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John Shirk

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Aiming For The Goal

john : August 3, 2010 9:57 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – In soccer, the goal of the team is to kick the ball into the other team’s net.  If a soccer team loses sight of this goal, they can anticipate not making any goals.  If we don’t have a goal in life, we are sure to wander about aimlessly.  If our goals are not in alignment with God’s goals, we will miss the mark every time.  But if our aim is God’s goal for us, then we are moving in the right direction in the midst of growing to be like Jesus.

This is what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:12, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

Paul’s goal was Christ’s goal for him.  This is the kind of attitude that is necessary for doing what God wants us to do.  Get to know His heart and what matters to God.  Then we will see more clearly where He is leading us and He will give us the resources we need to carry out His plan for our lives.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The value of Compassion AND Wisdom

john : August 2, 2010 9:56 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – It was Paul’s prayer for the church in Philippians 1:9 that our love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that we may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ.

What do we need for helping a friend in need?  What do we need to raise godly children?  We need the grace of God to give us compassion and wisdom to provide what they need. 

Combining compassion with wisdom, we have the desire to help someone in need, and we learn to discern what a person really needs, not just what they say they want.  What someone wants may not be what they need. 

The demonstration of wise compassion is used of God to draw others to Jesus.  It was His demonstration of love at the cross which gives us what we really need-forgiveness of sins, saving grace, and eternal hope.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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A meaningful way to start the day-Time with God

john : July 30, 2010 9:48 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – In Psalm 5:3, David prayed, “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

Mornings have the potential to set the tone for a day depending on what happens.  One way to clarify our purpose is time well spent with God.  This is what Jesus did on one occasion in the Gospel of Mark.  He got up early, while it was still dark, and prayed with His Heavenly Father.  Then, when others around him tried to set the agenda for His day, Jesus knew that He was to go somewhere else, because He was tuned in to the purposes that His Father had for Him.

There is greater clarity to our plans and priorities when we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.  E.M. Bounds once said, “The men who have done the most for God in this world have been early on their knees. He who fritters away the early morning, its opportunity and freshness, in other pursuits than seeking God will make poor headway seeking Him the rest of the day.”  Tomorrow, we can wake up refreshed by remembering that God’s compassions are new every morning.  With our thoughts on God each morning, each sunrise can seem like a holy kiss from heaven.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Stewardship of the earth and our heart

john : July 29, 2010 9:13 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – When the man and woman was created in the garden of Eden, the LORD blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number.  Fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

The LORD has called humans to take care of His creation.  We are meant to be wise managers of the environment that we live in.  In a recent Probe feature, Patrick Zukerin noted in an article that “we are not to exploit the earth, nor are we to worship the earth.” We have been entrusted with the responsibility of exercising care and guardianship over what God has created.

He noted sound ecological principles like recycling, using cleaner energy sources, and the conservation of energy.  That is not the only place where God wants us to fight against pollution.  He also wants us to guard our heart and keep it clean.  The most effective way for this to happen is to call on the name of Jesus for forgiveness of past sins, and a willing heart to live a pure life today. The righteousness of Christ is able to purify a polluted heart and restore our fallen nature to God.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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A Legacy that outlasts our lives

john : July 27, 2010 10:58 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – If we follow Jesus with an upright heart, our influence will most likely extend well beyond our living years.

Philippians 1:6 says, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

This message is directed toward those who were engaged in partnership in the gospel, working with the Apostle Paul to share the good news of God’s grace through Jesus Christ.

Notice that the good work that is begun in us will be carried to completion not at the end of our lives, but when Christ returns in glory. The writings of Christian authors influence people for Christ beyond their lives. The songs of Christian artists influence people for Christ beyond their lives.  The recordings and quotes of faithful pastors will influence people for Christ beyond their lives. And the influence of faithful parents often live on through their children and children’s children.  These are some of the ways that God works redemptively through our testimony even after our physical death.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Exceptional Qualities of Daniel

john : July 26, 2010 9:37 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – There are few people in the Bible without character flaws.  While Daniel was not perfect, we don’t know his character flaws because the Bible does not speak of any.

