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Focus On God-Good News

June 8th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His good news.

According to Acts 13:32 and 33, God’s good news is linked to the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

“We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors, he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus.”

Without the empty grave, the Christian faith would collapse. But since Jesus did rise from the dead, we have a living hope by believing in the name of Jesus Christ. We have the gift of His grace, the forgiveness of sins, peace with God, and an inheritance in God’s kingdom that can never perish, spoil, or fade.

The good news of Jesus is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Holy Spirit

June 2nd, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

It happens in Acts 2 when the believers were all together in one place. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Peter then preached a sermon explaining why this was happening. Peter used this opportunity to talk about the death and resurrection of Jesus, and invited the crowd to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. About three thousand were added to their number that day.

Jesus told His disciples this would happen. He said in Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The coming of the Holy Spirit to the church at Pentecost is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Promise of Hope-Greatness in God’s Kingdom

June 2nd, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Matthew 5:19.

From the New Living Translation, Jesus said, “So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

God’s Word clearly teaches that we cannot be made right with God by obeying God’s laws, because we have fallen short of His standards. We have missed the mark, but Jesus has offered another way to be made right with God-through faith in His name to forgive us and save us from our sins.

The way of Jesus teaches us not to disregard God’s laws or to rely on them for salvation. The way of Jesus is to obey God’s commands and teach them out of our love for Him. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

Greatness in the Kingdom of heaven is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Promise of Hope-Guarded Words

May 25th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Proverbs 21:23.

“Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.”

This does not mean that we will never experience calamity, but it does mean that our carefully guarded words will protect us from future regrets.

What are the kinds of careless words that can come back to bite us? Gossip, slander, deception, angry outbursts, and profanity use words words that are toxic to the atmosphere and harmful to our spiritual health. This is a dangerous path leading to conflict and lack of trust.

But instead of thinking how to use our words for harmful purposes, we can breathe life into the atmosphere with words of praise, honesty, gratitude, and encouragement. These are ways that we can build trust in relationships and bring glory to God.

Avoiding the calamity of using careless words is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focus On God-Shield Of Faith

May 22nd, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines the shield of faith.

According to Ephesians 6, the armor of God is vital for us to take our stand against the devil’s schemes. Satan seeks to destroy us with his attacks, whether they be in the form of temptations or accusations.

Verse 14 highlights one of the pieces of God’s armor, which we can use. “Take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

The shield of faith protects us from Satan’s attacks. It reminds us daily of our need for God’s grace and it challenges us to believe the truth about the Gospel. Belief in the truth shields us from the lies of the devil and this world’s system. The shield of faith reminds us that we are not alone in the spiritual battles of our lives.

Psalm 28:7 says, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.”

Having God as our shield is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Competency

May 19th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His competency.

According to Jeremiah 32:17, nothing is too hard for God. Jeremiah prayed, “Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

If we look at the ministry of Jesus, we see His authority to drive out demons from people, to multiply a boy’s lunch to feed five thousand people, and heal the sick. He is the God who delivers us from evil, nourishes our soul, and fills us with His righteousness.

With His outstretched arms at the cross, Jesus was providing for our ultimate healing. He was shedding His blood, pouring out His mercy and providing the sufficient payment for our sins. His words, “It is finished” was a declaration that His mission of love was accomplished successfully. Three days later, the power of His mission was confirmed at the empty grave. Nothing is too hard for the LORD.

God’s competency is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Promise of Hope-God-Directed Life

May 18th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Proverbs 16:1.

“To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the proper answer of the tongue.”

This is a significant statement for the person who belongs to God. Yes, we can go ahead and make our plans. God might bless those plans or He might redirect them. Proverbs 3:5 and 6 tells us that as we submit ourselves to God and trust in Him, He will direct our steps. And if He redirects us, we have to believe that His plans are wiser than ours. We may not understand why He changes our plans, but we know enough about Him that we trust His plan to be good and productive for bearing spiritual fruit.

A God-directed life is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Zeal

May 10th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His zeal.

According to Isaiah 9:7, the prophesied Messiah will have no end to the greatness of His government and no end to His peace. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

To have zeal is to live with passion. God is passionate about souls. He is passionate about righteousness. He is passionate about justice. And He is passionate about restoration.
Jesus came in history as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will return in the future to establish a kingdom based on justice and righteousness. War will come to an end. Peace will prevail. His people will thrive in His Kingdom. His zeal will make it happen.

The zeal of the LORD is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focus On God-Jesus As A Storyteller

May 5th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines Jesus as a storyteller.

According to Matthew 13:3, Jesus told a large crowd “many things in parables….”

Jesus told stories to tell people what the kingdom of God was like. He used ordinary things in His stories that would have been familiar to the people in His time. Through the use of parables, we have heard about the heart of compassion of the Good Samaritan, and learned about repentance through the Prodigal Son.

The Gospel is a love story about God taking extraordinary measures to win back the loyalty of those who had wandered away from Him. When we unite with Christ, our story is woven into His story for the glory of His name for all eternity.

The story of God’s grace is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-His Matchless Worth

May 2nd, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His matchless worth.

According to Psalm 86, there is no legitimate contender for God’s place on the throne.

Verse 8 says, “Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord. No deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.”

What does that mean for us today? It means that God is greater than us. It means that He is worthy of our praise and devotion. His rightful place is on the throne of our heart. His kingdom cannot be shaken, and if our faith is in the name of Jesus, then our hope is secure in Him.

The matchless worth of Jesus is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Jesus Is The Answer

April 28th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines Jesus as the answer.

According to Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

One of Christian music’s pioneers Andrae Crouch wrote a song that has endured the test of time, claiming that Jesus is the answer for the world today.

Jesus is the answer to the big picture questions of life, such as “where did we come from? Why are we here? What is our purpose in life? What is our destiny? Jesus is our Creator. He is the One who redeems us from sin and restores us to God. He is the way to eternal life.

Jesus is also the answer to our soul-searching questions such as “What is my greatest need?” “How can I enter the kingdom of God”? and “How can I be saved from my sin?” For these questions, Jesus is the answer.

Knowing Jesus as the answer to our soul-searching questions is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com