JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the evidence of God’s unfailing love.
Thomas saw the evidence in John 20. The disciples had seen Jesus and told Thomas, “We have seen the Lord!” Thomas was skeptical. He would not believe it unless he saw the nail marks in his hands.
A week later, Jesus appeared to doubting Thomas and made him a believer by showing him his nail-scarred hands. Thomas responded by saying “My Lord and my God.”
In that moment, Thomas was seeing three significant things. The first thing that he saw was that Jesus was brought back to life. His grief turned into joy after seeing His beloved leader alive again.
A second thing that Thomas saw was the power that Jesus had over the grave. In seeing the resurrection power of Jesus, Thomas’s fears turned into hope.
A third thing that Thomas saw was the expression of love that was evident in the nail scars. His doubts turned into confidence that Jesus is alive, and he could trust that the love of Jesus would never fail him.
The evidence of God’s unfailing love 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 – From Hosea 10:12.
“Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.”
Unattended soil is unproductive dirt. It just lays there, not producing anything that can be turned into food. This kind of soil is compared to the heart that is resistant to the Gospel. However, breaking up the unplowed ground of our heart is comparable to making our heart tender to God. We become receptive to the word of the Lord, and that word becomes a seed that springs forth a productive crop that leads to eternal life. The seed of God’s Word also produces the righteousness of Christ in us as we accept His message of grace by faith.
Choices have outcomes. We cannot expect good fruit to form out of bad seeds. Galatians 6:7 says, “God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Seeking the LORD prepares our heart to receive the word of the LORD so that we might be trained in His righteousness and live a productive life.
Planting God’s Word in our heart is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.