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Posts Tagged ‘courage’

20/20 Insight-Extraordinary Faith and Courage

October 16th, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the extraordinary faith of ordinary men.

Peter and John were two of Jesus’ disciples.

In Acts 4:12, Peter made this public declaration about Jesus, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Here is how the religious leaders responded to this statement: When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.  

One of the demonstrations of extraordinary faith is courage, and the pathway to extraordinary courage is time well spent with Jesus.

Focusing on being with Jesus daily gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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20/20 Insight-Contagious Effect of Courage

March 25th, 2020 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Vision, today’s 20/20 Insight focuses on the contagious effect of courage.

While the Coronavirus is having a contagious effect on the world in an unhealthy way, there are contagious influences that have a positive effect on our lives.

One of those influences is courage. 

Sometimes, one person’s willingness to step forward and stand for God motivates others to step forward too. This can happen when someone leads the way by example or offers words of encouragement for someone who is feeling timid or fearful. Billy Graham has said that courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. 

Jesus is the ultimate example of courage. Hebrews 12:2 encourages us to fix our eyes on Jesus. “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

Focusing on the courage of Jesus to go to the cross gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Person of Integrity-Mordecai

June 27th, 2018 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Person of Integrity from the Bible is Mordecai.

He was a cousin to Queen Esther during a time when the Jews were living under the reign of the Persian Empire. There were a number of noble qualities about Mordecai.

He had taken Esther as his own daughter before she became queen. Esther did not have a father or mother. As her cousin, Mordecai became a father-like figure to her. He was a man of compassion.

He also broke up an assassination attempt against the king. He was a man of courage.

It also appears that Mordecai was loyal to God. When the king ordered the royal officials to kneel down and honor a man named Haman, Mordecai refused to comply. He was a man of conviction.

The faithfulness of Mordecai to live with compassion, courage, and conviction inspires us to do what is right in the eyes of God and live a life of Integrity.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Focus On God-Constance Presence

October 19th, 2017 No comments

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

According to Hebrews 13:5, “God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Reminders of God’s constant presence serve to build our courage and release us from fear.

Joshua was about to face the battle of Jericho on his way to the Promised Land. The LORD said to him, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

We might get nervous at the thought of telling someone else about our faith in Jesus, but the constant presence of Jesus encourages us to be His faithful witnesses. He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

The constant presence of Jesus is a reason to trust in God for today and forever.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Encounter With Jesus-Smyrna

November 11th, 2015 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Connection, today’s Encounter with Jesus examines His letter to the church at Smyrna.

In Revelation 2:9, His main message to this church is to commend them for their faithful witness. He says, “I know your afflictions and your poverty-yet you are rich.” “Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.” “Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

The witness of this church reveals that followers of Christ will, at times, face persecution for our faith.

Polycarp was the bishop at Smyrna, and when he was 86 years of age, he was pressured to acknowledge Caesar as Lord. But Polycarp would not bow to the pressure. He said, “Eighty-six years I have served Christ, and He never did me any wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” As a result of his stand for Jesus, Polycarp became a martyr for the faith.

A daily connection with Christ inspires faith and courage for times of testing.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Encounter With Jesus-Great Commission

June 3rd, 2015 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Connection, today’s Encounter with Jesus examines His great commission.

It happens in Matthew 28, just before He ascended to heaven. He told the disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

Jesus was commissioning His followers into a mission of disciple-making that would leave an impact on the world for many generations to follow. These men were not the religious scholars of their day, but they did spend time with Jesus, and that made all the difference in their bold proclamation of the Gospel. Acts 4:13 says that when the religious leaders saw the courage of two of Jesus’ disciples, (Peter and John), and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

We do not have to be scholars to be effective witnesses of the Gospel, but we do need a relationship with Jesus. We need His help and we need His love, because being a disciple-maker is a God-sized mission.

A daily connection with Christ gives us the courage to speak for Him.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

LIFE APPLICATION TRUTH-FAITH TO HAVE COURAGE

November 5th, 2012 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – from Matthew 14:27.

In the midst of stormy waters, the disciples had seen Jesus walking on water. Jesus immediately said to them, “Take courage! It is I. don’t be afraid.” Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.

Jesus said, “Come.”

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me.” Immediately, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.

As long as Peter was walking toward Jesus, he was able to do something extraordinary. He was walking on water. He did not begin to sink until he took notice of the storm, and became gripped with fear. This has application for our lives. Fear keeps us from accomplishing the extraordinary things that God is calling us to do. Fear of the future, fear of public speaking, and fear of failure can paralyze us from drawing closer to Jesus. Faith in Jesus keeps us moving forward and rising above adversity. In the midst of our failures, we can call on Jesus for the strength to save us. His arm is long enough and His grip is strong enough to rescue us.

Faith focused on Jesus is a vital sign of a changed life in the Year of Transformation.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com