12.22.22 去”健身房” Go To the “Gym”

[今日經文 Today’s Reading: 彼得後書 2 Peter 1-3]

正因這緣故,你們要分外地努力。有了信心,又要加上德行;有了德行,又要加上知識;…你們有了這幾樣,再繼續增長,就必使你們在認識我們的主耶穌基督上,不至於懶散和不結果子了。… 10 所以,弟兄們,要更加努力,使你們的蒙召和被選堅定不移。你們實行這幾樣,就永不失腳。
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge,… For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ… 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.

彼得後書 2 Peter 1:5;8;10

彼得提醒基督徒不要滿足於平庸,而要盡一切努力在靈性上成長。 也許我們中的許多人只是例行公事地參加教會聚會,並對此感到滿意。 有的甚至想“躺平”什麼都不做。

但我們作為基督徒不能“躺平”! 無論我們目前的屬靈狀況如何,讓我們盡一切努力在屬靈上成熟。 隨著 2023 年的臨近,讓我們抓住機會,將此作為我們的新年願景:渴望在我們的信仰、美德、知識、節制、敬虔等方面成長(彼得後書 1:5-9),以便 我們可以“在我們主耶穌基督的知識上”不至於懶散和不結果子了! 上帝應許我們,“如果[我們]實踐這些品格,[我們]就永不失腳”(彼得後書 1:10)。

要實現這個願望,首先要打開聖經,每天閱讀; 此外,如果我們每年通讀一次整本聖經,那將有極大的益處! 正如前往法國的傳教士拉爾夫·沙利斯 (Ralph Shallis) 在他的《從現在開始》一書中所表達的那樣:

懶惰的基督徒永遠得不到滿足; 他ㄧ直很虛弱,就像一個營養不良的孩子。 另一方面,卓越的基督徒, 在神不斷增添的啟示下,日見不凡。他查考聖經常是事半功倍。神的道源源不絕的啟示和光照,其樂難以述盡。

新的一年,讓我們下定決心每天一起去“健身房”鍛煉屬靈肌肉吧!

禱告:親愛的天父,願祢給我們成長的強烈願望和“分外地努力”,以增加我們屬靈的成熟度! 奉耶穌的名,阿們。

Peter reminded Christians to not settle on mediocrity but to make every effort to grow spiritually. Perhaps many of us simply attend church meetings as a routine and are satisfied with that. Some even want to “lie flat” (tang ping) and do nothing. 

But we as Christians cannot “lie flat”! No matter what our current spiritual condition is, let us make every effort to grow in spiritual maturity. With 2023 approaching, let us take hold of the opportunity to make this our New Year’s resolution: to desire to grow in our faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, godliness, etc. (2 Peter 1:5-9) so that we can be effective and fruitful “in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”! God promises us that “if [we] practice these qualities [we] will never fall” (2 Peter 1:10).

The fulfillment of this desire starts by opening up the Bible and reading it everyday; there is tremendous benefit, moreover, if we read through the entire Bible once a year! As Ralph Shallis, missionary to France, expressed in his book From Now On:

The Lazy Christian will always be satisfied; he remains a weakling, like an under-nourished child. The out-and-out Christian will, on the other hand, marvel more and more at the increasing revelation of God. His search brings him a reward far beyond and in comparison with the effort he has made. The Word of God becomes an unutterable joy, a ceaseless source of inspiration and enlightenment.

In the coming New Year, let us resolve to go to the “gym” everyday together and grow our spiritual muscles!

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, may You give us a strong desire to grow and the strength to “make every effort” to increase in our spiritual maturity! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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