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John Shirk

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God’s Word is a Lamp and a Light

john : September 22, 2010 2:22 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Psalm 119, verse 105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”

In a world that is darkened by sin, we need light to be able to move forward without stumbling.  God’s Word here is compared to a lamp that keeps our feet on the right path.  This is enough light for our next step, but not enough to see our whole journey.  This requires faith that trusts in God to lead us, and to believe that His wisdom is higher than ours. The guiding impact of God’s Word on our lives is that His counsel is a light to show us where to go and what to do. His direction will lead us to productive places that bring honor to His name.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.  

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Joy of Following God

john : September 21, 2010 3:15 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Psalm 119:14 says, “I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.” 

A statute is a decree or law issued by a ruler or governing body.  In this case, a statute is a law given by God.  The prophet Isaiah talked about the LORD as being our lawgiver. The writer viewed God’s statutes as a precious treasure, not a rule book to be followed grudgingly.  Like a loving parent whose house rules are designed to protect children from harm and provide for their well-being, so God’s statutes have great value to protect us and provide for us. We ignore God’s laws at our own peril.

Psalm 19:8 says “The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.” The joyful impact of God’s Word is that His truth is a treasure that enriches our soul.  Our conscience is at peace when we have the assurance that we are doing what is right in the eyes of the Lord, and pleasing Him with a trusting heart.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Purifying Impact of God’s Word

john : September 20, 2010 4:38 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

One of the reasons that studying the Bible is so valuable is that God’s Word is a trainer of righteousness.  Sometimes, we might read the Scriptures and learn that our lives are not lining up with how God wants us to live.  As we read the Bible with a teachable spirit, we might become convicted that a change is needed in a particular behavior or attitude. God leads us to repentance through His kindness. As God’s Word is stored up in our heart as a treasure, we cling more tightly to the truth of the Scriptures. The values of the world loosen their grip on us.  The purifying impact of God’s Word on our lives is that He teaches us to hate what is evil and cling to what is good. We come to recognize our need for Jesus, the sinless one, who died on the cross to take away the guilt of our sin and give us a new life filled with hope. His Word will give us a craving for His righteousness.

That is today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Spiritual Growth-Faith expressing itself through Love

john : September 17, 2010 2:36 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – God is passionate about forming godly character within us.  He wants us to grow mature in the faith and produce fruit for His glory. His intention to make us holy fills the pages of Scripture in places like Second Peter 1, verses 5 to 7.

“For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love.”

These are qualities that form the building blocks of faith.  It is God’s will for our faith to be expressed in love.  These qualities are highly effective in representing Jesus to the world.  Verse 8 says, “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Clay And The Potter

john : September 16, 2010 4:12 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – The Bible says that we are God’s workmanship.  A good way of viewing that is through the making of pottery.   

Isaiah 64:8 compares us to the clay and God as the potter.  He makes the pottery in ways that reflect His beauty and glory.  “Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

God is still working on each of us as long as we have breath.  For best results, stay tender before God.  We are His masterpieces, designed and shaped by God to be useful in His kingdom and to reflect His glory while we live on the earth.  The clay does not deserve credit for its design.  The potter does.  Perhaps that is why David said in Psalm 139, “I praise you, because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Your works are wonderful. I know that full well.”

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Prayer-A significant way to commit our way to God

john : September 15, 2010 5:58 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Psalm 37:5 urges us to commit our way to the LORD. “Trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

Between dawn and noon, the day gets brighter and brighter and brighter.  This is what it’s like for the person who follows Jesus with a trusting heart.  Our witness for Jesus shines brighter.  As we walk with Him, He teaches us His ways and shows us the way to go so we that we will represent Him in the world. 

When we have the desire to do something, it’s good to pray about it. Maybe God gives us a desire to lead a Bible study, or organize a community outreach for our church.  Maybe we are concerned about the poor among us and want to help in some tangible way. We can  say something like this: “Lord, is this something you want me to do?” Prayer is a significant way to commit our way to the Lord.  This will put us in a better position to do God’s work in God’s timetable with the attitude of Christ.  Righteousness and justice will shine brightly through out witness for Jesus when we commit our way to God.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The blessing of forgiveness

john : September 13, 2010 3:27 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – David wrote in Psalm 32, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.”

The path to forgiveness comes through confession; agreeing with God that we are sinners who need a Savior.  With a humble heart we plead for His mercy.  In His faithfulness, God answers our prayers.  Some people try to sweep their sins under the rug, but we are called by God to place them under the blood of Christ. This requires utter dependence on God, trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus to pardon us from the death penalty that we deserve.  First John 1:8 says that “if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

So, if there is something to get right with the Lord, now is a good time to bring it out into the open at His throne of grace.  He does not despise a broken and contrite spirit.  David said in Psalm 32:5, “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’-and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”  Confession breaks down the barriers that interfere with God’s purpose for our lives.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Bible-A Reliable Source for Guidance

john : September 10, 2010 3:04 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – When we rightly apply God’s Word in our lives, it never leads us down the wrong road, never breaks a promise, and never grows outdated. It does have the power to set us free from sin and change us from the inside out so that we become more like Jesus in the way we live and love. As we grow mature in the faith, God increases our platform to become an effective witness for Jesus.

Second Timothy 3:15 and 16 says that the holy Scriptures “are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The words of Scripture are more than just words on a printed page.  They are words of truth that become our spiritual food, compass and lifeline.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Love of God-Reaching Out Globally, Touching People Personally

john : September 9, 2010 4:49 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – The mission of Christ is found in places like John 3:16, which says that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

God’s love is a big picture love that reaches out to the world, and it is also a personal love, which has the power to transform individual lives like you and me.  It’s the kind of love that gives great attention to the details of our lives like the number of hairs on our head. His love is in tune with all our needs and familiar with all our ways. He knows what is best for us and teaches us and guides us with that in mind.  His love enables us to have a personal relationship with Him, whereby we can be called His friend.  This is made possible by the gift of Jesus to the world to become a sacrifice for our sins.  

This emphasis on the personal love of God for us was highlighted by A.W. Tozer, who said, “God does not love populations; He loves people.  He loves not masses, but men.” God’s love is vast and personal.  It is true that God loves the people of the world.  It is also true that God loves you.  This challenges us to be personal in the way we reach out to others.  First John 4:11 says, “Since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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A faith lesson about worship from 2 Kings 17

john : September 8, 2010 3:51 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Second Kings 17 is a rich chapter that helps us to understand the captivity that follows false worship and the freedom that is connected with true worship.

Verse 12 talks about the Israelites in the times of the kings in this way: “They worshiped idols, though the LORD had said, ‘You shall not do this.’ The LORD warned Israel and Judah through all his prophets and seers: ‘Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees, in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets.”  One of the saddest verses of the Bible comes next.  “But they would not listen and were as stiff-necked as their fathers, who did not trust in the LORD their God.”

The message of the Gospel has been delivered to us so that we might be delivered from the captivity of our sin.  The truth of the Gospel has the power to give us a freedom that is a testimony of saving grace.  That testimony is this:  “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  When we are restored to God, we are right where we belong.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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