Monday, 22 March 2021
What It Means to Be ‘World-Class’?
Ong Hwee Soo

John3:17, 17:18, 20:21.

A key word in the Gospel of John is ‘world’, which is used 78 times in the book. Perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible in that it is the most recognised, most memorized and most cherished verse is John 3:16.

The first text in our Devotional today is the verse following, which shows us the reason God sent Jesus into the world.

John 3:17 , “ For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. ”

While Jesus was accomplishing His mission on earth, He prayed to God, the Father, for His disciples, knowing that He will shortly return to heaven, “ As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. ” ( John 17:18 ). Later on, after His Resurrection and before His Ascension, Jesus spoke directly to His disciples, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” ( John 20:21 ).

If you came across a title in a bookshop or online site, “How To be A World-Class Christian”, what would you reckon the book is about?

The entertainment world parades to us ‘world-class’ actors/actresses as well as musicians and singers. Sport networks acclaims ‘world-class’ athletes. MNCs compete in the global market by attaining the elite distinction of being ‘world-class’.

The adjective ‘world-class’ now describes architecture, automobiles, computer technology, cuisines, fashion, lifestyle etc.

If the business, sports and entertainment world endeavour to compete on a ‘world-class’ scale, how would we describe a ‘world-class’ Christian? Should we too be striving for ‘world-class’ excellence in our obedience to God’s call?

The author of the above-mentioned book, Paul Borthwick gives his definition in the book:
“A world-class Christian is one whose lifestyle and obedience are compatible, in cooperation, and in accord with what God is doing and wants to do in our world.”

Apostle John continues his theme on the ‘world’ in his First Epistle. 1 John 2:15-16 , “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride in possessions – is not from the Father but is from the world.”

We are called not to be ‘Worldly Christians’ but rather to be ‘World Christians’. John Piper in his book ‘Let The Nations Be Glad’ puts it this way:

“Not every Christian is called to be a missionary, but every follower of Christ is called to be a world Christian. A world Christian is someone who is so gripped by the glory of God and the glory of his global purpose that he chooses to align himself with God’s mission to fill the earth with the knowledge of his glory as the waters cover the sea ( Hab.2:14 ). Everything a world Christian does is with a view to the hallowing of God’s name and the coming of God’s kingdom among all the people of the earth.”

The world Christian is one who is ever ready to bring the John 3:16 verse (which is perhaps the greatest text in the Bible to encapsulate the Gospel in a few simple words) to the world around us.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

If this is the first time you are reading this verse, let me encourage you to read it over again a few more times. However, reciting or memorizing the verse would not save you. You must believe word for word what the verse says and you will receive everlasting life.
Mark 8:36 stresses “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?”
Come, believe in Jesus Christ and live the abundant life.
For those of us who know John 3:16 by heart, let us have the heart to share it with the peoples around us.

Herbert Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980) who predicted the World Wide Web almost 30 years before it was invented, also foretold that our world would become a ‘global village’ which is now a reality.

Air travel, international trade and industry as well as trans-border networking have shrunk the world. Globalization and mass migrations have simultaneously brought the nations to our shores.

The world-class perspective challenges us to focus on a global God who calls us into His team, as Christ has sent us into the world. He invites us to join Him in His world-class action. How will we respond?

The endeavour of becoming world-class propels us into a world where we must trust God. Whether it means praying for more funds for an international mission project/partnership or reaching a migrant community or to foreign students, an outward orientation of our faith encourages us to trust God in direct and practical ways.

What would you do this week that has eternal implications for yourself as well as for others around you? How can you use your earthly treasures as investments in God’s Kingdom?

Let’s Live the Life, of A World-Class Christian.

PRAYER:

Father God, as You have brought peoples of the world to our doorstep, help us Lord to bring Your love to them, in practical ways, yet having everlasting impact upon their lives. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期一,2021年3月22日
标题:”世界级” 意味着什么?
讲员:翁辉赐弟兄
翻译:郑振隆弟兄

约翰福音3:17, 17:18, 20:21

约翰福音中的一个关键词是 “世界/世上”,在书中使用了78次。约翰福音3:16 也许是圣经中最为著名的一节经文,因为它是最为人所知、熟记,且最受珍视的一节经文。

今天我们灵修的第一节经文是下面的经文,它向我们展示了上帝差耶稣来到这个世上的原因。

约翰福音3:17 “因为神差他的儿子降世,不是要定世人的罪,乃是要叫世人因他得救。”

当耶稣完成祂在地上的使命时,祂为祂的门徒向父上帝祈祷,因为祂知道祂即将返回天堂:“你怎样差我到世上,我也照样差他们到世上。”(约翰福音17:18)。后来,在祂复活之后和升天之前,耶稣直接对祂的门徒说:“父怎样差遣了我,我也照样差遣你们。”(约翰福音20:21)。

如果您在书店或网站上看到一本书名为《如何成为一个世界级的基督徒》,您会认为这本书是关于什么的?

