Tuesday, 12th October 2021
Title: God’s grace is a lifetime
By. : Pastor Andrew Lim

Our current generation would often lament the savage bitterness of life and feel helpless about it. Such helplessness and bitterness could even strike down the toughest among us, especially in our current world where catastrophes, disasters, injustice, evil and persecution plague us. All these could lead us all to question our faith. Amid all these calamities, we must bear in mind that the grace and peace granted to us by God has never ever left us because our Lord God has already “personally” left His peace to all His beloved children – the cleansing of our sins with His sacrifice on the cross. The hope He has left for us will never be extinguished. His comfort will always be there. We are safe and secure in the hands of our God.

It will indeed a lifetime to dwell upon the grace of God. From the moment of our birth till our death, God’s grace is always there with us. He forgives all our sins, cures our afflictions, and frees us from the shackles of death. He crowns us with His mercy and lovingkindness and satisfies our years with good things. (Psalm 103:3,4) There are still so many more good things by the grace of God that have always remained with us until the end of our lives. Although our lives can be met with many difficulties and suffering, we will surely shout with joy in the daybreak after a night of tears. And, that dawn is near. Tears and pain are temporary for they are without a staying place and must leave at dawn.

All the grace of man is received from God; He is the one who blesses His people, and, by His providence, He takes care of us. “For His anger is only a blink of an eye; His grace lasts a lifetime.” The God, Yahweh, that David knew was not merely his Shepherd, but also his Father. God is like a normal father; He does not lecture nor does He land His rod on His children every day, but He will, like a normal father, use his lifetime to cherish His children, spending time nurturing them, and, occasionally, disciplining them.

David had on various occasions been very disobedient to God. At times, he offended God greatly. As a result, God did pour His wrath on David for those offences as a form of strict discipline. But from David’s point of view, God’s anger and discipline were just for a short moment but His grace is a lifetime. God’s wrath is brief, but His grace is eternal. His discipline on those He loved is just a temporary thing, but His love for them is everlasting.

Once a man gains some achievements in life, he very often would feel financially satisfied and secured. He would even feel a great but misconceived sense of safety and stability in his career and life. Because of that, he might even forget to continually rely upon the one true God who is the only one who could grant true peace in life…As this endemic persists, we are reminded that we cannot afford to be egoistic and arrogant. This endemic also wakes us up to the fact that no matter how great we think we are, or how great others perceive us to be, we are no match for a tiny winy virus that could bring the world to a halt. (The original text is in English ) It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.)

Our vanity leads us to forget about the grace of God; that we may have a conceited idea that all our “great” achievements came solely from our own efforts and success. This deceptive idea then leads us away from God; He is being gradually shut out and phased out from our lives. We would then focus purely on ourselves, forgetting that all we have comes from God by His grace. Satan used these weaknesses to tempt David into thinking very highly of himself, and, with that, tempting him to take census of his army. David then glorified himself for the might of his army, instead of glorifying God. Are we not the same as David?

When we face difficulties, suffering and unfortunate circumstances, it is easy for us to feel sorrowful, thinking that God has mistreated us. Even some might think that God is punishing us in anger, bringing us one misfortune upon another. It is true that He will mercifully guide, edify, teach and correct us. He will also occasionally discipline, rebuke, and even punish us in anger.

But His wrath is just in a blink of an eye because He loves us. His love for us restraints His anger. When we repent, He will cease His punishing rod and stretch out His hands to comfort and heal us. He will not unceasingly blame nor will He bear grudges against us. He never fully deals with us according to our evil deeds nor does He inflict us according to the gravity of our sins. Therefore, [Psalm 30:5 says, “For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy corners with the morning.”]

There are many who are afraid of getting the jab because it will be prickly painful, albeit a moment. Just like a jab from a doctor, the discomfort and suffering that God allows would be temporary because God will not let the suffering remain for long, instead He will imprint all the beneficial effects in you. If the suffering lingers, it is because God thinks highly of you, and He wants to use your life to be a blessing to others. Let this lingering suffering increase our dependency on God and keep us on guard to avoid sins. The pain and suffering that He allowed is transient but His grace a lifetime.

Our lives are ever-changing just like the forms of the clouds in our sky; it folds, expands, contorts and disintegrates. At end of a path is a beautiful scenery. When there is not a path ahead of you, why do you not sit down to rest and observe the wonders of the skies? Instead of feeling anxious or grumbling, why do you not watch out for the change? Even in desperate moments, why do you not try to look sideways or to the back? There might be an alternative path. Even if you are at a dead end, look up! Even in your excruciating moments of suffering, look up to God. The wonders of the skies could reveal the mesmerising beauty of His words and glory.

