Entries by meiling

Be a Participant in Worship, Not a Spectator

Hi GAMErs,
 
Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 15:25-16:6.  Let’s go!
 
1 Chronicles 15:25-28 (NIV) 
25  So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of units of a thousand went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-Edom, with rejoicing. 
26  Because God had helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD, seven bulls and seven rams were sacrificed. 
27  Now David was clothed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and as were the singers, and Kenaniah, who was in charge of the singing of the choirs. David also wore a linen ephod. 
28  So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouts, with the sounding of rams’ horns and trumpets, and of cymbals, and the playing of lyres and harps.

On verses 26-28:  Here David leads all of Israel in welcoming the ark into Jerusalem with rejoicing (v25), sacrificing (v26), singing (v27), shouting (v28) and musical instruments (v28).  If that is the way God’s people in the Old Testament worshiped in God’s presence, how much more do we have reason to rejoice, sacrifice, sing, shout and play music in the presence of the Lord, who died for us, rose again and is alive today.

Accessing the Presence of God

Hi GAMErs,
 
Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 15:1-24.  Let’s go!
 
1 Chronicles 15:13 (NIV)
13  It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.”
 
On verses 1-15:  Here David makes a second attempt to bring the ark to Jerusalem.  The first time David tried moving the ark, he didn’t inquire of God as to how to do it.  The result was death for one, and trouble, grief and embarrassment for many.   This time David has learned his lesson and done his research.  He has searched the Scriptures so that he can understand what is God’s prescribed way for moving the ark.  In accordance with Scripture David makes sure that only the Levites are to transport the ark and that they are to do so by carrying it on poles, rather than pushing it on a cart. 
 
What can we learn from this? 

1. Here we see the importance of inquiring of God before you make an important decision.  Before you make an important decision, seek guidance from the Holy Spirit.  Get into God’s Word.  Spend quality time in prayer.  Seek godly counsel.  This will save you trouble, embarrassment and grief later on. 

客西馬尼園

馬太福音26: 36_46_客西馬尼園

 36 耶穌同門徒來到一個地方,名叫客西馬尼,就對他們說:「你們坐在這裡,等我到那邊去禱告。」 37 於是帶著彼得和西庇太的兩個兒子同去,就憂愁起來,極其難過, 38 便對他們說:「我心裡甚是憂傷,幾乎要死。你們在這裡等候,和我一同警醒。」 39 他就稍往前走,俯伏在地,禱告說:「我父啊!倘若可行,求你叫這杯離開我!然而,不要照我的意思,只要照你的意思。」

40 來到門徒那裡,見他們睡著了,就對彼得說:「怎麼樣,你們不能同我警醒片時嗎? 41 總要警醒禱告,免得入了迷惑。你們心靈固然願意,肉體卻軟弱了。」 42 第二次又去禱告說:「我父啊!這杯若不能離開我,必要我喝,就願你的意旨成全!」 43 又來,見他們睡著了,因為他們的眼睛困倦。 44 耶穌又離開他們去了。第三次禱告,說的話還是與先前一樣。 45 於是來到門徒那裡,對他們說:「現在你們仍然睡覺安歇吧!時候到了,人子被賣在罪人手裡了。 46 起來,我們走吧!看哪,賣我的人近了!」

根據以色列美角的敍述,客西馬尼園(Garden of Gethsemane),耶穌被捕的橄欖園,就在橄欖山山腳!從橄欖山上一路往山腳走,最後就是觀光氣氛與朝聖氣氛都挺濃厚的客西馬尼園,這裡是每個來耶路撒冷的基督徒一定要拜訪的地方。

想當然,客西馬尼園裡有很多橄欖樹,因為客西馬尼的原文就是榨油,榨橄欖油,所以一定有很多橄欖樹。但是現在最老的那棵,據說是主耶穌曾在它蔭下禱告的,現在己經被圈起來保護了。按照1世紀史學家約瑟夫的說法,在西元70年羅馬人攻下耶路撒冷前已經把樹都砍光了,不過呢,橄欖樹的枝子砍下後又能變成主幹、長成樹。科學家證實這三顆古老的樹大約是在12世紀就存在了,並且來自同顆母樹。何等奇妙!

預言彼得跌倒

馬太福音26: 30_35_預言彼得跌倒

30 他們唱了詩,就出來往橄欖山去。31 那時,耶穌對他們說:「今夜你們為我的緣故都要跌倒,因為經上記著說:『我要擊打牧人,羊就分散了。』 32 但我復活以後,要在你們以先往加利利去。」 33 彼得說:「眾人雖然為你的緣故跌倒,我卻永不跌倒。」 34 耶穌說:「我實在告訴你:今夜雞叫以先,你要三次不認我。」 35 彼得說:「我就是必須和你同死,也總不能不認你!」眾門徒都是這樣說。

橄欖山位於舊城耶路撒冷的東邊,現在去以色列旅遊的人大概都不會放棄橄欖山半日遊或一日遊的行程,因為橄欖山是耶穌升天的地方,又包括了客西馬尼園,還有主禱文教堂、主泣教堂、萬國教堂、觀景台等等 ; 還有全以色列最昂貴的猶太墓,因為猶太人相信當彌賽亞來的時候,埋在橄欖山的人會首先復活!有人說站在橄欖山的觀景台看耶路撒冷,除了能夠捕捉美麗的風景,那種感動更是說不出來的!當然那裡還有免費廁所,是不能錯過的。

當然,在耶穌的時代一切都很純樸,晚上也沒有路燈,耶穌和門徒向著客西馬尼園走去,還要經過汲淪溪谷,只有月亮照著他們一行人的身影,帶著寒意的春風不時吹著他們,那飄起的衣角似乎想拂去隨風帶來的一些水珠。耶穌邊走邊對門徒說:「今夜你們為我的緣故都要跌倒,因為經上記著說:『我要擊打牧人,羊就分散了。』 32 但我復活以後,要在你們以先往加利利去。」

