双语灵修 | 马太福音 18:12-14

马太福音18:12-14: 12“人若有一百只羊,一只走迷了路,你们的意思如何?岂不撇下这九十九只,往山里去找那只迷路的羊吗?13若是找着了,我实在告诉你们,他为这一只羊,比为那没有迷路的九十九只羊,更欢喜。14你们在天上的父也是这样,不愿意这小子里失丧一个。”

通常,一个基督徒会众要做的最困难的工作就是在会众中寻找那些离开了‘羊群’的人。迷路的羊喜欢藏起来。因为那是有负罪感的人会做的事。就像亚当和夏娃在花园里不见主面一样,他们喜欢躲起来。今天,寻找迷失者的工作变得更加困难,因为人们的手机上有来电显示,当牧师或教堂里的人打电话给他们时,他们都不接。这可能是令人沮丧的工作,很容易失去信心,放弃寻找。但是上帝不希望我们放弃。耶稣教导我们,当一只迷路的羊被找到时,比九十九只忠心的羊没有迷路时,我们的天父会更快乐。

在我们的教会中,我们不期望牧师是唯一做这件事的人,这是非常重要的。每个教会都不止有一只丢失的羊。通常需要多次拜访其中的一只羊才能使它们回到羊群中。有时甚至需要很多年。如果你的会众中有20只流浪的羊,那对一个牧师来说就太多了。寻找迷失者应该是每一位教会会众正在做的事。想象你是一只迷路的羊。牧师一年去看你两次,还是几个成员每月去看你一次,哪个更有效?

你对迷失的羊的拜访传达了一个强有力的信息。告诉他们,我们在天上的父,不愿意这小子里有一个迷失在罪中而消亡。

祷告:主耶稣,你是我们的好牧人,你用我们来寻找你迷失的羊。其中一些丢失的羊是我们教会的兄弟姐妹。求你赐我一颗心,使你的旨意在我们中间得以实现,正如我们所希望的,不要让这些孩子中的任何一个失去你的国度。阿们。

Matthew 18:12-14: 12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

         Often the hardest work a Christian congregation has to do is looking for the people in the congregation who have wandered away from the flock.  Lost sheep love to hide. That’s what people with a guilty conscience do. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, they love to hide. The ministry of searching for the lost has become even more difficult today because people have caller I.D. on their phones and will not answer when the pastor or someone from the church is calling them. It can be frustrating work and it is easy to lose heart and give up the search.  But God doesn’t want us to give up. Jesus teaches us that it makes our Father in heaven happier when one of the lost are found than when the ninety-nine faithful sheep have not wandered off.

         It’s important in our congregations what we do not expect the pastor to be the only one doing this work. Every congregation has more than one lost sheep. It often takes many visits to one of those sheep to restore them to the flock.  Sometimes it takes years and years. If there are twenty wandering sheep in your congregation, that’s way too many for one pastor to be searching for.  Looking for the lost should be something that every member of the congregation is doing.  Imagine that you were one of those lost sheep. Which would be more effective, the pastor visiting you twice a year or several members visiting you every month?

         Your visits to the lost sheep send a powerful message.  It tells them that our Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, you are our the Good Shepherd, and you use us to look for your lost sheep.  Some of those lost sheep are our brothers and sisters in our congregations. Give me a heart for the lost so that your will is carried out among us as we desire that not one of these little ones are lost to your kingdom.  Amen.

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