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Life At The Crossroads-Noticing The Need

September 1st, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – For today’s Life at the Crossroads Moment, loving God with our eyes.

The dominant news story this week has been the historic storm in Texas and Louisiana. Houston has been particularly hard hit. The widespread flooding and devastation is unimaginable.

People will typically respond to storms of this magnitude in different ways. There are the looters-People who steal and vandalize vacant buildings. There are the spectators-those who watch what is going on from a distance. And there are the heroes-the rescue workers, the aid workers, those who contribute financial resources to relieve human suffering. We see those different kinds of people in the story of the Good Samaritan.

A man was on the road to Jericho. He was robbed and beaten up by thieves. There were religious leaders who saw him lying on the side of the road, and walked right by him. They were the spectators. And then there was the Good Samaritan. And he shows us how we can love God with our eyes. “He came to where the man was, and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine.” Then he took him to a motel and took care of him. And he took care of this man’s expenses too. This Good Samaritan noticed the need and did something about it.

So, when we see human suffering, whether we are watching this situation unfold on our TV screens in Texas, or a neighbor who is grieving the loss of a loved one, we have a decision to make, as to how we respond. Compassion will prompt us to do something helpful. The Good Samaritan was the example of someone who loved their neighbor as himself. Luke 10 gives us wisdom for turning to God at the crossroads of life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Promise of Hope-Renewed Strength

August 25th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Isaiah 40, verse 31.

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Verse 29 in that chapter tells us that the LORD gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Worry has a way of depleting our energy. Stress leads us to places of anxiety. And a hurried pace of life can lead to burnout. But hope in the Lord brings renewal of strength, by refreshing our perspective that God is in control. He is greater than the weight of our adversity. He is stronger than the spiritual forces of darkness. In His grace, we experience His peace, know His joy, and are energized by His love. Hope strengthens us to rise above life’s challenges to move forward in God’s grace.

Renewed Strength is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-His Good Gifts

August 24th, 2017 No comments

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

According to Matthew 7:9, God knows how to give good gifts to His children.

Jesus said, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

So then, if it is human nature for moms and dads to want to give good gifts to their children, how much more valuable will God’s good gifts be for His children? God the Father sent Jesus to the world 2,000 years ago, and today, He gives the Holy Spirit to His children. Those are two precious gifts that the world cannot offer us.

He also blesses us with tangible gifts like rain from the sky, crops from the earth, and good friends with whom we can share the journey.

God’s good gifts are reasons to thank God and to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Flawless Words

August 17th, 2017 No comments

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

According to Proverbs 30, verse 5, “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”

We can depend on every word from God to be trustworthy and true. It is through the words of God that we come to believe in Jesus Christ and are saved from our sins. Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ.

The implication of God’s flawless words is that we can trust them to lead us into the way of faith, love, and life with God.

Another implication is that His words do not need to be updated, improved, or changed to accommodate cultural values. By accepting God’s words as flawless, we will no longer conform to the patterns of this world, but will be transformed into the likeness of Christ.

The flawless words of God are reasons to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Promise of Hope-Eternal Relationship With God

August 11th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on First John 4:15.

“If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.”

Jesus is the way to a lasting relationship with God, the Father. Faith in Jesus opens the door into that relationship where we have opportunity to walk and talk with God every day. He will lead us with Divine wisdom and save us with His Divine grace. Our life will have meaningful purpose under God’s direction. Our soul will be secure under God’s protection.

With this promise in view, we can rely on the love God has for us.

An eternal relationship with God is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Promise of Hope-Way Of Holiness

August 10th, 2017 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Promise of Hope is based on Isaiah 35:8.

“A highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way.”

This chapter is a picture of wholeness and restoration. The eyes of the blind are opened. The ears of the deaf are unstopped. Water gushes forth in the wilderness. There are streams in the desert.

The Way of Holiness will be reserved for those who have been set free from the guilt of sin. Verse 9 records that only the redeemed will walk there. Those the LORD has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

In many places of the world, the way of holiness is not very popular today, but it still is the way of Jesus. As we follow Him, He leads us on that path to take us to His glorious destiny.

The Way of Holiness is a promise of hope for those who follow Jesus in the Year of Trust.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Dimensions of His Love

August 10th, 2017 No comments

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

According to Ephesians 3:17, it was the prayer of the Apostle Paul that we might be rooted and established in love, and may have power, together with the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.

As we explore the dimensions of God’s love in the Bible, we begin to see that His love is wide enough to remove our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west.

His love is deep enough to bury our transgressions out of sight to the bottom of the sea.

His love is long enough to last forever.

And His love is high enough to reach us from heaven to earth.

The various dimensions of God’s love is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John  Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Focus on God-Lord of the Sabbath

August 4th, 2017 No comments

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

According to Jesus in Luke 6, “The Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath.”

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day had added human traditions to the observance of the Sabbath. Over time, these traditions were elevated to the status of God’s laws. They became legalistic and rigid in their interpretation of how someone should observe the Sabbath.

Jesus was saying here that no matter how many restrictions the Pharisees wanted to impose, they would not stop Jesus from healing on the Sabbath. Jesus, the Lord of the Sabbath, said, “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

The words of Jesus remind us that while there is wisdom in setting aside one day out of the week for rest and intentional worship, there is also freedom to serve in ways that help people at their point of need.

Knowing Jesus as the Lord of the Sabbath is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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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