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John Shirk

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20/20 Insight-The searching heart of Zacchaeus

john : April 22, 2020 3:34 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the searching. heart of Zacchaeus.

In Luke 19, we find this wealthy tax collector climbing a tree to see Jesus. The Bible says that he wanted to see who Jesus was. 

Jesus noticed him and invited himself to Zacchaeus’s house. Zacchaeus welcomed Jesus gladly. 

The encounter changed his life. He said to Jesus, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”

In seeing Jesus, Zacchaeus saw the folly of his greed, and saw how his life could be different by being more generous. His words to Jesus reflected his commitment to change course. Jesus said to him, “Today, salvation has come to this house.”

Focusing on the generosity of God’s grace gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Witnesses of the Resurrection

john : April 16, 2020 3:41 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the testimony of Jesus’ disciples to His resurrection.

In John 20:25, the disciples told Thomas, who had not yet seen Jesus alive, “We have seen the Lord.”

One of the compelling pieces of evidence that Jesus rose from the dead is found in the Bible.  There were witnesses, and those witnesses were the disciples of Jesus. 

Tim Keller explains why this is significant in his book “The Reason for God.” “Virtually all the apostles and early Christian leaders died for their faith, and it is hard to believe that this kind of powerful self-sacrifice would be done to support a hoax.”

Even though Thomas did not initially believe this report, he too would be convinced after seeing Jesus with his own eyes one week later.

Focusing on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Good News Focus-Resurrection Hope

john : April 15, 2020 5:17 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Good News Focus is on John 20, verse 1.

“Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.”

Peter Marshall is quoted as saying, “The stone was rolled away from the door, not to permit Christ to come out, but to enable the disciples to go in.”

What did they find when they went into the tomb? Peter and another disciple saw strips of linen lying there and the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. But there was no body. John 20, verse 8 records that the disciple who reached the tomb first saw and believed when he went inside. The biggest piece of evidence to make the case for the resurrection of Jesus was what was missing at the tomb of Jesus when the stone was rolled away. Jesus’ body was missing, but He later appeared to His disciples alive. Jesus told His followers in John 14:19, “Because I live, you also will live.” 

Jesus is our source of Good News, leading us to a place of faith and resurrection hope in the Year of Vision.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Jesus Died for Us So We Can Live For Him.

john : April 7, 2020 5:11 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on one of the purposes for Jesus dying on the cross.

Second Corinthians 5:15 tells us that “He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”

At the cross, Jesus committed Himself to His Father’s plan for the redemption of the world. He leaves us an example to make the glory of God the reason for our activity. That is when our faith really comes alive-when we are in the will of God, expressing the love of God for the glory of God. The death of Jesus means that we can live with purpose to make His name famous. Living for Jesus is what matters most.

Focusing on the opportunity to live for God’s glory gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-The Redemptive Purpose of Jesus’ Death

john : April 3, 2020 3:45 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on a prophecy about Jesus’ death.

It’s found in Isaiah 53, verses 4 to 6. “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”

This prophecy contains the prediction of Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. Suffering is a harsh reality of life, and sometimes people blame God for it. But one thing that we learn here is that Jesus would be willing to take on the pain of our sin’s penalty to extreme measures. He knows the pain of the cross. 

His pain had a redemptive purpose-to restore us to a right relationship with God.

Focusing on Jesus as the Suffering Savior gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Contagious Effect of Kindness

john : March 31, 2020 4:48 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the contagious effect of kindness.

While the Coronavirus is having a contagious effect on the world in an unhealthy way, there are contagious influences that have a positive effect on our lives.

One of those influences is kindness.

Kindness uses a gentle tone rather than a Megaphone to draw attention to God’s love for the world. Kindness is how God moves us to places of repentance. Christ died for us while we were still sinners. When we think of the price He paid for our sins, we are humbled. 

The Apostle Paul noted the contagious effect of God’s kindness on his life. He wrote in Titus 3:3, “At one time, we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived, and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.”

Focusing on the kindness of Jesus gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight Contagious Effect of Good Deeds

john : March 27, 2020 10:30 am : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the contagious effect of good deeds.

While the Coronavirus is having a contagious effect on the world in an unhealthy way, there are contagious influences that have a positive effect on our lives.

One of those influences is good deeds from pure motives.

God’s love is pure motivation for carrying out good deeds. Titus 3:14 says, “Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.” In the present climate, there will be serving opportunities and sharing opportunities to reflect God’s love with those in urgent need.  

Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Focusing on good deeds that shares God’s love gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Contagious Effect of Credible Witnesses

john : March 26, 2020 5:41 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the contagious effect of a credible witness.

While the Coronavirus is having a contagious effect on the world in an unhealthy way, there are contagious influences that have a positive effect on our lives.

One of those influences is a credible witness. 

In a court of law, a witness is called upon to testify to the truth of what they saw.  Jesus called His followers to be witnesses of His good news. As they were faithful to the task, the gospel spread around the world, starting in Jerusalem.

Acts 11:19 records that after persecution broke out against the church, believers scattered to various parts of the world. Some went to Antioch, telling the Greeks the good news about the Lord Jesus. “The LORD’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.”

Focusing on being a credible witness for Jesus gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Contagious Effect of Courage

john : March 25, 2020 5:34 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the contagious effect of courage.

While the Coronavirus is having a contagious effect on the world in an unhealthy way, there are contagious influences that have a positive effect on our lives.

One of those influences is courage. 

Sometimes, one person’s willingness to step forward and stand for God motivates others to step forward too. This can happen when someone leads the way by example or offers words of encouragement for someone who is feeling timid or fearful. Billy Graham has said that courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. 

Jesus is the ultimate example of courage. Hebrews 12:2 encourages us to fix our eyes on Jesus. “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Focusing on the courage of Jesus to go to the cross gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Contagious Effect of Love

john : March 24, 2020 5:11 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the contagious effect of Love.

While the Coronavirus is having a contagious effect on the world in an unhealthy way, there are contagious influences that have a positive effect on our lives.

One of those influences is love.

God loves us, and inspires us to love. Our capacity to love others is influenced by the fact that God loved us first. Whenever God’s people are motivated by the love of Jesus, we are sending a powerful statement to the world. 

Jesus said in John 13:34, “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The love of Jesus was a sincere expression of God’s grace extended at the cross. That is the kind of love that is able to turn sinners to saints.

Focusing on the life-changing impact of God’s love gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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