Saturday, 29 May 2021
Title: What Do You Want to Be Remembered For?
By: Amanda Foo

Matthew 26:6-13

“Teacher, why are we talking about death?” asked a student of mine in Youth class. “Because we need to realize that we all die one day, and it can happen sooner than we expect it to,” I answered.

As much as it is a known fact that death is a certainty in life, many of us live avoiding the topic altogether, treating it as a taboo. However, with Covid-19 ‘taking the world by storm’, we find ourselves with no choice but to face reality squarely in the eye, that is life is not certain. We mourn with those who have lost loved ones to the deadly virus, and at the same time, are filled with fear and anxiety that we could very well be next.

As Sister Cecilia pointed out in her devotional writeup on 25 May titled ‘Overcoming Pandemic Fear’, the coronavirus has claimed more than 3.3 million lives worldwide, including over 2,000 lives in Malaysia. But let us not be fooled. Coronavirus is not the only way a life gets taken. Death can happen in a variety of ways, and very often, unexpectedly; which should lead us to ask the question – How should we live this life, and what do we want to be remembered for?

In Matthew 26:6-13, Jesus is reclining at the table in the house of Simon the leper when a woman appears with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment. She pours it on Jesus’ head, to which the disciples responded angrily “Why this waste? For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.” It is said that the perfume was worth over 300 denarii (Mark 14:5), which was equivalent to a year’s wages at that time. Seems like a fair question. However, Jesus responds, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me… Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

When I read that last verse, I couldn’t help but be envious of that woman. To have done a beautiful thing for Jesus and be remembered for it up to today, how blessed is she! Of course, she had to suffer the indignance of the disciples, but she was very quickly justified by Jesus. Sometimes, the way we live our lives for Jesus may seem like a foolish waste to those around us. They watch as we expend our valuable time, energy, money, intellect and vocation for Jesus, and ridicule us.

But it is not a waste; it is true worship. As co-founder of Desiring God, Jon Bloom puts it, ‘A poured out life of love for Jesus that counts worldly gain as loss displays how precious he really is. It preaches to a bewildered, disdainful world that Christ is gain and the real waste is gaining the world’s perfumes while losing one’s soul in the process.”

Ultimately, the time we spend on earth is a mere dot relative to the time we have in eternity. While we are still alive, we still have the opportunity to live for Christ. If you’ve been tossed and swept by the waves of life, it is not too late to turn back and be anchored in Jesus. If you’ve yet to receive Jesus into your life, you can do so today. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). And we can take heart; for while we may have tribulation in this world, Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).

Prayer:
God, how is it that the all-powerful, amazing Creator would want to spend eternity with us? It is only through Your amazing grace and the work of Jesus that this is possible. Yet, we so often go astray. We ask You, Lord, today to forgive us our sins, for choosing to go after the world, when only You are truly worthy of our worship. Help us to set our eyes on You and live lives that glorify You. In Jesus’ Name we pray, Amen.

每曰靈糧
2021年5月29日,星期六
标题:你想因為什麼而被他人銘記?
作者:符偉敏姐妹
翻譯 : 王靖端姐妹

*马太福音26章 6-13節 *

“老師,我們为什么要談論死亡呢?” 我在青年團契班的其中一名学生问道。我回答说,“因为我們需要意识到我们終究還是會离世,而且它的發生,可能比我们预期的要早。”

众所周知,死亡是生命中肯定的事實,我們许多人都完全避開这个话题,将其视为禁忌。然而,随着2019冠状病毒猶如猛烈的风暴席卷全球,我們发现自己别无选择,只能面對現實,那就是生命無常。我們和那些因致命病毒而失去亲人的人們一同哀悼,与此同時,我們也充满了恐惧和忧虑,很可能自己会是下一个。

正如陳俊芳姐妹在5月25日的每曰靈糧「克服對疫情的恐惧」的文章中指出,冠状病毒已经夺走了全球超過330万人的生命,其中包括馬來西亞的2000多人。但是,我們不要上当。冠状病毒不是唯一能奪走生命的。死亡可能以多種方式发生,并且经常是意外地发生。这应该导致我們提出一个問題:我們今生將如何度過,我們想因為什麼而被別人銘記?

在马太福音26:6-13中,耶稣在伯大尼长大痲疯的西門家里坐席的时候,有一个女人,拿着一玉瓶极贵的香膏出现。她把它浇在耶稣的头上,门徒們看见,就很不喜悦的说,“何用这样枉費呢?这香膏可以卖许多钱,赒济穷人。”这香膏可以卖三十多两银(馬可福音14:5),约值当时一般工人一年的工钱。這似乎是一个合理的问题。然而,耶稣回答说,“為什麼難為這女人呢?她在我身上做的是一件美事…我實在告訴你們:普天之下,無論在什麼地方傳這福音,也要述說這女人所行的,做個紀念。”

当我读到最后一节經文时,我禁不住羡慕那个女人。她为耶稣做了一件美事,并为之而被铭记直到今天,她是多么蒙福啊!当然,她必须忍受门徒們的羞辱,但是很快她就被耶稣称义了。有时候,我们為耶稣而活的生活,对我們周围的人来说似乎是愚蠢的枉费。他们看到我們为耶稣花费宝贵的时间、精力、金钱、智力和使命感,而嘲諷我們。

但这不是枉费;这是真正的信仰。正如《渴望上帝》(Desiring God)的共同创始人乔恩·布鲁姆(Jon Bloom)說, “熱愛耶穌的生命,視世上的所得如糞土,這顯示了他是多麼的珍貴。他向這迷茫、不屑一顧的世界宣扬相信基督是獲得,而真正的枉费却在獲得世界的芳香过程中喪失了灵魂。”

最终,我們在地球上度过的时间仅仅是永恒的时空中的一個小圓點。在我們还活着的時候,我們仍然有机会为基督而活。如果您被人生的波涛所顛簸和折磨,那么转身回到耶稣身边还为时不晚。如果您还没有接受耶稣进入您的生活,今天就可以这样做。「我們若認自己的罪,神是信實的,是公義的,必要赦免我們的罪,洗淨我們一切的不義。」(约翰一书1:9)。我們可以振作起來;因为虽然我們在这个世界上可能有患难,但耶稣却战胜了這个世界。 「 在世上你們有苦難,但你們可以放心,我已經勝了世界。」(约翰福音16:33)。

祷告:神哪,全能的,奇妙的造物主如何想与我們共度永恒?只有通过祢的奇異恩典和耶稣的作為,才有可能。但是,我們经常误入歧途。今天,主啊,我們祈求祢宽恕我们的罪過,因为只有祢真正值得我们崇拜,但我們卻选择了去追逐世上的浮華。請帮助我們将目光專注于祢,并过榮耀祢的生活。我们奉耶稣的名祷告,阿们。