JESUS FIRST! –耶穌居首位!

CHINESE VERSION BELOW ENGLISH VERSION!

One time someone ask Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment men need to keep?” And Jesus answered, “You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul & all your mind.-This is the greatest commandment.” (Mat 22-37, 38)

So what steps can we take to love Jesus, not only put JESUS FIRST in our lives, but also to KEEP Him in that place? One way is in our daily service for Him. ASK the Lord in prayer about everything you do before you do it, and make sure that’s what HE wants you to do! You will find that this principle holds true even in your everyday work. When faced with pressing deadlines, the temptation is often to crowd the Lord out of our lives and concentrate solely on our work. We’ve all done it at times, but putting the Lord LAST simply is NOT the solution!

God has blessed and prospered many a great Christian businessman because they put JESUS FIRST in their everyday decisions! The famous industrialist and multi-millionaire, Robert G. LeTourneau, tells a story of when he was first starting out in business, operating one small factory: “One night I had to make a design for a new machine so that a crew of men on contract could build it the next morning. However, that same night I had been invited to go witnessing with some young Christian friends. The Lord and I had quite a struggle while I was trying to decide what to do!

“Although I could not understand how I was going to get the plan drawn for the next morning, I went with the young people, and we had a wonderfully fruitful, inspiring time! I returned about 10 o’clock. Up to that time I had been unable to figure out a single plan, but I sat down at the drafting board, and in about FIVE minutes the outline and plan was as clear as could be! What is more, the little piece of machinery designed that night has been the KEY machine in all that I have been building since! It PAYS to put GOD FIRST!”

Another famous Christian who always gave God first place in his everyday decisions was William Gladstone, who was England’s Prime Minister three times and was one of the most famous British political leaders of the 1800’s. The story is told of how every day as he went up the steps of the Parliament building, he would stop and witness to the little newsboy there about Jesus’ Love!

But one day as he and his secretary were going into Parliament, another little newsboy rushed up to them, exclaiming, “Please, Sir, you know the boy who sells you papers here? Yesterday he was run over by a carriage and he’s badly hurt. He’s going to die, and he’s asking for you to come and get him IN.” The Minister questioned, “What do you mean, `get him in’?” The lad replied, “You know, get him in to HEAVEN!”
His secretary, however, protested, “No, no, no, you don’t have TIME to go see a dying newsboy! You know how important your speech today is! It could change the course of English history!”

Gladstone hesitated only a moment, then said, “ONE immortal soul is worth MORE than my speech in Parliament!” So off to the little garret he went where the newsboy lay crushed and dying on a rough mat in the corner. With tears streaming down his face, Gladstone led the boy in a prayer to receive Jesus! The newsboy looked up into the great man’s face and whispered, “I knew you’d come. Thank you for getting me in!” Then he closed his eyes and went to be with Jesus!
An hour or two later, Gladstone made it back to Parliament where a heated discussion was raging! He was late and had almost missed his turn to speak, but not quite! He spoke eloquently!–And WON the debate! Afterwards his secretary said, “Sir, how COULD you have gone off and bothered with that little newsboy and risked missing your delivery of SUCH an important speech?”

Gladstone replied, “This speech today WAS a very important & good thing, but getting that newsboy SAVED and into Heaven was a BETTER, MORE important thing! GOD knew I was going to be able to get back in time for that speech! He was testing me to see if I’d put HIS work first!”–What a lesson on the correct sense of values!

However, great Christians are great not only because of their service to God, but because of their close and intimate fellowship with Him. The more they get to know Him, the more like Him they become. Unfortunately, one of the most common mistakes of MANY Christians is to become so engrossed in the WORK of the Lord, that they neglect the LORD of the work!–As a result, they become directionless and impotent in their WORK for Him, because they’re trying to do it on their own without HIS power. He says, “Without ME, ye can do NOTHING!”–John 15:5. You cannot do the Master’s work without the Master’s Power!–And to get it, you must spend time WITH the Master!

Sometimes we get so busy SERVING Him we forget to LOVE Him! God appreciates the service you offer Him and He needs it, but He wants your attention and adoration and intimate communication too!–The Bible reminds us, “This you should have done, and not to have left the other undone.”–Matthew 23:23.

