Tuesday 28 December 2021
Looking forward, looking upward
By Dr Hew Fen Lee

Philippians 3:12-14

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Winter solstice, the shortest day in the northern hemisphere was a week ago on 21st Dec. From that day onwards, daylight is going to be longer and darkness of the night is going to be shorter. We don’t feel much of it being near the Equator but the nearer the regions are to the north pole the greater the daylight difference is. The lengthening daylight in regions shrouded with darkness during the winter months gives many a sense of optimism and of better things to come.

The last 2 years has been likened to a long winter for many and emerging from this long winter leaves many with hurts and regrets. There could be some who have thankfully went through the last 2 years relatively unscathed.

Paul here reminds us that we have not yet reached our goal or destination. Notice that Paul is not talking about running a race that will give us salvation. Salvation has already been won at Calvary. Paul was talking about a crown and prize that is meant for Christians only. If we have not accepted Christ we can’t even take part in this race!

But we should not dwell on our past. Paul ignores his past successes and failures as he presses forward expectantly to reach the goal. Do not let our past successes make us complacent nor should we let our past failures paralyse us. Paul wants us to deal with it and move on and let us not be bogged down by issues that affect our race.

Over the Christmas season many in this world may have looked to Santa Claus who is purportedly living in the North Pole where it is still darkness all day and the nearest dawn is still 3 months away. Paul is urging us to focus upon Christ Jesus who is in heaven and who has gained victory over the greatest darkness that ever exist – death.

Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of our Lord, it is also a time to ignite this light of hope in our lives. A light that will guide us through all the darkest nights in our lives, until Jesus comes again when there is going to be light eternal.

Prayer:
Thank you Jesus for coming into this world and be our light. Though we may stumble and fall in the darkness of this world, you will illuminate our path. Thank you for guiding us like a shepherd and teaching us to focus upon You and the road ahead rather than being distracted by our past. Amen.

班底浸信教会
每日灵粮
星期三, 2021年12月28日
标题:向前展望,向上仰望
作者:丘宏礼医生
翻译:陈健萍姐妹

【腓立比书3:12-14】
12 这不是说,我已经得着了,已经完全了。我乃是竭力追求,或者可以得着基督耶稣所以得着我的。 13 弟兄们,我不是以为自己已经得着了。我只有一件事,就是忘记背后努力面前的, 14 向着标竿直跑,要得神在基督耶稣里从上面召我来得的奖赏。

冬至,北半球白昼最短的一天是在一周前的12月21日。从那一天开始,白昼会更长,黑夜会更短。在赤道附近,我们不大感觉得到,但是离北极越近的地区,日照差异就会越大。在冬季被黑暗笼罩的地区,白昼的延长给人一种乐观的感觉,也让人觉得美好的事情即将到来。

过去的两年对许多人来说好比一个漫长的冬天,从这漫长的冬天中走出来,给许多人留下了伤痛和遗憾;值得庆幸的是,有一些人安然无恙地度过了过去的两年。

保罗在这里提醒我们,我们还没有达到我们的目标或目的地。请注意,保罗并不是在说要跑一场会给我们带来救恩的赛跑,救恩已然在加略山赢得了。保罗说的是专为基督徒而设的冠冕与奖赏。如果我们没有接受基督,我们甚至不能参加这场赛跑!

但是我们不应该沉湎于我们的过去。保罗无视他过去的成功和失败,满怀期待地朝着目标前进。不要让过去的成功使我们自满,也不要让过去的失败使我们瘫痪。保罗希望我们将此事处理好,继续前进,让我们不要被影响我们种族的问题所困扰。

在圣诞节期间,世上许多人可能都指望据称生活在北极的圣诞老人,那里终日漆黑一片,离最近的黎明还有3个月的时间。保罗敦促我们要专注于在天上的基督耶稣,祂已战胜了有史以来最大的黑暗 – 死亡。

圣诞节是庆祝我们的主诞生的日子,也是点燃我们生命中希望之光的日子。这光将指引我们度过生命中所有最黑暗的夜晚,直到耶稣再来,那时将会有永恒的光。

祈祷:
感谢耶稣降临这个世界,成为我们的光。虽然我们可能会在这个世界的黑暗中跌倒,但祢会照亮我们的道路。感谢祢像牧羊人一样指引我们,并教导我们要专注于祢和前方的道路,而不是让我们的过去令我们分心。阿们。