灵命的争战

争战

我现在被浇奠,我离世的时候到了。那美好的仗我已经打过了,当跑的路我已经跑尽了,所信的道我已经守住了,从此以后,有公义的冠冕为我存留,就是按着公义审判的主到了那日要赐给我的,不但赐给我,也赐给凡爱慕祂显现的人(提摩太后书4:6-8)

1233St-Micheal灵命的争战时刻都在发生着,所以对于真信徒来说,能够认识到要有效地对抗罪恶而活在被上帝悦纳的生命中是非常重要的。

争战存在于三个领域中:第一,内在的敌人。从伊甸园里的堕落时起,人的内心就不会自然地寻求上帝。但是,当我们选择上帝时,祂的圣灵就会带领我们,使我们的心转向祂。然而,即使我们成为了一个基督徒,只要还活在肉身之内,我们就仍然会犯罪。对此,经文中列出了证据,证明顽固的“肉体”模式仍运行在我们之内,就如行奸淫、污秽、忌恨、恼怒等情欲之事(加拉太5:19-20 情欲的事都是显而易见的,就如奸淫、污秽、邪荡、拜偶像、邪术、仇恨、争竞、忌恨、恼怒、结党、纷争、异端)。

Romans_12-1-Living sacrifice第二,外部的敌人。出自世界不敬虔的信仰、态度和人生观的体系,布满我们的周围。对此,约翰在约翰一书里给了我们严厉的警告:2:15不要爱世界和世界上的事,人若爱世界,爱父的心就不在他里面了。而我们作为基督里的真信徒,应该在我们所处的社会里作盐和作光,却不要允许世界腐败的生活方式影响到我们的思想和行为。

第三,地狱的敌人,也就是撒旦。他的目的是玷辱上帝,以此获取战胜上帝的国。然而,我们从经文里得知,撒旦必会被击败,但是争战将会持续到启示录中提说的末日之时。

亲爱的弟兄姊妹们,你要认清这三方敌人,不要在激烈的争战中放松警惕,也不应该让你的生活在每日灵命的斗争中没有警醒。为了在基督里站立得稳固,今天的经文给出了方法:用上帝的话语来武装自己,并且始终寻求上帝的保守和智慧。

The Battle

The Conflict

2 Timothy 4:
New International Version (NIV)

6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the LORD, the righteous JUDGE, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for HIS appearing.

1233St-MichealSpiritual combat is going on all the time. It is important for true believers to be aware of this conflict in order to fight against sin effectively and live in a manner pleasing to the LORD.

The struggle exists in three areas. First, we have an internal enemy. Ever since the fall in the Garden of Eden, the human heart does not naturally seek after GOD. But HIS SPIRIT can draw us and move our hearts toward HIM when we choose to. However, even after become a Christian, we will have the capacity to do wrong as long as we remain in this carnal body. Scripture names evidence of the old “flesh” patterns at work within us, such as immorality, impurity, jealousy, and outbursts of anger (Gal. 5: 19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions).

Second, there exists an external enemy: the system of ungodly beliefs, attitudes, unforgiveness and philosophies in the world all around us. John gives a stern warning in 1 John 2:15 ” Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the FATHER is not in them” As true believers in JESUS, we should be salt and light to the society around us while not allowing its corrupted ways to influence our thoughts or behavior.

michael32Third, there’s an infernal enemy—namely, Satan. His desire is to dishonor GOD and to gain victory over the LORD’s kingdom. We know from Scripture that Satan will be defeated, but the conflict will continue until the final days mentioned in Revelation.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Be aware of these three enemies. You wouldn’t let your guard down in the midst of a raging war, and neither should you live without awareness in the daily spiritual battle. Today’s passage gives the specifics for standing firm in CHRIST: Arm yourself with GOD’s WORD, and always seek HIS protection and wisdom.

