An X-tra Happy Birthday, Singapore!

The ABCs of why I thank God for you, my beloved homeland

By Dr Tan Ying Kheng

Photo credit: Chen Hu. Taken from Unsplash.com
You've made me who I am today - multicultural world-native, ethno-tolerant.

Ang Mo Kio, Binjai Park,
Clemenceau, Delta, Eng Kong Place.
I love you Singapore – you’re these and more –
let me count the ways.

You’ve made me who I am today –
Multicultural world-native, ethno-tolerant.
Let’s start with the food (which I forget are good
Until whenever I travel).

Because of my upbringing, lunch could be Gyoza
Or Hainanese chicken rice with achar;
Tea at ION’s TWG Salon & Boutique? Aiyoh, boleh.
Or dinner at Joo Chiat’s 328 Katong Laksa.

Muthu’s fish head curry – eyes, cheeks and all. Can!
Or bring on the salad Nicoise olives, pan-seared foie-gras.
Spicy, exotic, queer, hand or chopsticks? Can! Can!
For I am Singaporean, hear me roar!

But seriously, what I’m grateful for are very simple things –
Like trash being cleared every day, and kids going to bed each night
Safe and fearless of waking up hopeless,
Stripped of state, shelter, identity, dignity or rights.

Rights of going to school, rights to be protected by law,
Rights to serve God and country whether born female, migrant or poor.
Such we in Singapore already have – are spoiling us, I must add –
That our tensions are still about Singlish and PSLE scores.

I shan’t go into university rankings or other very important issues –
My aim today is to write a “An X-tra Happy Birthday” wish.
Go ahead, continue to be the world’s number one this and that –
But YK’s zealous prayer is you’ll be God’s anointed Antioch, for such a time as this.

Is It Worth It?

>>> Mandarin version of this article 这是否值得?

Photo by TIM MARSHALL

 

Dear Ministry Partner,

Some years ago, my family and I went on a mission trip to a remote village. We had the privilege of witnessing a baptism service at a river. 15 people were baptised that morning, many of whom had become Christians for barely a year. The service ended with the celebration of the Lord’s supper and a time of sharing. This was “church” in its simplest form, yet at its zenith as we saw the reality of transformed lives!

We spent time with the “transplanted” missionary families who obeyed God’s call to move to this country to minister to the locals. Naturally our conversations drifted to topics such as physical and financial security, concerns over their children’s education, and not being around to care for ageing parents back home. Yet they continued to soldier on in obedience to God’s call for their lives.

From the local believers who risked persecution to the missionary families who left the comforts of home to minister cross-culturally, their obedience to our Lord came at a high price. Is it worth it?

In consumeristic Singapore, we tend to see our commitment to God as a form of sacrifice. We are cautious when called upon to serve, and perhaps even calculative when this calling requires us to put our plans on hold or surrender our material possession. As obedient disciples of Christ, we may have to say “no” to many pleasures of the world in order to remain pure and holy before the Lord. Like Asaph in Psalm 73, we struggle when others prosper and live carefree lives. Is it worth it to keep our faith?

Our faith becomes self-centred and transactional when we ask, “Is it worth it?” It becomes all about us and what we have to give up. It would be difficult for us to mature in our walk with Christ by holding on to this attitude. The more appropriate question to ask would thus be, “Is He worthy?” This is a God-centred question. Paul writes in Romans 8:32 (NIV), “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”. This is why Jesus is worthy of our worship

Because Jesus is worthy, all our acts of “sacrifice” become acts of worship to Him. We serve Him with delight and humility. Perhaps the song, “Is He Worthy?” by Andrew Peterson will seal our conviction that He is worthy! (https://cru.sg/IsHeWorthy)

 

Blessings,
Lam Kok Hiang
Country Leader


 

这是否值得?