Oh God! Because You love us, You don’t hold Your anger forever, You won’t blame forever, You didn’t treat us according to our sins, and You didn’t repay us according to our sins. Your anger is only a blink of an eye, but Your grace and love lasts a lifetime. When we turn to Your repentance, You immediately stop Your punishing rod and stretch out Your stroking hand to comfort my soul, so even though I cry throughout the night, I will cheer in the morning. Oh God! I praise You with a grateful heart. Prayer of thanksgiving is in the holy name of our Lord Jesus. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期二, 2021年10月12日
标题:上帝的恩典是一生之久   
作者:林金儀傳道
 
在我们這年代的人,常常会觉得人生很苦,很無助,特别是近日特別多天災人禍、逼迫和不公義生命中的狂風暴雨和捆鎖劫難是何等的让人难以招架,叫人對所遭遇的失去信心,但是要紧記:神所賜下的平安和恩典其實不曾離開我们,因上帝已經「親自」為祂所愛的孩子把平安留下來。祂十架的犧牲洗清了我們的罪過,祂賜下的盼望不會灭,祂的安慰常在,在祂裡面我們穩如泰山。
 
當我們思想神恩典的時候,的確是一生之久,從我們一出母胎直到老死,時時處處都有神的恩典和同在,祂赦免我們的一切罪孽,醫治我們的一切疾病,救我們的命脫離死亡,以仁愛和慈悲為我們的冠冕,用美物使我們所願的得以知足(詩103:3,4)。還有許多數不盡的恩典,这从来都沒一刻離開过我們,直到人生在世最後的一刹。雖然人在世上就難免有苦難和问题,但一宿雖然有哭泣,早晨便必歡呼,而那個早晨不但即將到來。哭泣和痛苦的留宿只是短暂的,他沒有住處,不能停留很久,天亮他必須離去。
 
人的一切恩典都从神领受;神是赐福人的神,神是施恩的神,神是眷顾人的神。“因为祂的怒气不过是转眼之间;祂的恩典乃是一生之久。” 在大卫的认识当中,耶和华不仅是他的牧者,更是他的父亲。就好似正常的父亲不可能每一天都打骂孩子,但是父亲却会用尽他的一生来爱惜孩子,花时间在孩子身上,但偶尔也会管教孩子。
 
大卫也有非常不听话的时候,很严重得罪神的时候,神也有向他发怒的时候,给于他很严厉的管教。但是在大卫看来,神的怒气和管教是转眼之间,但是祂的恩典乃是一生之久。上帝的怒气是一时的,恩典却是永远的。神对人的管教是暂时的,对人的爱心却是亘古不变的。
 
人往往因为有了成就,就常常会自覺有了保障,安居了,乐业了,便會忘記倚靠那能真正賜人平安的神……正像这一场病毒提醒我们,我们不能妄自尊大。病毒还提醒我们,无论你觉得自己多伟大,也无论别人觉得你多么伟大,一个小小的病毒就能让整个世界停摆。(原文是英文It is reminding us to keep our egos in check.   It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are  or how great others think we are, a virus can bring our world to a standstill.)
 
我们就是這樣妄自以為偉大,善於遺忘上帝一切的恩典;只想到我们所以有今天是依靠自己的努力与成功,很容易就把神剔出了思想的邊界,踢出生命的宝座之外:只是单单注视到我们自己,而忘記一切是来自神的恩典。撒但就是这样乘機會引誘大卫,使他妄自以為自己就是偉大的領袖,下令要數點統計戰士的數目,然后歸榮耀給自我;我们岂非也一样。
 
當人一旦遭到困難,痛苦,不幸的時候,很容易傷心難過,覺得神没恩待我們,好似苦待我們,似乎向我們發怒。是的,祂会恩待引導我們、造就我們、教訓我們、改正我們,但亦有時会管教我們、責備我們、甚至懲治我們,向我們發怒。
 
不過祂的怒氣不過是轉眼之間,因為祂心系愛着我們,使祂的怒氣不能盡發。當我們轉向悔改时,祂就立刻停止祂的杖責,伸出撫摸的手,祂不会長久責備,也不永遠懷怒,祂沒有完全按我們的罪過待我們,也沒有照我們的罪孽報應我們。所以【詩30:5说「祂的怒氣,不過是轉眼之間,祂的恩典乃是一生之久,一宿雖然有哭泣,早晨便必歡呼。」】
 
许多人都害怕打針,因为打針会痛一下。就似挨了醫生一針的痛,來自神允许的不舒服或痛苦只有一會兒的功夫,因为上帝不会让痛苦停留很久,而好的作用卻要持續下去。如果痛苦是停留比较久,是神看得起你,上帝特别要使用您的生命成为别人的祝福。就讓这一陣刺痛成为我们对神更加依靠,這是在警告我們離開罪惡。上帝容许的痛苦只是一息間,但祂恩典卻延續一生。
 
人生处处有风景,你看天上的云卷云舒,不也是千变万化的风景吗?路的尽头便是风景,有时候前无去路,无路可走又何妨,干脆就坐下来静观风云变幻,与其焦虑抱怨,不如坐观其变;山穷水尽失落难免出现,此时不妨往旁边或回头看,也许有别的路通往别处;即使根本没路可走,往天空看吧!在极之痛苦时要抬头仰望上帝。坐看云起时真是诗中有画,画中有诗。
 
主啊!因為您心愛我們,您不永遠懷怒,您也不会長久責備,您沒有按我們的罪過待我們,也沒有照我們的罪孽報應我們。您的怒氣不過是轉眼之間,但您的恩典和慈爱却是一生之久。当我們轉向您悔悟时,您就立刻停止您的杖責,伸出撫摸的手,安慰我的心灵,所以我一宿雖然有哭泣,早晨便必歡呼。主啊!我以感恩的心赞美您。感恩祷告是奉主耶稣的圣名。阿们