Sunday, 3 October 2021
Title: The Good Life
By Elder Bryan Lee.  李惠隆.

Matt 6:19-21,24
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

At the recent Wimbledon 2021, the packed crowd gave a standing ovation not to the players but to Sarah Gilbert. Many may not know of scientist Sarah Gilbert, who sacrificed making millions to help save millions of lives around the world with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Oxford University’s Dr Gilbert created the covid vaccine with her team but refused to patent it or profit from it.
“As the individual who invented the vaccine which is so much needed now, I could have raked in a huge profit. I rejected to patent the vaccine apart from earning some royalty for the hard work,” she said. She did not want to file a full patent as she wanted to share the intellectual benefits with whoever can produce their own vaccine in particular poorer countries.(Star paper 21/7/21)

Dame Sarah Gilbert could have become a very very wealthy person.

Is there anything wrong with having wealth? No, but the Bible also warns us about the dangers of chasing after wealth and that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil (1 Tim 6:9,10).
Jesus says we should be storing up treasures in heaven.

So where have we been investing our treasures?
Jesus says where your treasure is there will be your heart also.

When we live sacrificially for Jesus’ sake or serve Him by serving the body of Christ,
we store up treasures in heaven.
Christians who do not treat money as an idol are a blessing to many. They start charities, contribute to help orphans and widows, and keep their local churches financially stable. Without generous financial support from the body of Christ, many missionaries could not serve on the field and the wheels of evangelism will grind to
a halt.

However, we must be wise not to use our limited life on earth to chase unlimited money and have no time for God. This is akin to using our health to chase for wealth. Many people after achieving wealth at the expense of health, found out much too late that time has run out. What we thought would be a good life turned out to be an illusion.

One person was Dr Richard Teo of Singapore. He died at the young age of 40 after losing his battle to lung cancer in October 2012. He was a very successful plastic surgeon and he had everything by the time he was in his 30s: wealth measured in millions of dollars, a thriving aesthetics practice, sports cars, houses and land.

Treasures on earth can inflate our ego to the point of shameless arrogance. And so he challenged his church going friends who were trying hard to get him back to church.
“If God really wanted me to come back to church, He will give me a sign.”
Three weeks later out of the blues, Dr Teo who was a gym freak found out he had terminal cancer. Realising the folly of chasing after wealth he dedicated the few remaining months of his life on earth to become God’s messenger to encourage and exhort people he met to seek first his kingdom and his righteousness (Matt 6:33), for what matters finally is where you lay you treasure (Matt 6:20).

The apostle Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy and said “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.”(1 Tim 6:17-19)

And so the good life is a life of generous sharing and sacrificial giving for the sake of the kingdom of God.

Prayer

Lord, teach us the secret of living this good life. Teach us to generously give our time, treasure and talent for the sake of the kingdom and in doing so lay up treasures in heaven. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期日, 2021 年 10 月 3 日
主题:美好的生活
作者:李惠隆长老
翻译:林良億姐妹

马太福音 6:19-21,24
19 “不要为自己积攒财宝在地上,地上有虫子咬,能锈坏,也有贼挖窟窿来偷。 20 只要积攒财宝在天上,天上没有虫子咬,不能锈坏,也没有贼挖窟窿来偷。 21 因为你的财宝在哪里,你的心也在哪里。

24一个人不能侍奉两个主,不是恶这个爱那个,就是重这个轻那个。你们不能又侍奉神,又侍奉玛门

在最近的 2021 年温布尔登 (Wimbledon) 网球公开赛上,全场起立鼓掌的,不是球员而是莎拉·吉尔伯特。许多人可能不知道科学家莎拉·吉尔伯特 (Sarah Gilbert),她牺牲了数百万的收入,使用阿斯利康 (AstraZeneca) 疫苗来帮助挽救全球数百万人的生命。

牛津大学的吉尔伯特博士(Dr Gilbert)与她的团队一起研制了这种新型冠状病毒疫苗,但拒绝为其申请专利或从中获利。

她说, “作为现在急需的疫苗发明者,我本可以赚取巨额利润。我拒绝为疫苗申请专利,除了通过辛勤工作赚取一些版税”。她不想申请一项完整的专利,因为她想与那些可以在特别贫穷的国家自己生产疫苗的人分享智力利益。(Star 报纸 – 21/7/21)

莎拉·吉尔伯特夫人本可以成为一个非常富有的人。

拥有财富有什么不对吗?没有不对,但圣经也警告我们追逐财富的危险,贪财是万恶之源(提前书 6:9,10)。
耶稣说我们应该积攒在天上的财宝。

那么我们在哪里投资我们的财富呢?
耶稣说你的财宝在哪里,你的心也在哪里。

当我们为耶稣基督牺牲或通过服侍基督的身体来服侍祂时,我们就在天上积攒财宝了。

不将金钱视为偶像的基督徒对许多人来说是一种祝福。他们创办慈善机构,帮助孤儿寡妇,并保持当地教会的财务稳定。没有基督身体慷慨的财政支持,许多传教士无法在宣教场上服务,传福音的车轮将被磨平停顿。

然而,我们必须明智,不要用我们有限的生命去追逐金钱而没有时间给上帝。这类似于用我们的健康来追逐财富。许多人以牺牲健康为代价, 获得财富后,发现时间已经不多了,为时已晚。我们以为会是美好的生活,结果却是幻觉。

其中一人是新加坡的 Richard Teo 博士。 2012 年 10 月,他在与肺癌的斗争中失败后,享年 40 岁。他是一位非常成功的整形外科医生,在 30 多岁时就拥有了一切:数百万美元的财富,蓬勃发展的整形外科事业、 跑车、 房屋和土地。

地球上的宝藏可以使我们的自我膨胀到无耻的傲慢。因此,他向那些正在努力让他回到教会的朋友发起挑战。“如果上帝真的想让我回到教堂,他会给我一个信号。”

三个星期后,出乎意料的是,热爱健身的 Teo 博士发现自己患有晚期癌症。意识到追逐财富是愚蠢的,他将他在世的剩余几个月奉献给了上帝的使者,以鼓励和劝告他遇到的人首先寻求祂的国度和祂的义(马太福音 6:33),因为最后最重要的是你把你的宝藏放在哪里(马太福音 6:20)。

使徒保罗写信给他的门徒,提摩太说:”17 你要嘱咐那些今世富足的人,不要自高,也不要倚靠无定的钱财,只要倚靠那厚赐百物给我们享受的神。 18 又要嘱咐他们行善,在好事上富足,甘心施舍,乐意供给[a]人, 19 为自己积成美好的根基,预备将来,叫他们持定那真正的生命。”(提 摩 太 前 書 6:17-19)

因此,美好的生活是为了上帝的国度而慷慨分享和牺牲奉献的生活。

祷告: 主啊,请教我们过好生活的秘诀。教导我们为天上的国度慷慨地奉献我们的时间、财宝和才能,并以此积攒在天上的财宝。奉主耶稣宝贵的名祈求祷告。阿门