Sunday, 19 April 2020

Proverbs 19.17
If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD—
and he will repay you! (NLT)

Announcing the best investment in the worst of time! Are you looking for a full-proof investment that guarantees perpetual returns? Stock Markets around the world has been badly affected by the Coronavirus. The market is very uncertain. Some governments are offering bonds for people to invest in. Are you willing to “lend to the Lord?” Proverbs 19.17 says, that when you give to the poor, you are lending to the Lord, and with the assurance of paying back with interest. King Solomon is telling us about a fully secure investment that yields huge profit now and for eternity. This investment scheme is very simple.

“Help the poor = lending to the Lord.” Who are the poor? In the Old Testament, the poor is referred to as weak, lean, needy poor (man) weaker. In the New Testament poor is used as least (in size, amount, dignity, etc) – least, very little(small), smallest. First, there is material poverty. The poor are those who are hungry, homeless, the naked or lacking adequate clothing. The second, spiritual poverty is something good. A person who is poor in the spirit recognizes our utter dependence is on God, acknowledging that He is the Creator and in Him, we live, move, and have our being. Everything we have and own is graciously given to us from Him. The spiritually poor person will say “Amen” to what Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” The third poverty is relational in nature. As described in Proverbs 19:4, 6, 7 (NLT), it says,

4 Wealth makes many “friends”;
poverty drives them all away.
6 Many seek favors from a ruler;
everyone is the friend of a person who gives gifts!
7 The relatives of the poor despise them;
how much more will their friends avoid them!
Though the poor plead with them,
their friends are gone.

These three verses talk about relational poverty. When we are poor, our social network collapses, and our friends disappear. This leads to loneliness. Nobody wants to hang out with us. Our voice is silent. We cry for help but no one hears. People tend to close their eyes and their ears to the poor. The rights of the poor are trampled upon. The poor are side-lined and often despised. Being alone they have poor interpersonal skill. Not only they need help but no one wants to help them. Therefore, there are three types of poverty, material, spiritual and relational in nature. (CJ Brown)

Solomon appeals to us, to be on the lookout for the poor and be generous to them. “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his deed.” Pro. 19.17 (ESV)

With what attitude should we give to the poor? Be a generous person, he gives cheerfully and willingly. Generosity is the ability to give freely and help gladly to meet a need for someone else out of your own pocket or resources. It is easy to give away other persons or organizations resources. But we hold on tightly to our own. Giving grudgingly is not generosity. By the way, giving tithes to God is not generosity, because the tithe is what we owe to God. It is not a gift we give him. It is what is due to Him. As your pastor, I appeal to you to give freely, cheerfully and generously to real needs in our country and beyond during this pandemic.
When you give to the poor, God becomes our debtor. Giving to the poor is lending to God or He is the borrower. Now having given to the poor, God will have to repay you. This is God’s promise. He will repay you here and hereafter.

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

There is this recorded incident in 1 Samuel chapter 1 and 2. Hannah prayed to God to give her a son. And God did. She brought young Samuel to Eli the priest and left her son with Eli. Hannah said, “Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life.” And they worshipped the LORD there. 1 Sam.1.28
Hannah gave her only son then back to God. God in return gave her more than ever. Hannah’s experience is a way that God blesses a cheerful giver. This is what the Bible says,

Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the LORD give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the LORD.” And the LORD blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD. 1 Sam. 2.20-21

I pray that you will discover the joy of giving to the Lord. You can never out-give God. “You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving.” Harold Sala

Luke 6:38 New Living Translation (NLT)
38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.[a]”

Prayer for today

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for the Lord’s Day. We have set aside this day for corporate worship. Due to the Coronavirus, we are not able to be physically together. We praise you, even we are physically separated in each of our homes. We are still together worshipping in the unity of spirit. Help us to come with clean hands and clean hearts to worship you. We lift up the worship team and brother Prathab to you as he ministers to us with your word. We yearn to have a fresh encounter with you in worship.

We thank you, Lord, the whole world is yours and all who live in it. You watch over everyone, the rich and the poor. Forgive us, Lord, there are times, we fail to see the needs of the poor around us. You love to see us share with those who are in need. Make us be generous persons who would seek to fill other people with good things. When we give to the poor and needy, we give to you. We are grateful you have given your Son Jesus Christ to us we are forever indebted to you.

Heavenly Father, we are thankful for blessing us! Make us a blessing to the people around us! Open our eyes, Lord, to the opportunities for sharing Your blessings, may it be in time, money or words of encouragement, knowing that there is plenty more for me stored up in Heaven.

Matthew 25:35-40 New Living Translation (NLT)
35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ 37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[a] you were doing it to me!’

Lord, thank you for the joy and privilege to serve you by helping the poor and needy during this difficult time of the pandemic. Use us, for your glory!

In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Pastor Isaac Yim

xxx

每日灵粮
19/4/20星期日
作者:严以撒牧师
箴言19:17怜悯贫穷的、就是借给耶和华.他的善行、耶和华必偿还。
在最坏的时间宣布最好的投资方案!你是否正在寻找可确保长期回报的无风险投资呢?冠状病毒严重影响了世界各地的股票市场。市场非常不稳定。一些政府正在提供债券供人们投资。你愿意“借给耶和华”吗?箴言19.17说,当你怜悯贫穷的、就是借给耶和华,并保证可以获得利息。所罗门王告诉我们有一个十分安全的投资计划,这投资能让我们在现今和永恒获得庞大的利润。这个投资方案非常简单。

