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John Shirk

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Overcoming worry with faith

john : July 20, 2010 9:25 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Worry is a form of fear, robbing the body of energy, filling the mind with uneasy thoughts.  Worry can cause sleepless nights.  Sometimes, worry prevents a person from moving forward to face the challenges of a given day. In the statement that Jesus made about worry, the word “therefore” connects to a previous statement that Jesus made.

He said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

With God’s Kingdom as the focus of our priority, faith prevents worry from paralyzing our lives.  Charles Spurgeon has said, “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”  Prayer with a trusting heart is one way of dealing with the tendency to worry. First Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The aroma of Christ

john : July 19, 2010 10:33 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – In 2 Corinthians 2:14, the Christian life is compared to a victory parade, with God leading the march.

“Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.  For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.  To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.”

Followers of Jesus are guided by God to spread the aroma of Christ wherever we go.  Not everyone will respond to it in the same way.
For those who are sensitive to God, the aroma of Christ will be an attractive smell that draws them to the Gospel.  The example of the fully devoted Christian turns out to be the life they have been yearning for.  This scene of the parade challenges us to let God lead our pathway, and to reflect the character of Jesus along the way with the people we meet.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Where do we find nourishment for our soul?

john : July 9, 2010 11:16 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK-There is a redemptive purpose to the words that God places in our heart.  Isaiah 55:10 compares it to a weather scenario:

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

In the Bible, we hear God speaking.  His words nourish our soul like rain nourishes the soil.  That is where we learn about our need to follow Jesus as Savior and Lord. Through God’s Word, we are encouraged by His love, guided by His will, and warned of dangers by His wisdom.

By heeding God’s Word and applying it to our lives, we have the grace and truth hidden in our hearts to live a productive life that glorifies God.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Being a caring friend

john : July 7, 2010 11:05 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

In the Golden Rule, Jesus challenges us to treat others in the way we would want to be treated.  So, if we don’t know how to handle a delicate situation like comforting a friend in their time of sadness, we can try to imagine what it would be like if we were in their shoes.  Maybe we never faced anything similar to their experience.  We don’t have to pretend that we know what they are going through.  We can simply come up alongside of them and listen to them, and make ourselves available to spend time with them. 

People also have a tendency to want their friends nearby in times of celebrations.  Maybe that is why we have graduation parties, and invite people to our weddings.  By being there, we also express care and support for our friends.  In both cases, through our tears of sadness and our smiles of celebration, we go beyond ourselves to enter the world of our friends.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Courage to Move Forward

john : July 2, 2010 9:40 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK-Have you ever needed encouragement to move forward and do the right thing?  In the Bible, Joshua had reached a defining moment as a leader for his people, Israel.  They were at the crossroads.  It was decision time.  God was calling Joshua to prepare to cross the Jordan River into the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the desert.  Years earlier, naysayers prevented the Israelites from taking the land that God called them to enter.  Now with God’s green light, would the same mistakes of the past be repeated, or would faith triumph over fear? 

The LORD says to Joshua in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Why can we have confidence to move forward with God’s purposes?  The LORD is with us.  This is true when we go forward to tell others about Jesus.  Many years later, Jesus would instruct His disciples to preach the good news to all creation.  As they went, Jesus promised to be with them to the very end of the age. That means, Jesus is with His followers today, who continue to spread His good news.  His presence is why we can go forward with confidence.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Elisha-Moving forward in God’s plan

john : July 1, 2010 1:35 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – In First Kings 19, Elijah was called by God to anoint Elisha as his successor as prophet. He goes to Elisha and finds him plowing with twelve yoke of oxen.

After hearing God’s call to become the next prophet, Elisha took his yoke of oxen and slaughtered them. He burned the plowing equipment to cook the meat and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant.

Elisha made a clear break from his past when he went into training for his next task. There was no turning back. He would not return to his occupation as a farmer. There was nothing wrong with his past occupation. However, God had something different for his future, and because it was God’s will for him to be a prophet, it was Elisha’s commitment to be what God called him to be. This is how we reach our potential in Christ-by answering His call on our lives with an obedient heart.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Honoring God with our bodies

john : June 28, 2010 9:41 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – First Corinthians 6:20 refers to the sacrifice of Jesus for our sins with these words-“You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

In light of Christ’s offering for us, we are taught to offer the various parts of our body to God as instruments of righteousness. This includes how we use our mind, which includes our thought life. This includes how we use our mouth, the words we use and how we say them. This includes how we use our hands, the ways in which we serve other people. This includes how we use our feet, the places we go, and the pathway we use to get there. This includes how we use our eyes, what we choose to focus on. This includes how we use our ears, the messages that we are tuning in to hear. This includes how we use our heart, our desires, ambitions, and emotions.

The Word of God is an excellent resource to teach us how to honor God with the various parts of our body. Romans 12:1 tells us that “in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.”

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The value of worship music

john : June 24, 2010 10:35 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – David said in Psalm 7:17, “I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.”

Worship music flows out of a heart that is in tune with the Lord.  David considered the righteousness of God, and was moved to offer Him thanks.  There are generally two reasons to praise God-for who He is, and what He has done.  Psalm 150, verse 2 says, “Praise Him for His acts of power.”  That fits under the category of what He has done.  “Praise Him for His surpassing greatness.”  That fits under the category of who He is.  Our experience of worshiping God is fuller and richer when we remember both reasons of why God is worthy of our worship. 

Jack Mooring of Leeland talks about the mission behind their music in this way:  “Through our songs we hope people experience God in such a new way they they are inspired to draw closer to Him.”  This is what can happen when we use music as a tool to share our love for God with others.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Courage for what lies ahead

john : June 22, 2010 9:52 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Just before the Israelites were to cross over into the Promised Land, Moses said to the people in Deuteronomy 31:6-“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Moses was reminding the people that taking possession of the land was God’s idea, and because of His favor, they could depend on God to go forward and remove the obstacles that stood before them.

An Iranian pastor once said, “If you have vision, nothing will frighten you. With His vision, God gives you power. You must not be afraid.”

In the midst of challenging circumstances, the temptation is to focus on how big the enemy is or how big the obstacle is. The words of Moses challenge us with a new perspective-to focus on God and to put our faith in Him. If He calls us to it, He will see us through it. There may be struggle, and there may be suffering for obeying the Lord. However, in the midst of trouble, God’s purposes prevail, and those purposes are redemptive in the obedience of His followers.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Growth beyond conversion to Christ

john : June 21, 2010 9:06 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Colossians 2:6 speaks to believers in Jesus Christ with this instruction: “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

There is never a day that goes by when we don’t need the grace of the Lord Jesus. The day we receive Jesus as Lord is a defining moment of victory when we cross over from death to life. The burden of sin is released from our back and we are enabled to stand firm in the freedom of God’s grace. Beyond our conversion, God wants us to do life with Jesus as Savior and Lord. He wants us to welcome His presence into the midst of every day and every moment. There are some basic disciplines that can build strength to our faith. Studying the Bible, obeying His counsel, regular prayer, and consistent fellowship with other Christians, to name a few. As we follow Jesus faithfully, fruit will develop in the form of spiritual maturity. Qualities like love, joy, and peace will grow in our heart and overflow into our relationships as a witness that Jesus is alive and well.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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