The Advent of the Kingdom of God 神 的 國 渡 降 臨 在 地 上

神 的 國 渡 降 臨 在 地 上The Advent of the Kingdom of God

人活著就需要:食,衣,住,行。這些東西乃是人人維持與保養生命的自然生活。可以說,人同其他植物動物的生命相似。先賢孟子說:“人之異於禽獸者幾希。”

那麼,“人算甚麼,你 [神] 竟顧念他? 世人算甚麼,你 [神] 竟眷顧他?(詩篇 8:4) 。

但是,我們(基督徒) 很清楚 :  “人” 是照  神自己的形像 [屬性] 造的,乃是照著祂的形像造男造女(創世記 1:27)。

“耶和華  神用地上的塵土造人,將生氣吹在他鼻孔裏,他就成了有靈的活人”  (創世記2:27)。

聖經記載人類始祖因犯罪墮落,被趕出伊甸園 (the Garden of Eden) ,(創世記 3:24)。從此,人類出生在世上便帶有罪性,本來,人性本善,變為人性本惡。

英語 :“SIN”一辭,解 “罪”,正好說明, “人” 總會把 “I”(我) 放在中央,以“我”為中心。常說: “我想. . . . . .  我要 . . . . . . 我不要. . . . . . 我能. . . . . . 我全能. . . . . .,” 不知不覺,我們把生活 (食,衣,住, 行) 放在第一位置,把外在的生活無限擴大,將自己以為是的觀念強行於他人; 有權勢者,更加自傲矜誇, 打起 “政治正確”的旗號,帶領並支持群眾走上道德滅亡的路途,高唱個人自由無限化。

“自私和貪慾,我們的自滿,渴慕權勢,形象,等等. . . . . . , 強制了我們,看不見異象,使我們不能清楚領受 神‘以忠信誠實行過奇妙的事’ (以賽亞書 25:1) 。”–(每日用糧,6月,Winn Collier)。

我們不可忘掉了聖經記載有關巴別塔 (The Tower of Babel) 的啟示。

“他們彼此商量說:‘來吧! 我們要作磚把磚燒透了。’ 他們就拿磚當石頭,又拿石漆當灰泥。”. . . . . .“來吧! 我們要建造一座城和一座搭,搭頂通天,為要傳揚我們的名. . . . . . ”。

“耶和華說:‘看哪!他們成為一樣的人民. . . . . .以後他們所要作的事,就沒有不成就的了’”. . . . . .   “ 於是,耶和華使他們從那裏分散在全地上;他們就停工不造那城了”(創世記 11:3-4,6,8)。

“所以你們要歉卑, 服在  神大能的手下,到了時候,祂必叫你們升高 ”(彼得前書 5:6)。

聖經記述耶穌受魔鬼的試探。 “祂禁食四十晝夜,後來就餓了。. . . . . . ”耶穌對魔鬼說:“. . . . . . 人活著,不是單靠食物,乃是靠 神口裏所出的一切話” (馬太福音 4:4) 。

所以  神的話語 (聖經) 是我們每日的飲食, 是生命的重要用糧, 是永生的渴望。

“魔鬼又帶祂上了一座最高的山,將世上的萬國與萬國的榮耀都指給祂看,對祂說:‘你若俯伏拜我,我就把這一切都要賜給你。’ ”

耶穌說:“. . . . . .  ‘當拜主你的  神,單要事奉祂’” (馬太福音 4:8-10)。

從古至今,基督徒或非基督徒都是為著生活而受食,衣,住,行,的不滿足而無限期望和貪求。若是只有外的生活 ,卻沒有內的生命 (being) , 又怎可能是 “有靈的活人”呢? 生命便沒有了意義。

試想想, 神既照祂的形像造了人, 我們本來 有祂的屬性。 神就是愛, [祂]差祂的獨生子[耶穌基督]降世,不是要審判世人,乃是要叫世人因祂得救(約翰福音, 3:17)。 若我們認罪悔改,並接受耶穌基督為生命的主,決志一生跟從祂,重生得救,受洗, 成為  神的兒女,聖靈內住,帶領我們走人生路, “向著標竿直跑,要得  神在基督耶穌裏從上面召我[們]來得的獎賞”(腓立比書,3:14)。

中國人傳統教導的修身之德行,齊家–父慈,子孝,兄友,弟恭,夫婦好合;治國–供獻社會,為國盡力,我們要安己以待  神的帶領。

耶穌基督被釘十字架前,向門徒說葡萄樹與枝子的比喻, “我是葡萄樹,你們是枝子。 常在我裏面的,我也常在他裏面,這人就多結果子,因為離了我,你們就不能作甚麼”(約翰福音, 15:5)。

耶穌又說: “你們若常在我裏面,我的話也常在你們裏面,凡你們所願意的,祈求就給你們成就” (約翰福音, 15:7)。

讓我們親愛的弟兄姊妹們恆切禱告, 願天國早日降臨。[神啊]!“擦去[我們]一切的眼淚; 不再有死亡, 也不再有悲哀,哭號, 疼痛, 因為以前的事都過去了”(啟詩錄 21:4)。奉耶穌基督名求, 阿們!

當福音傳到地極,世人都信主耶穌基督的時候,神的國便臨在地上,如我們所祈求的。那時,祂的  “旨意”行在地上,如同行在天上,世界各國才得太平,人人平等,生活自由獨立。

The Advent of the Kingdom of God      (English Translation by F.K.Loo)

Human beings live to eat, to clothe, to shelter and to go about. These things are naturally needed to sustain and maintain human life. We may say that humans are similar to plants and animals. Guru Mencius said: “There is nuanced difference between humans and animals”. Then, “What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4)

But we Christians know for sure the “human being” was created in the image of God (affiliating to God); “God created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:27)

“The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being,” ( Genesis 2:7)

The Bible records that the fallen human ancestors were expelled out of the Garden of Eden, (Genesis 3:24). Since then, human beings are born with sins in this world. Originally human beings were sinless but have become sinful.

The English word “SIN” means transgression of God’s law. This word clearly illustrates that humans always put “I” in the center–always “I” be central. We often say, “I wish. . .  I want. . . I don’t want. . .  I can. . .  I always can. . .  . Subconsciously, we would put in the first place our living (i.e., to eat, to clothe, to shelter and to go about). We would expand the outside of  lives out of bound; impose on others our subjective value ; those with power would be proud of themselves, bragging with the flag of |political correct”.  And they lead and support the group towards the way to moral degradation. They would sing laud the song of “unlimited personal liberty”.

“. . . Selfish and greed, our self-sufficiency, our last for power or image—all these compulsions obscure our vision making us unable to clearly see the God who ‘in perfect faithfulness [has] done wonderful things’ (Isaiah 25:1).”— (Daily Bread June, 2019, Winn collier).

Let’s not forget the revelation of the story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible.

