Posted by danong2013

Dearly beloved,

After 14 years since planting the church, we’re close to own-ing a place where we can hold our fellowship meetings, train-ing, and gospel nights. And we can set up our library for you to borrow books and do research in biblical works. The Young Adult Fellowship is even looking forward to holding their camp there. What an excitement!

I feel this month is an appropriate time for the pastoral staff to share with the congregation on giving to the Lord. A right at-titude and act of giving to Lord is like a sweet aroma offering.

When God led the Israelites out of Egypt into the Promised Land, He instructed through Moses, in the wilderness, about offering to the Lord: “When any one of you brings an offering to the LORD,…he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the LORD….And the priest shall burn all on the altar as a burnt sacrifice, an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD” (Lev. 1:2-9).

The phrase “sweet aroma to the LORD” is like a sweet refrain, repeated several times in the teaching of various offerings. It is an anthropomorphic expression, picturing God as smelling the aroma of the burnt offering and finding it pleasing to His sight. God treats the offering pleasing and accepting not so much with the animal offered, though it’s important, but more on the attitude and act of the person who offers.

This reminds me of an incident Jesus observed in the temple in Mark 12:41-44. Jesus sat opposite the temple offering box, watching how much money people put into the box. He observed that the rich put in much. But there was a poor widow who put in two small coins, perhaps worth very little. Then Jesus called the disciples and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury (temple offering box)” (v.43). The Jesus followed with His explanation, “For they all put in out of the abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood” (v.44).

The reason that the poor widow’s “sweet aroma” offering was well pleasing to the Lord was her attitude of giving. She was not concerned with the amount she was putting into the box, neither was she concerned so much with her poverty. The poor widow came to the temple, approached the offering box with one purpose, to give what she had with her to the Lord. That was offering herself first with total dedication to God.

As we ponder and prepare ourselves to give for the building fund, may we learn to first offer ourselves to the Lord.

Sincerely,

Pastor Peter

Giving is easier when you give yourself to the Lord.

                                                                                  Branon

亲爱的弟兄姐妹:

在十四年前创立教会后的今天,我们开始步近拥有自己的物业,可以在那里举行我们的团契聚会,培训和福音之夜。我们也可以建立我们的图书馆,你可以借阅图书或是在属灵方面作研究。青壮团契更加是很期待在那边举行他们的圣经营。真的是让人兴奋!

我感觉这个月是适合的时机让教牧人员向会众分享对神的奉献。一个对的奉献态度和行动就像一个馨香的祭。

当神带领以色列人出埃及到应许之地的时候,祂在旷野透过摩西晓谕要如何向神献祭:“你们中间若有人献供物给耶和华… 在会幕门口献一只没有残疾的公牛,可以在耶和华面前蒙悦纳…祭司就要把一切全烧在坛上,当作燔祭,献与耶和华为馨香的火祭。”(利未记1:2-9)

“献与耶和华为馨香的祭”这短句就像一个甜蜜的副歌一样,在不同的奉献教导里重复了几遍。这里是用了拟人法,把神描绘成嗅着燃烧中祭物所发出的香气,并在祂眼中看为美好的。那些被献上的动物虽然也是很重要的,但神并不是特别的看重,更重要的却是奉献的人的态度和行动。

这提醒我在《马可福音》12章41 – 44节里,耶稣在圣殿里看见的一件事情。耶稣坐在圣殿里奉献箱的旁边,看着人把多少钱放进箱里面。他看到财主放了不少的钱进去,但也有一个贫穷的寡妇只放了两个小钱,大概只有很少的价值。耶稣就叫门徒来对他们说:“我实在告诉你们,这穷寡妇投入库(教会奉献箱)里的,比众人所投的更多。”(第43节)耶稣又继续解释:“因为他们都是自己有余的,拿出来投在里头,但这寡妇是自己不足,把她一切养生的都投上了。”(第44节)

那穷妇人的“馨香的祭”被神悦纳的原因在于她奉献的态度。她没有着重在她放进箱里的数量,也没有看重自己的贫穷。那穷寡妇进来圣殿,前来奉献箱,只有一个目的,就是把她所有的献给神。那是完完全全的把自己都先奉献给神。

当我们思想并准备自己奉献建堂基金时,让我们先学习把自己都先奉献给神。

恳切地,

庄彼得牧师

当你把自己奉献给主后,你会发觉奉献得更容易。

                                                          布萊恩