Entries by meiling

Sometimes God Blesses Us In Spite Of Us, Not Because Of Us

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 15:13-26.  Let’s go!

On verses 13-26:  In Israel, Shallum had killed Zechariah to become king. Then a month later Menahem kills Shalum to become king.  After Menahem reigns for 10 years, his son Pekahiah takes over only to be killed and succeeded 2 years later by Pekah.

What can we learn from this?  Sedition — that is, rebelling against God-given authority — may seem like an easy shortcut to power.  But a kingdom built on sedition will not last very long.  If you try to build a kingdom on sedition, chances are good that your kingdom will also be supplanted and brought down by the seditious acts of others.

Praise God that whereas Satan’s kingdom was built on sedition, the kingdom of heaven is built not on sedition but on servanthood.  The kingdom of God is not a top down organization, but a bottom up organization where the greatest leaders are also the humblest servants.

饒恕人七十個七次

馬太福音18: 21_35_饒恕人七十個七次

21那時,彼得進前來,對耶穌說:「主啊,我弟兄得罪我,我當饒恕他幾次呢?到七次可以嗎?」 22 耶穌說:「我對你說,不是到七次,乃是到七十個七次。 23 天國好像一個王要和他僕人算帳。 24 才算的時候,有人帶了一個欠一千萬銀子的來。25 因為他沒有什麼償還之物,主人吩咐把他和他妻子兒女並一切所有的都賣了償還。 26 那僕人就俯伏拜他,說:『主啊,寬容我!將來我都要還清。』 27 那僕人的主人就動了慈心,把他釋放了,並且免了他的債。

28 「那僕人出來,遇見他的一個同伴欠他十兩銀子,便揪著他,掐住他的喉嚨,說:『你把所欠的還我!』 29 他的同伴就俯伏央求他,說:『寬容我吧!將來我必還清。』 30 他不肯,竟去把他下在監裡,等他還了所欠的債。 31 眾同伴看見他所做的事,就甚憂愁,去把這事都告訴了主人。 32 於是主人叫了他來,對他說:『你這惡奴才!你央求我,我就把你所欠的都免了。 33 你不應當憐恤你的同伴,像我憐恤你嗎?』 34 主人就大怒,把他交給掌刑的,等他還清了所欠的債。 35 你們各人若不從心裡饒恕你的弟兄,我天父也要這樣待你們了。」

在這段經文裡,彼得的問題是要饒恕人幾次,耶穌用一個故事回答他。讓我們明白,饒恕的重點是出於心裡的憐憫,不在於次數,而在於回應神對我們的憐憫和愛。

在任何環境裡,我們都會碰到得罪我們的人,我們也會有意或無意地得罪人,有時因為善意表達得不得體也會得罪人。神明白我們的軟弱,所以無數次地饒恕我們。只要我們回到祂面前,祂就再次寬容並接納我們:「東離西有多遠,祂叫我們的過犯離我們也有多遠。父親怎樣憐恤他的兒女,耶和華也怎樣憐恤敬畏祂的人。(詩103:12-13)」神也希望我們以這樣的憐憫和愛來面對這個社會。

奉主名聚會

馬太福音18: 19_20_奉主名聚會

19 我又告訴你們:若是你們中間有兩個人在地上同心合意地求什麼事,我在天上的父必為他們成全。 20 因為無論在哪裡,有兩三個人奉我的名聚會,那裡就有我在他們中間。

現在有不少教會因為社會環境的因素,聚會的人數漸漸少了,耶穌今天的教導將是針對這種情形一個很大的鼓勵。因為聚會的人多人少並不是特別重要,聚會裡最重要的因素就是要有主的同在;因為有主的同在,我們才有敬拜的對象,我們的禱告才不會是空谷的回音。

這世界上有很多地方的條件不許可集體的敬拜,尤其是那些逼迫基督教信仰的地區或國家。那些信主的人只能偷偷地假借訪友的名義相聚,小聲地敬拜,小心地唱歌,不敢流露出一點聚會的跡象。

有時我們出外旅行碰上主日,沒有辦法找到合適的教會去敬拜,一來對新的地方不熟,二來有時語言不通。這時候自己和家人或朋友聚在一起敬拜就是唯一的選擇。

在這些情況下敬拜的人數都很有限,沒有華麗的教堂,沒有熟悉的弟兄姐妹或牧者,甚至沒有人領詩。但是主讓我們記得:“因為無論在哪裡,有兩三個人奉我的名聚會,那裡就有我在他們中間。”

Don’t Let Pride Cloud Your Judgment

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 14:1-16.  Let’s go!

