Tuesday, 18 May 2021
Title: Practise What We Preach
By: Shaun Ling
Text: Matthew 23: 1-3

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So, you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practise what they preach.”

In my work as a lawyer, I have found that many witnesses testifying under oath will readily tell lies or half-truths. It does not seem to make any difference if they are religious or not. They can swear by their holy book before testifying and almost immediately tell an outright lie.

If you are a Christian, have you ever reflected if we, like the Pharisees, “do not practise what (we) preach?” Remember, what defines us as Christians is not just our proclamation of faith but our behaviour. We can put meaningful messages of faith on Facebook or Instagram, go to church weekly or even serve in ministry but in other aspects of our life, there could well be a great mismatch. We encourage others to be honest and to live a life modelled after Jesus and yet, we do not live up to that clarion call. When you fill in your tax forms, do you do it honestly? When you surf the net, do you “accidentally” view things that you shouldn’t? When you speak to the security guards or waitress, do you speak to them graciously or get angry when they make a mistake? Do we insult our leaders on social media or call them names?

Man judges by outward appearance but God searches the heart. What we do and how we relate to others matter to God. We are really, what we are inwardly. Outward motives may keep the outside clean while the inside is filthy; but if the heart and spirit be made new, there will be newness of life and here, we must begin with ourselves.

Yes, we are plagued by deceitful hearts (see Mark 7:21-23) and temptations. Yes, we fail many times to glorify God in our actions. Yes, we are imperfect and are work in progress. But, do we stop, reflect and ask how we can glorify God daily in our words and actions? I must say, I struggle with trying to live my life for Him every so often. Maybe more often than I care to admit.

Perhaps, this week, we can all pledge to practise what we preach and “live a life worthy of the calling (we) have received” (Ephesians 4:1).

Prayer

Father, we confess that we have failed You on many occasions. Yet, You are gracious and merciful. Help us Lord, we ask, that Your Holy Spirit fill us with all things that are of You and that we will live our lives in a way that is pleasing to You. Amen

每日灵粮
星期三, 2021年5月18日
标题:实践我们所传的
作者:林世勋执事
翻译:陈健萍姐妹
经文:马太福音23:1-3

那时,耶稣对众人和门徒讲论,说:“文士和法利赛人坐在摩西的位上,凡他们所吩咐你们的,你们都要谨守遵行;但不要效法他们的行为,因为他们能说不能行。”

在我作为一名律师的工作中,我发现很多证人在宣誓作证后,很容易说出谎言或半真半假的话。不管他们是否有宗教信仰,似乎都没有任何区别。他们可以在作证前对着他们的圣经发誓,几乎立刻就会说出一个彻头彻尾的谎言。

如果您是一位基督徒,您有没有想过,我们是否像法利赛人一样,“能说不能行?” 请记住,将我们定义为基督徒的不仅仅是我们对信仰的宣告,还有我们的行为。我们可以在脸书(Facebook)或即时电报(Instagram)上发布有意义的有关信仰的信息、每周去教会,甚至参与事奉,但在我们生活的其他方面,很可能有着严重的不相称。我们鼓励别人诚实,生活以耶稣为榜样,然而,我们却没有践行这号召。当您填写税务表格时,您诚实吗?当您上网浏览时,您是不是 “无意间” 看了不该看的东西?当您和保安或女服务员交谈时,您是礼貌地和他们说话,或是在他们犯错时生气?我们在社交媒体上辱骂我们的领袖,或讥讽他们吗?

人是凭外表判断的,但上帝是鉴察内心的。我们所做的,以及我们如何与他人相处,上帝都看为重要。人如其心,我们内心是怎么样的,我们就是什么样的人。外在的动机可以使外在保持清洁,可内心却是肮脏的;但如果心灵更新了,就会有新的生命,在这里,我们必须从自己做起。

是的,我们被诡诈的心(见马可福音7:21-23)和诱惑所困扰。是的,我们在行为上多次未能荣耀上帝。是的,我们并不完美,我们是在进展中的工程。但是,我们没有停顿下来,让我们反省并自问,我们怎样才能每天以自己的言行来荣耀上帝呢?我必须说,我不时地努力奋斗为祂而活,也许比我愿意承认的更要频繁。

也许,在这一周,我们都可以矢志实践我们所传讲的,“过一个行事为人与蒙召的恩相称的生活”(以弗所书4:1)。

祷告
父亲,我们承认我们在很多情况下都亏欠了祢。然而,祢有恩典,有怜悯。主啊,求祢帮助我们,愿祢的圣灵以一切属祢的充满我们,使我们以祢所喜悦的方式生活。阿们。