04 Mar. 2012 Sunday
Worship song: 在 乎 你
|Verse 1||祢的慈爱比天高 比海深
Ni de ci ai bi tian gao bi hai shen
Bi wo de sheng ming geng hao ni lian min shou shang tong ku de ren
|Verse 2||祢的能力比风强 比山高
Ni de neng li bi feng qiang bi shan gao
Mei you nan cheng de shi qing fu pi ruan ruo wu zhu de sheng ming
Ni de yan jing kan zhe wo cong lai mei you li kai wo
Wo shi ni bao bei zhong jia shu hui de ren
Ni shen chu shi en de shou Ba wo jin jin yong bao
我平安 我生命 在乎祢
Wo ping an Wo sheng ming Zai hu ni
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:13-16
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Good morning. Please join me in a very short prayer. “Lord of love, Lord of wisdom, Lord of creation. We know and we are so grateful to you that above all you loved us first and gave us your sprite please today. So the words from my mouth and meditation from my heart are pleased in your side. Open our hearts, so we can get to know you more. In Christ name we pray, Amen!”
In the previous two weeks, we have been talking about work and Christian faith. We have said, work is not a punishment, but God calls us to work. God also works, and also God is honored and God honors us in the work. The second week, we talked about attitudes. In the workplace, we should work diligently, honestly, and also with a very balanced attitude, we work and we also know how to rest. We have God as our audience in our work. Today, we are going to further on about how to work, and how to live out our faith. It’s a little bit same with the second week’s attitudes. So today we are going to focus more on the conflicts, the tensions. Yes, as a Christian, in your workplace, you know that, there is always tension and conflict. What should we do? And how can we do?
I was quite blessed. Several weeks ago, I was given this topic and we started to meditate on that. Then I got a chance to hear a lecture at
Mainly, we have two principles. First one, as Christians, how to live out our faith? First, we should be engaged. And the second principle is to be distinctive.
To be engaged, we’ll focus on these two images, salt and light. From the PPT, you can see that I have this kind of that lamp which is called salt and light lamp. Outside is the salt, inside is the light.
To be engaged, like a salt and light, means that you have to be used. The salt if you don’t use it, it’s tasteless and is going to be trampled. If the light is being hidden in the basket or in a bowl, is not going to shine in the whole room. So to be Christian, first of all, should be actively engaged in service. So the first principle, to be engaged means that we have to serve actively. Serve the country, serve the people around you, to be a good servant.
I once was asked about what it means to be a leader. I didn’t get it. Actually, to be a good leader means that you first of all should be a good servant. Think of those great leaders, they are the great servants first of all. Serve the country and serve the people around you. So you can like Joseph and Daniel, they are ministers or high officials in the foreign country, whose faith are quite different from theirs’, but they serve for the people there.
Secondly, you have to pray for the people. Pray for the country, pray for the people, pray for the authority. Like Jeremiah once said, people in the Axial, they were grabbed to
The third, specifically to be engaged, is that you have to keep the good spirit – hard working. Sometimes people think that it’s a disasters’ world now. We have disasters everywhere, it seems to be the end of the world, especially in 2012. With all of the disasters, does it mean that we just wait for the destruction of the world, and we do not need to work anymore? No, never, but pray, work, serve, and also work diligently. So that like the scripture told us, you are like the light shining in the room, and because you are work with good attitudes, you have good witnesses in front of the others and people may see what you are believing.
Second principle, be in distinctive, like the salt, you have to be salty, like the light, you have to be shining. Everything is dark, maybe around you. People corrupt, people bribe to get the positions, and people cheating to get good scores in the exams. You can’t because you are a Christian. You should keep the light and the righteousness in your heart, and be salty. So to be distinctive, like Lev. 18:3, God is saying: “You were in
At the end of the lecture of professor Right, two questions were asked to him. One student stood up and said that: “Yes, I Agree with you, we should be actively engaged in this public area. So you know in
Professor Right answered very wisely. First of all he admitted that, as a foreigner, especially only as a guest here in
Yes, wisdom and courage. We need wisdom to find a way, to bare good witnesses, live out our faith, and also get along well with the others. But when time comes, we have to testify and defend our faith. We should have the courage to do so, and always trust that God is with you, God sees everything. Yes. When the decision is hard to make, pray to God in your heart, and always trust that God is love, God loves us first instead of judging us. God always gives us opportunities to change and to be transformed. God will be there when you are facing all the tensions, sufferings and conflicts. Trust that God is there.
