2019-9-16

Psalm 40 & Acts 6

Psalm 40:1-17
Like the poet, we were troubled by our sins and the oppositions; men’s sacrifices and offerings cannot please God, if there’s no spirit and truth involved. Our trust can only be found in our Lord and our hearts needs to be resolved to follow Jesus and look upon His deliverance.

Acts 6:1-15
Chapter 6 is the beginning record of Stephen, the first martyr of the early church. After the Pentecost, the number of believers grew as well as that of the opposers:

Inside the church, there were complaints between different language speaking groups about the charity work towards the disadvantaged. It might not be the result of lacking brotherly love, but would be a problem to address when the congregation expands. Disciples realized the deficiency of their existing labor of division, with prayers and wisdom from God, solved this earthly matter in a Heavenly way. Stephen was part of the solution, a faithful man equipped by the Spirit and the wisdom from God, with six other brothers in Christ, joining this operation and furthered His kingdom.

Outside the church, the anxiety built up, the opposers found out that they could not argue with Stephen, because he was enabled by the Holy Spirit and gave good testimony. The false accusation and persecution became common tactics for them to ‘stop’ God’s people.

Stephen was not part of the Twelve, but he was part of God’s work and plan. He started as a faithful brother in the congregation, known by God and men; then was elected to attend the administrative matters to serve the church members and serve God; the Lord also gave him the courage to stand up against external attack eloquently. Stephen’s story could be a sample journey of faith for any followers of Christ. How about our journey of faith?
May the Lord bless us and help us to understand His calling and follow Him, may the people behind us also find us faithful.  Amen.              —- Ivy Lin

2019-9-14

使徒行傳5:1-39
1到11節
提到兩個人他們是夫妻,亞拿尼亞和撒非喇,他們變賣財產奉獻給教會,但是他們卻留下一部分。他們犯的罪並不是吝嗇留下一部分,而是欺騙神和神的子民。欺騙和貪婪會破壞教會影響事工。
 12到16節
使徒那個時候可以行神蹟和治病,這確實吸引很多人來信主。這一切證明他們所說的教導和合一的精神也顯明基督復活的大能,證明神與他們同在。
 17到33節
使徒門放膽地傳福音,行神蹟,但卻帶來被逼迫的危機並第一次被下監牢。
神的使者夜間開了監牢的門,領他們離開監牢。使徒依然沒有放棄傳福音的機會,這卻換來第二次再下監牢。
彼得和眾使徒被長官審問的時候說了一段話,他說:「順從神不順從人是應當的,我們是為已經復活的主作的見證!」
34-39節
迦瑪列,是百姓所敬重的教法師,他勸衆人説:「任憑他們吧!若是出於神你們就不能敗壞他們,恐怕你們攻擊神了。」
我們都是基督的門徒,若我們所作的都是出於神的旨意,那有何害怕呢!就算是被殺害,受審問,神也一一的看顧。但若我們是出於欺騙神,不是為神的名做事,這就有問題了。使徒們大家都很歡喜快樂,就算是在坐牢的時候,他們也快樂。因為他們這算是配為神的名受辱。 Ivan Ho

2019-9-13

使徒行传4:1-37

第四章讲的是初期教会受到的逼迫和教会在受到逼迫时的应对,和最后胜过逼迫后的反应。

第一部分,因为使徒向百姓们(数量众多)传讲耶稣复活的消息,让祭司长们很烦恼,于是就将他们抓起来审问。好像今天大陆政府,因为知道信仰基督的人越来越多,就心生害怕,没有缘由的抓教会的负责人来审问。

