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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

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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