 

亲爱的事工伙伴,

好些年前,我和家人到一个偏远的乡村短宣。某一天,我们有幸参与在河畔进行的浸礼聚会。那天早晨有近十五人受洗,大多信主还不到一年。在聚会的尾声,出席者共领圣餐并与彼此分享跟随上帝的经历。那天,我与家人目睹的“教会”形式尽是如此简单,也透过印证生命改变的真实欣赏“教会”最巅峰的荣美。

在那趟旅程中,我们也得以花时间陪 伴蒙主呼召、携妻带儿移居到当地服 事的同工们。谈话间我们不期然地提 起生活,诸如柴米油盐,孩子的教育,无法时时照顾远方年长的父母 等 等。尽管如此,他们仍然坚守岗位, 顺服上帝的呼召。

不论是冒着被逼迫的风险而信主的, 或是离乡背井在异乡服事的宣教士 们,顺服上帝的代价是高的。这诸多牺牲是否值得?

在新加坡消费主义社会的环境里,我 们倾向于把决志跟随上帝视为一种付 出。进而对各种事奉需求的呼声保持 观望态度,又或者当响应呼召需要我 们搁置个人计划或放下物质享受的 时候,我们甚于锱铢必较。作为基督 徒,我们还得拒绝许多世上的情欲, 才能在主面前谨守清心圣洁。如诗篇 七十三篇里的亚萨,我们或许看见恶 人蓬勃兴旺,安逸享乐而心怀不平。 谨守信仰是否值得?

当我们质疑“这是否值得?”时,个人信仰已沦为自我中心的交易。仿佛 (信仰的)一切都关于自己与个人得 失。抱着如此态度与基督同行会让我 们灵命呆滞不前。或者我们可以换个 角度问自己,“主是否值得?” 这是 以上帝为中心的问题。保罗在罗马书 八章32节说:“神既不爱惜自己的儿 子,为我们众人舍了,岂不也把万物 和祂一同白白的赐给我们吗?” 这位 神 的独生子 耶稣是值得我们的敬拜。

既然耶稣基督是值得的,我们所有 的“牺牲”也因而化成敬拜的献礼。 我们带着喜乐与谦卑的心服侍祂。也 许安德鲁·彼得森 (Andrew Peterson) 的 歌 [Is He Worth?] 能帮助我们共勉之。

https://cru.sg/IsHeWorthy

 

愿 神祝福您,
蓝国贤会长

What’s Hanging On Your Door?

>>> Mandarin version of this article 你的心门上挂着什么指示牌?

Dear Ministry Partners,

Many hotel rooms around the world provide “Do Not Disturb” and “Make Up Room” door signs for their guests to communicate their preferences to the housekeepers. During a recent hotel stay, the Lord prompted me to reflect on the condition of my heart through these door signs.

“Do Not Disturb”

Sometimes, we tell God to not disturb our lives. My life is going well, and I do not want to be too religious or over committed. I will do my part as a Christian – go to church, tithe, serve God at my convenience – but I still want to be in control of my life. However, some areas of my life are strictly out-of-bounds to Him.

These “do-not-disturb” areas could be reflective of our struggles with past trauma or ongoing sins, a desire to be in control of our lives and make decisions on our own, or a deep disappointment with God for withholding things or outcomes of our desire. Like Peter who, on the night that Jesus was arrested and went on trial before the Sanhedrin, “followed Him at a distance” (Matthew 26:58), we cannot follow Christ wholeheartedly when we keep God out of our lives.

“Make Up Room”

We sometimes treat God like a room service attendant whom we call upon to clean up the mess that we have callously created. When we cry out to God in desperation (Psalm 102:1), God in His mercy hears us and will come to our aid. However, if we expect God to be at our beck and call, or a doormat to be stepped on, then we have taken both Him and His grace for granted.

When God cleans up the mess in our lives, we must seek His forgiveness, repent from our self-centredness and resolve to get right with Him.

Let me suggest a door sign that will have a life-changing effect on us.

“Make Yourself At Home”

This is an invitation for Christ to come in and dwell in our hearts. We want God to be at home and have access to all aspects of our lives. God is not merely a guest, but Author and Master of our lives. When we allow Him to have full control of our being, He will give us the peace and rest that we need, and will constantly remind us to keep our hearts pure and be holy. God is delighted when He is welcomed.

Which sign is hanging on the door of your life in this season?

 

Blessings,
Lam Kok Hiang
Country Leader


 

你的心门上挂着什么指示牌?

