Monday, February 29, 2016

DAY 20 - New Lord: A Call to Give, Pray And Fast (Please click here for English podcast)


Silence

1.   Put on your “brakes” and stop for a moment of silence
2.   Wait for God. Breathe deep for God's peace. Exhale your worries.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1.   Think through your day, all the times that made you smile
2.   Thank God for all those moments, and for all those people
3.   Open your heart to praise the Lord

        The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.
        Psalm 18:2-3
                                                                       
Confession and repentance

1.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in you:

     “Dear Holy Spirit, shine your light into the places of darkness in my life. Show me my sins, everything that blocks me from encountering God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

2.  Through the Holy Spirit, examine yourself for a short silence and then pray:

     "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and being victorious over death and sin. I confess my sin to you(pause, to tell Jesus what the Holy Spirit has shown you). Forgive my sins by your blood and help me follow you. Holy Spirit, fill me that I may be able to receive your gift to love God and His people. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."


The Word

 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
24 “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.
                                                        Matthew 6:19-24
                                            

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"

My Listening
      Today's passage draws a conclusion to the purpose of the three standard obligations: giving, praying and fasting.  

     Bishop N.T. Wright says :
     The important point, here and all through, is the question: is your eye fixed on God, or on someone (or something) else?  What is your priority?
     How can one do this? Well, the whole chapter so far gives us the clue.  Learn to live in the presence of the loving father.  Learn to do everything for him and him alone.  Get your priorities right.

             N.T. Wright. Matthew for Everyone, Part 1. Louisville,KY:Westminster         John Knox Press, 2004, p.62, 63.     

     The purpose of giving, praying and fasting is for us to live in the presence of the loving father so that we can do everything for him and him alone. What are three situations that prevent us from giving, praying and fasting?
1. Store up treasures on earth
2. Keep our eyes on earthly things but not God
3. Money bosses you around rather than Jesus being your Lord

   Have you failed to follow Jesus as your Lord so that giving, praying and fasting are not your priorities at all? 

     What I received from Jesus today is a very simple message:

1. If Jesus is not your Lord, then you'll spend all your time to store up treasures on earth and let money boss you around.

2. If Jesus is your Lord, then you will give more, pray more and fast more. 


    Saying that Jesus is your Lord is so simple. But you have to choose to be on his side if you are willing to let Jesus be your Lord. Which side are you on actually? Jesus, or money?

    Jesus says, "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is near."  Matthew 4:17

    Dear Lord Jesus,
    Lead us to be willing to let you to lord our lives so that we can give more, pray more and fast more. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.  

Reflect on these questions:
1. What are the situations blocking us from giving, praying and fasting more?

2. Who/what are the "lords" of your life that control your day-to-day actions?


3. In all honesty, do you think money or Jesus governs you more in the decisions that you make in your day-to-day living?

Family Corner:
1. How does your family treat money? Is it something you stress over, or is it a commodity that you simply spend? What kind of priority does it have in your family?

2. Think of one time where your family chose to be give generously (to anybody). How did that feel and what did you experience? If you have never given generously, why not?


Praise and Thanksgiving
Let's give thanks for God with us. Let us praise Him:

10,000 Reasons


Please click this link to the app. Andy Ng wrote. You really need to use that if you have an Android cel. Andy said he is going to do the App. for iPhone later:

You may choose to follow my other daily blog:


The best way to keep you being with Jesus for these 40 days is to find two more friends coming together weekly using this blog/podcast and encouraging each others to use it daily. This is what I call "Discipler123" - One discipler having two friends being with Jesus daily for 40 days first then hopefully can continue for a period of three months.

