Sunday, 1 August 2021
Title: Rich But Foolish
By Elder Bryan Lee  李惠隆

Luke 12:20-21
But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

If there is one precious lesson I can take away from this covid pandemic it is this: Health is wealth. When the health system of any country is overwhelmed, when there is no hospital bed to accommodate a seriously ill covid patient, money is no use. I never imagined I would live to see this happening in my life time. Yet despite the fact that money cannot solve our problems, countless people think and live and make choices as if it can. This money centred worldview is an illusion. And to cling on to this belief is fatal. In correcting this fatal perspective, Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions” (Luke 12:15)

And Jesus went on to tell the story of the rich fool.

“The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” (Luke 12:16-19)

Like any hardworking person, the barn builder was very much blessed in his business. There was no indication of dishonesty, injustice or corruption in the way he did his business. He was a forward looking businessman and made very good plans as his business grew leaps and bounds. He was looking forward to living the good life. Is anything wrong with that? In a money centred worldview, that seems perfectly fine. Then comes the big surprise: But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” (Luke 12:20)

This parable serves as a warning to all of us. Jesus applies the rich fool’s experience to that of others: “So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21). To lay up treasures for ourselves and not be rich toward God means clinging to our riches instead of honoring God by helping those who are physically and spiritually needy.

And so two weeks ago we launched the covid initiatives to help those who are physically and financially affected by this pandemic. We praise and thank God that many of you gave generously and some even gave beyond your means. We thank and praise God for blessing us with abundant resources. He has blessed us so that we can bless others. Freely we receive, freely we give.

One thing is sure, we cannot outgive God. The greatest Giver proves His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. We love because He first loved us. We give because He first gave to us.

August is also mission month of our church. Let us then use the resources that God has blessed us to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the people for such a time as this.

Prayer:
Mighty God, We have never seen such unprecedented devastation in so many spheres of life. And yet in the midst of such a time as this You have entrusted so much resources to our church. We have surplus when others outside our church are going through tremendous suffering and hardships. We cannot sit idly in clear conscience when we have the means to provide physical and spiritual relief to the many out there who are suffering. Help us O God to trust and obey! In Jesus” Name. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期日 2021年8月1日
标题:富足而愚蠢
作者:李惠隆长老
翻譯:林良億姐妹

路加福音 12:20-21
20 神却对他说:‘无知的人哪,今夜必要你的灵魂,你所预备的要归谁呢?’
21 凡为自己积财,在神面前却不富足的,也是这样。”

如果我可以从这次疫情中学到一个宝贵的教训,那就是健康就是财富。当任何国家的卫生系统不堪重负时,当没有病床要容纳一个重病的新冠病人,钱是没有用的。我从未想过我会活着看到这件事发生在我有生之年。

然而,尽管金钱不能解决我们的问题,但无数人过着并选择金钱是万能的生活。这种以金钱为中心的世界观是一种幻觉。坚持这种信念是致命的。在纠正这种致命的观点时,主耶稣说:“你们要谨慎自守,免去一切的贪心,因为人的生命不在乎家道丰富。”(路加福音 12:15)

耶稣接着讲述了富人的故事。

路加福音 12:16-19 就用比喻对他们说:“有一个财主田产丰盛,自己心里思想说:‘我的出产没有地方收藏,怎么办呢?’ 又说:‘我要这么办:要把我的仓房拆了,另盖更大的,在那里好收藏我一切的粮食和财物,然后要对我的灵魂说:“灵魂哪,你有许多财物积存,可做多年的费用,只管安安逸逸地吃喝快乐吧!”

像任何勤劳的人一样,建造谷仓的财主在他的事业中是非常幸运的。他做生意的方式没有不诚实、不公正或腐败的迹象。他是一个有远见的商人,而且随着他的业务突飞猛进,他也作了非常好的计划。他很期待过着美好的生活。有什么问题吗?

在以金钱为中心的世界观中,这似乎完全没问题。
然后是一个大惊喜:上帝却对他说,”无知的人哪,今夜必要你的灵魂,你所预备的要归谁呢?“(路加福音 12:20)

这个比喻是对我们所有人的警告。耶稣应用无知财主的经验与其他人的经验相比:“凡为自己积财,在神面前却不富足的,也是这样”(路加福音 12:21)。为自己积蓄财宝,不为上帝积蓄财宝,就是执着去帮助我们自己积蓄财富,而不是通过帮助身体和灵命上有需要的人来荣耀上帝。

所以两周前我们发起了关于新冠病毒的一些倡议来帮助那些因为疫情而受到身体和经济影响的人。我们赞美并感谢上帝,你们当中的许多人慷慨解囊,有些人甚至超出了自己的能力范围。我们感谢并赞美上帝赐予我们丰富的资源。祂祝福了我们,好让我们能够祝福他人。我们自由地接受,自由地给予。

有一件事是肯定的,我们不能比上帝付出地更多。上帝是最伟大的施予者,从祂对我们的爱就证明了,因为当我们还是罪人时,基督就为我们而死。我们爱是因为祂先爱我们。我们给予是因为祂先给了我们。

八月也是我们教会的宣教月。那么让我们使用上帝所赐予的资源来满足人们在这样一个时期的身体和精神需求。

祷告:至高万能的上帝,我们从未在如此多的生活领域看到过如此史无前例的破坏。然而在这样的时刻,祢将如此多的资源托付给我们的教会。当教会以外的其他人正在经历巨大的苦难和艰辛时,我们有多余的资源。当我们有办法为许多遭受痛苦的人提供身体和精神上的救济,我们不能无所事事。上帝啊,帮助我们信靠和顺服!奉主耶稣基督的名求的,阿们。