Remember the story of Mary and Martha? When Jesus came to visit, Mary “sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His Word. But Martha was cumbered about with much serving.”–She was so weighted down, so busy rushing around trying to get everything done just right FOR the Lord, that she didn’t have time to listen TO the Lord! So Jesus gently chided her and said, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things! But ONE thing is NEEDED, and Mary has chosen that GOOD part, which shall not be taken away from her!”–Luke 10:39-42.

Although your service to Him IS very important, the time you spend WITH Jesus is even MORE important, and if you take that time alone with Him, you’ll find that surprisingly you’ll have ample time for all the other things you need to do, and you’ll be able to get them done even faster in a shorter amount of time.

To neglect your fellowship with the King of kings can be disastrous to your spiritual life and walk with the Lord! God will NOT take second place, even to His service! “You should have NO other gods before Me!”–Exodus 20:3.–And believe it or not, if you put ANYTHING else BEFORE the Lord, it has become your GOD!

So putting Jesus first place in our lives not only involves putting His SERVICE first in winning hearts and lives to Him, but also putting His WORD first in our lives! In fact, the Bible says that Jesus IS the Word! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was made flesh.”–John 1:1,14. What’s more, Jesus said, “The WORDS that I speak unto you, they are SPIRIT, and they are LIFE”!–John 6:63.

God’s Word is food for your soul, and it’s absolutely ESSENTIAL to your spiritual GROWTH! If you DON’T take time to feast on Jesus’ Word, then your soul’s going to literally STARVE! You’ll end up like a retarded, malnourished child or a spiritual dwarf!–And even your SERVICE to God will be powerless and fruitless.

Also, we must put JESUS FIRST through PRAYER! Do you have a good prayer time by YOURSELF and/or with your FAMILY every morning to start the day off right? You need it, or things just won’t go right! When you first wake up, before you call anybody or talk to anybody, talk to JESUS FIRST!–Get your orders from HIM for the day! Otherwise you’re going to be like a soldier who’s trying to fight a war all on his own without listening to headquarters, with no organization from his Commander-in-Chief! Our Heavenly Commander, Jesus, can solve a lot of your problems before the day even begins if you put HIM first and have PRAYER and listen to what He has to say through His Word!

WITHOUT a good daily dose of the WORD and PRAYER, you’ll walk around unempowered, stumbling about in your OWN wisdom and strength. Jesus says, “Without ME ye can do NOTHING”.–John 15:5. But on the other hand, the Bible says, “I can do ALL THINGS through CHRIST which strengtheneth me!”–Philippians 4:13. That strength comes only through putting JESUS FIRST, through PRAYER and the reading of God’s WORD!
So do you have Jesus and His Word, and prayer in the proper perspective in your life? Do you give them FIRST PLACE? Or do you let other things crowd God and His Word into second, third, or whatever place? If that’s the case, your whole life will be thrown out of balance, and the result will only be disharmony, disruption and confusion!–Just like we’re seeing on a stupendous scale in the WORLD today which is on the brink of ruin because Man has refused to give God first place!–Or practically ANY place in their lives!

Another way to put JESUS FIRST is through our GIVING. Jesus says, “Give and it shall be given unto you!”–Luke 6:38. Stories abound of great Christian businessmen who God BLESSED and PROSPERED because they put JESUS FIRST not only in their heart and life, but also in their giving!
John D. Rockefeller Sr., one of the greatest of all philanthropists, in his lifetime gave away more than $700 million to Christian and charitable causes, three times more than any other man!

In EVERY area of our lives, JESUS must come FIRST! Jesus said, “Seek ye FIRST the KINGDOM OF GOD and His righteousness, and ALL THESE THINGS shall be added unto you.”–Matthew 6:33. To “seek first” means to put JESUS FIRST and foremost in our lives, above EVERYTHING else!–It means working for Jesus and others more than just for yourself!–More than for money, more than for pleasure, more than for health, more than for the government, more than for ANYTHING else!

THEN, when you give Jesus first place in your life, and you give Him and His Work top priority, He will without fail supply all your needs–your food, your clothing, your housing. He can even trust you with OTHER things that you enjoy, if He knows that they will not overshadow or distract or in any way come between you and Him! Thank God that it is not a sin to enjoy food or recreation or our work, as well as all the other wonderful pleasures which God created our senses to enjoy! But we just have to watch out we don’t let THEM take first place in our lives and enjoy them MORE than we enjoy the LORD!

