JOHN SHIRK – To be willing to do something is to cheerfully consent or be ready. In our relationship with God, willingness gladly gives God permission to do with our lives whatever He chooses for us in His timing.
Here are three excellent examples of willingness from the Bible.
Isaiah said to the LORD, “Here am I, send me.”
In Second Corinthians 8, the Apostle Paul commended the church for their generosity not only to give, but also for their desire to do so.
And the Israelites expressed willingness to respond to Joshua’s leadership following Moses’ death. They said in Joshua 1:16, “Whatever you have commanded us, we will do, and wherever you send us, we will go.”
Some time ago, Kelly Willard recorded a song called “Willing Heart”, which offered this insight on how to develop a willingness to follow God’s plan for our lives. “If you don’t have a willing heart, ask Him to give you one. If you can’t make a start, trust in His power.” Without trust, it is difficult to have a willingness to follow a leader. Jesus has proven His faithful love and power for us at the cross and empty grave.
Willingness is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – To exercise discretion means to show discernment or good judgment.
Wisdom is a much-needed treasure for discretion to take place in our moral choices.
Proverbs 2:9 describes the process and the great value of discretion.
“Then you will understand what is right and just and fair-every good path. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you.”
God’s Word is our source of wisdom, helping us to learn the ways of God, and teaching us to reject what is evil.
Discretion is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – To be consecrated is to be set apart for a special service. In the Bible, this usually means being set apart for God.
Consecration often has to do with purity and holiness. Leviticus 20, verse 7 says, “Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God. Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy.”
In our pure devotion to Christ, God sets us apart for special purposes to serve Christ. He provides us with spiritual gifts that are useful for building the faith of the church and planting seeds of faith in the lives of unbelievers. This was the experience of the Apostle Paul, who described himself in Romans 1:1 as a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God.
Consecration is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
WJTL’s John Shirk sits down with Steven Curtis Chapman to talk about his new tour, his new album, overcoming adversity, and looking toward the future.
JOHN SHIRK – To be prudent means to exercise good judgment or wisdom gained from experience and knowledge. One reliable place for gaining knowledge of the truth is the Bible. That is where we come to understand the Lord’s will-how He wants us to live in such a way as to honor His name. That is where we learn about Jesus, described in First Corinthians 1:30 as our source of wisdom from God.
Several other words help to clarify what the wisdom of prudence looks like. Careful, cautious, and self-restraint, particularly in our speech and behavior. Prudence keeps our actions from getting reckless so that our witness for Christ is not undermined by careless words or actions.
According to Proverbs 1:4, the wise sayings of Solomon in the book of Proverbs are useful “for attaining wisdom and discipline; for understanding words of insight; for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the young.”
Prudence is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – There are various definitions of promptness.
One definition is to be on time. There are some practical benefits to being prompt for meetings and appointments. The other person comes to see us as more dependable when we are consistently on time. And you can be more productive in your work if you are not late in getting to your task.
Another definition means “To be ready to act or respond.” James 1:19 identifies promptness this way: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”
When we listen to others, we communicate that what they say matters. This passage can also apply to our relationship with God. When our heart is in tune with His words in the Bible, we live in a state of readiness to trust and obey Him when He tells us to move.
Promptness is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
JOHN SHIRK – There are two definitions of mercy that we will look at. One view of mercy is an act of kindness or compassion. This is what happened in the story of the Good Samaritan, who was prompted by compassion to show mercy on the person beaten up by robbers.
Another expression of mercy is the disposition to be kind and forgiving toward those who are undeserving of kind treatment.
Ephesians 2:3 talks about how we were by nature the objects of wrath. Then, verse 4 says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.”
Both forms of mercy involve a compassionate heart that is motivated to reach out and help the person in need. As we walk in Jesus’ footsteps, His influence of mercy spills over in the way we treat other people. Jesus says in Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
Mercy is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.
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 – 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 – 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.