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John Shirk

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Moment Of Celebration-God’s Righteous Authority

john : January 16, 2014 5:17 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on the righteous authority of God.

In Deuteronomy 10:17, Moses told the Israelites, “For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”

There is a familiar saying that makes the claim that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” That would be a likely scenario in a kingdom ruled by flawed character. However, absolute power does not corrupt God, because He is holy and righteous. There is no flaw in Him. His judgments are true and just. His law is perfect. His power is supreme. His promises are dependable. His righteousness is a source of blessing for His people and purifies us from all sin through faith in the name of Jesus.

We need this kind of leader, someone who is great in power and good in virtue. Jesus is that kind of leader-without any moral imperfection and at the same time, merciful to all imperfect people who call on His name for forgiveness. Under His leadership, we have the guidance we need to walk in the ways of the Lord.

The righteous authority of God is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Moment Of Celebration-Prayer and Praise

john : January 15, 2014 2:23 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on the power of prayer and praising God.

Paul and Silas were in prison. They had been stripped and beaten and carefully guarded. Their feet were in stocks.

That is the setting when they do something amazing. About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God. The other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, which shook the foundations of the prison. The prison doors swung wide open, and everybody’s chains came loose.

This incident led to the conversion of the jailer, who believed in the Lord Jesus and was saved.

Paul and Silas could have responded differently. They could have had a pity party. They could have been feeling despair. We might understand why under the circumstances. However, they were praying and praising God, and He opened up more doors for them to be an effective witness for Jesus.

Look for God to open up doors of opportunity as you seek Him with all your heart and praise Him with all your strength.

The power of prayer and praising God are reasons to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Moment Of Celebration-Forgiveness

john : January 13, 2014 5:18 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on the blessing of forgiveness.

Psalm 32, verse 1 says, “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.”

This describes the person who has confessed their sins to God and confessed their need for His mercy. They are focused on walking with God with a humble heart. They do not make intentional plans that disregard God’s laws. Rather, they seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness. Their first love is for God, and that allegiance compels them to live for His glory.

The forgiveness of God offers us freedom from guilt. In the New Testament of the Bible, we learn that this forgiveness is available through faith in Jesus Christ. Romans 3:23 and 24 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

The blessing of forgiveness is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Today’s Moment Of Celebration-God’s Throne

john : January 8, 2014 5:20 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – 2014 is the Year of Celebration at WJTL. Listen each day for moments of celebration from God’s Word. We will examine the attributes of God, His mighty deeds in the past, and the hopeful future that He is planning for His people.

Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the establishment of God’s Kingdom.

Psalm 103:19 says, “The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.”

Every attempt to dethrone the LORD will fail. The angel Lucifer tried it, and lost his place in heaven as a result.

The firm foundation of God’s throne has several implications for our lives.

1)   His throne is in heaven. His leadership is not just good. It is Divine.

2)   His Kingdom is eternal. We have the promise of a glorious future with Him when our hope is in the security of God’s love, expressed ultimately through Jesus Christ.

3)  Some day, the worshippers of God will gather around the throne of heaven to celebrate the worthiness of Jesus as Lord.

The establishment of God’s Kingdom is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Today’s Moment Of Celebration-God’s Promises

john : January 6, 2014 4:40 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – 2014 is the Year of Celebration at WJTL. Listen each day for moments of celebration from God’s Word. We will examine the attributes of God, His mighty deeds in the past, and the hopeful future that He is planning for His people.

Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on the reliability of God’s promises.

When the Israelites were set free from slavery, God was not just delivering them from despair. He was taking them into the desert so that they might be free to worship Him. He was sending them on a journey that would lead them to a land flowing with milk and honey.

The Israelites were not always faithful to God on that journey, but He was always faithful to them.  They spent 40 years wandering in the desert, but through the leadership of Joshua, the Israelites eventually took the Promised Land.

Reflecting on God’s faithfulness, Joshua 21:43 says, “So, the LORD gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their forefathers, and they took possession. Verse 45 says, “Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.” God keeps His promises, which means, not only is He good, but He is also strong. He can do what it takes to fulfill the promise that He keeps.

