Posted by danong2013

Dearly beloved,

Simeon the Stylite, a 5th century monk, achieved fame by living on a platform three feet wide on top of a sixty feet pillar in the wilderness of Syria. He thought that the only way he could be holy and get closer to God was by punishing himself physically.

Often he would pray standing with his arms outstretched in the form of a cross for as long as eight hours.  Small children from the village would climb up the pillar to give him flat bread and goat’s milk for his daily sustenance. He remained on the platform for 37 years, enduring through all kinds of weather.

Some have the notion that one could attain ‘holiness’   through an ascetic lifestyle, that is, a life of self-discipline and self-denial. To be holy, one has to abstain from worldly comforts and pleasures. So many are deceived into believing that to become holy and be acceptable to God is by self-effort.  But holiness is not about living by some man-made rules and rituals.

Oftentimes we are told to be holy. People would always quote 1 Peter 1:16 “Be holy for I am holy”. The idea of being holy is to be anointed or consecrated or sanctified. In other words, we are set apart for a purpose. In Leviticus 20:7, “Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am the Lord your God”. We are set apart to worship a holy God. We are set apart to have faith, hope and love in Christ. By our living in Christ, we become God’s witnesses in this world.

Holiness is a state of living a true Christian life. God’s ho-liness is reflected in our lives through a life of obedience and commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. Out of our lives flows the beauty of holiness of Christ in us through our daily living.

A distinguished Bible scholar of the 19th century, JB Lightfoot, was described by one of his devoted students as ‘startlingly ugly: a stout little man with a grotesque figure and a squint’. But that same student also said that Lightfoot was ‘the best man I have ever encountered, and I say this deliberately after the experience of many years. In a day or two… his face appeared the most beautiful and lovable thing imaginable” (ODB, 2006).

As we seek to be committed to Christ-likeness, let us earn-estly live a life that brings blessing to others and glory to God.

Committed to Christ,

Pr Lawrence

A holy life will make the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they just shine – DL Moody

 

亲爱的弟兄姐妹:

苦行者西缅是五世纪的僧侣,因住在叙利亚旷野一根六十尺柱子上的一个三尺宽平台而出名的。他觉得要成圣和亲近主只有只能靠着肉体上惩罚自己才能达到。

他常常会站起来张开双手像十字架般祷告,最长能持续八个小时。有些村里的小孩会爬上柱子把面包和羊奶作为他每天的食粮。他忍耐着各种天气,待在那平台上有三十七年之久。

有些人会觉得人可以透过苦修,就是一个自我约束和自我否认的生活,达到圣洁。要变得圣洁,人就应该远离世界上的舒适与享乐。很多人被蒙骗而相信变得圣洁和被神接纳是靠着自己的行为。但圣洁并不是在于遵守人所建立的律法或是礼仪的。

很多时候都有人叫我们要圣洁。他们会引用彼得前书一章十六节说:“你们要圣洁,因为我是圣洁的。”要圣洁的意思就是就是被膏立,被奉为圣和成圣。换句话说,我们被分别为圣是有一个目的。在利未记二十章七节讲到:“所以你们要自洁成圣,因为我是耶和华,你们的神。”我们被分别为圣去敬拜一个圣洁的神,我们是被分别为圣去在主耶稣里有信心,有希望和有爱的。当我们活在主耶稣里的时候,我们就成为了神在世界上的见证。

圣洁是一个真正基督徒生命的状态。神的圣洁在我们生命中,透过对耶稣基督的服从和委身反映出来。这样,从我们每日的生活当中,耶稣基督圣洁的美妙就在我们生命中显露出来。

一个在十九世纪很有名的圣经学者JB莱特富特的其中一个学生形容他是一个 “奇丑无比的人:矮矮胖胖,怪诞的性格,也有斜视眼”。但同一个学生又重新形容莱特富特:“我经过这么多年以后衷心的这么说:他是我见过最棒的人。就在某一两天…他的样子就变得能够想象中最美丽最可爱的了。”《每日灵糧,2006年》

当我们追求委身并效法基督的时候,让我们恳切地活出一个生命,把祝福带给别人和荣耀神。

委身于基督,

曾楚荣传道

一个圣洁的生命给与人最深的印象。

灯塔不会吹号,只会发光。  –  慕迪