Thursday, 26 November 2020
Title: Lamp and Light!
By: Cecilia Tan 陈俊芳

Psalm 119:105
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

We are living in dark and perilous times. Never in the history of mankind have so many succumbed to so unseen an enemy! Words such as the following – lost, confused, desperate, directionless, frustrated, disconnected, desolate, anxious, lonely, hopeless, fearful, restless and angry – can accurately describe many people in the world today, no matter where they live.

Nevertheless, fear not! For we, as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, have with us an inextinguishable lamp – the Word of God, a radiant light that banishes the shadows of crippling fear and uncertainty. This is a gleaming lamp that will guide us safely through the darkness and brighten our pathway.

However, for this lamp to do its work of dispelling darkness, we need to turn on the light switch. How do we do that? I propose 4 steps to take in order that the light of God’s Word can shine and overcome the overwhelming darkness that surrounds us – both in the world and in the deep recesses of our souls.

The first step is to know God’s Word, the Bible, intimately. For that to happen we need to learn it. According to the Navigators’ “ Word Hand”, learning God’s Word involves hearing, reading, studying, memorising and meditating on Scripture. God does not automatically fill our minds with knowledge of His Word. We must be diligent and disciplined in our efforts to carry out the learning activities embodied in the “Word Hand”.

Giving priority to learning God’s Word is not an easy thing to do as countless other pursuits compete with it to distract and lure us away. For instance most of us today have “WhatsEpic Syndrome” wherein we spend hours daily, enjoying and forwarding the many creative messages and entertaining video clips that are shared in the many chatgroups we are in. However we are strongly urged by the author of Psalm 119 in verse 73 to learn God’s commands, to seek out God’s decrees (verse 155) as not doing so will result in us joining the ranks of the wicked, and to memorize Scripture (verse 11) so that with God’s Word in our hearts, we will not sin against Him.

The second step is to lean on God’s Word. We are to depend on God’s Word as a guide at all times whether it be sunny or stormy weather, to give us encouragement and hope. The Psalmist declares in verse 24 that God’s statutes are his counsellors. The Psalmist, weary with sorrow in verse 28, begs God to strengthen him with His Word. Verse 50 shows that God’s promises not only comfort the Psalmist when he is suffering, but actually preserve his life!

The third step is to love God’s Word. The Psalmist declares his love for God’s precepts in verse 159, and states in verse 162 that he rejoices in God’s promises like one who finds great treasure. Indeed, the Psalmist proclaims in verse 72 that God’s Word is more precious to him than thousands of pieces of silver and gold! He proudly announces in verse 97, “Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long.”

Finally we are to obey God’s Word. The Psalmist entreats God in verses 33-34 to give him wisdom so that he can understand the meaning of God’s laws and obey them with all his heart, at all times. Our Lord Jesus Himself taught that “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” (John 14:23-24)

Martial arts disciples make a commitment to dedicate their lives to the martial arts practice. The process of mastering the skill (whether it be kung fu, judo, karate, taekwondo etc) is not only gradual but calls for a lot of learning, sweating, training and constantly feeling pain and aches in many parts of the body. “No pain, no gain!” would definitely be the resounding mantra uttered by the master to the disciple.

As disciples of Jesus we have made a commitment to learn from Him in order to live like Him. We seek to conform our thoughts, words and deeds to mirror that of Jesus. Both martial arts disciples and Jesus’ disciples are made, not born. In terms of diligence and discipline, we should not allow the martial arts disciples to outshine us. Why not? Their knowledge and skills are only good for this earthly life, whereas our Biblical knowledge and wisdom will last for eternity. Besides, their master is a mere mortal, whereas our Master is the one and only Almighty God, Creator of heaven and earth!

The Bible contains basic instructions for godly living before leaving earth. Much more than that, it is God’s revelation of Himself to us. It tells about God’s love for humanity, His salvation plan and the relationship He wishes to have with us here on earth, as well as in eternity. For such turbulent times as what we are in now, God’s Word offers assurance, comfort, hope and peace that the world cannot offer, and hence, it powerfully dispels our relentless fears and uncertainties.

Indeed, it will be a lamp to our feet and a light to our path if we so desire. The more of it we have in our hearts and minds, the more brightly lit the pathway of our life will be… and the stronger our foundation will be, for a joyful, fulfilling and fruitful life in harmony with God and others!

The time for action is now! Turn ON the light switch. Enjoy the LAMP AND LIGHT!

