JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is the waves of the ocean crashing on the shore.
If you ever go to the beach, one thing you can count on seeing is plenty of waves. They crash along the shore so consistently. They may vary in their height and intensity, but they are dependable.
The crashing of the waves forms a mental picture of God’s grace poured out on His people. John 1:16 says, “Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given.”
Just as one wave replaces another at the beach, so the grace of Jesus comes to us in waves. His supply is fresh for each new day and reliable for meeting us at our point of need.
So, the next time you go to the beach, let the waves get your feet wet, and let it remind you of the constant, plentiful supply of God’s grace for His people. It will never run dry.
Each wave of the ocean crashing along the shore is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A Segment explores the question, “To what extent did God demonstrate His love for us?”
Philippians 2:8 reveals how far Jesus was willing to go for the sake of saving your soul and honoring His Father’s redemptive plan.
“Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-even death on a cross.”
His love can be defined by severe mercy, extreme sacrifice, extravagant grace, and extraordinary forgiveness.
Why would Jesus love us to this extent? The purpose for His sacrifice is found in First Peter 3:18: “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”
If you feel unworthy to be loved by God, join the club. In that regard, we are all unworthy. But God gave us a gift. That gift is Jesus, and His love is good news to the extreme in the Year of Exploration.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is the strength of God’s love.
God’s strength is able to prevent destructive and divisive influences from threatening our relationship with God.
Speaking of His followers, Jesus said in John 10:27, “I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them from my hand. My Father, who has given them to me is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”
Romans 8:38 gives us another view of the strength of God’s love. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present, nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
This strong love of God draws us near to Jesus, and His strong love keeps us secure in His grace. We can hold on to Him with the confidence that He will not let go of us.
The strength of God’s love is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is the height of God’s love.
Psalm 103, verse 11 says, “As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.”
High towers are like magnets to our eyes. If we approach a major city, those are the structures that tend to capture our attention first.
But no tower extends into the heavens like the love of God, which reflects the distance that Jesus traveled to demonstrate God’s love at the cross.
Proverbs 18:10 tells us that the name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
God’s love stands tall as a place of refuge for our soul.
The height of God’s love is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is the depth of God’s love.
Dwight Moody once said that “God has cast our confessed sins into the depths of the sea, and He’s even put a “No Fishing” sign over the spot.”
The depth of God’s love draws our attention to His mercy and forgiveness.
Micah 7:18 says, “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever, but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”
When we come into the light through confession and repentance, God casts our sins out of His sight where they are remembered no more.
The depth of God’s love is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason To Believe is the width of God’s love.
This dimension of God’s love highlights the distance He puts between sin and the person who lives in holy reverence for His name.
Psalm 103, verse 12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.”
East is as far away as you can get from the west. They are in the opposite direction. As our sins are pulled away from us, they lose their influence over us, and our guilt is removed.
Jesus is the key to forgiveness. He is the One who spread out His arms at the cross and submitted to the Father’s will for the redemption of humanity. As we turn to Him for forgiveness, so our relationship with God is restored. Our spirit is refreshed. Our hope is renewed.
The width of God’s love is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A Segment explores the question, “What are some commendable qualities of fatherhood?”
With Father’s Day approaching on Sunday, we turn our attention to the qualities of a dad that are exceptional for training a child in the way they should go.
A father who is a good example is a motivator for their children. In First Thessalonians 2:11, the Apostle Paul told the church that he dealt with them as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging them to live lives worthy of God.
A father who is a good example practices what they teach. We see that in Deuteronomy 6, verse 6: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down, and when you get up.” This verse encourages dads to look for teachable moments throughout the day.
A father who is a good example is also patient in the training process. They are not provoking children to anger with unrealistic expectations. Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” These are some ways that a father can be a good and godly example for their children in the Year of Exploration.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is the conversion of John Newton.
In the 1700’s, John Newton was moved by his relationship with Jesus to leave behind the slave trade and become an ordained minister of the Gospel.
His famous hymn and epitaph reflect the contrast of his life before knowing Christ and after his conversion.
The lyrics to his famous hymn begin this way: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.
His epitaph reads: John Newton, Clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy.
Ephesians 2, verses 4 and 5 shows us how change is possible: “Because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-It is by grace you have been saved.”
The conversion of John Newton was a life-changing moment and is a reason to believe in God’s good news.
JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A Segment explores the question, “Why is it important to praise God?”
There is a close connection in the Scripture between praising God and giving thanks to Him.
In Luke 17, there were ten men healed of leprosy. One of them came back to Jesus, praising God in a loud voice. Then he threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.
Praising God is a significant way to express our gratitude to Him for who He is and what He has done. Psalm 150, verse 2 tells us to praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praising God gives us the opportunity to give credit where credit is due. It’s the right response for a grateful heart.
Praising God is a joyful experience for us as we celebrate the goodness of God.
And praising God gives public testimony that gives others the opportunity to hear what His grace means to us, and how it is shaping our heart.
As the name of Jesus is lifted up, the hearts of people are moved to acknowledge Him as King and Lord in the Year of Exploration.
JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is God’s control over the weather.
The disciples responded with awe and amazement when they realized that Jesus could settle a violent storm at the command of His word.
In Matthew chapter 8, they were in a boat when they encountered a furious storm. The waves swept over the boat, and the disciples feared that they would drown. They cried out to Jesus, “Lord, save us!” Jesus rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
The disciples responded to the sudden change in the atmosphere with these words, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
This puts Jesus in a completely different category from everybody else. None of us can control the weather. It takes a Divine presence to guide the path of the thunderstorm or calm the raging sea. Jesus has that authority.
His command over the weather is a reason to believe in God’s good news.