第二部分,彼得被圣灵充满,无所畏惧且有理有据的说他们是奉拿撒勒人耶稣基督的名行事,而且还在公会上为耶稣做了见证。
祭司们见他说的话无法反驳,就想恐吓他们以后不能奉耶稣的名对人讲论。
彼得和约翰选择了听从神不听从人,因为这福音对人是大好的消息,所看见的,所听见的不能不说。
官长因为百姓和使徒所行的奇事,没办法不得不放了使徒们。
这是圣经教科书版的对抗逼迫时基督徒的应对。
使徒们不畏惧恐吓的原因,乃在于知道人对他们所作的任何事都是暂时的,但是神对待他的卻是永恒的。
我相信靠着圣灵和神给的智慧,教会在夹缝中也能长成一颗参天大树。

第三部分,是会众听到使徒们被释放回来传达的话后,便同心合意的祷告赞美神求主带领他们。众人被都被圣灵充满,放胆讲神的话。
这是多么合一的教会。他们凡物公用,变卖田地捐献,面对逼迫,大家一起祷告向神呼求而不是互相埋怨或者慌张害怕。
当信徒向着主的心是完全的时,就没有什么人事物阻止他们团契在一起彼此相亲相爱了。
但愿在教会里没有一人说胆怯,自私,不造就人的话。           —- Isa

2019-9-12

Acts 3:1-26
 

“Silver and Gold I do not have”  
    As Peter and John were on there way to pray (most likely every day)  a beggar was waiting near the temple gates.  He had been brought there as was often the case to ask for hand outs.  On this particular day, his life was about to change.  Peter boldly spoke to the man, “look at me, I have no money to give you,  now in the name of Jesus get up and walk.”   What did Peter want the man to do?  Look at him.  Not this busy crowd around here, not to the people that brought you here or the crowd entering the temple, but look at me and listen.
    Never have we seen such a robust economy.  Gold and silver on the rise, the stock market setting new highs and jobs aplenty.  How easy it would be for us a followers of Christ to loose focus and get caught up in this carnival of chance,  God would have us to “look” on Him.   Fix our eyes on Jesus. 
   Next Peter said he had no money, no offerings for the man.  I wonder if the man turned away, maybe lowered his head in disappointment.  Jesus said to take up your cross and follow me if it’s convenient?  Nope.  Pick up your cross and all your earthly possessions and follow me?
   
   Finally Peter says  “in the name of Jesus”.   Not in any other name,  not in the name of Peter, nor the church, country or the president.  But in the Name of Jesus stand and walk!
   
    It is my prayer today that we can learn to look to him and not this material world and in His name stand and walk.  Stand for Christ and let our walk be a testimony to his name.        —- Bill Burgan

2019-9-11

使徒行傳2:1-47

正如耶稣在离世前所预言的,门徒们将受圣灵的洗。五旬节那天,门徒们从不同国家,地区聚集在耶路撒冷,圣灵像火焰一样降临,这一群没有受过高等教育的门徒们竟用别国的语言讲论神的道。这显然是神迹,一些不信神的看客对此不理解,他们讽刺挖苦,说这些人喝醉了,说胡话。然而彼得和十一个门徒却不顾一切,放胆讲道,宣讲耶稣基督救赎的福音。劝说各人要悔改,奉耶稣基督的名受洗,这样,罪就得赦,就必领受所赐的圣灵;那次的宣教后,竟有三千人受洗得救。
读了这一章,让我想到,信主、传福音都是不容易的,是会被不信的人攻击,甚至迫害的,但因有主与我们同在,我们就不必害怕。耶稣说,“为义受逼迫的人有福了,因为天国是他们的。
人若因我辱骂你们,逼迫你们,捏造各样坏话毁谤你们,你们就有福了。应当欢喜快乐,因为你们在天上的赏赐是大的。在你们以前的先知,人也是这样逼迫他们.”
让我们兄弟姐妹互相勉励,坚定不移地行走的天国的道路上。          —- Jinhua Yang

 

