CALLED TO SERVE

With GOD as the HEAD… We can be the Arms and Legs!

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

God has rightly assessed our human nature. We are sinners who foolishly ignore and contradict the word of God. The Bible warns of the dangers of evil, that multitudes have chosen darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil. Adam and Eve, whom God made, rebelled against God and turned to sin, rejecting God’s teaching and guidance. That rebellious spirit has been our inheritance ever since. The Bible teaches that we all are in conflict with evil. We must flee evil and not embrace it.

“For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him…And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:17 & 19)

What the Bible says about human beings is accurate. He calls upon us to turn to him. From God flows discernment, truth, righteousness, goodness, understanding, and salvation. God wants us to be people of integrity, adhering to the truth, keeping promises, doing what is right, loving what is good.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1,2)

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

We have the privilege of learning about Jesus, believing in him, finding life in him. He teaches us what is right. We need to be his followers. He bids us join him in his ministry in this life.

“But seek first [the Father’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:30)

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation God’s own people that you may that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Peter 1:9)

As believers in Jesus Christ we are not a separate clan loosely associated with him. We are stunned to realize that we are called to work with and for him.

“And whatever you do in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17)

God has called us to a great service! We my tend to think of Jesus as distant, not closely connected. Actually, he is right with us, wherever we may be. Let us not say that we cannot help. Let us accept the opportunities that he sets before us. Isn’t it great that our Lord needs us in his work! Should we not recognize that we are honored to be called on by our Lord to work with him?

“And [Jesus] said to them , “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” (Luke 10:2)

The Lord calls some to be missionaries—but what about the mission God calls us to, where we are?

HE IS RISEN!

HE IS NOT HERE! HE IS RISEN! The resurrection is proof of the finished work of Christ, overcoming all sin and death: He died, so we could LIVE. “Not by works of righteousness which WE have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” Titus 3:5

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was arrested, falsely accused, Judas betrayed him.

“When Morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death, and they bound him and led him away and delivered him to Pilate the governor.” (Matthew 27:1,2)

The Roman ruler, Pontius Pilate, knew that Jesus was innocent, yet condemned him to death, to please his accusers. His disciples were dismayed by his arrest, condemnation, and crucifixion. They were crushed. The one who was their life and their hope was dead! What could they do, but mourn?

Jesus died as a consequence of the abuse that he endured, and the crucifixion nailing him to a cross, and letting him hang there until he died.

“And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.” (Mark 15:27)

“And when [Pilate] learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.” (Mark15:45)

“but when [the soldiers] came to Jesus and saw the he was already dead, they did not break his legs.” (John 19:13)

“And entering the tomb [the women] saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were amazed. And he said to them, ‘Do not be amazed, you seek Jesus of Nazareth who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here. See the place where they laid him.’” (Mark 16:6)

Joseph of Arimathea secured the body of Jesus from Pilate, and with the assistance of Nicodemus buried him in his own tomb. Those who believed in him wept, yet I think that they waited to see what God would do. The pharisees came to Pilate and secured a military guard at the tomb. They remembered that he had said that he would rise from the dead.

The Appearances of the risen Jesus

On the third day from his crucifixion, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb intending to further prepare his body.

“An angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat upon it.” (Matthew 28:2)

The angel told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead. They ran to tell his disciples.

“And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.” Mary Magdalen went and said to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” and she told them that he had said these things to her.” (John 20:18)

“On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews Jesus came and stood among them, and said to them ‘Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)

“To them he presented himself alive after his passion, by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)

The church was built on the teachings of Jesus, upon his miracles, and upon his resurrection. In his suffering on the cross, he paid the penalty for all of our sins. Without the resurrection, there would be no church, no salvation, and no hope. Let us rejoice at the resurrection of our Savior!

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
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WHY DOES GOD ALLOW EVIL TO EXIST?

