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John Shirk

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A Spiritual Health Exam for the choices we make

john : May 5, 2010 10:39 am : John Shirk

John Shirk – Sometimes we go to the doctor for a physical check up to measure how healthy we are.  The Bible encourages us to examine our spiritual health.  Lamentations 3:40 says, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.”

It takes a humble heart to do an honest evaluation of ourselves.  There are a number of questions we can ask ourselves to find out if our decisions are honoring God.

The Purity Test.  Can I do this to the body where Christ dwells?  First Corinthians 6:20 urges us to honor God with our bodies.

The Partner Test.  Could I invite Christ to do this with me?   Colossians 3:17 says, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

The Presence Test.  Would I want to be found doing this at the return of Jesus?  First John 2:28 says, “And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears, we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.”

These are some helpful questions we can ask ourselves to assess the wisdom of our daily choices.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Guess which Classic Christian band is getting back together

john : May 4, 2010 1:40 pm : John Shirk

They’re baaaack….The original members of the Classic Christian rock band Petra have been reunited. Jesus Freak Hideout reports that the original members are back together. Greg X. Volz, John Lawry, Louie Weaver, Bob Hartman, and Mark Kelly. They are reported to be entering the studio this summer, recording a CD of previous hits from previous albums. Classic songs like “More Power To Ya”, “Judas Kiss”, “Adonai”, and “Beat The System” will be revamped with a modern production edge. Read more at the links below:

http://www.classicpetra.com/

http://www.jesusfreakhideout.com/news/2010/05/02.CLASSIC%20PETRA%20LINEUP%20ANNOUNCE%20TOUR%20AND%20NEW%20RECORDING.asp

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How God works in us

john : May 4, 2010 10:59 am : John Shirk

Today’s Mission Statement focuses on the work of God in our hearts.

Philippians 2:13 tells us that it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.

The purpose of God for our lives is to make us mature in the faith and productive witnesses of the Gospel.  We need the Lord’s help to grow in these ways.  Here are some of the ways that God works in the believer’s heart.

He refreshes us.  Acts 2:19 says, “Repent then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.

He also purifies us. In Psalm 51, in the midst of confessing his sins, David prayed, “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Create in me a pure heart, O God.”

He equips us through His Word. 2 Timothy 3:17 tells us that all Scripture equips the man of God for every good work.

He also mobilizes us. He sends us out for ministry. In John 20:21, Jesus said to His disciples, “As the Father sent me, I am sending you.”  He refreshes us, purifies us, equips us, and mobilizes us to live out His good purposes right here and right now.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

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And the mission goes on…Will you join?

john : May 3, 2010 11:05 am : John Shirk

Today’s Mission Statement focuses on the spread of the Gospel.

In Acts 1:8, Jesus said to His disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus had taken a group of ordinary, unschooled men and trained them to become movers and shakers for the Gospel.  The Good News would start in Jerusalem, and spread to the world from there.
This work was not a man-made initiative.  This was God’s idea, and He would provide the power for their witness. 

Followers of Jesus are continuing this journey of being His witnesses to the ends of the earth.  We can share the Gospel in a number of ways.  First, look to the Lord and His strength.  Commit each day to God and ask Him to give opportunities to represent Jesus to other people.  As we commit ourselves to God in prayer, we can anticipate that God will give us witnessing opportunities.  He can touch others through our witness with deeds of love, words of truth, the attitude of humility, and the example of godly living.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

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Whatever Happened to….James Ward?

john : April 30, 2010 2:43 pm : John Shirk

We heard his music in the 1980’s.  Songs like Pray, Pray, Pray, Faith Takes A Vision, and Good Advice. He has also made appearances at recent Creation Festivals.  Today, James Ward resides in Chattanooga with his wife Beth.  They have two grown-up children. Currently, he serves full-time at his home church, New City Fellowship. He has served in ministry there since the church’s beginning 30 years ago. You can catch up or get acquainted with this Christian music pioneer at his website:

http://jameswardmusic.com/

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Encounters with God-Solomon’s One Request

john : April 30, 2010 10:54 am : John Shirk

Our look at encounters with God continues with the LORD’s appearance to Solomon.