What is YOUR sense of values? Are you seeking the Kingdom of God FIRST and ABOVE all? Are you winning souls and promoting the Gospel?–Or are you, through your job, helping to provide the funds or the support or the housing or the opportunity that enables OTHERS to do it? There’s “Only ONE life, ’twill SOON be PAST!–Only what’s done for CHRIST will LAST”! What are YOU doing? For WHOM? Will it last FOREVER? He’s coming soon! NOW is your last chance to PUT JESUS FIRST! Today’s opportunity will be gone forever tomorrow!

Let JESUS be your FIRST LOVE and always KEEP Him in that place! You’ll NEVER lose by SEEKING FIRST the Kingdom!

 

———————————————————

國王與我
–耶穌居首位!
一次,有人問耶穌:「人類要遵守的最大法則是什麼?」耶穌回答說:「你要盡心、盡性、盡意愛主你的上帝。這是第一條、也是最重要的誡命。」(馬太福音22:37,38)
因此,我們該如何來愛耶穌,讓祂不但在我們的生命中居首位,並使這地位持久不變呢?其中一個方法,就是提醒自己在每天為祂所做的服事上與祂同在。當你要做每件事之前,先藉著禱告來請問主的指引,並確定那就是祂想要你去做的事。你將會發現,這樣的原則甚至應用在你每天的工作上。當我們面臨一些期限的壓力時,我們就很容易的將主置在我們生命之外,來專注於我們的工作。我們全都在某些時候曾這樣做過,但是把主置於末位,並不是解決方法。
上帝曾祝福許多偉大的基督徒商人並使其興旺,因為在他們每天要作的決定上,都讓耶穌居首位。那位著名的工業家和千萬富翁羅伯G.李唐紐 (Robert G. LeTourneau),告訴我們一個有關當他開始做生意,經營一間小工廠時發生的一件事:「一天晚上,我必須設計一個新的機器,所以次日早晨,我所約定的一班工人就可以開始動工。然而在同一天晚上,我被邀請去與一些年青的基督徒朋友作見證1。當我在決定該怎麼辦時,我與主之間有很大的掙扎。」
「雖然我不知道我將如何設計好次日早上所需要的機器藍圖,但是我還是與那群年青人一起出去了,而我們有了一個美好、有成果而鼓勵人心的時光。我大約十時返家,在那之前,我的腦子一片空白,一點主意也沒有,但當我面對著製圖板時,只是在大約五分鐘之內,我就已清清楚楚地畫好整個機器的藍圖!而且,更有意思的是,那天晚上我所設計的那個小機器,成為我自此以後建造的所有機器的主體!讓耶穌居首位是值得的!」
另一位在他每天要作的決定上,總是讓耶穌居首位的聞名基督徒就是格萊斯頓(William Gladstone)。他曾三度身為英國首相,在十九世紀他是英國最有名的政界領袖之一。故事敘述,每天當他走上國會的石階時,他都會停下來,告訴一個小報童有關耶穌的愛。
有一天,當他和他的秘書正走進國會時,另一個報童走到他們身邊說:「先生,你知道那個在這裡常賣報給你的男孩子嗎?昨天他被一輛馬車輾過,受了重傷。他快要死了,而他請你來領他進去。」格萊斯頓問:「你說『領他進去』是什麼意思呢?」那個小童說:「你知道啊,就是領他進入天堂1的意思啊!」
然而他的秘書抗議說:「不、不、不行,你沒有時間去見一個垂死的報童。你知道今天你將要作的演說是多麼的重要,它將會改變英國的歷史呢!」
