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Crossing Our Jordan 跨越我们的约旦河

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Pastor Jason Wang & Rev. Daniel Poon

This week is the last week of November, and we only have one more month till the end of 2020. How many goals and wishes are still unfinished? Rev. Daniel encouraged us not to give up, as everything is possible in God. Why should we fear God? Because we believe that God is a God who does miracles.

1. Pastor Jason’s Sermon on Joshua 3 and 4

V1, The Israelites “set out from Shittim and came to the Jordan”. But the Jordan River is too wide, how could they cross it? Everyone was questioning about how to cross the river.

V2, That was three days after three days. For the first three days, they were in Shittim to prepare food, because they would cross the river in three days. For the second three days, spies were sent to spy the city of Jericho. Then they came to the river and wanted to follow the ark, probably because Moses had passed away and there was no pillar of cloud or fire, so the Israelites needed to follow the ark. The distance between them and the ark was 2000 cubits, not too close nor too far.

V5, “…tomorrow God will do wonders among you.” Wonders and miracles are something beyond our imagination. Joshua actually had no clue what the wonders would be. God did not tell him anything. He believed that God would do it, but he didn’t know any details specifically. That is the way to follow God. I do not know what is going to happen but I know my God will lead me. We must believe that God will do miracles and that God will support his chosen leader.

V7-12, the priests had already begun to carry the ark to the Jordan River. God once again reiterated His promise to Joshua, i.e., I would be with you as I was with Moses. God finally spoke. Joshua had been waiting for many days. From the beginning of preparing food, God did not speak to him. When he was nervous, he heard the words from God. So, he told everyone to come over and said God would go ahead of us and destroy all the peoples in Canaan. He said very hastily that each tribe would send one person out.

V8, 13, Joshua said when the priests stood in the Jordan River, the waters would stand as a heap. What God asked the priests to do was just to stand in the river. But Joshua was so excited, and then he announced that when the priest stopped in the middle, the waters would stand up as a wall. There are many ways to cross the Jordan River, for example, walking on the water as Jesus did, or separating the water with a cloak like Elijah, or carried by God to fly across the river. There are thousands of ways to cross the river, but God just told Joshua to stand. Standing up means standing still, which is the same word. Everyone saw that the priests put their feet in the river, but nothing happened.

V14-17, The Bible says that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away.  The water rose up as a wall about 30 kilometres away, and then the waters going downstream were cut off. How long did it take to cross the river? If 1,000 people went there together and 2,000 people followed, it would take about 1 hour, plus the priests, about at least 3 hours, not including the time to move the stones. Although God did not say how to cross the river, Joshua did. How did God respond? God decided to support the leader He had chosen and do according to what this leader said. God chose the leader and promised that He would make him great and He would be with him and support him to the end. Therefore, as the priests stopped, and the waters stopped. How we are going to follow God? God is all-powerful, and He will fulfil what He has said to the leaders He has chosen.

Joshua 4

V15, Why did God talk to Joshua now? Because the priests were still standing there for at least three hours. The waters of the Jordan River were blocked for three hours and the water wall must have been almost as high as a many-stored building. The waters began to pour down, starting from thirty kilometres away. God felt that it was time to let the priests come up.

V18, “And it came to pass, when the soles of the priests’ feet touched the dry land, that the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and overflowed all its banks as before.” During this thrilling process, you may feel dangerous and terrified due to fear of the falling-down of waters. However, what we see here is everyone being protected, and no priest was swept away by the waters. God has the power to protect us from harm. God is capable of doing great things. You are safe and favoured, and God will protect the entire team. In the process of following God, we will make mistakes. We do not know how to walk an unknown road. But God will fulfil what He has to do. He will do wonders. He will support the leaders, and His power will protect us.

V23, Joshua put the stones in Gilgal to let the Israelites and their children remember what had happened.  God parted the Red Sea in Moses’ generation, and in Joshua’s generation He separated the Jordan River. God will do wonders in every generation. So, we may not know how to do it, but God does miracles, and if we want to do this, God will support us to the end with His might.

Our church (611) has experienced God in the same way. Many co-workers did not take good care of their bodies and went to the hospital for surgery. There are the enemy’s attacks, as well as our own problems. We are not very good at communicating with the mass media and being attacked by them. But God has led us to overcome these challenges one after another. God is with us, and we choose to follow Him. We don’t understand many things, such as the pandemic and the politics, but God is here and will protect us. We must trust God with all our hearts and move forward in faith. You are safe and will witness God’s deeds in this generation.