Illustration from Foster Shannon’s Book, “The Scroll With Seven Seals”: http://www.gogreenleaf.com/the-scroll-with-seven-seals-what-the-book-of-revelation-really-says/

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

One of the questions asked by both believers and unbelievers is, “Why does God allow evil to exist?” We approach the subject of evil with humility. We recognize hat there are multitudes of factors that are beyond our understanding. The arguments from atheists and others go something like this:

  1. A good God would destroy evil.
  2. An all powerful God could destroy evil.
  3. Evil is not destroyed. Therefore God cannot be good, nor can he be all-powerful.

If we insist that God must not allow evil, then He should never allow inconveniences or disappointments. Neither would He allow warfare and disease. Should He not always protect us from traffic accidents and arguments? Should He not be responsible to see that in marriage, we never have a disagreement? If God is good, is it right for Him to deny us any pleasure? How is it that people can blame God for the bad things that occur, yet not be willing to praise Him for the good things that He pours out upon us? Are the atheists sulking, because God cannot be treated as if he were Aladdin’s genie?

God is not our enemy! We commit all kinds of sin, and then we ask why does not God do something about it? The answer is that God teaches us in the Scriptures regarding the kind of life that we should live. Through the new birth, He enables us to live virtuous lives. Reckoning with our sin and our inability to save ourselves, God is calling us to trust in Him for our salvation.

Where does the critic get the moral authority to sit in judgment upon God? Does our behavior throughout history, confirm us as wise and competent judges? Our troubles as human beings are the consequences of our own wrongs and sins. We fight wars. We steal from one another. We murder people whom we hate, or from whom we would take their possessions. Our primary enemy is not society; it is ourselves. We commit sins of all kinds, and then we ask why does God not do something about it? The answer is that God teaches us in the Scriptures regarding the kind of life that we should live. Through the new birth, God enables us to live virtuous lives. Reckoning with our sin and our inability to save ourselves, God is calling us to trust in him for our salvation:

“And there is salivation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts :12)

We live in a world that is in turmoil. We see it in the violence in the streets in many American cities; in the killing that continues in Syria and Iraq, with little hope of resolve. We see it in the governing regime in North Korea. We see it in the city of Chicago with a murder rate that is out of control, much of it blacks killing blacks.

Our future and our hope is with our Savior. He is our teacher. He is our helper. He is the God who will save us. “The Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom then shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
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THE TRUTH OF THE WORD OF GOD IS EVIDENT

“I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” John 10:9

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We live in the world, hoping that it will be good, but to our dismay, we find it filled with much evil: thievery, deceit, murder, warfare, adultery, licentiousness. The Bible makes sense. Its message is the same from beginning to end. It tells us what we are and why we are. It lays out a path for us that we may have a good life. God created the universe, the world in which we live. He created the plants and the animals, and he created men and women in his image.

Either the universe just happened without any explanation, or it was planned and conceived by God. It is a contradiction to say that the universe and all that is in it, just happened! Without God there would be nothing. Those who affirm intelligent design are right.

“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse;” (Romans 1:18,19)

Regarding this issue, read Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, and a dozen others who are on our Green Leaf Press book list. Check our website, www.gogreenleaf.com for books that will enlighten you and encourage you, and help you to be a teacher of others.

God has rightly assessed our human nature. We are sinners who foolishly ignore and contradict the word of God. The Bible warns clearly and accurately of the dangers of evil; that multitudes have chosen darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil. The Bible states that we all are in conflict with evil. We must reject evil and not embrace it.

“For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him…And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:17 & 19)

God provides a path of salvation for all who will believe in him. God understands that we have no ability to save ourselves. Because of our inability, he has taken our salvation upon himself. Salvation is in Jesus Christ. We ask him to forgive us of our sins that we might belong to God. We are warned in Scripture that there are many who will not believe, and their future will be disaster.

“I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36,37)

“Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. He who does good is of God; he who does evil has not seen God.” (3 John 11)

Jesus invites us to entrust ourselves to Him.

