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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’

Moment Of Celebration-The Gift Of God’s Love

December 12th, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the gift of God’s love.

John 3:16 is one of the most quoted verses of the Bible. It’s a fitting verse for the Christmas season and the Easter season. It’s a fitting verse to describe how someone can be born again into the family of God.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Here we see God’s love freely given to us as a gift through Jesus Christ. For a gift to be a gift, there needs to be a giver and a receiver. God clearly gave. That gift is ours to receive. This is why the Christmas season is so special among those who receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. We recognize that without the treasure of God’s grace, we would be lost in our sin and without God because sin separates us from God. But when Jesus enters our world, His light invades the darkness of our soul. Despair is replaced with hope. Doubt and fear are replaced with faith. Selfishness is replaced by love. In Jesus, we find the freedom to experience abundant and eternal life with Him. God invites us to say “Yes” to His invitation to live with Him forever.

The gift of God’s love through Jesus Christ is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Moment Of Celebration-Gabriel’s Prophecy

December 10th, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on Gabriel’s prophecy of Jesus.

Gabriel was an angel who was given the task of telling Mary that she would give birth to Jesus.

He says in Luke 1:32, “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”

This is a reference to Jesus as the king of Israel. Many kings had reigned over Israel in the past, but each of them had their blemishes. Even David, who was well-respected and regarded as a man after God’s own heart, had his faults. Nations today continue to have leaders with their faults and limitations. They make mistakes, and they do not stick around forever.

Jesus is different. His character is unblemished, and His kingdom will be without end. He is a capable king, not just for Israel, but also for our souls. His fame will never fade. It will only grow in the course of time. We can trust Him to save us from our sins, and lead us with grace and wisdom.

Gabriel’s prophecy of Jesus to be a great king is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Moment Of Celebration-God’s Gifts

December 5th, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK -Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on good and perfect gifts.

James 1:17 tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Here we see that God is the giver of all good gifts. Some of those gifts might be tangible things. First Timothy 6 tells us that God is the One who provides us with everything for our enjoyment. But this blessing comes with a caution for us not to put our hope in wealth, but rather to put our hope in God. Love the Giver more than the gift.

Some of the good gifts provided by God might be resources that we need to survive. Acts 14:17 says, “He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” This, too is a blessing from God and a reason to give thanks.

Some of His gifts are perfect. Jesus is the perfect remedy for our sin. God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son. The Holy Spirit is the perfect power source for living the Christian life. Jesus said in Luke 11, “how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Every good and perfect gift from God is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Moment Of Celebration-God’s Influence

September 16th, 2014 No comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moment of Celebration-God’s Holiness

August 27th, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the holiness of God.

The angels make this declaration in Isaiah 6, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty. The whole earth is full of his glory.”  It was the kind of statement that caused Isaiah to feel doomed as a sinner. Yet, God’s holiness was accompanied by His compassion, and that makes all the difference for anyone who has sinned against God. Instead of being condemned as a sinner, he would be called into service as a saint. The holiness of God had a purifying impact on Isaiah, and it has a purifying impact on those who belong to Jesus.

The holiness of God refers to His absolute moral purity. There is no sin in Him. His glory shines with brilliance. God’s holiness also refers to His greatness. He is a cut above the rest. No persons or idols match the worth of God to the human soul.

One of God’s purposes for our lives is to make us holy, not in the sense that we are able to attain to His level of greatness, but in the sense of purifying our faith by the Word of God.  His holiness becomes an incentive for us to grow in holiness. First Peter 1:15 and 16 says, “Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written, “be holy, because I am holy.” Heaven celebrates the supreme holiness of God constantly.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Moment Of Celebration-Peace

July 23rd, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the peace of a faith-focused thought life.

In Philippians 4, the Apostle Paul listed a number of healthy habits that lead to peace with God.

One healthy habit was to rejoice in the Lord always.

Another healthy habit was to present our prayer requests to God with thanksgiving.

Another thing we can do is learn from those in places of spiritual authority-to listen to their teachings, to watch how they live, and follow their example as they follow Christ.