It happened as he was beginning his reign as king, and the LORD said to Solomon,

“Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

How would you respond to an invitation like that? When we talk of living the American dream, we think of opportunities we have to live productive lives, we think of freedom, and we think of the many blessings that God has granted this nation over the years. However, opportunities can be squandered and freedom can turn to bondage if we lose focus on God and become addicted to our toys, tools, and other material blessings. Solomon could have asked for wealth. He could have asked for a long life, or the destruction of his enemies. Instead, Solomon asked the LORD for wisdom.

He wanted to be able, as a leader, to govern people with a discerning heart, to be able to distinguish between right and wrong. Solomon recognized his own personal limitations, and the huge task before him to lead Israel as a nation. He felt inadequate for the task, and God honored his request. Not only did God bless Solomon with wisdom, but He also gave him riches and honor.

Wisdom is available to us today as well. We can grow in wisdom by asking God for wisdom with a believing heart, (James 1:5) and applying the truths of Scripture into our lives. (Matthew 7:24). Having a personal relationship with Jesus as Savior and Lord is foundational to a life of wisdom. (I Corinthians 1:30)

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Compassion International reaches the one million mark

john : April 29, 2010 11:15 am : John Shirk

Last year, Compassion International went over the one million mark–one million children sponsored through their ministry. If you sponsor a child through a Compassion International, you are part of this exciting development: See the news link below for more details on how God is working through Compassion International to touch people’s lives with the Gospel.

http://www.mnnonline.org/article/14169

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Encounters with God-The Disciples

john : April 29, 2010 10:49 am : John Shirk

Our series of encounters with God continues today with a look at what can happen when we spend time with Jesus.

Do you remember what the disciples did when Jesus was arrested?  They scattered.  They were caught unprepared for Jesus’ capture.  We find them disoriented and frazzled.

In the book of Acts, post-resurrection of Jesus, post-Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon them in power, the disciples are standing up to the threat of man with courage.

When questioned about his faith, Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, and spoke about the name of Jesus as the reason why he was able to perform a miraculous healing.  Peter said, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”  This he was saying, not to his church group, but to the people who had him jailed the night before.

Acts 4:13 says that “when they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

What is necessary for being a bold witness for Jesus in the face of adversity?  Just like the disciples, we need to be with Jesus-to spend time with Him, learn from Him with teachable heart, lean on Him with a trusting heart, and love Him with an undivided heart.  With a holy fear of God, the fear of man will not inhibit our witness for Jesus.

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Encounters with God-Ezekiel

john : April 28, 2010 11:05 am : John Shirk

Encounters with God.  Today, we look at the calling of Ezekiel to be a prophet of the Lord.  He was not called to be a foreign missionary, like Jonah was.  Instead, he was called to minister to people who, in his day, spoke his language.  However, that does not mean his task would be easy.  When it came to the condition of the heart, the people were definitely not on the same page as the Lord.

In Ezekiel chapter 2, verse 3, the LORD said, “Son of man, I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their fathers have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn.  Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says.’ And whether they listen or fail to listen-for they are a rebellious house-they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

And then in verse 7, the LORD adds, “You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.”

For Ezekiel, the issue was not whether or not the people would listen to him.  The issue was “what message did the LORD want to speak through Ezekiel?”  The success of Ezekiel’s mission did not depend on the response of the people.  The success of his mission depended on being faithful to the word of the LORD.  It takes courage, it takes humility, and it takes an obedient spirit to proclaim the Gospel today.
Many prophets and teachers have faced resistance before us.  Along with Ezekiel, there was Jeremiah, Moses, Stephen, the Apostle Paul, and the Lord Jesus Himself.  The call of Ezekiel reminds us of two key principles of sharing the Good News of Jesus.  “Do not go beyond what is written.” (I Corinthians 4:6) And “don’t hesitate to proclaim the whole will of God.” (Acts 20:27)

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Faith Comes By Hearing 10 New Languages

john : April 27, 2010 10:35 am : John Shirk

Colossians 1:6 says, “All over the world, this gospel is bearing fruit and growing….” Below is a news development highlighting how this is happening today.

Faith Comes By Hearing puts a voice to Scripture, producing audio Bibles for the poor and illiterate across the globe. Just last week, the ministry released 10 more Audio New Testaments, providing the opportunity for people to hear the Truth of the Gospel, some for the first time.

You can read more about this article at the link below:

http://www.mnnonline.org/article/14155

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