GOODNESS

LIVE the TRUTH. THE TRUTH NEVER DIES.

Where can you find goodness?

You look for it in behaviors that help and give guidance. You look for goodness in thoughtfulness, honesty, kindness, truthfulness, faithfulness and helpfulness. You gain understanding from teachers, scientists, philosophers, preachers, friends and family. Sometimes the guidance others give does not fit. However, there is one way that does work.

FIND GOODNESS IN THE BIBLE AND IN CHRISTIANITY

In the Ten Commandments are given the laws of how to act towards God and others.

Jesus embodies how to live that truth. 

In Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan [Luke 10:29-37] he tells the story of how one person went out of his way to rescue a man who had been beaten, robbed and left to die – and in this way explains what we call the ‘Golden Rule’:

“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

When we look at our world, we see killing, murder, robbery, thieves, violence, arsonists, lying, unkindness, husbands killing wife and children – all examples of a lack of goodness.

“Now the works of the flesh are plain: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.” ~Ephesians 5:20

The opposite of goodness was also shown on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, when a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic Al Qaeda killed 2,996; injured 6,000 and inflicted $10 billion in property damage including the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Surely, we all want something better for our worldEncouragement and appreciation bring greater good than insulting and hurting others ever couldThe evidence of goodness was demonstrated in the reactions of the police, firefighters and the self-sacrifice of the airline passengers who made the decision to crash their plane before it could cause further damage.

JESUS SHOWS BY EXAMPLE

The goodness of our Savior was manifested in the willingness of Jesus Christ to bear malicious treatments by the Roman Guards, and to endure the cross, because he knew under the will of the Father that this would pay the penalty for our sins.

“And when the hour came, he sat at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, ‘I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; for I tell you I shall not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.’ And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, ‘take this, and divide it among yourselves; for I tell you that from now on I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes’ And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body…” Luke 22:14-20

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” ~Psalm 23:6

“Be exalted, O Lord in thy strength! We will sing and praise thy power.” ~Psalm 21:13

God is good. He brings us to life. He gives us mothers and fathers who are to be good examples and children who are to follow them. He calls upon us to follow his teachings and his examples.

HIS GOODNESS IS OUR SALVATION

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3:16-18

We should not despair, for we have a God who loves us. We have a Bible that encourages us. We have fellow Christians who strengthen us. Let us pray to God to heal those who are harmed by those who do not follow His example.

If we are bewildered or discouraged, we should refresh ourselves in the teachings of scripture. If we do not know what to do, we should seek out something worthwhile that fits with God’s purposes in our lives.

“I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yea, wait for the Lord!” ~Psalm 27:13,14;

“O Lord, my God, I cried to thee for help, and thou hast healed me.” ~Psalm 30:2

“And we desire teaching one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” ~Hebrews 6:11,12

“I love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, My rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.” ~Psalm 18:1-3

Pray to God for mercy and wisdom.

From ‘The Great Ideas’, Spinosa defines ‘good’ as that which we certainly know is useful to us:“Anything which is useful or exchangeable has the character of an economic good.” 

Therefore – for your wife: Give flowers, a good book for your husband, and some coins to your children.

For YOURSELF, give a copy of my book, Answering Questions People Ask About Christianity. 

 

ORDER Online here or by telephone at (626) 281-7221.

$13.00 and FREE shipping

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings to YOU!

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 OUR ASSIGNMENT?

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We are privileged to know about Jesus. He is our Savior, our teacher, our master. Jesus Christ came from Heaven to Earth that we might be enlightened. Although there are many appealing and significant aspects to the life of Jesus Christ, the most important is that he is the Savior of the world. His suffering and death on the cross for the sins of mankind was as significant as his marvelous life. A person may become a follower of Jesus, and approach in lifestyle and knowledge of the standards Christ represented or accomplished. The prophets reveal many truths regarding the nature and purposes of God. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world, and scripture proclaims that he is the only Savior. Christianity is not correctly classified as one road to God among several that are available. In spite of the urges of the eminent historian, Arnold Toynbee and others, Christianity cannot be mixed in a bowl with the other religions of the world, and baked in a syncretistic oven to produce a more refined religion that will unite all of mankind.

