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.
JOHN SHIRK – Today, WJTL remembers the identity of Jesus as the light of the world.
In John 8:12, Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
With our focus of faith on Jesus, we have moral clarity with a better understanding of how God wants us to live.
With our focus of faith on Jesus, we have Kingdom clarity with a better understanding of what God wants us to treasure.
And with our focus of faith on Jesus, we have directional clarity with a better understanding of where God wants us to go.
Jesus invites us to follow Him and to see the world in the light of His grace and truth. He offers abundant and eternal life to those who say “Yes” to His invitation.
The identity of Jesus as the light of the world is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – There are times when Jesus shook things up to challenge the conventional thought of his day. One of those statements was when he pronounced “woe to those who laugh now”, while pronouncing a blessing on those “who weep now.”
This was not to suggest that there was something inherently wrong with laughter, but there are some types of laughter to guard against. Laughter from obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking are out of place for God’s people, according to Ephesians 5. Another kind of laughter to guard against is scoffing or making fun of something that God considers virtuous and true.
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” He was talking to His followers when He said this. Just before His death, Jesus told His disciples that their tears of grief would be turned into a reunion of joy after He rose from the dead. Another kind of mourning that happens is when we demonstrate sorrow over our sin to the degree that it leads to repentance. James 4:9 is a message to sinners to “grieve, mourn, and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the LORD, and he will lift you up.”
The blessing of mourning is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – Today, WJTL remembers the blessing of being poor in spirit.
Jesus told His followers in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
To be poor in spirit is to recognize our need for God’s grace. We come to the place where we realize that we are inadequate to do anything about our sin and that we are incomplete without God’s love. As a result, we turn to Christ for salvation.
To be poor in spirit is a humble place to be. God makes Himself at home in the heart of the person who is humble before Him. In Isaiah 57:15, the LORD says, “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
The Blessing of being poor in spirit is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – We find this word of instruction in Hebrews 13:16: “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
God’s design for our good deeds is for the righteousness of Christ to be exalted. The follower of Christ is motivated to good deeds because the love of Christ is active within us.
After the recent tornado outbreak in Oklahoma, various Christian relief groups moved in to help those devastated by the tornadoes. News broadcasts were drawing attention to the initiative of faith-based groups to come to the aid of those who were suffering.
The compassion of Christ is at the heart of many of these efforts. Doing good and sharing with others will involve sacrifices of personal time. It will require the heart of a servant. There might be a cost involved with making financial donations or buying items that other people need. The risk is worth the potential outcome. Jesus said, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” When we give sacrificially for Christ, God is pleased, practical needs are met, and the door is open for others to give glory to God as a result of our witness.
The “results of sacrificial giving” is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – In Ephesians 3:18, the Apostle Paul prayed that we might grasp the height of God’s love for us.
God’s love is tall to the extreme. Psalm 103:11 says, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.” His love is destined to take His people to new heights, because Jesus said that He would come back and take His followers to be with Him in heaven.
Another way of looking at the height of God’s love is to consider a tower. The name of the Lord is compared to a strong tower that provides safety for the righteous. Towers in cities typically become landmarks for visitors. They might become tourist attractions. They have names that become famous worldwide. The love of God stands tall as a place of refuge in times of danger or uncertainty. We are wise to run there and draw attention to the love of God expressed through the testimony of Jesus.
The height of God’s love is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – In Ephesians 3:18, the Apostle Paul prayed that we might grasp the length of God’s love for us.
The length of God’s love can be considered in light of distance and time. Jesus came from heaven to earth to rescue us from the wages of sin. Isaiah 59:1 says, “The arm of the Lord is not too short to save.” Wherever we are in this world, we are never beyond His reach. As a familiar worship song declares, “You came from heaven to earth to show the way. From the earth to the cross, my debt to pay, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky, Lord, I lift your name on high.”
On the time line, the length of God’s love can be compared to an infinite line. The LORD is described in Deuteronomy 33:27 as the eternal God. He has always been, still is, and always will be God. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we have a connection with God the Father, which lasts forever. We will never have to say tearful good-byes in heaven.
The length of God’s love is a lesson of faith worth remembering.