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2012 禁食日记 – 第26天: “冒死” 2012 Fasting Diary – Day 26: “Death risk”

 

第二十六天(01/09/12)

以斯帖原是在波斯帝国无地位、身份卑贱的“外族人”,却能神迹般成为王后。可是正当她享有荣华富贵的时候,她的本族以色列人却面对灭族的威胁。国王亚哈随鲁在历史记载是一个残暴无比的王,以斯帖是否要放弃她所有荣华富贵,违例冒死透露自己身份去向国王求情呢?

圣经记载以斯帖不只光是一位美貌王后,她可不是美貌懦弱,爱慕虚荣的弱质女流;当她看清楚神给她的地位的使命时,她宁可失去一切,包括失去生命也在所不惜,只为完成神托付在她身上的使命和呼召!

而我们呢?我们又曾或愿意为神的旨意摆上什么?

以斯帖就吩咐人回报末底改说: 16 “你当去招聚书珊城所有的犹大人,为我禁食三昼三夜,不吃不喝,我和我的宫女也要这样禁食,然后我违例进去见王。我若死就死吧!””
~ 斯4:15-16 ~

 

Day 26 (01/09/12)

Esther was a lowly insignificant “foreigner”in the Persian kingdom, but miraculously became the queen. However, while she was enjoying the luxury and pleasure of being a queen, her own people, the Israelites were facing extermination. King Xerxes (Ahasuerus) was recorded in history as a very cruel and merciless king, should Esther give up all her luxury defying the law to plead with the king revealing her identity and risking death as well?

The Bible shows us that Esther was not just a beautiful queen, she was not a weak and helpless beauty who was interested in luxury and vanity. When she saw clearly the mission God had for her in her position, she was willing to risk all including her life without regret, just to fulfill the mission and calling God had given her!

What about us? What have we ever offered up or are we willing to offer anything to accomplish the will of God?

“Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.””
~ Esther 4:15-16 ~

2012 禁食日记 – 第25天: “现今的机会” 2012 Fasting Diary – Day 25: “For such a time”

 

 

第二十五天(31/08/12)

上帝把每个人安置在这个世界,都有他的美意,他为每一个人都计划了美好前途,每个人都能够对这个世界有所贡献,不管你的背景如何,上帝都能把你兴起来,大大赐福和使用你。

然而问题是,很多时候当我们越发蒙福、有才华、财富、地位等等,我们就会太舒服而逐渐忘记我们的使命,太享受而忘记我们的呼召,以至于被提醒或教导时,还会找借口或不愿意。若是这样,神绝对能兴起别人来取代我们,我们因此就会失去神原本量给我们的天大福份。

所以,唯愿我们在蒙福的当儿,始终不要忘记我们的呼召,也一直保持愿意被神使用的心。

13 末底改托人回复以斯帖说:“你莫想在王宫里强过一切犹大人,得免这祸。 14 此时你若闭口不言,犹大人必从别处得解脱蒙拯救,你和你父家必致灭亡。焉知你得了王后的位分,不是为现今的机会吗?””
~ 斯 4:13-14 ~

 

 Day 25 (31/08/12)

God has a wonderful plan for everyone He places in this world, He has planned a wonderful future for everyone. Each of us can contribute something to this world no matter what your background is, God can raise you up, bless you greatly and use you.

However the problem is, many times when we start to grow in our blessings, talents, wealth, position etc, we tend to get too comfortable and slowly forget our mission, or begin to enjoy too much and forget our calling, to the extent that when we are reminded and taught, we would even look for excuses or are unwilling. If so, God can definitely raise up others to replace us, and we will therefore lose the heavenly blessing God has originally intended for us.

Therefore, may we not forget our calling in the midst of our blessings, and may we always maintain that willing heart to be used by God.

13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?””
~ Esther 4:13-14 ~

2012 禁食日记 – 第24天: “能被信任” 2012 Fasting Diary – Day 24: “Trustworthy”

 

 

 第二十四天(30/08/12)

有好些基督徒,在教会好像很“属灵”,很会“敬拜”、“事奉”等等,可是在实际生活,无论在家或工作场所,却不太得人信任或尊敬。
若是如此,就当检讨自己的属灵真的是神的灵,抑或是自己的“灵”,还是在教会“演戏”罢了?因为圣经里,真正“属灵”或有神同在的人,在正常的情况下是绝对被信任与尊重的。

神的灵是智慧、创意、圣洁与全能的,我们若真被他的灵充满,岂有可能不优秀、不被人信任吗吗?

