JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines Jesus as the answer.
According to Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
One of Christian music’s pioneers Andrae Crouch wrote a song that has endured the test of time, claiming that Jesus is the answer for the world today.
Jesus is the answer to the big picture questions of life, such as “where did we come from? Why are we here? What is our purpose in life? What is our destiny? Jesus is our Creator. He is the One who redeems us from sin and restores us to God. He is the way to eternal life.
Jesus is also the answer to our soul-searching questions such as “What is my greatest need?” “How can I enter the kingdom of God”? and “How can I be saved from my sin?” For these questions, Jesus is the answer.
Knowing Jesus as the answer to our soul-searching questions is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines Jesus as the Risen Lord.
According to Matthew 28:5, the angel said to the women who had come to the tomb of Jesus, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen just as he said, ‘Come and see the place where he lay. Then go and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee.”
This is the invitation for us today-come and see the empty tomb. Investigate the claims of the resurrection. Note that the body of Jesus is missing. Examine the boldness of those who witnessed His resurrection to boldly proclaim the Gospel. Then, go and tell the good news of this event, because it fills the believing heart with hope. Jesus told His followers in John 14:19, “Because I live, you also will live.”
Knowing Jesus as our Risen Lord is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines the attitude of Jesus.
According to Philippians 2:5, our attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death-even death on a cross!”
What we see in the attitude of Jesus is a humble servant who was willing to empty himself of His glory in heaven to display His love sacrificially for us on the earth. He did it by laying down His life for us to experience an extremely painful form of death.
Having the attitude of Christ will move us in the direction of humble obedience to the call of God on our lives.
The attitude of Jesus is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines Jesus as a gentle king.
According to Matthew 21, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. As Jesus entered, the crowds shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
The fact that Jesus rode on a donkey meant that He was riding in peace, not in war. If He came to wage war, He would have been riding a horse. But Jesus was coming to Jerusalem with an offer of peace, which would be ultimately fulfilled the following week when He laid down His life for us at the cross.
Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9, which says, “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey.”
The appearance of Jesus as a gentle king is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Revelation 21:4.
In the setting of the new heaven and the new earth, we see a very different picture than the current conditions found in the world.
Speaking of God and His people, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
That will be the experience of those who take part in the new heaven and new earth. In the absence of tears, there will be fullness of joy. In the absence of death, there will be fullness of life. In the absence of pain, there will be fullness of healing.
Life with God in the New Heaven and New Earth is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines Jesus as a man of sorrows.
According to Isaiah 53, verse 3, Jesus “was despised and rejected-a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our back on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.”
Jesus was taking the pain and suffering that we deserved. It was our sin that prompted Jesus to carry the cross. It was His love for sinners that held Jesus to the cross, not the nails. That is extraordinary love—that Jesus would be willing to face the agony of the cross in front of those who rejected and despised Him. This shows the extent that Jesus is willing to go to help us overcome the wages of sin and restore us to God.
His willingness to enter our world of sin and suffering reveals His ability to identify with our sorrows. He is not distant from our pain. He has been there. He cares for us. He proved it at the cross.
Knowing Jesus as a man of sorrows is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Exodus 33:14.
Being a leader of a group of people can be a lonely place, especially when facing a difficult decision. Moses led Israel through a desert experience, and sometimes, his own people rebelled against his leadership. Where would Moses turn for guidance?
One day he had a conversation with God. He prayed, “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways, so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
The LORD replied to Moses’ prayer, saying, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
That is exactly what Moses needed to hear, and Jesus said something similar to us in Matthew 11:28. He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Rest for the soul is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His goodness.
According to Acts 10:38, with the Holy Spirit and power, Jesus was anointed to do good and heal all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
In his book, The Practice of Godliness, author Jerry Bridges noted that goodness involves deliberate deeds that are helpful to others. While the Bible uses the word “Good” to refer to what is upright, honorable, and noble concerning moral character, it also uses it to describe actions that are beneficial to others.
When we examine the life of Jesus, we see that His actions were upright and helpful to others. His good deeds flowed out of His good character. He came with the power to heal our brokenness, transform our hearts into His likeness, deliver us from evil, and save us from our sins.
The goodness of God is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His strength and love.
According to Psalm 62, David was impressed by these two specific characteristics of God.
He wrote in verses 11 and 12: “Two things I have heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord are loving.”
This is a combination of characteristics that gives weight to the evidence that we can trust God. He has the capacity to protect us from our strongest foes and has the compassion to meet us at our point of need. This is why we can celebrate with Paul the Apostle who said, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” When we are aligned with Christ, we live with the confidence that we are more than conquerors in Christ, who loved us at the cross, and rose from the grave with His resurrection power.
The strength and love of God are two reasons to trust in God for today and forever.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Acts 1:11.
Jesus was taken up before the eyes of His disciples. After a cloud hid him from their sight, two men, dressed in white, stood beside them, saying, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
If the disciples had remained looking into the sky, they would have missed the opportunities that God had for them to be His witnesses. There is a time for looking up. When Jesus returns, He will appear from above. Looking up fills us with the hope of His return as we anticipate the redemption of our bodies.
But while we live on this earth, there is also a time for looking around to the people who need Jesus. This is the mission that God has for us. Then, go love and serve them in Jesus’ name so that they too will be ready to meet Jesus when He returns.
The return of Jesus is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.