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二○一九年二月十六日/二月十七日                                                                                       Click here for English version

沒有異象,民就放肆。咁,你呢?

張穎新牧師

最近,不知是因為所唱的詩歌,還是所讀的經文,腦海中經常想起「異象」一詞。對基督徒而言,異象(vision)是指一種屬天的看見,涵蓋上帝對人的默示、心意和引導。異象的關鍵不在於啟示的方式,卻在於人回應的心態與行動。異象不一定涉及奧妙的預言,或是超自然的神諭,但卻往往離不開上帝在此時此地的感召和託付。對平凡的小民(如你和我)來說,上帝的異象更是與日常生活、信徒身分、生命見證息息相關。

經典句子「沒有異象,民就放肆」只是箴言二十九章 18 節的上半句,要正確詮釋其意思,不可忘卻下半句「惟遵守律法的,便為有福」。箴言強調如何在日常實際生活中,活出敬畏上帝的處世智慧。當中提及的異象既是上帝對人的具體指引,亦是祂要人在現實中蒙福的管道。惟獨當人配合和順服上帝的心意,才不致於任意妄為。而只有聽從和遵行祂的訓誨,才是敬虔生命的自然流露。

無可否認,今天的世代確實比以前複雜得多,我們不但經常看見荒謬、躁動和不安的社會現象,還處身於一個敵視基督信仰的氛圍裡。那麼,我們又如何在如此困局和矛盾中,認清上帝的異象和旨意?或許,信徒可有兩方面的反思:

首先,我們要以遵守上帝的律法為我們安身立命的屬靈基礎。今年適逢北宣家的聖經學習年,勤讀聖經,緊記主言,踏踏實實踐行祂的話語,肯定是你和我不可推卸的本分,也是務要履行的任務。除此之外,別無捷徑。

第二,我們要好好培養對上帝的情,一份因領受上帝洪恩後的感激、愛慕與敬仰之情。弟兄姊妹,你還記得上帝對你恩重如山嗎?上次你向神發出由衷的感恩和讚美是甚麼時候呢?我在主裡面要「肉緊地」勸你們,當銘記主耶穌的話:「常在我裡面的,我也常在他裡面,這人就多結果子;因為離了我,你們就不能做甚麼」(約十五 5)。

就在這時,耳際傳來熟悉的旋律,我心被恩感,口唱心和:「能在俗世裡面看清祢路向,就算風雨飄搖,仍堅守理想……有了祢異象,未怕窄路長,卻要找緊光陰,堅守信仰。領受異象,尋求真光照亮,任世界怎麼變,也從未變樣,善用祢恩賜,將一生擺上,用愛打破隔膜圍牆……」(節錄自詩歌〈有了祢異象〉)






Pastor's Sharing
Lacking revelation, people cast off restraint. How about you?
Rev Wayne Cheung

Recently, the term "vision" has cropped up in my mind time and again. It might have been inspired by a hymn or a Bible verse, I do not know. To Christians, vision refers to heavenly insight including God's revelation, will and guidance. The important thing about vision is not the way it is revealed to us, but the mentality and actions with which we respond to such insight. Vision may not necessarily involve wondrous prophecies or supernatural divine commands. But it is often associated with what God entrusts with us and moves us to do, here and now. To ordinary people like you and me, the vision of God has a lot to do with our daily lives, our Christian identity and our life testimonies.

The classic verse "Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint" is only the first half of Proverbs 29:18. To interpret this verse correctly, we need to read the second half as well, "but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction." What the Proverbs emphasizes is God-revering everyday wisdom that we need to live out in our daily lives. The vision referred to here is both God's concrete guidance for man as well as a channel by which He wants man to receive His blessings in real life. It is only when man co-operates with God and obeys His will that man will remain restrained. Listening to God and obeying His teachings flow naturally from a faithful life.

Admittedly, our times are more complex than any of those before. We are accustomed to absurd, agitated and restless scenes in the city. And beyond it is an environment that is hostile to the Christian faith. Then, how do we identify the vision and will of God amongst such conflicts and predicament? We can perhaps reflect in two areas:

First, we need to establish the adherence to God's wisdom as our over-riding spiritual precedent. This year is our Bible Study Year. Then studying the Bible diligently, planting ourselves firmly in the word of God and honestly putting it into practice must be our undeniable duty and mission. There is no short cut.

Secondly, we need to cultivate an affection for God - a gratitude for His grace along with reverence and love for Him. Dear brothers and sisters, have you forgotten God's grace? When did you last give thanks to God and praise His name? I have to exhort you earnestly to engrave in your memory the words of the Lord Jesus: "… If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

At this time of writing, I heard some fellowship groups singing a familiar song which echoed in my heart: "In encroaching darkness, I see thy guiding hand. In the raging storm, my faith goes strong…. Thy vision empowers me, I see no narrow, winding path but thee. Let me grasp my time, stand firm in the truth, cherish thy vision. Let me seek thy guidance and illumination. Whatever changes the world doesn't change me. My gifts, my life I offer thee. Removing barriers with love …." (From the hymn "With Thy Vision")