幸。

約瑟的哥哥們到了埃及,見到約瑟,他們臉伏於地,向約瑟下拜。約瑟認得他哥哥們,他們卻不認得他。約瑟想起從前所做的那兩個夢,這夢真的應驗了。他抑制滿心的激動,預備試試他們,便說他們是奸細,來窺探埃及的虛實。這是很可怕的指控,於是他們招出了家裡還有一個弟弟。約瑟原是要知道便雅憫如何。接著約瑟把他們全部下到監裡,又偷聽他們的對話。

The Taming of the Shrewd

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 16:1-14. Let’s go!

Luke 16:1-8 (NIV) 
1  Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. 
2  So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.’ 
3  “The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do now? My master is taking away my job. I’m not strong enough to dig, and I’m ashamed to beg– 
4  I know what I’ll do so that, when I lose my job here, people will welcome me into their houses.’ 
5  “So he called in each one of his master’s debtors. He asked the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 
6  “‘Eight hundred gallons of olive oil,’ he replied. “The manager told him, ‘Take your bill, sit down quickly, and make it four hundred.’ …..

On verses 1-8:  Is Jesus telling this story to encourage us to lie and be dishonest? Not at all. Rather Jesus is highlighting the importance of being shrewd – that is, street smart, wise, strategic, and proactive – when dealing with problems. Often times I find that the reason why an individual, a team, a ministry or an organization is not as effective as they could be is not for a lack of heart, but a lack of wisdom, a lack of what Jesus calls “shrewdness”.

美夢成真

創世記41章39-41節   法老對約瑟說:「神既將這事都指示你,可見沒有人像你這樣有聰明有智慧。你可以掌管我的家,我的民都必聽從你的話,唯獨在寶座上我比你大。」法老又對約瑟說:「我派你治理埃及全地。」

約瑟從一個奴隸升到了管家的位置,又從管家跌到了囚犯的地位。問題是,他真的不知道自己究竟錯在哪裡?一個沒有犯錯的人也會被神責罰嗎?他不明白。被兄長們出賣的哀痛還在心裡,又被波提乏不問青紅皂白地下到監牢裡,兄長的絕情無義,波提乏妻子的誣告,主人的黑白不分,讓約瑟哭訴無門。一個沒有身份的奴隸,誰來為你開脫?

有不少藝人被網路覇凌就自殺了,也有人被婆家欺負就自殺了,也有學生在學校被欺負就跳樓了,約瑟比他們都更有自殺的理由,但是他沒有自殺。命運想把他壓榨到社會的最底層,他卻總是努力而爬到最高的地方。

護衛長府裡的監獄都是關王的囚犯,因為神與約瑟同在,他就在司獄的眼前蒙恩,司獄就把監裡所有的囚犯都交在約瑟手下,他們在那裡所辦的事都是經他的手。凡在約瑟手下的事,司獄一概不察,因為耶和華與約瑟同在,耶和華使他所做的盡都順利。(創39:21-23)

因為耶和華與他同在,這是回頭之後的體會。在苦難中,一點恩惠都會給人活下去的勇氣。神就藉著司獄,讓約瑟慢慢又站起來。當我們在逆境時,是否也能體會到神藉著人或環境向我們彰顯的美意?有位在中國被抓的傳道人曾做見證,當他沮喪到覺得無法再撐下去時,神藉著一朵小花讓他體會到神的同在,因而重新有了勇氣。因為耶和華與我們同在,這思想是我們在黑暗中的燈塔。

約瑟在王的監獄裡碰到的都是侍候王的人,因為犯錯所以被關進來。所以他有很多機會可以知道王宮裡的大小事情。接著又有兩個人被關進來,一個是王的酒政,一個是膳長,都是最親近王的人。司獄把這兩個人交給約瑟去伺候,當約瑟看見他們面有愁容時就問候他們。原來他們各做一夢,卻不知何解。

What Happens Next in The Most Famous Story Ever Told

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 15:25-32.  Let’s go!

Luke 15:25-32 (NIV) 
25  “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 
26  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 
27  ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’ 
28  “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 
29  But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 
30  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’ 
31  “‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 
32  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'”

On verses 25-32:  What an awesome time we had at Thrive yesterday looking at this passage together. If you missed the message yesterday, I hope you’ll catch it on our THRIVE Podcast, Facebook or Youtube channel. 

