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John Shirk

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Life Application Truth-Loving God First

john : April 25, 2012 3:45 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – From Matthew 22:37.

Jesus responded to the question, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” He quoted Deuteronomy 6:5: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

The Good News of Jesus Christ emphasizes God’s love for the world to send Jesus into the world to save sinners. What is the proper response to this amazing grace?  Jesus tells us that the most important thing we can do is to respond to God’s love with a fully devoted heart.

Jesus wants us to make our relationship with God the most important priority of our lives. This relationship, built on love, is a sustainable foundation for having the incentive to carry out His other commands. His grace is worth more than gold, or any of the treasures of this world. His words deserve our full attention. His glory merits our full worship.

Love for God is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Remembering Chuck Colson 1931-2012

john : April 24, 2012 2:57 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – Chuck Colson died on Saturday, April 21 from complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage. He was 80 years old.

http://chuckcolson.org/

He was the first member of the Nixon Administration to be sent to prison for Watergate-related charges in the 70’s. He was known at the White House as the “hatchet man.” However, in 1973, a miracle happened. He became a follower of Jesus Christ.

His friend Tom Phillips gave him a copy of Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Tom said, “Once you read this, you might want to read the Book of John in the Bible.”  It turned out to be a soul-winning combination in Chuck Colson’s life. The words from C.S. Lewis and  from John’s Gospel appealed to his mind and heart, leading him to trust in Jesus Christ as Savior.

www.charismanews.com/us/33260-billy-graham-remembers-chuck-colson

After his conversion to Christ, Chuck Colson started Prison Fellowship Ministries, which was designed to reach out to prisoners and their families with the Gospel. In addition, he gave oversight to the Colson Center, which is a teaching and training center focused on the Christian worldview.  Chuck Colson was reconciled to God and thoughtfully challenged others to be reconciled with God. His dramatic turn from the Watergate years is an example of the dynamic change that God provides for the person who places their trust in Jesus.

http://mnnonline.org/article/17107

The journey of his life is a vivid of example to me of how Jesus can profoundly change lives. If you have started life on the wrong foot, taken wrong turns, or made wrong choices, it’s not too late to turn the ship around. Forgiveness from the past, transformation in the present, and hope for the future. This was Chuck Colson’s experience. This can be our journey too as we follow Jesus with a trusting heart.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Life Application Truth-The Peace of God through Prayer

john : April 20, 2012 5:17 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – From Philippians 4, verses 6 and 7.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God with transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Here we see that the peace of God serves as a form of protection for our hearts and minds.

The peace of God gives us a true sense of security, having the assurance that our soul is in the Lord’s hands, no matter what may happen around us today.

The peace of God gives us a true sense of stability, formed out of a faith that is rooted in the foundation of His Word.

The peace of God gives us a true sense of serenity, a calm spirit in the midst of stormy conditions.

Whatever challenges we face in a given day, God invites us to talk to Him about them. He cares for us, and He is near enough to hear our every word and understand the emotion behind those words.

Prayer from a thankful heart is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Titanic’s Heroic Pastor

john : April 19, 2012 3:08 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – April 15 was the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster. John Harper was on that ship. He was a Baptist pastor who was on the way to preach at Moody Church in Chicago. He never made it. But before he died, John Harper did a number of heroic things.

First, he took his 6 year-old daughter who was with him on the ship to a lifeboat.  He stayed on the ship, preaching the Gospel to the end. Even after he jumped into the sinking water, survivors said that he attempted to convert those who were in the freezing water, before dying himself. He referred to Acts 16:31, which says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” One particular man was clinging to the ship’s debris when Harper swam to him and challenged him twice to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. He rejected the first offer, but gave his life to Christ at the second invitation. At a Titanic Survivor’s meeting in Canada 4 years later, the survivor told his story and said, “I am the last convert of John Harper.”

Here’s the link to Baptist Press

John Harper looked out for both his daughter’s physical protection and the need for spiritual salvation of the lost around him. In a time of crisis, the measure of John Harper’s character was tested, and he rose to the occasion. His story is told in the book, “The Titanic’s Last Hero”.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Life Application Truth-Declaring God’s Glory

john : April 18, 2012 9:42 am : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK -From Psalm 96, verse 3 and 4.

“Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise. He is to be feared above all gods.”

The Bible is urging those who love God to make Him famous among the nations. One of the ways we do that is by talking about the LORD’s accomplishments. He has impressive credentials that draw attention to His glory.  The power of His word is able to speak things into existence and transform hearts.  By His powerful word, He created the heavens and earth. By His words of grace and truth, He stirs hearts to become new creations.

