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John Shirk

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Alertness

john : March 30, 2011 3:18 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Alertness can be described as being attentive and watchful.  Our senses are heightened to be in tune with what is going on around us.

To be alert is to be aware of potential hidden dangers.  In the spiritual realm, the Bible challenges us to be aware of dangers, which wage war against our soul.

First Peter 5:8 instructs us to “be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.”

Alertness teaches us to avoid the pitfalls of laziness and complacency. We are in a spiritual battle.  We can prepare for each day’s challenges with a time of worship that includes prayer and Bible study. This will awaken our soul to be in tune with God’s will for our lives.

Alertness 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-Cooperative Spirit

john : March 28, 2011 3:01 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Cooperation can be defined as working together or acting together for a common purpose.  Teamwork is involved.  This does not mean we go along with activity that violates our convictions, but with a cooperative spirit, we demonstrate a servant’s attitude to work with others to get the job done.  We show flexibility to the ideas of others. We show respect for our co-laborers. We show a willingness to help where help is requested.  Cooperation is particularly important in the church.

Jesus said, “A house divided against itself will fall.”  This is the result of members working against each other instead of with each other.  Ephesians 4:16 shows us how a cooperative spirit moves the ministry of a church forward. Speaking of Christ, “From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

A cooperative 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-Wonder

john : March 25, 2011 3:54 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To have a sense of wonder is to marvel or have a feeling of awe or admiration. 

It is quite common for young love to be filled with wonder.  Our relationship with God can start out with wonder at His amazing love for us.  We marvel at His creation, and take time to smell the roses. Worship services stir our soul to deep appreciation and admiration for Jesus. 

Then the time might come when we settle into a routine or get distracted by other things, which dulls our sense of wonder.  Our sense of wonder can be reignited when we remember that God is wonderful.  His deeds are wonderful.  His love is wonderful. His guidance is wonderful.  Each day is an opportunity to think about a specific dimension of Jesus and thank Him for who He is and what He has done for us. Seeing Jesus with a believing heart is the key to being filled with wonder. That was the case in Luke 9:15.  “As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.”  Notice how their sense of wonder propelled them toward Jesus.

Wonder 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-Mentorship

john : March 24, 2011 3:06 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – A mentor can be described as a teacher or coach.  A mentor has the type of influence on others that spurs growth and character development. Mentors train tomorrow’s leaders.

We have several examples of mentorship in the Bible.  Paul mentored Titus and Timothy to become leaders in the early church.  Moses groomed Joshua for leadership.  Elijah groomed Elisha to succeed him as a prophet of the Lord. And Jesus instructed His followers, and prepared them for leadership in the early church. Also, parents are instructed to be a type of mentor for their children, training them in the instruction of the Lord.

Psalm 78, verse 4 says, “We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.”

With words of wisdom, a life of Christian integrity, and God’s help, we can be effective mentors that train people to become godly men and women of influence.

Mentorship 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-Honor

john : March 22, 2011 5:43 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – William Arnot once said, “If honor be your clothing, your suit will last a lifetime, but if clothing be your honor, it will soon be worn threadbare.”

To honor someone is to show high respect for them. True worship is impossible without high respect for God.  Revelation 5 describes the Lamb who was slain as being worthy to receive honor. 

As our honor for Jesus is demonstrated in our actions, we have this assurance from Jesus.  He said, “My Father will honor the one who serves me.”

It is also God’s will for honor to extend to various kinds of people that God places in our lives.  One of the Ten Commandments is to “Honor your father and your mother.”  We are also called to honor our brothers and sisters in Christ.  Romans 12:10 says, “Honor one another above yourselves.” And elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, according to First Timothy 5.

Honor 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-Sanctification

john : March 21, 2011 4:26 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – This word is not used very often outside church walls, but it is used often in the Bible, and it deserves our attention.

Sanctification is a word to describe how the Christian is set apart by God for His holy purposes.  Step-by-step, day-by-day, the Holy Spirit is working in the believer to refine our faith, so that we are growing toward the likeness of Christ.  Sanctification is an ongoing process where growth is occurring. God shows us the way to put aside childish tendencies so that we become mature in the faith. 

The affections for the things of this world fade away while our passion for God grows.  We learn the way of love according to Jesus, which includes compassionate outreach, concern for lost souls, and the power to forgive others when they have wronged us. With Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we begin to look at the world from a Biblical viewpoint. Our choices are filtered through the lens of God’s will rather than selfish desires.  We wake up with the ambition to please God more than anything else. The word of God is instrumental in the sanctification process.  In John 17:17, Jesus prayed for his disciples this way, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”

Sanctification is a process that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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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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