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John Shirk

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The benefits of taking time to reflect on God

john : November 30, 2010 10:37 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK -When the circumstances of our lives seem to be caving in on us and applying pressure to our sanity, that is a good time to press closer to Christ-to reflect on His mercy and strength.

In a climate of upheaval in the world, Psalm 46 tells us that Someone is eventually going to make wars cease.  He is going to restore order where chaos once stood.  Verse 10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

There are many important characteristics that describe God.  One of those characteristics is that He is Sovereign.  That means, He is on the throne.  Jesus is described as “the Alpha and Omega, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”  There has never been a time when Jesus was not God. The Bible tells us that His Kingdom is coming.  When He comes, His reign will be evident for all to see.  Remembering God’s Sovereignty brings hope for troubled times, security in times of crisis, and peace in times of conflict. When Jesus reigns on the throne of our hearts, we have the assurance that nothing in all creation can separate us from His love.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Thankful for Each Day

john : November 23, 2010 3:39 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Psalm 118:24 reminds us that “this is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

When we woke up this morning, we were given another opportunity to live for the glory of God.  As we think of His blessings in a given day, we are moved to thanksgiving.  A pastor named George Butterick once said, “Perhaps we should try to write down the blessings of one day. We might begin; we could never end; there are not pens or paper enough in all the world.”

We can thank God for His opportunities in a given day to be a witness for Jesus. We can thank Him for His strength to do what He calls us to do. We can thank Him for having a clear purpose to serve others for the glory of His name.  We can thank Him for His provisions like food, clothing, and shelter.  We can thank the LORD for those special people he places in our lives who are a treasure to us.  We can thank God for the gift of His Son Jesus, who is our greatest blessing of all. It will make a difference in our attitude if we remember to give thanks to God for His many blessings.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Expressing Thanks to God for our Loved Ones

john : November 18, 2010 4:18 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – If we note carefully the letters of the Apostle Paul, we will see that it was Paul’s tendency to express thanks to God for his readers.

In Philippians 1:3, he said, “I thank my God every time I remember you.”  And in Romans 1:8, he said, “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” In Second Thessalonians 1:3, he said, “We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.”

This is a good practice for Christians today. Express thanks to God for those people in relationship with us, and express why we are thankful for them. This is an effective way to communicate that we value others.  These expressions of thanks also build hope and encouragement in the body of Christ.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Glow of a Grateful Believer

john : November 17, 2010 10:43 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – On a clear night, if you look up into the sky, the stars shine light on the darkness.  Their glow reflects the glory of God.  Their magnificent light declares that God created them.  He is very big and powerful, but He is also intimate and personal, because He knows each star by name. 

The same can be said of the child of God who shines a testimony of a life changed by God’s grace. We declare to the world that Jesus is powerful and personal.  He is our Creator, and our Savior.  Being in relationship with Jesus on a daily basis has a way of changing, not just our behavior, but our attitude as well.

Philippians 2:14 says, “do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life….” That is the glow of a grateful believer.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focused and Effective Practices for Glorifying God

john : November 12, 2010 5:33 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Oftentimes, it’s life’s simple instructions that leave their mark on this world when carried out.

Consider First Peter 4:7 through 10.  “The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear-minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”

Focused prayer, deep and sincere love, and willing service-these are some of the expressions of our faith that God will use to draw people to faith in Jesus Christ.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Generous Hands-a sign of a thankful heart

john : November 11, 2010 3:19 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Randy Alcorn notes in his book “The Treasure Principle” that God prospers us not to raise our standard of living, but to raise our standard of giving.

Generous giving is one expression of a thankful heart.  The hands of thanksgiving reach out to offer hospitality, help someone who is moving, or do household chores for a friend who is feeling sick. The exciting thing about passing along God’s blessings to others is that the spirit of thanksgiving has a way of multiplying.  It’s contagious.

Second Corinthians 9:11 talks about this process in this way:  “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Encouragement Today-An opportunity to make a difference

john : November 9, 2010 4:02 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Hebrews 3:12 says, “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

Satan will use discouragement to try to convince us to give up on God.  We might be tempted to conclude about certain disappointments, “What’s the use of even trying anymore?”  It’s a question that can sideline us from doing what God wants us to do.

Christians are called by God to look after each other-to be aware of doubt, fear, or rebellion taking hold in a person’s life where faith once stood firm.  God can use our encouragement as a preventative measure to keep sin from taking root, or as a healing agent for someone’s deep wounds. Encouragement also promotes a more tender and hopeful atmosphere, urging others to “press ahead in faith” when someone might be tempted to “give up.” Barnabas is the textbook example of Encouragement in the Bible.  In Acts 11, he saw the evidence of God’s grace in Antioch, and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The prayer of Moses-To walk with God

john : November 8, 2010 5:46 pm : John Shirk

If you have ever been perplexed by God in the midst of obeying His calling, you are in good company.  There was a time when Moses was frustrated.  Moses and the Israelites were on their way to the Promised Land. It was time to have a talk with God.

This is how that conversation went in Exodus 33. Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’  If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.  Remember that this nation is your people.” 

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us from here.”  Moses did not just want God’s directions.  He wanted His Presence. He did not just want to march at the order of the commanding officer.  He wanted to walk with his Best Friend.  This is a good request for us to incorporate into our prayer life.  His Presence will be the spark that energizes us to move forward in God’s plan.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

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What is God like?

john : November 5, 2010 2:11 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – How would you describe God? Just about everyone who believes in Him has something to say on that question. Having a clear understanding of God helps to clarify His purpose for our lives. Here are some descriptions of God in the Bible:

God is the God of gods and Lord of Lords.  God is greater than all other gods.  God is merciful and forgiving. God is righteous. God is truthful. God is faithful. God is just. God is light. God is love. God is holy.

These are the ways that God leads us to spiritual growth: He leads us to become worshipers of Him when we recognize His supreme greatness. He also teaches us His ways, meaning that we learn to become more merciful and forgiving, and truthful and faithful and loving.  If we want to get to know the heart of God, we can examine more closely the life of Jesus Christ. Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…” And Jesus Himself said in John 14:31, “I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”

With our eyes fixed on Jesus, He trains us to grow in godly character and more accurately reflect the attitude of Christ to the world. 

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Whose Kingdom are we building?

john : November 3, 2010 2:24 pm : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – In Luke 12:15, Jesus said, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Then, he tells the parable of a rich man who spent his energy building his own empire. He built bigger barns to store his grain and goods, because he ran out of room. He was looking for the easy life. After he reached his goal the man envisioned himself saying, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink, and be merry.”

But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.”  Jesus summed it up by saying, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.”  This parable reminds us that we cannot take worldly treasures with us, but we can send our heavenly treasures ahead of us. This happens when we are generous toward God, and honor Him with our wealth. First Timothy 6:18 urges wealthy believers to “be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.”

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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