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John Shirk

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Different ways to tell others about Jesus-The Intellectual Approach

john : June 7, 2010 2:49 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – This approach uses rational reasoning to reach the heart for the Gospel. This happens in the writings of Christian apologists, like Josh McDowell who wrote “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” or C.S. Lewis who wrote “Mere Christianity.”

In Acts 17, the Apostle Paul goes to Athens, a city full of idols with people interested in discussions about philosophy. Paul entered the marketplace of ideas by reasoning with people that his hope was in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. His cultural understanding of Athens gave Paul a starting place for sharing the Gospel. Instead of talking about the Jewish law, like he did at other places, Paul started with the altar that had the inscription: “To an unknown God.” He went from there to explain what they were missing in their worship. They were missing acknowledgement of their Creator. In God’s Word for Students, I Peter 3:15 says, “Always be ready to defend your confidence in God, when anyone asks you to explain it. However, make your defense with gentleness and respect.”

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Restoring Family Relationships

john : June 3, 2010 9:56 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – In First Kings 18, the prayer of Elijah’s heart was that the LORD might turn the hearts of the people back again. Through the mighty move of answered prayer, God performed a miracle that day to stir the people to declare, “The LORD-he is God! The LORD-he is God!”

In Malachi 4:5, we find a prophecy concerning Elijah. “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers.”

When there is a moral breakdown in society, the breakdown of the family often occurs, and innocent people get hurt in the process. The role of Elijah in prophecy is to bring about reconciliation for family members. As we represent Jesus in our mission, we can serve as instruments of healing for families as we direct people to the hope and peace of God’s forgiveness in the grace of the 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 presence of God

john : June 1, 2010 9:23 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – In Psalm 23:6, David said, “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

David was a man after God’s own heart whose tendency was to wake up to meet with God. He said in Psalm 5:3, “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

The goodness and love of God were precious to David because David acknowledged God with reverence. He sought to be in a place of worship before God. That is where He found peace-in His presence. This is the assurance that we have with Jesus as the Shepherd of our souls. If we welcome Him as Lord while we live on the earth, He will welcome us into His kingdom of heaven. Surely goodness and love will follow us and we will dwell in His house forever.

Out of that peace and joy in our heart, we have a testimony of faith to share with others 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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Revival at the Water Gate

john : May 27, 2010 2:53 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – If we look into any of the great revivals of history, we will find that repentance was a significant part of each one. That was the case in the book of Nehemiah, as the people of Israel began to return to their land after time in captivity. They gathered at a place called Water Gate to hear Ezra read from the Book of the Law of Moses.

Nehemiah 8:5 says, “Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the LORD, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.”

What followed was a period of weeping, and then a celebration of joy. That is the kind of effect that the Bible has on us when we take God’s Word to heart. We become responsive to the LORD’s mercy and supreme authority. Sin loses its control over us as we confess to the LORD, and then, we are freed to worship God with a joyful heart, because of the way God has made Himself known to us.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Vigilant Christianity

john : May 26, 2010 2:03 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Romans 13:11 issues this wake-up call.  “And do this, understanding the present time.  The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.”

In light of the Lord’s promise to return, the Apostle Paul wanted followers of Jesus to make the most of every opportunity with the present time.  It was his desire 2,000 years ago.  His words are relevant for our lives today as well.

What are some things that keep our eyes from being wide open to the spiritual needs around us?  One thing mentioned in this verse is sin.  Ongoing selfish desires cause us to make personal gain our primary focus.  This might come out in the form of pride, greed, or lust. These desires hold us back from being the person God made us to be.  The remedy for this dark pattern is to come into the light of God’s love.  Verse 14 says, “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”  With our faith focus on Jesus, He will give us new desires with a new attitude that enables us to live productive lives for the glory of God.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Spiritual Growth and Unity compared to a steeple

john : May 25, 2010 9:37 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Our relationships with other brothers and sisters in Christ are affected by our relationship with God. With a right relationship with God, bitterness fades and yields to tenderness. Envy is bound by peace and contentment. Selfishness is overcome by generosity. Jesus is the One who makes these changes possible.

Second Corinthians 13:11 is a final appeal by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthian church. The New American Standard Bible says, “Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.”

Growth and unity reflect the shape of a steeple on top of a church. The closer we get to God, the closer we also move toward each other. Growth and unity also reflect the visibility of a steeple on top of a church. As God’s people love each other as the Lord intends, our witness for Jesus shines brightly.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Prayer Alert for Thailand

john : May 20, 2010 4:20 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – I came across this news feature in Mission Network News today regarding the turmoil in Thailand. This week, troops reportedly stormed the protest zone and dispersed thousands of Red Shirt protesters, who had been demanding the dismissal of the Prime Minister and for new elections. After protest leaders surrendered, enraged followers reportedly set fire to landmark buildings. Pray that the believers in Jesus might be a courageous witness and a peaceful influence in the midst of the tension. To find out more about the implications for the church and missions organizations, click the link below:

http://mnnonline.org/article/14254

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Value of Rest for our Mission

john : May 20, 2010 8:31 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

You might wonder what the connection is between rest and mission. It’s actually quite simple. We need energy to be effective in our mission. God does not call us to service to the point of burn out. Jesus is talking to those who are weary and burdened, and he invites us to find rest in Him. He is gentle and humble in heart. His teaching is true wisdom. His love is real refreshment. His forgiveness is authentic freedom from guilt.

He invites us to spend time with Him daily, to learn His ways, and follow His example. Then, with a clearer focus of Jesus, the Lord will define our mission and show us how to express our love for Him to a world that desperately needs Him.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Faithfulness in the little things

john : May 18, 2010 10:16 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Jesus said in Luke 16:10, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

In the little things, big statements are made about our character.  We might look at someone else’s talents and be tempted to say, “If only I had so-and-so’s ability, I could do great things for God.”  But the big question is “what are we doing with what we have?”  Anne Graham Lotz has said, “Don’t concentrate on what you lack, concentrate on what you have. Then give it all to Jesus for His use.”  That is the first step toward faithful management of our resources.  Commit them to Jesus for His honor and glory.  Some examples of faithful service are found in Romans 12:8:  Those gifted in the area of contributing to the needs of others are to give generously.  Those gifted in leadership are to govern diligently.  Those who are gifted in showing mercy are to do it cheerfully.  As we are faithful in what we have, don’t be surprised to find God entrusting us with more.  Perhaps more resources or perhaps a bigger platform, as we are faithful to God with what we have been given.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Why Our Work Matters to God

john : May 17, 2010 12:59 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Recently, on Probe, Sue Bohlin asked the question, “Does our work matter to God?”  Through eyes of faith, we see our vocation as more than a 9 to 5 routine.  We learn to see the value of work beyond the paycheck.

Here is what Sue Bohlin said, “Through work, we serve people. Through work, we meet our own needs. Through work, we meet our families’ needs.  Through work, we earn money to give to others. Through work, we love God.  We bring glory to God by working industriously, demonstrating what He is like, and serving others by cooperating with God to meet their needs. In serving others, we serve God. And that is why our work matters to God.”

Because of Jesus, our work for Him has a redemptive purpose. What does He have for you to do today?  Perhaps your work for God is related to your vocation, perhaps your labor is as a volunteer. Either way, God is glorified in the work of a faithful believer. First Corinthians 15:58 says, “Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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