一起读经 | 马太福音 10:32-42

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马太福音10章32-39

马太福音10:32凡在人面前认我的,我在我天上的父面前,也必认他。33凡在人面前不认我的,我在我天上的父面前,也必不认他。34你们不要以为我来,是叫地上太平。我来本不是带来和平,乃是带来刀剑。35因为我来,是叫人与父亲生疏,女儿与母亲生疏,媳妇与婆婆生疏。36人的仇敌,就是自己家里的人。37爱父母过于爱我的,不配作我的门徒;爱儿女过于爱我的,不配作我的门徒。38凡不背着自己十字架跟从我的,不配作我的门徒。39得着生命的,将要失丧生命;为我失丧生命的,将要得着生命。

这是耶稣说的严厉的话,却是真实的话。在许多家庭中,宗教问题很难在家庭餐桌上讨论,因为如果讨论的话,可能会有人起身离开。当我们向别人承认我们的信仰时,我们不必争论。我们可以积极、热情、快乐,因为福音真是好消息。然而,有些人却拒绝接受,他们会因此成为我们的敌人。难道我们应该停止承认相信耶稣,这样我们就不会在餐桌上“冒犯”别人吗?这就是PC人(politically correct,政治正确)希望我们做的。“不要谈论耶稣,或十字架,或空坟墓,因为这是无礼的。”

背起耶稣的十字架并跟随他,意味着我们要为耶稣忍受世人的仇恨,无论何时,当我们可以公开承认他的时候,我们就不应沉默。当我们不能用言语承认的时候,我们就用生命承认,去爱那些因耶稣而恨我们的人。

祷告:

主耶稣,求你赐我勇气和智慧,在世人面前承认你的名。求你给我胆量、叫我不惧怕。因为人能把我怎麽样呢。求你赐我智慧,叫我说话有温柔,有慈爱,又有诚实,求你开我的心,使我的口传扬赞美你的话。阿们。

马太福音10章40-42

马太福音10:40凡接待你们的,就是接待我;凡接待我的,就是接待那差我来的。10:41人接待先知为先知,必得先知所得的赏赐。人接待义人,必得义人所得的赏赐。10:42我实在告诉你们:‘’这小子里,若有一个人,连一杯凉水也给他喝,他总不能不得赏赐。‘’

当我听到要“奖励”我所做的事情, 总是让我感到不舒服。因为我知道我不应该得到任何奖励。因为我的罪,我只配得到神的愤怒。然而,我的希望在于耶稣,我知道上帝会给我天堂而不是地狱,这才是最重要的。我做任何事都不需要奖励,我甚至不想去想它。

然而,耶稣却说,当我们接待那些奉耶稣的名到我们这里来的人,我们要得到奖赏。对我来说,奖赏就在这件事本身。当我在天堂的时候,我不需要任何丝带佩戴在我的胸前。但我所需要的奖赏,就是把福音事工放在我的肩膀上。

我仍然记得我第一次做福音事工的经历。我当时20岁,在密尔沃基的一个教堂为他们的假期圣经学校项目工作。这项目持续了三个星期,一个星期的邀请和两个星期的教学。我们上午有150个孩子,下午又有另外150个。在我们的结束敬拜中,我们为96名儿童施洗。我们上了一节关于洗礼的课,家长们来找我们要求为他们的孩子施洗。这段经历和从中获得的记忆就是我所需要的全部奖赏。

祷告:

主耶稣,感谢你让我参与福音事工。你给了我这么多奇妙的经历,让我看到你在福音工作中赐给人们的信心。求你提醒我,这就是生活的意义,不是完成一些遗愿清单,而是做向世界宣告福音的工作。阿们。

Matthew 10:32-39:  32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—36   a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. 37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

         These are hard words from Jesus, but true words. There are many families in which the subject of religion can hardly be discussed at the family dinner table, because if it is, someone may get up and leave. We don’t have to be contentious and argumentative when we confess our faith to others. We can be positive and warm and cheerful, for the gospel really is good news. Yet, there are some who will have nothing of it and will literally be our enemies because of it. Should we stop confessing Jesus so that we don’t “offend” someone at the table? That’s what the PC people (politically correct) would have us do. “Don’t talk about Jesus, or the cross, or the empty tomb, because it is offensive.”

Taking up the cross of Jesus and following him means that we will endure the hatred of the world for the sake of Jesus, and we will not be silenced when it comes to confessing him openly whenever we can. And when we cannot confess it with our words, we will confess it with our life, loving even those who hate us because of Jesus. 

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, give me courage and wisdom to confess your name before the people of this world. Give me courage so that I am not afraid, because what can man do to me? Give me wisdom, so that I speak with gentleness and love and yet with conviction.  Open my heart and let my mouth declare your praise!  Amen.

Matthew 10:40-42:  40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”

         It always makes me feel uncomfortable when I hear about “rewards” for the things that I do, because I know that I don’t deserve any reward at all. I deserve nothing but God’s wrath for my sins. Yet, my hope is in Jesus, and I know that God will give me heaven instead of hell, and that is all that matters. I don’t need a reward for anything I do, and I don’t even like to think about it.

Yet, Jesus talks about receiving a reward for welcoming someone who comes to us in Jesus’ name. To me the reward is in the deed itself. I don’t need any ribbons on my chest in heaven. But to throw my shoulder behind the ministry of the gospel is all the reward I will ever need.

I still remember the first experience I had with doing gospel ministry.  I was 20 years old and worked at a church in Milwaukee for their vacation Bible school project. It lasted for three weeks, one week of inviting and two weeks of teaching. We had 150 children in the morning and another 150 children in the afternoon. In our closing service, we baptized 96 children.  We had a lesson on baptism, and parents came to us asking for baptism for their children. That experience and the memories I have from it is all the reward I will ever need.  

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, thank you for letting me participate in gospel ministry in my life. You have given me so many wonderful experiences where I have seen your gospel work faith in the hearts of people. Remind me that this is what life is all about, not finishing some bucket list, but doing the work of proclaiming the gospel to the world.  Amen.

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