Thursday, 31 December 2020
Title: Count Your Blessings And It Will Surprise You What The Lord Has Done In 2020
By: Pastor Isaac Yim

Psalm 103:1-5 (NLT)

1 Let all that I am praise the LORD;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
2 Let all that I am praise the LORD;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.

At the end of 2020, I must admit many things in life are really difficult to understand. The pandemic has hit the whole world in diverse ways. The hardship is hard to bear. I had the opportunity to minister to many people who experienced pain that is too much to tolerate in life. In those situations, we can only name our pain and suffering. Yet the Psalmist remind us not to forget to give thanks and to praise His Holy Name. Don’t forget the good things He has done for us. The hardships and sufferings resulting from the pandemic seem to overshadow all the good things God has done for us in 2020.

The Psalmist has enumerated six benefits, or blessings, which God has so graciously showered upon all of us who put our trust in Him (Psalm 103:3-5)
3 He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
4 He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
5 He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

The refrain of the Hymn, Count Your Blessings (by Johnson Oatman, Jr 1897):
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God has done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

I have been greatly blessed during this pandemic. I cannot help but to count my blessings and name them one by one. It surprised me what the Lord has done:

  1. I thank the Lord for slowing me down to spend more intimate time with Him.
  2. I am from a workaholic background. The MCO has given me the opportunity to spend my morning unhurriedly, in reading God’s Word and praying.
  3. I must confess I did not see and appreciate many things about my wife Rosie. I now can see the loneliness she went through, when I used to travel almost three months away from home.
  4. I thank God the MCO enables me to go back to daily exercise which I had stopped for more than 10 years. I am still healthy and active in serving God.
  5. I have a new appreciation for what matters. Beside loving and serving God, I treasure my family and friends. I have more time for people over a cup of tea.
  6. Even in hard times, God didn’t abandon us. God still send ravens to provide food for us, like in the days of Elijah. Many of you have been so kind to make sure we are well. Two months ago, at a wedding of one of the church members, I met up with a former student whom I taught a few years ago. This person is now sending dinner to us three times a week.
  7. I thank the Lord that even in the MCO, God blessed PBC with a great team of faithful pastors, elders, deacons and deaconesses, Care Groups leaders and many unsung heroes and heroines serving the flock and the community.
  8. I thank the Lord for the faithful team of Daily Devotion writers, proof-readers, translators, and staff coordinators. This Daily Devotion was intended to hold the church together during the MCO but today it has spread to about 20 countries. We praised God for testimonies received from those who have been encouraged to walk with the Lord, and we received testimonies of people coming to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.

I encourage you to pick up a pen and paper to start writing down the blessings you have received from the Lord in 2020.

May I borrow this paragraph to close this devotion: “There are times in our lives when we don’t always see God’s blessings right away. Sometimes they are disguised, and the things we once thought of as bad, or scary, turn into wonderful blessings. Think of a caterpillar. He isn’t very pretty. And I wonder if it is a little bit scary for him to seal off the cocoon, he entwined around himself. I wonder if it is dark in there. I wonder if Mr. Caterpillar screams, ‘Let me out of here. I can’t breathe!’ But then one day, at just the right time, we see something beautiful happening. We see God’s plan, the miracle of a beautiful butterfly.” (I couldn’t trace the author.)

Prayer for today

Lord, forgive me for taking many things in life for granted. Thank you, Lord, You allow me to slow down and enjoy living in Your presence. I am grateful that You forgive, You heal, You save, You have lavished on me Your love and mercies and You satisfy me with good things and You renew my strength daily. You have given much to me and You require much from me. Thank you for this great privilege to be alive and well, serving You with joy and gladness in 2020.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it (1 Thess.5:23-24 ESV).

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期四,2020年12月31日
标题:数算您的祝福,这将会让您对主在2020的作为感到惊讶
作者:严以撒牧师
翻译:薛秀合姐妹

诗篇103:1-5(和合本)
1我的心哪,你要称颂耶和华!
凡在我里面的,也要称颂他的圣名!
2我的心哪,你要称颂耶和华!
不可忘记他的一切恩惠!

