What are you busy with你在忙什么呢?D.God has been preparing you long before he uses you上帝在使用你之前老早就在预备你的。

Nothing is an accident in our lives在我们生命中没有一件事情是偶然的。Now of course God’s preparation is not the whole story当然上帝的预备功夫不是整个故事的全部。He accomplishes his plan by actually calling men and women to participate in his plan祂具体地呼召人来参与祂的计划。These are all men and women of faith这些都是有信心的人。And as they started out their journey,all they got were God’s promises而他们起步的时候,他们只有上帝的应许,没有其他的。

So God was preparing Abraham上帝在预备亚伯拉罕。The Second Thing we will look at today第二件事情我们要看的是:

II.God Came Into Man’s World and Spoke His Word上帝进入到人类的世界,他向人晓谕:

He called Abram他就呼召了亚伯兰的。In 《Genesis》 12在《创世记》十二章第1节到第3节verses1-3:Now the Lord said to Abram耶和华对于亚伯兰说:『Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed』耶和华对于亚伯兰说:『你要离开本地、本族、父家,往我所要指示你的地去。我必叫你成为大国。我必赐福给你,叫你的名为大;你也要叫别人得福。为你祝福的,我比赐福与他;那咒诅你的,我必咒诅他。地上的万族都要因你得福』。

  1. God’s call came to Abram上帝的呼召临到亚伯兰了God’s call came at Haran——Chapter 12 verse1


  1. God took the initiative上帝采取主动。

b.As Stephen tells us司提反告诉我们:that the God of glory appeared to Abram荣耀的上帝向亚伯兰显现的。   Now God’s call repeatedly came上帝的呼召一次再次临到亚伯兰;First at Ur首先在吾珥,and then at Haran然后在哈兰。上帝的话、上帝自己为自己作见证God gave testimony to his own words so Abraham had no doubt  that God was speaking to him所以亚伯兰毫无疑问的知道这个是上帝向他讲话的。

Brothers and sisters,sometimes God’s call come to us repeatedly as well弟兄姐妹,有的时候上帝的呼召也是一次、两次、多次临到我们的。God called Abraham to grant him justification by faith上帝要赐给亚伯拉罕因信称义的福气的。God was going to preach the Gospel to Abraham上帝是要向亚伯拉罕传福音的——《Galatians》3:8《加拉太书》第三章第8节。

2.Now let’s take a look at two aspects of God’s call现在让我们来看上帝的呼召的两个层面。

God’s call came with his command上帝呼召人的时候同时赐下祂的命令的;And God’s call came with his promises上帝呼召人的时候也同时赐下祂的应许的。

a.First his commands首先我们来看他的命令:God commanded Abram to leave every thing上帝吩咐亚伯兰要离开一切,who leave his family and his country离开他的父家、离开他的故乡;to leave his name or identity要离开他的名分或者身份;leave the world of sin and idolatry离开罪和偶像敬拜。

Now God’s call to Abraham to leave this world. That’s not only applied to so-called“full-time Christian workers.”上帝呼召人要离开这个世界呢,不仅仅是对所谓『全时间传道人』讲的。God was calling Abram to leave the city of man上帝在呼召亚伯兰要离开人的城市。Now Christians often hold a twisted view to the city基督徒怎么看人的城市,往往我们有一些扭曲、偏差的态度的。For centries now evangelical Christians tend to avoid the city好几百年来,福音派的基督徒大部分都是要远离城市、避开城市;and go to the suburb in the countryside跑到郊外或者是农村。Somehow God is closer to Christians,they feel in the garden in the countryside他们感觉到上帝在农村、在花园里离开我们比较近一点。On the other hand另外方面,other Chiristians compromised with the city in their lives、and in their philosophy of ministry另外一些的基督徒在他们的生活、在他们事工的方针方面就与城市妥协了。I would like to suggest that you may define the city according to the Bible——three different ways我要建议说:我们从圣经的角度来看,我们可以给城市三个不同的定义:The first definition第一个定义[1]The city is a symbol of man’s cultural achievements城市是人类文明的成就。Second[2] The city is a symbol of man’s sin and idolatry城市同时也是人类的罪和偶像敬拜的象征。No.[3]The Bible speaks about the heavenly city or heavenly Jerusalem in《Hebrews》11&12第三圣经在《希伯来书》第十一章、十二章讲到天上的城、天上的耶路撒冷的。

