Saturday, 6 November 2021

Title: “Every Blessing in Christ” – Ephesians 1:3-7
By: Wong Yoke Ming

(Focusing on Ephesians 1:7b)

We all know about worldly riches and about how the world strives for materialism. Recent news reports spoke the massive wealth of people like Elon Musk (Tesla Motors) and Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon), the current top two richest men on the Earth. But what really lies behind their reported wealth? Much of it is “paper wealth” based on the market’s perception of what the shares of Tesla Motors and Amazon are worth. These values may go up or they may go down – their values are based on worldly perception of values. Bill Gates, of Microsoft fame, used to hold that top position but no longer. Earthly wealth is therefore not only riches that we cannot take with us beyond our earthly life, it is also neither fixed nor permanent.

The Apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians reminded his readers (which includes us) that God has blessed Christians in Christ even as He has chosen us before the foundation of the world, and in that, He has blessed Christians according to the riches of His Grace. That should tell us that God in His wisdom has granted us spiritual riches as He has determined. Scripture reminds us that in seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, whatever we need in our earthly lives has been granted to us. Our Lord Jesus assures us that He has come so that “they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10) – the riches of His glory. But the true riches and our treasures are in heaven, so having an abundant life on earth is only the beginning. Our ‘abundance’ continues into eternity. Our ‘heavenly treasures’ do not fluctuate in perceived value – at the very minimum, they will not diminish.

Let us quickly make a comparison – much of earthly wealth is perceived value which fluctuates. Earthly fortunes are built with much effort and toil – history was filled with fortunes lost; but heavenly treasure is not destroyed by ‘rust and moths.’ Heavenly treasure is not gained through personal strive and toil but by the glorious grace of God’s riches. Let us be reminded of the parable in Luke 16:19-31 – the rich man who died and was in anguish; does that not tell us earthly treasures do us no good after this life? In that suffering, the rich man had wanted someone to go tell his five brothers, who were then still on earth, but Abraham had said that if they did not hear Moses and the Prophets (from the Old Testament scripture), they also would not be convinced by someone who should rise from the dead (read: resurrection).

So, we should weigh the options of life on earth in riches that no one could spend even in several lifetimes against the promise of our Lord that He had come so that we might have life on earth in abundance and thereafter enjoy stored up treasures in heaven eternally, which rust and moths cannot destroy. Would anyone want to build up treasures on earth that cannot be taken into eternity; or would we prefer treasures that are earned on earth (not toiled for) and stored for eternity?

Lord Jesus, You have granted us the blessings of an abundant life on earth. And You have promised that in believing in You, we shall be in paradise with you eternally (Luke 23:43). Thank You for the promise of abundant life on earth and eternal life thereafter in Your Glorious Presence. Amen.

2021 年 11 月 6 日
標題:“祂在基督裏,曾賜給我們天上各樣屬靈的福氣”——以弗所書 1:3-7
翻譯 : 王靖端姐妹

(專注於以弗所書 1:7下)

我們都熟悉世俗的財富以及世界如何竭力追求物質主義。最近的新聞報導談到了埃隆·馬斯克(特斯拉汽車公司)和傑夫·貝索斯(亞馬遜的創始人)等人的巨額財富,他們是目前地球上最富有的兩位富豪。但所報導的的財富背後的真相是什麼?其實大部分是“紙上財富”, 乃是基於對特斯拉汽車和亞馬遜股票價值的市場認知。這些虛擬價格可能會上升,也可能會下降——他們的價值是依據世俗的價值觀。微軟成名的比爾蓋茨曾經是首富,但再也不是了。因此,塵世的財富不僅在我們離世後無法帶走,而且它既不是固定的,也不是永久的。

使徒保羅在給以弗所人的書信中提醒他的讀者(包括我們),”正如神祂自己從創立世界以前,在祂裏面揀選了我們,” “乃是照祂豐富的恩典。這恩典是祂在愛子裏所賜給我們的。” 這應該告訴我們,上帝以祂的智慧,已經按照祂的決定賜給了我們屬靈的財富。聖經提醒我們,在首先尋求神的國和衪的義之後,我們在塵世生活中所需要的一切都已賜給了我們。我們的主耶穌向我們保證,衪已經來了,“是要叫羊(或作人)得生命,並且得的更豐盛。”(約翰福音 10:10)——”照祂豐富的恩典。” 但真正的財富和我們的財寶都積儹在天上,所以在地上過著豐盛的生活只是一個開始。我們的“豐富”一直延續到永恆。我們的“天上財寶”在認知價值上不會波動——至少,它們不會減少。

讓我們快速的做一個比較——地球上的大部分財富都是波動的感知價值。塵世的財富是用大量的努力和辛勞建立起來的——而歷史上充滿了財富喪失;但天上的財寶不會被“銹壞和蟲蛀”所破壞侵蝕。天上的財寶不是靠個人的奮鬥和辛勞獲得的,而是靠上帝豐富的榮耀恩典。讓我們想起路加福音 16:19-31 中的比喻——財主在痛苦中死去;難道這不是告訴我們地上的財寶在往生後對我們沒有好處嗎?在那場苦難中,財主想要有人去 警告他當時還在地上的五個兄弟,但亞伯拉罕說,如果他們不聽摩西和先知的話(來自舊約聖經),他們也不會聽從死裡復活的人的勸說(閱讀:復活)。


禱告:主耶穌,祢已賜給我們在地上豐盛生命的祝福。並且祢已應許,相信祢,我們將永遠與祢同在樂園裡(路加福音 23:43)。感謝祢在祢榮耀的同在中賜下世上豐盛的生命和永生的應許。阿門。