“For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

GOD MADE THE WAY TO SAVE US – IF WE LET HIM

The claims of Christianity and the other religions of the world (with the possible exception of Judaism) are mutually contradictory in this one most vital matter: How we establish a living relationship with God. Other religions appeal to the ability of people to do something about their situation so that they might merit favor of the god they worship.

The New Testament clearly states the absolute teachings regarding our own salvation and that of others, that it is not by our own deeds that we obtain righteousness, but because of what Jesus has done for us.

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his MERCY he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost…”~ Titus 3:5 

It is through Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf that our forgiveness is found. We are washed clean and find mercy, grace and new life in Jesus Christ.

Mercy is when we DON’T get what we DO deserve. Grace is when we DO get what we DON’T deserve.

EACH ONE MUST DECIDE

Each one must decide whether Christ is one man among many great men, or whether his contribution is unique—of absolute importance.

Some might be most impressed by his ministries of healing, while others would be inclined to emphasize his stature as a theologian and explicator of the Old Testament. The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew,ch,5) is the very pinnacle of the summaries of the moral and ethical teachings of the Old Testament. Jesus’ influence upon the literature of the world—cannot be ignored. No other man has had so pervasive an influence upon the essays, philosophical treatises, novels, and ordinances. The same is true of music, art, and even legal and cultural affairs. Without question, the total impact of the life of Jesus Christ is unsurpassed.

Nothing will deaden the church of Jesus Christ so quickly as the idea, that after all, God will somehow, in some way, reach everyone and bring them to Heaven. This erroneous concept is debilitating in efforts to expand the gospel. It is important to follow Jesus in this life, and to trust God for the forgiveness of our sins that is found in repentance and faithfulness. Jesus is our teacher and example. If our understanding of the Bible is strong, and our lives are faithful to our God, we will be happy and encouraged. This is a matter of ultimate importance. Subtle changes may occur in the direction of the Christian community. The edge may lose its vitality, esprit de corps, and devotion—not because Christians are happy that any one is separated from God, but because the significance of their call to be witnesses for Jesus Christ has been greatly reduced. The Christian church must not sacrifice its convictions. Christians will not give of themselves, as they should, unless they are profoundly convinced by the Holy Spirit through Biblical teachings that it is vitally important for a person to know Jesus Christ as Savior.

God will not compel anyone to believe. On more than one occasion, the Pharisees demanded a sign from Jesus. They wanted a demonstration so powerful that if what Jesus said was true, they would be absolutely compelled to believe. And Jesus replied to them,

“An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign.” 

God has created us as moral and responsible beings who have the freedom of choice to either love, serve and follow him — or to outright reject him. Jesus never performed a miracle that would force those who witnessed it to believe. However, he gives great evidences of his existence.To those who are honestly open to the spirit of God, it is evident that the power of God works through the miracles of Jesus Christ. 

ALL OF US WHO BELIEVE IN JESUS ARE CALLED TO SERVE HIM

Our Savior, Jesus Christ, calls us to himself. When we understand the teachings of Jesus it will lead us to happiness and well being. How can we do this? We are to sit at his feet and learn from him. We are to follow him and obey him. Parents are to teach their children to believe in Jesus—and to live as he would have us live. We are encourage by Hebrews 12:1-2:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings to closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…”

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one who is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterances of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” (I Corinthians 12:4-10)

Jesus gave us this promise, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

God wants us to use our gifts to serve Him and bring the good news of Jesus Christ to the world in which we live. 

Jesus Christ can bring peace to each one of us – to the family, to the nation, and to the world.

Find out by reading what He is saying to you every day in the Bible!

Check out our helpful books at www.gogreenleaf.com.

Warm wishes,

Foster H. Shannon
PS – Have you read my book, Answering Questions People Ask About Christianity
It’s one of the greatest tools to help you discover the treasures in the Bible!

You can order the book directly from this link at GoGreenleaf.com

And as always, I am here to help with any questions.

Please contact me by email:

Or call (626) 281-7221

Blessings to all!

Foster

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!




 

BLESSINGS FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT

“…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord” Ephesians 5:19

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

The Bible is full of gems. One of those is Asaph, who was of the tribe of Levi. He was appointed by King David to be a musical leader of his people.

