Saturday, 4 April 2020

Proverbs 4:23

Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (NLT)

Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. (GNT)

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (ESV)

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust. (MSG)

Reading Proverbs 4, it keeps taking me back to my childhood relationship with my dad. Our age gap is more than 50 years. An old man had a son, he named me Isaac, my given name in Chinese “YEE SART” and Bahasa “ISHAK”. He became a Christian pretty late in years. Recognizing his days were pretty numbered. He spent much time teaching me many things to prepared me to resume responsibility as the eldest son when he is no more around. He taught me survival skills for this competitive world. 

My earliest experience was memorizing Chinese scriptures.  When I was 12 years, I was sent to the kitchen to learn how to use rubber tree wood to start a fire, to boil water, to cook rice, to fry an egg, fried egg with rice, and fried vegetables. He spent time teaching me how to live a Christian life.- biblical values. When I was 15, I started to learn how to keep business accounts. By 16, he took me out to meet suppliers and gave a small amount of “start-up money” without interest to buy and sell anything I wanted. Profits drove me to work very hard. I was going to school in the morning and helping the business after school. I tried to keep up with my school work at the same time as well as serving in church during the weekend.  It was tough but the home was my first school. Lord, each time I remember my parents, I give thanks to you.

The whole of chapter 4 is about a father teaching his son. The primary thing he wanted his son to learn is Wisdom. Because wisdom is supreme. He believed that if his son would possess Wisdom, he would have found life, safety and honour. He was focused on getting wisdom more than being successful, or having a reputation or fame. Without wisdom, will bring pain and misery to his son and the family. In this chapter three times, the father says, “listen…or pay attention…” Pro. 4.1; 10; 20. He has three messages for his son, (1) to pursue Wisdom and never let her go vv 1-9, (2) to avoid the wicked by taking the correct path vv 10+19 and (3) to stick to the path of wisdom because it is the source of life vv 20-27.

Proverbs 4.23 the father reminded his son, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life?” NIV

Yes, your heart determines your life. Every sin comes from the heart. Our Character and speech reflect the heart. People know our heart by what we say and the choices we make. Our heart is our greatest asset. May we cultivate a heart like David, he has a heart that is after God (Acts13.22). He will do everything God wanted him to do.  This is the priority this father is imparting to his son. Never forget this verse, may God keep our hearts pure and diligent for Him.

Prayer for today

We thank you, Lord for being our heavenly Father. We thank you for our earthly parents you have given to us.  All of us come from different background.  Some of our experiences are warm and happy.  While others remember their childhood with fear and pain.  Irrespective of our past experiences in our home, we are now being adopted into your family of God.  We can call you Abba, Father.  What a privilege and freedom we can have in you.  We thank you for the new identity we can have as children of God.  Teach us to let go of our painful past by giving us the ability to accept the past that we cannot change. Grant us the strength to be able to forgive those who have intentionally or unintentionally have caused so much pain and suffering to us. Heal us and set us free, to be the person you wanted us to be.

We thank you Lord, for many of us are parents to our children. We admit we often repeat the mistakes of our parents.  Change us, change our attitude towards our values and priorities in our lives.  Help us to take up parenting seriously, by living godly lives and being a good example to them. Teach us to live a humble and simple lifestyle.  Help us to live with your wisdom.  Help us to teach our children to treasure your wisdom and knowledge. Help us to guide our children to seek your purpose for their lives.  Give us the ability to help them to achieve each of their dreams to glorify your name.

Lord, we bring before you all our children to you. Please keep their hearts pure. Teach us to help them to store up your words in their hearts that they will not sin against you. During this lockdown, many of them are boarded and tired of being kept in the cage. Many have sought to spend long hours on computer games or some may even be tempted to go into phonographic sites or other unhealthy connection on the net. Set them free, O Lord, from any and all unhealthy bondage in Jesus Name!  O Lord, protect our children from evil and temptations.  Help us to engage them in meaningful and  creative family activities that enhance good communication and bonding with each other,

Lord, we thank you for bringing many of our children studying abroad safely home. We pray for those who have waited for their turn to go overseas to pursue their tertiary education. They may feel cheated or frustrated because of the pandemic that may change many a plan for oversea.  Lord, comfort them and guide them, give them wisdom to accept changes where they have no control.  And grant them the ability to make changes where they can. 

Lord, we continue to pray for your protection on all of us.  Like the days of old, the Israelites used blood to paint on their door frame all those who are inside were kept safe.  Or like Noah and his family, they went into the ark, their lives were spared.  Lord, we thank you are our fortress today keep us safe till the pestilence passes by.  Lord continue to speak to us throughout this day as we ponder over the issues of the heart.

•In what ways do you need to guard your heart more?
•In what ways do you need to open your heart?
•What is God speaking to your heart and how are you responding?