亲爱的事工伙伴,

世界各地许多旅店都提供客房挂牌,例如:“请勿打扰”、“请即打扫”,以方便旅客与客房服务员沟通。在最近一次入住旅店时,上帝通过这些客房挂牌感动我反思我内心的状况。

“请勿打扰”

有些时候,我们对上帝说,“请别打扰我的生活。” 我对目前的生活很满意,我不想太多地投入信仰。我会尽基督徒的本分 – 参与崇拜、按月奉献,在时间许可的时候事奉上帝;但是我仍要自己掌管人生,甚至我生活的一些领域是绝对不允许上帝介入的。

这些“不允许上帝打扰”的领域也许是因为我们过去的创伤或目前的罪。又或许我们渴望自己的人生由自己掌控,因为我们对上帝深深地失望,觉得上帝没有按照我们所希望的应允我们,上帝对我们的爱是有所保留的。主耶稣被卖的那一夜,当他被押解到犹太公会受审的时候,彼得“远远地跟着”耶稣(马太26:58)。若我们将上帝拒于心门之外,我们是无法全心全意地跟随主的。

“请即打扫”

有些时候,我们待上帝如客房服务员,召唤祂收拾我们所搞出来的烂摊子。纵然当我们急难的时候呼求上帝,祂怜悯我们,垂听我们,救助我们。但是,若我们把上帝当作可以呼之即来,挥之即去的服务员,我们就是在践踏上帝的恩典,把上帝和祂的爱当成理所当然了。
当我们祈求上帝清扫我们生活中的脏乱,我们必须先向上帝认罪悔改,祈求赦免,从自我为中心转向上帝,与上帝和好。

让我来提议一个能翻转人生的心门挂牌。

“当作自己的家”

这是对基督的邀请,请祂入住我们的内心。我们要让我们的内心成为上帝的住处,让祂自由进入我们生活的每一个领域。上帝不是我们的客人,祂是我们生命的主宰,我们的主人。当我们让上帝全权掌管我们的人生,祂赐予我们心灵所需要的平安和安息,祂会不断地提醒我们要保守内心的纯净圣洁。上帝喜悦我们向祂敞开内心。

在你人生目前的阶段,你心门上挂着什么指示牌?

 

愿上帝祝福你,
蓝国贤
会长

Living A Life Of Significance

>>> Mandarin version of this article 活出生命的意义

Dear Ministry Partner,

“For we are God’s masterpiece. It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others” (Ephesians 2:10, Living Bible Translation).

Photo by EDDY KLAUS

Are you tired of going through the motion of living the Christian life? Are you weighed down by the demands of life, work and family that leave you desiring for more than what your present way of life offers? Allow me to share how we can live a life of significance in different seasons of life.

Living a life of significance begins with the understanding that we are masterfully created for God’s purpose to help and bless others (Ephesians 2:10). Receiving Christ into our lives is the beginning of an adventure in living out our unique calling by faith, conforming to His likeness, and being a blessing to others.

At Cru Singapore, we are embarking on LiveSg – a three-year initiative that aims to encourage people to L.I.V.E. significantly in the following areas:

Loving God And Others

We believe that a life of significance is first and foremost anchored in a personal relationship with God, in whom we find our true identity and purpose for living. As believers, we must seek to live purposefully in view of God’s design for each of us.

Igniting Our Passion

God has given us talents, gifts and passion in life. A spark is ignited in us when we live out our calling and know that we are fulfilling God’s purpose for us. Each of us must find our personal passion, and integrate it with our season of life and our calling.

Venturing Out In Faith

Take action to live out our personal passion and mission. In thus expressing ourselves, we may need to step out of our comfort zone to serve God and people around us.

Encouraging Someone

When we are a positive impact on others around us, we will experience much joy and satisfaction. A timely word of affirmation, a Spirit-led time of prayer and ministry, or a thoughtful act of service can work wonders in encouraging someone going through a rough time. We simply need to be intentional and avail ourselves to God.

