思想 / 討論題目
對於把敬拜與工作結合起來的看法，你有什麼意見？ 你曾否嘗試在一天的開始就花時間與上帝在一起？持續這麼做有哪些障礙？ 本文作者列出花時間禱告並研讀聖經的一些益處。哪一項益處對你最重要？請解釋。 若你決定每天早晨在出去面對工作前，至少花幾分鐘安靜與上帝在一起，你期待會有什麼結果？
WORSHIP AND WORK – MISSION IMPOSSIBLE?
By: Austin Pryor
As a young follower of Jesus, I was taught the importance of spending personal worship time alone with God every day. I was encouraged to speak to His father’s heart, honestly sharing my hopes and dreams, my needs and concerns. Just as importantly, I was to listen for His reply as I meditated on and memorized His words to me in Scripture. My service for Him is always to be the overflow of my walk with Him.
In the beginning, it seemed like another obligation of the Christian life. If I only had time to give the Lord a few minutes in the morning (or missed several days altogether), I was trying to serve Him and fulfill my spiritual duties in other ways.
The fact is I didn’t always want to spend time with God in the morning, buy wanted to want to. I wanted the kind of spiritual hunger for God’s presence that wouldn’t be satisfied with a hurried morning snack, regardless of the demands of the day ahead. So I continued to pray, "Lord, create within me an appetite for spending time in your presence."
Eventually, my emotions followed my obedience. In Desiring God, John Piper speaks beautifully to the question of our motivation for spending time with God:
“Worship is a way of reflecting back to God the radiance of his worth…. The mirror that catches the rays of his radiance and reflects them back in worship is the joyful heart. Another way of saying this is to say "the chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying him forever."
As a result of becoming consistent in the time spent with the Lord each morning, you will begin experiencing His presence throughout the day in a fresh and vital way. I am giving some of these promises a financial application below – using an outline inspired by material in Bill Bright’s book God: Discover His Character – but God’s promises are applicable across the broad spectrum of life’s challenges. Promises such as:
When we are confused, God will guide us. We can rely on Him to help us make the right financial plans and investment decisions. He promises, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you" (Psalm 32:8).
When we are afraid, God will protect us. The loss of a job, an inadequate retirement nest egg, or turbulent investment markets can cause us to fear for the future. But we can take heart from His invitation: "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7). As we trust in Him, He will protect us and give us a confidence that overcomes our fears.
When we are discouraged, God will encourage us. It is not easy staying on a strict budget when there are so many things we would like to provide for our families or enjoy ourselves. And it takes resolve to stick with a long-term investment plan that does not seem to be working as expected. When we struggle with disappointments, God tells us "Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9). "I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).
When we are hurting, God will comfort us. Although God is always with us, He reveals His presence in special ways when we really need it. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles…" (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).
In practical, everyday terms, how does God fulfill these promises? Sometimes by changing circumstances, but more often by changing our perspective. He wants to guide, protect, encourage and comfort us – through His Word, through prayer, and through the leading of His Spirit as we spend times alone with Him. Our Father is waiting to open the eyes of our hearts so we may see – and delight in – His love and faithfulness.
Austin Pryor is the founder of the Sound Mind Investing financial planning newsletter and website. You can read more about Sound Mind Investing and its investment principles at www.soundmindinvesting.com.
How do you respond to the idea of making worship an integral part of your workday? Have you ever tried to begin your day by spending time with God? What are some of the obstacles to doing that on a consistent basis? The author of this Monday Manna suggests a number of benefits of dedicating time to prayer and studying the Scriptures? Which, if any, seems most important to you? Explain your answer. If you were to commit to spending at least a few minutes every morning in a quiet time with God, before you go out to confront the demands of your workday, what do you anticipate would result?
NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to review some other passages that relate to this topic, consider the following verses: Joshua 1:8; Psalm 19:14, 119:18; Lamentations 3:22-23; John 15:7; Philippians 4:6-7;