格萊斯頓只是遲疑了一刻,就說:「一個永恆不滅的靈魂,比我在國會中所作的演說更有價值!」因此他就到那個被輾傷的報童之閣樓住處去,那時那個報童正躺在閣樓一角的簡陋墊子上,身在死亡的邊緣。格萊斯頓淚流滿面地帶領那個報童作一個禱告來接受耶穌。那個報童看著這位偉人的臉,輕聲地說:「我知道您一定會來的。謝謝您領我進去。」然後他就閉上眼睛與世長辭,到耶穌的懷抱裡去了。
在一兩個小時之後,格萊斯頓回到國會,那時國會正進行著一場激烈的辯論。他遲到了,幾乎錯過了他演說的機會,但還好不算太遲。他扣人心絃的演說,為他贏得了辯論。事後,他的秘書說:「先生,你剛才為什麼會離開,並冒著錯過你這麼重要的演說之險,來照料區區一個小報童呢?」
格萊斯頓回答說:「今天的演說,是非常重要而且是一件好事情;但是帶領那個報童得救2和進入天堂,是一件更好和更重要的事!上帝知道我將可以及時回來演說的,而祂在考驗我,看看我是否會把祂的工作視為最優先!」這是一個多麼好的有關正確人生價值觀的功課啊!
然而,偉大的基督徒們所以是偉大的原因,不但只是因為他們事奉上帝,而且也是因為他們與祂有親密的聯誼。他們愈認識祂,就變得愈來愈像祂。但不幸地是,許多基督徒最普遍會犯的錯誤之一就是,他們變得那麼專注於主的工作,以致他們忽略了工作的「主人」。結果,他們變得漫無方向,和沒有能力為祂效力,因為他們在嘗試不靠祂的力量而自己工作。祂說:「你們離開了我,就甚麼都不能作。」–約翰福音15:5。沒有「主人」的力量,你是無法做「主人」的工作的。而如果你想要得到這一份力量的話,你必須花時間與「主人」在一起。
有時候,我們因為變得那麼忙於事奉祂,以致我們忘記去愛祂。上帝感激你為祂所做的工作,而祂也需要你為祂這樣做;但是祂也想要你對祂的注意、愛慕和親密的溝通聯誼呢!聖經提醒我們說:「這些事是你們應該行的,其他的也當然不可忽略。」–馬太福音23:23。
還記得那個有關馬利亞和馬大3的故事嗎?當耶穌來探訪她們姊妹的時候,馬利亞「坐在主的腳前,聽祂講道。可是馬大因為要做的事情多,心裏忙亂。」她有那麼多負擔,跑東跑西,忙於為主把事事辦得妥當,以致她沒有時間聆聽主。因此耶穌輕輕地責備她說:「馬大!馬大!你為許多事操心忙亂,但是不可缺少的事只有一件,而馬利亞已經選擇了那最好的,沒有人能從她手中奪走!」(就是在耶穌跟前聆聽祂的話語)–路加福音10:39-42。
雖然你的作見證4和贏取他人接受耶穌的工作,是非常重要的,但是你與耶穌花時間在一起,甚至是更重要的。如果你花時間與祂單獨在一起的話,你將會驚奇地發現,你會有充足時間來做你需要做的事,及你將可以在更短的時間內,甚至更快速地辦妥它們。
忽略你與「萬王之王」(耶穌)的聯誼,會導致你的靈性生命和你與主的關係受到很大的損害。上帝是不會接納在你生命中居於次要地位的,即使因你忙於做祂的工作而把祂放在次要的位置也不行。「除了我(耶穌)以外,你不可有別的神!」–出埃及記20:3。信不信由你,如果你把任何其他事物看得比主更重要的話,那麼那件事物已成為你的神了!
因此讓耶穌在我們的生命中居首位的意思,不只是為祂贏取人的心靈生命歸信祂的這個工作居首位,而且也要讓祂的聖言5居首位。事實上,聖經說耶穌就是聖言。「太初有道(聖言),道(聖言)成了肉身。」–約翰福音1:1,14。還有,耶穌說:「我對你們所說的話,就是靈,就是生命。」–約翰福音6:63。
上帝的聖言是你靈魂的糧食,你絕對必須有它才能在靈性上成長。如果你不花時間來歡宴於耶穌的聖言的話,那麼你的靈魂就真的會捱餓。結果你將會變成一個靈性上營養不足的低能兒童或是侏儒!甚至連你為主做的工作,也將會是沒有力量和沒有成果的。
同時,我們也必須藉著禱告來讓耶穌在我們生命中居首位。每天早上,你有沒有自己、或是與你的家人一起有一個美好的禱告時間,來正確地開始一天呢?你需要這樣做,否則事情將不會很順利地進行。當你清早剛醒來時,在你呼喚任何人或與任何人交談之前,先與耶穌交談吧!從祂那裡得到你當天必須遵行的指示吧!否則你就會有如一個不聽總部指揮、不遵從總司令計畫行動、靠自己單獨去打仗的士兵一樣!而耶穌是我們在天堂的總司令,如果你讓耶穌在你生命中居首位,禱告和聆聽祂藉著聖言來對你說話的話,祂在一天甚至還未開始時,就可以解決你的許多問題呢!