2. Testimony from Shimu

In the past two days, my baby always cried at night. I tried every method to comfort him, but he just kept crying until he fell asleep in tears. I was afraid that he would keep crying again last night, Pastor Daniel asked the Bible school students to pray for him. Last night, he cried again. Then I realized, he would not stop crying whether I held him or not, so I just put him in his cot and let him cry. Suddenly, I recalled some memories of my childhood. I was like my baby crying when I was about three or four years old and my grandpa did not know how to comfort me so he just left me to cry by myself and said I was very annoying. That is exact the same way I am treating my baby now. Then I prayed in tongues and cuddled him, then the Holy Spirit said, in the name of Jesus, cast out the crying spirit from the baby. When I said it, he stopped crying.  After stopping for two minutes, he cried again and I prayed again. After about a few minutes, he was completely quiet and he slept very well at night. God taught me that He is a powerful God. We were in front of the Jordan River and saw such a difficult situation. We don’t know how to cross it. I wanted to use my own experience to comfort this baby. When it’s useless, God reminds me that the name of Jesus is powerful. The crying spirit went away and the peace of God filled my baby. Pastor Jason reminded us again what kind of God we trust in. During worship I receives four words, lay down, and follow. Please set aside all your past experiences and thoughts, and walk the road ahead with God in a brand-new relationship.

3. Pastor Daniel’s Sermon on “Crossing Our Jordan”:

What Pastor Jason has shared with us today was related to the first commandment of the Ten Commandments that we learned last week, which is, “You shall have no other gods before Me.” It was God who led the Israelites. From Abraham to Joshua, they were slaves in Egypt for four hundred years, though it seemed that Joseph had been a superstar in Egypt for thirty years.  Even now, you don’t think you really need God. Many aspects of your life seem good. I remind everyone today that God is with us and He will not leave us. Towards the end of 2020, I will share with you the photo of the Jordan River. In the past years of your life, you seem to have a lot of burdens, just like the Jordan River. The Israelites saw the Jordan River, which prevented them from entering the city of Jericho. When facing challenging situations, do we give up, or stay where we are?

Joshua 3: 6-7

Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. And the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you.

If you read the book of Joshua, you find the phrase “before the people” many times, because God wanted His people to know that He will go ahead of them. For forty years in the wilderness, Moses was with them. Let us not forget that God has also been with them for forty years.

In Exodus 13:21-22, for forty years, with the pillars of cloud and fire, God led Moses and the Israelites. Joshua 3:7, God said to Joshua, as I was with Moses, I am with you now. In the Gospel of John 5:17, Jesus said, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” The original context of “working” implies that we can do what the Father has done. Just as God guided Moses, God told Joshua that He would lead him in the same way. My Father is working until now, so I am working, and God is doing things among us. Jesus is walking ahead of us. Perhaps we face the Jordan River in our lives. The pandemic has prevented the world from returning to the way it was before, and the future is also unknown. This is something we have never thought of before. But God knows everything, and He is going before us.

The source of the Jordan River is Mount Hermon. The Bible says that it is not that simple to build a barrier on the Jordan River. When we go to the dam, if the water keeps coming down from the source and stored up here, the dam will burst. How did all the Israelites cross the Jordan River? The water must stop from upstream close to the source. This is impossible for humans. This is different from Moses leading the people across the Red Sea. The Red Sea is standing on both sides, and the Jordan River must be stopped from the upstream. Because the river can only go in one direction and flow down the mountain. Only God can do it. Everything that happens in our lives is in the hands of God. Do you believe in God? Or do you choose an easy way when facing your Jordan? God told us to arise and shine this year, not to hide and run away. God has said that His relationship with you is still here. The enemy lies to us that we have no father and no father’s love, but God says that when we were still in the womb, He already knew us, and He will bless us.

Response:

The Holy Spirit is among us. He expects us to restore our relationships with the authority, parents, boss, government, teachers. God says, I want to heal you from the past hurt and restore you. Only in this way can the source of God flow into your life, your blessings, your family, the future family, the family for generations. I believe that the Spirit of God will do wonders among us.

2020年11月29日 主日

王建胜牧师&潘锡安牧师

引言:本周是十一月的最后一天,还有一个月本年就过完了。还有多少梦想没有实现?锡安牧师鼓励我们不要放弃。我们为什么要敬畏神?因为我们相信神是行神迹的神。

一、建胜牧师讲道:

*约书亚记第3章 –

V1,离开什亭,来到了约旦河边。但是约旦河太宽广了,怎么才能过去呢?大家都在问一个问题,到底怎么过河,每个人都看着约书亚。

V2-4,这是三天又三天。第一个三天,是在什亭,预备食物,因为三天后要过河。第二个三天,就派了探子去窥探耶利哥城。然后又来到河边,要跟着约柜,可能因为摩西过世了,没有云柱火柱了,要跟着约柜。离开约柜2000肘,不能太近也不能太远。

