JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the holiness of God.
The angels make this declaration in Isaiah 6, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole earth is full of his glory.” It was the kind of statement that caused Isaiah to feel doomed as a sinner. Yet, God’s holiness was accompanied by His compassion, and that makes all the difference for anyone who has sinned against God. Instead of being condemned as a sinner, he would be called into service as a saint. The holiness of God had a purifying impact on Isaiah, and it has a purifying impact on those who belong to Jesus.
The holiness of God refers to His absolute moral purity. There is no sin in Him. His glory shines with brilliance. God’s holiness also refers to His greatness. He is a cut above the rest. No persons or idols match the worth of God to the human soul.
One of God’s purposes for our lives is to make us holy, not in the sense that we are able to attain to His level of greatness, but in the sense of purifying our faith by the Word of God. His holiness becomes an incentive for us to grow in holiness. First Peter 1:15 and 16 says, “Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written, “be holy, because I am holy.” Heaven celebrates the supreme holiness of God constantly.
The holiness of God is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the graciousness of God.
Grace is that quality of God’s character that ultimately saves us from our sins and gives us eternal life. It is not an item we can purchase or a wage that we can earn. Ephesians 2:8 describes God’s grace as a gift to be received. In His grace, God shines His favor on His people.
The graciousness of God can be seen in the blessings that He pours out on the inhabitants of the earth. He sends rain from heaven to provide us with food from the crops.
His graciousness is often connected with His patience and kindness.
Instead of wiping out the civilization of Nineveh, as He had threatened through Jonah the prophet, the LORD saw how they had turned from their evil ways and had compassion on them. Likewise, God’s graciousness relents from the judgment that we deserve when we repent from our sins and trust in Jesus for forgiveness
God’s graciousness also equips the believer with spiritual gifts. He blesses us to be a blessing to others through acts of service. First Peter 4:10 tells us to use whatever gift we have received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
The graciousness of God is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the work of the Potter’s Hand.
Isaiah 64:8 says, “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
As the potter, God has a plan for our lives to make us useful instruments in His Kingdom. We are made to glorify Him.
He chips away at the parts of our lives that are not honorable to Him so that our vessel might be fashioned into a design that reflects His glory. Ephesians 2:10 says that “we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
How can we become God’s masterpieces? It happens when we approach Him and say, “Have your way in my life,” and then, follow that prayer with a teachable spirit.
Lyrics from the song, “The Potter’s Hand” reflects the prayer of a tender heart to God. “Take me, mold me, use me, fill me, I give my life to the Potter’s hand. Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me. I give my life to the Potter’s hand.”
The work of the Potter’s Hand is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the eyes of the Lord.
According to Second Chronicles 16:9, “the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”
Let’s suppose for a moment that we are all children. The eyes of our parents or guardians on us may encourage us or disturb us, depending on the situation.
If they come to see us in a sports or musical performance, we might give our best effort because of their support. We are greatly encouraged by their attendance, which brings out the best in us.
On the other hand, we might not be inclined to welcome their focus on us if we are putting our hands into the forbidden cookie jar. The lawless one tries to hide their activity from the police officer.
Likewise, there are different reactions among people regarding God’s watchfulness over our activity. David, a man after God’s own heart, was in awe that God’s eyes would notice him. He said, “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down. You are familiar with all my ways.” Then he said, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.” That’s because David was fully committed to the Lord.
The eyes of the Lord on us are reasons to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the value of mentoring relationships.
While friendships are relationships often among peers, mentoring relationships tend to have wider age differences. It might be the case where an elderly Christian is grooming a younger Christian to a place of leadership, such as Paul’s relationship with Timothy in the Bible.
Or it may be a situation where one believer is preparing another believer to succeed their role, such as Elijah preparing Elisha to become a prophet.
Another excellent example of mentorship is the parent-child relationship, where the parent brings them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
The value of mentoring relationships can be found in the opportunity to pass the faith along from generation to generation.
Psalm 78:4 says, “We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.” Verse 7 says, “Then they would put their trust in God.”
The value of mentoring relationships is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on the purpose of accountable relationships.
In seeking accountable relationships, we are enlisting the support of another to help us stay true to our commitments. In the context of faith, this relates to our commitment to following Christ.
Chip Ingram says there are a number of reasons why we need accountable relationships. We have the tendency to underestimate the power of our sinful passions. We have the tendency to overestimate our ability to handle temptation. And we have the tendency to believe that our struggles and temptations are unique.
One of God’s resources for helping us in temptation is the body of Christ. Discernment is important when establishing accountable relationships. It should be with a trusted friend who loves the Lord, and who is genuinely interested in seeing us grow in God’s grace.
Hebrews 3:12 supports accountable relationships with these words: “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
An Accountable relationship is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on God’s guidance.
In Exodus 13:21, we learn how God guided and provided for the Israelites after they were released from slavery in Egypt.
“By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.”
The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire at night was an indication that God was present with the Israelites. God was making a way for them to move forward in His plan. Without the pillar of cloud in the day, the people would have baked in the desert sun. Without the fire by night, the people would have stumbled in the darkness. God has not left His people without tools to go forward in His plan. God’s Word is described as a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. God’s Presence serves as our shade to refresh us in the midst of circumstances that drain the soul. Psalm 121, verse 5 says, “The LORD watches over you-the LORD is your shade at your right hand.” With a teachable spirit, we can enjoy the journey of moving forward in God’s plan, under His presence, in light of His Word.
God’s guidance is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on worship from the heart
In Psalm 69:30, David, a man after God’s own heart, said, “I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs.”
It was common for animal sacrifices to be used under Old Testament law to reveal our need for forgiveness and cleansing from sin. In reality, they were not the real cleansing agent, but they did foreshadow the complete cleansing from sin that we can experience through faith in Jesus Christ, who was the perfect sacrifice to take away our sins.
David was saying that sincere worship from a thankful heart would mean more to God than the offering of an ox or a bull on the altar.
Hebrews 10:22 invites us to draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. God has given us music as an instrument to lift up the name of Jesus with words that overflow from our heart.
Worshipping God with a sincere heart is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the encouragement of a friend.
It happened in the book of Third John, when the Apostle John wrote to a follower of Jesus named Gaius
He said to his dear friend in verse 3, “It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
We all benefit by this kind of encouragement. If we see someone who is demonstrating their love for God in the way they live, that is a good opportunity to express how we see God at work in them. John noted the good report he was hearing of the faithful witness of Gaius. This report was giving John matchless joy. His words of encouragement in Third John are examples for us to build others up in the faith, so that they will continue to walk in the truth of the Gospel
The encouragement of a friend is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the value of wisdom.
If the LORD approached you and said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you”, how would you respond?
He said this to King Solomon as he began his reign as Israel’s king.
Solomon asked for wisdom. He said, “Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.” Solomon recognized that he was inadequate to be an effective leader in his own strength, and he also recognized what he needed in order to be an effective leader.
The Bible says that the Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for this, and promised to give him a wise and discerning heart.
The Lord invites us to ask Him for wisdom too. James 1:5 says that “if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
According to Proverbs 3, wisdom is worth more than gold or silver. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace. Those who lay hold of wisdom will be blessed.
Having the treasure of God’s wisdom is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.