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John Shirk

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Intercession

john : September 27, 2011 5:02 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To intercede is to petition God or pray on behalf of another person or group. Hebrews 7:25 refers to Jesus as the intercessor for those who come to God through him.

We also have the opportunity to intercede on behalf of others through prayer.  At See You At The Pole, students gather around the school flagpole to intercede on behalf of their teachers, classmates, communities, and government officials.  Jesus is there, because He said, “where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

First Timothy 2:1 says, “I urge, then first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior.”

Intercession is a quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Stoutheartedness

john : September 20, 2011 2:07 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To be stouthearted is to be courageous or determined.

Worship of God leads to stoutheartedness, because when we adore Him for His might and mercy, we echo the rhetorical question made by the Apostle Paul, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

That does not mean physical harm will never come to us.  Physical harm often came to the Apostle Paul.  However, his soul was secure in God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul was confident that God’s grace was a mighty fortress that the enemy could not break down to get to his soul.  So, he entrusted himself to God, and depended on Him to provide his needs and guide his pathway.

David had a stouthearted faith as a worshipper of God.  He said in Psalm 138:2, “I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.”

Stoutheartedness is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Frugality

john : September 19, 2011 2:11 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – A frugal person learns to live within their means.  They are not wasteful.  They don’t spend unnecessarily.

The Bible warns us from going in debt beyond our ability to repay.

Frugality is one way to prevent from spending getting out of control.

In another way, frugality can be applied to the blessings that God has given us.  On one occasion, Jesus fed the five thousand, and after this miraculous feeding, there were leftovers.  Jesus said something very interesting at that point.  He said, “Let nothing be wasted.”

Before our leftovers spoil, the way of frugality teaches us to put them to good use.  Put them in the fridge for a future meal or snack.  Make them available to a friend or neighbor in need. But this does not just have to apply to food.  Frugality can be applied with other things around the house that we don’t use anymore, but may be useful to someone else.  And frugality can be applied to our spiritual gifts as well.  Let’s not waste the opportunities that God gives us to serve Him and to encourage others to live for Jesus.

Frugality is a quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Productivity

john : September 15, 2011 10:14 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Productivity yields favorable or useful results.  Productivity gets the job done
in an efficient manner.

But what does it take to be productive?
Business leaders might include some of these characteristics in their list of
productive employees:  Positive attitude, Teachable, Remains focused on the task
(doesn’t get easily distracted), Follows instructions, Dependable (they can be
counted on to finish their task).

These are some ways in which we can be
productive servants of the Lord. In addition, we need to stay connected to
Christ and draw nourishment from His abundant grace. We are wise to walk with
Him as our Friend, worship Him as our Lord and Savior, and work for Him as our
worthy Master.  Colossians 3:23, says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all
your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will
receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are
serving.” First Corinthians 15 reminds us that our labor in the Lord is not in
vain.

Productivity is a quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the
world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Godliness

john : September 13, 2011 1:01 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Godliness is character and conduct shaped by reverence for God. We might
describe godliness as an outward expression of inward transformation.

Jesus once said, “Out of the overflow of his heart, his mouth
speaks.”
What is formed in the character of a person has a way of coming out
in the words we say.  When holiness is formed in our character, godliness comes
out.

Godliness has a training program and has great value in the eyes of
God.  First Timothy 4:7 and 8 says, “Have nothing to do with godless myths and
old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is
of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both
the present life and the life to come.”

Some of the ways we can train to
be godly is by feeding on the nutrition of God’s Word, resting in the grace of
the Lord Jesus with a trusting heart, and exercising our spiritual gifts through
service and missions outreach.

Godliness is a character quality that
enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Initiative

john : September 9, 2011 10:14 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – With initiative, we have the incentive to begin or follow through with a plan.

For the follower of Jesus, initiatives should have their starting place with God’s Word. God speaks, and as we listen, we are moved to take action. It might be something we read in the Bible. It might be through a burden or passion that God is placing in our heart. If that is the case, the initiative that God calls us to do will be consistent with the mission of Jesus to bring about freedom and healing for people in His name.

Initiative is not about what we are able to do for God on our own strength. It’s about God working in us to act according to His good purpose. His love for people stirs us to a mission, so that we become active participants rather than passive bystanders in the way we live life. James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”

Initiative is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Harmony

john : August 31, 2011 4:41 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – In harmony, relationships can be like a song.  Different notes blending together to form a beautiful song. While they are different, the notes are compatible to one another. This is how healthy relationships function:  Two or more individuals, with different personalities and talents that are compatible for relationships to thrive.

Romans 12:16 urges believers in Jesus to “live in harmony with one another.”  If everyone in the church were supposed to be playing the same note, the Bible would have instructed us to live in uniformity, rather than harmony. However, the church is described in First Corinthians 12 as “having many parts, but one body.”  When we blend together in a spirit of cooperation for the purpose of glorifying God, diversity becomes a dynamic force for unity, rather than disunity. The important factor that keeps harmony in place is for each part to stay in tune with Jesus. “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another.”

Harmony is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity To Grow Toward Christ-Serenity

john : August 30, 2011 3:10 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Serenity is the state of being calm and peaceful.  Sometimes, serenity might reflect a gentle sunrise over the horizon.  However, serenity might also look like the eye of a hurricane, with calmness in the midst of a raging storm.

Jesus is the one who spoke to a storm and said, “Quiet! Be still!” And the wind died down, and it was completely calm.  Jesus is the source of our serenity.  He can calm our fears and breathe peace into our troubling circumstances.

Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Serenity is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Authenticity

john : August 25, 2011 2:59 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To be authentic is to be believable or trustworthy. Another definition of authenticity is the quality of being genuine and not corrupted.

This is the kind of faith that God is calling His people to live out.  The call to authenticity shows up in places like Romans 12:9 which says, “Love must be sincere.”  And First Peter 1:7, which explains that God permits trials in our lives so that our faith might be proved genuine, and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

The perfect example of authenticity is Jesus.   He did not just say that He loved us. He expressed it at the cross, and continues to reach out with His love to invite us to know Him as Lord and Savior. With the focus of our faith on Jesus, His authentic love will become our brilliant influence.  His Word challenges us to walk the talk. First John 2:6 says, “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”

Authenticity is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Melodiousness

john : August 24, 2011 2:12 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – A good melody is a tune that is pleasant to the ears.  One of the key elements in many worship services is music.  That is because God’s people have been given a song in our heart, and that song reflects gratitude to God for His saving grace and His highest glory.

Psalm 40, verse 3 says, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.”

Christian music can be used of God as an instrument of praise to bring glory to the name of Jesus. Songs can also be words of instruction to people, explaining the message of forgiveness and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Melodiousness is a quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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