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John Shirk

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In, Not Of The World. What does that look like?

john : August 20, 2010 4:43 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – David Kinnaman recently wrote a book examining attitudes of the younger generation toward Christianity.  In that book titled, “UnChristian” he points out the dangers of two extremes for Christians: Being overly sheltered in a Christian bubble or trying to fit into the world.  We know God loves the people of the world, but opposes the values of the world, which are built on pride, greed, and lust. So, if we are going to be salt and light in the world, we must be careful to engage lovingly with the people in the world without compromising Biblical values.  As David Kinnaman notes, “We should pursue both goals: Purity and Proximity-living in a way that honors God, but doing so in a way that can influence outsiders.”

On the night before His death, Jesus prayed for His followers in this way in John 17:15: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”  As we go into the world, God uses compassionate hearts and godly character to show people that Jesus is real, and so is His love.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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A Plainclothes Superhero

john : August 19, 2010 3:17 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Keith McVey has saved three people’s lives while he was doing his job.  No, Keith is not a lifeguard.  He is a mailman.  Over the course of his 29 years as a mail carrier, he has built a reputation of a plainclothes superhero in his hometown community.

The Associated Press reports that nearly 20 years ago, Keith preserved the life of a teenager who tried to commit suicide.  2 years ago, he pulled a drowning girl from a lake.  And just this summer, he performed CPR on an unconscious man on the side of the road.  This all happened while he was on his mail route. Keith McVey saw the need, and did what he could to save them. 

Spiritually, there are people all around us who need Jesus. When someone turns to the Lord through our witness, they are saved from their sins and brought into the Kingdom of God’s eternal grace. Jude, verse 22 says, “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them.” God can use our witness to be a plainclothes superhero for someone who needs salvation.

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

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_lifesaving_mailman
John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The counsel of God’s Word

john : August 18, 2010 9:39 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Instruction is vital to knowing how to do our jobs, drive our cars, and operate our DVD units.  We also need wise instruction for living out the Christian life.  God’s Word is the starting place for finding out His purpose for our lives.

Psalm 25:8 says, “Good and upright is the LORD; therefore, he instructs sinners in his ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.”

God’s truth is capable of correcting the way of the sinner and guiding the way of the humble person.  Either way, the teachings of God’s Word are designed to lead us to follow His way, not ours. This requires a teachable spirit.

The prophet Isaiah described what this looks like in Isaiah 50, verse 4.  “The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.  He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back.”  A good way to start each day is to open the Scriptures and ask God, “What do You want to teach me today?” Then, read the Bible with a heart that is willing to obey His counsel. 

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Good News too good to keep to ourselves

john : August 16, 2010 2:14 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – If the people around you were starving, and you found a treasure trove of food that could adequately feed everyone, would you keep it to yourself or share the good news so that others might be fed and satisfied?

That is exactly the decision that four lepers were faced with in Second Kings 7:9.  Samaria was under siege by the entire army of Aram.  Famine was severe.  One night, the lepers were planning to surrender themselves to the Arameans, in the hope of staying alive and eating food.  When they reached the camp, everyone was gone. They entered one of the tents. Then they ate and drank and carried away silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them.  They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.  But then their conscience started to work on them.  They said to each other, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves.”  They decided to report the good news to the royal palace. 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news.  There is no better news to share with the world than to talk about the nourishment of His grace to feed a soul starving for peace and forgiveness. 

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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What does it take to please God?

john : August 13, 2010 11:04 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Pleasing God is more than just action.  Two people, praying in a small group meeting, could be praying for very different reasons.  One might be praying as an expression of worship to God. Another might be praying to sound spiritual in front of other people and gain a good reputation. 

In the book of Genesis, Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices to the Lord, but the Lord was pleased only by Abel’s sacrifice.  Abel offered God his best. Cain offered the left-overs.  Furthermore, God saw the motivation of their hearts.

