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Chinese4/11/2006English
經文:提摩太前書五章
鑰節:「人若不看顧親屬,就是背了真道,比不信的人還不好,不看顧自己家裡的人,更是如此。」(5:8)
提要

        在我個人的筆記中,我稱第四至第八節為「基督徒生活中的優先順序」(Priorities Christian Living)。在宗教上虔誠是可以讓人非常快樂及自負的,它會使我們產生自義與驕傲。甚至它也是有趣的事。但是它也可能全然走偏了。我們這麼虔誠是要給誰好印象呢﹖我們自己?我們的鄰居?上帝?討自己喜悅並不是難事──尤其是把自己與不屬靈的親戚朋友作一比較。甚至讓鄰居對我們有好印象也非難事──大多數人很能注意到別人的狂熱敬虔──你能靠裝模作樣感動上帝嗎?

        耶穌在很多的例證中說明了,有時宗教行為可能只為了滿足自己,卻完全不能配合上帝的旨意與願望。事實上,有一次祂把祂那時代一些外表最虔誠的人叫做「粉飾的墳墓」(whited sepulchres)。保羅(林前十三章)說得很明白,如果不先有愛,即使屬靈的恩賜也會討上帝的嫌惡(響的鈸)。

        那就是說明了,如果我們不眷顧我們家裡的人,我們的信仰告白就是空的。我們盡可以禱告,也可以慶祝,但是如果無所不知的上帝知道我們沒有照顧到我們父母的需要時,那就是一件令人厭惡的事了。上帝並不愚笨;我們是騙不了祂的。

        雅各,耶穌的「半兄弟」(half brother)就這樣說過:「在上帝我們的父面前,那清潔沒有玷污的虔誠,就是看顧在患難中的孤兒寡婦……」(雅1:27)。讓我們全心全意地在生活中實踐我們所傳的吧!

禱告

        父啊,您說過,您要尋找那些用心靈和誠實敬拜您的人。我們求您賜給我們智慧和了解,以便能正確地分解真理的道,我們要在所有的人際關係上討您的喜悅,尤其是在我們與家人的關係上。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read 1 Timothy 5
Key Verse:"But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."(1 Timothy 5:8)
Overview

        In my personal notes, I've entitled verses 4 and 8, "Priorities in Christian living". Being religious can be very pleasurable and self-fulfilling. It can appeal attractively to our innate predisposition to self-righteousness and pride. It can even be fun. But it can also totally miss the point. Who are we trying to impress in our religiosity? Ourselves? Our neighbour? God? It's easy to please ourselves — especially by comparing ourselves favourably to "ungodly" friends and relatives, It's even easy to impress our neighbours — most of us are sure to notice someone's fervent piety — but how does one move God?

        Jesus demonstrated in so many instances that religion can be self-serving and totally out of line with God's will and pleasure. In fact, on one occasion He referred to the most commitedly religious of His day as "whited sepulchres". Paul (1 Cor.13) made it very clear that even spiritual giftedness was obnoxious to God ("clashing cymbols") if there was no prior commitment to love.

        That's why our profession of faith is hollow if we are not caring for our own family. We can pray and celebrate faith all we want, but it's obnoxious if God, who sees all, knows we're neglecting the needs of our parents. God is no fool; He can't be conned.

        James, Jesus' half-brother, put it this way, "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble..." (Jas.l:27). Let your hands and feet do the talking!

Prayer

        Father, You have said that You seek for worshippers who will worship You in spirit and truth. We ask that You give us wisdom and understanding to rightfully divide the Word of truth, that we might please You in all our relationships, especially those in our own families.


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