約瑟的美夢和噩夢

從人的眼光來看,神的應許之子和選民都應該比其他人更興旺才對,但是歷史卻不是如此記載。亞伯拉罕生了兩個兒子,以實瑪利一生就十二個族長,而以撒很辛苦才生出以掃和雅各。以掃的子孫在以東都做王了,而雅各的子孫還在牧羊。神一點都不急,祂也不要我們心急,只要我們專心仰望,事情就會成就。快跑的不一定贏,力大的不一定得勝,因為一切都在神的掌管之中。

雅各一家在迦南定居了,表面看起來一切都安穩了。但是雅各對拉結的一往情深,似乎並沒有因著歲月的流逝而減少,他把對拉結的愛轉移到約瑟身上。拉結生了兩個兒子:約瑟和便雅憫,但是看到便雅憫就讓雅各想到拉結是為了生他而死,所以他對約瑟的愛就更深了。他為約瑟做了一件彩衣,根據當時的習俗,那是給王子或公主穿的,看在其他哥哥們眼中,真的令人生氣嫉妒,因此不跟他說和氣的話,也就是處處和他作對。

約瑟的處境很危險,然而天真的他並沒有絲毫查覺,反而像個小偵探一樣,常常去向父親打小報告,說這個哥哥做了什麼不好的事,那個哥哥又犯了什麼錯,搞得哥哥們也不敢得罪他,有時還得討好他,封他的口才行。

有一天醒來,約瑟很高興地向大家宣佈他做了一個奇特的夢,夢到他們在田裡捆禾稼,他的捆起來站著,哥哥們的捆來圍著他的捆下拜。哥哥們本來己經很討厭他了,這下更恨他了,因為約瑟將來還要管轄他們?受他一輩子的氣?

大家的氣都還沒消掉,約瑟又宣佈他做了另一個夢,夢見太陽、月亮與十一個星向他下拜。這下連雅各都受不了,責備他:「你做的這是什麼夢!難道我和你母親、你弟兄果然要來俯伏在地,向你下拜嗎?」 罵歸罵,雅各卻把這事放在心裡。誰也不知道將來如何,但是有些夢卻是未來之事的預兆。

The Most Famous Story Ever Told (Part 1)

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 15:11-24.  It is the first part to one of the most famous stories ever told.

Luke 15:11-24 (NIV) 
11  Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 
12  The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 
13  “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 
14  After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 
15  So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 
16  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 
17  “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! ….

On verses 11-24:  This parable is one of the greatest, most powerful pictures of God’s amazing, unconditional love for us.  It is such a well known story that people sometimes assume they already know everything there is to learn concerning it.  At a THRIVE service today I’ll be sharing some lessons I’ve been learning from this passage that I hope will give you a fresh revelation of God’s love for you.   Hope to see you there!

真基督徒的三大記號

我們要省察自己

我們是基督徒,是誰說的呢?是誰承認的呢?自己說我是基督徒的人,若上帝不承認有什麼用呢?「當那日必有許多人對我說:『主啊,主啊,我們不是奉祢的名傳道,奉祢的名趕鬼,奉祢的名行許多異能嗎?』我就明明的告訴他們說:『我從來不認識你們,你們這些作惡的人,離開我去吧!』」(太7:22-23)

一個人做了傳道人,用主的名行了神蹟、趕了魔鬼、醫治疾病、說了方言,他以為他已經做了上帝要他做的工作,當他到主面前,他想:「我一生已經做了那麼多上帝的工作,講道、趕鬼、行神蹟、說預言,這樣有能力的傳道人,上帝一定非常歡喜、接納」,所以他對主說:「主啊,我不是奉祢的名趕鬼、醫病、行神蹟、說預言嗎?」主卻對他說:「我從來不認識你。」「主啊!我認識祢,我是為祢工作的。我是著名的牧師,我是著名的傳道,我做了趕鬼、醫病、傳福音的工作。」主說:「你這作惡的人,離開我去吧!」

除了《聖經》,從來沒有一本書講比這更可怕的事,自以為是基督徒的,自以為是上帝的僕人,自以為是傳福音的,自以為有大能、行神蹟、趕鬼的,而且是奉主的名做這些事,主一個都不認可。不僅如此,主甚至斥責:「你這作惡的人,離開我去吧!」如果這件事臨到我們身上,你只能淒淒慘慘、跺腳搥胸、流下眼淚離開耶穌。這什麼都放下歸向耶穌基督的人,卻不得耶穌基督的認可,他的人生還有什麼意義?

