JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on the power of God to save us and be our source of strength.
In Isaiah 30:15, this is what the Sovereign LORD says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength.”
Repentance is a turning point that acknowledges we have been going the wrong way and turn to Jesus for forgiveness and direction to follow His way.
Rest is a reliance on God’s grace to save us. We acknowledge that no amount of good deeds could ever outweigh our bad deeds to make us right with God. We do not have the ability to climb ourselves out of our debt of sin. But because of what Jesus did for us at the cross, we believe that He paid the price of our debt. And so, we depend on Jesus.
Quietness is a place of solitude at God’s throne of grace, convincing us that God is in control.
Trust is a place of confidence in the LORD even in times of trouble.
The power of God to save us and be our source of strength is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.
JOHN SHIRK – We have seen some amazing accomplishments in our lifetime through technological breakthroughs. However, there are limits to what we can do and the capability of our inventions. We cannot save ourselves from death, and we cannot live perfect lives as Jesus did.
Isaiah 2:22 urges us to “stop trusting in man, who has but breath in his nostrils. Of what account is he.”
There are limits to the capability of weapons of war to protect us. Psalm 44:6 says to the LORD, “I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory, but you give us victory over our enemies.”
There are limits to the security that human leaders can provide for us. Psalm 118:8 and 9 says, “It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.”
There are limits to the durability of money. Psalm 49:16 tells us that the rich man takes nothing with him when he dies. Money will not benefit him then. But God’s grace is trustworthy beyond the grave.
Psalm 13:5 says, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”
The limitation of man is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK – Adam and Eve were free to eat the fruit of any tree except from the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil.
But Satan tried to portray God as a naysayer when he approached Eve. He said, “Did God really say, ‘you must not eat from any tree in the garden?’
Eve corrected him, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.”
Satan’s next tactic was to portray God as a rival. He said, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” With these words, he persuaded Eve to disobey God and take a bite.
Sin is the great tragedy of humanity. Paradise was lost through sin. The good news is that paradise is restored through Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:23 says, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Salvation through Jesus Christ overcomes the tragedy of sin and is a lesson of faith worth remembering.
JOHN SHIRK -From Hebrews 9:27 and 28.
“Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
This passage reveals two appearances of Christ to earth. One appearance happened in history. His purpose for coming was to restore us to God through His sacrifice on the cross. The second appearance is a future event. His purpose for coming again is to bring reality to His promise of eternal life.
First Thessalonians 4:17 tells us that when Christ comes again, those who are in Christ will be with the Lord forever.
That is what makes salvation so precious. We will be in God’s presence, and nothing will be able to separate us from life’s most important relationship.
Being ready for Christ’s second appearance is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.