Living a life of significance requires us to make choices. When we choose God’s ways, He will align our steps with His purpose and unique plan for us. You can take the first step by signing up for the LiveSg 8-Day Challenge. We have enclosed a flyer on this challenge (in the hardcopy mailer). Do have a look to find out more.

May you L.I.V.E. faithfully and significantly for Him!

 

Blessings,
Lam Kok Hiang
Country Leader



活出生命的意义

亲爱的事工伙伴,

“我们原是祂的工作,在基督耶稣里造成的,为要叫我们行善,就是上帝所预备叫我们行的” (以弗所2:10)

你是否厌倦了周而复始的基督徒生活?你又是否被生活、工作和家庭的责任压得喘不过气来?你目前的生活方式是否让你觉得无法满足?让我与你分享如何在人生每一个阶段都活得有意义有价值。

要活出生命的意义,我们首先要明白我们是上帝精心的创造,为要完成祂的心意,去帮助和祝福他人(弗2:10)。从我们接受基督的那一刻开始,上帝就呼召我们踏上征途,凭信心活出我们个人独特的恩召,效法基督的样式,使他人蒙福。

Cru Singapore 正准备以三年的时间来推动 LiveSg – 鼓励和带动人们在以下四方面活出生命的意义:

爱神爱人

我们坚信与上帝建立个人的关系是活出生命意义的先决条件。唯有在这个基础上,我们才能明白自己真正的身份和我们人生的意义。身为基督徒,我们要按照上帝造我们的心意去寻找生命的意义。

点燃热忱

上帝赐予了我们独特的才干、恩赐和热忱。当我们活出上帝的呼召和领悟到祂在我们生命里的心意时,我们就能发现自己的热忱。我们还要根据我们目前的人生阶段,将热忱与我们的使命合起来。

信心迈步

然后我们要根据所领受的热忱和使命积极地行动起来。这也许意味着我们要凭信心迈出脚步,走出我们的舒适地带,去服事上帝以及我们周围的人。

鼓励他人

当我们积极正面地影响身边的人,我们也会感到非常喜乐满足。一句适时的肯定、一段由圣灵带领的祷告关怀时光、或一个体贴的相助都能够在他人面临困难的时候给予他极大的鼓励。我们其实只需要把自己献给上帝,留意每一个能鼓励人的机会。

如果我们想要活出生命的意义,我们就需要做出抉择。我们一旦选择遵行上帝的道路,祂就会使我们的步伐与祂为我们所安排的旨意和计划靠拢。你现在就可以跨出第一步,加入LiveSg 八天的挑战

愿你忠心为主活出生命的意义!

 

上帝祝福你,
蓝国贤
会长

 

The Master Becomes a Servant

Painting by 'Waiting for the Word'
Maundy Thursday — a call to love and serve one another like Jesus (image by: Waiting for the Word)

What is Maundy Thursday? The word comes from the Latin ‘Mandatum’ — which means Mandate or Commandment. It refers to the command Jesus gave to His disciples at the Last Supper (John 13:34,35).

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Jesus’ mandate to us is simple: love and serve one another. He modeled it by washing His disciples’ feet — the Master becoming the slave. A humble yet profound act that foreshadows what would come next, when He would give His life for them.

For the disciples, Jesus did the unthinkable act. Only slaves would bow down, roll up their sleeves and wash their dirty, sand-soiled feet. It was a revolutionary act that took them completely by surprise. No wonder, at first, Peter refused to let Jesus wash his feet.

Here’s a God who did not just say it, he showed it. (Romans 5:8) His humility and majesty are unmatched. I am once again captured by this clear demonstration of love by my Master. He humbled himself to wash my feet… I have been commanded to do likewise.

‘Who’s dirty feet is God asking me to wash today?’

‘What do I need to give up for the sake of another?’

Oh, I how I need to die to my self-will, my self-importance, my need to feel validated. I pray this hymn echoes the prayer of your heart, as it does mine.

“Lord take my life and make it wholly Thine
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine
Tale all my will, my passion, self and pride
I now surrender, Lord, in me abide”

(3rd stanza from Hymn ‘Search Me O God’)

Listen to a fresh arrangement of this hymn here.

