8月26日靈修禱文|DEVOTION

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

Thought

What was Paul the apostle's thorn? Bible scholars have not reached a concensus so far. Some said that it referred to an illness. Some said that it was vicious people's persecution.... But it can be certain to say that God had his clear and definite will and plan in allowing the thorn to remain in Paul's flesh. First, to keep Paul from becoming conceited; second, to let Paul receive God's grace; third, to let Paul experience God's power; fourth, to let Paul know his weaknesses; fifth, to let Paul fix his eyes on Christ; sixth, to let Paul overcome the adverse circumstances; seventh, to let Paul be strong through the Lord .... We have thorns, not just one thorn, in the flesh and in the mind too, though we are not apostles, like Paul, and do not receive special revelation like he did. How much do we hope that the pandemic is over very soon so that kids can go to school happily in September, and parents don't need to be worried, that the floods in China dissipate fast, that the fires in California are extinguished quickly, that obstinate children become obedient quickly.... This year, the world is fraught with troubles, turmoil and disturbance. When you and I call on the Lord in prayer, what is he saying to us?

Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, you understand and love us, just like you understand and love Paul. All things we are experiencing now happen with your permission and have your good will behind. May the Holy Spirit shine on us and let us see not only the needs, but also God's grace. Lord Jesus, I confess that I am unable to be content with the present difficulties like Paul. I beg the Lord for grace and mercy, so that I can also experience what Paul experienced, that deep in my soul I can taste the joy and strength that accompany Paul! Amen!
Rev. Jun Cai

又恐怕我因所得的启示甚大,就过于自高,所以有一根刺加在我肉体上,就是撒但的差役要攻击我,免得我过于自高。为这事,我三次求过主,叫这刺离开我。他对我说:“我的恩典够你用的,因为我的能力是在人的软弱上显得完全。”所以我更喜欢夸自己的软弱,好叫基督的能力覆庇我。我为基督的缘故,就以软弱、凌辱、急难、逼迫、困苦为可喜乐的,因我什么时候软弱,什么时候就刚强了!

哥林多后书12:7-10

思想

迄今为止,使徒保罗的这一根刺是什么,解经家们还没有达成共识,有人说是身体的疾病,有人说是恶人的逼迫……但是可以确定的是,神允许这根刺留在保罗身上,有神清楚明确的心意和计划。第一、免得保罗自高;第二、使保罗领受神的恩典;第三、使保罗经历神的能力;第四、使保罗认识自己的软弱;第五、使保罗的眼目定睛在基督身上;第六、使保罗胜过环境的辖制;第七、使保罗靠主刚强……虽然我们不是保罗那样的使徒,也不会像保罗那样领受特别的启示,但是我们的身上心上都有刺,还不止一根。我们多么希望疫情赶快停止,九月份孩子们开心上学,家长不再揪心,国内的水患赶快退去,加州的大火赶快熄灭,叛逆的孩子赶快听话……今年的世界充满艰难、动荡和不安,当你我向主祷告呼求的时候,祂在对我们说什么?

禱告

亲爱的主耶稣,您了解我们爱我们正如您了解保罗爱保罗,我们现在经历的每一件事都经过您的许可,都有您的美意在背后。求圣灵光照我们看见需要的同时也看见神的恩典。主耶稣,我承认自己无法像保罗那样,以眼前的各种艰难为可喜乐的,求主施恩怜悯,让我也能真实地经历到保罗的经历,灵魂深处品尝到保罗那样的喜乐和刚强!阿们!
蔡軍 牧師
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