“They said to each other, ‘Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.’ They used bricks instead of stone, and tar for mortar. . . . ”

“Then they said, ‘Come, let us build ourselves a city. With a tower that reaches to the heaven, so that we may make a name for ourselves . . .’ ”

“The Lord said, ‘If as one people. . . . Then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. . . . ’ “So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city.” (Genesis 11:3-4, 6, 8.)

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” (1 Peter 5-6)

The Bible records the devil’s temptation of Jesus. “After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. . . . . ” Jesus said to the devil: “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew, 4:2-4)

Therefore, the Word of God (Bible) is our daily bread and drinks—the essential food and hope of eternal life.

“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their Splenda. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ ”

Jesus said, “. . . ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ” (Matthew, 4:8-10)

From ancient time until now, Christians or non-Christians all the same having been dominated by the un-satiable craving of: What to eat? What to wear? Where to live? How to go about things? If we only live outwardly without the innate “being”, how can we claim that we’re living beings? If so we live– life becomes meaningless.

Let’s ponder. Since God created human beings in his image, we originally would have affiliated to God. God is Love. “For God did not send his Son [Jesus Christ] into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John, 3:17) If we admit our sins and repent and receive Jesus Christ as our savior, and determine to follow him for life, we will be re-birthed and re-deemed and baptized –becoming the children of God. The Holy Spirit lives in our hearts and leads us the way in life.  “[We] press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called [us] heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)

The Chinese traditional teaching in self-cultivation of moral in harmonious families includes fathers’ compassion, filial love, brotherly love and husband and wife in harmony.  And to serve the country patriotically by serving the society. We must be patient and wait for the vision from God to lead.

Before Jesus Christ’s crucifixion, he told his disciples the parable of the Grapes Vine and the Branches. “I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Then Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you” (John 15:7).

Let’s brothers and sisters consistently pray for the early advent of the Kingdom of God. [O Lord, God], “wipe every tear from [our] eyes. There will be no more death or morning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4). In Jesus’ name, Amen!

 

 

When the gospel will have been proclaimed to the ends of the world and humanity will have believed into Christ Jesus, the Kingdom of God will come to this world as we have been beseeching. At that time His “will” will be done on earth as it is in heaven. All nations in the world will have peace, and everyone will be equal—living independently at liberty.

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From Meaningless to Wholeness

 

From “Emptiness [Meaningless] to Fullness [Wholeness]”—Loo Kwok Lai Interviewed/edited by: Kwan Tack Yin.

 [Original in Chinese published in EDMONTON CHINESE NEWS April 27, and April 29, 2005; Truth Monthly-October, 2007; Blessed Lives P319-325, October 2008]

 

From “Emptiness [Meaningless] to Fullness [Wholeness]”—Loo Kwok Lai Interviewed/edited by: Kwan Tack Yin.

English Translation by LKL (November 2019)

Studying Buddhism

Loo Kwok Lai (the person being interviewed) has spent a few decades in his lifetime in the studies of Buddhism. However, when he came to a point of making important decisions he would first consult the “casting lot” prescribed by Hung-Ming. After retirement, he became whole-heartedly believing in Jesus [Christ]. What are the reasons behind such a change?

Loo Kwok Lai (LKL) has spent many decades in the studies of Buddhism. But after retirement, he started believing in Jesus [Christ]. For he thinks that Buddhism is only a philosophy of life that will not have a solution to the final ending — i.e., death. Therefore, ultimately, he has put his faith in Jesus; because, in the Lord, he has found love, grace and joy in eternal life. Now I’d like to ask Loo Kwok Lai (LKL) to tell us about his testimonial pilgrimage of life.

LKL: This year I’m already 68 years old. But I still go to work with a joyful heart and a peaceful mind. I believed in Jesus [Christ] in Vancouver about 11 to 12 years ago. Why have I believed in Jesus? It’s actually the grace of God. Now, reflecting on the previous half of my life, though having been to many roads unnecessarily, I stepped onto the right path. Truly, this is the best road of all. As the Bible says; “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death” (Proverbs 14: 12)   Finally, I’ve stepped onto the road to eternal life is my Salvation from God.

As early as [19]78 we immigrated to Toronto. Shortly after that, we returned to Hong Kong until [19]89 “June 4th Democratic Riot”, when many people in Hong Kong were fearful, my wife said that it was time to re-consider migrating to Toronto to settle forever. Then we decided to go again to Canada. We felt that Vancouver might suit us better. So we’ve settled down in Vancouver until today.

Looking back, as I was born before the Second World War, [my father] fled with me to the interior of China, hence I had no schooling for a long period of time. I entered Primary One [Grade One] at the age of 11.  After graduating from Secondary School, I went into a teacher’s training college. And I had taught in a [primary] school before I worked in the District Office. At that time, I had no firm religious faith, but I remembered what the principal of the teacher’s training college said: “In life, if we have no religion, we must rely on philosophies for guidance.” Personally, I prefer philosophies to guide my way of life.

Why I made such a choice?

On the one hand, it was my personal interest. On the other, it might be the fact that my mother died young. She died at the age of 27 when I was two to three years of age. My mom’s early death had brought the kind of effect on me I knew not. I only knew life was unpredictable. To search for the meaning of life, I thought I ought to seek answers in philosophies. Not only studying philosophies, but I was also openhearted to all religions. I also learn from others the teaching of Buddha. Perhaps, my mother’s funeral service, which was conducted in a traditional so-called Buddhism ritual, imbued me towards Buddhism.

[After the Second World War] my father re-married. Step-mother has brought me up. When I was 12 years old, Step-mother asked me to attend Bible Class in a Catholic Church. After some time, I was baptized as a Catholic, though I had not submitted to the Catholic faith—giving no further thoughts to it.

I got acquainted with her (now my wife) in childhood and we played in the village. In her house, there were three big Buddha statutes for worship and praying in the mornings and evenings with the offering of burning incense. Consequently, I continued having contact with Buddhism and monks. Prior to my marriage, I was adopted by a monk. Hence, I learnt more about Buddhism. But surprisingly, despite my studying in Buddhism, I was not much more influenced by it than that of the teaching of Confucius. Therefore, when I was young, I kept on reading books on philosophy, and my perception of all religions was the same as one in a crucible—all of them were good.  I was not concerned with what religion one ought to believe.

Living in Faith

I remember that when we settled again in Vancouver, my wife was pretty upset. All along in my work, I was good at making decisions, but not so this time. Should we continue to stay in Canada or not was a difficult decision to make. In the past, whenever I had an important and difficult decision to make, I would consult Hung-Ming by casting lots. Basically, Buddhism is a philosophy, which will not help forecast the future, nor will it guide us to escape from dangers to secured places. This time, by casting Hung-Ming lots it gave me no resolve for my question asked. The advice given was neither clear nor unambiguous. My burden was not relieved.