The reliability of God’s promises is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Lesson Of Faith-The Greatest Gift Of All

john : December 18, 2013 2:35 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Jesus would be born as God’s gift to us.

This promise appears in Isaiah 9:6-“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince Of Peace.”

Jesus is the expression of God’s grace. He is not a trophy to earn, but a gift to receive. Over and over in the Bible, we are told that God’s grace is a gift to receive and is necessary for eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8 and 9 says, “It is by grace you have been saved through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.”

And Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This Christmas, there is not a more complete package with greater, long-lasting value than to receive the gift of God’s grace in the person of Jesus Christ.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

The promise that Jesus would be born as God’s gift to us is a lesson of faith worth remembering.

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Lesson Of Faith-Born Of A Virgin

john : December 17, 2013 4:53 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In Isaiah 7:14, the prophet said, “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

When Gabriel the angel announced to Mary that she would give birth to a son, she asked him, “How will this be since I am a virgin?”

That is when the angel explained how this would happen: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” The Holy Spirit plants the seed for God’s holy purposes to be achieved.

Jesus was born as the Son of God, He never sinned, and became uniquely qualified to be our Savior and Lord by His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead.

The name “Immanuel” means “God with us.” Jesus was God’s visitation to the world and is God’s invitation to the world to know Him through faith in His holy name.

The promise that Jesus would be born of a virgin is a lesson of faith worth remembering.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Lesson Of Faith-Born In Bethlehem

john : December 16, 2013 5:36 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In Micah 5:2, we read about the birthplace of God’s anointed leader:

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins  are from of old, from ancient times.”

The name “Bethlehem” is significant because it means “House of Bread.” Jesus identified Himself as the bread of life. So, entering the world stage as a baby in the manger, Jesus came to the House of Bread, as the Bread of Life.

His birth in Bethlehem was planned long before it really happened. The location of Christ’s birthplace is sending the signal to the world that just as bread satisfies physical hunger, so Jesus is our vital source for satisfaction for spiritual hunger.

And just as Jesus came to Bethlehem, which was considered small and insignificant, so He approaches people who are humble, and raises them up for extraordinary purposes.

The promise that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem is a lesson of faith worth remembering.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Lesson of Faith-The Peace of Christ’s Coming

john : December 11, 2013 5:10 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Ephesians 2:17 says about Jesus that “he came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him, we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

At the birth of Jesus, angelic messengers made the declaration, “Glory to God in the highest. And on earth, peace among men in whom he is well pleased.” The favor of God brings peace to the soul. Jesus offered Jews and Gentiles a message of peace with God. He invited us to come to Him to find rest for our weary soul. His blood shed on the cross is a message that we do not have to live as God’s enemies anymore. We can enjoy a relationship with Him that refreshes our spirit and makes us a new person. He can replace bitterness with tenderness. He can remove the weeds of hatred and plant the seeds of love. He can calm our fears and give us quiet assurance that through Jesus, our hope is secure.

The peace that Jesus brought with His coming is a lesson of faith worth remembering.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Lesson of Faith-The Hope of Christ’s Coming

john : December 9, 2013 4:55 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Isaiah 9:2 says, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.”

This statement was connected to Jesus in Matthew chapter 4. Jesus fulfilled these words of the prophet with His words of life, His touch of healing, and ultimately, by His death and resurrection from the grave.

In the Bible, darkness is often connected with sin and death. There is a spirit of despair in the heart of someone who is caught in the grip of spiritual darkness. Jesus came as the Light of the world. As we welcome His light, the shadows that cause despair flee under His influence of grace and truth. We live with freedom from guilt and shame. We live with the certain hope of eternal life. We live with the awareness that God loves us with an unfailing love. We live with a sense of joy in belonging to His spiritual family. And we live with a heavenly purpose, to reach souls for the Gospel through our witness for Jesus.

The hope that Jesus brought with His coming is a lesson of faith worth remembering.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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