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Posts Tagged ‘encouragement’

20/20 Insight-Contagious Effect of Motivation

March 19th, 2020 No comments

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

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 motivation.

Hebrews 10:24 encourages us to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

We can all probably remember an influential teacher, pastor, or coach who has mentored us to reach the next level of personal growth. They brought out the best in us and inspire us to be that kind of influence for others. The call of the Christian is to be a voice of encouragement for others to grow in love and good deeds. How can we do that? We can motivate others by our example, with words of hope, and by connecting with them on a regular basis.

Focusing on ways to motivate others in the faith gives us greater clarity for living out the Christian life.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

20/20 Insight-Encouragement of God’s Grace

February 27th, 2020 No comments

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

What we choose to see through the eyes of faith can really make a difference in how we relate with others.

An example of that can be seen in Barnabas who went to Antioch. Acts 11:23 says, “When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain to true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.”

This is what the ministry of encouragement can do in the church when prompted by the evidence of God’s grace.

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

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Red Letter Wisdom-Don’t Hinder the Lord’s Work

November 13th, 2019 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in Luke 9:50.

One of Jesus’ disciples, John, said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”

Jesus answered, “Do not stop him, for whoever is not against you is for you.”

Jesus recognized that the person driving out demons had pure motives. He was not less important, nor were his deeds any less significant because he was outside of Jesus’ close circle of disciples. This became a teachable moment for John, and it becomes a teachable moment for us too. Our lives matter to God. He takes great delight in our faith and in our service for Him. The same is true for the person next to us who seeks to honor the Lord with their lives. Treat them as members of the same team, not as opponents. Seek to bless them, and not to hinder them.

The words of Jesus inspire us to celebrate the victories of other believers and to encourage them in the Year of Redemption.  

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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Freedom Phrase-The Right Focus

October 9th, 2019 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Hebrews 12, verses 1b through verse 3.

“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. 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.”

When we face temptation, discouragement, or persecution for our faith, we can find strength by remembering the tenacity of Jesus to finish the race that was marked out for Him. Love was His motive. Future glory with His followers was His joy. His example is our inspiration.

Through Jesus, we are set free from the entanglements of sin to run the race marked out for us. 

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Red Letter Wisdom-Being a Voice of Hope

September 28th, 2019 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – Today’s Wisdom from the Red Letters is found in Luke 24:17.

Jesus asked two people walking on the road to Emmaus, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

Sometimes, there is wisdom in asking a well-timed question. Jesus gave opportunity for Cleopas and his companion to talk about their discouragement after Jesus was crucified. Without recognizing Jesus, Cleopas confided that he had hoped Jesus was the one who was going to redeem Israel. He and his companion did not know what to think about all that happened and the reports that Jesus was alive.

Then Jesus proceeded to explain what the Scriptures said about Him. While Jesus talked, their hearts burned within them. He ignited hope. Jesus walked with them during the conversation. His example shows us that being a voice of encouragement for someone involves asking good questions, offering a listening ear, sharing words of hope, and walking the journey with them.  

The words of Jesus inspire us to be a voice of hope for those who are discouraged in the Year of Redemption.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

Freedom Phrase-Hope In Our Times of Trouble

September 20th, 2019 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Redemption, today’s Freedom Phrase is based on Second Corinthians 4, verses 16 and 17.

The Apostle Paul said, “We do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

Hardships can come to us in various ways-sickness, persecution, poverty, or stressful circumstances.

Paul had these hardships, and remained hopeful in his pain. He believed that God was working out His eternal purposes in the midst of that pain. He looked beyond his temporary circumstances. In our times of trouble, we are never without hope whenever we hold on to God. The grace of Jesus encourages us with the reality of God’s love for us and His plan of eternal glory.

Through Jesus, we are set free from discouragement and despair to put our hope in God.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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.

Reason To Believe-Encouragement In The Church

October 17th, 2016 No comments

JOHN SHIRK – In the Year of Exploration, today’s Reason to Believe is encouragement in the church.

Barnabas was a role model of encouragement in the early church. Acts 11:23 records that when he went to Antioch, he saw the evidence of the grace of God. He was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

Encouragement has a way of bringing out the best in people who want to serve God. Sometimes the circumstances of life wear us down, and the support of a brother or sister in Christ can provide a spark that ignites our faith once again.

Encouragement can also prevent someone from wandering into sinful patterns. We find that in Hebrews 3:13, which says, “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” So, let’s be a modern day Barnabas and find someone to encourage in the faith today.

Encouragement in the church is a reason to believe in God’s good news.

John Shirk

john@wjtl.com

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

john@wjtl.com

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

john@wjtl.com

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

john@wjtl.com