Thank you Lord for holding our hands and walking with us through the day. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Pastor Isaac Yim

xxx

每日灵粮
4/4/20
(作者: 严以撒牧师)

箴言 4:23

「你要保守你心,胜过保守一切,因为一生的果效是由心发出。」

每当我阅读箴言第四章,我总会想起童年时我与父亲的关系。我们年龄上的差距超过五十岁。这位老先生了一个儿子,把我取名为以撒;我的中文名字叫「 以撒 」,国语是 「 ISHAK」。父亲相当晚才成为一名基督徒。他意识到剩下的时光无多,于是他花了很多时间教我很多事情,让我准备好在他不在的时候能够担任起长子的责任。 活在这个竞争激烈的世界,他教我生存技能。

我最早的经历是背诵中文经文。 十二岁那年,我被送到厨房学习如何使用橡胶木材生火,烧开水,煮饭,煎鸡蛋,煮蛋炒饭,炒菜。他花时间教我如何过基督徒的生活与圣经的价值观。 十五岁那年,我开始研究如何管理业务帐户。十六岁时,他带我出去见供应商,并给了少量的「 启动资金」,不随意购买和出售我想要的东西。得来的利润驱使我努力工作。我早上去学校,放学后帮忙做生意。我试图兼顾学校作业及周末的教堂服侍/我试图跟上我在学校的工作,同时在周末在教堂里服事。当时特别艰难,但家是我的第一所学校。 主,每当我想起我的父母,我感谢你。

第四章的整体内容是父亲给儿子的教导。他希望儿子所学习的首要观点是智慧。因为智慧至高无上。他相信,如果他的儿子拥有智慧,他将找到生命,安全和荣誉。他专注于获得智慧,而不是追求成功,享有声誉或成名。若没有智慧,儿子和家人将会陷入痛苦和悲惨中。在本章,父亲说了三遍「听」或 「留心」。(四章一,十,二十节)他对儿子传达以下三点:(一)追求智慧,永不让她离开(一至九节),(二)走正确的道路,离开邪恶(十和九节),以及(三)坚持走智慧之路,因为这条路是生命的源头。

箴言四章二十三节,父亲提醒儿子,「你要保守你心,胜过保守一切因为一生的果效是由心发出。」

是的,你的心决定你的一生。所犯的每一项罪都来自内心。我们的品格和言语反映出内心。人们都是通过我们所说的话和所做的选择来了解我们的内心。我们的心是我们最大的财富。愿我们培养一颗像大卫的心,他是合神心意的人(徒13:22)。他会做上帝要他做的一切。这是父亲给他儿子的优先事项。永远不要忘记这节经文,愿上帝帮助我们谨守我们的心,保持纯洁。

今日祷告

我们感谢主因你是我们的天父。 我们感谢你赐给我们世上的父母。 我们都来自不同的背景。 我们的一些经验是温馨和快乐的,但有些人会想起童年时,是带着恐惧和痛苦。 无论我们在家里的经历是如何,你给了我们孩子的名分,进入你的家。 我们可以叫你阿爸天父 。 我们在你里面拥有那么多的特权和自由。 我们感谢你给我们作为神儿女的新身份。 求你教导我们接受改不了的过去,因而放下过去所带来的痛苦。 赐我们力量来原谅那些有意或无意地给我们造成如此多的痛苦的人。 医治我们,使我们自由,成为你想要我们成为的人。

我们感谢主,因为我们许多人都是父母。 身为父母的,我们承认我们经常重复我们父母的错误。 改变我们!改变我们的价值观和我们生活中优先事项的态度。 帮助我们认真地养育子女,过着敬虔的生活并成为他们的好榜样。教导我们过谦卑和简朴的生活。 帮助我们以你的智慧过每一天。 帮助我们教导我们的孩子珍爱你的智慧和知识。 帮助我们引导孩子寻求你在他们生命中的旨意。 赐我们能力帮助他们实现每一个梦想,来荣耀你的名。

主, 我们把所有的孩子带到你面前。 求你保守他们的心纯洁。 教导我们帮助他们将你的话藏在他们的心里,免得他们得罪你。 在这封城的期间,许多人已厌倦被关在笼子般的生活。 许多人花费很长的时间在电脑游戏上,有些人甚至会进入色情网站,或进入其他不健康的网站。 奉主的名释放他们,哦主!释放他们脱离所有不健康的束缚!求你保护我们的孩子远离邪恶和诱惑。 帮助我们让他们参与有意义和有创意的家庭活动,增强彼此的良好沟通和联系。

主我们感谢你使我们许多出国留学的孩子平安回家。 我们为那些正等待到国外留学的孩子祷告。 他们可能会感到灰心气馁,因为病毒有可能改变他们原本留学的计划。 主啊,安慰他们,引导他们,给他们智慧,接受他们无法控制的变化,并在能控制的范围里,赐他们有应对的能力。

主,我们继续恳求你保护我们所有人。 就像旧约时代,以色列人把羔羊的血涂在门上,所有在门内的人都平安无事。又 或者像挪亚和他的家人,进入了方舟使他们安然无事。 主,我们感谢你是我们的堡垒,求你保护我们直到疫情缓解。 当我们思考人心时,求主与我们说话。

*你可以透过什么方式更加谨守你的心?
*你在哪方面需要敞开你的心?
*上帝在对你说什么?你该如何回应?

感谢主牵着我们的手,伴我们走过一天。 奉主耶稣的名祷告,阿门。

(巫惠如译)

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