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20/20 Insight-Jesus, Good Shepherd

February 21st, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on Jesus as the Good Shepherd.

That was His claim in John 10:11 and John 10:14.

In verse 11, He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

And in verse 14, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

Sheep have a tendency to wander and are left vulnerable when they stray from the flock. But as the Good Shepherd, Jesus cares for each of His sheep. In Luke 15, He talks about a shepherd being willing to leave the 99 sheep who were found to search for the sheep that strayed from the flock. That is the heart of Jesus-to pursue us, to rescue us, and to restore us back to the fold of where we belong.

Jesus loves us. He was willing to die for us to bring us into His family of believers.

Focusing on Jesus as the Good Shepherd gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Good News Focus-Purpose in Trials

February 20th, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Good News Focus is on James 1, verses 2 through 4.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” 

Here we see that there is purpose to the trials of our lives. That purpose is to grow in godly character. We may not like the trial, but we can rejoice in the fruit that is produces after we endure the trial.

The strong wings of a butterfly are made through the struggle to get out of the cocoon. If the struggle did not happen, the butterfly would likely never fly. In a similar way, our trials give us the opportunity to grow stronger in our faith. 

Jesus is our source of Good News, leading us to a place of godly character in the Year of Vision.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

20/20 Insight-Jesus, Bread Of Life

February 20th, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on Jesus as the Bread of Life.

Just after feeding thousands of people with fish and bread, Jesus made this claim about Himself in John 6:35.

“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

Just as bread satisfies the hunger of our stomach, so Jesus satisfies the hunger of our soul. He fills us with His love and truth, and sustains us by His grace.

Physical cravings are satisfied for a brief period of time when we fill up on food, but the grace and truth of Jesus fills the longings of our soul for righteousness so that we enjoy lasting peace with God.

Focusing on Jesus as the Bread of Life gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Jesus, One Way

February 19th, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on Jesus as the one path to God, the Father.

In John 14:6, Jesus told His disciples, “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

This is a claim that puts Jesus in a different category from everyone else that walked on the earth. He is identifying Himself as the only One who is able to bring us into a relationship with God. Access to God comes through Jesus. He is the only One who died for our sins, and He is uniquely qualified to restore us to a peaceful relationship with God. He is our Mediator.

Ephesians 3:12 says about Jesus, “In him and through faith in him, we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” In relationship to God, He does not count our sins against us, but looks on us with eyes of grace.

Focusing on Jesus as our pathway to God gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.   

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

20/20 Insight-Jesus, Light Of The World

February 18th, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on Jesus as the Light of the world.

Jesus said in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

There are two key points that we can learn from this statement regarding Jesus’ followers.

The first point is that following Jesus is a step-by-step journey. He leads the way, and we follow Him. As we follow Jesus, we can hear His voice more clearly by staying close to Him in relationship.

The second point is that Jesus is our source of light. His divine wisdom is greater than human reasoning, and is the guidepost for our lives that leads us to abundant and eternal life.

Focusing on Jesus as the Light of the world gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Good News Focus-Love

February 13th, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Good News Focus is on First Peter 4:8.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Love is life-changing. The Gospel is rooted in the love of God for us, and when we receive God’s love and pass it along in our relationships, we have the opportunity to represent Jesus in this world.

Notice, the passage does not call us to love superficially. God calls us to love each other from the heart, not just with our words or going through the motions. This will lead us to generous giving with a grateful heart, rather than fulfilling our duty with a complaining spirit. Then, when love is tested, we will keep reaching out with love and seek God’s best for those people that God has placed in our lives.

Jesus is our source of Good News, leading us to a place of loving people from the heart in the Year of Vision.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Snow

February 12th, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on a spiritual metaphor of snow.

It’s found in Isaiah 1:18, where the LORD says, 

“Come now, let us settle the matter. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”

Just as a blanket of snow covers the ground, so the blood of Jesus has the power to cover our sins. His grace is able to make our hearts pure again. 

Repentance is the pathway to forgiveness. That is the picture of turning around from going in the wrong direction to get back on track with God. To a nation whose hands were full of blood, God said, “Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice.” 

In the New Testament, Jesus said, “Repent and believe the good news!”

Focusing on the grace of God to cleanse us from sin gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

20/20 Insight-Value of God’s Love

February 10th, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the value of God’s love.

In Ephesians 3:19, the Apostle Paul prayed that we might have power together with all the Lord’s holy people to grasp the value of Christ’s love to our lives.

This love surpasses knowledge. A good education can prepare us for a productive career, but the love of God prepares us for a thriving faith and an eternal inheritance in His Kingdom. Jesus has made it possible to know what God’s love is because He demonstrated it when He walked on the earth.

First John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

Focusing on the value of God’s love gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

20/20 Insight-Depth of God’s Love

February 7th, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the depth of God’s love.

In Ephesians 3:18, The Apostle Paul prayed that we might have power together with all the Lord’s holy people to grasp how deep is the love of Christ.

One of the ways we can tell that someone loves us sincerely is by their willingness to make sacrifices on our behalf. Jesus passes this sincerity test with flying colors.

In John 15:13, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” That is exactly what Jesus would do less that 24 hours after making this statement.  Because of His sacrifice, we can call on God to save us from our sins, and He will be faithful to hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.

Focusing on the depth of God’s love gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Good News Focus-Mercy

February 3rd, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Good News Focus is on Titus 3:4 and 5.

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

We can thank God for His mercy. It was God’s mercy that stopped the stoning of a woman who had been caught in adultery. It was God’s mercy that turned a persecutor of the church named Saul into an apostle of the church named Paul. And God’s mercy changes our lives when we see the kindness of God expressed in Christ.

Jesus did not come to a world that had its act together. Rather, He came to a world in a sinful condition. He came because we needed His mercy. That is what He provided for us when He shed His blood at the cross.

Jesus is our source of Good News, leading us to a place of new life in His kindness and mercy in the Year of Vision. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Mercy In View

January 31st, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the power of God’s mercy to transform our lives.

In Romans 12, verses 1 and 2, we see God’s mercy as the starting place for transformation from the inside out.

“In view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Of all the voices that seek our attention, the most important voice is God. He has spoken at the cross. He has spoken at the empty grave, and He has spoken in the Bible. His message speaks to us of mercy as Jesus took the penalty for our sins on the cross. Keeping God’s mercy in view, we are moved to gratitude and worship. We are also better equipped to discern the will of God for our lives.

Focusing on God’s mercy gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com