Good deeds are fruitless in pleasing God unless they spring from a heart of faith that is expressed in love.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Galatians 5:6 tells us that “the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”  Faith and love form the foundation of good deeds that please the Lord.  These qualities also serve as the foundation for a productive witness for the Lord while we live on the earth.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Workplace Witness

john : August 11, 2010 3:20 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – How would you describe the qualities of a good employee?  If you made a list, you might include some of these qualities on your list.

Dependable, honest, someone who accepts responsibility, someone who takes initiative, (looking for ways to serve rather than excuses not to serve), someone who shows respect and smiles to customers and co-workers, a team player who has a cooperative spirit when working with others, someone willing to work and to learn. You might be able to list other qualities as well.

Many of these values are promoted in the Bible.  When we walk with the Lord, He trains us to grow in godly character so that we might be a productive worker, not just in the work we do, but in the way we represent Jesus in the workplace. 

Colossians 3:22 urges us to obey our earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on us and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.  Verse 23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” 

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Praise and Thanksgiving

john : August 10, 2010 10:14 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Psalm 100, verse 4 invites us to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

There are many reasons to praise God in our personal time with Him and in our worship gatherings with other believers.  Among them,

the sacrificial love of Jesus at the cross.

His mercy, which withholds the judgement that we deserve because of our sins.

His faithfulness, which assures the fulfillment of His promises.

His power.  No one can match His strength and overtake His throne.

The gift of salvation, which provides a place in heaven for the person who trusts in Jesus as the forgiver of sins and Lord of their lives. He extends forgiveness for our past, help for our present, and hope for our future. Our hearts overflow with praise for God when we remember the many ways He blesses us with His goodness and enduring love.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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True Greatness

john : August 9, 2010 2:22 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – The teachings of Jesus are flipped upside down from many of the values in our world’s system.  Take greatness for example.  What are some qualities of a great person?  The answers will vary depending on who you ask.  Some may define greatness in terms of their sense of humor, or being talented, or being successful in business pursuits.

Some may define greatness in terms of leadership or being intelligent or having a charming personality.

There are many factors people will use to define “greatness.”  Jesus defined greatness by service.  In Mark 9:35, while sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

Our culture has a way of equating status with being first in the world.  We use such phrases as “climbing the corporate ladder.”  But Jesus left his royal position in heaven to walk among us.  Philippians 2 explains that Jesus “though being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.”  The path to greatness and honor in God’s kingdom comes through a servant’s heart that follows in the footsteps of Jesus.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Love Like A River

john : August 6, 2010 11:12 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Romans 13:8 reminds us to keep love flowing like a river with these words, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. “

The writer, the Apostle Paul goes on to explain how the specific commandments of the Bible like “Do not commit adultery”, “Do not murder”, “Do not steal”, and “Do not covet”, are actually summed up in the rule: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Here we see an important quality of love.  Love does no harm to its neighbor.  Love also reaches out with a helping hand.

To live a life of love involves waking up each day to look for ways to bless someone else with the love of God.  When it comes down to love, we never get to the point when we are paid up.  We always have more love to give.  Talking about love, First Thessalonians 4:10 urges us to do so more and more.  So, today is another day to let God’s love grow by letting God’s love flow through us.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The influence of a good mentor

john : August 5, 2010 9:00 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Proverbs 6:20 says, “My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.”

John Wooden recently passed away at the age of 99.  Many will remember him for his 10 national basketball championships at UCLA.  Many will know him as the greatest basketball coach of all time.  Yet, there was something more important to him than basketball.  He is quoted as having said, “There is only one kind of life that truly wins, and that is the one that places faith in the hands of the Savior.” 

His character was influenced by his father. According to Dennis Rainey, his father once gave him a card and urged him to live up to what was on the card.  It said, “Four things a man must learn to do if he would make his life more true:

To think without confusion clearly, 

To love his fellow man sincerely,

To act from honest motives purely,

To trust in God and heaven securely.

Parents today can be influential mentors by gaining wisdom from above and passing it along to their sons and daughters.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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