Good morning brothers and sisters. I often hear people in
I’m a PHD in Chemistry, so I know a little bit about salt. But in this context, thinking about the impact of salt, probably the clearest image for me is what I see in the Chinese restaurant. When I go in, I watch the chief, he stir-frying the dish, at the very end, which is out, he gets a little bit of something in, put it in and finish it and serve the dish and it’s great. What is that little bit? It’s a little bit of salt, the soy sauce, some kind of spice. A little bit of salt goes a long way to make something good. In the late 1980s’, I was living and working in
If you go back and look at the
A little bit of salt goes a long way. Number of years ago, I was running a company here in
We have also talked this morning about light, being light. Jesus is the light of the world. He says that without him, we live in darkness. Have you ever been in a really dark room with little light goes on? You notice it, it makes a big difference. I've talked to a lot of Christian friends here in
Now I realized that I am not responsible for that entire chain God uses, but I'm responsible for my day to day interactions. What the great thing about
We were a relatively young company. We have a lot of young employees. The rejoicing part was very easy. A lot of young couples, we had a lot of weddings and marriages. Those were a lot of fun. A few years after the marriages, there were a lot of babies. We got to go the Manyue dinners, celebrations. So that was a lot of fun. The only hard part was I went to a hotel where 2 or 3 couples were getting married to make sure I found the right one, because often the woman were so beautiful. They didn't look like what they were look like when they were in the office. That was a lot of fun. We had a lot of opportunities to talk about God's blessings in marriage and in family.
The mourning part is harder. I tried to visit every employee who was sick, or injured, or hurt in the hospital. One of my employees got burnt at home who was in a burnt hospital, very painful, and far away from where I worked. So one day during lunch, I went across the town to the hospital. I found the building he was in and I found the floor he was on. The nurse took me down to his room. As I opened the door when in the room I saw he was asleep and his wife was sleep with him on the bed. You have ever been to hospital, it is a very hard place to rest. So I told the nurse “just let them sleep, I will come back.” And I left the hospital. I came back that evening by then everyone on the floor knew that I had been there to see them. And we had a very public conversation, because everyone was curious what I was doing there. I had a chance to talk with them and to pray with them. They were not Christians. In fact everyone I have asked in
I had another employee young man. He got married to a very nice young woman. A couple of years after that, they had a little baby boy. They also bought a new apartment. They were very busy renovating that, renovating an apartment in
Did God promise this is going to be easy? No. I find it very interesting when I was interviewing people this week for a job. They had lots of questions, when I come to work, what is my job, what do I do, what will happen here, what will happen there. Those are all great questions. But when Jesus calls us to follow him, he simply says “Follow me.” He doesn’t tell us where we are going to go, what’s going to happen. He does leave us some tremendous promises. Promise to love us, promise to be with us, and promise to cause all things in our life to work together for good.
Probably the best role model I can think of in the scriptures in Cathy’s refer to him already is Daniel. I have been encouraging you to read the first 6 chapters of the book of Daniel this week, if you want to try to put this into practice. Daniel had a very dramatic start. He saw his country, his city, his people, the temple of his God destroyed. He was deported to
I think we will have experience as I had experienced as when people tried to destroy my career. And we have some chances to retaliate, to do something back to them. And all our natural impulses encourage us to do that. Our friends, I said friends said you ought to do something against that person. But God calls us to be salt and light, and to act in the way that pleases him. I believe God has us here in
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