The words of Jesus from John, chapter 10:

I am the door; if anyone enters by me, he will be saved, and go in and go out and find pasture.”

“I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.”

“I give them eternal life and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

READ THE BIBLE EVERY DAY

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We live in the world, hoping that it will be good, but to our dismay, we find it filled with much evil: thievery, deceit, cheating, murder, warfare, adultery, and licentiousness.

The Bible makes sense. Its message is the same from beginning to end. It tells us what we are and why we are. It lays out a path for us that we may have a good life. God created the universe, the world that we live in. He created the plants and the animals, and he created men and women in his image.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1,2)

If we are to grow in the grace of God, we must keep close to him. We speak to him when we pray. He speaks to us through his word, the Bible. It is essential for us to be studying in that book every day to see what God is teaching us, and what he wants us to do. If you read the Bible every day, keep it up. You should have learned to value it, and that you would not quit. If you have not been reading every day, chose a plan for every morning or afternoon or evening and hopefully set aside one-half hour for your reading.

“O Lord in the morning, you do hear my voice; in the morning, I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” (Psalm 5:3)

It is God who teaches us right and wrong, so that we may know how we should live. Indeed, he has embedded a conscience in us , so that we may be convinced of what is right and what is wrong. The conscience is exceedingly valuable. We are warned not to corrupt our consciences.

“Whereas the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.” (I Timothy 1:5)

God has given us the teachings of the prophets, the teachings of Jesus, and the teachings of his disciples. His authority is written on our hearts.

God seeks our wellbeing. He wants us to have a good life. He wants us to be healthy. He desires what is good for us.

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you. shall be put to shame; behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart, but you shall cry out for pain of heart, and shall wail for anguish of spirit.” (Isaiah 65:13,14)

We need to be in harmony with the God who created us. We need to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn from him. We must be students of the Bible, drinking deeply of the truth he gives for our welfare.

The Bible gives great evidence of truth in that it teaches us what is right and warns us against what is wrong. First we are to love God, and also we are to love our neighbors as ourselves.

“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3,4)

“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)

“This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it, for then you shall make your way prosperous and then you shall have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)

  (Matthew 11:28-30)

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

WHAT IS THE WORLD?

“Carrying The Weight Of The World?” Illustration by Ruth Elliott-Hilsdon, 2017

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” (I Corinthians 1:20)

This week, I asked my dear wife, what is the world? She immediately responded that it is the planet that we live on. How could I contradict that? The truth is that we use this word in two different ways. When Jesus speaks of the world, he means the atmosphere, the challenge of the culture that we live in. The world is that part of the culture that excuses doing things that are contrary to the teachings of the Bible. The world ignores or contradicts the teachings of the Bible. The world is that part of society that urges us to participate in activities that can harm us, and are contradictory to the scriptures and to wisdom. Why not smoke marijuana, every one else is doing it? There is a contest in this life between what is right and what is wrong. We do what is right, because the Bible teaches us. We are to worship God, not the world!

The world is not to be our director or our guide. We are to relish the word of God, and to seek to lead a life that pleases him. When we are faced with choices that are wrong, we must choose what is right, even though it hurts. Truth is better than falsehood. Kindness is better than meanness. Pleasing God is better than pleasing the world. We lay up treasures in Heaven. We have a challenge. We have a cause. “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:33)

“As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting, upon those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.” (Psalm 103:15-18)

We know that God loves us. We do not see life as mean. We see purpose in life. In Christ, you are given guidance of what road to take. We are taught to treat others with respect. God gives us a good grasp of what is right and what is wrong. We are delivered from moral confusion. We understand that we are accountable to God. We do what is right, because the Bible teaches us. 

We are not to be surprised when trouble overtakes us. We know that our healing comes from God. We know that our guidance comes from God.