I Chronicles 15;16, “David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brethren as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals to raise sounds of joy. So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brethren Asaph the son of Berechiah;”

I Chronicles 15:19, The singers Heman, Asaph, and Ethan are to sound bronze cymbals;”

I Chronicles 16:4-7, “Moreover [David] appointed certain of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the Lord to invoke, to thank, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel. Asaph was the chief,… Asaph was to sound the cymbals and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow trumpets continually, before the ark of the covenant of God. Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the Lord by Asaph and his brethren”

Asaph was a musician, a poet, and the author of many Psalms inspired by the Holy Spirit. His first Psalm is number 50. His Psalms then continue in Book III. Psalms 73 to 83. These are surely wonderful Psalms. They speak a great deal of our lives today. I encourage you to read and to re-read them. You will find blessing and encouragement.

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” (70:14,15)

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (73:26)

“But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my strength and my refuge, that I may tell of all thy works.” (73:28)

“I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; yea, I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate on all thy work, and muse on thy mighty deeds.” (73:11,12)

“Pour out thy anger on the nations that do not know thee, and on the kingdoms that do not call on thy name!” (79:6)

“Restore us, O God; let thy face shine, that we may be saved.” (80:3)

“But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would have none of me. So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels. (81:11.12)

“I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (81:16)

“so do thou pursue them with thy tempest and terrify them with thy hurricane!” (80:15)

“Let them know that thou alone, whose name is the Lord, art the most high over all the earth.” (83:18)

These passages were written in the days of David (1040-970 BC). We see how consistent God is in all of his teachings, reminding us of his greatness and glory, and inviting us to believe in him, and to be faithful to him. Alas, those who turn their backs on him shall perish. We add these passages from the Old Testament, recognizing their harmony with what we read in the New Testament. We are reminded that God loves us; that he calls us to trust in him, and we shall belong to him 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!




 

WE HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF SERVING OUR LORD

1 Chronicles 29:14b “…Everything comes from You, and all we give comes from Your hand.”

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

In 1960; President, John F. Kennedy, said in his Inaugural address,

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” 

The message was that if we receive, we are to give. It is disappointing to run into people whose only concern is what they can get. We receive great riches in Jesus Christ: He teaches us how to properly live our lives. He nurtures and strengthens us. He paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. We are his children. It is appropriate for us to become his servants.

BELIEF—WORSHIP—SERVING

It is most important that we hear the word of God; that we believe in Jesus Christ; that we affirm him as our Savior and are baptized. We ask God to guide us and to care for us. We are to honor him and to obey him. God calls us to serve him. He gives us gifts that fit; that are appropriate:

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are vanities of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (I Corinthians 12:4-7)

We who believe in Christ are called upon to serve God.

“And these words which I command you this day shall be on your hearts; and you shall teach them diligently to your children.” (Deuteronomy 6:6) 

“Keep my commandments and you will live, keep my teachings as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers, write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Proverbs 7:2,3) 

“And Jesus came and said to them, All authority in heaven and in earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:19,20)

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

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another in all wisdom…”  (Colossians 3:16) 

“I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”  (Jude, verse 3)

“…and what you have heard from me before many witness entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:2)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

“You are the light of the world….Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13 & 16)

We are to bow before the authority of our Lord! We are to grow in his grace. We are to expect opportunities to serve him. We are to prepare ourselves so that we can adequately give others reasons to believe.

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!




 

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Yesterday, we sat with some friends to view eastward the San Gabriel Valley from our balcony that is on a ridge about 300 feet above the Valley Floor. The fireworks celebrations, in surrounding cities and homes, was impressive. It underlines the importance of the Declaration of Independence. Today is one day after the fourth of July, one of the great celebrations of our nation. It was on the fourth of July, 1776 that fifty-six prominent men signed the Declaration of Independence. Forty were members of churches. The others were either Deists or Unitarians. The largest church number was twelve Presbyterians.

What was the basis for political separation of twelve colonies from Great Britain? The colonists viewed King George III (1738-1820)as a tyrant seeking to dominate the thirteen colonies from the British Isles. What was their rationale? It was that God was sovereign, and that he willed freedom for his people. The king had ordered unreasonable taxes on the colonies. He had sent British troops and German mercenaries to bring the colonies under his will.

