First Chinese Baptist Church of Phoenix, AZ will be participating in the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering which supports missionaries and allows them to reach people for Christ all across North America.
On Saturday morning, Sue and I visited a 70-year-old friend in a hospice nearby. On Saturday evening, this friend went to be with her Lord. On that same day, I learned of the “Life Celebration” for a 57-year-old co-worker whom I had worked alongside for years. He was a dedicated missionary, but illness pushed his departure from this world very early.
I mention these two examples to remind us that time, and how we use that time, is important. We often joke that if we “blink our eyes three times, 10 years will have gone by!” If we look at Biblical examples, we can find individuals with very focused lives. Of course, those individuals didn’t have the same amount of advertising and “me first” materials coming at them daily as we do. Our world’s goal is to convince us that life is only about meeting our personal needs. Indeed, there are even so-called “Christian materials” that push our comforts and our needs before the concerns and values of God. I suppose this is one reason that I so greatly respect the “I Am Second” videos that we sometime share in worship services. Within those videos, we are reminded that the our primary focus for how we use our lives and time is not on me, my family, my activities, my career, my reputation, or my anything. The goal in our lives is to be HIS FIRST with all the decisions and planning centered around the Will of God.
My prayer for you and me is that we may slow down a moment and reflect on the life that God has given to you. We don’t know much about tomorrow, but we do know that we are surrounded by people with needs more intense than ourselves. With Jesus as our model, and our Lord, is there a need for all of us to use our time and lives more for the meaningful purposes of serving His desires? We have but one life to spend in the name of Christ.
星期六早晨，我和妻子一起去探访一位70岁，住在安宁病房的朋友；当晚这朋友就离世去到天父家。在同一天, 我也获知一位57岁,一起服事多年的同工也在“庆祝他的生命”； 他是一个委身的传教士，但是病痛非常早得把他推离这个世界。
我提这两例子是要提醒我们“时间”— 我们如何使用这个时间，是非常重要的。我们常开玩笑说“一眨眼，10年就过去了！” 如果我们查看圣经，我们可以找到一些有标的生命意义的个人。当然这些个人没有像我们一样收到大量的广告说”我是首先的”。世界的目标是要说服我们, 生命只是为了达到我们个人的需要；是的，甚至有一些基督徒资料都将我们个人的舒适和需要, 摆在上帝及其价值之上。我想这可能是一个原因，我非常尊敬我们过去数周崇拜中分享的“我是其次的”影片。在这些影片中，我被提醒我们生命主要重点是要如何使用我们的生命及时间，不是在我们自己的家庭、活动、事业、名誉或者我的所有事上。我们生命的目标，应该是 祂的是第一；我们所有的决定、计划，应该以 神的旨意为中心，祂的是第一的。
我祷告祈求你我停一下，想想上帝给我们的生命。我们不知道明天是怎么样，但是我们周遭有许多有需要的人。以 耶稣为模范，并且 祂是我们的 主，有需要用我们的时间和生命更多去服侍他的愿望吗？ 在 基督名下，我们只有一个生命。
Please join us Sunday, March 17th, 2019 for a special Combined Worship + Ordination service for Pastor Jack Hwang. Service will begin at 10am to 12pm.
I awoke last night, from a sound sleep, asking myself a question, “How do I love the church?” Is it that I only love it when everything is going smoothly in the way that I desire? Is it that I require people to believe my way is always the best for all? Do I love the church more when people seem to be listening to my views and decisions are in a direction I prefer? What do I think of the church when it works or decides things in a way that I find unacceptable…does it impact my love and forgiveness? If I am a follower of Jesus, what was His model for loving the church? Did He only love those who agreed with His decisions and did things His way? Hmm?
Ephesians 5:25 challenges my behavior; “Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” The church was, is, and will always be an imperfect and sinful body of believers…and Jesus knew this as He continued to support it, even to a cross! If any of us are waiting for a perfect group of Christians to gather in the name of Christ before we will sacrifice our time, our money, our personal ambitions, and our service then we have a long wait! Denied by Peter, betrayed by Judas, repeatedly questioned, and condemned by religious leadership, Jesus knew what it was to see sinful men.
Yet, he loved the church. How do I love the church? “Unconditional Love” is my goal but it won’t be easy! How will you love the church?