By chance, an elderly lady came across my wife and took her to church worship in China Town. After having been to the church worships, her heart’s burden was much relieved. Also, I was so relieved. Primarily, I wanted her to take part in church activities more often so as to get her to know many friends in the church to expand her social circle and to improve her life–monotonous and mundane.  When she was happy, I could then plan to settle down at ease. At that time, I accompanied her to the church to worship. Gradually, I found that in this religious faith there were a lot of things worthy for me to contemplate. For instance, the Christians I met were very joyous and peaceful at heart. This was very special—my ineffable feeling. Then I started to read the Bible, attended Bible Classes, continued in pondering. Since baptized until now, I’ve been praying in devotions daily and keeping my journals.  I longed for learning more about the truth in the Bible. And this time when I read the Bible again, my heart was certainly relieved in peace. This is something I haven’t got in all these years in the study of Buddhism.

Truly, “Buddha” is the highest excellence—which no one can reach. As such why should I continue to study Buddhism? In the end, it would be “meaningless” (“emptiness”). Buddhism says, there is no God in this world—everything comes from “no beginning”. This is contrary to what I believed all along. I believed that the universe was a big “formula”, within which many sub-formulas. It should be a complete system. This universe, which is so orderly, and so systematic, its occurrence could never be accidental. Only I knew not by any means who was the Creator.

I accompanied my wife to attend church worship, and through the study of the Bible, I learned objectively the truth. Bible clearly reveals that the beginning of the world was originated by God– the Creator of heaven and earth. This is the doubtless reality, to which I submit. And plus my subjective experiences of Him, I certainly know the existence of God; because my wife and I both have experienced peace from God. In my heart, I have peace, which I’ve never had before. In my heart, I’m at ease. Trusting and relying on the true God is no mistake. Reflecting on the past ten years when I studied Buddhism, basically, I had no answers nor relief in my heart. In adversity, Buddhism couldn’t help me. Because Buddhism is a philosophy—not a religion, where can I find exits and guidance? Now I’ve faith in God, the triune-God, the Most High, who can govern my life. I’ve found the true way out.

Faith in the Lord is Life

While having faith in Jesus I know I’ve been pardoned; because I believe in Jesus I have eternal life.  I have hope in eternity. My personality inadvertently commences to  change. I always feel peaceful—in fact, I’m tremendously different from my past self. Comparing with the past ten years of studying in Buddhism, the difference I feel (between now and then) is sky-high. I know Buddhism teaches every one of us to self-cultivate to the level of Buddha. But after becoming “Buddha”, then what? I have no answer. Further, Buddhism in China is different from Buddhism in India. Buddhism in China has been influenced not only by Buddha, but by Confucius, Taoism, and so on, with the addition of incredible life principles and observations—all these are quite acceptable by the Chinese culture lovers. The expression of thoughts of Buddhism is quite without “three dimensions”, leading people into surrealism and deep. But the Bible is different. Initially, I felt there wasn’t much in it. Only one book (Bible)—far from Buddhism having thousands of books. The Bible seems shallow—the teaching in it does not seem standing out or special. Nevertheless, after long pondering on the Bible, I feel that the Bible is marvelous. If it is not the revelation by God, how can it outlive space and time through thousands of years without changes– it’s still the same Bible. This is the greatness and uniqueness of the Bible.

Now, look around and behold other religions. If humans wish to worship the true God, it must not be self-projected images for worshiping. Otherwise, they are false gods and idols. Humans are very limited not to mention their sinfulness—their prepossession, and inclination in projecting gods for worship are not without worshiping idols.

 Governance of Humanity by God

The true God is over and above humans’ imagination. We can only have knowledge of the true God from His revelation. For instance, I won’t know a person unless he comes to tell me he is so and so, what kind of person he is, and what he likes. The Bible is a record of God’s revelation. He reveals to us what kind of God He is. He is God the Highest. The Bible also records how God participated in human history, let us know the real relationship between God and humanity. God’s revelation tells us that thousands of years ago God chose the people of Israel to proclaim His real participation on earth. In this world, the God of the Israelite is the only true God.

More and more, I feel God has given me grace and peace. In the past, I was not too aware of  committing sins. Now, I certainly know I’m a sinner. I know, after repentance in the grace of God, I’ll start to live life consciously not to committing sins. Additionally, my wife’s changes after believing in the Lord caused me to change inadvertently. Then, I realized that this was the religion I’ve desired.

Buddhism teaches about “cause and effect”. I really feel that in life decades have passed in a twinkling of an eye. Purely relying on the cause and effect of life is too difficult to grasp and that gives me no security.   In Christianity, it is the grace of God and His choosing. Everything is not incidental. If we are openhearted, we shall have a very good chance to receive God. You don’t receive God because you’ve closed the door to your heart. Aside from prejudice, be humble, you can let God come in. Those who are not open-minded, be objective, humble, and think about it.  The universe isn’t it really incidentally exists?

Buddhism was fundamentally atheism. In our short span of life, we must wish to find the true God—the Creator of eternity, understand how life comes about and where to go in future. The Bible tells us so but not the other religions, which may not be clear or contradictory. After believing in Jesus [Christ] I have peace in my heart. We don’t need to go anywhere to be able to find God. Please trust me and many Christians. If [you] wish to believe in God, believe in the true God, who can give you joy and peace.

Believing in Christ

Although my wife wasn’t enthusiastic in her  religious practice, yet she had to sing for many years the chants of Buddhism. From beginning to end she didn’t quite understand the meaning of the chants. But surprisingly only when the 80 years old elderly, who had never met her before, gave her a gospel leaflet, after reading which, she was moved to follow her to the church. After she was in contact with the true God, she had changed completely. Her life has been renovated. This was something she in all the years of singing chants in Buddhism could never achieve. I saw her change, while more at ease for me, I also believed in God.

After believing in the Lord, my greatest change is my worries diminished. I was living like one who “worries before others in the world and be happy after others”. Now if I have worries, I can pass them over to God. For instance, ten years ago my total asset was much more than now, but I was so worried. Now my asset is less, on the contrary, my worries are much less. A year ago, I had cancerous colon surgery.   Because God’s given me the peace I had not the least worry in my heart. If this occurred before, I would be very worried, so fearful at heart—not knowing where to go after death, the pressure would be very great. After the surgery, I stayed in the hospital for 17 days—having no worries. With a light heart, I read every day Genesis in the Bible. Incidentally, on the seventh day, I read about God had finished the work he had been doing, and rested from all his work. At that time I had great peace from God. And I thought after seven days, I’d be all right. Truly, all tubes from my body were taken away on the seventh day. I trust God who gave me life would certainly care for me. During the re-hap period in the hospital, I deeply felt the tranquility and joy bestowed on me by God.

Why is it that Buddhism gave me no exit, whereas Christianity has provided me with the way to exit? The big difference between the two is: the former is atheistic whereas the latter worships the God who created the universe.

