Posts Tagged ‘encourage’

Light Reflection-Acts 11:24 Encouragement

November 13th, 2023 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – This week’s Light Reflections examine some of the bright spots in the book of Acts when God was on the move in the hearts of people.

One of those places is Acts chapter 11, verse 24 when Barnabas made a trip to Antioch. He was sent by the church in Jerusalem to follow up on the news that a great number of people there were believing and turning to the LORD.

When Barnabas arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their heart. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

How might God use our words of encouragement to build the church? He might make us a motivational influence for someone to keep serving God. Or He might make us a persuasive influence for someone to take that first step of faith.

This Light Reflection inspires us to encourage others to live with true devotion to the Lord in the Year to Shine.

John Shirk

Light Reflection-2 Timothy 4:1-2 Preach the Word

June 14th, 2023 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Light Reflection is from Second Timothy 4, verses 1 to 2.

The Apostle Paul was mentoring Timothy to become a thriving leader in the early church. Before his life ended on earth, he gave these final instructions:

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge” Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.”

The Gospel is the word that has the power to transform lives and bring people into God’s kingdom of light. This world is in need of good news, and through the testimony of Jesus, good news is available. Acts 13:38 says, “Through Jesus, the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.”

This Light Reflection inspires us to proclaim this good news wherever we go in the Year to Shine.

John Shirk

Vital Step to a Radiant Faith-Spiritual Gifts

March 9th, 2023 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year to Shine, today’s Vital Step to a Radiant Faith is the exercise of spiritual gifts.

When God’s people serve with love and with their spiritual gifts, the church has a significant light to shine in the local community.

The Bible teaches us that different members of the church have different gifts. Romans 12:6 says, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

This is a picture of the body of Christ serving freely by the grace of God for the glory of God.

Exercising our Spiritual Gifts is a vital step to a radiant faith that makes a difference in our world.

John Shirk

Person of Integrity-Haggai

August 21st, 2018 No comments

Today’s Person of Integrity from the Bible is Haggai.

He was a prophet of God in the Old Testament who encouraged the Jews to rebuild the temple.

His words were inspired by God and are recorded in the book of Haggai. “Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored.”

Haggai assured the people that God was with them. The Bible says that “the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD.”

Ezra 6:14 says that the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet….They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel.

The faithfulness of Haggai to encourage the Jews to complete the building of the temple inspires us to be a voice of encouragement to build God’s church and to live a life of Integrity.

Q and A Segment-What Is The Purpose of Encouragement?

April 13th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A Segment explores the question, “What is the purpose of encouragement?”

Barnabas was a believer in the Lord known for his encouragement. When others were skeptical about the authentic conversion of the Apostle Paul, Barnabas served as a bridge to help him gain acceptance in the church. He explained to the apostles how the Lord had transformed his life.

On another occasion, Barnabas went to a place called Antioch, where he saw the evidence of God’s grace in people’s lives. Acts 11:23 records that he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord.

Encouragement offers someone support, confidence and hope. In the Christian context, it builds up faith in the Lord and spurs God’s followers to a life of love and good deeds. When we see God at work in someone’s life, that is an opportunity to point out specifically how God is moving in that person for redemptive purposes. With words of encouragement, we can motivate them to continue living for Jesus with a devoted heart in the Year of Exploration.

John Shirk

Q and A-What is the purpose of accountability?

February 16th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A segment explores the question, “What is the purpose of accountability?”

According to Romans 14:12, “Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” This verse shows that ultimately we are accountable to God, and a day is coming when our lives will be evaluated in the light of His wisdom.

With the presence of temptation in our world, we are wise to seek out a trusted person who can help us keep our commitments to God. That is the purpose of accountability in the church-to help each other keep our commitments to God. Accountability is healthy in the context of a support structure, rather than an interrogation of 20 questions. It is designed to encourage each other, pray for each other, and confess sins to each other when there is something hindering our walk with Christ.

Hebrews 10:24 urges us to spur one another on toward love and good deeds. And James 5:16 tells us to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we might be healed.

