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我們該怎樣預備自己，才能如約書亞所言：「現在你們要敬畏耶和華，真誠地按著真理事奉祂……至於我和我家，我們必事奉耶和華。」（書二十四 14-15，新譯本）首先，基督徒事奉神的時候，不可持著從事一般工作職務的心態。以前我們會倚仗自己的天賦或才幹，去完成差事。蒙恩得救後，我們卻明白自己之能事奉神，純粹是出於主的憐憫、恩典和能力；我們被祂差派服事，是因為祂使我們在基督耶穌裡有信心和愛心（提前一 12-16）。
誠然，我們要學習及操練：「殷勤不可懶惰，心靈要火熱，常常服事主；在盼望中要喜樂，在患難中要堅忍，禱告要恆切。」（羅十二 11-12）才能在逆境中誇勝、得地為業！然而，在磨練的過程中，神會激動人的心靈，叫人起來投入事奉的行列，以甘心奉獻的行動，來回應神的呼召（參拉一 5-6）。
是的，聖經會勉勵所有屬神的人，叫我們知道自己是被神看為尊貴的，祂是我們的力量，而我們要作祂的僕人。為此，我們在疫情下信仰得以保全及復興，尚是小事；神還要使我們成為別人的光，將救恩傳開（參賽四十九 5-6）。看哪，昔日神怎樣將這地擺在以色列人的面前，要他們不害怕、不驚惶地事奉（申一 21），今天基督也會成為我們的智慧、信心與能力，幫助我們完成受託的職事（參林前一 30；但二 20）。願我們每一位作神僕人的事奉領袖，都領受恩賜、各按各職，按著感動成就神的託付，並以信心開展新一年的事奉，讓神的名得著稱頌與榮耀。
Ministry Leaders as Servants of God
Rev Samuel Tam
On New Year’s Eve, families usually gather together for a good dinner and pray for blessings for the year ahead. But for the ancient Israelites who had their Passover (New Year) dinner in Egypt where they were enslaved, they received the command to worship God in the wilderness as part of His redemption plan (Exodus 7:16). At the height of the pandemic in Hong Kong, many people who work hard faithfully have been laid off or have to accept new employment conditions before they could stay in the jobs. Such happenings inevitably undermine brothers and sisters’ willingness to act as the light and the salt in the workplace, which really is their "wilderness".
What should we do to be able to say what Joshua said: "Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness… But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord" (Joshua 24:14-15)? First, we must know that the ministry before us is not the same as any other jobs or projects in the world. In the past, we would have counted on our talents and abilities to do our work. After we are saved by God’s grace, we know that we can serve God all because of His mercy, grace and power. We are entrusted to serve Him because He gives us faith and love in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:12-16).
There are real challenges for God’s people in responding to the call to serve God in the "wilderness". We are faced with the social movement, anti-pandemic measures, poverty and an aging society, staff cuts and company closures, which create anxiety and fear. We are faced with issues of undermined relationships, faith in God and spirituality because the congregation cannot meet regularly and lack pastoral care. It is therefore essential for those who serve to be renewed in their hearts.
Admittedly, we need to learn and be trained: "Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" (Romans 12:11-12). This is how we can triumph over adversity and receive the promised land! In the process of hard training, God will move our hearts and raise up people to take up the ministry. They will respond to His call with their willing dedication.
Indeed, the Bible encourages all who belong to God that we are treasured in the eyes of God, that He is our strength and we are His servants. Therefore, not only should we preserve our faith and be revived in the pandemic but God will also make us the light for those around us to spread the good news of His salvation (see Isaiah 49:5-6). Behold, just as God has laid out the land in front of the ancient Israelites to enable them to serve without fear and discouragement (Deuteronomy 1:21), today Christ will be our wisdom, faith and power to help us complete what we are entrusted to do (see 1 Corinthians 1:30, Daniel 2:20). May each and every one of us, as ministry leaders and servants of God, receive our gifts and each part does its work in the ministry according to His calling. May we, in faith, embark on a new year of ministry to magnify and praise His name.