Saturday, 16th May 2020
Proverbs 16: 20
Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
Those who listen to instruction will prosper. (NLT) This reminds me of a young boy of 16 named William who left home to seek his fortune and his only possession was tied up in a bundle carried in his hand. He met an old canal-boat captain. William told him his father was too poor to keep him and the only trade he knew was soap and candle making.
The old man then kneeled and prayed earnestly for the boy and advised; “Someone will soon be the leading soap-maker in New York. It can be you as well as someone else. Be a good man, give your heart to Christ, pay the Lord all that belongs to Him, make an honest soap; give a full pound, and I’m certain you’ll be a prosperous and rich man.”
In the city, he remembered the captain’s words, and though poor and lonesome, he joined a church. The first dollar earned, he gave 1/10 to God. Ten cents of every dollar were sacred to the Lord. Having regular employment, he soon became a partner and later sole owner of the business. He made an honest soap, gave a full pound and instructed his bookkeeper to open an account with the Lord of 1/10 of all income. The business grew, so he gave 2/10, 3/10, 4/10, 5/10 and finally he gave all his income. This is the story of William Colgate who has given millions to the Lord’s ministry, all because he listened to the instruction of the old canal-boat captain.
In some of my Chinese New Year messages through the years, I have often said it’s OK to wish each other “Kong Hei Fatt Choy” which means may you prosper. While some brothers and sisters would nod their heads in agreement while some would pop their eyes as big as ping pong balls and swing their heads in disagreement, I would then gently read them Joshua 1:8 “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Isn’t prosperity and success promised here by our Lord? Indeed my dear brothers and sisters, take heed, those who listen to instruction will prosper, whether it’s from a godly man or from our Lord.
The second part of the verse says “and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord” NIV. The NLT says “those who trust the Lord will be happy” similar to KJ “and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he.” My dear brothers and sisters, again blessings and happiness are promised here when we put our trust in the Lord. It’s good to be reminded that when we put our trust in the Lord, He will be responsible as He has promised but when we put our trust in ourselves, then we alone will be responsible. Do we want our Lord to be responsible for everything we do or do we want to be responsible ourselves?
We have often heard it said lately that our world will never be the same again after Covid-19. But no one is even sure whether there is going to be an “after Covid-19” or Covid-19 is here to stay. Only our good Lord knows. But whatever it is, with all the uncertainties about everything, let us as God’s children once again come before Him and humbly TRUST Him for everything. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4: 6-7)
Dear Lord, we your humble children once again come before you to confess our disobedience and lack of faith and trust in you. Like Paul, we always have the desire to do what is good, but we cannot carry it out. For what we do is not the good we want to do; no, the evil we do not want to do – this we keep on doing. (Rom. 7: 18-19). Have mercy on us, Lord, help us Lord to overcome those struggle in our lives. Help us not only to read your commands and instructions but to take heed and do them, for in doing them we will be blessed, we will be happy. Help us to remember that we can only do everything through you who gives us strength. (Phil 4: 13). For without you we can do nothing.
Help us also to put our trust in you and you alone Lord. We want to commit all our cares and worries and anxieties into your hands. We thank you, Lord, for keeping all of us and our family safe and healthy all this while and for providing everything that we need.
We pray and give thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN.
老人之后跪了下来，恳切地为男孩祷告，并建议，“有人很快就会成为纽约领先的肥皂制造商。 他可以是你也可能是其他人。 做一个好人，把你的心献给基督，把属于主的一切都还给祂，做不偷工减料的肥皂。给足够的一磅，我相信你会成为一个富有的人”。
在城里，他记得船长的话，虽然贫穷和寂寞，但他加入了一个教会。 赚的第一块美元，他给了上帝十分之一。对上帝，每一块美元的十分钱是神圣的。 经常就业后，他很快就成为合伙人，后来也成为企业的唯一老板。 他制造不偷工减料的肥皂。给足够的一磅，并指示他的簿记员开一个帐户，专为收入的十分之一献给主。 当业务逐渐增长，他给了十分之二、十分之三、十分之四、十分之五，直至最后他给了他所有的收入。 这是威廉.高露洁（William Colgate）的故事，他为主的事工奉献了数百万，都是因为他听了运河船老船长的指示。
在我多年来的一些农历新年的信息中，我经常说，彼此恭贺 “恭喜发财” 是可以的，意思就是愿你亨通。 有的弟兄姊妹会点头表示同意，而有些人睜眼像乒乓球一样，不同意地摇摇头，然后我会轻轻地念约书亚书1：8: “这律法书不可离开你的口 ， 总要昼夜思想 ，好使你谨守遵行这书上所写的一切话 。 如此 ，你的道路就可以亨通 ， 凡事顺利”。在这里，我们的主不是应许亨通和顺利吗？的确，我亲爱的弟兄姐妹们，请留意，那些听教导的人会亨通，无论是听从一个虔诚人或是听从我们的主。
这节经文的第二部分说：“倚靠耶和华的是有福的人”。 New Living Translation说：“那些信靠主的人会快乐”，类似于King James Version，谁信靠主，他就快乐。亲爱的弟兄姐妹们，当我们信靠主，再次在这里应许祝福和快乐。 这是很好的提醒，当我们信靠上帝，祂将负责，因为祂已经承诺，但是当我们依靠自己时，那么我们将独自承担责任。 我们是希望主负责我们所做的一切，还是我们要自己承担呢？
最近常听到，我们的世界在新冠肺炎之后将永远不再一样。 但是，没有人确定是否会有 “在新冠肺炎之后” 。或许新冠肺炎会在此停留。 只有我们的上帝知道 。但是，无论如何，在难以预测未来的情况下，让我们作为神的儿女，再次来到祂面前，谦卑地在一切事上信靠祂。
“应当毫无忧虑，只要凡事借着祷告祈求，带着感恩的心，把你们所要的告诉 神。 这样， 神所赐超过人能了解的平安，必在基督耶稣里，保守你们的心思意念。”（腓4: 6-7）
亲爱的主，我们，你卑微的孩子, 再次来到你面前，承认我们不顺服及缺乏信心信靠你。 像保罗一样，我们总是渴望做善事，但我们却行不出来。“所以我愿意行的善，我没有去行；我不愿意作的恶，我倒去作了”(罗7: 18-19)。主，怜悯我们，帮助我们克服这些生活上的挣扎。 帮助我们不仅要阅读你的命令和指示，而且要注意并遵行，因为当我们遵行，我们会蒙福，会快乐。 帮助我们记住，我们靠着你加给我们力量凡事都能做 （腓4:13）。 因为离了你，我们什么也不能做。
主，帮助我们只单单信靠你。 我们要把我们所有的挂虑、烦恼和焦虑交在你的手中。 我们感谢主一直保护我们所有人和我们家人的安全和健康，同时也供应我们所需要的一切。