What was the rationale of the colonists?: That a sovereign God had given them freedom. What follows is the beginning statement of the Declaration of Independence:

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, their separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinion of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

…“appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,”…“And, for the support of the declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

The background of this declaration was the Great Awakening led by Jonathan Edwards, Gilbert Tennent, John Wesley, and George Whitefield, “The Great Awakening was an evangelical and revitalization movement that swept Protestant America and especially the American Colonies in the 1730s and 1740s, leaving a permanent impact on American Protestants “ (Wikipedia)

Whitefield had a great love for America. He sailed to America in 1739, 1744, 1754, 1764, and 1769. He drew exceedingly large crowds, and made an impressive impact. He became a friend of Deist Benjamin Franklin, who published many of his sermons, in his weakly paper. Franklin was awestruck with Whitefield’s oratorical power. The result of the Great Awakening was that a great foundation was laid for the Declaration of Independence, 13 July 1776!

We believe that the Bible is the word of God, that it is given to us through prophets and apostles. The Bible emphasizes truth and condemns lying and deceit. It reminds us that God is sovereign, and that we are to believe and honor him. He teaches us to treasure what is right and to avoid what is wrong. Selfishness, cheating, stealing, lying, deceiving can do great damage to any society. The Bible teaches us to respect and help others:

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

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!




 

THE BOOK OF A LOVING HEAVENLY FATHER

Paul writing from prison in Rome (Illustration from a 19th Century Bible)

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

One of the reasons that we value the Bible is that God speaks to us personally as we read the scriptures. I believe that a wonderful personal word for us is found in Colossians. The Apostle Paul writes from prison in Rome. Whatever situation he is in—he is engaged in serving his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He addresses those who are in Colossae. Thirteen of the twenty-seven books in the New Testament are written by Paul. The saints (members of the church) have heard the gospel and have believed in Jesus.

Colossae was one of many Churches in the Roman province of Asia. It is from this province that the name, Asia, later extended from the Aegean Sea to the Bearing Straits. Epaphras, a close associate of the Apostle Paul, brought Christ to Colossae. It was Paul who came to Asia, established himself at Ephesus, and directed the work of Christ in the province of Asia. The letter was addressed to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ at Colossae

Paul speaks his hope for the church at Colossae:

“And so, from the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:9-14)

The above quotation is an incisive message of God to each of us. This is what he wants for us:

That we may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will

That we may absorb God’s spiritual wisdom and understanding

That we may lead a life worthy of the Lord and pleasing to him

That we may bear fruit as we increase in the knowledge of God

That we may receive strength according to God’s glorious might

That we will be delivered from the dominion of darkness

That we might be transferred to the kingdom of Jesus Christ

That we might be redeemed and forgiven of our sins

Some additional teachings from Colossians:

“…as therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6,7)

“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices.” (Colossians 3:9)

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2)

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!




 

GOD’S ANSWERS for Christians Today

By Foster Shannon

Why GOD’S Answers?

As a pastor, I have often been challenged by younger members of my congregations with
questions about how to relate the Bible and God’s words to today’s world.  I find more people today
rejecting Christianity because they believe it not applicable to their lives and is thus, irrelevant.

I suspect some Christians are “straying” since the answers to daily dilemmas and major life
issues are not evident or easily attainable. Perhaps, considering God’s point of view has
become less important for many. And yet, HIS are the only answers that truly give any lasting value to our lives.

How do we find the way?

 

“Seek and ye SHALL find.

Knock and the door SHALL be opened.

ASK and it SHALL be given.”

Searching for the truth in the Bible can seem like a daunting challenge.

There is always something new to learn, and new questions to be raised.

And, like digging for gold in the ground, it can be a long and arduous task.

However, as one who has been mining it’s pages for many years, I have done the digging for you.

An experienced guide, I will help you explore the territory to find it’s riches without getting lost along the way.

For instance, my book, Answering Questions People Ask About Christianity is one of the great tools I have created to help you discover the treasures the Bible offers, as well as a dynamic reference in sharing nuggets of truth with others.

You can order the book directly from this link at GoGreenleaf.com

And as always, I am always here to help with any questions.

Please contact Foster directly at his email address:

The answers are there.

Don’t give up.

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!




 

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.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

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.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!