Monday, July 15, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

敬拜與工作—不可能的任務?

By:Austin Pryor

身為年輕的基督徒,我被教導每天花時間個人敬拜上帝的重要性。人們鼓勵我向天父說話,誠懇地說出我的希望、夢想、需要和擔憂。同樣重要的是,我也要默想並背誦聖經中祂給我的話語,這樣我才能聽到祂給我的答覆。我對祂的服事總是從我與祂同行中湧流出來。

剛開始時,這似乎像基督徒生活的另一個責任。若早晨我只能給主幾分鐘(或者好多天都沒時間靈修),我就試著藉著服事祂,或用別的方式來實踐我的屬靈責任。

事實上,每早晨我並不是都想花時間與上帝在一起,但我希望自己有那渴望。我想對上帝的同在有一種屬靈的饑渴感,那饑渴感要使我不論那天的工作有多繁忙都不會滿足於早晨匆促的一點靈修時刻。所以我繼續禱告:「主啊,求祢賜我裡面有想花時間與祢在一起的渴望。」

最後,我的饑渴情緒就跟著我的順服而來。談到渴望上帝,約翰.派波以優美的文字談到我們想要花時間與上帝在一起的動力:

「敬拜是我們對上帝價值之榮光的一種反映…鏡子抓住祂榮耀的光線,就用敬拜來反映,這就是喜悅的心。另一種說法是:人最主要的目的是藉著享受永遠與上帝同在來榮耀祂。」

當你持續地每個早晨都花時間與主在一起,你會開始一整天都以一個新鮮、有活力的方式經歷到祂的同在。以下我列出一些有關財務應用的應許--我所用的大綱是來自比爾.布萊特的書「上帝--發現祂的品格」所啟發--然而上帝的應許可以應用在生活中各種層面的挑戰。祂的應許有:

當我們困惑時,上帝會引導我們。我們可以倚靠祂幫助我們做正確的財務計畫和投資決定。祂應許:「我要教導你,指示你當行的路;我要定睛在你身上勸戒你」(詩篇32篇8節)。

當我們害怕時,上帝會保護我們。當我們失去工作、退休金放在不適當的機構或投資市場劇烈波動都會使我們對將來感到恐懼。但我們可以從祂的這個應許中鼓起勇氣:「你們要將一切的憂慮卸給神,因為他顧念你們」(彼得前書5章7節)。當我們信靠祂,祂會保護我們,並賜我們信心克服恐懼。

當我們沮喪時,上帝會鼓勵我們。當我們的家庭需求很多,我們很難嚴格地堅持按照很少的預算生活。而當一個長期投資計畫似乎表現不如預期時,要有決心才能堅持下去。當我們在失望中掙扎時,上帝告訴我們:「你當剛強壯膽!不要懼怕,也不要驚惶;因為你無論往那裡去,耶和華─你的神必與你同在」(約書亞記1章9節)。「我必堅固你,我必幫助你;我必用我公義的右手扶持你」(以賽亞書41章10節)。

當我們受傷時,上帝會安慰我們。雖然上帝一直與我們同在,當我們真的需要時,祂會用特別的方式顯示祂的同在。「願頌讚歸與我們的主耶穌基督的父神,就是發慈悲的父,賜各樣安慰的神。我們在一切患難中,他就安慰我們」(哥林多後書1章3-4節)。

在每天的實際生活中,上帝如何實現這些應許?有時祂會改變環境,但更常的情況是改變我們的看法。祂要引導、保護、鼓勵並安慰我們--透過祂的話語、透過禱告、還有當我們花時間單獨與祂同在時透過聖靈引導。我們的天父正等著要打開我們心靈的眼睛,讓我們看見並喜愛祂的愛和信實。

奧思汀.普萊爾是「健全心智投資」財務規畫通訊和網站的創辦人。你可以上網www.soundmindinvesting.com 更多了解「健全心智投資」和它的投資原則。

