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Promise of Hope-Goodness and Love

July 31st, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Psalm 23:6.

“Surely, your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”

David wrote this Psalm. As David walked with God, he was absolutely sure that he would be surrounded by the goodness and the love of God. His heart’s desire was to glorify God and to praise Him in worship. He said in Psalm 27:4, “This is what I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life.”

In our daily pursuit of God’s glory, we come to notice God’s goodness and love pursuing us, each and every day of our lives.

Having the assurance of God’s goodness and love following us is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Promise Of Hope-Immeasurably More

July 20th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Ephesians 3:20 and 21.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

The things of this world often tend to offer more than they deliver. Many of the things we consume fall short of expectation. On the other hand, as we get to know Jesus more, we learn that He is much more valuable than we previously imagined, and His love is much greater than we could ever comprehend, and His strength is able to accomplish more in us than we ever dreamed.

The power of God beyond imagination is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Promise Of Hope-Understanding Origin of Jesus’ Teachings

July 17th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on John 7:17.

Jesus said, “Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.”

When Jesus came to earth, His words and actions did not depart from His Heavenly Father’s message to the world. Jesus said to His followers, “I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” He also said, “The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.”

Jesus is saying that as our lives come into alignment with God’s will, it will be made clear to us that the teachings of Jesus originate from heaven, and are not separated from the Father’s wisdom. We will believe Jesus’ words to be true, and will learn to follow His teachings. His counsel will guide us where God wants us to go.

Understanding the inspiration behind Jesus’ teachings is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Multiplying Impact

July 14th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His ability to multiply our offerings for Kingdom impact.

According to John chapter 6, at least five thousand people formed a great crowd to gather around Jesus. But there was a shortage of food, and Jesus wanted to feed them. But where would the food come from?

One of Jesus’ disciples, Andrew pointed out, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” With Jesus’ touch, the answer became “far enough to satisfy every person in the crowd.”

This true story shows what can happen when we offer Jesus what little we have, (whether a tithe or our spiritual gift). He can multiply something we consider ordinary or insignificant and touch many lives with it. Ephesians 3:20 tells us that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

God’s ability to multiply our offerings is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Promise of Hope-Legacy of Faith

July 13th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Philippians 1:6.

“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.”

It is an amazing thought to consider that the God who made us will choose to work through us, even as He is working on us. After we receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, He enables us to grow more mature in the faith through the truth of His Scripture and life’s experiences.

He also enables us to become a witness for the Lord that speaks to His transforming power in our lives. And that witness lives on through the people we have reached with the Gospel, even after our death until the coming of the Lord.

A lasting legacy of faith is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Reflections Of An Memorable Day

July 11th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Recently, my wife and I attended a funeral service and a wedding reception on the same day. It was the first time I had ever done that, and there was a wide range of emotions that we shared that day-from the tears of sadness at the funeral to the music on the dance floor at the wedding reception.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone, the living should take this to heart.”

I thought about that verse that day. I was glad for the experience of the wedding reception for it was a celebration of life, and a celebration of committed love. There is real joy in that kind of celebration.

But the funeral was also a celebration of life, remembering someone’s faithfulness to the Lord, and someone’s special qualities that added joy to our lives while they lived. That person was my mother-in-law, and she will be missed.

Among the sympathy cards we received, one person noted how at the service, they were challenged with some legacy questions. After I am gone, how will I be remembered? Will I be remembered as someone who loved the Lord and loved my family? These are some of the ways that attending the house of mourning can help us make the most of the opportunities that God gives us with our window of time on this earth.

Ecclesiastes 7:2 gives us wisdom for turning to God at the crossroads of life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Jesus as Our Teacher

July 5th, 2017 No comments

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

According to John 13:13, Jesus was recognized as a Teacher. He said to His disciples, “You call me, ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”

He was teaching His disciples about humble service to one another. He taught by His words, and He taught by example. Sometimes, it takes some time for Jesus’ disciples to learn the lesson plans of faith. But as we keep our ears tuned into His teachings we will find over time that we are starting to apply those lesson plans into our lives, and He is preparing us for productive service. In Luke 6:40, Jesus said, “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” That is the hope that we have as we follow Jesus. He will train us to become more like Him.

Knowing Jesus as our Teacher is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus on God-Our Heavenly Father

June 16th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines the phrase, “Our Father in heaven.”

According to Matthew 6:9, Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”

When earthly fathers are not loving examples for us, this is sometimes a difficult description to accept. However, other passages of Scripture lay out God’s design for fatherhood.

The Apostle Paul wrote in First Thessalonians 2:11 and 12, “You know how we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.” And Hebrews 12:10 tells us that God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.”

God’s grace moves us to embrace Him as our Heavenly Father. In the process of knowing Him this way, He brings out the best in us.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Jesus As Savior

June 15th, 2017 No comments

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

According to Romans 10:13, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

One of the common catch phrases of Christianity is “Jesus saves.” It is more than just a slogan or a bumper sticker message. It is the message of the Gospel. What does Jesus save us from? He saves us from our sins, and more specifically, the wages of our sin, which is death. He also rescues us from an eternity in hell, which is a place that would leave us separated from God forever, if not for the intervention of God’s grace. Who does Jesus save? Everyone who calls on His name for salvation.

Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Knowing Jesus as our Savior is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focus On God-King

June 13th, 2017 No comments

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

A king is a leader of a nation, who generally rules for life and often inherits the kingdom from a family member. Kings are not voted into office. They are appointed. Kings are strong leaders. Their authority is absolute with few, if any, checks and balances. Their word is the law of the land. In First and Second Kings of the Bible, oftentimes the king set the tone for the spiritual climate of a nation.

Jesus came as a very different kind of king. At His trial, Jesus told Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

Jesus is a righteous king. He is the great, eternal king. He is described in Revelation 19 as the king of kings. His Kingdom is coming and will never end. He will never be dethroned. This is good news for those who embrace Jesus as King today.

Knowing Jesus as king of our heart is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Promise of Hope-Spiritual Blessings In Christ

June 8th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Ephesians 1:7.

Speaking of Jesus, “In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.”

These are some of the spiritual blessings that we experience in Christ-Redemption, Forgiveness, and abundant Grace.

To be redeemed is to be set free from the power of sin. Chains are broken when we follow Jesus out of the darkness into His wonderful light. To have the forgiveness of sins is to be cleared of guilt. According to Psalm 32:2, “Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.” These are some of the blessings of God’s grace that we enjoy when we are   in Christ.

Spiritual blessings are promises of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com