Verse 8 talks about yet another healthy habit that brings peace to our soul. “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”

When we think about Jesus, we are thinking of these qualities, because He defines them. When our minds are focused on Christ, we remember that our lives are in the hands of Someone who loves us very much and has proved it at the cross and empty grave.

The peace of a faith-focused thought life is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Moment Of Celebration-Words of Prophets

July 17th, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on the words of the prophets.

Second Peter 1:19 says, “We have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

The main purpose of prophecy is to draw our attention to the testimony of Jesus. Even before Jesus came into the world, the words of the prophets were indicating that when He came, He would be born of a virgin and born in Bethlehem. He would come in peace, riding on a donkey. He would be rejected by His people, betrayed by a friend, and abandoned by His disciples.  He would be pierced for our transgressions, but His body would not see decay. He would once again see the light of life and be satisfied.

These predicted events tell us that God knows the future, and keeps His promises. We can trust Him to do what He says He will do.

The words of the prophets are reasons to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Moment Of Celebration-The Favor Of The LORD

May 21st, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on what happens in the Year of the Lord’s favor

Isaiah 61 contains words that would eventually be fulfilled by Jesus. The Spirit of the LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor.

When Jesus came to earth, He fulfilled these words. This is where Jesus stopped when He read the scroll from Isaiah. During His earthly ministry, we learn that Jesus healed the sick, encouraged the brokenhearted, and preached the Gospel. He drew crowds with His miracles, and gained enemies by claiming to be God’s Anointed One. In the favor of the LORD, we find the light of hope, the source of healing, and the freedom of forgiveness.

The favor of the LORD is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Moment Of Celebration-God’s Gifts

May 19th, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on good and perfect gifts.

James 1:17 tells us that “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Here we see that God is the giver of all good gifts. Some of those gifts might be tangible things.  First Timothy 6 tells us that God is the One who provides us with everything for our enjoyment. But this blessing comes with a caution for us not to put our hope in wealth, but rather to put our hope in God. Love the Giver more than the gift.

Some of the good gifts provided by God might be resources that we need to survive. Acts 14:17 says, “He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” This, too is a blessing from God and a reason to give thanks.

Some of His gifts are perfect. Jesus is the perfect remedy for our sin. God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son. The Holy Spirit is the perfect power source for living the Christian life. Jesus said in Luke 11, “how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Every good and perfect gift from God is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Moment Of Celebration-The Comeback

April 22nd, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the comeback of Jesus.

Two men were walking along the road to Emmaus wearing somber faces. They had hoped that Jesus would be their redeemer, but after the events of the past few days, their hopes had faded to disappointment. Suddenly, Jesus showed up and started walking and talking with them. After they recognized Jesus later, their spirits were lifted, and they went to tell His disciples, “It is true! The Lord has risen.”

Suppose you were watching a sporting event with a friend who cheered on the same team,  and you turned off the TV because your team fell so far behind. Then, imagine finding out the next day that your team scored a stunning come-back victory. You would probably text your friend to share the good news.

Jesus made the greatest comeback of all time when He rose from the dead. It looked bleak on Friday, when Christ was nailed to a cross, and the disciples were scattered and distressed. It looked like the enemies of Christ had prevailed, but Jesus would not stay silent in the tomb. He came back from death, and emerged victorious over death and sin. His triumph renews our hope every day and fills us with so much joy that we want to tell others about the greatest comeback in   history.

The comeback of Jesus from the grave is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Moment Of Celebration-Eternal Life

April 17th, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on Jesus as our source of eternal life.

Romans 10:9 says that “if you confess with your mouth ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,  you will be saved.”

It seems fitting to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in the spring season, because spring marks a turning point from death to new life. The message of the Gospel celebrates the fact that Jesus cannot be found in the grave, because His body was raised to life. Because of Jesus’ triumph over death, we have a living hope. His resurrection is a joyful celebration of life following death.

His resurrection has special meaning for the person who takes the Gospel to heart. Our celebration of life is not confined just to the here-and-now, but extends beyond the grave into the picture of eternity.  Jesus is Lord. He came to save us from our sins. He has risen from the dead. He gives eternal life to those who make this claim their personal confession.

Trusting in Jesus as our source of eternal life is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.