“4 约瑟就在主人眼前蒙恩,伺候他主人,并且主人派他管理家务,把一切所有的都交在他手里。 自从主人派约瑟管理家务和他一切所有的,耶和华就因约瑟的缘故赐福于那埃及人的家;凡家里和田间一切所有的,都蒙耶和华赐福。 波提乏将一切所有的都交在约瑟的手中,除了自己所吃的饭,别的事一概不知。。。”
~ 创 39:4-6 ~

 

 Day 24 (30/08/12)

Quite a few Christians, they might seem rather “spiritual” in church, good at “worshipping” and “serving” etc, but when it comes to practical living, whether at home or work place, they do not seem to be trusted and respected that much. If so, then we would have to examine whether we are really full of God’s Spirit, or our own “spirit” or merely “acting” in church? Because in the Bible, those who were truly “spiritual” or had the presence of God, under normal circumstances, they would definitely be trusted and respected.

The Spirit of God is wise, creative, holy and almighty, so if we are really filled with His Spirit, can we not be outstanding and trustworthy?

“4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the Lord blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the Lord was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate.”
~ Gen 39:4-6 ~

2012 禁食日记 – 第23天: “神同在” 2012 Fasting Diary – Day 23: “God’s presence”

 

 

第二十三天(29/08/12)

约瑟住在他主人埃及人的家中,耶和华与他同在,他就百事顺利。 他主人见耶和华与他同在,又见耶和华使他手里所办的尽都顺利”
~ 创 39:2-3 ~

圣经清楚给我们看到有神同在的结果:百事顺利!不但如此,人还“看得见”神与你同在!
这是约瑟生命很明显的一部分,但百事顺利并不表示你的生活就舒舒服服,无忧无虑!

约瑟实际上经历很多苦,但在受苦的当儿,交托给他做的事情都顺利成功。主要原因是,耶和华与他同在。然而,耶和华与谁同在也不是没有原因的!

约瑟在最痛苦的当儿还是仰赖主,不怀疑、不抱怨,也不得罪神。。。所以,我们不要光会羡慕和渴想有他那种神同在的“百事顺利”,还是先学习他的生命和忍耐吧。。。

 

 

Day 23 (29/08/12)

“2 The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did”
~ Gen 39:2-3 ~

The Bible clearly shows us the result of having the presence of God: Success in everything! And not only that, people can “see” God is with you!
This was one thing very obvious about Joseph’s life, but success in everything does not mean therefore your life is very comfortable and without any worries or troubles!

In actual fact, Joseph went through a lot of sufferings, but in the midst of his sufferings, jobs handed to him would be completed with great success. The main reason was God was with him. However, there is always a reason as to why God is with someone!

In Joseph’s most difficult moments, he would still be looking to God, trusting Him, not doubting or grumbling, and he did not sin against God… Therefore, let us not just envy or desire his “success in everything” as the Lord was with him, let us first learn his life and endurance…

2012 禁食日记 – 第22天: “忧愁” 2012 Fasting Diary – Day 22: “Troubled”

 

第二十二天(28/08/12)

当我们心里忧愁,感觉挫折,思想有点混乱时,我们就会有念头想要放弃我们所追求和执着的。若继续消极思想下去,真的有些人就会放弃了,或者有一些模糊了视线而走错方向。所以,清楚知道自己的呼召,跟神保守亲密的关系,晓得祷告求神加添力量和鼓励是很重要的。

原来耶稣也有感到忧愁,或者“不知所措”的时候;那时,他就赶快定睛仰望在父神身上,他又看清方向了。眼光与目标对了,路就能继续走了。。。

我现在心里忧愁,我说什么才好呢?父啊,救我脱离这时候!但我原是为这时候来的。”
~ 约 12:27 ~

 

Day 22 (28/08/12)

When our heart is troubled, or when we feel defeated and our thoughts get a little disturbed, we would tend to have thoughts of giving up our pursuit and endeavour. If we continue to think negatively, then some people would really give up, or some begin to go the wrong direction as their visions are blurred. Therefore, it is very crucial to know our calling clearly, to maintain an intimate relationship with God, to know how to pray to God to increase our strength and to encourage us.