On verses 1 to 16:  Here we read of the 29 year reign of Amaziah, king of Judah, son of Joash.  The author of 2 Kings describes Amaziah as:

– a good king who followed the Lord, although Amaziah failed to remove the high places in Judah where idolatry continued (v2-4). 

– the one who put to death the officials who murdered his father Joash (v5-6)

– the one who defeated 10,000 Edomites (v7).

However, after his victory over the Edomites, Amaziah becomes arrogant.  He challenges Jehoash King of Israel to a fight.  Despite Jehoash King of Israel clearly warning Amaziah to stand down (v9-10), Amaziah insists on fighting (v11).  Amaziah loses to Jehoash, is himself captured along with other hostages, and the nation of Judah is attacked and looted (v12-14). 
 

捆綁和釋放

馬太福音18: 15_18_捆綁和釋放

15 「倘若你的弟兄得罪你,你就去,趁著只有他和你在一處的時候,指出他的錯來。他若聽你,你便得了你的弟兄。 16 他若不聽,你就另外帶一兩個人同去,要憑兩三個人的口作見證,句句都可定準。 17 若是不聽他們,就告訴教會。若是不聽教會,就看他像外邦人和稅吏一樣。 18 我實在告訴你們:凡你們在地上所捆綁的,在天上也要捆綁;凡你們在地上所釋放的,在天上也要釋放。

在《聖經》裡神教導我們要包容,要饒恕,要忍讓,要愛人如己,這些都是指做人的心態。但是還有另一個實際作法的層面,卻是大家所忽略的。那就是當有人得罪我們的時候,除了容忍,還有沒有更能解決問題的方法?

經常有朋友抱怨這個人說了得罪她的話,或是有人做了使他吃虧的事,這些事他們都不敢去面對,只是一遍又一遍地向不同的朋友說,實在於事無補。當我們被人得罪時,心裡都很不好受,又覺得自己是基督徒好像不好太計較,可是放在心裡總是越想越氣。悶騷太久,很容易悶出心病,或影響到生理,例如氣得睡不著,吃飯不消化,所以主耶穌給我們一個可行的方法。

主耶穌要我們面對問題,既然你覺得有人得罪你,那麼就找個機會,和對方面對面講清楚,看看有沒有什麼誤會。當然,這裡講的對方是指主內的弟兄姐妹。而且,要找只有你們在一起的時候才講,不要在沒有把事情弄清楚時,傷害到對方的面子。假如你們可以有好的溝通,那就最好;假如對方是故意害你或虧你,卻不肯認帳,那就要升一級的處理。

Faith is Evidenced by Action

2 Kings 13:19 (NIV) 
19  The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.” 

On verses 14-19, 22-25:  In the final chapter to Elisha’s ministry on earth, Elisha meets Jehoash king of Israel, who weeps knowing that Elisha is sick and approaching death.  Testifying to Elisha’s greatness, Jehoash calls Elisha “the chariots and horsemen of Israel” (v14), just as Elisha had so called his mentor Elijah (2 Kings 2:12).  Pursuant to Elisha’s instructions, Jehoash grabs a bow, opens the east window, and shoots with Elisha’s hands on Jehoash’s hands.  After that Elisha declares that Jehoash will be victorious over Arameans (v17).  Elisha then tells Jehoash to take the arrows in his quiver and strike the ground.  So Jehoash takes the arrows and strikes the ground three times.  But Elisha becomes angry, saying that Jehoash should have struck the ground fix or six times, because the fact that Jehoash only struck the ground three times meant that he would only defeat Aram three times.  