娱乐界向我们展示了 “世界级” 的演员、音乐家和歌手;体育网络盛赞 “世界级” 运动员;跨国公司通过获得 “世界级” 的精英称号,在全球市场上展开竞争。

“世界级” 这个形容词现在用来描述建筑、汽车、电脑技术、烹饪、时尚、生活方式等。

如果商界、体育界和娱乐界都努力在 “世界级” 的规模上竞争,我们将如何形容一个 “世界级” 的基督徒呢?我们是否也应该在顺服上帝的召唤中追求 “世界级” 的卓越?

上述书籍的作者保罗·博思威克(Paul Borthwick)在书中给了他的定义:“一个世界级的基督徒,他的生活方式和顺服是相容的,是协和的,是与上帝在我们这个世界上所做的和想要做的相一致的。”

使徒约翰在他的第一封书信中继续他关于 “世界” 的主题。约翰一书2:15-16 “不要爱世界和世界上的事。人若爱世界,爱父的心就不在他里面了。因为凡世界上的事,就像肉体的情欲,眼目的情欲,并今生的骄傲,都不是从父来的,乃是从世界来的。”

我们蒙召不是要做 “世俗的基督徒”,而是要做 “世上的基督徒”。约翰·派珀(John Piper)在他的书《万国欢呼》中这样写道:

“不是每个基督徒都被呼召为宣教士,但每个基督的追随者都被呼召成为世上的基督徒。一个世上的基督徒是一个被上帝的荣耀和祂的全球使命的荣耀所吸引,以至于他选择与上帝的使命对齐,让祂荣耀的知识充满遍地,好像水充满洋海一般 (哈2:14)。 一个世上的基督徒所做的每一件事,都是着眼于上帝的名被尊为圣,上帝的国度降临人间。”

一个世上的基督徒总是准备好把 约翰福音3:16 (这也许是圣经中仅以几个简单的词概括福音的最伟大的经文)带给我们周围的人。
“神爱世人,甚至将他的独生子赐给他们,叫一切信他的,不至灭亡,反得永生。”

如果这是您第一次阅读这节经文,让我鼓励您再读几遍。然而,背诵或熟记这节经文并不能拯救您。您必须一字不差地相信经文所说的,您将会获得永生。

马可福音8:36 强调:“人就是赚得全世界,赔上自己的生命,有甚么益处呢?”
来吧,相信耶稣基督,过丰盛的生活。
对于我们熟记 约翰福音3:16 的人,让我们有一颗与我们周围的人分享的心。

赫伯特·马歇尔·麦克卢汉(Herbert Marshall McLuhan,1911-1980)在万维网被发明之前近30年就已预言了它,他也预言,我们的世界将成为一个 “地球村”,如今这也已成为现实了。

航空旅行、国际贸易和工业以及跨境联网已经缩小了世界范围。全球化和大规模移民同时已将万国带到我们的国家。

世界级的观点挑战我们要专注于一位全球的上帝,祂召唤我们进入祂的团队,因为基督已经差派我们进入这个世界。祂邀请我们参与祂的世界级行动。我们会如何回应?

达至世界级的努力促使我们进入一个我们必须相信上帝的世界。无论是为国际宣教项目/伙伴关系祈求更多的资金,还是为接触移民社区或外国留学生祈祷,我们信仰的外在取向都鼓励我们以直接和实际的方式信靠上帝。

本周您会做些什么对您自己以及您周围的人都有永恒的影响?您怎么用您在地上的财宝作为对上帝国度的投资呢?

让我们活出世界级基督徒的生活。

祷告:
父上帝,当祢将世界各国人民带到我们家门前,求主帮助我们以实际的方式把祢的爱带给他们,并且对他们的生命产生永恒的影响。奉耶稣的名祷告。 阿们。