Thursday, 17 December 2020
Title: Loving God and Man
Author: Arnold Lim

Psalm 18:1-2
I love you, O Lord, my strength
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer;
My God is my rock in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold

2020 has been a tumultuous year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

So, what can we expect in 2021? Will it be a better year? It would appear that even with the vaccine, the lingering effects of the pandemic will persist for some time. We may have issues to resolve and conflicting demands on our time, all of which require urgent prayer.

But as we approach Christmas and the end of another year, perhaps first and foremost, we should examine our relationship with God and with Man. What do I mean?

Relationship with God
Let us start with Mark 12:30 which reads: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Do we love Him? Are we like the members of the Ephesians church in Revelations 2 who have forgotten their first love? By most measures, the Ephesians church was doing well. They were faulted by God only on this point – and they fell short.

It is because above all, God wants a close relationship with us – He loves us and He wants us to love Him. In other words, to have no other god or idol. (Exodus 20:2-4) In a warning found in 1 John 2:15-17, we are reminded not to love the world or anything in the world for the cravings of a sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does, comes not from the Father but from the world.

Relationship with Man
The governing verse is found in Mark 12:31 which reads “Love your neighbour as yourself.” As we love ourselves, we are to treat our neighbour with love. It is so critical that in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, it says that we can have great gifts, great faith and great possessions to give to the poor, but without love, we are nothing. You can read the rest of 1 Corinthians 13 on your own.

Our God is a God who is, who was and who is to come. He is the same God. He walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands, representing the seven churches in Revelation. He knows exactly what goes on in our church and by extension our homes. Nothing escapes Him.

The Lord offers us today a choice between “life and prosperity” and “death and adversity.” (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 30:15-20) If we choose to love our God, to walk in His ways, keep His commandments and His statutes, God will bless us. But if our hearts turn away and we do not obey and are instead drawn away to worship other gods and to serve them, we will perish.

However, our God is a loving God, slow to anger and abounding in love. Remember He caused His only Son to die on the cross for our sins so that we will have eternal life. If we repent and return to loving Him and obeying His commands, He will surely forgive us.

Love the Lord our God with all our hearts and with all our souls, and with all our minds and with all our strength! And love our neighbour as ourselves.

Prayer
Our God and Heavenly Father, we love You, O Lord.

Thank You for being our Rock, Fortress and Deliverer in 2020.

As we look forward to 2021, we pray that we will put You first in our lives – that we will not be distracted from our love for You by anything in this world. Grant us opportunities to stand up for You and share Your gospel message.
And grant us the wisdom to act with love in our dealings with others.
Grant us your grace, peace and protection.

We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

每日灵粮
星期四, 2020年12月17日
标题:爱神和人
作者:林文礼弟兄
翻译:薛秀合姐妹

【诗篇18:1-2】
耶和华,我的力量啊,我爱你!
耶和华是我的岩石,我的山寨,我的救主,我的神,
我的磐石,我所投靠的。
他是我的盾牌,是拯救我的角,是我的高台。

因着新冠肺炎流行病,2020年是个动荡的一年。

那么,我们在2021年能期待什么呢?会是更好的一年吗?看来,即使有了疫苗,疫情挥之不去的影响也将持续一段时间。我们可能有一些问题要解决,并对我们时间的要求也相互矛盾,这一切都需要迫切祈祷。

然而随着圣诞节的临近和又一年的结束,也许最重要的是,我们应该审视我们与上帝和人的关系。我的意思是什么呢?

与上帝的关系
让我们从马可福音12:30开始,经文如此记载:“你要尽心、尽性、尽意、尽力爱主─你的神。” 我们爱祂吗?我们是否像启示录2中的以弗所教会一样忘了起初的爱心呢?从大多数方面来看,以弗所教会都做得很好。仅在这一点上,他们受到上帝的责备 – 他们做得不够。

这是因为,最重要的是,上帝希望与我们建立亲密的关系—祂爱我们,祂希望我们也爱祂。换句话说,没有别的神或偶像。(出埃及记20:2-4) 约翰一书2:15-17中的告诫提醒我们,不要为了一个罪人的欲望而去爱世界或世界上的任何事物,他眼目的情欲及对他所拥有和所做的吹嘘,都不是从父而来,乃是从世界来的。

与人的关系
有关的经节在马可福音12:31,经文如此记载:“要爱人如己。” 当我们爱自己时,我们也该以爱来对待我们的邻舍。至关重要的是,哥林多前书13:1-3中说道:我们可以拥有很棒的恩赐,伟大的信心和大量的财产周济穷人,但若没有爱,我们算不得什么。您可以自己阅读哥林多前书13章的其余部分。

我们的上帝是昔在、今在、以后永在的上帝。祂是同一位上帝。祂在启示录中代表七个教会的七个金灯台中间行走。祂清楚地知道我们的教会及延至我们家庭的状况。没有什么能逃得过祂。

今天,上帝为我们提供了 “生与福” 与 “死与祸” 之间的选择。(申命记30:15-20释义)如果我们选择爱我们的上帝,遵行祂的道,遵守祂的诫命与律例,上帝就会赐福给我们。但是,倘若我们的心偏离,不肯听从,反而被吸引去敬拜事奉别的神,我们将会灭亡。

然而,我们的上帝是一位慈爱的上帝,不轻易发怒,且有丰盛的慈爱。请记住,祂让自己的独生子在十字架上为我们的罪而死,好让我们有永生。如果我们悔改,回转去爱祂并遵从祂的诫命,祂一定会赦免我们。

我们要尽心、尽性、尽意、尽力爱主 ─ 我们的神!且要爱人如己。

祷告
主啊,我们的上帝和天父,我们爱祢。
感谢祢在2020年成为我们的岩石、我们的山寨和我们的救主。
当我们展望2021年的时候,我们祈祷我们会将祢放在我们生命中的第一位 – 求叫我们不会因这个世界上的任何事物而使我们对祢的爱分心。赐给我们有机会为祢站起来并分享祢的福音信息。
求赐予我们智慧,让我们在与人交往时能以爱行事。
赐予我们祢的恩典、平安和保护。
我们奉耶稣的名祷告,阿门。