“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30)

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

TRUTH IS VALUABLE

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

I am repeating myself. I have said it before, and I will say it again that God is a marvelous Heavenly Father who cares greatly for our welfare. Thus, he gives us the Ten Commandments, the teachings of Jesus, of the prophets, and of the apostles. The teachings of the Bible are very strong regarding the importance of the truth. God wants us to be happy! Lying is condemned in the Bible.

Last November, we went through a rough experience in the USA in electing a President, in electing Senators and members of the House of Representatives. Governors of states were elected, members of state legislators were elected. We depend upon truthfulness from the candidates so that we may evaluate their worthiness. Some do not always tell the truth. When they lie, they render us a great disservice. However, we should not call mistakes lies. John tells Mary that the sun rose at 6:10 this morning. Actually it rose at 6:30. John was not lying. He was mistaken, he actually thought that 6:10 was correct. (By the way, most of us make this kind of mistake. We need to do our best that what we say is accurate.)

Our God has made it clear in the Bible that lying is a sin and that the results of lying can be catastrophic. The ninth commandment: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:16) You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another (Leviticus 19:11) Jesus then said to the Jews had believed in him, If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31)

Ambassadors were sent to Washington by Hirohito, the Emperor of Japan, in early December,1941. They assured our government that their purposes were peaceful. They were still in Washington, 7 December 1941, when the Japanese viciously attacked Pearl Harbor. They lied, and the result was a terrible war that brought death and destruction.

Husbands and wives must not lie to each other. If they lie, they lose confidence with one another. Parents should not lie to their children, neither should the children lie to their parents. Managers must not lie to their employees, neither should the employee lie to his or her manager. The result can be harmful for the business and for the person who lies. Truth is essential to make things work right.

God means for his children to be people of integrity. They can be relied on for the truth, for reliability, for dependability. Teachers must tell the truth; otherwise they will confuse and harm their students. Pharmacists must be truthful to their customers, lest they lead them into harm. The one who lies puts himself in the bad position of telling other lies to support the first one. The statement of Jesus, “the truth will make you free” will make us free of the consequence of lying. We will be free of having harmed another person.

We are called to be witnesses for Jesus Christ. “But you are a chosen race a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Peter 3:9) Truth is the coin of the realm. We expect people to speak the truth to us, and when they do not we resent it. Our God speaks to us in truth. He is absolutely reliable. He can be fully depended upon.

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

MAKING DECISIONS

decision2

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

All of us must make decisions. What time do we get up in the morning? My dear wife has to decide what it is that we should eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (yes, I do give her some suggestions and some help). What college should I attend? What vocation shall I choose? How shall I dress today? Which bills should I pay first? Where shall we go on vacation?

We have the responsibility to choose what we shall believe. There are only so many options: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism, Agnosticism, New Age, (Syncretism, a mixture of religions) We should choose the one that is most true, that makes sense, that is most consistent, that upholds goodness and avoids harm. In the world in which we live, we have seven choices. Atheism and Agnosticism are choices of disbelieving in God or questioning the likelihood of God’s existence. Every person has a choice to make, whether they like it or not. There is either the wrong religion or the right religion. I think it is essential to remind people that they only have seven choices, and which choice they make is vitally important!

We live in the world, hoping that all will be good, but to our dismay, we find it filled with much evil: Thievery, jealousy, cruelty, lying, deceit, murder, warfare, adultery, licentiousness. Where is the path to goodness? The Bible makes sense. Its message is the same from beginning to end. It tells us what we are and why we are. It lays out a path for us that we may have a good life. God created the universe, the world that we live in. He created the plants and the animals, and he created men and women in his image.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1,2)

We know that we need to be better people. There are many people who are incredibly bad. The Bible speaks to this reality. It urges upon us a good life. God seeks our salvation. We find salvation in Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for our sins. It is only in Jesus Christ that we find forgiveness and new life. The Bible assesses our situation far better than any other religion.

