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Chinese4/13/2006English
經文:提摩太後書一章
鑰節:「因為上帝賜給我們,不是膽怯的心,乃是剛強、仁愛、謹守的心。」(1:7)
提要

        提摩太是一位年輕的牧師,具有重要的地位,因為他正在牧養以弗所這個大教會,但他的日子並不好過。在以弗所教會中,有一些頗具勢力的小組織,想在保羅不在時,控制教會的運作。他們非常不滿保羅選派提摩太當牧師,因此,他們盡一切力量羞辱及嚇阻這位年輕人。

        顯然,他們的做法已逐漸得逞。提摩太非常怕他們,所以他已羞為傳道人,甚至以保羅為「恥」(參看第八節──嚇阻策略之一就是質疑保羅的品德:有些人甚至取笑保羅坐牢──參看1:12、15、16;2:9;4:16)。「膽怯的心」已成為提摩太事工的特色。他接受呼召時的熱熾幾乎已消失。火焰一度熾旺後,祇留下些許殘煙。

        這就是為什麼保羅要提醒提摩太:「使你將上帝藉我按手所給你的恩賜,再如火挑旺起來」(1:6)。這不是叫提摩太虛張聲勢;乃是要他靠著上帝給他的靈,再剛強起來。

        上帝已經賜給他「能力」,使他能勇敢地傳道。祂也賜給他「愛心」,使他能有效率地牧養教會,同時,祂這也賜給他「自律」的能力。繼這些「恩賜」之後而來的就是責任──保羅盼望提摩太不要再退縮;反之,要能面對挑戰。

禱告

        父啊,感謝您沒有棄我不管,也沒有使我們失去能力,而是賜下聖靈,住在我們的裡面,用您的大愛與力量使我們堅強。求您教導我們,如何在我們裡面吸取您那偉大又無窮的泉源。奉主耶穌基督聖名,阿們!

English

Scriptures:Read 2 Timothy 1
Key Verse:"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline"(2 Timothy 1:7) (N1V).
Overview

        Timothy was a very young pastor with a very important position, that of pastoring the vital and large church in Ephesus. He was also having a very tough time. There were various power-blocs in the church who were trying to gain control of the congregation in Paul's absence. They resented Paul's choice of Timothy as pastor and did everything they could to discredit and intimidate the young man.

        Apparently they were succeeding. Timothy was so intimidated that he had actually become "ashamed" as a preacher and had even become "ashamed" of Paul (see v.8 — part of the intimidation tactic was to question Paul's integrity: some of them ridiculed his continual predisposition to being thrown in jail —see v.12, 15, 16, 2:9, 4:16). Timothy's ministry had become characterized by a spirit of "timidity". The flame of his calling had almost died — there was a mere whisper of smoke where a fire had once burned.

        That's why paul reminds Timothy to "fan into flame the gift of God" which is in him (v.6 — NIV). This is to be more than mere bravado; rather it's to be done in the context of the "spirit" God has given him.

        God has given him the "power" to be bold and assertive in preaching. He has given him the "love" to be effective in pastoring, and He has given him the capability to be "self-disciplined". With these "givens" comes responsibility — and Paul expects Timothy to get out of his shell and back into battle.

Prayer

        Thank You, Father, that You have not left us alone or powerless, but You have given the Holy Spirit to dwell in us, empowering us with Your divine love and control. Teach us to continually draw upon this great and limitless source within us.


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