“帮助穷人=借给耶和华。”谁是穷人?在旧约中,穷人被称为弱者,瘦弱者,有需要的穷人。在新约中,穷人是指最小的(体积,数量,身份等)–最少,很少,最小。首先,就是指物质上的贫乏。穷人是指那些饥饿者,无家可归者,赤身裸体或缺乏足够衣物的人。第二,灵命上的贫乏其实是一件好事。一个灵命贫乏的人将认识到我们最终的依靠乃是耶和华,承认他是创造者,在祂里面我们能够活着,行动。我们所拥有的一切,都是祂所赏赐的。当耶稣说,“离了我,你们不能做什么”时,一个灵命贫乏者将说“阿门”。
第三种是关系上的贫乏。
箴言19:4,6,7说到:
4财物使朋友增多.但穷人朋友远离。
6好施散的、有多人求他的恩情.爱送礼的、人都为他的朋友。
7贫穷人弟兄都恨他.何况他的朋友、更远离他.他用言语追随、他们却走了。

这三节经文谈到了关系上的贫乏。当我们贫穷时,我们的社交网络崩溃了,我们的朋友也消失了。这将导致孤独。没有人愿意和我们一起玩。我们的声音是沉默的。我们哭喊着寻求帮助,但却没人听到。人们倾向于对穷人闭上眼睛和耳朵。穷人的权利受到践踏。穷人被边缘化,经常被鄙视。一个人时他们的人际交往能力很差。他们需要帮助,然而没人愿意帮助他们。因此,存在着三种类型的贫乏:物质贫乏,灵命贫乏和关系贫乏。 (CJ Brown)

所罗门呼吁我们,要看顾穷人,要对他们慷慨解囊。箴言19:17“怜悯贫穷的、就是借给耶和华.他的善行、耶和华必偿还。”

我们应该以什么态度来对待穷人?一个大方的人,他乐于奉献。慷慨就是按着对方的需要,你自掏腰包,自由并乐意的给与。通常我们送出他人或机构的资源是一件容易的事。我们都会紧紧抓住自己所拥有的。勉强的付出是不慷慨的。顺便说一说,将十分之一奉献给上帝也不算是慷慨的,因为什一奉献是我们欠上帝的。这不是我们给祂的礼物。这是祂应得的。作为你们的牧师,我呼吁你们在这病毒大流行期间,你们自由,乐意和慷慨的付出,以满足我们国家及其他国家的需求。

当你给予穷人时,上帝就成为我们的债务人。给予穷人就是借给耶和华,或是祂就是借款人。现在,当你给予穷人时,上帝就必须偿还你。这是上帝的应许。祂会在此刻或是将来偿还你。
王要回答说、我实在告诉你们、这些事你们既作在我这弟兄中一个最小的身上、就是作在我身上了。(马太福音25:40)
在撒母耳记上第一章和第二章中记录了这一事件。哈拿向上帝祈祷,求神给她一个儿子。而上帝做到了。她把小撒母耳交给祭司以利,并把她的儿子留下给以利。哈拿说:“所以我将这孩子归与耶和华、使他终身归与耶和华。”于是在那里敬拜耶和华。撒母耳记上1:28。

哈拿把她唯一的儿子交给了上帝。作为回报,上帝比以往任何时候都给了她更多。哈拿的经历说明了上帝如何的祝福一个甘心乐意奉献者。圣经是这样说的
在他们回家之前,以利为以利加拿和他的妻祝福、说、“愿耶和华由这妇人再赐你后裔、代替你从耶和华求来的孩子.”
耶和华眷顾哈拿、他就怀孕生了三个儿子、两个女儿。那孩子撒母耳、在耶和华面前渐渐长大。(撒母耳记上2:20-21)
我祈祷你会发现奉献给主的喜悦。 “你可以无爱心的付出,但是若你没有付出就不能爱。”Harold Sala

路加福音6:38 你们要给人、就必有给你们的.并且用十足的升斗、连摇带按、上尖下流的、倒在你们怀里.因为你们用甚么量器量给人、也必用甚么量器量给你们。

2020年4月19日,星期日(第二部分)
今天的祷告
亲爱的天父,我们为着今天的主日感谢你。我们把今天分别出来参加崇拜。由于冠状病毒,我们无法聚集在一起。我们称颂你,即使我们待在各人的家中。我们仍然同感一灵的来敬拜你。帮助我们,让我们手洁清心的来敬拜你。我们把敬拜团队,及Prathab弟兄高举在你面前,让他用你的话语来帮助我们。我们渴望在这崇拜中与你相遇。

我们感谢您,主,这个世界及世上的人都是属于你的。你看顾所有人,无论贫富。主啊,请原谅我们,有时我们看不到周围穷人的需要。你希望看到我们与有需要的人分享。使我们成为一个慷慨的人,使我们去寻找并为他人提供美好的事物。当我们给予穷人和有需要的人时,我们就是给予你。我们感谢你因你将你的儿子耶稣基督给了我们,我们永远感激您。
天父,我们感谢你的祝福!让我们成为他人的祝福!主啊,睁开我们的眼睛,让我们看到与别人分享你的祝福的机会,也让我们能够及时的,把金钱或是鼓励的话分享出去。我们知道当我们这么做时,就是储存财宝在天上。

马太福音25:35-40
35因为我饿了、你们给我吃.渴了、你们给我喝.我作客旅、你们留我住.
36我赤身露体、你们给我穿.我病了、你们看顾我.我在监里、你们来看我。
37 义人就回答说、主阿、我们甚么时候见你饿了给你吃、渴了给你喝.
38甚么时候见你作客旅留你住、或是赤身露体给你穿.
39又甚么时候见你病了、或是在监里、来看你呢。
40王要回答说、我实在告诉你们、这些事你们既作在我这弟兄中一个最小的身上、就是作在我身上了。

上帝,感谢你在这病毒大流行的困难时期,让我们能够因着你而有喜乐的帮助穷人和需要的人。为了你的荣耀,使用我们!
奉耶稣的名阿门

陈月妃译

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