Friday, March 1, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

從與上帝共度寧靜時光中受益──BENEFITING FROM UNHURRIED TIME WITH GOD

For English version, please refer to the latter part of this page

理查.布克比博士 (Dr.Richard Blackaby) 在愛荷華州與一群商業和專業領袖對談時,談到他的父親亨利有一次被邀請,向一群《財富》雜誌500大企業的執行長發表演講。看到這群高階的企業主管齊聚一堂,尤其是想到他們的職責範圍和影響力,他就感到非常振奮。

以《經歷神》系列書和聖經研究聞名的老布克比博士,對這些人提出了直接的挑戰。他勸誡他們每個人都要有意識地安排和計劃,他所謂的「與上帝共度寧靜時光」,包括研讀聖經和禱告。

你可以想像其中許多人的反應。一位執行長聽完提議後,插話說了自己的想法:「亨利,這樣做不太可能。你不知道我們有多忙呢!」老布克比博士回答說:「嗯,你可能根本不知道你會和誰見面,如果你真知道,你就會擠出時間了。」

三個月後,同一位執行長與布克比博士就這項挑戰進行了交流。他說,在下定決心每天有一段不匆忙的時間親近上帝後,他發現自己的日子比以前更有成效了!

這位執行長並不是第一位,了解到持續獻上時間給上帝去研經和禱告,所帶來的正面、甚至是有明顯益處的人。著名神學家馬丁路德曾說:「我禱告得越少,困難就越多;我禱告得越多,進展就越順利」。另一次,路德提出了一個誠實但矛盾的觀點:「如果我每天早上不花兩個小時禱告,魔鬼就會在這一天中獲得勝利。我有那麼多事情要做,如果每天不花三個小時禱告,我就無法順利前進!」

詩篇138篇4節宣告:「耶和華啊,地上的君王都要稱謝你,因他們聽見了你口中的言語。」無論我們的工作狀態為何,上帝都值得我們真誠地付出不匆忙的時間。此外,我們還能從中得到一些實際的益處。以下僅列舉其中一些:

我們可以獲得正確的觀點。面對許多壓力、期限和要求,以及來自我們文化的相互衝突,我們很容易失去對事物的正確和適當的聚焦。與上帝共度不匆忙的寧靜時光,特別是在一天開始的時候,可以提醒我們什麼是最重要的,以及我們最終要透過工作為誰而服事。「你說:你們當尋求我的面。那時我心向你說:耶和華啊,你的面我正要尋求。」(詩篇27篇8節)

我們可以獲得所需要的智慧。我們每天都會遇到很多問題,尤其是那些我們沒有預期到的問題,要妥善處理,不僅需要知識,還需要智慧。我們可以從上帝那裡獲得我們所需要的。「因為,耶和華賜人智慧;知識和聰明都由他口而出。」(箴言2章6節)

挑戰思考

良好的意圖如果不加以跟進並努力實踐,其價值甚微。有時,要確保我們打算做的事情(如花時間與上帝在一起)得到落實,最好的方法就是有一個問責的夥伴。這是一位你信任和關心你的人,他會提醒你並鼓勵你實現你的良好意圖。你現在是否有這樣一個人可以依靠,讓他問責你?如果有,請與那個人分享這個渴望。如果沒有,帶著期待的心禱告,請求上帝派遣一位問責的夥伴。

備註:如果你有聖經,想閱讀更多相關的內容,請參考下面的經文

箴言1章7節
1:7敬畏耶和華是知識的開端;愚妄人藐視智慧和訓誨。
箴言3章13-15節
3:13得智慧,得聰明的,這人便為有福。
3:14因為得智慧勝過得銀子,其利益強如精金,
3:15比珍珠(或作:紅寶石)寶貴;你一切所喜愛的,都不足與比較。
箴言12章8節
12:8人必按自己的智慧被稱讚;心中乖謬的,必被藐視。
箴言16章21節
16:21 心中有智慧,必稱為通達人;嘴中的甜言,加增人的學問。
歌羅西書3章17節、23節
3:17無論做什麼,或說話或行事,都要奉主耶穌的名,藉著他感謝父神。
3:23無論做什麼,都要從心裡做,像是給主做的,不是給人做的,
帖撒羅尼迦前書5章16-18節
5:16要常常喜樂,
5:17不住的禱告,
5:18凡事謝恩;因為這是神在基督耶穌裡向你們所定的旨意。