V5,明天神要在我们中间行奇事。什么是奇事?就是你想都想不到的事情。约书亚其实没有头绪,神没有告诉他任何事情,他相信,神一定会行,但是他也不知道具体什么事情,这就是跟随神,就是我想不到任何方法,但是神会带领。我们一定相信神会行奇事,并且神力挺他拣选的领袖。

V7-12,祭司已经开始抬约柜,到了 约旦河。神再次重申与约书亚的约定,神怎样与摩西同在,也必怎样与他同在。神终于讲话了,约书亚已经等了很多天了,从预备食物开始,神都没有跟他说话。他在紧张的时候,他听到了神的话。所以他告诉每个人过来,神要在我们前面行,会灭掉所有迦南地的人。他说得很着急,每个支派都要派一个人出来。

V8, 13, 约书亚说等到祭司站在约旦河里,河水就会立起成垒。神只是说让抬约柜的祭司站在河里。但是约书亚太兴奋了,然后他就宣布,祭司站住的时候,河水就会立起成垒。过约旦河的方法有很多,像耶稣一样走在水面上,或者像以利亚一样用外衣分开水,或者神背他们身上过河。过河方法有千百种,神只是告诉约书亚说,站住。立起和站住,原文是同一个词。你是百姓,你是不是会很兴奋?大家就都看见祭司的脚放在河水里,但其实什么事情都没有发生。

14-17,圣经说河水立起成垒,说的是30公里外“极远之地”的水立起成垒,然后水就退了。过河需要多久呢?若1000人一起过,2000人跟着,大概有1个小时,加上祭司,大概至少3个小时,还不包括搬石头的时间。虽然神没有说怎么过河,但是约书亚说了,神怎么回应?可能本来是要派火车火马的,但领袖说立起成垒,神就按他所说的将河水立起成垒。祭司站住,水就停住了。神拣选了领袖,神会力挺领袖到底。神拣选领袖说,我要使你尊大,我要与你同在,我支持你到底,事情就这样成就了。我们要如何跟随神,神是很有能力的,他拣选的领袖,说到也能做得到。

*约书亚记第4章-

V15,为什么神要跟约书亚说话?因为祭司还在站住不动,至少已经站了三个小时了。约旦河的水被阻隔三个小时,至少会有很多层楼高,很高很壮观。然后水开始倾倒下来了,从三十公里的地方已经开始下来了。神觉得是时间了,要让祭司上来。V18,祭司从约旦河里上来,脚掌刚落旱地。祭司走了一公里,发现河水倾倒下来了,因为在很远的地方发现水墙不见了,水已经上来了。最后五十公尺的时候,水很快就要倾倒下来,抬约柜的祭司很有仪态,当他们的脚刚到旱地,几十层楼高的水就冲过去了。这个过程你可能觉得很危险、很恐惧,但是你会看见所有人都被保守,你可能会担心会有祭司被河水冲走,或者祭司把约柜丢了自己得救。你可能会担心,但是这里告诉我们,神是大能地保护我们,神有能力做大事,只有神才能hold住几十层高的水墙,需要很多天使天军,是为了支持他拣选的领袖。你是安全的,被眷顾的,神会保护整个团队。在跟随神的过程我们会犯过错,我们不知道怎么走一条没有走过的路,这是神要做的他必做成,他会行奇事,他会支持领袖,他的大能会保护你我。

V23,约书亚把石头放在吉甲,让你和你的子孙都知道。神在摩西世代让红海分开,在约书亚世代神分开约旦河,神在每个世代都会做奇事。所以我们可能不知道怎么做,但是神行奇事,我们想这么做,神就用大能托住我们。我们可能时间观念不够,但神大能的保护不会让祭司被神冲走。这是我们的神,他会全然保守。

教会的历史也是如此经历神。很多同工没有照顾好身体,进医院动手术。这里有仇敌的工作,也有我们自己的问题,我们也不太会跟媒体沟通,被媒体攻击。但是神一波波地带领我们,关关难过关关过。神与我们同在,我们就跟上去。很多事情我们不明白,疫情政治我们都不明白,但是神在,都会保护我们,我们要全心信靠,在信靠中前行,你是安全的,会见证神在这个世代的作为。

二、师母见证:

过去两天,宝宝晚上都会哭闹,用尽各种方法都没有用,他就是哭,周五晚上哭了4,5个小时才睡着。周六晚上也是哭了很久,牧师在学房群组留言要大家帮忙代祷。周六晚上的时候,我想反正抱你也哭,不抱也哭,那就放下你自己哭吧,然后就放下宝宝,在他旁边看着他哭,他就爬着想要找妈妈,还是继续哭。我心里突然有个小时候的记忆,我小时候跟他一样的脾气,我三四岁的时候,爷爷觉得我哭,就放下我说我很烦。我突然发现,我在对我的宝宝做一样的事情。然后我就方言祷告,抱着他,圣灵感动说,你要奉耶稣的名,把哭闹的灵赶出去。当我说出去,他就不哭了。停了两分钟后,又哭,我又祷告,大概几分钟后,他就完全安静下来,他晚上睡得非常好。神教导我,他是大有能力的神。我们在约旦河前,看到这么大的艰难,我们不知道怎么走,我要用自己的经验来安慰这个宝宝都没用的时候,神让我记起耶稣的名是大有能力的,搅扰、哭闹的灵就要出去,神的平静安稳就充满了宝宝。建胜牧师再次提醒我们,我们信靠的神是怎样的神。敬拜的时候我领受四个字,舍下,跟随。舍下你过去所有的经历和想法,用全新的关系跟神一起走前面的道路。

三、牧师证道《跨过约旦河》:

建胜牧师分享的,与我们分享的十诫第一诫命,“除我以外,没有别神”,是有关联的。神带领以色列人,从亚伯拉罕到约书亚这个世代,他们在埃及迷失了四百年。即便是现在,你觉得生命中很多事情都挺好的,自己不是很需要神。我今天提醒大家,神与我们同在,他不会离弃我们。在2020年接近尾声的时候,我想用这过约旦河的故事鼓励大家,在过去你生命的很多年,你好像有很多重担,就像约旦河一样。在以色列人前面,他们看见的是约旦河,拦阻了他们要进入耶利哥城。面对困境,我们是放弃吗,还是停留在原地?

约3:6-7

约 书 亚 又 吩 咐 祭 司 说 : 你 们 抬 起 约 柜 , 在 百 姓 前 头 过 去 。 於 是 他 们 抬 起 约 柜 , 在 百 姓 前 头 走 。耶 和 华 对 约 书 亚 说 : 从 今 日 起 , 我 必 使 你 在 以 色 列 众 人 眼 前 尊 大 , 使 他 们 知 道 我 怎 样 与 摩 西 同 在 , 也 必 照 样 与 你 同 在 。

如果你看约书亚记,在百姓前面走,这句话出现了很多次。因为神想让百姓知道,神会在他们前面走。在旷野四十年,摩西与他们一起四十年,我们不要忘记,神也与他们同在了四十年。在出埃及记13:21-22,摩西四十年,靠着云柱火柱,神带领摩西和以色列人。书3:7,神对约书亚说,我过去怎样与摩西同在,也如今与你同在。在约翰福音5:17,主耶稣说,我父做事直到如今,我也做事。在原文说的“做事”,父怎样行我也怎样行。神怎样引导摩西,神也照样告诉约书亚,他也如此带领。我的父直到如今都在做事,我也在做事,神在我们当中做事。耶稣在我们前面行,也许我们生命中正面对约旦河,比如现在的疫情使世界无法回到以前的样子,未来也是非常未知。这是我们以前从来没有想到的事情,没法去教会、去电影院、餐厅,什么都在网络上进行,但是神都知道,因为神说,他在我们前面行。

约旦河的源头是黑门山,圣经说,约旦河立起成垒,不是这么简单。如果我们看过水坝,水从源头不断有水下来,水坝会决堤。所有以色列人怎样跨越约旦河呢?水一定要从靠近水源的上游停止,这在人是不可能的。这跟摩西带领百姓过红海不一样,红海是两边立起来,约旦河是从上游开始就止住,因为河水只会往一个方向走,从山上流下,只有神才可以做到。我们生命中发生的每件事情,不管是现在还是未来,财务、关系、每一天的生活、身份、学习,都在神的手上,你相信神么?好像你过去如何信靠神一样,还是你今天看到了约旦河就决定另走一条容易的道路?神今年跟我们说兴起发光,我们不是躲起来跑掉。神跟我们说,我跟你的关系仍然在这里,虽然仇敌跟我们说我们是没有父亲的,没有父亲的爱,但是神告诉我们,在我们在母腹的时候,神已经知道我们,他要祝福我们。

回应:

圣灵就在我们当中,他期待我们恢复与权柄的关系,与父母的关系、老板的关系、政府的关系、老师的关系,你经历过的伤害,神说,我要医治你,恢复你,只有这样做,神的源头才能流进你的生命、你的祝福、你的家庭、未来的家庭,世世代代的家庭。我相信神的灵要在我们当中行奇事。