JOHN SHIRK-One of the foundational teachings of the Christian faith is the moral depravity of humanity. Apart from Christ’s influence, we are lost in sinful and selfish ways. Sin is at the heart of our problem.
Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
The heart is so deceptive that it is possible for us to deceive ourselves into thinking we are in a better condition than we really are.
The good news about Jesus is that He is our remedy of hope. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. We can be set free from guilt and experience forgiveness through the sacrifice of Jesus for us on the cross. What is incurable for man is possible with God.
Jesus says in Luke 5:31, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” For the sickness of our sin, there is a cure, and his name is Jesus.
The heart of our problem and our remedy of hope is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – The fall of Adam and Eve.
After God created man in His own image, something terrible happened, which helps to explain why there is evil in this world to this very day. Adam and Eve ate fruit from the one forbidden tree that God commanded them to avoid.
Genesis 3:6 says, “When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.”
From this account, we can learn a lot about the forbidden fruit of our own lives, whether it’s the temptation to steal from the cookie jar or take someone else’s possessions.
Before eating the forbidden fruit, the woman saw the fruit of the tree. It was pleasing to look at. It captured the affections of her heart. Then, after eating it, she exported the fruit to her husband, who also ate it. Forbidden fruit can be like that today. Our heart is drawn to disobedience when our focus is in the wrong place. Our own moral failures can have a contagious effect on others, just as Eve persuaded Adam to eat the forbidden fruit too.
Their failure teaches us to focus our vision on the good things that God has provided for us, rather than forbidden things.
The Fall of Adam and Eve is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – the message of God’s creation.
In Psalm 19:1, David wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world.”
The universe is God’s billboard sign to the world, telling us that He is real, He is wise, and He is strong. This world is not the product of chance but the result of God’s choice.
Romans 1:20 says, “Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”
Those who follow Jesus are compared to the stars in the universe. Our lives can display the glory of God by reflecting the light of Jesus through wholesome words, sincere love, humble attitudes, and pure motives.
The message of God’s creation is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – The importance of sharing with others.
This was a common practice of the early church when it formed. Acts 2 talks about the believers selling their possessions and goods, and giving to anyone as he had need. The generosity of these early believers was effective, because Acts 4:34 says that “there were no needy persons among them.”
Hebrews 13:16 encourages us to continue looking for opportunities to share our resources with others. “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
While we do not have the resources to take care of everybody’s needs, we can do something for someone. Meeting the practical needs through the sharing of our resources is one significant way of expressing God’s love to someone else.
The importance of sharing with others is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – The importance of remembering God.
In Deuteronomy 8:10, Moses highlights the importance of remembering God in the midst of our blessings.
“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you today.”
In remembering God as the source of our blessings, we become thankful for the generous hand of God to provide for our needs. We praise Him for His goodness toward us. We have reverence for His name and have regard for His commands.
The result of forgetting God in the midst of our blessings is identified in verse 14: “Then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
So, today, we can think of some of the ways that God has blessed our lives and freed us by His grace and truth. In response, we can give Him credit for every good and perfect gift that He has graciously poured out on us.
The importance of remembering God is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – Today, WJTL remembers the thread that we all have in common.
Romans 3:23 reminds us that “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”
No one has lived up to God’s perfect moral standard, except for Jesus Christ. He is the only One who got it right 100% of the time.
We might consider ourselves to be good people with the choices we make and the way we live our lives. Yet, all it takes for us to be considered guilty in God’s eyes is to disobey His law one time. James 2:10 says, “Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.” The wages of sin is death. This is what we deserve because of our sin. Without understanding the bad news about ourselves, we will not fully appreciate the good news of what Jesus has done for us.
Our sinful condition points to the fact that we all are in the same boat. We have all sinned against God. We all need a Savior. His name is Jesus.
The common thread of our sinful condition is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – At the burning bush, God was calling Moses to lead His people out of Egypt toward the Promised Land.
Moses needed some encouragement. He had reasons to excuse himself from this assignment.
“Who am I to go to Pharoah to make such a request?”
“What if I go back to the Israelites and they don’t believe that You sent me?”
“I am not eloquent. I am slow of speech.”
“Lord, please send someone else to do it.”
For every excuse that Moses made, God responded with assurances that He would make provisions to help Moses accomplish the task.
Where God calls us into service, He provides us with His presence and resources to help us fulfill His calling on our lives. Moses ran out of excuses, and did go back to Egypt to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
The calling of Moses is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK- Today, WJTL remembers the wisdom of finding our security in God’s grace.
Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
A tower is a symbol of strength and might. When 9/11 happened 12 years ago, the towers collapsed in New York City. Thousands of people lost their lives in the terror attacks. Our sense of security was shaken that day.
While the towers of this world are strong, they are not totally secure. Yet, in the spiritual sense, there is a place of true and lasting security. We can find security for our soul by placing our trust in the grace of Jesus Christ. That is where we find eternal life, and a Kingdom that cannot be shaken by the dark forces of this world.
We can run to Jesus. He is a Mighty Fortress, strong and powerful to save us from our sins and protect us from the enemy who seeks to destroy us.
Finding our security in God’s grace is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – Today, WJTL remembers the perseverance of Job.
James 5:11 says, “As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
The story of Job is one of human tragedy and godly triumph. Here was a man who lost practically everything. Yet, he did not give up on God even though he suffered much pain without knowing why he was going down this road of human suffering.
One of his statements gives us insight into what God can do through our moments of hardship. Job said, “He knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
Just as God took Job’s faith through the refinement process in the midst of his troubles, He can also use trials to purify us. First Peter 1:6 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
The perseverance of Job is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – Today, WJTL remembers what Jesus said about rest.
Just as our bodies need a bed for sleep, so our souls need Jesus for peace and rest.
His grace is comforting to the weary soul.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Sometimes, burnout comes when we focus so much on the work of the Lord that we forget to slow down and be refreshed in God’s love with days of rest and worship. Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. He designed moments of rest so that we might cultivate life’s most important relationship and NOT become weary in doing good.
What Jesus said about rest is a lesson of faith worth remembering.