JOHN SHIRK – From Proverbs 23:12.
“Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.”
Recently, Lifeway Research surveyed nearly 3,000 churchgoers about their desire to honor Christ and their Bible study habits. 90 percent of respondents agreed that they desired to please and honor Jesus in all they do. However, when asked how often they read the Bible, 19 percent said “every day.”
If we were in school and wanted to get a good grade, we would get into some good habits to make that happen. We would show up for class. We would listen attentively. We would take notes. And we would study those notes so that our learning would increase.
Christianity is not just an academic exercise. It is a relationship with God, through faith in Jesus Christ. That relationship grows stronger as we know Jesus better. Ephesians 5:17 counsels us to “Understand what the Lord’s will is.” That is a benefit of careful Bible study. If we want to know how to honor God through our choices, we can approach God’s word with a student’s mind, willing to learn and grow into the likeness of Jesus.
Knowledge and application of God’s Word is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.
JOHN SHIRK – From First Corinthians 13, verses 4 through 7.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
This is the description of love that never fails. This is the highest form of love that sustains marriages, supports friendships, helps the hurting, and at times, wins over enemies. This is the kind of love that makes heroes out of ordinary people. Jesus is the ultimate source of this kind of love, so these descriptions of love are true of Jesus too. Jesus is patient. Jesus is kind. Jesus never fails.
The implication of this kind of love is that God wants us to develop this kind of love for others. Ephesians 5:1 says, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Imitating the love of Jesus is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.
JOHN SHIRK – From Isaiah 53:10.
Speaking of Jesus, “Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand.”
The death of Jesus at the cross was the will of the LORD. His suffering was for a purpose. That purpose is revealed in verse 5 of the same chapter. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
The reasons for our suffering in this life may not always be clearly understood, but through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we see that suffering within God’s plan is never wasted. Jesus said we would have trouble, but He also said, “take heart, I have overcome the world.” Through Jesus, we have grace to overcome the trials of this life.
Living with hope through adversity is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.
JOHN SHIRK – From Second Corinthians 9:8.
“And God is able to make grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Whenever material prosperity is talked about in the Bible as a blessing, it is intended NOT for selfish gain, but rather that we do something redemptive with our material wealth. In this case, the Apostle Paul was appealing for financial support from one group of people with plenty so that they might provide for another group of people in need. He was appealing to their sense of generous delight rather than dutiful obligation. He said, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Material resources are valuable tools for supporting the ministry of our local church, promoting the work of organizations that serve the community in Jesus’ name, and directly intervening to help someone in a crisis. One of the reasons that God blesses us with things is so that we can bless others with generous love. Another reason for God’s blessings is so that we might abound in His good work. We need resources to do that.
Generous giving is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.
FRED MCNAUGHTON – FIVE FUN FREE FAMILY THINGS TO DO THIS WEEKEND!!! October 5, 6 & 7, 2012
5) The 27th annual Apple Festival tomorrow (Saturday Oct. 06,) 9am-3pm rain or shine, Boehm’s United Methodist Church, Willow Street. Copper kettles of homemade apple butter, Apple dumplings, baked goods, homemade vanilla and apple ice cream, apple bread, and more apple celebrations!
4) Hinkletown Mennonite School Benefit Auction, today and tomorrow (Friday, Oct 5 & Saturday, Oct 6) at the school, Wanner Road, Ephrata Children’s activities include crafts, bounce house & hay tunnel. For more info: hmsk8.org
3) First Annual Car & Motorcycle Show at In The Light Ministries, Shippen St., Lancaster, tomorrow, (Sat. Oct. 6th) from 11am-2pm. Featuring Hector from The Fast and The Furious. Musical performances by Chozen, G.O.D.SENT, Chris White, and more. More Info: 717-209-0097
2) LBC Homecoming and Open House tomorrow (Saturday, October 6) beginning at 9am, Kids Play area, 5k run, LBC Alumni Baseball and Soccer, Tours of the School, and Kids Cookie Break Broadcasting Live. More info: lbc.edu
1)Water Street Ministries Family Day, tomorrow (Saturday, October 6) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the ministry’s Prince Street campus: 210 South Prince Street, Lancaster. Music by Phredd at 10am, Matt Wheeler and the Vintage Heart at 11:45 and Saint Elouise at 1:30pm. A seminar Led by Steve Brubaker, based on the book, Invisible Neighbors will also take place, participants receive a free copy of the book. Tours and food will be offered throughout the day also. More info: Waterstreetministries.org
JOHN SHIRK – From John 6:27:
Jesus said, “Do not work for food that spoils but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
Jesus is pointing out the difference between temporal food and permanent food. The food that we eat satisfies our appetite and fills our stomach….for a brief period of time. But before long, we find ourselves eating again. Then the next day comes, and we are looking for more food to eat. We certainly need food to eat, but there is also more to life than fulfilling our physical appetites.
Jesus said in John 4:34, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” A good question to ask ourselves today is, “Am I doing something that has eternal significance?” God has a purpose for us to lift up the name of Jesus so that people might put their faith in Him as Lord and Savior. Acts of service, proclamation of the Gospel, and time spent with Jesus are all worthwhile investments with eternal value.
Making God’s Kingdom and righteousness top priority is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.
JOHN SHIRK – From Ephesians 5:19.
“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Over the centuries, God has used music as an instrumental tool for worship and ministry. Songs with Christian lyrics have been known to be a source of comfort in troubled times, a source of spiritual growth for the heart that is searching for God, and a source of wisdom to teach us what it means to follow Jesus.
Music is a language to express our love for God and to praise Him for His goodness and greatness. Music is also a means to speak to each other about God’s saving grace through the testimony of Jesus Christ.
We can share His story through a variety of Christian songs today.
The use of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs for worship and ministry is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.
September 30, 2012
RADIO FRIEND PHIL – Greetings! Check out Esterlyn’s new video, “Your Love Is New,” off their project, “Woven.”
JOHN SHIRK – From First Corinthians 12:20.
Speaking of the church, “As it is, there are many parts, but one body.”
The picture of the church is compared to the human body, where the parts are connected and working together to contribute to a healthy body. This statement comes between two interesting points made by the Apostle Paul.
The first point stresses the importance of each body part to someone who might feel inferior to others. “If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body’ it would not cease to be part of the body.” Each part matters and has an important role to fulfill. No part is so insignificant that it does not have something to contribute.
The second point also stresses the importance of each body part; this time, to someone who may feel superior to others. “The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I don’t need you.’” No part is so important that it does not need the support or help of others.
The purpose of service in the church is for the common good of the church and to lift up Jesus as Lord to a watching world.
Expression of spiritual gifts in the church is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.