Accountability relationships help us to move forward in faithful devotion to Jesus in the Year of Exploration.

John Shirk

Q and A-Why Is Church Participation Important?

January 14th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Q and A explores the question, “Why is church participation important?”

Participating in our local church allows us to be part of a support system where we can encourage others to grow in their faith, and others will encourage us in our walk with God. We were not made to live in isolation. We were made to be part of a community. The church is a community of believers where we can learn to follow Jesus faithfully as we find out His will for our lives.

Hebrews 10:24 and 25 says, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Participating in our local church is an opportunity to grow in our relationship with God in the Year of Exploration.

John Shirk

Relationship Building Principle-Wisdom

August 18th, 2015 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Relationship-Building Principle comes from First Thessalonians 5:14.

“We urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”

These instructions remind us to meet people at their point of need. To do this, we need sensitivity and wisdom in the way we relate with people. Some people are in a stage of life where they need a thoughtful challenge to motivate them to put their faith into action. Others have put their faith into action, and have endured hardship for their faithfulness to God. Knowing someone’s story gives us insight into how we can come alongside that person to be a helpful friend.

There is one quality that everyone needs-patience. That is because we are all in process. We are wise to give people time and opportunity to grow into the person that God is calling them to be.

Wisdom and Sensitivity are vital relationship-building principles to take to heart in the Year of Connection.

John Shirk

Relationship Building Principle-One Another Commands

January 23rd, 2015 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – God’s people are called to live in community. The evidence of that can be found in the “One another” statements of the Bible. This week’s relationship-building principles have been taking a look at some of these “one another” statements to better understand how God wants us to relate with other members of God’s family.

First John 3:11 says, “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.”

Love is at the heart of the “one another” commands in the Bible. These specific commands scattered throughout the New Testament include: “Encourage one another, serve one another, forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another, accept one another as Christ accepted you, spur one another on toward love and good deeds, honor one another above yourselves, live in harmony with one another, offer hospitality to one another without grumbling, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, instruct one another. Be kind and compassionate to one another.

These specific “one another” statements are useful to help us examine whether or not we are walking in love as God calls us to love.

Loving God’s family with a godly attitude is a vital relationship-building principles to take to heart in the Year of Connection.

Moment Of Celebration-Accountable Relationships

August 11th, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Moment of Celebration reflects on the purpose of accountable relationships.

In seeking accountable relationships, we are enlisting the support of another to help us stay true to our commitments. In the context of faith, this relates to our commitment to following Christ.

Chip Ingram says there are a number of reasons why we need accountable relationships. We have the tendency to underestimate the power of our sinful passions. We have the tendency to overestimate our ability to handle temptation. And we have the tendency to believe that our struggles and temptations are unique.

One of God’s resources for helping us in temptation is the body of Christ. Discernment is important when establishing accountable relationships. It should be with a trusted friend who loves the Lord, and who is genuinely interested in seeing us grow in God’s grace.

Hebrews 3:12 supports accountable relationships with these words: “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

An Accountable relationship is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk

Moment Of Celebration-Wholesome Words

July 1st, 2014 No comments

JOHN SHIRK -Today’s Moment Of Celebration reflects on the uplifting impact of wholesome words.

The Apostle Paul gave the church this instruction in Ephesians 4:29-“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

This is relevant for the way we speak to other people, what we write in emails, and how we use social media. The use of blogs, Twitter, and Facebook can be used to edify other people, but these forms of communication are also used sometimes to air out complaints and grievances that hurt other people.

When communicating with others, Ephesians 4:29 gives us some good parameters to use when considering what to say and how to say it. Is what I am saying wholesome? Does it represent a holy God? Is what I am saying helpful? Will my words be timely and encouraging for building up their faith in the Lord? In the Kingdom of God, words matter, and when we use them wisely, God’s name is honored, God’s people are built up, and God’s foes are confronted with a new way of thinking that challenges them to embrace God’s love and stop resisting it.

The uplifting impact of wholesome words is a reason to be glad in the Year of Celebration.

John Shirk