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John Shirk

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Today’s Opportunity To Grow Toward Christ-Care

john : August 5, 2011 2:59 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To have a caring heart is to attach importance to someone. Care for others spurs us to action, where we offer time and attention to someone who needs a helping hand.

One example of this kind of outreach is foster care, where a child is placed in the care of a family until a more permanent arrangement is made for the child.

Another kind of care is pastoral care, compared to a shepherd tending the flock.  Peter was instructed by the Lord Jesus, “Take care of my sheep.”  Church leaders and pastors can have a huge impact in helping God’s people by caring for their needs.

One of the reasons that we can be confident to cast all our anxiety on God is because He cares for us. When other people sense that we truly care about them with the compassion of Jesus, their hearts are sometimes ready to respond to this extraordinary love.  When it comes to being a witness for Jesus, people won’t generally care how much we know until they know how much we care.

Care is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Motivation

john : August 4, 2011 3:30 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – There are two definitions of  motivation worth noting:

The first definition is “reason for behaving in a particular way.”  This goes to the heart of why we do what we do, which God cares about.

The Bible tells us that our motives are weighed by the Lord.

The second definition is the desire or willingness to do something.

Jesus is the One who brings both definitions together in our lives. When He captures our heart, He becomes our desire in life and our reason for our activities.  He can give us a clear conscience and full assurance of His grace when our faith is in Him.  He gives us a reason for living beyond ourselves.  And while that road may be difficult and filled with grief, we will never be without hope.  Because we have the peace of God to comfort us, and the love of God to motivate us until our time on this earth is completed.

The Apostle Paul described his motivating influence in Philippians 1:21.  “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Motivation is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Wisdom

john : August 3, 2011 3:26 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Wisdom makes use of knowledge and experience to make good decisions.

The Magi, commonly known as the Wise Men, made a good decision when they responded to the star to move toward Jesus. When they arrived, they worshipped Him.

Wisdom has a starting place.  Proverbs 9:10 tells us that “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

A relationship with God based on reverence for Christ is an indication that we are receptive to God’s Word and committed to doing God’s will.  The way of wisdom is demonstrated in other godly character qualities.  James 3:17 says, “The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” That is the recipe for wisdom that bears good fruit in God’s Kingdom.

Wisdom is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity To Grow Toward Christ-Persuasion

john : August 1, 2011 2:45 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To be persuaded is to hold a strong belief that something is true-to be convinced.

If we fail to stand for something that is true, then we run the risk of falling for anything. There are plenty of pitfalls in this world that can bring us down.

But the Lord is able to lift us up and take us beyond the vanity of material and temporary treasures.  He offers us something that we can believe in.  His grace.

This grace came through the saving work of Jesus Christ at the cross and empty tomb.  His death and resurrection makes it possible for us to be forgiven of our sins and to experience a new life that leads to eternal life with Jesus.  That is a message we can believe in. That is a message of real and lasting hope.

Romans, chapter 4 talks about Abraham as a man of faith. One of the characteristics of his faith is that he was “fully persuaded” that God had power to do what He had promised.

Persuasion is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Rest

john : July 29, 2011 5:26 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Rest is a period of relaxation and refreshment.  A place of rest is often a peaceful place, where we can find relief from the stresses of our workday.

One of the Ten Commandments is “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God.”

God set the pattern for us by creating the world in six days and resting on the seventh day. There is something healthy about taking time out of our week to rest.  It helps to avoid burn out; thereby, making our work more productive when we are working.  It also can be a time of reflection and worship of God.  When we rest in the Lord, the refreshment is not just physical, but also spiritual.

Ultimately, Jesus is the fulfillment of the Sabbath-rest. He said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Rest is a quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Valor

john : July 28, 2011 2:10 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Valor is strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness.  A person with valor exercises personal bravery.

Fear, doubt, worry, and discouragement are among the enemies that threaten to shake our faith in the Lord Jesus. However, with the focus of our faith fixed on Jesus, our courage is refreshed to go forward into our struggles, and confront them with His grace and truth.

First Corinthians 16:13 and 14 is a call to valor:  “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”

Valor is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Helpfulness

john : July 27, 2011 2:31 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – To be helpful is to put our skills and resources to practical use to provide assistance for someone in need.

If someone we know is sick and unable to drive, we can do some simple errands for them.

If someone is getting ready to move, we can offer our hands to help them move furniture and other household items.

If someone wants to learn a skill that we have, we can take some time to mentor them.

These are just some ways that we can be helpful to others nearby.

Hebrews 6:10 says, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”  God sees when we help others because of the love of Jesus impacting our hearts. Not only does He see, He also remembers and gives rewards.

Helpfulness is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Wholeheartedness

john : July 25, 2011 2:17 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Wholeheartedness is a quality of being completely and sincerely devoted. When it comes to the Christian life, there is unreserved enthusiasm in the life of the wholehearted believer.

The Apostle Paul said with unreserved enthusiasm, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel.” Jesus told us that the greatest commandment of all is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all  your soul, and with all your mind.” Wholehearted devotion grows out of a sense that God loves us honestly and completely. We recognize that we would be desperately hopeless without the influence of His love.  And so, with a responsive heart, we pledge our allegiance to God, trusting Him to guide us in His ways. We willingly become full-time servants of the Gospel so that the name of Jesus might be lifted up in our lives. This is what God is seeking.

Second Chronicles 16:9 says, “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.”

Wholeheartedness is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Stewardship

john : July 22, 2011 2:42 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Stewardship is the management of someone else’s property or finances.

We have been entrusted by God to take care of His resources.  Psalm 24:1 tells us that “the earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”  So, whatever God provides for us to take care of ultimately belongs to God.  Even our own bodies belong to God.  We are accountable to God for the way in which we use material possessions. If we are committed to honoring God with our lives, we will be more conscious about the way we use God’s resources.

This is highlighted in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.  Jesus talked about the man who had five talents and at once put his money to work.  The same thing happened with the person who received two talents. But the man who received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.  At the return of the master, each person was called to account for how they used what they were given.  For those who put their money to use, the master said, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” This is the smile of heaven on the person who uses what they’ve been given to build God’s kingdom.

Stewardship is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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Today’s Opportunity to Grow Toward Christ-Vitality

john : July 21, 2011 2:14 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Vitality can be described as having mental vigor and physical energy.

There is a spring in the step of someone who walks around with vitality.

God’s grace refreshes our spirit, so we are wise to remember His grace daily. His love is a vital source of encouragement each day.

You probably have spiritual vitality if you wake up with a sense of purpose to do God’s will faithfully.

You probably have spiritual vitality if there is devotion to God in your acts of service.

You probably have spiritual vitality if you are eager to learn and grow to become the person God wants you to become.

You probably have spiritual vitality if you have a song of praise to God that resonates in your heart.

In Colossians 1:10 and 11, the Apostle Paul prayed that the church would live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that they may have great endurance and patience, giving thanks to the Father….”

Vitality is a character quality that enables us to represent Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

 

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