Tuesday, 13 July 2021
Title: Hold Each Other Up!
By: Cecilia Tan 陈俊芳

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”

“Encouragement” says prolific author Doug Fields, “is a constant yes in a world that says no!” The central portion of the word “encourage” is the French “cœur” which means “heart”!

Apostle Paul experienced countless trials throughout his life. God sustained him by providing encouraging friends to walk alongside him. Among those who provided practical support, strength and encouragement to Paul when he was enduring hardship were Barnabas (Acts 9:26-27), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30), Timothy (Philippians 2:19-23) and Mark (2 Timothy 4:11).

Paul not only received encouragement from others but knew how to encourage others as well. As he travelled on his missionary journeys through the Mediterranean, he founded many Christian communities. He kept in touch with them by personally visiting them, writing letters, giving them advice, instruction and encouragement to stay strong in the faith. Even after he had been imprisoned in Philippi, he met with fellow believers to encourage them (Acts 16:40).

PBC currently has a ministry to encourage seniors to know and love God better, so that our golden years may indeed be our best years! This ministry is appropriately named “Karis” ministry. “Karis” is derived from the Greek word “charis” which means “grace”.

Under the able leadership of Sister Stella Hoo, this community of seniors encourage one another to allow God’s grace to increasingly work in our lives so that we can more and more be like our Lord Jesus. And as our lives are transformed to reflect Christ’s image, we are then able to touch other lives and draw them into God’s kingdom.

Why is there a need for encouragement? The Christian life is a pilgrimage. Sometimes the road is difficult, especially for some of us who may be plagued by fear, anxiety, worry, anger, sorrow, guilt, hopelessness and other negative emotions. Many others could be struggling with health, financial and relationship problems. In today’s pandemic world, many of us could be living lives of quiet desperation, struggling with loneliness and isolation. Understandably so, as our freedom of movement as well as our freedom to assemble together, have been severely restricted with the enforcement of the different forms of MCO (Movement Control Order) since 18 March 2020 and this enforcement is still ongoing!!

Our pilgrimage is not a bed of roses. It is critical that we are in a community of believers. When a crisis occurs, we can draw strength and comfort from our fellow believers. We can, in turn, be a source of support and encouragement to those around us in their time of need.

We can use Scriptures, powerful lyrics of hymns, words (spoken or written) to bless, affirm and build others up. Or we can perform acts of service such as sharing a meal, giving a ride, running an errand or teaching and sharing knowledge. We can pray and intercede for those with prayer needs. We can empathize with a smile 😊, a hug🤗, a thumbs up 👍 or a listening ear👂. (For now, best to observe physical distancing, and do these virtually!)

Many are anxious, apprehensive and depressed in these pandemic times. May we strive to bring comfort and encouragement to them. May it be our hearts’ desire to HOLD EACH OTHER UP and bring joy to each other’s pilgrimage!

Prayer:
Our Heavenly Father, thank You for the love and support of encouragers who walk alongside us in our life’s journey, who remind us that there is hope in You, glorious hope, no matter how painful the circumstances we are in. Help us, in turn, to be intentional, regular and creative in bringing encouragement to others who need it. We ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.

班底浸信教会
每日灵粮
星期二,2021年7月13日
标题:互相扶持!
作者:陈俊芳姐妹
翻译:陈晓佩姐妹

帖撒罗尼迦前书5:11 “所以,你们该彼此劝慰,互相建立,正如你们素常所行的。”

多产作家道格·菲尔兹(Doug Fields)说:“在一个说 “不”(no)的世界里,“鼓励” 是永恒的 “是”(yes)!”“鼓励” 这个字的中心部分是法文的“cœur”,是 “心” 的意思!

使徒保罗一生经历了无数的试炼,上帝赐予鼓励他的朋友与他并肩同行来保守他。在保罗忍受着艰苦的时候,给予他实际支持、力量和鼓励的有巴拿巴(使徒行传9:26-27)、以巴弗提(腓立比书2:25-30)、提摩太(腓立比书2:19-23)和马可(提摩太后书4:11)。

保罗不但只是从别人那里得到鼓励,而且也知道如何鼓励别人。当他在地中海进行宣教之旅时,他建立了许多基督徒社群。他与他们保持联系,亲自探访他们,写信、给予他们忠告,指导和鼓励他们保持坚定的信心。甚至在他被囚禁在腓立比以后,他也会见其他信徒,鼓励他们(使徒行传16:40)。

班底浸信会目前有一个事工,鼓励年长者去认识和更爱主,好让我们的黄金岁月成为我们最好的年华!这个事工恰当地命名为 “卡里斯”(Karis)事工。“Karis” 源于希腊语 “charis”,意思是 “恩典”。

在Stella Hoo姐妹的干练领导下,这个年长者团体彼此鼓励,让上帝的恩典更多地在我们的生活中起作用,让我们越来越像我们的主耶稣。当我们的生命被转化以体现基督的样式时,我们就可以接触其他生命,并将他们带到上帝的国度里。

为什么需要鼓励呢?基督徒的生命是一个天路历程。有些时候天路难行,特别是对于我们当中可能有些被恐惧、焦虑、担忧、愤怒、忧伤、自责、绝望和其他负面情绪困扰着的人;其他许多人可能正在为健康、财务和关系问题而挣扎。在当今环球疫情里,我们许多人可能生活在平静的绝望中,与孤单和孤立挣扎。
这是可以理解的,因为自2020年3月18日起,我们的行动自由和群聚自由已因执行不同形式的 “行动管制令”(MCO)而受到严格限制,而这项执法至今仍在持续中。

我们的天路历程并非一帆风顺的,至关重要的是,我们身处一个信徒的团体。当出现危机时,我们可以从我们的信徒同伴那里获得力量和安慰。反过来,在我们周围的人需要帮助的时候,我们也可以成为他们的支持和鼓励的源泉。

我们可以用经文、充满力量的赞美诗歌词、言语(口头或书面)去祝福、肯定和建立他人;或者我们也可以提供一些服务行动,比如分享一顿饭、送一程车、跑腿或教导和分享知识;我们可以祷告和为有祷告需要的人代求。我们可以通过一个微笑😊、一个拥抱🤗、竖起大拇指👍🏼或倾听👂🏼来表达同理心。(目前,最好保持距离,并以虚拟方式进行!)

许多人在这个疫情的时期里感到焦虑、忧惧和郁闷,让我们努力地把安慰和鼓励带给他们。愿这是我们心中的渴望,互相扶持,为彼此的天路历程带来欢乐。

祷告:
我们天上的父,我们为人生旅途中与我们并肩同行的鼓励者的爱与支持感谢祢。无论我们的处境有多痛苦,他们提醒我们在祢里面有盼望,荣耀的盼望。求帮助我们转而有意识地、定期地、有创意地鼓励有需要的人。我们奉耶稣的名祷告。阿们。