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John Shirk

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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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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Honest evaluation

john : August 22, 2011 2:53 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK - One definition of “evaluation” is “an assessment of strengths and weaknesses.”

When taking a look at our own strengths and weaknesses, it takes  honesty and humility to get to the truth of the matter.

Sometimes, we get a better understanding of where we are in our relationship with God by reading the Bible. We can take a look at certain passages that talk about God’s will for our lives.  Then ask ourselves, “Is this true of me?” Or we can go directly to God in prayer for His perspective on our hearts.  This is what David did in Psalm 139.  He prayed in verse 23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

An honest evaluation of ourselves is a productive exercise for spiritual growth, helping us to see through our blind spots that need attention, so that we can better live out the true virtues of the Christian faith.

Honest evaluation of ourselves 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-Purpose

john : August 19, 2011 2:22 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Purpose is defined as the reason for which something is done or created.

Speaking of Jesus, Colossians 1:16 tells us that all things were created by him and for him.

We exist for His glory, not our own. If we live to please ourselves, our purpose is too small.  Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life, says, “Without God, life has no purpose, and without purpose, life has no meaning.”

If God is not at the steering wheel of our decisions, then other influences will seek to drive our engine.  Some examples include materialism, other religious influences, or people’s opinions.

Purpose in God provides hope and direction. Philippians 2:13 addresses believers this way: “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

A God-given purpose 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-Quietness

john : August 17, 2011 5:13 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – The definition of quietness is “making little or no noise.”  In the Bible, quietness means something a bit deeper.  It includes making little or no noise, but also means “to be undisturbed-to be at peace.”

In Isaiah 30:15, the LORD says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

If we have renounced sin and turned to Christ for salvation, we can have the peace that passes understanding.  We can be assured that we belong to Jesus and are included in His family of believers.  Our conscience is clear before God when are compelled by His love to do what is right.

We live in a noisy and disturbed world. We can find rest for our soul by taking time each day to find a quiet place and spend time with God. In Bible study and prayer, life’s most important relationship is cultivated. Our perspective becomes clear on what really matters, and our heart is refreshed as we reflect on His identity and destiny.  Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”

Quietness 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 Moment of Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Service

john : August 15, 2011 5:42 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – A servant is someone who is devoted to following or supporting someone. Humility and service go hand in hand.

According to John Piper, “Humility gets down low and lifts others up. Humility looks to the needs of others and gives time and effort to help with those needs. Jesus took the form of a servant and humbled himself to the point of death.”

Jesus also clothed Himself with service when he used a basin and a towel to wash His disciples’ feet. Afterwards, Jesus taught them, saying, “Now, that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” As we serve others because of our love for Jesus, God is able to use us as cleansing agents of His grace.

Through Jesus’ example and words, Jesus was getting this point across, “The greatest among you will be your servant.”

A servant spirit 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-Brilliance

john : August 12, 2011 5:36 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Brilliance is defined by extreme brightness or exceptional clarity.

In the book of Revelation, John had a vision of Jesus with His face shining in all its brilliance. Jesus referred to Himself as the light of the world, but He also told His followers, “You are the light of the world.”

Jesus is the big light like the sun that shines brilliantly in the middle of the day. His followers are little lights, like the stars of the universe.

Reflecting the light of Jesus to a world in spiritual darkness is a brilliant idea.  Actually, it’s more than just an idea.  It’s a way of life that receives the warmth of God’s love into our hearts and is compelled to pass it along to other people. God’s love is a powerful influence that sheds light on our need for the grace of the Lord Jesus.

Daniel 12:3 pictures eternity this way for those who shine the light of the Gospel with their words and testimony:  “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”

Brilliance 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-Tenacity

john : August 10, 2011 5:37 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Tenacity is the refusal to let go of God and the determination to hold on to everything that is helpful in building our relationship with God.

One example of tenaciousness in the Bible was when Ruth clung to her mother-in-law Naomi despite Naomi’s instructions to leave her.

Ruth said, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.  Your people will be my people and your God my God.”

This type of tenacity led to Ruth being grafted into the lineage of Jesus Christ. Her story became part of His story.

What does it take for us to be aligned with God’s purposes?  A tenacious faith in Jesus is one quality that will keep us on track for the long haul. First Thessalonians 5:21 says, “hold on to the good; avoid every kind of evil.”

Tenacity 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-Relevance

john : August 9, 2011 2:30 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Relevant words are timely words that fit a given setting or situation.

Proverbs 15:23 tells us that a man finds joy in giving an apt reply-and how good is a timely word.

Proverbs 25:11 speaks of the value of using relevant words.  “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

One way in which Christians remain relevant in today’s culture is by applying the timeless truths of the Scripture to the topics of today, using language that is understood by ordinary people. While the times change, God’s truth remains the same, and is useful for shaping our character to be more like Jesus. With relevance in mind, we consider how we might use the right words at the right moment to help someone in need.

Relevance 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-Care

john : August 5, 2011 2:59 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To have a caring heart is to attach importance to someone. Care for others spurs us to action, where we offer time and attention to someone who needs a helping hand.

One example of this kind of outreach is foster care, where a child is placed in the care of a family until a more permanent arrangement is made for the child.

Another kind of care is pastoral care, compared to a shepherd tending the flock.  Peter was instructed by the Lord Jesus, “Take care of my sheep.”  Church leaders and pastors can have a huge impact in helping God’s people by caring for their needs.

One of the reasons that we can be confident to cast all our anxiety on God is because He cares for us. When other people sense that we truly care about them with the compassion of Jesus, their hearts are sometimes ready to respond to this extraordinary love.  When it comes to being a witness for Jesus, people won’t generally care how much we know until they know how much we care.

Care 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-Motivation

john : August 4, 2011 3:30 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – There are two definitions of  motivation worth noting:

The first definition is “reason for behaving in a particular way.”  This goes to the heart of why we do what we do, which God cares about.

The Bible tells us that our motives are weighed by the Lord.

The second definition is the desire or willingness to do something.

Jesus is the One who brings both definitions together in our lives. When He captures our heart, He becomes our desire in life and our reason for our activities.  He can give us a clear conscience and full assurance of His grace when our faith is in Him.  He gives us a reason for living beyond ourselves.  And while that road may be difficult and filled with grief, we will never be without hope.  Because we have the peace of God to comfort us, and the love of God to motivate us until our time on this earth is completed.

The Apostle Paul described his motivating influence in Philippians 1:21.  “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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