五旬節聖靈降臨,使新約基督的教會成為大有能力、聖潔、榮耀的教會,開創了永生上帝拯救世人的劃時代新頁。

主耶穌基督在受難前告訴門徒:「我要求父,父就另外賜給你們一位保惠師,叫他永遠與你們同在,就是真理的聖靈。」(約14:16)
主耶穌基督在升天前吩咐門徒:「但聖靈降臨在你們身上,你們就必得著能力,並要在耶路撒冷、猶太全地,和撒瑪利亞,直到地極,作我的見證。」(徒1:8)

當聖靈降臨在使徒、門徒與眾信徒當中,他們就都被聖靈充滿,按著聖靈所賜的口才說起別國的話來,各人聽見門徒用眾人的鄉談說話,講說神的大作為。
聖靈的作為,是使說者、聽者同感一靈。

使徒彼得傳講的第一篇信息大有能力,鑑古證今,
從先知約珥(主前835年)的預言,論證聖靈已經降臨:(珥2:28-32)
「神說:在末後的日子,我要將我的靈澆灌凡有氣的。你們的兒女要說預言;你們的少年人要見異象;老年人要做異夢。在那些日子,我要將我的靈澆灌我的僕人和使女,他們就要說預言。」
又從大衛(主前1000年)的信息,論證耶穌就是基督:
「大衛既是先知,又曉得神曾向他起誓,要從他的後裔中立一位坐在他的寶座上,就預先看明這事,講論基督復活說:他的靈魂不撇在陰間;他的肉身也不見朽壞。這耶穌,神已經叫他復活了,我們都為這事作見證。」(詩16:8-11; 110:1)
聖靈又使眾人聽見信息就扎心:
「故此,以色列全家當確實地知道,你們釘在十字架上的這位耶穌,神已經立他為主,為基督了。」
使徒的信息更清楚的說明:
「你們各人要悔改,奉耶穌基督的名受洗,叫你們的罪得赦,就必領受所賜的聖靈;因為這應許是給你們和你們的兒女,並一切在遠方的人,就是主我們神所召來的。你們當救自己脫離這彎曲的世代。」

那一天,領受他話的人就受了洗,門徒約添了三千人。
新約基督的教會於焉開始,信徒們聚集在一起,都恆心遵守使徒的教訓,彼此交接,擘餅,祈禱,讚美神,得眾民的喜愛。
主將得救的人天天加給他們。

五旬節聖靈降臨,使永生上帝選民的國度有了嶄新的意義。
神把以色列民從埃及為奴之地拯救出來,成為神的選民,建立神選民的國度,神與他的選民同在,與他們同行,成為萬國萬民中大有尊榮、強盛的國度。
神又從萬國萬民中揀選了我們,靠著耶穌基督的救贖,罪得赦免,成為祂自己兒女的國度,就是「教會」。
神與教會同在,神的選民就是教會,基督就是教會的元首、教會的頭。
聖靈保守教會/基督徒/神的兒女成為聖潔的國度,成為主耶穌基督的見證,
也使得教會成為基督救恩福音的燈台,要傳揚基督的救恩,要帶領萬人脫離罪惡與黑暗,歸向基督,成為聖潔光明的國度。

感謝主,我得蒙救贖;感謝主,我的罪得赦免;感謝主,我可以成為基督十架救恩的見證;感謝主,讓我成為神兒女,神家中的成員;感謝主,讓我成為教會的一員,成為基督身子的肢體。
求主聖靈引領我,使用我,作主見證。         —- Solomon Liu

 

 

2019-9-10

使徒行傳1:1-26

路加在完成了路加福音書寫作,又接續寫作使徒行傳。
前一卷書記述耶穌基督在世上的事奉,完成了偉大的救贖工作。
本書記述了傳揚這偉大救贖福音的行動;英文的書卷名就是《行動》。

耶穌基督在馬太福音28章吩咐了傳福音的大使命,本書記述耶穌基督再吩咐門徒/使徒要領受聖靈的洗。在耶路撒冷等候聖靈降臨,便能得著能力,把福音傳到地極。
彌賽亞耶穌所成就的拯救,不是要帶領猶太人復國,乃是要救贖世人脫離罪惡,建立神的國度。復活的耶穌與門徒同在四十天之久,解說聖經真理、天國奧秘,在眾人面前被接回天上。
當先知以利沙親眼看見師傅先知以利亞有火車火馬迎接到天上的時候,他呼喊,「願感動以利亞的靈加倍的感動我」。