作耶稣基督的精兵

APOSTLE-PAUL-IN-PRISON-我儿阿,你要在基督耶稣的恩典上刚强起来。你在许多见证人面前听见我所教训的,也要交托那忠心能教导别人的人。你要和我同受苦难,好像基督耶稣的精兵。凡在军中当兵的,不将世务缠身,好叫那招他当兵的人喜悦(提摩太后书2:1-4)

今天的经文出自保罗给提摩太的书信,这位使徒鼓励年轻人和所有的真信徒,在艰难面前要作一个精兵。军队术语“士兵”,意味着我们要投入争战中。而事实上,争战在亚当和夏娃的时代之前就已经开始了。

我们看到的第一个证据就是,在全能上帝创造了所有灵的时候,就已经允许撒旦和其他的天使(此后被称为“魔鬼”)背叛祂。他们建立自己的王国,向上帝开战。

后来我们看到,这个争战扩大到人类中。在伊甸园里,撒旦通过引诱夏娃吃下禁果而使她违抗上帝的命令。夏娃对上帝的不服从玷污了全人类,以致从那时起,所有的人与生俱来都有抵抗上帝的本性,并且极其需要一位救主。

而耶稣在旷野受魔鬼的试探,给我们作出了榜样:灵命上的争战要倚靠圣经才能得胜。上帝的话语给了我们得胜的一切所需,既可用作进攻和防守的武器jesustemptedinthedesert(以弗所6:10-17我还有末了的话,你们要靠着主,倚赖祂的大能大力作刚强的人。要穿戴 神所赐的全副军装,就能抵挡魔鬼的诡计。因我们并不是与属血气的争战,乃是与那些执政的、掌权的、管辖这幽暗世界的、以及天空属灵气的恶魔争战。所以要拿起 神所赐的全副军装,好在磨难的日子抵挡仇敌,并且成就了一切还能站立得住。所以要站稳了用真理当作带子束腰,用公义当作护心镜遮胸,又用平安的福音当作预备走路的鞋穿在脚上;此外又拿着信德当作藤牌,可以灭尽那恶者一切的火箭;并戴上救恩的头盔,拿着圣灵的宝剑,就是 神的道),也可用来以正确的角度辨别我们敌人的真实身份:因我们并不是与属血气的争战,乃是与天空属灵气的恶魔争战(以弗所6:12)。,Armor-of-God_zpsb2cf4268

当我们在社会中看到不敬虔的事,可能敌人在很多时候看起来是得胜了,但在我们得救之路上,承诺了我们是属于上帝,祂才是那位最大的,并且祂会获得最终的胜利(约翰一书4:4小子们哪,你们是属 神的,并且胜了他们。因为那在你们里面的,比那在世界上的更大。约翰福音16:33我将这些事告诉你们,是要叫你们在我里面有平安。在世上你们有苦难,但你们可以放心,我已经胜了世界)。以圣经的角度看待我们每天的争战,倚靠上帝,祂大过一切的魔鬼。

在此,我们夫妻感谢上帝,我们主耶稣基督的父,赐给我们美好的一天,也赐给我们你们这些忠心于主的弟兄姊妹们。

(以上所写的,你们可以用来建造耶稣基督的国度)

Be a good soldier for CHRIST JESUS

Be a good soldier for CHRIST JESUS

APOSTLE-PAUL-IN-PRISON-2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

Today’s passage is from Paul’s letter to Timothy. The apostle encourages the young man—and, by extension, every true believer—to face difficulty as a good soldier. The military term “soldier” implies that we are in a battle. And in fact, the combat started before Adam and Eve’s lifetime.

We see the first evidence when almighty GOD, who had created all the celestial beings, nevertheless allowed Satan and other angels (thereafter known as “demons”) to rebel against HIM. They established their own kingdom and waged war with the LORD.

Later we see this strife extend to all humankind. In the Garden of Eden, Satan tempted Eve to violate GOD’s command by eating forbidden fruit. Her disobedience corrupted mankind’s innocence, and ever since, all human beings have been born with a nature bent away from the LORD—and with a profound need for a SAVIOUR.