第二十天 - 新的主人:付出,祈禱及禁食的呼召 (請按此處收聼廣東話 )



安靜
1.  停下來. 靜一靜
2.  等候主. 深呼吸經歷主之平安. 呼出你的憂慮

讚美及感恩
1.  思想你上星期使你開心歡笑的時刻
2.  為那些時刻及有關的人感恩
3.  敞開心懷讚美主

     耶 和 華 , 我 的 力 量 啊 , 我 愛 你 !
                                                                     詩篇 18: 1                                                      

認罪悔改  
1.  求聖靈在你生命中工作
      "親愛的聖靈, 求你光照我心靈的深處, 使我看見我的罪, 我和主耶穌的阻隔,
        求主幫助, 奉主耶穌基督名求。阿們。"

2. 透過聖靈的工作, 安靜一刻, 省察自己, 之後祈禱:
     「親愛的主耶穌,感謝你為我的罪釘死在十字架上,我願意在你面前承認我的罪(凡聖靈光照到的,請逐一說出),求你用你的寶血赦免我的罪,我願意打開心門讓你作我的救主,求你救贖我,我願意一生跟隨你讓你作我生命的主,求你帶領我。聖靈,求你充滿我,使我得著恩賜及力量去事奉主、見證主。奉主耶穌基督名求,阿們。」


聆聽主話


19 不 要 為 自 己 積 儹 財 寶 在 地 上 ; 地 上 有 蟲 子 咬 , 能 壞 , 也 有 賊 挖 窟 窿 來 偷 。
20 只 要 積 儹 財 寶 在 天 上 ; 天 上 沒 有 蟲 子 咬 , 不 能 壞 , 也 沒 有 賊 挖 窟 窿 來 偷 。
21 因 為 你 的 財 寶 在 那 裡 , 你 的 心 也 在 那 裡 。
22 眼 睛 就 是 身 上 的 燈 。 你 的 眼 睛 若 瞭 亮 , 全 身 就 光 明 ;
23 你 的 眼 睛 若 昏 花 , 全 身 就 黑 暗 。 你 裡 頭 的 光 若 黑 暗 了 , 那 黑 暗 是 何 等 大 呢 !
24 一 個 人 不 能 事 奉 兩 個 主 ; 不 是 惡 這 個 , 愛 那 個 , 就 是 重 這 個 , 輕 那 個 。 你 們 不 能 又 事 奉 神 , 又 事 奉 瑪 門 ( 瑪 門 : 財 利 的 意 思 ) 。
                                                                  馬太福音 6: 19-24

現在讓你有一段安靜的時間, 給聖靈一個空間, 讓主耶穌可能以藉着你剛才讀過的經文, 對你說話:


我的聆聽
今日的經文總結了猶太人三個最基本的信仰守則,就是付出,祈禱及禁食。

著名的神學家N.T. Wright 說:

這一大段一直以來告訴我們最重要的信息是:你的心眼是否專注於神,抑或專注於其他人或其他事物。你以甚麼為優先?

怎可能以付出,祈禱及禁食為優先去做的事呢?整個馬太福音第六章給了我們線索。學習每天活在神同在,我們天父的愛中。學習所有的事都是為神而做,祇為他而做。弄清楚這才是你的優先。

N.T. Wright. Matthew for Everyone, Part 1. Louisville,KY:Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p.62,63.

付出,祈禱及禁食為優先的目的是讓我們每天活在神同在,我們天父的愛中。學習所有的事都是為神而做,祇為他而做。有三個情況使我們做不到的:
1.在世上為自己積財
2.我們的眼目專注屬世的事而不是專注於神
3.金錢在四周圍主宰你,耶穌不能主宰你

是否你不能跟隨耶穌以致付出,祈禱及禁食不能成為生命選取的優先?

今天我從主耶穌領受的是一個很簡單但非常重要的信息:
1.如耶穌不是你的主,你會窮一生的精力去為自己積財,讓金錢做你的"波士"主宰你一生。
2.如耶穌是你的主,你一定會更多付出,更多祈禱及更多禁食。

講耶穌是主很容易。但你要選擇在主的一面而不是空談。你屬於耶穌那邉,抑或金錢那邉呢?

耶穌說:"天國近了,你們應當悔改。"

親愛的主耶穌,
求你帶領我們,使我們願意讓你作主,以致我們能更多付出,更多祈禱及更多禁食。奉主耶穌基督名求,阿們。

省察問題
1. 是甚麼阻擋我們不能更多付出,更多祈禱及更多禁食? 

2. 甚麼是主宰你每天生活作息的主?

3.  誠實的想想,你每天究竟是耶穌抑或金錢主宰你每日的决定? 

家庭角落
1. 你的家庭如何使用金錢?金錢是否你的家庭重視的?