In fact, Jesus did have moments when He felt troubled or “at a crossroads” too; at such a time, He quickly focussed His eyes on the Father, so He could see clearly again. When your perspective and goal are right, you would be able to carry on the journey…

““Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.”
~ John 12:27 ~

2012 禁食日记 – 第21天: “谁的罪?” 2012 Fasting Diary – Day 21: “Who sinned?”

 

第二十一天(27/08/12)

有时候我们真的需要学习同理心,也需要向神求怜悯的心肠;因为有时候看到别人落难或面对问题,我们不但不同情或体会他们的感受,反而还落井下石,在背后议论纷纷,批评人落到此下场的原因等等。

当然也有很多状况是个人的罪和愚昧带来的,那在适当的时候当然要好好教导和纠正;但太多时候我们是需要有怜悯心肠去体会人的感受和真正帮助他们解决问题,引领他们归向神,而至终会荣耀神。

“耶稣过去的时候,看见一个人生来是瞎眼的。 门徒问耶稣说:“拉比,这人生来是瞎眼的,是谁犯了罪?是这人呢,是他父母呢?” 耶稣回答说:“也不是这人犯了罪,也不是他父母犯了罪,是要在他身上显出神的作为来。”
~ 约 9:1-3 ~

 

Day 21 (27/08/12)

Sometimes we do really need to empathize with people and also ask God for a merciful heart; because there are times when people encounter troubles or face problems, instead of showing sympathy or understanding their feelings, we might instead rub salt into wounds by gossiping behind their backs, concluding the reasons they have fallen into such predicaments etc.

Of course there are also many situations where personal sins or foolishness are the cause, in those cases of course people need to be properly taught or corrected at the right time; but too many times we really need to have a merciful heart to appreciate people’s feelings and to truly help them solve their problems, and to lead them back to God and ultimately bringing glory to God.

“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”
~ John 9:1-3 ~

2012 禁食日记 – 第20天: “朋友” 2012 Fasting Diary – Day 20: “Friend”

 

 

第二十天(26/08/12)

耶和华说:“我所要做的事,岂可瞒着亚伯拉罕呢?”
~ 创 18:17 ~

上帝不只看亚伯拉罕是他的仆人,他确实把亚伯拉罕当作朋友,这是何等大的荣幸!如果一个很有名、很有势力的人把我们当作朋友,我们可感到多特别和满足,更何况是上帝!耶稣也告诉我们身为朋友的身份和感情的特殊点:

14 你们若遵行我所吩咐的,就是我的朋友了。 15 以后我不再称你们为仆人,因仆人不知道主人所做的事。我乃称你们为朋友,因我从父所听见的,已经都告诉你们了。”(约15:14-15)

他所指的这个要我们遵行的这吩咐,其实是叫我们身为他门徒的要彼此相爱,这样你也可以成为神的朋友了。。。

 

Day 20 (26/08/12)

Then the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?”
~ Genesis 18:17 ~

God did not just regard Abraham as a servant, He did indeed regard Abraham as a friend, this is such a great honour! If a very famous and powerful person regards us as a friend, we would feel so special and satisfied, what more to say if it is God! Jesus also told us the uniqueness of having the identity and relationship of a friend:

14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
(John 15:14-15)

The “command” here that Jesus wants us, His disciples to do is this: to love one another, if you could do that, you can become a friend of God…

2012 禁食日记 – 第19天: “老化” 2012 Fasting Diary – Day 19: “Aging”

 

 

第十九天(25/08/12)

担心衰老是人之常情,但老化却是无法改变与避免的事实。。。
人再怎样照顾健康、运动、保养,人终久敌不过岁月的摧残,尽管外在保养得宜,里面的器官和身体操作能力也会逐渐衰残。

但年纪大或老化并不表示你一定要“人老不中用”,圣经给我们清楚看到:我们这些蒙恩得救的义人,若成长在神的同在里,常与主亲密,我们依然可以很有效率,依然可以结出很多生命的果子祝福身边的许多人。所以我们身为主的门徒的,年纪越大不应当倚老卖老、哀声叹气、无奈等待痴呆症的到来!我们是可以到死都结满果子的!