God provides a path of salvation for all who will believe in him and trust him. God understands that we have no ability to save ourselves. Because of our inability, he has taken our salvation upon himself. Jesus came to Earth for the people of this planet. He offered himself up for our sins. God is triune; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ came to Earth in order to atone for our sins. We cannot atone for our sins. The heavenly Father punished his innocent Son for our sins. Jesus is our Savior. With the sacrifice of his life, he paid the penalty for our sin. We are invited to believe in him, trust in him, obey him, rejoice in him. In these matters Christianity is unique.

On making decisions, make sure to watch this special interview with Foster, on the Book of Revelation:
Click on the image above to see excerpts from an interview with Dr. Shannon talking about the book of Revelation!

Click on the image above to see the video.

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

NEW BIRTH/GOOD NEWS

Monarch butterfly emerging from its' chrysalis.

Monarch butterfly emerging from its’ chrysalis.

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Sometimes people have a negative attitude toward Christianity. They focus on what you can’t do rather than on what you can do. The word, Gospel, means good news. The Bible tells us that we have new birth when we believe in Jesus Christ.

“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” ~John 1:12,13

“You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;” ~I Peter 1:23

New birth is definitely a positive, not a negative. New life in Jesus Christ is to be preferred to old life without him. When we believe in Jesus, we recognize that we have been given much. We have been adopted into God’s family. We have become joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and are promised a wonderful destiny. We find the assurances of heaven in many places.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” ~I Peter 1:3,4 

The Bible assures us that when we depart from this life, we will be with our Lord in heaven.

“Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” ~John 14:1-3

Last week, we had the privilege of attending the Presbyterian Fellowship meeting in San Diego. One of the messages that we heard was from the pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Damascus, Syria. His message was quiet and soft spoken. It was based on I Peter, chapter one. I had to listen carefully to hear him. The message was good, but what especially caught me was his demeanor. He is living and working in one of the most dangerous places in the world–especially for Christians—and his peace and confidence that he would carry on his ministry whether it be life or death was amazing.

The new life, when we are joined with our Savior in heaven, will be marvelous beyond our comprehension. We should celebrate this, but we should also celebrate the transforming work God does in our lives now. We are not only to love God, we are to love our neighbor, and to seek his well being as we would seek our own well being. Our patterns of life are changed for the best. Jesus Christ becomes our leader and our guide. We do not lie. We do not seek revenge. We become students of the Bible. We accept the Ten Commandments as a chief guide for our lives. We have a desire that others believe in Jesus as we have believed in him. In the realm of marriage, we learn to give up our selfishness and seek the well being of our husband or wife. To believe in Jesus Christ is to live forever!

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

CHRISTMAS IS NEAR

The Greatest Gift…

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We see wonderful Christmas decorations as we drive around town. If you listen to KUSC-FM, at this time of year, you are listening to great Christmas music. The Christmas season is properly a time of joy. It is also a time for families and dinners and gifts. It is our celebration of the birth of our Savior in Bethlehem. A devout young woman named Mary was appointed by God to be the mother of the Savior. She must have been unbelievably stunned when the angel Gabriel told her that she was to be the mother of the Messiah.

“In the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus….And Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I have no husband….And Mary said, Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word and the angel departed from her. (From Luke 1:26-38)

Mary did not say to the Angel Gabriel that he had come to the wrong town and was speaking to the wrong woman. She accepted God’s will for her life! Perhaps, it was easier than we think, because she knew many of the Old Testament passages that spoke of a coming Messiah:

God spoke to Moses:

“The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brethren—him you shall heed.” Deuteronomy 18:15

“…But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days.” Micah 5:2

“For unto us a child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder; and his name will be called Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

We gather in our churches to celebrate the birth of our Savior. We read the passages that pertain to his birth. We sing the glorious hymns of Christmas. We offer our thanks to God. There are a lot of things that we can do, but we must remember that the great gift in Christmas is Jesus Christ. The first Christmas gifts were given by the Magi to our Savior and his family.

“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

Foster H. Shannon
More about Foster…
Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!