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John Shirk

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Freedom Phrase-Release of the Prisoner

john : April 10, 2019 5:31 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Matthew 27:26.

Then
Pilate released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over
to be crucified.

Barabbas
was a well-known prisoner at the time of Christ’s crucifixion. It was customary
for Pilate to release a prisoner at the time of the Passover. That particular
year, Pilate gave the crowd a choice between Barabbas or Jesus. And the people
wanted Pilate to release Barabbas instead of Jesus.

The
innocent man died, and the guilty man was set free. That is also the message of
the Gospel. Second Corinthians 5:21 says that “God made him who had no sin to
be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Through Jesus we are set free from the chains that held us captive.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Red Letter Wisdom-Not as I Will, but as You Will

john : April 8, 2019 5:21 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in Matthew 26:39.

On the
night before Jesus was crucified, He prayed three times in the Garden, “My
Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will,
but as you will.”

In the
Bible, the number three refers to completeness. So, it is significant here that
Jesus committed Himself to doing the will of His Heavenly Father three times.
His obedience to the mission was complete.

Jesus
was not asking for the mission of redemption to be aborted. He was asking for
His cup to be taken from Him if there was another way to achieve redemption.
But there was no plan B. So, Jesus went to the cross. This prayer highlights
the importance of the cross to the Gospel. To those who are being saved, the message
of the cross is the power of God.

The words of Jesus inspire us to entrust ourselves to the will of God in the Year of Redemption.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Red Letter Wisdom-In Remembrance

john : April 4, 2019 4:04 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in Luke 22:19.

At the
Last Supper, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them
(the disciples) saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance
of me.”

One of
the elements that we take at communion is the bread, which reminds us that
Jesus gave His body as a sacrifice for our sins.

Hebrews
10:5 says that when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and
offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; with burnt
offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am-it is
written about me in the scroll-I have come to do your will, my God.”

The
sacrifice of Jesus accomplished what other offerings could not accomplish-the
forgiveness of sins.

The words of Jesus inspire us to remember with gratitude the sacrifice of His body for our sins in the Year of Redemption.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-Refreshment of Grace

john : April 3, 2019 5:07 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages, Uncategorized

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Acts 3:19.

Peter
said, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that
times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

God’s
kindness leads us to turn away from our sins and turn in faith to Jesus for His
grace. That kindness was ultimately demonstrated at the cross.

At the
point of repentance, a great burden is lifted from us-the burden of guilt is
released from us and we find our refreshment in the cleansing of God’s grace.
Some people think they have done things that are so bad that not even God could
forgive them. But if you think that way, remember this: Peter was speaking to a
crowd of people who had been directly involved in the death of Jesus. He told
that group of people that refreshment would come to them if they repented and
turned to God.

Through Jesus, we are set free to experience the refreshment of God’s grace.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Red Letter Wisdom-Jesus Died Willingly

john : April 1, 2019 5:00 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in John 10:17 and 18.

Jesus
said, “The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life-only to take it
up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have
authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I
received from my Father.”

This
statement from Jesus indicates that His death and resurrection was the plan of
redemption all along. Jesus talked about it before it happened, and then He
walked toward Jerusalem to offer Himself as the Lamb of God.

No one
could have taken the life of Jesus if He had not laid it down for us. He said
on one occasion, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once
put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?” Jesus had a heavenly
army who could defend Him. But He did not call for their intervention, because
He was willing to die for us so that we might be with Him forever.

The words of Jesus inspire us with the thought that He willingly died for us so that we could be with Him and live for Him in the Year of Redempion.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Red Letter Wisdom-Worship In Prayer

john : March 30, 2019 11:41 am : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in Matthew 6:13b.

Jesus
taught us to pray, “For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory
forever. Amen.”

This is
an acknowledgement of the greatness of God, placing Him on His rightful place
on the throne, having authority to reign with supreme power and eternal glory.

This
underscores an important point about worship being at the heart of our prayer
life. God is glorified and our soul is edified when we express adoration for
Him, and exalt His worthy name.

Psalm
40:16 says, “May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who
long for your saving help always say, ‘The LORD is great!’”

The words of Jesus inspire us to a place of worship in the Year of Redemption.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-New Life

john : March 25, 2019 5:54 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Romans 6:4.

“We
were therefore buried with Jesus through baptism into death in order that, just
as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may
live a new life.”

This
new life that the Bible talks about is a life that shares in the sufferings of
Jesus and His resurrection.

We can
live with the confidence that if we share in His sufferings, He can identify
with our pain, because He has been there. We catch a glimpse of what He
willingly endured for us.

We can
also live with the confidence that just as Jesus rose from the dead, we will
overcome death too. We will rise after the death of our bodies to live with Him
forever and see Him in His glory.

Through Jesus, we are set free to have a new life that walks in relationship with God.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-New Attitude Of The Mind

john : March 22, 2019 3:53 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Ephesians 4:22 and 23.

“You
were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self,
which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the
attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in
true righteousness and holiness.”

The
Gospel presents us with a new way of thinking that flows out of a renewed mind.
The word “Repentance” means to change one’s mind. We were going in the wrong
direction, but the grace of God tapped us on the shoulder, captured our
attention, and changed our mind to follow Jesus.

A
renewed mind will transform our attitude to be kind and compassionate,
forgiving, and generous. God’s grace moves us to study the mind of Christ, so
that we can learn to think more like Him.

Through Jesus, we are set free to a new way of thinking that is transformed by the attitude of Christ.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-New Song

john : March 21, 2019 5:44 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Psalm 40, verse 3.

David
said, “He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will
see and fear the LORD and put their trust in him.”

It is
not a coincidence that David wrote over 70 Psalms that reflect his love for God
in various ways.

There
is something that happens in our spirit when we open our heart to God and
consider His love for us an eternal treasure. We might not all write songs, but
our music begins to change to the tune of a new Conductor. God puts a song in
our heart that celebrates the name of Jesus and His amazing grace given to us.

Through Jesus, we are set free to sing a new song of praise to the LORD.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-New Joy

john : March 20, 2019 5:05 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Acts 16:34.

One
person whose life was dramatically changed by the Gospel was a jailer who put
his faith in Jesus.

He was
filled with joy because he had come to believe in God-he and his whole
household.

He was
suicidal after an earthquake shook the prison he was guarding. But Paul and
Silas intervened. They assured the jailer that none of the prisoners had
escaped. Then the jailer asked the life-changing question, “Sirs, what must I
do to be saved?”

They
replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your
household.” That is exactly what happened. Through faith in Jesus, the love of
Jesus has the power to fill us with the joy of Jesus from this time forward.

Through Jesus, we are set free to experience a new joy that is based on knowing Him.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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