What is going on here?  Elisha is not teaching Jehoash to be superstitious.  Rather, at this crucial time when Elisha is nearing death and Israel is under Aramean threat, Elisha is testing Jehoash’s faith in God.  In the first exercise, Elisha puts his hands on top of Jehoash’s hands, and together they use a bow to shoot out the east window. 

520_521

馬太福音18: 12_14_520_521

12 「一個人若有一百隻羊,一隻走迷了路,你們的意思如何?他豈不撇下這九十九隻,往山裡去找那隻迷路的羊嗎? 13 若是找著了,我實在告訴你們:他為這一隻羊歡喜,比為那沒有迷路的九十九隻歡喜還大呢。 14 你們在天上的父也是這樣,不願意這小子裡失喪一個。

我是在5月20日預備這篇靈修的,因為看到有人說「520」代表「我愛你」,心想怎麼這樣巧,因為這段經文就是神在對我們說:「我愛你」啊! 後來又看到,原來5月21日—521的意思是「我願意」,假如那是我們每個人對神的回應,那該是多美好啊!

網絡情人節源於歌手范曉萱在1998年演唱的歌曲《數字戀愛》中的歌詞,歌詞裡數字「520」被喻成「我愛你」;後來,「521」也被情侶們賦予了「我願意、我愛你」的意思。現在每年的5月20日和21日就成了網友們自發興起的節日——網絡情人節。

在這個美麗的節日裡,耶穌用一個故事闡述了神對世人的愛。意思是說,祂若有一百隻羊,只走失了一隻,祂也要費盡心思和精力地去把牠找回來。因為每一隻羊在神的眼中都極為寶貴,因為神愛牠。

3 Problems That Arise When We Turn Away From God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 2 Kings 13:1-13.  Let’s go!

On verses 1-9:  These verses describe the 17 year reign of Jehoahaz King of Israel, the son of Jehu.  Notice that because Jehoahaz did evil in the Lord’s eyes by following the sins of Jeroboam, worshiping the golden calves Jeroboam had set up (v2), the entire nation under Jehoahaz’s care suffered greatly and oppressed by their foreign enemy, the Arameans (v3).  With hardly an army to defend the nation (v7), Jehoahaz finally looks to the Lord for help and the Lord provides a deliverer to rescue Jehoahaz and the nation of Israel (4-5).  Even so Jehoahaz does not turn completely away from the idols in Israel (v6).

What can we learn from Jehoahaz’ life?

1. When we turn away from God, three things happen: (1) those in our care end up suffering, (2) we become vulnerable to the attack of the enemy, and (3) like a nation without an army our ability to defend and fight back is severely limited.

不要絆倒人

馬太福音18: 7_10不要絆倒人

7 「這世界有禍了,因為將人絆倒;絆倒人的事是免不了的,但那絆倒人的有禍了!8 倘若你一隻手或是一隻腳叫你跌倒,就砍下來丟掉!你缺一隻手或是一隻腳進入永生,強如有兩手兩腳被丟在永火裡。 9 倘若你一隻眼叫你跌倒,就把它剜出來丟掉!你只有一隻眼進入永生,強如有兩隻眼被丟在地獄的火裡。 10 你們要小心,不可輕看這小子裡的一個。我告訴你們,他們的使者在天上,常見我天父的面。

大批中東難民為了避開伊斯蘭國的恐怖殺戮,攜家帶眷從海上陸上逃往歐洲,有一個匈牙利的記者在拍攝一批難民過邊界的時候,故意用腳突然去勾倒一個抱著孩子正在跑的人,讓他們重重的摔在地上,這個事件透過媒體報導引起全世界各國對難民問題的注意,也引發許多人對這個女記者的憤怒抗議,因為她就是一個絆倒人的人。

那個記者絆倒人之後馬上被公司開除還被司法調查,這個事件可以讓我們很容易明白絆倒是怎麼一回事,不小心絆倒滑跤或一時大意做錯事很難避免,發生了無可厚非,因為那是不小心,但是故意讓人跌倒讓人受傷,讓人出錯,那就不對。