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John Shirk

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The Top 500 Countdown is coming April 6, 7, and 8

john : March 18, 2011 9:27 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – The Top 500 Countdown is coming to WJTL on April 6th through the 8th.  We are looking for your input to make it happen.

What are your favorite five Christian songs of all time? Let us know, and we will enter your favorite songs into the tabulations that form the top 500 Christian songs of all time, as put together by WJTL Listener Feedback.  Here is how to make your votes count:

Write down your favorite Five Christian songs, and place them in order from 1 to 5 with number 1 being the most favorite. Then get ready to tell us what you’ve selected. Go to wjtl.com, look for the Top 500 Banner on the right, click, follow instructions, and vote. 

The Top 500 Countdown, it’s not just another Countdown. It’s an event made possible by your input.  Listen April 6th through the 8th on FM 90.3 WJTL.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Courtesy

john : March 17, 2011 2:59 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Courtesy is behavior that is marked by polished manners or respect for others.  With courtesy, we show love in the little things, and those little things are huge in building meaningful relationships.

It could be in the form of a pleasant greeting, a warm, genuine smile, and eye contact when someone is speaking to us. With courtesy, we are quick to acknowledge someone’s accomplishments. We are careful not to interrupt when someone is speaking to us. We offer kindness without expecting anything in return.  This is possible when we are motivated by the love of Jesus, who put our needs ahead of His own comfort level when He went to the cross. According to Romans 5:8, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” 

If we want to love people in big ways, we can start with sincere gestures of courtesy.  An early church leader, Titus, was instructed by the Apostle Paul to remind the people to be “peaceable and considerate.”

Courtesy 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-Beauty

john : March 14, 2011 2:13 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Beauty is defined by the quality that gives pleasure to the mind or senses. Beauty is often connected with something in God’s creation, or something artistic, or it may be connected to the qualities of a person.  Much of our society focuses on outward beauty.  While the Bible does describe certain people as having outward beauty, there is also a strong emphasis on inner beauty, which comes from godly character.

Wives are instructed in First Peter 3, not to be defined by outward beauty, but by the inner self.  Inward beauty is described as “the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” 

God develops beauty in our lives when we give Him the privilege of sculpturing us into His great masterpiece.  He is the potter.  We are the clay.  We are the work of His hands.  One of the ways in which His grace changes people’s lives is that He bestows a crown of beauty instead of ashes.  Through faith in Jesus, God forms beauty in our hearts, decorating our lives with the many colors of His love.

Beauty 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-Acceptance

john : March 11, 2011 2:42 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To accept someone is to give them a favorable reception.  We offer a gracious welcome.  It could be through a form of hospitality or kind words that express value for the other person. 

Romans 15:7 is a verse for the church to heed, regarding how we treat each other.  “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”

The church can be compared to a family, where the children of God come together to bring honor to our Heavenly Father. Where family members are accepted, there is a sense of belonging. We are encouraged by the fact that we don’t have to face life’s challenges and struggles alone.  There are Christians who will support us with their friendship and prayers. 

Acceptance in the church also sends a message to a world looking on that the love of Jesus is real, and is vibrant in the heart of His followers. Jesus said to His followers, “By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Acceptance 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-Longsuffering

john : March 10, 2011 3:48 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To be longsuffering is to be able to endure wrongs or difficulties. Another word in the Bible with similar characteristics is patience.

When someone is insulting us or offending us with something they say, it might be tempting to retaliate.  But longsuffering teaches us to restrain from acting out in revenge.  In the midst of being provoked, God trains us to be restrained from lashing out in anger.

One of the reasons that Jesus has not yet come back is because of His longsuffering. Second Peter 3:9 says that the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  This is the way of God’s servants-to give people time to come to their senses and acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior.  Sometimes, we may have to show longsuffering, not just in the face of resistance, but open hostility.  Second Timothy 4:2 urges us to preach the Word in season and out of season-to correct, rebuke, and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.

Longsuffering is listed in the Fruit of the Spirit, and 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-Contriteness

john : March 8, 2011 4:58 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To be contrite is to feel or show sorrow and remorse for a sin.  This is a humble disposition before God. The Bible tells us that God gives grace to the humble. He is willing to forgive on the basis of what Jesus did for us at the cross.

Through a contrite heart, we are ready for change.  Contriteness keeps the heart tender before God so that we are willing to adjust our desires and motivations to the way God wants them to be.

The display of a contrite heart was a turning point for David in Psalm 51.  He prayed:  “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”  David also sought God’s help to make changes in his life so that he would live in obedience to God.

He said, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  He acknowledged that God will not despise a broken and contrite heart. This same opportunity for change is possible for us. First John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Contriteness 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-Undivided Heart

john : March 7, 2011 2:07 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – One meaning of the word, “Undivided” is to be concentrated on one object.  To have an undivided heart toward God is to have our thoughts and affections fixed on Jesus.  He becomes the most important treasure to us. We become united with Him.

David was a man in the Bible described as a man after God’s own heart.  He prayed in Psalm 86:11, “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, O LORD my God, with all my heart.”

An undivided heart will guide our footsteps in the path of God’s ways.  We will go in the same direction that God wants us to go. It is interesting to note that after God said that David was a man after His own heart, He made the statement, “He will do everything I want him to do.”  Obedience to God is the outcome of an undivided heart.

An undivided heart 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-Sympathy

john : March 4, 2011 2:37 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – One definition of sympathy is to have feelings or impulses of compassion.  Sympathy reaches out to a hurting or grieving person with a tender heart.  We don’t try to stop their tears.  Instead, we are willing to cry with them. 

The shortest verse in the Bible is, “Jesus wept.”  He did this at the gravesite of a dear friend.  He sympathizes with us in our weaknesses.  He does not do this from a distance. He comes to us in the midst of our pain.  He also wants His followers to get close enough to bear one another’s burdens.

First Peter 3:8 says, “Be sympathetic.” And Romans 12:15 encourages us to “mourn with those who mourn.”

Sympathy 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-Trust

john : March 2, 2011 5:02 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Trust can be described as relying on integrity, strength, ability, or certainty of a person or thing.  When we cross a bridge in our vehicle, we are exercising a certain amount of trust that the bridge will hold us up.  Another form of trust is that ropes course exercise, where a person falls back from a platform into the waiting arms of their friends.  That person who falls back is counting on his friends to catch him.  The truth of the matter is that friends will sometimes let us down when we fall in other areas of our lives, but Jesus has proven Himself to be a trustworthy Savior for our needs. His grace is able to catch our fall and lift us to a higher place of refuge.

In John 14:1, Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”  And then He told the disciples about a place in heaven that He would prepare for His followers.  Trust is a key dimension to faith.  We do not have Biblical faith without trusting in Jesus to save us from our sins.  First John 4:16 gives us this picture of trust: “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.”

Trust 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-Availability

john : February 28, 2011 2:47 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To be available is to be ready for immediate use.  In our relationship with God, there are times when He is going to call us to do a specific assignment to advance the Gospel message.  Being available to God means that we offer ourselves to God as His servants.  We are willing to go on His terms rather than set our own terms for Kingdom service.

Isaiah made himself available to God with the words, “Here am I! Send me!”.  And Samuel, Israel’s trusted prophet said this when he was a boy, “Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening. And when Jesus came, He said, “Here I am-it is written about me in the scroll-I have come to do your will, O God.” We can make ourselves available to Him by surrendering to His plan for us. 

Romans 12:1 urges us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God. It is through the process of surrender to God that the fog is removed and the light comes on for us to be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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