返回上頁



二○一八年七月二十八日/七月二十九日                                                                                    Click here for English version

持久、熱誠事奉主

蕭壽華牧師

有一位曾編寫過多本釋經書的著名學者,他在年老的時候仍是孜孜不倦地讀聖經。有一次他在房間讀經,全神貫注,投入得連他年幼的孫兒進入房間也不察覺。孫子突然從旁問他:「爺爺,你在看甚麼?」他不假思索地回答:「是新聞!」——經文雖然長年累月地研讀,十分熟悉,但仍令他興趣盎然,不斷有新發現,就像讀新聞一般!

時間是信心與熱誠最大的考驗。基督徒信主多年以後,往往會在尋求認識主、服事主的事上變得冷淡、因循。就像一些夫妻結合多年,因為沒有繼續培養彼此的感情而使關係淡下來,一起同住卻沒有同行。因循的教會生活也是如此,每週參與崇拜、聚會,卻沒有甚麼期待,也不怎樣準備投入,完結後也不會有甚麼回應。因循的事奉,是只按最低的要求勉強作準備,沒有想過要向神獻呈甚麼,或是怎樣更好地獻上,只是一次復一次,完成了基本責任,便趕住處理其他事情;一些本來滿有意義的事奉,變成了打咭式的工作。

但舊約的迦勒卻不同,他持久熱誠的生命並不單是年長信徒的榜樣,也是每個願意一生持定信心、要盡得神全部應許者的見證。迦勒雖屆 85 之年,但仍熱切地求約書亞把神應許給他的地分給他,「那裡有亞衲族人,並寬大堅固的城,你也曾聽見了(迦勒並不因此以為自己無能為力)。或者耶和華照他所應許的與我同在,我就把他們趕出去(『或者』原文表示有盼望)」(書十四 12)。迦勒相信神的應許,他未來會得地為業,因此他不怕環境的挑戰,無懼自己的軟弱,只繼續向神的應許「進發」;他不滿足於眼前的安穩,卻努力盡得主所要賜的恩惠。

人能夠持久熱誠地追求認識主、事奉主,是因為內心相信神所給他的應許,且知道神會喜悅他可以盡得祂要賜他的賞賜。「他已將又寶貴又極大的應許賜給我們,叫我們……得與神的性情有分。正因這緣故,你們要分外地殷勤;有了信心,又要加上德行……又要加上愛眾人的心」(彼後一 4-7)——這並不是說要去逼迫自己,耗盡自己,而是因渴慕屬靈的、非屬世的賞賜,願意把握一切機會去認識主、付代價去操練自己結出聖靈果子、時常反思要在不同人生階段向主獻上最好的奉獻,為的是不讓自己停滯不前,而要盡得主的應許!

迦勒相信神要賜他希伯崙地,便專一跟從主,因而在 85 歲之年,仍強壯如昔,可以繼續得力,征服希伯崙。






Pastor's Sharing
Devout, Sustained Ministry for God
Rev Gordon Siu

An old, renowned Bible scholar, who had written many Bible commentaries, was spending time closely studying God’s Word one day when his grandson quietly came into the room. Finding the old scholar at work, the little boy asked, "What are you reading, grandpa?" Without much thinking, the scholar replied, "News." The Scripture that he had been studying all his life was still captivating to him, and he made more and more discoveries day by day just like reading the news.

Time is the greatest test of faith and devotion. Many years into the spiritual journey, Christians often lose vigor or turn routine in their pursuit to know God and in serving. It is like a couple who are married for many years but who, not having nurtured their relationship, seem to lose interest in each other. They live together, but do not walk together. Similarly, routine church life sees the Christian going to church every week without looking forward to anything. He is not prepared to participate actively, nor is he ready for any response after the worship service. Routine ministry is one in which the Christian almost unwillingly makes work preparation to meet minimum requirements. No thought of what it is that God receives, or how the offering can be improved, ever crosses his mind. Every time, he "pays his dues" and rushes off to some other business. This way, some most meaningful ministry turns into an act of "attendance card punching" in which the most enjoyable time would be the close of play.

In the Old Testament, Caleb was devout all his life and his devotion was sustained. He not only set an example for elderly believers. His experience is also a testimony to all those who, with unstaggering faith, are prepared to get all the blessings promised by God. Aged 85, Caleb earnestly asked Joshua to allot him the land that God had promised him. "… You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, (this, however, did not make Caleb doubt his own capabilities) but, the Lord helping me, I will drive them out just as he said" (Joshua 14:12). Caleb believed in the future bounty he had been promised, and so he was not afraid of the challenges surrounding him including his own infirmities. He only headed towards the promise of God. He was not satisfied with the current stability, but wanted to get all the blessings that God would give.

A devout and sustained effort to know and serve the Lord stems from an inner conviction of God's promises, and an understanding that God is pleased when we get all His rewards. "Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature… For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness…and to mutual affection, love" (2 Peter 1:4-7). This is not to say that we should force or exhaust ourselves, but we should be willing to take every opportunity to know God and pay the cost to train up ourselves to bear fruit. This is because we pursue spiritual and not worldly rewards. In various stages of life, we should often reflect on how we can give the best offering to God so our progress will not become stagnant, but we will strive to get all that the Lord has promised.

Caleb believed that God would give him the land of Hebron. And he followed the Lord wholeheartedly. At age 85, he was strong as ever and could have his strength renewed for war to take Hebron.