临到2020年尾声,我必须承认生活中的很多事情确实很难理解。疫情以各种方式冲击了整个世界。这种艰苦是很难承受的。我有机会服侍许多在生活中经历过无法忍受的痛苦的人。在这种情况下,我们只能说出我们的痛苦和折磨。然而,诗人提醒我们不要忘记感谢和赞美祂的圣名;不要忘记祂为我们所做的美好事情。疫情带来的艰辛和痛苦似乎掩盖了上帝在2020年为我们所做的一切美好事情。

诗人列举了六个好处,或祝福,是上帝如此仁慈地倾注在我们所有信靠祂的人身上的(诗篇103:3-5):
3他赦免你的一切罪孽,医治你的一切疾病。
4他救赎你的命脱离死亡,以仁爱和慈悲为你的冠冕。
5他用美物使你所愿的得以知足,以致你如鹰返老还童。

赞美诗《数算主恩》(奧提曼·詹森,1897年) 的重唱:
主的恩典,样样都要数;
主的作为都要记清楚,
主的恩典,样样都要数,
必能叫你惊讶立时乐欢呼。

我在这场疫情中蒙了极大的祝福。我不禁数算自己的祝福,并一一列举。主的作为使我感到惊讶:
1.我感谢主让我放慢脚步,让我有更多的时间与祂亲密度过。
2.我来自工作狂背景。行动管制令给了我机会,让我可以从容不迫地度过我的早晨,阅读上帝的话语并祈祷。
3.我必须承认,我有很多方面没有察看到和欣赏我的妻子若茜(Rosie)。我现在可以体会到我在过去经常离家差不多三个月的行程,她所经历的孤单。
4.我感谢上帝,行动管制令期间使我能够恢复我已经停止了10多年的日常运动。我依然健康并积极地事奉神。
5.我对重要的事情有了新的感悟。除了爱与事奉上帝之外,我珍惜我的家人和朋友。我有更多的时间和他们一起喝杯茶。
6.即使在艰难时刻,上帝也没有抛弃我们。上帝仍然派乌鸦为我们提供食物,就像在以利亚时代一样。你们许多人都很和善地确保我们安然无恙。两个月前,在一位会友的婚礼上,我遇到了一位我几年前教过的学生。他现在每周给我们送三次晚餐。
7.我感谢上帝,即使在行动管制令期间,上帝也祝福班底浸信教会(PBC)有一支由忠心的牧者、长老、执事与女执事、关爱小组领袖以及许多无名男女英雄组成的很棒的团队,为羊群和社区服务。

  1. 我为每日灵粮的作者、校对员、翻译员和协调员忠心的团队感谢主。每日灵粮旨在于行动管制令期间将教会团结在一起,但今天它已传播到大约20个国家。我们为着那些受到鼓励与上帝同行的人所提供的见证赞美上帝,我们也收到了人们认识耶稣成为他们的主和救主的见证。

我鼓励您拿起笔和纸,开始写下您在2020年从主得到的祝福。

允许我借用这一段文字来结束这篇每日灵粮:“在我们的生活中,有时我们并不总是立即看到上帝的祝福。有时它们会被伪装,还有一些我们曾经认为不好或可怕的事物竟变成美好的祝福。
想想毛毛虫。它不是很漂亮。我不知道它被缠绕在自己周围的茧封住时是否有点害怕。我不知道那里面是否黑暗。我在想毛毛虫先生是否尖叫:“让我离开这里。我无法呼吸!”但是有一天,在适当的时候,我们看见了美好的事情发生。我们看见了上帝的计划,一只美丽的蝴蝶的奇迹。” (我无法追踪作者。)

今日祷告

主啊,求祢赦免我把生活中的许多事情视为理所当然。感谢主,祢让我放慢脚步并享受有祢同在的生活。我感谢祢赦免、医治、拯救了我;感谢祢把祢的爱与怜悯倾注在我身上,用美好的事物满足了我,并且每天更新我的力量。祢给予了我很多,祢向我要求的也多。谢谢祢赐我存活与健康的特权,在2020年满怀喜悦和欢乐地事奉祢。

愿赐平安的上帝亲自使你们全然成圣。又愿你们的灵与魂与身子得蒙保守,在我们主耶稣基督降临的时候,完全无可指摘。那召你们的本是信实的,他必成就这事。(帖撒罗尼迦前书 5:23-24 和合本)

奉耶稣的名祷告,阿门。

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