你若沒有每天好好的讀聖言和禱告,你將會缺乏來自主的那份能力,你將會以自己的智慧和力量鹵莽行事。耶穌說:「你們離開了我就什麼都不能作。」–約翰福音15:5。但在另一方面,聖經說:「我靠著那加給我力量的主,便凡事都能作了!」–腓立比書4:13。那份力量,只有藉著讓耶穌在我們生命中居首位、藉著禱告和讀上帝的聖言而得來。
因此你有讓耶穌、祂的聖言和禱告,在你生命中居於應得的地位嗎?你讓祂與聖言在你生命中居首位嗎?或者是,你讓其他事物使得上帝和祂的聖言在你生命中居次要、第三位或任何其他的地位呢?如果你這樣做了的話,你的整個生命將失去平衡,而結果變得不和諧、瓦解和混亂,就如我們看見今日的世界,因為人類拒絕讓上帝在他們生命中居首位、或甚至有任何地位也好,因此使這個世界面臨更巨大的混亂現象及迫近毀滅的邊緣。
讓耶穌在你生命中居首位的另一個方法,就是以我們的贈予去幫助上帝的工作。祂說:「施與別人,上帝就會施與你們。」–路加福音6:38。有許多故事述說,一些偉大的基督徒商人,上帝祝福他們,並使他們的事業興盛發達,因為他們不但讓耶穌在心靈生命上居首位,而且在捐贈方面也是這樣。所有最偉大的慈善家之一–約翰D.洛克斐勒(John D. Rockfeller),一生捐贈了上七億美元給基督的工作和其他慈善工作!
在我們生命中的每一方面,耶穌都必須居首位才行!耶穌說:「你們要先求上帝的國和祂的義6,這些東西都要加給你們了。」–馬太福音6:33。「先求」的意思,就是讓耶穌在我們生命中居最優先和最重要的地位,比任何其他東西都更重要。這是指你為耶穌和他人工作,甚於只是為你自己工作,甚於為金錢、享樂、健康和任何其他東西工作!
然後,當你讓耶穌在你生命中居首位,你給與祂和祂的工作至上的優先權時,那麼祂便一定不會辜負你,祂會供應你食物、衣服、房屋、及你一切所需。而且,如果祂知道你所喜愛的其他事物,並不會使你覺得它們更重要、或使你分心、或阻礙你和祂之間的關係的話,祂甚至會信賴你使你擁有這些東西呢!謝謝上帝!享受食物、娛樂或工作,並藉著上帝所創造的感官來享用所有其他美好的歡樂,都並不是一個罪7。但是我們只是必須當心,我們不能讓它們取代我們生命中的首位,和享受它們甚至於享受主。
你生命的價值觀又如何呢?你是否在先求上帝的王國,和視之為最重要的呢?你是否在贏取靈魂8和宣傳福音9呢?又或是,你在用你的工作來幫助他人傳福音,以供應他們金錢、給予支持、房屋、機會或保護呢?我們「只有一個生命,一縱即逝!只有為基督所做的事才會永遠長存!」你在做什麼?在為誰做呢?它會永遠長存嗎?耶穌不久就要回來了,現在是你讓耶穌在你生命中居首位的最後機會!今天的機會,在明天將會永遠消逝!
讓耶穌成為你最愛的人,和總是讓祂保持擁有這個地位吧!你永不會因先求祂的國而有損失的!

註解:
天堂-上帝為我們的來生所建立的完美地方,可享受永遠的愛和福樂。
2.得救-人類因為犯罪而與上帝隔離,經由接受耶穌為我們所做的犧牲得到寬恕,使我們得與上帝和好,重獲祂完美的愛和永生。這是上帝的一個恩賜,我們只需相信接受耶穌就能得到,所以稱為救恩。
3.馬利亞和馬大-耶穌的好友,與耶穌使他從死裡復活的拉撒路為姊弟三人。
4.作見證–向人談及有關耶穌和祂的愛。
5.聖言–指聖經、有關基督的刊物和禱告時從上帝得到的話語、啓示和預言等。
6.上帝的國和祂的義-指上帝子民之福祉、祂的愛心和良善等。
7.罪-此處的定義不只是指作奸犯科之事,也包括人犯錯和內心自私、無愛心等各種罪過。
8.贏取靈魂–引導一個人相信接受耶穌,使那人因此獲得永生、快樂和上帝的愛。
9.傳福音–傳揚有關耶穌和祂救贖人類的好消息。

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s