How to let a believer in Buddhism be aware of God?

My past experience tells me that one must try to think and understand really there is God in this world. We believers in the Lord, Jesus, see all things are the grace of God and from Him, nothing to do with the so-called “cause and effect” consequences as advocated by Buddhism. Only if believers in Buddhism would understand, how could there be so many occurrences by chance? Why such people and occurrences we would have encountered in our lives? Only if they would be prepared to abstain from prejudice, they could repent their sins and come to God.

The writer absolutely agrees Loo Kwok Lai said: Trusting an omniscient and omnipotent God who governs our life affairs is far better than relying on “the flickering cause and effect”—“the unknown” to prevail. Only rip attachment to self, be humble and openhearted, the God, full of grace, will come into your heart and bestow you with salvation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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天國好像一粒芥菜種 THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE A MUSTARD SEED

【雙語園地】天國好像一粒芥菜種 The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed

天國好像一粒芥菜種

作者:盧國禮 (Francis Loo)

“. . . . . . 天國好像一粒芥菜種,有人拿去, 種在田裏,這原是百種裏最小的,等到長起來,卻比各種的菜都大,且成了樹,天上的飛鳥來宿在它的枝上。” (馬太福音十三:31-32)

芥菜小種,栽成樹蔭;飛鳥棲身,歌頌神恩。

用此比喻,教化世人;撒種收割,在乎己行。

心田耕耘,內有乾坤;天國真理,原是神訓。

聖子基督,道成肉身;以義代罪,救贖世人。

舊我已死,新我重生;往來自由,廣傳福音。

鳥倦知還,浪子歸家; 宿在基督,天下一家。

天國降臨,國泰安民;聖神施恩,信者重生。

奉主耶穌基督的名祈禱, 阿們 。

 

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed

Translated by: Francis Loo

“… The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that birds of the air come and perch in its branches” (Matthew 13: 31-32).

Although the mustard seed is the smallest of your seeds it grows up to large garden plants as a tree. Birds of the air come and perch in its branches—harmoniously lauding the God–full of grace.

This is a parable that admonishes humanity. But whoever taking the seed and planting it in his or her field for the harvest was entirely a choice of his or her own.

To cultivate the mustard seed in the individual heart is somewhat inscrutable; but the kingdom of God is the truth that is God’s precept.

The Holy Son, Christ (i.e., the Incarnation) redeems sinners of the world. And in Him is no sin. (He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.)

As a result, our old selves have died and our new selves re-birthed. The re-borne person can proclaim freely far and wide the gospel (good news) — if he or she is willing.

Further, a bird tired in its flight would return to its nest in the tree; the prodigal son repentant would return to his home where he belongs. More important the world (i.e., humankind) in Christ is one family.

Therefore, we beseech and entreat Lord, “your Kingdom come” so that there will be peace on earth. The Holy God will gift those who believe in Christ Jesus. And they will be re-birthed to abundant and eternal life.

I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

真理報 2019年9月    http://www.GlobalTM.org

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災 難 的 反 思 Reflections on  the Disastrous Loss

災 難 的 反 思 Reflections on  the Disastrous Loss

Written/translated by: Francis Loo (作者/英譯: 盧國禮)

 

2010 年1月29日,香港,馬頭圍道突然塌樓﹐人命傷亡慘重﹐似是罕見的意外。 當時不 在樓內的人﹐幸逃大難﹐人說“有運氣”。事實上﹐有誰或有風水師預先可知災難的發生﹖

香港政府及香港測量師學會迅速組成義工隊﹐為30至50年樓齡的住戶免費驗樓﹐顯現出專業精神和關心社會的情操。

其實﹐天災橫禍﹐誰都想避免﹐但是﹐它每天都發生。例如﹕多年前四川(中國)和智利(南美洲)大地震﹐傷亡數十萬人﹐樓房夷為平地﹐慘不忍睹﹐人實在可作甚麼呢﹖

我們得平安有生命氣息的人﹐應當要思念  神的恩惠、 照管、和祂的 主權心意. . . . . . 。在宇宙裏人算甚麼﹖

 

關於樓房維修保養的事﹐許多人都未加注意﹔ 貪婪的業權人﹐因為他們的短視和急於收益﹐不願作或遲延預防性或必須的維修工程。事實上﹐這是世界性的問題﹐在發展了國家 如是﹐在發展中國家也如是。不過﹐在貧窮的地方﹐失修的情況更為嚴重﹐以至成 為危樓﹐不可居住﹐甚或不幸塌荒﹐傷亡慘重。

災難的降臨使我們反思生命的意義和醒覺﹐ 自問我是否活得像個浪子﹖ 背叛了天上的父神,而偏行己路 ﹐不知道珍惜生命﹐而自取滅亡之路。

 

耶穌基督說﹐世界有災難。不只是天災﹐ 也有多人為災害。本來﹐ “神造萬物﹐各 按其時成為美好﹔又將永生安置在人心裏﹐然而, 神從始至終的作為﹐人不能參透” (傳道書 三章11節, 和合本) 。  當神創世造人﹐祂看一切所造的都甚好。人類是可與神永遠同在美善環境的伊甸園過活。但人的自由決擇﹐受撒但的試探而犯了罪﹐罪便入了世界,人類皆帶著罪性而生;所以﹐羅馬書七章18節,和合本說﹕“我也知道在我裡頭﹐就是我肉體之中,沒有良善。因為, 立志為善由得我,只是行出來由不得我”。故此,縱使我們知道或堅定立志要 “行善”,要作個 “好人”,但因為帶著罪性的問題,人往往不能自控地或明知故犯地做了一些背道(真理)而馳或違背良心的事情。因此,人根本不能自救,更不能靠自己 “行善積德” 來洗淨一切的過犯,唯有靠著神的愛子主耶穌基督降世的救贖(祂以無罪的身份,來代替我們承受罪所帶來的懲罰),才能得救。哥林多後書五章21節, 和合本 說﹕“神使那無罪的(主耶穌),替我們成為罪,好叫我們在祂裡面成為神的義。”另外,約翰福音十四 章6節又說﹕““耶穌說:我就是道路、真理、生命;若不藉著我,沒有人能到父那裡去。”

所以,人類必須知罪、認罪、悔改、求神赦免我們的罪﹔接受主耶穌基督為生命的救主,掌管我門得贖後的生命。神是信實的; 神必「赦免」我們的罪孽。我們若能與神和好,邁進重生得救之路,便會經歷到更豐盛的人生,阿們。

 

Reflections on  the Disastrous Loss

 

Translation by: Francis Loo

On 29th January 2010, there on Ma Tau Wai Road the building suddenly collapsed causing the death of many people. Apparently this was an accident rarely happened. At that point in time, those who were not in the building had escaped the great tragedy. Some people say: “very fortunate”.  In fact, were there any one or geomancers who could forebode disasters that would occur?