By His mighty hand, He divided the Red Sea to deliver the Israelites from the Egyptians efforts to capture them. By His merciful hand, Jesus was pierced at the cross, so that the children of God may be delivered from Satan’s efforts to capture them. God is using His church to spread the Word about His saving grace. We can tell someone today of the Lord’s marvelous deeds.

Declaring God’s glory is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Life Application Truth-Real Peace Comes Through Jesus

john : April 16, 2012 4:56 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – From Romans 5:1.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Through faith in Jesus, hostility with God is replaced with peace. That is a process known as reconciliation. Two parties are required for this process to take place.

The problem began when we declared war on God by our sin-a war that we cannot win. God responded by sending His one and only Son to the world. He did not come to wage war against us or zap us, but to offer peace. Jesus absorbed God’s wrath against our sin.  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. This guilt offering paid by Christ was a peace offering to the world. When we receive this offer with a believing heart, we experience His peace. We renounce sinful ways.

We stop fighting God and start learning to follow Him. Sin no longer separates us because the grace of the Lord Jesus has restored us.

The implication of having peace with God means that we enjoy His friendship and favor.

Peace with God is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Life Application Truth-Mercy and Acknowledgment of God

john : April 13, 2012 8:59 am : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK- From Hosea 6:6.

“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”

The LORD is not impressed with religious activities carried out with an unfaithful heart. We might think that it’s a thoughtful gesture for a spouse to remember to give cards and gifts to their spouse on special days like holidays and birthdays. But if we learned that the same spouse was having an ongoing adulterous relationship, we would perceive the emptiness in those expressions of love.  That is because those expressions are coming from an unfaithful heart.

Singing worship songs, attending worship services, and volunteering time in church service can all be meaningful activities if they find expression from a faithful heart. But those same activities are meaningless if they come from an unfaithful heart.

What God desires from us is a loyal heart, full of faith and full of love.

Mercy and Acknowledgment of God are vital signs of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Life Application Truth – God’s Provision For You

john : April 10, 2012 5:18 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – From Jonah 2, verses 1 and 2-

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said, “In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave, I called for help, and you listened to my cry.”

Having drifted from his call to preach in Nineveh, Jonah found himself way over his head in deep trouble. Disobedience to God has a way of leading us into those types of places. In Jonah’s case, his disobedience led him to a stormy place, but did not lead to death. Instead, Jonah was given a second opportunity to go in the Lord’s direction.  God provided a great fish to swallow Jonah, where he stayed for three days and three nights. Without the fish, Jonah would have drowned. With the fish, he not only had room to breathe, but also had transportation to dry land.

The implication of this event shows us that blown assignments and missed opportunities are not fatal where God’s mercy is found. In His love, He disciplines us so that we might wake up to His call on our lives.

Acknowledgment of God’s provision to save us and restore us is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Life Application Truth-The Precious Blood of Jesus

john : April 4, 2012 9:18 am : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – From First Peter 1:18.

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

The grace of God may be freely received, but it is certainly not cheap. The price for our spiritual freedom has been paid for in blood. Jesus shed His blood at the cross. Through faith in Jesus, we are set free from our sin that condemns us. No one can buy their way out of this kind of debt. That is why Jesus came-to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. His blood was the ransom payment to release us from being hostage to sin. That payment was enough.  No amount of money compares with the value of Jesus’ precious blood.

Lottery winners may have millions of dollars in their estate, but if they don’t know Jesus, the Christian in Africa who lives in a hut is much richer, because their fulfillment is found in lasting, heavenly treasure-the riches of God’s grace.

Freedom in Christ is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.

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Life Application Truth-The Qualities in the Fruit Of The Spirit

john : April 2, 2012 2:09 pm : John Shirk, Staff Pages

JOHN SHIRK – From Galatians 5:22 and 23.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

These are the qualities that are found in a person who is keeping in step with God’s Spirit and is living by the Spirit.  Faith in Jesus Christ makes room for the Holy Spirit to dwell inside us, and form our character to honor Christ. The work of the Holy Spirit is to convict us of our sins, to point out those areas of our lives where we have missed the mark of what God wants us to do, and to guide us in the truth.  He will impress on us the words of Jesus, so that we might have ears to hear what He is saying to us. As we cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, He teaches us to become more like Jesus, who is perfect in each of these qualities in the fruit of the Spirit. Which area do we see room for growth? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are qualities that the Lord is eager to build into our character. Look for opportunities to demonstrate them.

The fruit of the Spirit is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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