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Life At the Crossroads Moment-Shield of Faith

October 13th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – For today’s Life at the Crossroads Moment, taking up the shield of faith.

In Ephesians 6:16, faith is compared to a shield. “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Do you see the implication of this verse? We are targets of the evil one. In the spiritual realm, he is firing off flaming arrows at us-Arrows of temptation, arrows of deception, messages of condemnation. After all, he is our accuser. His ultimate aim is to destroy us.

But faith is an adequate defense against the attacks of the enemy, serving as a capable shield to protect our heart and soul.

So, what is faith? Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. And then the rest of the chapter gives example after example of those patriarchs of the past who lived by faith in God, who is unseen, but gives us hope and confidence that can be seen in the lives of His followers. Faith is not wishful thinking, hoping something is true without any foundation. Faith is belief in a living God who is true. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that “without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” So, having faith means believing that God is real and that He is good. This faith leads us to acknowledge Jesus as our Savior and Lord.

Ephesians 6:19 and Hebrews 11 gives us wisdom for turning to God at the crossroads of life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Reliability

October 12th, 2017 No comments

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

In Jesus’ own words, God is reliable. He said in John 8:26, “He who sent me is reliable, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”

The word of God is reliable for guiding us in the truth, and the grace of God is reliable for saving our souls. Just as we cross a bridge, it is common for us to trust it to support us. To an even greater degree, we can lean all our weight on God, knowing that He is our source of peace and security. He is our source of strength and salvation.

First John 4:16 says, “We know and rely on the love God has for us.”

God’s reliable words and love are reasons to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Perfect Timing

October 11th, 2017 No comments

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

According to Romans 5:6, it was at the right time, when we were still powerless when Christ died for the ungodly. Let that statement sink in. He did not wait for us to get our act together to come to us. He came to us in the midst of our junk and filth and depravity. He came when we needed Him most.

Verse 8 says that God demonstrates his love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us.

If Jesus would have waited for us to shape up before coming to earth, He would have never come. But He did come, and that is because of His deep, deep love for us. He came to us so that we could be saved from our sins and enjoy a relationship with Him forever.

God’s timing may not be our timing, but He is never too early and He is never too late. He knows exactly when to intervene, and He will know when to come again for His treasured possession.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-His Ability To Repair Broken Relationships

October 5th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His love to repair broken relationships.

God’s love brings together what sin has broken. His grace is stronger than our sin.

We see this in the Old Testament, when Joseph was reconciled to his brothers in Genesis 50. His brothers had sold him into slavery to Egypt. Through the course of time, Joseph rose to a prominent position of influence and his brothers were in need of food. They came to him for help. The love of God was so strong in Joseph that when he could have sought revenge, he instead offered forgiveness.

We also see the power of God’s love in the New Testament through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Our sin separates us from God, but His love is able to restore what we have broken. First Peter 3:18 says, “Christ suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” This happens when we accept His forgiveness, and say “yes” to His invitation to follow Him by faith.

God’s ability to repair broken relationships is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-His Excellence

September 29th, 2017 No comments

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

Philippians 4:8 tells us that if anything is excellent, to think about such things.

Excellence is the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.

The Bible describes God as excellent in a number of ways.

At Creation, God saw all that He made and called it very good.

When Jesus performed miracles, the people were overwhelmed with amazement. In Mark 7:37, they said, “He has done everything well. He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.

First Corinthians 12:31 describes God’s love as the most excellent way.

In the New King James Version, Isaiah 28 describes the LORD of hosts as wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. And Psalm 8:1 says, “How excellent is Your name in all the earth.”

The excellent qualities and works of God are reasons to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Promise Of Hope-The Removal Of The Curse

September 25th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Revelation 22, verse 3.

“No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.”

Sometimes, people wonder what God’s servants will do in the new heaven and the new earth. One of those activities is service. God’s people will serve God in a place where the curse of sin is removed forever.

Back in the book of Genesis, God declared a list of curses for the serpent, the man, and the woman as a result of sin entering the human race. The curses for man included thorns and thistles in the ground and work to the sweat of his brow for food. In heaven, that curse is removed. Serving God will be a delight without any frustrations. Pain, toil, and conflict will be things of the past.

Eternal Life with God without any curse 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-Jesus As The True Testimony

September 19th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Philippians 4:8 gives us a list of things to think about. This devotional examines how our focus on Jesus helps us stay focused on the quality of whatever is true.

In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines Jesus as the true testimony from God.

John was one of Jesus’ disciples who wrote about Him in John 21:24, “We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

Elsewhere, he wrote in First John 5:11, “This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Knowing Jesus as the true testimony from God is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

Promise of Hope-Victory Over Trouble

September 14th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on John 16:33.

Among His final words to the disciples before His death, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Three days later, He would rise from the dead.

If you experience trouble in this world, you are not alone. Jesus told us it would be this way. He is honest with us about the challenges we will face while we live on the earth. Financial stress, loneliness, physical sickness, grief, and persecution for our faith are a number of troubling realities that people face in this world.

But to the person who trusts in Jesus and follows Him daily, there is another reality-a greater reality that gives us peace in the midst of the storms of life. Jesus has overcome the world. Because He has overcome the world, we can have faith that He will help us to overcome the world too. We live with this hope in First John 5:5, “Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.”

Victory in Christ is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-His Ability To Do What Is Impossible For Us

September 13th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Trust, today’s Focus on God examines His ability to do what is humanly impossible.

Looking at the history of the Bible, we would have to acknowledge that our faith depends on a mighty God who works miracles.

By His command, He was able to create something out of nothing. This was the birth of the world.

God kept His promise to Abraham to provide a son when Sarah was past her childbearing years. This was the birth of the nation of Israel.

The hope of redemption came to the world through a virgin birth. This was the birth of Jesus.

Jesus died on a cross, then rose from the dead three days later. He is uniquely qualified to save us from our sins, restore us to God, and give us eternal life with Him. This is spiritual birth: to accept this gracious gift. Luke 1:37 says, “Nothing is impossible with God.”

God’s ability to do what is humanly impossible is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Promise of Hope-New Creation

September 8th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Second Corinthians 5:17.

“If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here!”

Through faith in Jesus, we are made new. This is evident in various ways.

In relationship with Christ, we have a new mind with a new attitude. Ephesians 4:23 says that we were taught to put off our old self and be made new in the attitude of our minds.

In relationship with Christ, we have a new heart. Ezekiel 11:19 says, “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them.”

In relationship with Christ, we have a new home. Philippians 3:20 reminds believers that our citizenship is in heaven.

And in relationship with Christ, we have a new start. According to First Peter 1:3, “In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Becoming a new creation is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Tears of Jesus

September 7th, 2017 No comments

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

There were several times in the Bible when Jesus wept. One of those times was by the gravesite of his good friend Lazarus. John 11:35 records that “Jesus wept.”

Also, in Luke 19:41, as Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it. He saw the devastation that was coming to that city because the people failed to recognize the time of God’s visitation.

Jesus was a man of sorrows. In these two examples, we see Jesus shedding tears in the death of a friend and the coming tragedy of those who would reject Him. He sympathizes with us in our grief, and He cares for the lost. His tears reveal the genuine expression of His love for people.

The tears of Jesus are reasons to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com