Prayer:

Our Heavenly Father, we thank You that in this increasingly darkening world, we have You to walk us through the valley of darkness to light. When everything around us is chaotic and confusing, and we can see no light, may the light of Your Word show us the way to go. When the future is uncertain, and we can’t see what lies ahead, may the light from Your Word direct our paths. Open our eyes to see the wonderful truths in Your Word. Help us to discipline ourselves to know, lean on, love and obey Your Word always. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期四, 2020年11月26日
标题:灯与光!
作者:陈俊芳姐妹
翻译:薛秀合姐妹

诗篇119:105
“你的话是我脚前的灯,是我路上的光。”

我们生活在黑暗和险恶的时代。在人类历史上,从未有那么多人屈服于如此一个看不见的敌人!以下的词语如 – 迷失、困惑、失望、失去方向、沮丧、脱节、落寞、焦虑、孤独、绝望、恐惧、躁动和愤怒 – 可以准确地描述当今世界上的许多人,无论他们身在何处。

尽管如此,可不要害怕!因为我们作为主耶稣基督的门徒,我们拥有一盏不熄灭的灯 – 上帝的话语,明亮的光,可以驱散沉重的恐惧和不确定的阴影。这是一盏闪烁的灯,它将引导我们安全地穿越黑暗并照亮我们的道路。

然而,要让这灯操作它驱赶黑暗的作用,我们需要打开电灯的开关。我们该怎么做呢?我建议采取4个步骤,以使上帝的话语之光能照耀并克服我们周围难以抵挡的黑暗 – 无论是在世界上还是在我们心灵的深处。

第一步是深入了解上帝的话语,圣经。为做到这点,我们需要学习。根据导航会的 “读经的手”,学习上帝的话语包括聆听、阅读、学习、背诵和默想圣经。上帝并不会自动地用祂的话语充满我们的思想。我们必须勤奋且有纪律地开展 “读经的手” 中的学习活动。

把学习上帝的话语放在首位不是一件容易的事,因有无数其他的追求与之竞争,以分散我们的注意力并引诱我们偏离。譬如,今天我们大多数人都患有 “跨平台通讯综合症”(WhatsEpic Syndrome),其中我们每天花费数小时,享受及在许多我们参与的聊天群组里转发无数创意信息和有趣的视频片段。但是,诗篇119的作者在第73节中强烈敦促我们学习上帝的命令,寻求上帝的律例(第155节),因为不这样做将会导致我们加入恶人的行列;并背诵经文(第11节),好让上帝的话藏在我们心里,免得我们得罪祂。

第二步是要依靠上帝的话语。无论是晴天还是狂风暴雨,我们都应依靠上帝的话语作为引导,给我们鼓励和盼望。诗人在第24节中宣称,上帝的法度是他的谋士。诗人在第28节中因愁苦而筋疲力尽,恳求上帝用祂的话语使他坚强。第50节表明,上帝的应许不仅在诗人困苦时安慰他,而且还保全了他的生命!

第三步是要爱上帝的话语。诗人在第159节中宣告了他对上帝训词的热爱,并在第162节中指出,他像胜过敌军得到了很多战利品的人一样,在上帝的应许中欢喜。的确,诗人在第72节中宣布,上帝的话语比千千万万的金银对他更有益!他在第97节中自豪地宣告:“我何等爱慕你的律法,终日不住地思想。”

最后,我们要听从上帝的话语。诗人在第33-34节中祈求上帝赐予他智慧,使他可以领悟上帝律例的含义,并时刻全心全意地遵守。我们的主耶稣亲自教导说:“人若爱我,就必遵守我的道;我父也必爱他,并且我们要到他那里去,与他同住。不爱我的人就不遵守我的道。你们所听见的道不是我的,乃是差我来之父的道。” (约翰福音14:23-24)

武学的门徒立志将自己的生命献于武学修炼。掌握技能的过程(无论是功夫、柔道、空手道、跆拳道等)不单是循序渐进的,而且还需要大量的学习、汗水、训练并不断感觉到身体许多部位的疼痛和酸痛。 “一分耕耘,一分收获!” 肯定是师父对门徒发出的响亮口号。

作为耶稣的门徒,我们委身向祂学习,以活得像祂。我们力求使我们的思想、言语和行为与耶稣相符。武学的门徒和耶稣的门徒都是被塑造的,而不是天生的。在勤勉和纪律方面,我们不应该让武学的门徒比我们优秀。为什么不?他们的知识和技能仅对今世生活有益处,而我们的圣经知识和智慧将延续到永恒。此外,他们的师父仅仅是个凡人,而我们的主是唯一的全能上帝,天地的创造主!

圣经蕴含着离开世界前敬虔生活的基本指引。不仅如此,这是上帝对我们的启示。它讲述了上帝对人类的爱、祂救赎的计划以及祂希望在地球上和在永恒里与我们建立的关系。在我们当今所处的如此动荡的时代,上帝的话语提供了世界无法提供的保证、安慰、盼望与平安;因此,它强而有力地驱散了我们不间断的恐惧和不确定性。

确实,若我们愿意,它将是我们脚前的灯和路上的光。我们的心思意念越是如此想望,我们的人生道路就会越光明……我们的基础就越牢固,我们便能与上帝并其他人和谐相处,共享快乐、充实和丰硕的人生。

现在就是行动的时候了!打开电灯开关。享受灯与光!

祷告:
我们的天父,我们感谢祢,在这个日益黑暗的世界中,我们有祢带领我们穿越黑暗之谷,走向光明。当我们周围的一切都混乱,使我们困惑,我们看不见光明时,愿祢的话语之光向我们展示前进的路。当未来充满着不确定性,而我们看不到未来时,愿祢的话语之光指引我们的道路。开启我们的眼睛,让我们看到圣经中的奇妙真理。帮助我们自律,使我们时刻了解、依靠、爱慕并遵从祢的话语。我们奉耶稣的名祈祷。阿门。

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