Monday 2nd August 2021
DECLARE YOUR DEPENDENCE
Pastor Soong Kok Kee
John 5: 30 “By myself I can do nothing”
Early in his career as a youth leader, Paul Cedar was being interviewed for a job by some pastors. The discussion was going well until one pastor raised his hand and said, “Paul, I’ve just one problem here.” He looked at the now-worried candidate and told him, “I believe you have enough talent to pull this off by yourself – and that frightens me.”
Cedar, who did get the job, considers that pastor’s comment the best counsel he received. It made him realize that to be successful in serving God, he needed to rely totally on God.
Whenever we begin to think that we can do it all by ourselves, whether living our lives or even serving him in ministry, we need to remember the example of our Lord. He never once acted on His own but looked constantly to the Father. Speaking of His role as judge, Jesus said, “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”
Of course our Lord wants all of us to use all the spiritual gifts and talents He has bestowed upon us to serve Him. But if we want to be effective, we must lean totally on His Spirit for our strength, wisdom, and power. Remember His words in John 15:5 “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”
My life is a living testimony to that. Having to leave school at 16 in 1960 with only a Form 3 education, I started work as an Office Boy for RM75 a month. Renting 2 rooms with no electricity for RM12 at 4 ½ Mile Old Klang Road and cycled all the way to PJ for work. To make ends meet, my younger sister and I took in clothes to wash. I cycled to KL Baptist Church for Prayer Meeting on Wednesday nights, Training Union on Saturdays, and Sunday School & Worship on Sundays, all this while depending on God to provide, lead and guide with Prov 3: 5-6 close to our hearts “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Never once did we dare declare our independence.
As we all look at who we are and what we have today, we can only praise and thank God for His bountiful blessings upon our lives. Let us never be proud and forget, as we look at all the things we have today, that it is the Lord who gave us the ability to produce wealth (Deut 8: 17-18) which was not by our own power or strength. Let us always remind ourselves that indeed by ourselves, we can do nothing.
We praise God that many of us, who once lived in the “desert and wilderness” but now in the “promised land, flowing with milk and honey”, are now giving a little back to the many who are in dire need because of the pandemic. But even in our giving and in reaching out, let us continue to depend on the Lord for his guidance and protection, for indeed by ourselves, we can do nothing. To reach and help as many as we can, we once again need to depend on Him and Him alone.
Dear Lord, we want to thank you for your bountiful blessings upon so many of our lives. We want to thank you for your moving among your people to give in this time of need. It is you and your doing ALONE that makes it possible. Protect your people Lord from this dangerous virus as we reach out to help them in your name and in your love. In the precious name of our Lord Jesus we pray AMEN.
约翰福音第 5:30 _ “我靠着自己不能作什么” _
在担任青年领袖生涯的早期，保罗·西德(Paul Cedar)曾接受一些牧师的面试。讨论进行得很顺利，直到一位牧师举手说：“保罗，我只有一个问题。” 他看着这位现在忧心忡忡的应聘者，对他说：“我相信你有足够的才华独自完成这件事 – 这让我感到害怕。”
我的生活就是活生生的见证。1960年，我16岁时只接受了中三教育就离开学校，以月薪75令吉开始了办公室快递员的工作；在4.5英里旧巴生路以12令吉租了两间没有电的房间，然后骑自行车一直到八打灵上班。为了使收支相抵，我和妹妹收衣服回来洗。我在周三晚上骑车去吉隆坡浸信会参加祷告会，周六去助道会，周日去主日学和崇拜。在这段时间里，我们一直仰赖上帝的供应、带领和引导；内心谨记箴言3:5-6 “你要一心仰赖耶和华，不可倚靠自己的聪明；在你一切所行的路上，都要承认他，他必使你的路径平坦正直。” 我们从来没有一次敢说我们是单靠自己，不倚靠祂的。
我们赞美上帝，我们许多人曾经生活在 “沙漠和旷野”，但此刻在 “流奶与蜜的应许之地”，现今正向许多因这场大流行而急需帮助的人作出回馈，。但即使在我们给予和伸出援手的时候，让我们继续倚靠主的引导和保护，因为单凭我们自己，我们确实无能为力。为了尽可能地接触和帮助更多的人，我们再次需要倚靠祂，并且单单倚靠祂。