(This article was originally published here on 28 March 2018, and is used by permission


Why It Pays to Be Absolute about Truth

Even when everyone else is absolutely sure it doesn’t exist


(Image credit: Photo by Randy Jacob on Unsplash)

The idea of absolute truth has fallen on hard times. Claiming something is really true is not only unpopular, it is often considered foolish, arrogant, and even immoral. In such a hostile climate, many Christians are hesitant to pay the cultural price for clinging to the concept of absolute truth.

Why, then, would anyone still want to promote and defend such a notion? Much more can be said, but we will explore just four basic ideas that demonstrate why it pays significant dividends to uphold the idea of absolute truth.

1. It is philosophically congruent

First and foremost, when properly understood, the concept of truth possesses the character of being absolute. If something is genuinely true, it cannot simultaneously also be false or impossible. One of the great fallacies of our age is the self-refuting claim that there is no absolute truth. Is that absolutely true? If so, it self-destructs. It cannot be absolutely true that there is no absolute truth.

2. It provides assurance and security

When something is absolutely true, it is true whether or not anyone believes or is aware of it. Real truth is not subject to the whims of power, opinion, or the latest fad or fancy. It is reliable and has an enduring quality that transcends time and space, giving assurance and security in the midst of changing times and circumstances.


(Image credit: Photo by Ahmed Saffu on Unsplash)

3. Might does not become a right

On the other hand, when people abandon a commitment to absolute truth, they are far more likely to be taken in by whatever suits their fancy — even ideas and practices that end up being dangerous and damaging to personal and societal flourishing. In addition, the powerful are far more likely to actively promote and enforce their version of reality, especially when they are personally benefitted.
When people abandon a commitment to absolute truth, they are far more likely to be taken in by whatever suits their fancy
Without a concept of absolute truth, there can be no appeal to an external and reliable source of evaluation and accountability. It becomes power play against power play rather than a spirited exchange of ideas and the reasons for adhering to or rejecting them. Might becomes right, a source of oppression and greed.

4. It encourages genuine and fruitful exchange of ideas

This problem of oppressive power-plays leads to a key reason why it pays to be absolute about truth: it engenders the genuine and fruitful exchange of ideas. There is a critical need in our time for candid moral and intellectual debate. Contrary to the mantras of some, not all perspectives — religious or otherwise — are created equal. Some ideas, by their very nature, are worthy of rejection, not because they are culturally and politically unpopular, but because they do not stand up to the test of moral and intellectual scrutiny.

The bald exercise of power is a poor substitute for thoughtful and respectful discussion and debate over the things that matter most. But when concepts of truth are relegated to the category of “alternative facts,” and moral standards have been deemed “personal preferences,” there is little room for reasoned disagreement and genuine learning.

Conclusion: A bigot or not a bigot? – That is the question

No matter how loudly and adamantly postmodernists insist all truth is relative and not absolute, all normal people still maintain — justified or not — that what they believe is actually true. The problem is not in believing some things being true or false. What’s wrong is condemning a certain class of people for believing something solely because they believe differently than you.

As Greg Koukl (The Story of Reality, 24) puts it:

“Since everyone — religious person, atheist scientists, skeptic—believes his beliefs are true, it has always struck me as odd when some have been faulted simply for thinking their views correct. They’ve been labeled intolerant or bigoted for doing so. But what is the alternative? The person objecting thinks his own views correct as well, which is why he’s objecting. Both parties in the conversation think they’re right and the other wrong. Why, then, is only the religious person (usually) branded a bigot for doing so?”

Of course, the real question all of these raises is, how? How do we determine whether something is true, false, possible or impossible, likely or unlikely? I suggest we start a conversation about this and see where the truth might lead. I think that we will ultimately find that it absolutely pays to be absolute about truth.


你测验及格吗?

