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二○一八年二月二十四日/二月二十五日                                                                                  Click here for Pastor's Sharing

我要忠誠

任健雄牧師

今年是狗年,很多人視狗為朋友,覺得牠們懂性、忠心。所以牠們常受訓擔當一些工作,例如當警犬、緝毒犬、導盲犬、狗醫生等,因此狗有「人類的好朋友」這一美譽。


想到「忠誠」、「朋友」,又想到今年是「投入小組團契年」,於是便想起「忠誠」是人與人相處、投入一個群體時的重要元素之一,特別是在一個信仰群體中。


「忠誠」在聖經中有信仰、信心、信實的意思(多一 1,二 10;加五 22;弗二 8)。作為一個信仰群體,我們要常存誠實的心面對人和神。信徒的美善素質,是來自生命的根本改變,所以我們當從神那裡領受關係的恩惠。常有人用對等三角形比喻人、神的關係:人與人的關係、人與神的關係。神在三角的上端,而兩個人在底邊的兩角,當人與神的關係拉近,底部人與人之間的關係就自然亦會拉近。


所以我們先要與神有和好的關係,才可以與人建立良好的關係。神是信實可靠的,守約施慈愛的,是值得我們信賴的(申七 9;詩一○○ 5),祂是愛我們到底的(約十三 1)。縱然我們或會懷疑神是否愛自己,但這也不會影響神愛我們的心。我們縱然失信,祂仍是可信的,因為祂不能背乎自己(提後二 13)。亞伯拉罕、摩西時常親近神,常與祂談話,所以神稱他們為朋友(賽四十一 8;出三十三 11)。


我們要有與神做朋友的經驗,也要與自己做朋友。與自己做朋友亦是本著「忠誠」的心,誠實地肯定自己:我是按神的形象造的(創一 27),是神所愛的(約三 16),是神永遠所愛護、接納的(詩二十三;耶三十一 3;約十三 1),我是有價值、被神尊重的人(詩七十二 14)。我們也要誠實地反省和面對自己,這樣就可避免抬高自己,覺得自己比別人強。另外,讓我們要「忠誠」愛自己,是因為有人愛我們,信賴、關懷、扶助我們(《生命聖詩》353 首〈我要忠誠〉是我們很好的提醒)。


我們也要「忠誠」地與別人交朋友,正因為我們是按神的形象所做,是神所愛、保護、接納和尊重,所以我們也要同樣地肯定別人,要常常留心有沒有做了傷害別人的行為和言語。我們須學習彼此認罪,互相代求(雅五 16)(《讚美之泉》之〈我們愛讓世界不一樣〉所述的內容是值得我們追求的)。


我們愛,因為神先愛我們。(約壹四 19)







Pastor's Sharing
I Would Be True
Rev Kenneth Yum



The Year of the Dog is here. Dogs are considered by many as friends of humankind. They are faithful and intelligent, which is why they are often trained up to become police dogs, sniffer dogs, guide dogs and doctor dogs. This earns them the good name, “Man’s best friend.”

“Faithfulness” and “friendship” reminds me of 2018 being the Year of Small Group and Fellowship Participation at NPAC. Faithfulness is one of the essential elements for good relationships with others and for committing to a community, particularly a faith community.

“Faithfulness” or “faith” in the Bible refers to belief, faith and faithfulness (Titus 1:1, 2:10; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 2:8). As a faith community, we need to come before God and others with honesty. The goodness of a believer comes from a fundamental change of life. That is why we should accept God’s grace of relationships. An equilateral triangle is often used to illustrate the relationships among God and man: that between men and between God and men. God is at the top of the triangle, and there is a man at each of the other two corners. When the two men get closer to God in the equilateral triangle, the distance between the two men is also shortened.

That is why we must first be reconciled with God before we can build a good relationship with people. God is faithful and reliable. He is full of lovingkindness, He keeps His covenants and is worthy of our trust (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 100:5). He loves us to the end (John 13:1). Although we may harbor doubts about God’s love for ourselves, that in no way undermines His love for us. We may be faithless, but he remains faithful because He cannot disown Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). Abraham and Moses always got close to God and talked to Him. That was why God called them friends (Isaiah 41:8; Exodus 33:11).

We need experience in being friends with God. We also need to be friends with ourselves. When we make friends with ourselves, we do so based on faithfulness, honestly affirming ourselves: I am made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and I am loved by God (John 3:16). I am forever loved and accepted by Him (Psalm 23; Jeremiah 31:3; John 13:1). I am valuable and respected in God’s sight (Psalm 72:14). We also need to reflect on and face ourselves honestly to avoid elevating ourselves and feeling superior to others. On the other hand, let us truly love ourselves because we are loved, trusted, cared about and helped by others (The hymn “I Would Be True” provides a good reminder).

We also need to be “faithful” friends, especially because we are made in the image of God and are loved, watched over, accepted and valued by Him. Therefore, we should similarly affirm others and always watch out for any actions or words that may hurt others. We need to learn to admit our sins to each other and pray for one another (James 5:16) (The goals in the hymn “We Will Love - We Can Make a Difference” 《讚美之泉》〈我們愛讓世界不一樣〉are worth pursuing).

“We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).