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John Shirk

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Red Letter Wisdom-Alpha and Omega

john : July 30, 2019 5:55 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in Revelation 1:8.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Alpha is the first letter in the Greek alphabet. Omega is the last letter in the Greek alphabet.  This reference shows us that Jesus is the Beginning and the End. Jesus was on the throne at the beginning of time, and He will be on the throne at the end of time.  He is also on the throne right now. He always has been and always will be God. Jesus was there in the first verse of Genesis, and Jesus is there at the last verse in the book of Revelation.

Jesus is our Creator. He is the Promised Savior, and He will be the returning King in the future.  From everlasting to everlasting, He is God. For those who enthrone Jesus as Lord, He is our present reality and our future destiny.

The words of Jesus inspire us to follow Jesus as the pioneer and perfecter of our faith in the Year of Redemption.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-Energizing Hope

john : July 29, 2019 5:00 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Isaiah 40, verses 29 to 31.

The LORD “gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Hope has a way of energizing us, giving us a reason to get up in the morning. Hope in the LORD is not just wishful thinking. It is built on the truth of God’s Word, which affirms that God loves us, He has a plan for our lives, and His plan will bear fruit for His glory as we follow Him. God is our source of wisdom and He is our source of strength. Because Jesus lives, we can live with the confidence that our labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Through Jesus, we are set free to move forward in our faith with energizing hope.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Red Letter Wisdom-Do Not Judge

john : July 26, 2019 6:01 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in Luke 6:37.

Jesus said, “Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

There is one judge who is qualified to evaluate the condition of someone’s soul, and we are not that judge. The role of Jesus’ followers is to be ambassadors for Christ-proclaiming the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. 

There are three forms of judgment we need to guard against: Number one-Assuming that we know someone’s motives. Number two-giving up on someone as a lost cause. And number three-Self-righteousness-thinking that we are better than others. These forms of judgment keep us from extending the grace of God in our relationships.

The words of Jesus inspire us to be gracious toward others and not judgmental in the Year of Redemption. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Red Letter Wisdom-A Timely Question

john : July 25, 2019 6:03 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in Mark 9:33.

Jesus asked His disciples, “What were you arguing about on the road?”

They had just arrived in Capernaum. On their journey, the disciples had been arguing about who was the greatest. But when Jesus asked the question, no one answered Him. 

Sometimes, a timely question is a good conversation starter to bring spiritual issues into the light. That is when we have opportunity to deal with sinful habits and ambitions with honesty and humility.

Through this simple question, Jesus was providing an opportunity for the disciples to learn about true greatness in the kingdom of God. He said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, the servant of all.”

The words of Jesus inspire us to a life of true greatness through the path of serving others in the Year of Redemption. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Red Letter Wisdom-Righteousness

john : July 22, 2019 6:18 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages, Uncategorized

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in Matthew 5:6.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

This pronouncement of blessing reflects the craving for more of Jesus in our lives. John the Baptist said about Jesus, “He must become greater; I must become less.” This can be a personal statement for us that expresses the desire for the righteousness of Christ to fill us more and more. 

The craving for righteousness will lead to more grace and more truth that will shape our lives to reflect the likeness of Jesus.

The words of Jesus inspire us to taste and see that the Lord is good in the Year of Redemption. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-Glorifying God

john : July 18, 2019 5:51 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on First Corinthians 10:31.

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

This freedom phrase describes a lifestyle of worship that seeks to bring honor to the name of Jesus through our various activities. If we are wondering if it is proper for us to be doing this or that, we can ask ourselves the question, “Is this activity something that God can potentially use to glorify His name?” When we commit our activities to God, faith is moving us to a place of worship.

John Piper has said that “God is most glorified in me when I am most satisfied in Him.” Delighting in the LORD is the foundation that springs us into action to live for the glory of God.

Through Jesus, we are set free to glorify God in whatever we do.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Wisdom From the Red Letters-Great Faith

john : July 16, 2019 6:22 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in Matthew 8:10.

Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”

Who was Jesus talking about? Was this person a priest or one of His disciples? No, Jesus was talking about a Roman soldier. This man’s statement of faith was so impressive that even Jesus was amazed.

The centurion’s servant was at home paralyzed and suffering. The Centurion came to Jesus seeking His help. He said, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

This centurion was an influential man in his rank, and at the same time he had a humble disposition toward Jesus. He also trusted Jesus. He acknowledged that Jesus had the power to heal his servant by the power of His words. Jesus called attention to the great faith of this Roman soldier.

The words of Jesus inspire us to trust in the truth and power of His words in the Year of Redemption.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-Strength and Peace

john : July 15, 2019 5:09 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages, Uncategorized

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Psalm 29:11.

“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”

God is our source of strength. Whatever good accomplishments flow out of our lives is ultimately because He gave us the strength to be successful. 

God is also our source of peace. His love for us speaks at the cross and tells us that we matter to God. 

Jesus invites us to follow Him with a faithful heart, and offers to replace our guilt with His righteousness. In saying “Yes” to this invitation, we are no longer isolated from God, but restored to a meaningful friendship with God. His love surrounds us, and we find comfort in His love.

Through Jesus, we are set free to celebrate His strength and peace.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-Sharing Our Story of Transformation

john : July 12, 2019 4:45 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Luke 8:39.

Jesus said to a man who was delivered from demon possession, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”  The man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

The Redeemed life is not a perfect life, but it is a transformed life by the power of Jesus Christ. This man was changed by God’s grace. He was bound by evil, but Jesus freed him to have a testimony of God’s power working in his life. Our story may have a similar pattern, stained by a sinful, self-destructive past, but cleansed and set free to live for God today. That’s amazing grace, and it is a story worth telling.

Through Jesus, we are set free to share our testimony of God’s amazing grace. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-Dimensions of God’s Love

john : July 10, 2019 6:00 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Ephesians 3, verses 17 through 19.

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

God’s love is wide, reaching out to the world with the invitation to put our trust in Jesus and be saved from our sins.

God’s love is long.  Psalm 118:1 says that His love endures forever.

God’s love is high, extending from earth to the heavens. Psalm 103:11 says, “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.”

And God’s love is deep, to the degree that Jesus took our place of punishment on a cross and shed His blood for our sins.

Through Jesus, we are set free to celebrate the dimensions of God’s love for us.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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