First if we were talking what we see as a symbol of man’s cultural achievements假如我们想到城市的时候,是想到人类高度的文明跟城市的时候,Sometimes we may leave the city, sometimes we may stay or sometimes we enter the city and seek its peace我们有的时候可能离开城市,有的时候留下,有的时候为这个城求平安;或者我们进入到城市里面事奉。But weather we stay or enter the city,we should not compromise with the city like Lot did但是我们就算是进入到城市留下在城市里,不可以好像罗得这样子妥协的。Now the world population is moving toward the point where the majority of mankind will be living in the main of cities人类的人口发展到一个地步:人类的人口的一半以上都会住在特别大的城市里面的。Sometimes we don’t have  a choice to leave the city比如说我们没有选择(来)离开城市的。We must stay or enter it as servant of Christ可能我们要停留到里面或者进到城市里面做耶稣基督的使者的。

However secondly但是第二if the city means the symbol of the sin and idolatry that we must leave that city可是城市若是罪和偶像敬拜的象征的话,那么我们要远离。My point is we must leave sin and idolatry我的意思就是说我们必须远离罪、远离偶像。

No.3第三方面If the city stands for the heavenly Jerusalem,then we have always been there or are  already there假如是指天上的耶路撒冷的话,那么我们从来就已经在天上的耶路撒冷而不必离开的。We have already come to the heavenly Jerusalem 我们已经到了天上的耶路撒冷的。Sumer、Akkad、Assyria、Babylon、Persia苏美尔、阿卡德、亚述、巴比伦、波斯……Empires come, empires go大国兴起、大国衰亡。Cities come,may I say cities go城市兴起,我们也可以猜测城市衰亡吗?

This world is not our home这个世界不是我们的家。But we may find out ourselves servants、witnesses in the city  但是可能发觉,可能我们蒙召进到城市里为主做见证的。

b.So we must trust God when he calls us当上帝的呼召临到我们的时候我们要信靠上帝:

So God called Abram to leave everything上帝呼召亚伯兰放弃一切,and trust God for everything然后为了我们所需要的一切的一切信靠他。A very familiar verse for Christians有一句基督徒非常熟悉的经句 is Proverbs 3:5-6就是《箴言》第三章5到第6节:『Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and jdo not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will make straight your paths你要专心仰赖耶和华,不可依靠自己的聪明;在你一切所行的事上都要认定祂,祂必指引你的路』。Can we succeed in doing this我们能够做得到吗?Leave everything and trust God for everything放弃一切,在一切事情上信靠上帝吗?No we can not我们作不到。But Jesus can但是耶稣能够。He obeyed his Father’s will completely and perfectly耶稣顺服天父全部的旨意,完全顺服了天父的旨意。He left the Glories of heaven and came to earth to live out a lifetime of obedience他离开了、舍弃天上的荣华,来到地上过了顺服天父的一生——《Hebrews》5:8《希伯来书》第五章第8节:『Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered祂虽为儿子,还是因所受的苦难学了顺从』。

3.So God’s calling Abram came with a command or two commands所以上帝的呼召临到亚伯兰带着这两方面的命令的,but also with promises as well但是同时,上帝呼召跟着来的是他的应许。Six of them六个应许:

(1)I will make you a great nation我必使你成为大国:God called Abram to leave his own people上帝呼召亚伯拉罕要离开自己的民族。He will make him a great people上帝要使他成为一个大的民族,Far beyond his imagination远远超过他所想所求的。

(2)Second promise第二个应许:I will bless you我必赐福给你:God called Abram to leave his father上帝呼召亚伯兰离开自己的父亲。Now God will be Abram’s father现在上帝要作亚伯兰的父亲,and he will bless Abraham with a Father’s blessing他要以一个父亲的福气来传给亚伯拉罕。

(3)Third promise第三个应许:Your name will be great你的名著必为大:By leaving his homeland, he lost his name,or we might say today is his identity亚伯拉罕离开自己的家乡,就失去自己的名分或者我们今天说“身份identity”。With no child, he will leave behind no name 他没有儿子,所以他就没有办法留下他的名字——没有所传承的。God will make him a new name上帝给他一个新的名字,by making him a great nation因为上帝要使他成为大国。He will have a new name and a great name上帝要给他一个新的名字、大的名字。He will become the Father of the faithful——Romans 4:11 & 12亚伯拉罕必成为所有相信的、有信心的人之父——《罗马书》第四章11、12节。A new name,great nation新的名字,大国。

