JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is a populated planet.
The growing population is following one of God’s first commands to man. “Be fruitful and increase in number.”
Isaiah the prophet wrote in Isaiah 45:18 that the LORD who created the heavens and made the earth did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited.
At the time of Christ, estimates place the world’s population between 200 and 300 million people. According to the United Nations Population Division, the year was 1804 when the population reached 1 billion. Today, the population has exceeded 7 billion people.
The earth is not the only place where God wants to see a thriving population. Jesus is preparing a place for His followers to be with Him in heaven. In Luke 14, Jesus spoke a parable highlighting God’s desire for His house to be full at the time of His great banquet. That day is coming, and He invites you to be part of the celebration.
The increasing population of the earth reflects God’s plan for people to live on the planet and is a reason to believe in God’s Good News.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A segment explores the question, “What does the Bible say about unborn babies?”
Certain Scriptures reveal God’s attention to their development, while other Scriptures even draw attention to personality in the way they react to events happening around them.
In Psalm 139:13, David wrote to the LORD, “You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Verse 16 says, “Your eyes saw my unformed body.”
And as part of the Christmas story, when Mary, who was expecting Jesus visited Elizabeth who was expecting John the Baptist, Luke 1:44 records Elizabeth’s response, “As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.”
So these are some of the verses where the unborn baby is described as a life under God’s watchful eye, demonstrating personality. In a time when abortion is legal, Proverbs 30, verse 8 is a verse with relevant application: “Speak up for those who cannot speak themselves.”
Being an advocate for the unborn is one way we can take a stand for life in the Year of Exploration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A Segment explores the question, “What is the value of hearing reports from missionaries serving in other parts of the world?”
Something similar to this scenario happened in the early church when Paul and Barnabas traveled to different places to share the good news of Jesus.
Eventually, they returned to the church that commissioned them for service. Acts 14:26 says, “they sailed back to Antioch where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.”
When missionaries share with us how God has worked through their service, it gives us a bigger picture of how God is at work in other parts of the world. If we are supporting their work, it will encourage us to see how our investment is advancing God’s Kingdom. Their visit will give us an opportunity to bless and encourage them. As they share specifics of their missionary journey, we will gain better understanding of how to pray for them. And sometimes, reports from missionaries spur more missionary activity. These are some ways that reports from missionaries can build up believers and advance God’s Kingdom in the Year of Exploration.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s reason to believe is the inner conflict between right and wrong.
If you ever felt the tension between the desire to do what is right and the tendency to do what is wrong, you are not alone. Even the prophets and apostles of the Bible experienced this tension.
We see this reality in Romans 7:18, where the Apostle Paul wrote, “ I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do-this I keep on doing.” Lamenting his sinful nature, Paul concludes, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”
By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul offers a solution by which we can overcome the struggle and the condemnation from our failures.
In Romans 7:25, he says, “Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Divine help to overcome the conflict between right and wrong is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is the harsh reality of war, and God’s solution for peace.
Jesus told us that there would be wars and rumors of war until the end of the age. Daniel mentioned that wars would continue to the end.
That is the sad and harsh reality of our time, which is the result of a world affected by sin.
The tragedy of war gives many people a yearning for peace. That is where Jesus is the solution for our most volatile conflict-our war against God. He is our Mediator to establish peace with God.
Colossians 1:21 says, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.”
Jesus will establish peace among nations when He sets up His kingdom, but until that day, we have the opportunity to live at peace with God through faith in Jesus Christ. That is the foundation that motivates us to live at peace with others, as far as it depends on us.
The reality of war and God’s peace plan are reasons to believe in God’s good news.
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A little snow won’t slow down Some Sort of Rock Show! Here’s your Winter Storm Jonas Episode Playlist (Jan 22&24).
- Desperados – Andy Mineo
- Money – Manic Drive
- Come Alive – Attaboy
- Gallows – Dustin Kensrue
- Loving Led – Ilia
- The Unwinding Cable Car – Anberlin
- Dead Man – Rhett Walker Band
- Miracle – Mike Mains And The Branches
- Staring At the Sun – Roelant
- Into My Arms – Embers In Ashes
- Glow In The Dark – Family Force 5
- We Are the Brave – VERIDIA
- Take Me Over – RED
- Breathe Into Me – RED
- Live On Forever – The Afters
- Sayonara – Disciple
- Destiny – Devin Williams
- Come Alive – Matty Mullins
- White Flag – Seventh Day Slumber
- I’m Not Running Away From This – Hearts Like Lions
- The Fallback – Sumerlin
- Alive – Tree63
- Free – Switchfoot
- Static – Bleach
- Mr. Roboto – Rapture Ruckus
- Falling Apart – Spoken
- Fully Alive – Flyleaf
- What I Believe – Skillet
- Rescue Me – Scarlet Raven
- Chasing Fears – Graceful Closure
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason To Believe is how the Gospel changes lives.
If you have been touched by the grace of God, it is quite likely that you can recall specific ways you changed after coming to faith in Jesus-attitudes, behavior, or priorities.
The disciples became followers of Jesus and would later be appointed as leaders of the early church.
After an encounter with Jesus, the heart of Zacchaeus changed from being greedy to being generous.
A jailer put his faith in Jesus and was changed from being suicidal to being filled with joy.
God’s grace changes people’s lives in various ways, but one common thread is that in whatever way the person changes, it results in bringing glory to God.
One example of that is how Christians responded to reports of the Apostle Paul’s conversion. Galatians 1:23 says, “They only heard the report: ‘The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.’ And they praised God because of me.”
“Changed lives” reveal the power of the Gospel and is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is the snowflake.
God has made each snowflake unique with different shapes and different sizes. The variety of snowflakes reminds us that God has made each human with their unique characteristics. In Psalm 139, verse 14, David said to God, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
In the Bible, snow is associated with purity, which is the result of God’s forgiveness of a sin-stained heart. After confessing his sin to the LORD, David prayed, “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” In Isaiah 1:18, the LORD said, “Come now let us reason together. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” God’s grace is the cleansing agent to clear us from the guilt of our wrongdoing and make our hearts clean.
A snowflake reminds us of the purification that comes through faith in Jesus and is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A explores the question, “What does the Sovereignty of God mean?”
One definition of the word “Sovereign” is “possessing supreme or ultimate power.”
The LORD identified Himself to Abraham as “God Almighty”. One of the implications of His supreme power is that nothing is too difficult for Him. He can do anything that is consistent with His character.
God’s Sovereignty can be a very comforting truth when our world seems to be falling apart. God’s Sovereignty assures us that He is on the throne and He is in control. He is working through history and the circumstances of our lives to reveal His glory. He is able to take what is meant for evil and overcome it with good. He is able to take our tears of sorrow and enable us to be a source of comfort for others. God’s Sovereignty teaches us that when we do not perceive His hand at work, we can still trust Him with our soul.
Psalm 46:10 is a picture of God’s Sovereignty: Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”
In 2016, God is still on the throne in the Year of Exploration.