Tempted by Satan in the wilderness, JESUS modelled how to be victorious in spiritual conflict: by means of Scripture. jesustemptedinthedesertGOD’s WORD gives us everything we need to win—from offensive and defensive weapons (Eph. 6: 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of GOD, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armour of GOD, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Armor-of-God_zpsb2cf426816 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD of GOD.) to the proper perspective on our adversaries’ real identity: “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the . . . spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6: 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.).

When we see ungodliness in our society, the Enemy may at times seem to be winning. Yet we who are on our way to being saved have assurance that we belong to the LORD who is greater—and who will have the final victory (1 John 4: 4 You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.; John 16: 33 “I [JESUS] have told you these things, so that in ME you may have peace.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”). View daily battles biblically and look to GOD, who is mightier than all evil.

将身体献上

将身体献上

我以 神的慈悲劝你们,将身体献上,当作活祭,是圣洁的,是 神所喜悦的。你们如此事奉,乃是理所当然的(罗马书12:1)

保罗呼吁我们每一天都将我们的身体献给上帝,让上帝来改造它,并且求上帝为了祂的荣耀和祂的子民来用我们的“献祭”。

身体献给上帝,这意味着不仅要致力于避免犯罪或抵挡肉体的败坏,还要使用身体作为灵命的仆人来侍奉上帝。所以,我们是在用我们的身体荣耀上帝(你们是重价买来的,所以要在你们的身子上荣耀 神—哥林多前书6:20)imagesCAIYEPO0,确保我们的身体直接敬拜上帝并殷勤投身于对我们的特别呼召;而当我们被呼召要为上帝而受苦时,我们就甘心乐意地献出我们的身体来回应呼召。这是献上我们的肢体,作为义的器具。

也不要将你们的肢体献给罪作不义的器具。倒要像从死里复活的人,将自己献给神,并将肢体作义的器具献给神(罗马书6:13)

Focus on GOD and you be an all time Winner

Focus on GOD and you be an all time Winner

Philippians 1:12-20

Paul’s Chains Advance the GospelPaul-in-chain

12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for CHRIST. 14 And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the LORD and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.

15 It is true that some preach CHRIST out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defence of the gospel. 17 The former preach CHRIST out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, CHRIST is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and GOD’s provision of the SPIRIT of JESUS CHRIST what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. 20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always CHRIST will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Paul did not picture himself as a victim. Despite tremendous physical discomfort and emotional turmoil, he believed he was under GOD’s sovereign hand. So instead of growing resentful and walking away from the faith, the apostle turned to the LORD and continued to mature spiritually.

We can learn much from Paul—He was determined to focus on GOD’s sovereignty rather than his own will. It’s easy to be bitter over the mayhem that another person has caused in our lives. However, the minute we start thinking that our enemies are in control, we’re defeated. God-throneThe Bible says that GOD “has established HIS throne in the heavens, and HIS sovereignty rules over all” (Ps. 103: 19 The LORD has established HIS throne in heaven, and HIS kingdom rules over all.). HE is in absolute control. We may not understand HIS reasons for permitting hardship or pain in our lives, but HIS plan is always for our good and HIS glory (Jer. 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.).

Moreover, true believers can learn from Paul’s commitment to focus on positive results rather than on personal agony. Pain, whether in the body or the heart, often absorbs all of a person’s attention. But there is no victory to be had in dwelling on our hurts. GOD has a plan for that anguish, and Paul is a good example. He rejoiced when the gospel spread to the Praetorian Guard—his jailers.

For God so loved the worldDifficult circumstances are crossroads in the believer’s life. If we take the path of blaming GOD for our strife, we’ll be dealing with resentment and negativity. But if we focus on our heavenly FATHER’s love and provision (- “For GOD so loved the world, that HE gave HIS only begotten SON, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life”. John 3:16), we will find trust and hope as we seek to go HIS way.