2. 你的家庭有沒有試過慷慨的付出?你感覺如何,有何經歷?如你沒有試過慷慨的付出,為何?

感恩讚美
讓我們為神同在感恩讚美主:
10,000 Reasons
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXDGE_lRI0E

如果你有 Android cel. 請按此處上載程式,可直接一按收聽最近之十次廣播:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ideal.rec.app

You may choose to follow my other daily blog:
    

Sunday, February 28, 2016

DAY 19 - New Weapon: Fasting (Please click here for English podcast)


Silence

1.   Put on your “brakes” and stop for a moment of silence
2.   Wait for God. Breathe deep for God's peace. Exhale your worries.

Praise and Thanksgiving

1.   Think through your day, all the times that made you smile
2.   Thank God for all those moments, and for all those people
3.   Open your heart to praise the Lord

        The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
    my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
    my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    and I am saved from my enemies.
        Psalm 18:2-3
                                                                       
Confession and repentance

1.  Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in you:

     “Dear Holy Spirit, shine your light into the places of darkness in my life. Show me my sins, everything that blocks me from encountering God. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

2.  Through the Holy Spirit, examine yourself for a short silence and then pray:

     "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for our sins and being victorious over death and sin. I confess my sin to you(pause, to tell Jesus what the Holy Spirit has shown you). Forgive my sins by your blood and help me follow you. Holy Spirit, fill me that I may be able to receive your gift to love God and His people. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen."


The Word

 “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
                                                        Matthew 6:16-18
                                            

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe"

My Listening

      In the beginning of chapter 6, Jesus teaches the three things that Jews saw as standard obligations, namely giving, praying and fasting.  For Christians nowadays, most Christians only practice giving and praying but never fasting. How come a general practice, one of the three standard obligations is being lost? 

     This is not the time to talk about when did most Christians stop fasting. This is the time to "reinstall" fasting as a major lifestyle of Christlikeness. This is the time for us to start fasting again. Why? Because fasting is a spiritual weapon. 

     Bishop N.T. Wright says:

     This passage is all about learning to love and serve God for himself, and in secret, rather than simply having an eye on the main chance, either to show off by being so religious or to store up wealth.


N.T. WrightLouisville,  Matthew for Everyone, Part 1. KY:Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p.62.             .      

     Bishop Wright is talking about today's passage and the next one. It's all about priority. In order to love God, serve God and to love His people we need to put our priority in giving, praying and fasting. But, these three standard obligations is not a priority anymore. We have other priorities pulling us away from loving God and His people.

     My mother started to fast every Wednesday since 1981 when she knew that I decided to follow God's calling to leave my job in the Hong Kong Government as a Music Officer to go to seminary. She did that from 1981 to 2009 and she could not continue because of her health. You know what happened? All three of her children, my younger sister Ada, younger brother Dennis and me got our degree in Theology. Both me and my brother are ordained clergy and my sister is a High School principal. All three of us planted at least one church.

    Yes, I believe fasting is the most powerful spiritual weapon. The fruit of fasting is always unity and love because it is unity and love that Satan so wants to destroy.

    So, brothers and sisters, let start to reinstall this standard obligation of Christian discipline into our lifestyle. 

    Let's fast! 

    Dear Lord Jesus,
    Lead us to be able to start fasting so that we can receive this new spiritual weapon from you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.  

Reflect on these questions:
1. What have you learned from this passage about fastingDo you have any experience about fasting?

2. Jesus would like you to start fasting as one of your new lifestyle of Christlikeness, are you willing? 

Family Corner:
1. Is there any one in your family has a fasting habit? What motivates he/she to fast? What is the fruit of his/her fasting?

2. If you have learned the importance of fasting in today's passage, how can you start to try fasting in your family?


Praise and Thanksgiving
Let's give thanks for God with us. Let us praise Him:

10,000 Reasons


Please click this link to the app. Andy Ng wrote. You really need to use that if you have an Android cel. Andy said he is going to do the App. for iPhone later:

You may choose to follow my other daily blog:


The best way to keep you being with Jesus for these 40 days is to find two more friends coming together weekly using this blog/podcast and encouraging each others to use it daily. This is what I call "Discipler123" - One discipler having two friends being with Jesus daily for 40 days first then hopefully can continue for a period of three months.