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John Shirk

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Promise of Hope-Eternal Life

john : October 20, 2017 5:23 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Titus 1, verses 1 and 2.

Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness-in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.

For the follower of Jesus, our hope for eternal life is not built on an elusive dream or wishful thinking. Our hope is built on the promise of God who tells us the truth. He has a proven track record of keeping His promises so far. One area where this is evident is in the fulfilled prophecies of Jesus Christ to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem, and then as a man to be despised and rejected by men to the degree that Jesus would be pierced for our transgressions. But after His crucifixion, He would see the light of life and be satisfied. Jesus would rise again. His body would not see decay.

These fulfilled promises not only reveal God’s faithfulness in keeping His Word, but also explain why eternal life is possible only through faith in Jesus Christ.

Eternal life is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focus On God-Constance Presence

john : October 19, 2017 5:43 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His constant presence.

According to Hebrews 13:5, “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Reminders of God’s constant presence serve to build our courage and release us from fear.

Joshua was about to face the battle of Jericho on his way to the Promised Land. The LORD said to him, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

We might get nervous at the thought of telling someone else about our faith in Jesus, but the constant presence of Jesus encourages us to be His faithful witnesses. He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

The constant presence of Jesus is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Life At the Crossroads Moment-Shield of Faith

john : October 13, 2017 4:49 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – For today’s Life at the Crossroads Moment, taking up the shield of faith.

In Ephesians 6:16, faith is compared to a shield. “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Do you see the implication of this verse? We are targets of the evil one. In the spiritual realm, he is firing off flaming arrows at us-Arrows of temptation, arrows of deception, messages of condemnation. After all, he is our accuser. His ultimate aim is to destroy us.

But faith is an adequate defense against the attacks of the enemy, serving as a capable shield to protect our heart and soul.

So, what is faith? Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. And then the rest of the chapter gives example after example of those patriarchs of the past who lived by faith in God, who is unseen, but gives us hope and confidence that can be seen in the lives of His followers. Faith is not wishful thinking, hoping something is true without any foundation. Faith is belief in a living God who is true. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” So, having faith means believing that God is real and that He is good. This faith leads us to acknowledge Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

Ephesians 6:19 and Hebrews 11 gives us wisdom for turning to God at the crossroads of life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focus On God-Reliability

john : October 12, 2017 6:19 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His reliability.

In Jesus’ own words, God is reliable. He said in John 8:26, “He who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”

The word of God is reliable for guiding us in the truth, and the grace of God is reliable for saving our souls. Just as we cross a bridge, it is common for us to trust it to support us. To an even greater degree, we can lean all our weight on God, knowing that He is our source of peace and security. He is our source of strength and salvation.

First John 4:16 says, “We know and rely on the love God has for us.”

God’s reliable words and love are reasons to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focus On God-Perfect Timing

john : October 11, 2017 3:56 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His perfect timing.

According to Romans 5:6, it was at the right time, when we were still powerless when Christ died for the ungodly. Let that statement sink in. He did not wait for us to get our act together to come to us. He came to us in the midst of our junk and filth and depravity. He came when we needed Him most.

Verse 8 says that God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us.

If Jesus would have waited for us to shape up before coming to earth, He would have never come. But He did come, and that is because of His deep, deep love for us. He came to us so that we could be saved from our sins and enjoy a relationship with Him forever.

God’s timing may not be our timing, but He is never too early and He is never too late. He knows exactly when to intervene, and He will know when to come again for His treasured possession.

The perfect timing of the LORD is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focus On God-His Ability To Repair Broken Relationships

john : October 5, 2017 5:19 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His love to repair broken relationships.

God’s love brings together what sin has broken. His grace is stronger than our sin.

We see this in the Old Testament, when Joseph was reconciled to his brothers in Genesis 50. His brothers had sold him into slavery to Egypt. Through the course of time, Joseph rose to a prominent position of influence and his brothers were in need of food. They came to him for help. The love of God was so strong in Joseph that when he could have sought revenge, he instead offered forgiveness.

We also see the power of God’s love in the New Testament through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Our sin separates us from God, but His love is able to restore what we have broken. First Peter 3:18 says, “Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” This happens when we accept His forgiveness, and say “yes” to His invitation to follow Him by faith.

God’s ability to repair broken relationships is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focus On God-His Excellence

john : September 29, 2017 3:49 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His excellence.

Philippians 4:8 tells us that if anything is excellent, to think about such things.

Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.

The Bible describes God as excellent in a number of ways.

At Creation, God saw all that He made and called it very good.

When Jesus performed miracles, the people were overwhelmed with amazement. In Mark 7:37, they said, “He has done everything well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.

First Corinthians 12:31 describes God’s love as the most excellent way.

In the New King James Version, Isaiah 28 describes the LORD of hosts as wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. And Psalm 8:1 says, “How excellent is Your name in all the earth.”

The excellent qualities and works of God are reasons to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Promise Of Hope-The Removal Of The Curse

john : September 25, 2017 9:53 am : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Revelation 22, verse 3.

“No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.”

Sometimes, people wonder what God’s servants will do in the new heaven and the new earth. One of those activities is service. God’s people will serve God in a place where the curse of sin is removed forever.

Back in the book of Genesis, God declared a list of curses for the serpent, the man, and the woman as a result of sin entering the human race. The curses for man included thorns and thistles in the ground and work to the sweat of his brow for food. In heaven, that curse is removed. Serving God will be a delight without any frustrations. Pain, toil, and conflict will be things of the past.

Eternal Life with God without any curse is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focus On God-Jesus As The True Testimony

john : September 19, 2017 5:49 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Philippians 4:8 gives us a list of things to think about. This devotional examines how our focus on Jesus helps us stay focused on the quality of whatever is true.

In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines Jesus as the true testimony from God.

John was one of Jesus’ disciples who wrote about Him in John 21:24, “We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

Elsewhere, he wrote in First John 5:11, “This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Knowing Jesus as the true testimony from God is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

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Promise of Hope-Victory Over Trouble

john : September 14, 2017 6:15 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on John 16:33.

Among His final words to the disciples before His death, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Three days later, He would rise from the dead.

If you experience trouble in this world, you are not alone. Jesus told us it would be this way. He is honest with us about the challenges we will face while we live on the earth. Financial stress, loneliness, physical sickness, grief, and persecution for our faith are a number of troubling realities that people face in this world.

But to the person who trusts in Jesus and follows Him daily, there is another reality-a greater reality that gives us peace in the midst of the storms of life. Jesus has overcome the world. Because He has overcome the world, we can have faith that He will help us to overcome the world too. We live with this hope in First John 5:5, “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Victory in Christ is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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