上帝允许苦难塑造我们

破碎——上帝允许苦难塑造我们brokennessquote

约翰福音12:20-26 那时,上来过节礼拜的人中,有几个希利尼人。他们来见加利利伯赛大的腓力,求他说:“先生,我们愿意见耶稣。”腓力去告诉安得烈,安得烈同腓力去告诉耶稣。耶稣说:“人子得荣耀的时候到了。我实实在在的告诉你们,一粒麦子不落在地里死了,仍旧是一粒;若是死了,就结出许多子粒来。爱惜自己生命的,就失丧生命;在这世上恨恶自己生命的,就要保守生命到永生。若有人服事我,就当跟从我。我在哪里,服事我的人也要在哪里。若有人服事我,我父必尊重他。” Wheat-Kernel-1-DieMany

亲爱的弟兄姊妹们,你渴望在生命中能够得到上帝最好的祝福吗?你渴望成为上帝所要你成为的人来实现祂所有的计划吗?对于这两个问题,你最有可能给出“肯定”的回答。但是,为了使你能够将生命完全降服于上帝,你愿意让上帝对你作任何祂所认为必需的改造吗?

第三个询问通常没有得到一个响亮的回答:“愿意”。然而,为了使我们能够享受上帝最好的祝福,并成长为上帝所计划成为的人,我们必须要将我们的意愿降服于上帝。不过我先承认,这不是一个容易的过程。

我们每个人都有某些渴望和习惯,是我们根本不想放弃的。而今天的经文教导我们,能够真正地为上帝而活,是需要先将我们的个人喜好置于死地。

正如你所料,在这个过程中痛苦是不可避免的,而若我们选择放弃个人顽固的意愿,那就会变得容易很多。但根据圣经,当我们成为信徒后,repent_perish 若仍保留罪恶的行为模式,它就会在我们的身上变得根深蒂固,那上帝就会允许足够的困难进入我们的生命,所以我们顽固的“肉体”会被击打得趋于破碎。因为直到那时,才能够使我们的心毫无保留地降服于上帝。

尽管很难明白,为何我们的天父这么爱我们,却允许我们经受痛苦。但就如父母不喜欢他的孩子受到伤害一样,上帝在我们的困境中没有一丝乐趣。相反,祂是如此地渴望我们在基督里能够经历丰盛的生命,所以祂才允许让苦难来塑造我们。

GOD allows hardship to shape us.

Brokenness – GOD allows hardship to shape us.brokennessquote

John 12:20-26

20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see JESUS.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told JESUS.

john 12v24-kernel-of-wheat23 JESUS replied, “The hour has come for the SON of MAN to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves ME must follow ME; and where I am, MY servant also will be. MY FATHER will honour the one who serves ME.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Do you desire GOD’s best in life? And do you hope to become the person HE created you to be, able to accomplish all HE has planned? Most likely, your answer is affirmative to both questions. But are you willing for the LORD to do whatever is necessary to bring about full submission in your life?jesus_on_cross

This third inquiry oftentimes does not receive a resounding “yes.” Yet in order for us to enjoy the best of GOD’s blessings and to blossom into the people we were designed to be, we have to surrender our will. Let me be the first to admit that it is not an easy process.

All of us have certain desires and habits that we simply do not want to relinquish. Today’s passage teaches us that dying to ourselves is necessary before we can truly live for GOD.

As you would expect, that is inevitably painful. It would be much easier if we could just choose to give up our stubborn wills. But according to Scripture, when we become believers, we retain unrighteous behaviour patterns, which can be rather ingrained. GOD has to permit enough difficulty to enter our lives so that our old “flesh” tendencies are broken. Only then can we yield our hearts to the LORD without reservation.

Though it is hard to understand, our heavenly FATHER allows pain because of HIS great love. Just as a parent hates for his child to hurt, GOD takes no pleasure in our difficulty. But HE so desires that we experience fullness of life in CHRIST that HE allows hardship to shape us.