Sunday, March 31, 2019

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

      I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
            even at night my heart instructs me.
        I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
            With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
                                            Psalm 16:7-8

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
16 “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17 But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18 so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done 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 and I was consecrated as a bishop in 2009! Mom, thanks for your fasting for us!    

          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:


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第十九天 - 新的武器:禁食 (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

     我必稱頌那指教我的耶和華; 我的心腸在夜間也警戒我。
     我將耶和華常擺在我面前,因他在我右邊,我便不致搖動。
                                                          詩篇 16:7-8

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

16 你 們 禁 食 的 時 候 , 不 可 像 那 假 冒 為 善 的 人 , 臉 上 帶 著 愁 容 ; 因 為 他 們 把 臉 弄 得 難 看 , 故 意 叫 人 看 出 他 們 是 禁 食 。 我 實 在 告 訴 你 們 , 他 們 已 經 得 了 他 們 的 賞 賜 。

17 你 禁 食 的 時 候 , 要 梳 頭 洗 臉 ,
18 不 叫 人 看 出 你 禁 食 來 , 只 叫 你 暗 中 的 父 看 見 ; 你 父 在 暗 中 察 看 , 必 然 報 答 你 。                                                                馬太福音 6:16-18

**請安靜一刻,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: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmax47l2hLU

我的聆聽
耶穌在馬太福音第六章教導猶太人的三個信仰守則:付出,祈禱及禁食的重要。現今世代,絕大部份基督徒衹有付出及祈禱,沒有禁食。為何這樣重要的信仰必要做的守則竟然消失了。

今天我們不是去研究禁食那時消失,而是去重新鼓勵基督徒去禁食,作為活像基督的生活模式。這是一個我們要開始禁食的時間,為何?因為禁食是一個屬靈武器!

著名的神學家N.T. Wright 說:

這段經文是教導我們怎樣去愛主服侍主。但卻是秘密的,而不是用來等待機會表演自己的敬虔得到其他人的讚賞或爲自己儲蓄財富。

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

N.T. Wright 教授是教導我們何謂優先次序。我們要愛主愛人,必須要以付出,祈禱及禁食作為生活的優先。但現今世代有太多事物代替了,拿走了這三個生命優先要做的事。

我的母親自從1981年知道我要去讀神學開始每週禁食一次為我及弟妹祈禱,直至2009年身體不能負荷才停止,28年為三個兒女禁食,結果我們三個都完成神學訓練,成為神忠心的僕人,而我在2009年被祝聖成為主教。母親,謝謝妳為我們的禁食。

是的,我相信禁食是一個很厲害的屬靈武器。禁食的果子經常是合一及愛,而魔鬼最想拆毀的就是合一及愛。

所以,讓我們開始禁食的習慣吧!

親愛的主耶穌,
幫助我們開始禁食的習慣以致我們可以從你得着這屬靈的武器。奉主耶穌基督名求,阿們。

省察問題
1. 你在這段經文學到有關禁食一些甚麼?你有禁食的經歷嗎?

2. 主耶穌呼喚你開始禁食的習慣,你願意嗎?

家庭角落
1. 你的家人有禁食的習慣嗎?甚麼原因有此習慣?有何果子?


2. 你如何在你的家庭中鼓勵禁食的習慣?


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

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Saturday, March 30, 2019

DAY 18 - New Freedom: Forgive Them Now! (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

      I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
            even at night my heart instructs me.
        I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
            With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
                                            Psalm 16:7-8

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
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.                                                                      Matthew 6:14-15


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
 Jesus teaches us to pray for forgiveness in the Lord's prayer. He then repeats the message of forgiveness in a deeper way after that. If we forgive, our heavenly Father will also forgive us.  If we do not forgive, our Father will not forgive us.  It all starts with our forgiveness. Why?      

     Bishop N.T. Wright says :     
     The heart that will not open to forgive others will remain closed when God's own forgiveness is offered.             

        N.T. Wright. Matthew for Everyone, Part 1. Louisville,KY:Westminster         John Knox Press, 2004, p.60.          

         Do you have some people that you can never forgive? How does that affect you? How can you forgive them? Are you willing to forgive them now by the help of Jesus?      

          What I received from Jesus today is the key to give us freedom. I have seen many people living in bitterness, anger and depression because they have some people they can never forgive. I know a lady who believed that her sins was something even Jesus could not forgive and she lived her whole life in agony, darkness and depression. It was quite sad talking with her, because she felt trapped by her bitterness and unwillingness to forgive.     

           When I wrote to this point, I thought that I do not have anyone I can't forgive and I do not have anyone I need to ask for forgiveness. But, I just received a message from Jesus that I have someone I need to ask for forgiveness and I need to do it today. Pray for me now that I can do it today and that reconciliation can happen today. And, I have another person that I need to ask for forgiveness, and another...     


           If you have some people you can't forgive, you better forgive them right now. How? You pray with me now: 

Dear Lord Jesus,     
Please forgive me that I cannot forgive ____ until now. I forgive ____ for  hurting me and doing things against me. Pour down your blood to cleanse my sin of not being willing to forgive. Help me to have an opportunity to ask ___ for forgiveness so that reconciliation can happen in your good time.  In Jesus name I pray. Amen. 

Reflect on these questions:
1. Why does forgiveness start with our own initiative to forgive someone? What have you got from Bishop Wright's saying about "The heart that will not open to forgive others will remain closed when God's own forgiveness is offered."? 

2. Do you have some people that you can never forgive? How is that affecting you? What's the struggle? Tell God all your hurt and fears, and ask him to speak to you. 

3. Is there any way you can move forward in forgiveness? Or, can you ask someone or your small group to pray with you?


Family Corner:1. In your family, do you ask for each others' forgiveness? Why or why not?2. Has anything happened in your family that requires forgiveness?



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




Please click this link if you have an AndroidCel: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ideal.rec.app 

To purchase my new book "MicroMacro Discipline" please click these links below:

Amazon.com
Click here for paperback
Click here for Kindle
             
Amazon.ca

Barnes and Noble