The Hong Kong Government and the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors immediately formed the Volunteer Groups to carry out inspections pro bono of the 30 to 50 years old buildings—showing their professionalism and concern of society.

Honestly, every one wishes to avoid disasters. But disasters occur every day. Namely, many years ago, the catastrophic earthquakes of Sze Tsuen in China, and Chillies in South America caused the death of hundreds of thousands people–apartments and houses razed to the ground–so tragic to be seen. . . . . .  What humanity can do nothing in reality?

We having peace and breaths with us ought to ponder about the grace of God, His providence and His sovereign will. . . . . . What is the status of humankind in this universe?

In regard to the things of repairs and maintenance of apartments and houses, many people pay little attention. The greedy landlords, because of their short-sightedness, focusing on quick profits, would be unwilling to commit to preventive or necessary maintenance programmes or defer them. Actually, this is a world problem in both the developed or developing countries; more seriously so in the poor countries, causing dangerous premises uninhabitable. The unfortunate case will be the collapsing of buildings taking life and death.

The coming of disasters make us reflect on the meaning of life and enlightenment. I ask myself if I’m living like a prodigal son, turning my back to the Father in heaven, walk my own way, and not concerned caring of my life—choosing the way leading to death.

Jesus says that there are calamities in the world—they are not only natural disasters but also many are humanly-caused. Originally, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). When God had created the world and humans he saw everything all that he made, and it was very good. Humankind should be able to live with God in eternity in the beautiful Garden of Eden. But human’s freedom of will gave way to the temptation of Satan. Hence sins entered the world and humanities were born with sins; therefore Romans 7:18 says: “I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”   Therefore, even though we know or determine willfully to “do well” and be a “good person”, but, because of our sinful nature, oftentimes we have no self-control or we know it’s wrong but to commit to things in spite of the truth or good conscience. Basically, humanities cannot self-redeem their souls. Moreover, they cannot rely on “doing good to accumulate virtue” to wash clean all transgressions, but only they can rely on the beloved Son of God, Jesus Christ, who became flesh to save them. (He had no sin to exchange for our sin and to suffer from our transgressions.)  2 Corinthians 5:21 says: “God made him [Jesus] who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteous of God.” Also, John 14:6 says: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Therefore, humanities– being aware of their sins– must admit them and repent and entreat God to pardon their sins; then receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior to govern their redeemed lives.  God is honest; God shall forgive our transgressions. If our relationship with God will be reconciled, stepping onto the road of salvation, we will experience abundance of life all the more. Amen.

 

 

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日記一則 Diary

【雙語園地】日記一則 Diary

Written by 盧國禮

日記一則

作者:盧國禮

近來連日下著大雪,星期三那天,雪停了,太陽出來了,雖然氣溫還接近零度,卻風和日麗,心有出外意向。

我駕駛著 Honda Fit ,和另一半出了車房閘,轉左向北行一段路,再轉右向南,很快來到我們熟悉的韓國雜貨店。慣例打個 “round”,就買想買的東西:海鹽﹐兩包粗的,一包細的﹐拿著甚重。當時我想起耶穌說的話,我們基督徒要在世上作鹽,作光. . . . . . 。

駕車從 Kingsway 向北行,走近 Nelson 街。”午膳何處去?”我問。

太太微小的聲說:”牛仔屋”。”奇怪!”我暗想. . . . . .。

急轉入第一線,後邊沒車隨來,很快再轉右,停車場入口在對面左方。順便泊好車後,慢步到牛仔餐廳。

餐廳不擠,被帶到近窗的座位,向外望一望,看見 Starbucks 近在側鄰。天空湛藍,不禁拿手機拍張照片。感謝 神!

侍應走來,太太說想吃 “Curry Chicken” 飯,我想吃素菜咖哩。不過,餐單改了,侍應提議我吃班腩咖哩飯,這也是我喜歡吃的。當時,環境幽靜,我們禱告,感謝 神賜給我們一處憩靜的地方,享用午膳。

回程時,約下午三時左右,剛好是 tea time 的時候。駕著 車由 Nelson Ave 南行,來到我們常喜歡來的 Manderville 花園 Café。太太買了一個花盆,我想,可能要把家中其中一株花換盆吧!栽種室內熱帶植物是她的愛好,且有好成績,因為她不但悉心照顧,而且為它們禱告,求天父保守。看見植物生長的奇妙過程,更使人讚嘆我們的 神創造的奧秘。

我走近咖啡櫃檯處,要了一壺 Red Rose (茶包一個)和一件藍莓餅。向右邊窗外看看,我們的 Honda Fit 就在外邊,拿著手機拍下一張相。感謝 神!

生活有時很簡單、安穩、無慮,感悟與 神的同在。記起 神說:”人活多年,就當快樂多年,然而也當想黑暗的日子,因為這日子必多,所要來的都是虛空” (傳道書11:8) 。我們靠著耶穌的慈愛,天父的恩惠,聖靈的帶領,記念創造我們的主,直至見祂面的時刻。阿們!

Looking out from Cattle Cafe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diary

Francis Loo

Recently snowy weather continued for a few days. Snow-fall stopped on last Wednesday. The sun came out. Though the temperature was near zero degree, it was calm and the sun was shining bright. I desired to venture out.

With my wife I rolled out in my Honda Fit through the garage gate, turned left and headed north for a while, then turned south, soon arriving at the Korean Grocery Store that we know. Habitually, we walked around before buying what we needed. Sea salts—two bags of coarse salt and one bag of fine salt—were bought. It was heavy for me carrying them. Then I remembered Jesus’ saying that we Christians living in this world ought to be like “salt and light”. . . .

While on Kingsway rolling towards the north, approaching Nelson Ave.,

“Where to for lunch?” I asked.

My wife softly said: “Cattle Café”.

“To my surprise!” I muted. . . .

Quickly I changed to lane one as no vehicles were following behind, and then turned right. The parking entrance is on the opposite left side of the street. After having parked my car, we strolled to the Cattle Café.

It was not crowded. We were ushered to a table near the window. Looking out, we saw Starbucks close by on the side. The sky was azure. I couldn’t help but to take a snapshot with my cell phone. Thank you my Lord, God!

The waiter came along. My wife would have Curry Chicken with rice. I wished to have Veggie Curry. But the menu had been changed. The waiter recommended to me Curry Fish with rice, which I also like. At that time in a tranquil environment, we prayed, giving thanks to God for gifting us a cozy place to enjoy our lunch.

On our return trip, it was about 3:00 P.M. It’s opportune tea time. I drove my Honda Fit towards South on Nelson Ave. We arrived at the Manderville Garden Café where we often frequent. My wife bought a flower pot. I thought that might be one of the potted plants at home needed to be replaced. To plant indoor tropical plants is her loving hobby. She has achieved good results because she not only cares for the plants with love but also prays to heavenly Father for their protection. In observing of the plants in their miraculous growing progress, all the more we want to praise our God in His mysterious creation.