(4)Fourth promise:You will be a blessing第四你必成为别人的祝福。

So when people bless their friends,they will pray that may God make them like Abraham所以当别人为亲友祝福的时候,他们是在求:上帝啊,求你使我的亲友好像亚伯拉罕那样!Here’s a symbol of a bless to life它是一个蒙福的人生的象征。

(5)Fifth blessing第五个应许:I will bless those who bless you,and curse those who curse you祝福你的,我必赐福给他;咒诅你的,我必咒诅他。

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In other word,God tied his name with Abraham’s name(or reputation)上帝把他的名字(或者名誉)和亚伯拉罕的名字(或者名誉)连在一起。And in the same way,he ties his name with our name同样的,他把他的名字跟名誉与我们的名字连在一起——I called you by name我按着名字来呼召你的–《Isaiah》43:1-7《以赛亚书》第四十三章1到第7节。

(6)Finally the sixth promise最后第六个应许:All the nations of families on earth will be blessed by you地上各国各族都必因你得福的。

You see all the great promises of God are missionary promises所有上帝伟大的应许都是以宣教为导向的。God is not a tribe God上帝不是一个部落的守卫神。And that is because why God’s promises are missionary promises?Because all the God’s great promises are focused on Christ为什么上帝的应许都是有宣教导向的呢?因为所有上帝的应许都是以基督为焦点的

《2 Corinthians》1:20《哥林多后书》第一章第20节:因为上帝一切的应许在基督里都是『是』的,都是阿们All the promises of God are Yes and Amen in Christ.So the Missionary call overcomes and corrects our cultural sensitive superiority所以宣教的呼召是让我们克服、纠正我们的文化的沙文主义优越感。God was not only give Abraham one son Isaac上帝不是仅仅要给亚伯拉罕一个儿子以撒,but countless descendants from all the nations乃是从万国万族无数这么多的后裔的!Not just real estate in Palestine不仅是巴勒斯坦的房地产,but the entire world乃是整个世界!Is your vision too small你的异象太小了吗?What are you busy with你在忙什么?III.Finally Responding to God’s Call最后第三个方面:回应神的呼召:Abraham takes the first steps of faith & obedience 他踏出了信心跟顺服的第一步

And our next message will continue with this下次我们继续来讲他的信心跟顺服。But we saw Abraham depart但是我们看到亚伯兰离开了,and Abraham arrived亚伯兰已到达了——He took a few very good steps of faith & obedience他踏出头几步的信心和顺服,他走得好!He did well他做得好!He cling to God’s promises and worship God’s by building altars他领取上帝的应许,他透过建筑祭坛来敬拜上帝。What about you and me你跟我呢?As we look back on our first steps ——tiny steps of faith当我们回顾我们踏出第一步的信心的时候——微小的一步,or whether we are looking our present situiation或者我们现在看我们目前的情况,faith focus is on Christ信心真正的焦点是耶稣基督,because the focus on God’s promises are on Christ因为上帝应许的焦点是在耶稣基督。Look to Christ我们要仰望耶稣基督,who is the author and finisher of faith因为耶稣基督是为我们的信心创始又成终的那一位。Will you succeed?Will you fail你会做得到吗、得胜吗?你会失败吗?God is faithful上帝是信实的。God never stop the working上帝永远没有停止做工。He’s always calling his people out off this world上帝不断地在呼召、呼吁他的子民离开这个世界;Of course,and go back in to the world to be witnesses当然又回到这个世界做他的见证人。God’s call came with his commands上帝的呼召包括他的命令,God’s call came with his wonderful promises上帝的呼召也有他的奇妙的应许同时临到的。What is our response我们怎么回应?Look to Christ for the power of strength to respond我们来求耶稣基督给我们力量来回应、来信靠、来顺服。

Let us pray together我们一起祷告:Father,we are grateful that just as you were calling your people in the Plan of Redemption,today you are calling your people as your Applying Redemption上帝,我们感谢你!正如你在成就救恩的时候呼召你的子民出来;现在你在施行你救恩的时候,你在万国万民里面呼召你的子民出来。Give us strength to respond your call求主给我们力量回应你的呼召,that we may not look at you in the self-centered way好叫我们不以自我中心的态度来对待你;that we see what you see好叫我们看到你所看到的;that our vision may not be too small好叫我们的异象不会是一个小小的异象。So we might become busy with what you are busy with in this world好叫我们所忙碌的是你在地上所忙碌的。All because Jesus came都是因为耶稣基督来到,and all because Jesus makes us able也都是因为耶稣基督使我们能做。We pray in his name奉他大能的名(祷告)。

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