反省與問題討論

  1. 如果有人走向你,問你是否經常花時間「與上帝共度寧靜時光」,你會如何回應?對你來說,這是什麼意思?以及你認為要在持續的基礎上實現這一目標,會有多容易或多困難?
  2. 你對馬丁· 路德的兩個說法有什麼看法?他表示,他禱告得越多越努力,每一天就會過得越好。當面對極大的需求時,我們說需要花更多時間與上帝在一起,這是否顯得不太明智?請解釋你的答案。
  3. 第三、想想看下定決心與上帝共度寧靜時光,在你嘗試這樣做的過程中,有遇到哪些挑戰或困難嗎?
  4. 你認為在職場中,與上帝共度寧靜時光,能在哪些方面讓我們更好地看待一天中所面臨的機會和障礙呢?


BENEFITING FROM UNHURRIED TIME WITH GOD

By Rick Boxx

Dr. Richard Blackaby was talking with a group of business and professional leaders in Iowa about a time when his father, Henry, was invited to speak to a group of Fortune 500 CEOs. It was amazing for him to see a gathering of such high-ranking corporate executives in one place, especially considering the scope of their responsibilities and influence.

Well-known for his Experiencing God books and Bible studies, the elder Dr. Blackaby was direct in his challenge to these individuals. He admonished each of them to intentionally schedule and plan for what he called “unhurried time with God,” both in terms of Bible study and prayer.

You can imagine how many of them reacted. One CEO, after listening to the proposal, interjected his thoughts: “Henry, doing that is not likely. You have no idea how busy we are.” Dr. Blackaby responded, “Well, you have no idea who you would be meeting with. If you did, you would make time.”

Three months later, the same CEO communicated back with Dr. Blackaby about the challenge. He said that after resolving to spend unhurried time with God daily, he discovered that his days were far more fruitful than ever before!

This executive was hardly the first person to learn about the positive, even tangible benefits of devoting consistent time with God in studying the Scriptures and praying. The famous theologian Martin Luther, a man faced with many demands himself, said, “the less I pray, the harder it gets; the more I pray, the better it goes.” Another time Luther made this honest but paradoxical observation: “If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer”!

Psalm 138:4 declares, “All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for they have heard the words of Your mouth.” God is worthy of our sincere, unhurried time, no matter what our status may be at work. In addition, there are practical benefits we can receive from this. Here are just a few of them:

We can gain a proper perspective. Faced with many pressures, deadlines and demands, along with conflicting messages coming from our culture, it is easy to lose focus on what is right and proper. Spending unhurried time with God, especially at the start of the day, reminds us of what is important and who we ultimately are striving to serve through our work. “My heart says of You, ‘Seek His face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek” (Psalm 27:8).

We can acquire the wisdom we need. Many of the problems we confront during the course of a day, especially those we did not anticipate, require not only knowledge but also wisdom to handle properly. We can get what we will need from God. “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:6).

We can appropriate God’s strength. It is easy to charge into a day in our own power, confident we can handle any situation. Often, however, we can’t. But through time with God, we can receive His strength and direction. “I can do everything through Jesus Christ who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

Reflection/Discussion Questions

  1. How would you respond if someone approached you and asked if you regularly spend “unhurried time with God”? What does this even mean to you, and how easy – or difficult – do you think it is to accomplish on a consistent basis?
  2. What do you think of Martin Luther’s two statements indicating the more and harder he prayed, the better each day would go for him? Does it seem foolhardy to say that when faced with great demands, the need for time with God is even greater? Explain your answer.
  3. Thinking about resolving to spend unhurried time with God, what are some of the challenges or difficulties you have encountered in attempting to do this?
  4. In what ways do you think spending unhurried time with God can give us a better perspective on the opportunities and obstacles we confront during a typical day in the workplace?

NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more, consider the following passages:
    Proverbs 1:7, 3:13-15, 12:8, 16:21; Colossians 3:17,23; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Challenge

Good intentions are of little value if we do not follow up on them and strive to put them into practice. Sometimes the best way to ensure following through on what we intend to do – such as spending unhurried time with God – is by having an accountability partner. This is someone you trust and know cares about you who will remind you and encourage you to fulfill your good intentions. Do you have such a person right now that you can go to and rely on to hold you accountable? If so, share this desire with that person. If not, expectantly pray and ask God to send someone to assist you in an accountability role.



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