I walked close to the Coffee counter where I ordered a pot of tea (i.e., a Red Rose tea beg), and a blueberry biscuit. Browsing through the window on the right, I found our Honda Fit just parked outside. I took a snap shot of it with my cell phone. Thank you my Lord, God!

Life sometimes is simple—secure and safe, without worry, realizing the presence of God. God reminds me: “However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all. But let him remember the days of darkness, for they will be many. Everything to come is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 11:8). Dependent on the love of Jesus Christ, the grace of heavenly Father and the lead of the Holy Spirit, remember our Lord, our Creator until we’ll see His face. Amen!

 

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禱告、領受與承擔 Seek, Submit and Support

Burnaby Aliance Church 2019

【雙語園地】禱告、領受與承擔 Seek, Submit and Support

Written by 盧國禮

 

禱告、領受與承擔

作者:盧國禮

引言:

在 2019 年的第一個主日,本宣家 (教會) 有反思和感恩的回顧崇拜。在去年初,教會定下了整年的事工和牧養弟兄姊妹的目標:禱告、領受與承擔 。這並不是高唱的口號,而是牧者們在帶領著弟兄姊妹們合一同心所得的異象,按步靠著恆切的禱告,教導培育,並領受聖靈的啟迪,又加上努力承擔和支持 ….. 。

2018 年 9 月 9 日蘭里市山景宣道會的國語崇拜開始了,出席人數穩定於 45-50 人之間。福音事工在蘭里市說普通話的社群中,實在有需要,聖靈給本宣家的異象無疑。(摘錄潘牧者口語)

另一個異象就是去年會友大會通過贊同重建附堂,弟兄姊妹們憑信心承擔,到年尾認獻已超過一百三十多萬,比目標還超出八萬元。神 施恩實在是超過我們所想所求的。(摘錄潘牧者口語)

總的

總的說:禱告、領受與承擔,不只是一段時間的目標,乃是作耶穌門徒的畢生目標。

禱告:

禱告 (祈禱) 是基督耶穌門徒的生活,聖經說;”我們活著就是基督”,正是這個意思。心靈誠實地向神禱告,不論何事,門徒藉著聖靈的引領,行在神的旨意中,便能得勝。基督徒要走的人生路,是天路,是窄路,若沒有聖靈帶領,或不等候 神的啟示而靠自己去行,很不容易,且走上異路,便要自負結果。

有些未信基督耶穌的朋友嘲笑說:神不聽禱告,也不回答代禱。我覺得無需辯論,因為不信或未信的人沒有聖靈內住,他們不會明白屬靈的事,更談不上知悟。

“我們若照(神)的旨意求甚麼﹐祂就聽我們,這是我們向祂所存坦然無懼的心。既然知道祂聽我們一切所求的,就知道我們所求於祂的,無不得著。”(約翰一書五:14-15)

有關祈禱的定義、姿態、醫治、革心、保守、崇拜等等﹐請參閱 2010 年 10 月《真理報》(網址:www.GlobalTM.org)

領受:

神是藉著耶穌基督和信徒的關係,因祂的揀選,使我們能放下自我來領受,並服從聖靈的帶領去行事為人,完完全全地將事情交給神,信靠、信服神照管的主權。這非我們基督徒容易勝過的爭戰﹐這超凡 (supernatural) 的能力是 “神的神能已將一切關乎生命和虔敬的事賜給我們…..” (彼得後書1:3a) 。

耶穌被釘十字架前,祂和門徒來到一個名叫客西馬尼 (Gethsemane) 的地方。耶穌 “……憂愁起來,極其難過……”(馬太福音26:37b);” 祂俯伏在地,禱告說:’我父啊!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'”(馬太福音26:39)。祂給我們祈禱的模範。

承擔:

基督徒靠著神的力量而能承擔從神而來的異象 (哥林多後書3:5)。聖經啟示:每一個基督徒在主耶穌裏都是神的兒女,都是平等,都要向我們的天父活出基督徒的本份。我們都是基督的身體,被呼召成為教會。我們會甘心樂意地活出神要我們活出的 “活祭”,各盡其份;就是照著我們各人所得的恩賜能力來盡心、盡性、盡意、盡力地愛神,並愛人如己。

總結:

上文引言說及本宣家弟兄姊妹勇於承擔從 神而來的福音異象,乃是美好的見證。說到這裏,再想想,我們信耶穌是救主,以基督的心為心,恆切祈禱,領受啟迪和承擔異象,就是我們美好的見證,平安,喜樂的生命 (being)。

 

Seek, Submit and Support

Translated to English by: Francis Loo

Preamble :

The first Sunday worship in the beginning of 2019 in our church was a reflection and thanks-giving service. At the start of last year, our church set objectives for the whole year for missionary work and admonishment of brothers and sisters. They were Seek, Submit, and Support. This was not high-sounding slogans but with all the pastors’ joint-efforts in leading all brothers and sisters in unity and in heart to having had visions from God. Step by step, persevering in prayers, and admonishment, we had received the revelation of the Holy Spirit, plus the strenuous support of brothers and sisters. . . .

On September 9, 2018 the worship service in Mandarin commenced in Mountain View Alliance Church in Langley. The congregation has a steady presence of 45 to 50 members. In the Mandarin-speaking community in Langley, there is a need of missionary work. The Holy Spirit has given our church the vision no doubt. (Abridged from Pastor Poon).

The next vision revealed was the passing of the resolution in the Annual General Meeting of last year that the Annex be rebuilt. Brothers and sister in good faith supported the project and by the year end committed offerings amounting to $1.3 M+ exceeding target by $80,000.00. The grace of God exceeds what we wished and prayed for. (Abridged from Pastor Poon)

In short, Seek, Submit and Support are not meant for short term objectives, but they ought to be the objectives of life of disciples of Jesus Christ.

Prayers :

Prayer is life of Jesus Christ’s disciples. The Bible says: “We live as Christ”. That is it. Whatsoever we pray in spirit and honest hearts to God, Holy Spirit will give us (disciples) guidance to walk in the will of God and be victorious in life. The way of life for a Christian is the pilgrimage, which is a narrow way. If without Spiritual guidance, or to pursue it without waiting for guidance from God’s revelation will be so difficult. We will have gone astray with self-induced consequences.

A few friends of mine, who have not yet believed in Jesus Christ, scoffed saying that God wouldn’t hear prayers and never answer intercessions. I feel no need to debate on this, because the non-believers or not yet believers have no indwelling Holy Spirit in them. They don’t understand Spiritual things—more so not knowing God.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God; that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

About prayers, “definition, attitude, healing, transformation, protection, worship, etc.,” please refer to the October, 2010 Issue of Truth Monthly at http://www.Global.org

Submit :

Pray to God is to submit to God totally in trust, and obedience, to the sovereign God’s providence via Jesus Christ by the believers; because of His choice that we can put ourselves down to submit, and be obedient to the lead of the Holy Spirit to do things. This is the battle not easy for us Christians to win. This is supernatural power. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness. . . . . .”(2 Peter 1:3a).