“12 义人要发旺如棕树,生长如黎巴嫩的香柏树。
13 他们栽于耶和华的殿中,发旺在我们神的院里。
14 他们年老的时候仍要结果子,要满了汁浆而常发青”
~ 诗篇 92:12-14 ~

Day 19 (25/08/12)

It is quite normal for ordinary people to worry about growing old, but aging is a fact we cannot change or avoid…
No matter how one takes care of his health, exercises, preserves, he still cannot fight the cruel reality of time; even if the outward appearance is well-taken care of, the organs inside and functioning of the body will deteriorate still.

But as you get older or age does not mean you must becomes a “useless old man”, the Bible shows us clearly: For us, the righteous saved by grace, if we grow in the presence of God and always keep our intimacy with God, then we can still be very productive, and we can still bear a lot of fruit of life to bless many people around us.So, as the disciples of the Lord, we should not be whining about getting old and complaining about old age or waiting helplessly for senility to set in! We can still be bearing much fruit till the day we die!

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green”
~ Psalm 92:12-14 ~

2012禁食日记 – 第18天: “不会忘记” 2012 Fasting Diary – Day 18: “Not forgotten”

 

 

第十八天(24/08/12)

“15 皮袋的水用尽了,夏甲就把孩子撇在小树底下, 16 自己走开约有一箭之远,相对而坐,说:“我不忍见孩子死!”就相对而坐,放声大哭。17 神听见童子的声音,神的使者从天上呼叫夏甲说:“夏甲,你为何这样呢?不要害怕,神已经听见童子的声音了。 18 起来,把童子抱在怀[a]中,我必使他的后裔成为大国。””
~ 创 21:15-18 ~

夏甲从奴隶变富贵却不谦卑感恩,她的孩子以实玛利也傲慢自大。。。他们因自己的罪而掉入惨痛境遇,然而神却记念这是他忠心的朋友与仆人,亚伯拉罕的骨肉,所以施援手拯救还赐福。

所以,我们作父母的若真爱孩子,就当有智慧忠心于神与常尊荣他,他必记念你的后裔;我们身为亚伯拉罕的后裔又本身自己会忠心于神的,更要有把握神绝对不会忘记我们。

Day 18 (24/08/12)

“15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there nearby, she[c] began to sob.17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation. ””
~ Gen 21:15-18 ~

Hagar was raised from a slave to an honourable position but she was not humble and grateful, her son Ishmael was also arrogant and proud… Because of their own sins, they fell into a terrible situation, however God remembered this was His faithful friend and servant Abraham’s flesh and blood, so He stretched out His merciful hand to rescue and even bless.

Therefore, as parents, if you truly love your children, you should have the wisdom to be faithful to God and always honour Him, He will surely remember your descendants. And we, as Abraham’s descendants and if we ourselves are faithful to God too, all the more we must be fully assured God will never ever forget us.

2012禁食日记 – 第十七天: “效法世界” 2012 Fasting Diary – Day 17: “Conforming to the world”

 

 

第十七天(23/08/12)

身为一个基督徒,甚至教会,我们很容易被过去的观念、现今世界局势、潮流和价值观影响;可能因面对压力、为了生活、个人利益关系、要讨人喜欢或怕得罪人等等。。。有时候不知不觉,或者想都没想就妥协了真理的教导或神的旨意。。。

日子久了,就会分辨不出到底是自己的意思、随波逐流,或神的旨意!
难怪保罗会提醒我们:

“不要效法这个世界,只要心意更新而变化,叫你们察验何为神的善良、纯全、可喜悦的旨意。”
~ 罗12:2 ~

“更新而变化”是一个持续的过程和行动,所以唯愿我们时刻警醒,常常在主面前诚实检讨与求主光照、鉴察我们的心思意念与动机。

Day 17 (23/08/12)

As a Christian or even church, we can be easily influenced by our past thinking, the current situation, trend and values of the world, probably due to pressures, daily living, self-interests, wanting to please others or not wanting to offend people etc… sometimes without realizing, or without thinking much, we have already compromised the teaching of God’s truth or His will…

After time goes by, we will not be able to discern what is our own will, following the world or God’s will!
No wonder Paul reminded us:

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
~ Romans 12:2 ~

“Be transformed by the renewing of” is an ongoing process and action, so hopefully we will always be alert, to always examine ourselves honestly before the Lord, and asking Him to reveal to us and search our hearts and thoughts and motives.