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John Shirk

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Worship

john : June 21, 2011 2:17 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Worship comes from an old English word “Worthship”, which indicates the worthiness of the one receiving the special honor or devotion.

Jesus is acknowledged in this way in Revelation 5:12, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.”  He is worthy of our worship.

Sometimes, worship is put into a category limited to a Sunday morning church service or a certain type of music.  But in reality, worship is a way of life that seeks to bring glory to God with our daily activity. Warren Wiersbe has defined worship this way:

“Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are-mind, emotions, will, body-to what God is and says and does.”  This is what we find in Romans 12:1, “In view of God’s mercy…, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.”  With words that praise God, hands of service, and a heart of gratitude, we can express our worship for Jesus as Lord and Savior each and every day.

Worship 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-Transformation

john : June 17, 2011 8:54 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Transformation is a dramatic change in the form, appearance, or character of. Oftentimes, our culture uses the word “transformation” to describe a dramatic change of appearance. The Bible talks a lot about the transformation of the heart in connection with the Christian life.

When Jesus touches our lives with His grace, our character becomes different.  This process of changing character takes place in different ways in different people, at different paces. For some people, the transformation of the heart is instantly noticeable by other people.  At other times, the transformation moves gradually to the surface.

Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” Much like the dramatic change of bullfrogs and butterflies, a metamorphosis takes place where we are born again to experience new life in Christ.

One of those key transformations in a growing disciple is a renewed mind. Deceitful desires give way to holy ambitions when our mind stays focused on Christ.

Transformation 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-Peacefulness

john : June 15, 2011 2:11 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Peacefulness is a state of freedom from storm or disturbance. In a peaceful state, there is the presence of calmness and tranquility in our heart, mind, and soul. What is absent is mental stress or anxiety. This does not mean that our circumstances will be calm and tranquil.  The Christian experience might be compared to the eye of a hurricane, where trouble surrounds us. And trouble might affect us.  In fact, Jesus said that we would experience trouble in this world.

There will be tornadoes, floods, unexpected losses, times of grief, and family conflict. Jesus was about to die on a cross, and He said to His disciples, “In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  Why did He share this with His disciples? So that in Jesus they may have peace.

Peacefulness depends on a relationship with Jesus more than favorable circumstances.  If Jesus overcame sin, death, and Satan, then the record reflects that He is able to help us overcome the troubles of this world in the picture of eternity.  Nothing can separate us from His love. Our lives are in His hands. And His grace is sufficient to provide for us an abundant and eternal life as we follow Jesus with a devoted heart.

Peacefulness 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-Stability

john : June 13, 2011 2:12 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – One definition of stability is “firmness in position”.  Stability does not just happen by waking up and saying to ourselves, “today, I think I am going to be stable.”  Our sense of emotional and spiritual stability is strengthened when we hold to a foundation of faith.  Biblically speaking, that foundation is God’s Word, which directs us to faith in Jesus Christ.

Stability keeps our lives from falling apart when the storms of life hammer us.  Jesus linked stability to applying His Word into our everyday lives.  He said in Matthew 7:24, “everyone who hears these word of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.”  Jesus went on to describe the foundation of those who do not put Jesus’ words to practice.  Their foundation is like sand.  When the storm hits that house, it is easily collapsible.  It’s not easy to be hit with the storms of life, but our hope is sustained by believing in a living God who loves and values us, and has a good plan for our lives.

Stability 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-Outreach

john : June 10, 2011 4:03 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – While this is stating the obvious, for the record, outreach is the act or process of reaching out.

Outreach began at the cross, when the arms of Jesus were extended on the cross for our sins. In that moment, He was reaching out to us with the Father’s love.

Outreach extends beyond our own interests to consider the needs of other people. It could lead us to reaching out with a meal to someone who is going through a crisis.  It could lead to reaching out with a helping hand to an elderly neighbor who doesn’t have the mobility they once had.  Or it could lead to reaching out our hands to comfort someone who is grieving.

Outreach also is a term that describes the effort by believers to share the Gospel with people who have not yet heard about Jesus or received Him as Lord and Savior.

Philippians 2:4 says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Outreach 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-Earnestness

john : June 8, 2011 5:29 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Earnestness is marked by a sincere desire to be near God and to be right with God. Intense conviction accompanies a person with an earnest faith. The Apostle Paul noted how godly sorrow produced earnestness in the life of the Corinthian church.

In Psalm 63:1, David wrote, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.”  This is the picture of someone who recognizes their incompleteness without the grace of God.  It’s like being in a desert without any water or source of refreshment.

There are a lot of voices claiming to satisfy the soul, but they turn out to be a mirage that leaves us empty.  Jesus has living water to offer the thirsty soul. His grace is able to satisfy the person that earnestly searches for Him.

Earnestness 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-Success

john : June 7, 2011 2:33 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Success is one of those words that means different things to different people.  It is entirely possible to be successful in the eyes of the world, but fall short of God’s plan for our lives.  Or we might be a failure in the eyes of the world, but succeed in the eyes of God. Oftentimes, we limit our view of success by results, whereas God also sees success in the light of a process.  John Maxwell is quoted as saying that “true success is obeying God.” Doing things God’s way brings about success, although it may not appear successful to the human eye.

For example, many of Jesus’ disciples were martyrs for the Gospel. (Not successful in the world’s view) but Jesus calls them blessed. There was power in their witness for Jesus in their persecution and integrity.  Spiritual success may have different outcomes, but obedience to God’s Word is an essential ingredient.

Joshua 1:8 says, “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”

Success 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-Liveliness

john : June 3, 2011 5:33 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Liveliness means to be full of life and energy, to be vigorous.

Jesus did NOT say that He came to make us dull or boring people.  No, He came to give us life and to have it to the full.

He came to wake us up from the slumber of our sins, and be stirred by the grace of God to be made holy. The liveliness of our faith in Christ is fed by God’s love to motivate us to live for God’s glory.  We wake up each day with a sense of purpose to know God better and share His love with others.

Each day, our faith can be made lively as we think about God’s grace, find encouragement in the Scriptures, and share in the fellowship of other believers in Jesus. When we do God’s will, and see fruitful results, that, too is an encouragement to the liveliness of our faith.  Ephesians 2:4 and 5 describes the life-changing difference that Jesus makes when He touches our lives by His grace. “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-it is by grace you have been saved.”

Liveliness 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-Godly Priorities

john : June 2, 2011 3:38 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – A priority is something regarded as more important than another. Godly priorities place value in our personal lives those things that are also important in the eyes of God. These are some of God’s priorities for our lives.

To be in relationship with Him.

To trust in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins and salvation of our souls.

To be guided by the word of God to do the will of God.

Love.

To share the Good News of Jesus with others.

To love and provide for the family that God has entrusted to us.

To worship at a local church and become involved in the ministry of the church.

We can learn a lot about what we value through our investments of time and money. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.”

Godly Priorities,  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-Tenderness

john : June 1, 2011 2:37 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Tenderness is defined by gentle emotions and loving gestures.

With a tender faith, we are reminded of the compassion of Christ toward us, and that affects the way we treat other people.  We are more inclined to forgive, to be sympathetic, and to be kind toward others when tenderness forms in our heart.  A tender heart motivates us to offer the gentle touch of God’s grace on the people we meet.

In the New King James Version of the Bible, Ephesians 4:32 says,  “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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