Before his crucifixion, Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. Jesus “. . . began to be sorrowful and troubled” (Mathew 26:37b) “. . . [He] fell with the face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.'” (Mathew 26:39). He has given us a paragon of prayers.

Support :

The Christians’ confidence to support God’s revelation comes from God. (2 Corinthians 3:5) The Bible reveals that all Christians in Jesus Christ are children of God. They are equal and have to live in the presence of our God like Christians. Also we are the body of Christ called out to be the church. We’re willing wholeheartedly to live as God wishes us to live as “living sacrifice” to our utmost. That is according to our gifted ability to love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength. And love peoples as yourselves.

To sum up, brothers and sisters of our church described in the above-mentioned Preamble bravely supported the vision of ministry from God is a very good testimony. At this point, think again. We believe that Jesus is our Savior, having His heart as ours, persevering in prayers, submitting to enlightenment and visions, all these are our best testimonies, peace, and jubilant life (being).

 

真理報 2019年3月

版權所有:溫哥華基督徒短期宣教訓練中心 © 2000 – 2016 Vancouver Chinese Christian Short-Term Mission Training Centre, All rights reserved.      Tel: 604-273-0223     Fax: 604-273-0295

 

 

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合桃殼 Walnut Shell

合桃殼 Walnut Shells

作者/英譯﹕ 盧國禮 (Written and Translation in English by Francis Loo)

我相信大家對合桃並不默生﹐很多人都喜歡食合桃﹔屬硬殼果仁﹐含有豐富維生素(維他命)和奧美加3(Omega 3), 是有益的血脂。但是﹐它有一硬的外皮﹐把合桃肉保護著﹐不受外蟲侵擾。若想吃甘味可口的合桃肉﹐或與朋友品茗清茶﹐分享合桃肉﹐作為小食﹐不是懂得響受的生活藝術(哲學)嗎﹖

再思想生活的哲學﹐我便聯想到合桃殼的工能。造物主給合桃的外殼原是給它保護﹐但又能把硬殼打破﹐提供甘香﹑有營養的食用果仁﹐人人喜愛; 又能和其他食料配答﹐製成不同種類的美食品﹐例如﹕糕點﹐合桃酥﹐合桃糊等等…….

又想到人的本性 (personality)﹐深藏在人心深處。我們的身體﹐也好像合桃的硬外殼﹐因為許多時候與人相處往來,手肘撐開﹐過於自保﹐失去了人際關係的和諧﹔ 下意識裏﹐我們不能夠表現出自己的真我; 這不是我們的本性﹐而是戴上了面具﹐假裝的本人特性; 我們一切的表現都是個人特殊的個性 (individuality) ﹐ 不可能是個人的本來性格 (personality)。

人類本是照 神的形像造的 (創世記)﹐所以我們本有 神的屬性﹔我們的本性應有 神的真﹑善﹑美﹐和公義 。可是﹐純正的真﹑善﹑美﹐若是只靠修身﹑修道﹑或面壁﹐去完成個人的品格﹐是不完全的。聖經說﹕世上“沒有義人﹐連一個也沒有﹔沒有明白的﹐沒有尋求 神的﹔都是偏離正路﹐…沒有行善的﹐連一個也沒有。(羅馬書﹐三﹕10 – 12﹐ 和合 本)。”因為世人都犯了罪﹐虧缺了 神的榮耀﹕……“(羅馬書﹐三﹕23﹐ 和合本)。

“神設立耶穌作挽回祭﹐是憑著耶穌的血﹐藉著人的信﹐要顯明 神的義﹔因為祂用忍耐的心寬容人先時所犯的罪﹐……” (羅馬書﹐三﹕25﹐ 和合本) 因此﹐肯痛悔﹐並認自己的罪的人﹐接受了耶穌基督為生命的主的人﹐便能白白稱義。有一個法利賽人﹐名尼哥底母 (猶太人的官)﹐夜裏來問耶穌﹔耶穌回答說﹕“… 人若不重生﹐就不能見 神的國。” (約翰福音﹐三﹕3﹐和合本。) 又說﹕“… 人若不是從水和聖靈生的﹐就不能進 神的國。……‘你們必須重生’,……” (約翰福音﹐三﹕5﹐7﹐和合本。)

“神國”或稱為 “神的國度”﹐是甚麼意思呢﹖就是純真﹑善﹑美和公義的國﹐在 神主權裏的國﹐我們因著信能成為祂的國民﹐也是 神的兒女﹐在主耶穌裏與 神同行﹐走上成聖的生活﹐有永恆的盼望。

我們怎樣行才能活出基督想我們活出的生命﹖
綱才說了﹐人若不把捆綁著自我特性的外殼打破﹐就無能力將自己的本性活出來﹔若要能將自己的本性活出來﹐就必先重生得救﹐在主耶穌基督裏與 神建立和好的關係。所以…“耶 穌 對 門 徒 說 ﹐ 若 有 人 要 跟 從 我 ﹐ 就 當 捨 己 (…let himself deny himself….) ﹐ 背 起 他 的 十 字 架 ﹐ 來 跟 從 我。(馬 太 福 音﹐16:24﹐和合本) 。 捨己就是把自己的舊我﹐即是自己獨特的性情捨了﹐ 然後活出天父創造人類時恩賜的屬性。這樣的基督徒﹐實實在在忠心事奉﹐愛 神﹐愛人如己﹐乃是有信德的門徒﹐合乎 神心意的真正基督徒。

建立生命﹐需要操練﹑需要實踐 。鄭彼得牧師上星期在我們的教會證道﹐主題為
“愛的燃點“。他具體地提示並教導實踐的好方法。我想簡略地和各讀者分享如下﹕

一﹑神欣賞我們﹐我們要學習彼此欣賞﹕“神看著一切所造的都甚好。有晚
上﹐有早晨﹐是第六日。” (創世記 1﹕31a)

試把五位你欣賞的人名寫下﹐寫下你對他/她欣賞的項目﹐然後在適當的場合﹑時間﹐告訴對方。我們要學習看見並欣賞別人的好處﹐說出誠意的鼓勵。

二 我們要學習分享 神的心事﹕“耶和華在山上﹐從火中﹐面對面與你們說話。
(那時我站在耶和華和你們中間﹐要將耶和華的話傳給你們﹐因為你們懼怕那
火﹐沒有上山。) 說﹕我是耶和華你的 神﹐曾將你從埃及地為奴之家領出來。”
(申命記 5﹕4-6)