亲爱的事工伙伴,

最近正逢学校考试时期。不论学生喜欢测验与否,那是学生生涯的一部分,也有助于他们掌握并且应用知识。

即便从学校毕业了,我们继续在个人信仰及品格修为方面被测试。诗人写道,“上帝啊,祢试验我们,熬炼我们如熬炼银子。祢让我们陷入网罗,把重担压在我们的背上。祢让别人骑在我们的头上。我们曾经历水火,但祢带我们到达丰盛之地。” (诗篇66:10-12,新译本)。

是的, 神试验众人。 神藉着生命中的种种试验炼净我们归回神自己的形象样式。这些试炼或许包括身体抱恙、复杂的人际关系、个人经济或事业前景不明朗、还有齐家安老的挑战。我们得拖着不断耗损的身心寻找各种出路。是的,理智上,你我或许知道凡事必需信靠 神; 作为一介凡夫俗子,我们努力想理解这些试验/试炼背后的含义。

容许我分享二三心得,或许能帮助我们会意人生所遭遇的患难。

首先, 神的试验是为了塑造我们,叫我们成长。

神就像一名良师,知道你我的底限并且不会让我们遭遇过于所能承受的(哥林多前书10:13)。生命里的逆境宛如炉火提炼金子,为要去除其当中的杂质。

被炼净的过程往往是痛苦的,但为了促进成长,也是必要的。许多属 灵的领袖经历痛苦的试验,并非由于失脚,而是 神要完全他们信心,并且在他们的生命里彰显祂的权能。

其次, 神的试验只论及格与否,不计分数。

若我们从中能更加忠心、(在真道上)站立得更稳、更爱人如己,即是通过试验。我们虽然不完美,却得以借着神的恩典持之以恒。我们若失败了,那是因为对 神、对人心生苦毒。我们对 神的回应堪比试验一样重要。虽然如此, 神充沛的恩典叫祂扶持失脚的人(诗篇37:24)。

最后, 神的试验要炼出配得为主所用的精金。

经过试炼的人好像纯金,他的生命可以反映出 神的荣耀(约伯记23:10)。我们的信心与品格经过精炼可以成为实在的祝福!

愿上帝祝福你,
蓝国贤
会长

参阅原文
AHMAD OSSAYLI 摄影

Did You Pass the Test?

Dear Ministry Partner,

This is the season of school examinations which are very much part of a student’s life. While no student likes tests, these are necessary for the mastering and application of knowledge.

Even after leaving school, we continue to be tested in the area of faith and character. The psalmist writes, “For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance” (Psalm 66:10-12, NIV).
Yes, God tests us! God refines us to be conformed to His image through the trials in our lives.
Yes, God tests us! God refines us to be conformed to His image through the trials in our lives. These trials may include health issues, difficult relationships, job and financial uncertainties, and marital and parenting challenges. These drain us emotionally and mentally, causing our hearts to be heavy-laden as we seek solutions. We know we need to trust God but, being human, we struggle to understand why trials happen.

Here are some lessons that help us make sense of our lives’ trials:

FIRST, GOD’S TEST IS DESIGNED FOR OUR PERSONAL GROWTH AND CHARACTER BUILDING.

Like a good teacher, God knows our weaknesses and will not allow us to be tested beyond what we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). Like gold being purified in a fiery furnace, the trials of our lives help to sieve out the “impurities” in us.

The refining process in the furnace of fire is often painful, but necessary for development. Many godly leaders have been through painful trials not due to poor decisions, but because God wanted to teach them lessons of faith and demonstrate His sovereignty in their lives.

SECOND, THERE IS NO GRADE FOR GOD’S TEST – ONLY PASS/FAIL.

We pass the test when we emerge better – more faithful, more secure and less self-seeking. We will not be perfect but we continue to persevere in His goodness. We fail when we become bitter towards God and the people around us. Our response to God is as important as the test itself! However, even when we fail, God’s grace abounds and He will uphold us with His hand (Psalm 37:24).

FINALLY, THE DESIRED OUTCOME OF GOD’S TEST IS REFINED GOLD

God’s test finally results in a faith refined by gold, prepared and ready for the Master’s use (Job 23:10)
Like refined gold, we will reflect the glory of God in our lives. The refinement of our faith and character becomes the real blessing!

