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John Shirk

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God’s Power Within Us, Productive Accomplishments Beyond Us

john : August 30, 2010 9:21 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK-Ephesians 3:20 is an inspiring exclamation of praise, giving credit where credit is due.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

What is amazing is that God’s power just doesn’t work out there, but also within the heart of the believer in Christ.  Henry Blackaby would identify with a verse like this.  He is author of the classic “Experiencing God” study, which has awakened many people to the reality that God is always at work around us and invites us to join Him in His work.  He says in his book, “What’s So Spiritual About Your Gifts?”, “Nobody is more surprised at what God is doing through my life than I am.  I know my limitations, but have also come to know the unlimited resources of the Holy Spirit.”  When we see the hand of God at work in our lives, we can marvel at His grace and praise Him for the strength He provides to carry out His purposes.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Abraham-A Journey of Faith

john : August 26, 2010 2:17 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – A summary of Abraham’s faith is found in Hebrews 11:8, which says, “By faith, Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country.”

God was calling Abraham out of a place where false gods were worshiped.  Members of his own family participated in the worship of these false gods. By calling Abraham to a new land, God was pulling him away from idolatry to a place of promise and blessing.  There is no indication that Abraham hesitated.  The Bible simply says in Genesis 12:4, “So Abram left, as the LORD had told him.” 

From Abraham’s life, we learn some significant things about faith.

Faith comes from hearing God’s Word.  Sometimes, God calls us out of our comfort zone into unfamiliar territory.  Yet, He does not send us on our own. He goes with us. What God promises, He is faithful to fulfill. Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness, and he was called God’s friend.  Abraham is a powerful testimony to show us what God can do through a heart that is willing to trust and obey Him.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The shortsightedness of self-righteousness

john : August 24, 2010 4:13 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – In the first few verses of Matthew 7, Jesus gave a serious warning for us to heed:

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

The context of the word “judged” in this passage is condemnation.  It is out of place for the follower of Jesus to act like we have the final word on someone’s salvation, when in fact, that is God’s job.  This passage does NOT mean that we are supposed to approve of sinful lifestyles or accept false teachings.  What Jesus is attacking is the self-righteous tendencies in us to look for the negatives and prey upon people’s weaknesses.  According to Jesus, the measure of judgment we use will be measured to us.  There is such a double standard to a self-righteous attitude. Mercy for me. Judgment for them.  Jesus asks the question, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  Self-righteous hypocrisy hurts our witness for Christ.  It is one of the most cited reasons by unbelievers as to why they stay away from church.  Jesus challenges us to evaluate if we are using a double standard in the way we treat people.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Love and the Ten Commandments

john : August 23, 2010 2:08 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – According to First Corinthians 16:14, everything we do should be done in love. When we hear the Ten Commandments, we might be misled into thinking that God is being negative. Some people believe that God wants to spoil our fun. But this is far from God’s purpose for giving us the Ten Commandments.  These commandments are grounded in love.  God’s love for us, and when we obey Him, our love for God and others. This is confirmed in Romans 13:9 and 10.

“The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery’, ‘Do not murder’, ‘Do not steal’, ‘Do not covet’, and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law.”  We all have violated at least one of the commandments at some point in our lives.  That is why we need Jesus. When we disobey God, He invites us to approach Him with a humble heart and confess our need for the blood of Jesus to cover our sins. His grace is available to forgive us and to teach us to grow in love.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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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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