設立聖餐

馬太福音26: 26_29_設立聖餐

26 他們吃的時候,耶穌拿起餅來,祝福,就掰開,遞給門徒,說:「你們拿著吃,這是我的身體。」 27 又拿起杯來,祝謝了,遞給他們,說:「你們都喝這個, 28 因為這是我立約的血,為多人流出來,使罪得赦。 29 但我告訴你們:從今以後,我不再喝這葡萄汁,直到我在我父的國裡同你們喝新的那日子。」 30 他們唱了詩,就出來往橄欖山去。

現在教會進行的聖餐就是耶穌上十字架前的最後一餐,一般稱之為「最後的晚餐」(The Last Supper) ,所指的是耶穌和門徒吃的逾越節晚餐。在這個最後的晚餐裡有一些特別值得記念的事。

耶穌說:「我很願意在受害以先和你們吃這逾越節的筵席。我告訴你們,我不再吃這筵席,直到成就在神的國裡。」在吃飯前耶穌做了一件老師不會為學生做的事,便是為祂的門徒們洗腳。然後教導門徒要彼此相愛,互相服侍:「你們裡頭為大的,倒要像年幼的;為首領的,倒要像服事人的。」

在吃晚餐時,耶穌拿起無酵餅說:「這是我的身體,為你們捨的」,然後又拿起杯來說:「這杯是用我血所立的新約,是為你們流出來的」。這是也是猶太人在逾越節晚餐(Seder)中所吃的藏餅以及喝的第三杯酒—救贖之杯 : 耶穌的作法也成為基督徒掰餅領聖餐的傳統。藏餅Afikomen 是指在餐前父母會藏起一些餅,在晚餐結束前請孩子們去將藏起來的餅找出來,象徵孩子自己要經歷尋求耶穌(神)的過程。

Don’t Let Fear Keep You from Experiencing God

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is 1 Chronicles 13:1-14.  Let’s go!

1 Chronicles 13:1-4 (NIV) 
1  David conferred with each of his officers, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds.
2  He then said to the whole assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and if it is the will of the LORD our God, let us send word far and wide to the rest of our brothers throughout the territories of Israel, and also to the priests and Levites who are with them in their towns and pasturelands, to come and join us.
3  Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we did not inquire of it during the reign of Saul.”
4  The whole assembly agreed to do this, because it seemed right to all the people.

On verses 1-4:  When considering whether or not to bring the ark back to Jerusalem, David confers with his leaders to determine the best course of action.  What can we learn from this?  When making an important decision, get good advice.    As Proverbs19:20 (MSG) says, “Take good counsel and accept correction— that’s the way to live wisely and well.”  Is there a decision you are in the process of making where you would benefit from consulting others?

預備逾越節的筵席

馬太福音26: 14_25_預備逾越節的筵席

14 當下,十二門徒裡有一個稱為加略人猶大的,去見祭司長,說: 15 「我把他交給你們,你們願意給我多少錢?」他們就給了他三十塊錢。 16 從那時候,他就找機會要把耶穌交給他們。17 除酵節的第一天,門徒來問耶穌說:「你吃逾越節的筵席,要我們在哪裡給你預備?」 18 耶穌說:「你們進城去,到某人那裡,對他說:『夫子說:我的時候快到了,我與門徒要在你家裡守逾越節。』」 19 門徒遵著耶穌所吩咐的,就去預備了逾越節的筵席。

20 到了晚上,耶穌和十二個門徒坐席。 21 正吃的時候,耶穌說:「我實在告訴你們:你們中間有一個人要賣我了。」 22 他們就甚憂愁,一個一個地問他說:「主,是我嗎?」 23 耶穌回答說:「同我蘸手在盤子裡的,就是他要賣我。 24 人子必要去世,正如經上指著他所寫的,但賣人子的人有禍了!那人不生在世上倒好。」 25 賣耶穌的猶大問他說:「拉比,是我嗎?」耶穌說:「你說的是。」

這是一段令人傷感的記載,耶穌的門徒猶大,為了卅塊錢,出賣了耶穌。在現在的共產社會裡也有這樣的猶大,因此大陸的家庭教會對於新朋友的加入很有戒心,因為一不小心就會被出賣。有的兄弟姐妹分享,他們回國探親時,根本進不了家庭教會。

在耶穌和門徒這個小群體裡,猶大是管理錢財的。一般團體或機構若要選人負責財政工作,一定會選比較可靠的人。猶大曾經被主耶穌看重和交託,但是在最後卻選擇出賣耶穌。當然,有很多猜測,但我們都知道他後來後悔得去上吊自殺。

United and Fighting for the Same Goal

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Wednesday January 31, 2018 on 1 Chronicles 12:23-40.  Let’s go!

On verses 23-37:  Here the Chronicler lists how many men from each tribe of Israel came to David to help turn Saul’s kingdom over to him.   Notice how often these verses repeat the words “armed for battle” or “ready for battle”.  What can we learn from this?  When you want to join with others in seeing God establish His kingdom where you are, you need to be ready and prepared for battle.  That is why Paul says in Ephesians 6 that we must put on the full armor of God so that when our enemy comes we will be ready to take our stand against Him.  As Peter says, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.   Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (1 Peter 5:8-10)

How do you get yourself ready for battle? Spend time in God’s Word daily.  Ask His Holy Spirit for help and depend on Him.  Meditate on God’s Word often.  Pray often (for with much prayer comes much power).  When you face different situations, ask the Holy Spirit for insight, discernment and an alert heart.