Blessings,
Lam Kok Hiang
Country Leader

Photo by AHMAD OSSAYLI

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天空之眼

亲爱的事工伙伴,

《天空之眼》(Eye in the Sky)电影里,军事行动使用备有摄像机的无人机 (从空中) 辨认锁定恐怖分子。无独有偶,身处如今高度保安的环境,我们四周都有闭路和移动摄像镜头记录我们的一举一动。科技除外,尚有一目光不离我们左右。大卫王提到,“耶和华的眼睛看顾义人,祂的耳朵垂听他们的呼求。” (诗篇34:15,新译本,下同)。

耶和华的眼目察看世人

祂一直在寻找祂的羊。祂看见我们的需要、我们背负的担子,以及隐藏的痛楚。我们经历难处的时候,祂深深关切。大卫王又说“耶和华亲近心中破碎的人,拯救灵里痛悔的人,…” (诗篇34:18)。祂的恩典源源不绝地在艰难的日子临到我们。因此,我们可以不定睛在当下处境,转眼仰望那无所不察、为我们的益处按时成全一切者。

世人只看外在, 神却鉴察内心。祂那渗透的目光如同火把照亮我们里头的黑暗深处。 神看见我们心底的诸般意念,并终有一天会要我们一一交代。希伯来书的作者告诫说,“被造的在 神面前没有一样不是显明的,万有在他的眼前都是赤露敞开的;我们必须向祂交帐” (希伯来书4:13)。让我们的生命生活在 神、人面前无可指摘。不要躲藏或行在暗里。

“耶和华的眼目无所不在;坏人好人祂都鉴察。”

(箴言15:3)

耶和华的耳倾听

创造宇宙及托住万有者垂听我们的祷告。就如母亲竖耳不忘新儿的哭声, 神也一样聆听我们心里的呼喊和无语的忧伤。祂耐心留意、明白我们那支离破碎的倾诉。我们祈求时安静心思亲近 神。我们需要就近祂的胸怀、在主里再次确认祂掌管万有。

“义人哀求,耶和华就垂听,搭救他们脱离一切患难,…。”

(诗篇34:17)

属 神的人永不落在祂的视线范围以外 (参阅诗篇139)。祂无时无刻不看顾祂的羊。

“耶和华的眼目遍察全地,一心归向祂的,祂必以大能扶助他们;…。”

(历代志下16:9a)

 

愿上帝祝福你,
蓝国贤
会长

参阅原文
IAN NORMAN 摄影

Eye in the Sky

Dear Ministry Partner,

In the movie Eye in the Sky, unmanned drones equipped with cameras were used to identify and pinpoint terrorists in a military mission. Similarly, in today’s heightened security environment, we have closed-circuit and phone cameras everywhere recording our movement and actions.

Besides technology, there is another pair of eyes trained on each one of us. David writes, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears attentive to their cry” (Psalm 34:15, NIV).

God Sees Everything

He is constantly on a lookout for His children. He sees the needs, burdens, and pains we carry with us. He cares deeply for us when we are undergoing a difficult time. David also reminds us that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, NIV). His ever-sufficient grace reaches out to us in those trying times. Our eyes do not have to be on our own circumstances, but on the One who sees everything and works everything out for our good, in His time.

While man sees only the external, God looks at the internal. His penetrating gaze is like a torch that shines into the hidden areas in our lives. God sees our inner motives and will one day require us to account for them. The writer of Hebrews warns us that “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and He is the one to whom we are accountable” (Hebrews 4:13, NLT). Let our lives be above reproach, before man and God. Do not hide or live in darkness.

“The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.” (Proverbs 15:3, NIV)

God Hears Everything

The Creator and Sustainer of the universe is attentive to our prayers. Like a new mom whose ears are constantly tuned to the cries of an infant, God is constantly tuned to our heart cries and the unspoken pain in our hearts. He listens patiently to us and empathises with us when words do not fully express our prayers.

It is in prayer that we still our hearts to listen to God. We need to hear His heart and His assurance that He is in control.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” (Psalm 34:17 (NIV)

We are never out of range of God’s sight (cf. Psalm 139). He watches over us 24/7.

“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chronicles 16:9a, NIV)

Blessings,
Lam Kok Hiang
Country Leader

Photo by IAN NORMAN