Wednesday, 8 July 2020
Title: Get Real!
Author: Pastor Wallace Ong

Psalm 38:9 – O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.

Should we sneer at Christians who have backslidden hence become carnal, lukewarm and barren? Are all children of God perfect saints and can do no wrong? Are there no sinners among all the saints? In contrast, the Bible shows us many genuine, authentic, and stories of real struggles of HIS saints. One of the biblical examples recorded for us serves to illustrate this point. He was not just an ordinary person, but the mighty king of Israel anointed by God – King David. He fought bears and lions with his bare hands, and fought the mighty Goliath – whom none of the people in Israel would dare to stand up against his extraordinary power. He also killed tens of thousands of his enemies by trusting that God would always be on his side. (1 Samuel 18:7) This great king David wrote most of the Psalms in the Bible. He was the one who set up a 24/7 worship altar to worship God and was credited with the title “the man after God’s own heart”. However, when we read Psalm 38, we find that he was groaning in pain, suffering in sins to the point of failing in his strength and the light of his eyes growing dim.

Paul was another great man of faith chosen by Jesus to be His Apostle. He wrote more than half of the books in the New Testament. He was a great missionary, a teacher of the Word, and an evangelist for Christ. Yet he had admitted that he was the worst sinner of all, and he didn’t have it all together. “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” (Phil 3:12) “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing… Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:18-19,24-25) “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Cor 12:9).

When psalmist David told God that “O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.” He exhibited the similar attitude of the Tax collector: “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’” (Luke 18:13). It is also like Paul’s acknowledgment, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). David longed to do the righteous things according to God’s commandment, but he failed and fell into temptation. His sighing came from a repented heart filled with regret and agony.

God sees our struggles and intimately knows our hearts, just like how He intimately knows all that in David’s heart and understands David’s afflictions. Therefore, we should not stay at a distance from God with a fake holy mask on as though He would prefer the pristine over the authentic. We will fall prey to the lie of ourselves if we think that, “Well! Just swallow it all in. Let’s fake it until I make it, and not to let anyone see my weakness.” However, God has revealed to us in His words that He knows all our shortcomings. He understands our struggles. He longs to be gracious to us as we seek Him. If we keep holding on to the fake holy mask, most likely we would miss out on the needs for God (Hosea 6:6) with the genuine prayer to God like the tax collector in Luke 18:13. Lest we forget that we are sinners who are helpless, needy and desperate for His grace like David in Psalm 38.  

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank you for Your words and the Holy Spirit who confirms to us that by grace through faith in Jesus Christ our sins have been forgiven. And we humbly come before Your throne to receive this grace and mercy. You are our Father who knows us by our names and knows everything in our hearts. You do not despise us for our weaknesses, our struggles with sins, or even when we fall. Please forgive us when we succumb to the trap of Satan – being prideful with self-righteousness, doing things with our own strength, and worse of all, measuring ourselves better than others. Help us to surrender ourselves daily to You in order to live a life that is pleasing to You. Help us not to be self-centered but to edify, encourage, and lift up one another for your glory. Thank you, Father. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

每日灵粮
星期三, 2020年7月8日
标题:变得真实!
作者:王振威传道
翻译:杨惠光弟兄

诗篇38:9 主啊,我的心愿都在你面前,我的叹息不向你隐瞒。

我们是否应该嘲笑那些已经退缩从而变得属肉体,不冷不热和不结果子的基督徒?上帝的所有儿女是否都是完美的圣徒,并且不犯错?众圣徒中没有罪人吗?相比之下,圣经向我们展示了许多他儿女们真正的、真实的挣扎故事。其中一个圣经例子就说明了这一点。他不仅不是一个普通人,而且还是被上帝膏抹的、强大的以色列国王大卫王。他赤手空战熊和狮子,与强大的歌利亚战斗—以色列的任何人都不敢对抗他的非凡力量。他相信上帝会一直站在他那边,从而杀死了成千上万的敌人(参撒母耳记18:7)。这位伟大的国王大卫在圣经中写下了大部分的诗篇。他是建立祭坛,每日每夜敬拜的人,并被冠“合神心意的人”的称号。然而,当我们读诗篇38时,我们发现他痛苦呻吟,在罪恶中受苦,以至于他的力气衰竭,眼睛暗淡无光。

保罗是被耶稣拣选成为他使徒的另一个信心伟人。他写了新约一半以上的书。他是一位伟大的传教士、圣经的老师、基督的布道者。但他却自称为罪人中的罪魁,而且他感觉似乎被击垮,采取不了积极的行动:

腓立比书3:12 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。
罗马书7:18-19 我也知道,在我里头,就是我肉体之中,没有良善。因为立志为善由得我,只是行出来由不得我。故此,我所愿意的善,我反不做;我所不愿意的恶,我倒去做。
罗马书7:24-25我真是苦啊!谁能救我脱离这取死的身体呢? 感谢神!靠着我们的主耶稣基督就能脱离了。这样看来,我以内心顺服神的律,我肉体却顺服罪的律了
林后12:9 但是他对我说,’我的恩典夠你用的,因為我的能力是在人的軟弱上顯得完全。

诗篇的大卫告诉上帝说:“主啊,我的心愿都在你面前,我的叹息不向你隐瞒。” 他表现出了与税吏一样类似的态度:“那税吏远远地站着,连举目望天也不敢,只捶着胸说:‘神啊,开恩可怜我这个罪人!‘”(路加福音18:13)。就像保罗所承认的,“我真是苦啊!谁能救我脱离这取死的身体呢?” (罗马书7:24)。大卫渴望按照上帝的诫命去做义事,但他失败了,陷入了诱惑。他的叹息来自忏悔的心,充满了遗憾和痛苦。

上帝看到我们的挣扎,并亲切地了解我们的内心,就像他如何亲密地了解大卫心中的一切并理解他的苦难一样。因此,我们不应该带着虚假的圣洁面具与上帝保持距离,仿佛他比较喜爱状态良好的人过于真实的自己。如果我们认为,“好吧!就忍吞吧。不如先假装自己可以,直到一切成真。不要让任何人看到我的弱点。” 但是,上帝用他的话向我们表明了他知道我们所有的缺点。他了解我们的挣扎。当我们寻求他时,他渴望恩待我们。如果我们继续使用假的圣洁面具,很可能会错过像路加福音18:13中的税吏那样向上帝恳切地祈祷,错过上帝所关注的事物(参何西阿书6:6)。免得我们忘记自己是罪人,如诗篇38中的大卫一样无助,需要和渴望他的恩典。

诗篇51:17 神所要的祭就是忧伤的灵,神啊,忧伤痛悔的心,你必不轻看。

祷告:

亲爱的天父,我们感谢你的话语和圣灵向我们确认,通过对耶稣基督的信仰而得到恩典,我们的罪孽得宽赦免。我们谦卑地来到你的宝座前,领受你的恩典和怜悯。你是我们的天父,你知道我们的名字,并且知道我们内心的一切。你不会因为我们的弱点,或我们与罪恶的斗争甚至在我们跌倒时而看轻我们。当我们屈服于撒但的陷阱时,请原谅我们—以自以为荣而骄傲,以自己的力量做事,更糟糕的是,自以为比别人优秀。帮助我们每天降服在你里面,过讨你喜悦的生活。帮助我们不要自我为中心,不断透过教诲、彼此鼓励来荣耀袮名。谢谢父神。我奉耶稣的名祈祷,阿们。

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