思想 / 討論題目
對於把敬拜與工作結合起來的看法,你有什麼意見? 你曾否嘗試在一天的開始就花時間與上帝在一起?持續這麼做有哪些障礙? 本文作者列出花時間禱告並研讀聖經的一些益處。哪一項益處對你最重要?請解釋。 若你決定每天早晨在出去面對工作前,至少花幾分鐘安靜與上帝在一起,你期待會有什麼結果?
註:若你有聖經且想要看有關此主題的其他經文,請看:
約書亞記1章8節;詩篇19篇14節,119篇18節;耶利米哀歌3章22-23節;約翰福音15章7節;腓立比書4章6-7節

WORSHIP AND WORK – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE?
By: Austin Pryor

As a young follower of Jesus, I was taught the importance of spending personal worship time alone with God every day. I was encouraged to speak to His father’s heart, honestly sharing my hopes and dreams, my needs and concerns. Just as importantly, I was to listen for His reply as I meditated on and memorized His words to me in Scripture. My service for Him is always to be the overflow of my walk with Him.

In the beginning, it seemed like another obligation of the Christian life. If I only had time to give the Lord a few minutes in the morning (or missed several days altogether), I was trying to serve Him and fulfill my spiritual duties in other ways.

The fact is I didn’t always want to spend time with God in the morning, buy wanted to want to. I wanted the kind of spiritual hunger for God’s presence that wouldn’t be satisfied with a hurried morning snack, regardless of the demands of the day ahead. So I continued to pray, "Lord, create within me an appetite for spending time in your presence."

Eventually, my emotions followed my obedience. In Desiring God, John Piper speaks beautifully to the question of our motivation for spending time with God:

“Worship is a way of reflecting back to God the radiance of his worth…. The mirror that catches the rays of his radiance and reflects them back in worship is the joyful heart. Another way of saying this is to say "the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever."

As a result of becoming consistent in the time spent with the Lord each morning, you will begin experiencing His presence throughout the day in a fresh and vital way. I am giving some of these promises a financial application below – using an outline inspired by material in Bill Bright’s book God: Discover His Character – but God’s promises are applicable across the broad spectrum of life’s challenges. Promises such as:

When we are confused, God will guide us. We can rely on Him to help us make the right financial plans and investment decisions. He promises, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you" (Psalm 32:8).

When we are afraid, God will protect us.
The loss of a job, an inadequate retirement nest egg, or turbulent investment markets can cause us to fear for the future. But we can take heart from His invitation: "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). As we trust in Him, He will protect us and give us a confidence that overcomes our fears.


When we are discouraged, God will encourage us. It is not easy staying on a strict budget when there are so many things we would like to provide for our families or enjoy ourselves. And it takes resolve to stick with a long-term investment plan that does not seem to be working as expected. When we struggle with disappointments, God tells us "Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9). "I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).


When we are hurting, God will comfort us. Although God is always with us, He reveals His presence in special ways when we really need it. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…" (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).

In practical, everyday terms, how does God fulfill these promises? Sometimes by changing circumstances, but more often by changing our perspective. He wants to guide, protect, encourage and comfort us – through His Word, through prayer, and through the leading of His Spirit as we spend times alone with Him. Our Father is waiting to open the eyes of our hearts so we may see – and delight in – His love and faithfulness.

Austin Pryor is the founder of the Sound Mind Investing financial planning newsletter and website. You can read more about Sound Mind Investing and its investment principles at www.soundmindinvesting.com.

Reflection/Discussion Questions

How do you respond to the idea of making worship an integral part of your workday? Have you ever tried to begin your day by spending time with God? What are some of the obstacles to doing that on a consistent basis? The author of this Monday Manna suggests a number of benefits of dedicating time to prayer and studying the Scriptures? Which, if any, seems most important to you? Explain your answer. If you were to commit to spending at least a few minutes every morning in a quiet time with God, before you go out to confront the demands of your workday, what do you anticipate would result?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Joshua 1:8; Psalm 19:14, 119:18; Lamentations 3:22-23; John 15:7; Philippians 4:6-7;

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