試寫下五位可分享的對象﹐和想分享的心事。 分享心事﹐必能建立知己的朋友﹐得著互相關懷和激勵﹐但要小心處理﹐保密私隱。

三﹑神饒恕我們﹐我們要嘗試饒恕別人﹕“但我們的列祖行事狂傲﹐硬著頸項﹐居
心背逆﹐自立首領﹐要回他們為奴之地。但你是樂意饒恕人﹐有恩典﹑有憐
憫﹑不輕易發怒﹑有豐盛慈愛的神﹐並不丟棄他們。” (尼希米記 9﹕16-17)

試寫下五位曾得罪過自己的人﹐和有關的事情﹐藉著祈禱﹐求神給你一個寬恕別人的心。若不能饒恕得罪自己的人﹐我們也不能得 神的饒恕﹐因為惱怒是罪﹐帶罪的人﹐不能與 神同在。

四﹑神垂聽我們﹐ 我們要聆聽別人心聲﹕“我愛耶和華﹐因為他聽了我的聲
音和我的懇求。他既向我側耳﹐我一生要求告他。” (詩篇 116﹕1-2)

試寫下五位會向你傾訴心聲的人﹐去聆聽他/她的心聲﹐讓他/她盡情傾訴﹐培伴他/她,不說不必要的話。默默的關懷別人是良藥。別人傾訴的話﹐必須保密。

五﹑神的手幫助我們﹐我們要盡力幫助他人﹕“你不要害怕﹐因為我與你同在﹔不
要警惶﹐因為我是你的 神。我必堅固你﹐我必幫助你﹐我必用我公義的右手
扶持你。” (以賽亞書 41﹕10)

試寫下五位需要你幫助的對象﹐想想他們需要你幫助的項目﹐去探訪他(她)﹐伸出援手﹐或代禱都是快樂之本。

如果我們實實在在的踏出第一步﹐把上五項﹕[欣賞別人﹑分享心事﹑嘗試饒恕別人﹑聆聽別人心聲﹑盡力幫助他人] 作為操練﹐我們必有從基督而來的恩典﹐打破自我的“合桃殼”活出豐盛的屬靈生命﹐建立真﹑善﹑美 ﹑公義的人際關係。神的國度便在我們的心裏﹐也在世界裏。

Walnut Shells (Written/Translation in English by Francis Loo)

I think we all are not unfamiliar with walnuts. Many people like to eat walnuts—kernels inside a hard husk–rich in vitamins and Omega3, the good fatty acid. But the hard shell is protecting the kernels from external invasion of insects. If you wish to taste the scrumptious walnut kernels, or enjoy it over a cup of tea as a snack—is it not the art or philosophy of life?

Thinking again about the philosophy of life, I associate my thought to the function of the walnut shell. The Creator provides the walnut a hard shell to protect it and when it is broken up it will supply delectable, tasty, nourishing kernels as food everyone loves. And all the more it is an ingredient for making different kinds of delicious foods such as, pastries, cookies, porridge and so on. . . .
Further thinking about personality, which deeply seated in the human hearts, our physical bodies are similar to the hard walnut shells. Oftentimes when we interact with people, we jostle too much for self-protection—losing harmony in human relationship. Subconsciously we cannot express the true self. This is not our personality. Thus it’s the self under the cover of a mask, pretending to be the true self. All that which we express is our individuality—not the individual personality.

Human being was made in the image of God (Genesis). So we all would have the disposition of God. We ought to have God’s truth, excellence, beauty and righteousness.

But, the real truth, excellence, beauty only dependent on self-cultivation, religious practice, or meditating in a cave cannot be fully achieved by the individuals. The Bible says: “There is no righteous. Not even one; there is no one who understand, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, there is no one who does good” (Romans 3:10-12, NIV). “[F]or all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. . .” (Romans 3:23, NIV).

“God presented himself as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished. . . ” (Romans 3:25, NIV). Therefore, one who repents his/her sins and has received Jesus Christ as Lord will be unconditionally saved. There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and asked about him. Jesus replied: “. . . [N]o one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. | (John 3:3). Jesus also said: “. . . [N]o one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. . . ‘You must be born again’. . . (John 3:5, 7).

What is the meaning of the “kingdom of God”? It is the kingdom of real truth, excellence, beauty and righteousness, in the sovereignty of God. Because in faith we’ve become His citizens; also, His children in Christ Jesu, and we walk with God to progress in the holy life with hope in eternity.

How do we walk in the way of life Christ would wish us to live?

I have said that none of us can live out our individual personality without breaking through our shell, which enslaves our personality. If we would like to live out our individual personality, we must be born again by salvation. In our Lord Jesus Christ we’ve reconciled with God. Therefore, “. . . Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’ ” (Matthew 16:24, NIV).

Growing up in life needs grooming and actions. Rev. Pastor Peter gave a sermon last week in our church. The subject is “Love in Flames” He succinctly reminded us and taught us good ways to practice. Briefly I wish to share with you as follows:

1. God is pleased with us. We must learn to be mutually pleased. “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31a).

Try to write down the names of five persons with things you’re pleased with. Then in opportune circumstances or times tell them the things you’re pleased. We must learn to see others’ good things, be pleased with them, and say honest encouraging words.

2. We should learn to share the will of God. “The Lord spoke to you face to face out of the fire on the mountain. (At that time I stood between the Lord and you to declare to you the word of the Lord, because you were afraid of the fire and did not go up the mountain.) And he said: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery’ ” (Deuteronomy 5:4-6, NIV).

Try to write down the names of five people with whom you wish to share your thoughts. Mutual sharing establishes good relationship with buddies, and gives them encouragement. Nevertheless we must be prudent and respect privacy.

3 .As God forgives our sins; we ought to endeavor to forgive others. “But they, our forefathers, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a loving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them . . .” (Nehemiah 9:16-17, NIV).

Try to write down the names of five people who have offended you in matters of concern. In your prayers ask God to give you a forgiving heart. If we do not forgive those who have offended us, we will not be forgiven by God for anger is sin. As a result we cannot be with God.

4. .As God is listening to us., we ought to listen to others. “I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live” (Psalms 116:1-2)..

Try to write down the names of five people who will pour out their hearts to you. Listen attentively in his/her presence. Let him/her pour out passionately—do not interrupt with unnecessary words—comfort him/her in silence is the best medicine. Keep conversations confidential.

As God’s hand is helping us, we must earnestly help others. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

Try to write down the names of five people who need your help. Give thoughts to what they need. Pay him or her a visit, extend your assistance or supplicate to God. All these are truly joyful acts.

If we’re truly taking the first step for the above-mentioned five actions (i.e., being pleased with others, heart-to-heart sharing, try to forgive others, attentive listening to others, and help others in earnest) we definitely will have grace from God for us to break through the “self-walnut shell” and live an abundant spiritual life—building up true, excellent, beautiful and righteous human relationships. Then the kingdom of God is within our hearts. And in the world.

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