耶穌的母親、兄弟,以及使徒與門徒一百二十多人聚集在馬可樓,同心合意地恆切禱告,等候聖靈降臨。
又被聖靈引導,遴選馬提亞補了十二使徒因猶大背叛的缺位。確認了「使徒」職分的定義,是
「主耶穌在我們中間始終出入的時候,就是從約翰施洗起,直到主離開我們被接上升的日子為止,必須從那常與我們作伴的人中立一位與我們同作耶穌復活的見證。」
由是,「使徒」是專指第一世紀與耶穌同行的十二個門徒/使徒(路6:13),親眼見證耶穌基督的權能事奉,十架救贖,死裡復活,升天。其後,主耶穌基督又再親自顯現並揀選了保羅為使徒。
使徒與門徒之所以能把基督救恩福音傳揚開,不是憑靠自己的意志、能力,乃是聖靈加給的力量,聖靈就是神的自己。是神自己與使徒/門徒同在,給他們智慧、能力、信息、話語、勇氣,使他們能把福音傳揚開。

主耶穌基督說,末世必有假先知、假教師、假基督出來迷惑世人。我們當堅信聖經的真理教訓,先知在施浸約翰之後就沒有了(路16:16)、使徒只存在在第一世紀;如今,若有自稱為先知的、為使徒的,甚或自稱為基督的,都是敵基督的,都是撒旦的作為。

我感謝主,每一個得蒙救恩、重生得救的基督徒,都是因為有人傳了基督救恩的福音給我們,有人撒了基督救恩福音的種籽在我們心中,又得到主耶穌基督親自的澆灌,使種籽發芽、札根、生長、茁壯、結果。
我們也承受了傳揚福音的大使命,求主的聖靈加給我們力量,使我們也成為傳福音給人的人。           —- Solomon Liu

 

2019-9-9

Psalm 39 1-13 & Numbers 36

Psalm 39: 1-13

Everyone Is But A Breath

Psalm 39 amazingly echoes with Ecclesiastes. Life is short and fragile. What should we look upon and store up during the limited span of this mortal life?  Our treasure is in heaven and our hope is in Christ. The end result of our faith is the salvation of our souls.

Numbers 36:1-13

About Inheritance
Cross reference: Colossians 3:23-24
無論做什麼,都要從心裡做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,
因你們知道從主那裡必得著基業為賞賜;你們所事奉的乃是主基督。
since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Chapter 36 concludes the commands and regulations the Lord gave through Moses in the book of Numbers. Last, but not the least, the second part of the instructions of the inheritance of Zelophehad’s daughters were given. The first part of the instructions in Numbers 27 established the case that daughters could have a part of the father’s inheritance; the second part of the instructions found in Number 36 completed the case that after the daughters, the inheritance should still remain in the same tribe and clan.

At the end of the book of Numbers, Israelites were still on the plains of Moab, the promised land was still a ‘promise’. Why the instructions on the inheritance and the seriousness? It is all about God and it is all about faith – the certainty of His promise.

What is our perspective toward inheritance? Through faith by grace we are saved and received by His kingdom, a better country – a heavenly one. It is a serious matter and should be reminded that what we read today is a shadow of the good things that are coming.

Lord, thank you for giving us the instructions of life; thank you for giving us the way, the truth, and the life. Thank you for your faithfulness and the work of Jesus. May we all be reminded that we have been called by you from the dark, redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, given by the inheritance, and consecrated for serving you.  Help us to spend our time, resources, and energy wisely, for we are just a breath, and Your Words and Kingdom remains. In the name of Jesus we pray, amen.          —- Ivy Lin