Perhaps the reason for this is that he was so faithfully focused on God.  It was his practice to pray to God three times a day. When he prayed, he gave thanks to God.  He was a grateful person.  Gratitude to God goes a long way in building godly character.

Daniel chapter 6 talks about Daniel as a person of “exceptional qualities.”  He was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.  He lived with integrity and fulfilled his responsibilities.  The king gave Daniel a significant position of influence.  His witness for God stood out in an empire of much impurity and idolatry.  His example teaches us that godly character prepares us for doing God’s will.

First Peter 1:13 says, “Prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Impact of God’s Perfect Love

john : July 23, 2010 10:49 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – First John 4:18 teaches us that “there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

What we believe about God’s love affects whether or not we will live in faith or in fear.  The Bible describes His love as unfailing.  The Bible also describes His love as forever.  What is so amazing about God’s love is that He meets us at our greatest point of need.  Our sin deserves His wrath. However, through faith in Jesus as the forgiver of our sins and the Lord of our lives, His grace covers our sins, and gives us hope for the future instead of dread. 

Jesus is God’s expression of unfailing, eternal love.  Now, we don’t have to live in fear anymore.  Instead, we can live with confidence that our lives are in His hands of grace, and His hands are loving, firm, and secure for our soul. We can live with the hope of eternal life, and share with others the reason for our hope while we still have time.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Good Samaritan-Compassion Not Always Convenient

john : July 22, 2010 10:03 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – In the course of a given day with our busy schedules, we might find ourselves face to face with a person in desperate need.  Such a situation leaves us with a decision on whether to stop and take care of this person or move along with our busy schedules. The story of the Good Samaritan, taught by Jesus is a good example of being in tune with someone in a desperate situation.

A man was beaten by robbers and left half dead on the road to Jericho.  Two religious leaders walked by.  They saw him in his place of distress, but kept walking by.  They probably had some very important meetings to attend and responsibilities to fulfill.  After all, they were on the go.  So was a Samaritan man, who had enough compassion for the man to stop what he was doing to address the man’s immediate needs.  He was an instrument of healing for the wounded man.  This is the type of thing that can happen when we take time to listen to a hurting friend, or visit the sick in the hospital, or help to sponsor a child in another country who lacks basic necessities.  Our compassion is activated to make a difference when we think beyond us and enter the world of another person.

That’s today’s Mission Statement for representing Jesus in the world today.
Can you remember any situations recently when you had an opportunity to be a Good Samaritan for someone in need, or when someone was a Good Samaritan to you?

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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The Way of Love as a Witness to the World

john : July 21, 2010 10:36 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Jesus gave this command to His disciples in John 13:34:  “Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

There is a well-known song containing the chorus, “They will know we are Christians by our love.”  How do people perceive us?  Do they see the evidence of the love of Christ in us?  The way of love reflects either what Jesus taught about love or the ways He demonstrated love.

The way of love can be described by some simple phrases that we use, not just in words, but also in the attitude behind the words.

Please. (That’s courtesy and respect)

Thank you. (That’s gratitude)

I’m sorry.  (That’s humble confession)

I love you. (That’s expression of love for our loved ones)

I’m praying for you.  (That’s interceding for our loved ones)

When the disciples of Jesus love one another, the world will observe and take notice that we belong to Jesus.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Overcoming worry with faith

john : July 20, 2010 9:25 am : John Shirk

JOHN SHIRK – Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Worry is a form of fear, robbing the body of energy, filling the mind with uneasy thoughts.  Worry can cause sleepless nights.  Sometimes, worry prevents a person from moving forward to face the challenges of a given day. In the statement that Jesus made about worry, the word “therefore” connects to a previous statement that Jesus made.

He said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

With God’s Kingdom as the focus of our priority, faith prevents worry from paralyzing our lives.  Charles Spurgeon has said, “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”  Prayer with a trusting heart is one way of dealing with the tendency to worry. First Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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