双语灵修 | 马太福音 13:31-32

马太福音 13:31-32 他又设个比喻对他们说:天国好像一粒芥菜种,有人拿去种在田里。 这原是百种里最小的,等到长起来,却比各样的菜都大,且成了树,天上的飞鸟来宿在它的枝上。

耶稣告诉我们一个关于神的国的简单真理。当你种下福音的种子,它就会生长。这可能需要一些时间,但它一定会生长。我认为我们应该尽我们所能在更多的地方建立教会,因为福音在哪里被宣讲,神的国在哪里就生长。

这并不意味着我们可以随意地随处建立教会。如果你在一个人迹罕至的地方建立教会,你就不能指望它会成长壮大。要把教会建立在人们所在的和能够注意到的地方。把它们建立在福音能够传给更多的人的地方。

那么那些看起来没有发展壮大的教会呢?我们曾经在繁荣的乡村社区建立了许多教会,这些教会不断壮大,数百人在那里聚会。可现在大多数人已经离开乡村,搬到城市去了。其中一些教会的会众已经缩减到无法再供养牧师的程度。那又怎么样呢?我以前的同工经常提醒我,我们必须以不同的视角来统计天国子民的数字。因为所有那些已经去世并去了天国的子民,都没有计算在我们教会的花名册上。但是神的国度永远不会缩小,因为上帝会计算所有与他同在天国的圣徒的数目,一个也不会落下。我们在这里的目的是尽我们所能把福音带到更多的地方、带给更多的人。

祷告: 主耶稣,求你提醒我在这个世界上的目的就是尽我所能的向更多的人传扬福音。求你打发你的工人出去收割,因为要收的庄稼多,收割的工人少。奉主耶稣的名求。阿们!

Matthew 13:31-32:  He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. 32 Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.”

Jesus gives us a simple truth about the kingdom of God. When you plant the gospel, it grows. It may take time, but it grows. I think we should be planting churches in as many places as we possibly can, because wherever the gospel is preached, God’s kingdom grows.

That doesn’t mean that we should plant those churches carelessly. If you plant a church in the middle of nowhere, where there are no people, you cannot expect it to grow.  Plant the churches where the people are. Plant them in places where people will notice them. Plant them where the gospel will reach as many people as possible.

And what about those churches that aren’t growing? We planted many churches in thriving rural communities, churches which grew and where hundreds of people worshipped. Now people have left the rural areas and have moved to the cities. Some of those congregations have dwindled to the point where they can no longer support a pastor. 

What of that? My former associate used to remind me that we have to count the statistics for God’s kingdom a little differently. All those people who died and went to heaven are no longer counted on our church’s roster.  But they are counted on God’s.  God’s kingdom will never shrink in size because God can count all those saints who are in heaven with him as well. Our purpose here is to bring the gospel to as many places and people as we possibly can.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, remind me of my purpose in this world – to proclaim the gospel to as many people as I possibly can. I also pray that you would send forth workers into the harvest field, because the harvest is plentiful and the workers are few.  I ask this in your name. Amen.

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