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John Shirk

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20/20 Insight-Contagious Effect of Sympathy

john : March 20, 2020 5:08 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

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

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 sympathy, which expresses sorrow with someone in the midst of troubled times.

Second Corinthians 1:3 says, God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.”

Jesus went to the cross. He understands our pain. As we find comfort in His compassion, we learn how to be an instrument of God’s grace to someone else in trouble. We are sensitive to their pain, and are willing to walk alongside of them as a voice of comfort.

Focusing on the comfort of 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 Motivation

john : March 19, 2020 4:12 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

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

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 motivation.

Hebrews 10:24 encourages us to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

We can all probably remember an influential teacher, pastor, or coach who has mentored us to reach the next level of personal growth. They brought out the best in us and inspire us to be that kind of influence for others. The call of the Christian is to be a voice of encouragement for others to grow in love and good deeds. How can we do that? We can motivate others by our example, with words of hope, and by connecting with them on a regular basis.

Focusing on ways to motivate others in the faith 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 News

john : March 18, 2020 5:18 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

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

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 news. 

Isaiah 52:7 says “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”

Good news brings hope, encouragement, and refreshment to our soul. Followers of Jesus have the best news to share of all. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Focusing on the good news of Jesus to save us and transform us gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Radiance of Jesus

john : March 13, 2020 5:16 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on Jesus as the radiance of God’s glory.

This is what we see in Hebrews 1:3-The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

One of Jesus’ disciples named Philip once requested that Jesus show them the Father.

Jesus answered Philip, “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”   If we want to know what God the Father is like, we can examine the character of Jesus and His teachings. His testimony as the Son of God and Savior of the world shines brightly in the hearts of His faithful followers.

Focusing on Jesus as the radiance of God’s glory gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.   

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Good News Focus-Grace and Humility

john : March 13, 2020 4:42 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK -Today’s Good News Focus is on James 4:6.

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.’”

These are some of the qualities of a humble person. One quality is gratitude. A humble person acknowledges God as the source of blessing. Every day is an opportunity to give thanks to God for His good and perfect gifts from above.

Another quality of humble person is that they are teachable. They are open to the counsel of God and are willing to be corrected when they have made wrong choices.

Yet another quality of a humble person is that they respect God’s authority. James 4:7 instructs us to “submit ourselves to God.” This is a recognition that God’s ways are higher than our ways.

Jesus is our source of Good News, leading us to places of humility and grace in the Year of Vision.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Encouragement of God’s Grace

john : February 27, 2020 9:57 am : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the encouragement of God’s grace.

What we choose to see through the eyes of faith can really make a difference in how we relate with others.

An example of that can be seen in Barnabas who went to Antioch. Acts 11:23 says, “When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain to true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”

This is what the ministry of encouragement can do in the church when prompted by the evidence of God’s grace.

Focusing on the evidence 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-Jesus, Good Shepherd

john : February 21, 2020 5:11 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on Jesus as the Good Shepherd.

That was His claim in John 10:11 and John 10:14.

In verse 11, He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

And in verse 14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

Sheep have a tendency to wander and are left vulnerable when they stray from the flock. But as the Good Shepherd, Jesus cares for each of His sheep. In Luke 15, He talks about a shepherd being willing to leave the 99 sheep who were found to search for the sheep that strayed from the flock. That is the heart of Jesus-to pursue us, to rescue us, and to restore us back to the fold of where we belong.

Jesus loves us. He was willing to die for us to bring us into His family of believers.

Focusing on Jesus as the Good Shepherd gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Good News Focus-Purpose in Trials

john : February 20, 2020 5:28 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Good News Focus is on James 1, verses 2 through 4.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

Here we see that there is purpose to the trials of our lives. That purpose is to grow in godly character. We may not like the trial, but we can rejoice in the fruit that is produces after we endure the trial.

The strong wings of a butterfly are made through the struggle to get out of the cocoon. If the struggle did not happen, the butterfly would likely never fly. In a similar way, our trials give us the opportunity to grow stronger in our faith. 

Jesus is our source of Good News, leading us to a place of godly character in the Year of Vision.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Jesus, Bread Of Life

john : February 20, 2020 5:20 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on Jesus as the Bread of Life.

Just after feeding thousands of people with fish and bread, Jesus made this claim about Himself in John 6:35.

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Just as bread satisfies the hunger of our stomach, so Jesus satisfies the hunger of our soul. He fills us with His love and truth, and sustains us by His grace.

Physical cravings are satisfied for a brief period of time when we fill up on food, but the grace and truth of Jesus fills the longings of our soul for righteousness so that we enjoy lasting peace with God.

Focusing on Jesus as the Bread of Life gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Jesus, One Way

john : February 19, 2020 4:03 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on Jesus as the one path to God, the Father.

In John 14:6, Jesus told His disciples, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This is a claim that puts Jesus in a different category from everyone else that walked on the earth. He is identifying Himself as the only One who is able to bring us into a relationship with God. Access to God comes through Jesus. He is the only One who died for our sins, and He is uniquely qualified to restore us to a peaceful relationship with God. He is our Mediator.

Ephesians 3:12 says about Jesus, “In him and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” In relationship to God, He does not count our sins against us, but looks on us with eyes of grace.

Focusing on Jesus as our pathway to God gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.   

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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