Monday, 5th July 2021
THE SWEETEST VERSE IN THE BIBLE
Pastor Soong Kok Kee

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Herschel Ford in his Simple Sermons Series calls this verse “The Sweetest Verse in the Bible”. With the Covid 19 Pandemic into more than one and a half years and the Delta variant killing more people and forcing more lockdowns around the world, who is not weary, who is not burdened?

No place in the world has not been affected one way or another. The latest death toll world-wide is 3.95 million; Asia alone is 790 thousand and more is to come. One scene I saw on Whatsapp lingers in my mind. A man went up to the top floor of a hotel and jumped down, saying Covid 19 had taken his whole family, wife & children – what’s the point of living anymore. Last week a man hung himself on an overhead bridge in Balakong, Cheras. Malay Mail says Malaysia alone has recorded about 4 suicide cases a day in the first 3 months of 2021!! And all of us know there are more to come, not just in Malaysia but world-wide.

In Malaysia alone, the daily infected cases hover between 5-6 thousand. So far, more than 5 thousand have died. Pay-cut, loss of job, retrenchment, small, medium and even big companies have closed down. One MCO after another, so much so we have lost count of the number of names given to these lockdowns – half lockdown, semi-lockdown, full lockdown – one SOP after another, morning we get one, afternoon changes, by evening it’s another one – no one really knows what’s going on, can go out or cannot go out, 1 person, 2 persons or 3 persons in a car? Who is not tired, who is not weary, who is not heavily burdened – all of us are – not a single soul in this whole wide world is exempted – it is totally by the grace of God that none of us have gone mad by now.

But in the midst of all these uncertainties, all these unknowns, our Lord says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”. Yes, to “ME” – to Jesus. Not to the Priest, not to a Creed, not even to the Church but to Jesus. People can come to the Church without knowing Jesus. Bring all our unknowns, all our anxieties, all our problems, all our questions to Jesus and His promise is “and I will give you rest”. Hendriksen says “such rest is not only negatively absence from uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and despair; positively it is peace of mind and heart; assurance of salvation’’. It is the peace of God, which transcends all understanding that Paul mentions in Philippians 4:7.

Rest, not only for those who are badly affected by the pandemic one way or another, but rest also for those who are ministering and helping others to face the pandemic. We cannot do our best work with nerves taut or frayed from constant pressure. When Jesus’ disciples returned from a strenuous preaching mission, their Master recognized their need for rest and invited them to come with Him to a quiet place where they could be refreshed. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mark 6:31)

Yes, my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, apart from our Lord, we will not be able to find true rest and peace anywhere in this world. Remember what our Lord said in:

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you”.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

And Augustine sums it up nicely “Lord, Thou has made us for yourself and we can find no rest till we find our rest in you”.

Herschel Ford not only said that Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” is the sweetest verse in the Bible, he also said it is the greatest invitation of our Lord.

PRAYER: Truly Lord, all of us are so tired and weary and burdened with so many concerns and anxieties and unknowns in this pandemic world. Help us to find our rest in you Lord so that we can reach out to others that they too may find rest in you. In Jesus name we pray AMEN.

每日灵粮
星期一,2021年7月5日
标题: 圣经中最甜蜜的经文
讲员:宋国基牧师
翻译:陈劲年姐妹

【马太福音11:28】 “_ 凡劳苦担重的人可以到我这里来,我就使你们得安息。_ ”

赫歇尔·福特(Herschel Ford)在他的简单布道系列中称这节经文为“圣经中最甜蜜的经文”。随着新冠肺炎(Covid 19)大流行进入一年半多的时间,以及德尔塔变种(Delta Variant)导致更多人死亡,迫使世界各地更多的封锁,谁不疲倦,谁不感到负担?

世界上没有一个地方不受到某种形式的影响。全球最新的死亡人数为395万人,仅亚洲就有79万人,而且还会有更多。我在Whatsapp上看到的一个场景在我脑海里一直挥之不去。一名男子上到一家酒店的顶楼,跳了下来,说新冠肺炎已经夺走了他全家,妻子和孩子 – 活着还有什么意义。上周,一名男子在蕉赖 ( Cheras)无拉港( Belakong)的一座高架桥上吊自杀。《马来邮报》称,在2021年的前三个月里,仅马来西亚一国每天就记录了大约4起自杀事件!!我们所有人都知道,未来还会有更多,不仅在马来西亚,而且是在全世界。

仅在马来西亚,每天的感染病例就徘徊在5至6千之间。迄今,已有5000多人死亡。减薪、失业、裁员;中、小型,甚至大公司都纷纷倒闭了。一个又一个的行动管制令(MCO),如此之多,以至于我们已经数不清这些封锁的名称了 – 半封锁、全面封锁 – 一个接一个标准操作程序(SOP),早上我们得知一个,下午有变化,到了晚上又是另一个 – 没有人真正知道到底发生什么事,可以出门还是不能出门,一车一人,或两、三人可共车?谁不累,谁不疲乏,谁不负重担 – 我们每个人 – 在这个广阔的世界上,没有一个人可以幸免 – 这完全是上帝的恩典,我们至今还没有一人发狂。

但在所有这些不确定性之中,在所有这些未知数中,我们的主说:“ _ 凡劳苦担重的人可以到我这里来,我就使你们得安息。 ”。是的,到 “ 我 ” – 到耶稣那里。不是牧师,不是信条,甚至不是教会,而是到耶稣那里。人们可以在不认识耶稣的情况下来到教会。把我们所有的未知、所有的焦虑、所有的问题、所有的疑问都带到耶稣面前,祂的应许是 “ 我就使你们得安息 ”。亨德里克森(Hendriksen)说:“这种安息不仅是消极地远离了不确定、恐惧、焦虑和绝望;积极地,它是心灵的平静;是得救的保证_ 。” 这是保罗在腓立比书4:7中提到的,是上帝所赐出人意外的平安。

安息,不仅是赐给那些在某方面受到大流行严重影响的人,而且也赐给那些服务和帮助他人应对大流行的人。我们无法在因持续压力而绷紧或磨损的情况下做好我们的工作。当耶稣的门徒从繁重的传道任务回来时,他们的主意识到他们需要休息,便邀请他们和祂一起到一个安静的地方,让他们可以恢复精神。“你们来,同我暗暗地到旷野地方去歇一歇。”(马可福音6:31)

是的,我亲爱主内的兄弟姐妹,除了我们的主,我们将无法在这个世界的任何地方找到真正的安息与平安。记住我们的主所说的话:

约翰福音 14:27 “我留下平安给你们,我将我的平安赐给你们。”

约翰福音 16:33 “我将这些事告诉你们,是要叫你们在我里面有平安。在世上你们有苦难,但你们可以放心,我已经胜了世界。”

奥古斯丁总结得很好:“主啊,祢为自己创造了我们。我们无法安息,直至我们在祢里面寻得安息。

赫歇尔·福特不仅说马太福音11:28 “_ 凡劳苦担重的人可以到我这里来,我就使你们得安息。 _” 是圣经中最甜蜜的经文,他还说这是我们主最伟大的邀请。

祷告 :是的,主啊,在这个大流行的世界里,我们所有人都非常困倦、疲惫,并背负着如此多的担忧、焦虑和未知。主啊,求帮助我们在祢里面得享安息,好叫我们可以接触他人,让他们也可以在祢里面得到安息。我们奉耶稣的名祈祷,阿们。