我們要深思:「如果我不是真基督徒、不是真傳道人,卻是一個連耶穌都不認可的人,我要怎樣度過我的永恆?當我走完世上的日子,進入永恆卻不被耶穌所承認,我該怎麼辦?豈不是要進入地獄,永遠受苦嗎?」不要等到那一天,因為到了那一天已經太遲了。如果這句話是從主的口裡說出來,我們就無法修改自己的命運了,因為耶穌的宣告是最高的權柄、最後的權威,你就要永遠離開天父,你的命運就是進到地獄、捶胸頓足。

Because You Are Precious to God, God Searches for You

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 15:1-10.  Let’s go!

Luke 15:1-2 (NIV) 
1  Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. 
2  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

On verses 1-2:  Jesus’ biggest critics, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, taught that to be truly holy and pleasing to God, you must separate yourself from people who were known to be habitual sinners.  That is why the Pharisees and teachers of the law found it puzzling, disgusting and also a basis for accusing Jesus when they saw that Jesus was hanging out with the very people that the Pharisees and teachers of the law shunned.    Knowing what the Pharisees and teachers of the law were thinking, Jesus will tell, in the verses that follow, some of his most famous parables to show why He the Son of God welcomes sinners and eats with them. 

Luke 15:3-4 (NIV) 
3  Then Jesus told them this parable: 
4  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 

雅各家族在示劍

創世記35章11-12節   神又對他說:「我是全能的神。你要生養眾多,將來有一族和多國的民從你而生,又有君王從你而出。我所賜給亞伯拉罕和以撒的地,我要賜給你與你的後裔。」

從哈蘭到示劍,雅各經過了三條河:幼發拉底河,雅博河與約但河。每經過一條河就過了一個崁,也更接近伯特利,那個他向神許願的地方。雅各在伯特利作夢後許願,「神若與我同在,在我所行的路上保佑我,又給我食物吃、衣服穿, 使我平平安安地回到我父親的家,我就必以耶和華為我的神, 我所立為柱子的石頭也必做神的殿。凡你所賜給我的,我必將十分之一獻給你。」(創28:20-22)

但是到了疏割時,雅各為自己蓋造房屋,又為牲畜搭棚;後來到了示劍,又買地築壇準備定居。正當一切都順心暢意時,雅各唯一的女兒底拿卻出了問題。這時雅各有十一個兒子,只有一個女兒。家裡有許多兒子,只有一個女兒的人都知道,那個女兒必然是全家的寶貝。她跑出去玩時,被當地地主的兒子示劍看上了,而且立刻與她發生性關係。婚姻之外的性闗係就叫行淫,指其是不當的行為。

這件事在雅各家像一顆炸彈,引爆了全家的憤怒。因為底拿是個處女,卻被示劍當妓女對待了。此時雅各的兒子們都長大了,正是血氣方剛之時,雅各隱忍尚未發作,幾個兒子卻都己經如箭在弦上。當地主的兒子示劍來求婚時,他們便想出了一個詭計,叫他們全城的男人都要受割禮。割禮就是割陽皮,在嬰兒出生第八天時,痛神經尚未長到那裡,因此割禮對猶太人而言就沒什麼。但是對於小孩或成人,割陽皮是要痛上大約一週的事情。

Does Following Jesus Mean Hating My Family?

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 14:25-35.  Let’s go!

Luke 14:25-26 (NIV) 
25  Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 
26  “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.

On verses 25-26:  Do I literally need to hate my parents, my wife, my kids, and my siblings in order to follow Jesus?  No.  God calls us to love our neighbours, especially our immediate family (see 1 Timothy 5:8; 1 Timothy 3:5).  So what does Jesus mean in verse 26?  Here’s what I think Jesus means: to truly follow Jesus means that your number one priority in life is your relationship with Jesus Christ, and that your number one loyalty and allegiance is to Jesus Christ, far above and beyond anyone else in this world.  In fact what I have found in my own life and seen in the lives of others is that when you put Jesus first, it makes you a better lover of your family.  You become a more selfless husband or wife, a wiser parent or child, a better sibling.  In the end, to know and follow Jesus first is the best thing you can do to love your family.