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!




 

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!




 

FAITH AND CONFIDENCE

lion-in-mirror

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“If my people, who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

I was ordained for ministry in March 1959, since before that time and to the present, I have been preaching, teaching, and writing about the significance and meaning of the Bible. I understand that some people are confused by the Bible, and frankly others have chosen to reject it. The foundation of what the Bible teaches is that we are to have a living relationship with our God forever. That God has created the universe and all forms of life. That God has created us in his image; we are his offspring, and he desires that we live with him forever.

The essential matter for all of us is that we are to live in obedience with what God teaches us. A serious obstacle is the powers and forces of evil that would draw us into their realm. We need understanding, and we are faced with choices—and all too frequently we may be tempted by what is at hand instead of the grace and mercy and glory of God. Even the best of Christians will acknowledge that they struggle with their sin (they have made wrong choices).

Our God understands our predicament. We need forgiveness. In the Old Testament times, that forgiveness came through confession, repentance, and offering sacrifices. Even though we are dealing with more than two thousand years in the Old Testament, we learn that our forgiveness and salvation comes through Jesus Christ: the atonement and salvation that was made possible through the cross of Jesus Christ.

“For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” II Corinthians 5:21

God took upon himself our salvation, as he came into this world as Jesus Christ. God is triune, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father condemned the Son on the cross for our sins, we receive him by believing in him, and seeking forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Remember the words of Joshua 24:15,

“Choose you this day whom you will serve.”

We are responsible to cast our lot with our Savior. In him, we find forgiveness for all of our sins. Our salvation is not in us. It is in the grace and mercy of God in placing our sins in our beloved Savior.

“[Jesus] came to his own home and his own people received him not. 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 1:11-13

The words of Jesus:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.” John 10L27,28

We can look into an imaginary mirror, and become disgusted with ourselves. We need to look to Jesus and trust in him. He is our Savior. His promises are sure.

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.
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FORGIVENESS

forgive-me
By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Please Read: Matthew 18:23-35

A very rich king had loaned ten thousand talents to one of his servants. This would be a very large sum, probably the equivalent of several million dollars today. After a period of time, the king called upon the servant to repay what he had borrowed. The servant said he no longer had the money; he could not pay. As a consequence the king ordered the servant to be sold with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment would be made for them. The servant was shocked, he fell on his knees and begged the king to forgive him and that somehow, he would be able repay the loan. The king had pity on him, and ordered him released, and the debt forgiven.

The text tells us that when he went out, he met a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii (call it one hundred dollars). He grabbed the servant by the neck, and demanded that repayment be made. The servant was unable to repay, so he fell down on his knees, and begged for forgiveness. The king’s servant ordered his fellow servant to be put in prison, until he should pay the debt. Other servants reported to the king what he had done. The king summoned the servant who had been forgiven much. The king rebuked him, and ordered him put in jail until full payment be made. Jesus said, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

The meaning of this parable is obvious. We come to God seeking forgiveness for all of our sins, because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. He forgives us for every sin: what we have thought, what we have said, what we have done. We need to seek his forgiveness every day!

Matthew 18:21, “Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”

I hope that we all get the point! What God has done in forgiving us is exceedingly greater than any forgiveness we may give. When we forgive a member of our family, or an employer, or a teacher, or someone that made an unfilled promise—we must not carry around the faults of others for all of our lives. It will dishonor our Savior. Our hurt can turn into bitterness; we can become slaves in resentment; we can even become self-righteous.

Our Lord wants us to be free of resentment and hatred. I am not suggesting that we should commend bad manners, or crime, or evil. We honor our Lord when we look through the cross of salvation and forgive. Indeed, we can rejoice in the grace and mercy of our Lord! We can show our gratitude through our faith and our loyalty.

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!




 

TRUSTING IN THE BIBLE

Photo thanks to Mareesha, for creating it and sharing on Photobucket.

Thanks to Mareesha, for creating and sharing this photo on Photobucket.

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Many neglect the study of the Bible. Many ignore it. Some criticize it. How can we be assured to read the Bible with confidence? How can we find blessings in the Bible? The scriptures teach us, from the beginning, that the words of the Bible are the words of God. God has spoken through prophets, through angels, through apostles, and through Jesus, the Son of God.

God is the creator of the universe. All of the galaxies; all of the stars; all of the planets have been created by him. Everything that is living, plant and animal have been created by him. Every human being is created in God’s image. How do we know that the words of the prophets and apostles are authentic? Because of the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the recognition by their contemporaries that what they heard came from the Lord.

The Bible is consistent from beginning to end. It is the same God from Genesis to Revelation. It is evident that our great God, who has created all things, and people in his image, should communicate with us. How marvelous is his revelation! God wants us to know about him and his purposes. His purpose is that we should believe in him, and live with him in eternity. But there is a problem, and it is our rebellion. He gives us the Ten Commandments, and we do not obey them. He teaches us about goodness, and we seek other things. The consequences of our rebellion are warfare, murder, thievery, dishonesty, poverty, diseases, hopelessness, and eternal separation from God. The Bible explains:

“This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Timothy 2:3)

“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 3:19)

What the Bible says about us and our misbehavior and sin is accurate. The Bible’s analysis of the human race is confirmed in history. We are commended to be readers of the Bible:

“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)

“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:16)

We talk to God as we pray. God talks to us as we read his Word!

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 A TREASURE

“Buy the TRUTH and sell it NOT!” Proverbs 23:23 . . . . . . . . . … The truth never dies. Live the TRUTH.

“Buy the TRUTH and sell it NOT!” Proverbs 23:23 . . . . . . . . . … The truth never dies. Live the TRUTH.

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Jesus: “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 8:31,32) Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?”  Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice.”  Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”  (John 18:37,38) Like Pilate, many today fail to honor the truth!

The Bible tells us that great power is in the truth. We all long for the truth and hope for the truth. The Bible also warns against the dangers of lying. If you go to a pharmacy to have a prescription filled, you expect the truth; something else has not been substituted. If you purchase an airline ticket to Beijing, you do not expect to be delivered to Tripoli.

I have served on a number of juries. My guess is that I have been called about ten times and served about six times. I currently have a call from the Superior Court to be ready to serve in August. I remember the instruction that we were given by the judge in one case: “If you perceive that the defendant is lying, you can conclude that he is probably guilty.”

Lying is like throwing sand into a well running machine. It messes up life. It can ruin relationships. Lying does more damage than we realize, and the liar fails to realize that people will stop trusting him. We have to hope that our candidates for President in the USA will be restrained in exaggerations, and remember that we have a Senate and a House of Representatives!

The Bible warns us that lying is offensive to God. John 8:44, [The devil] was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”  Revelation 22:15, “Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and fornicators and murders and idolaters, and every one who loves and practices falsehood”

I write this because I want to encourage us in our advocacy for our God, for our Savior. Truth has great power, and it cannot be overcome with falsehood. The liar always presents his untruths as if they were truths. The words of the Bible are true. They meet the tests of time, and they meet the tests of reality in our lives. We should not be ashamed to speak of the truth of God and of the Bible. Anthony Ashley Cooper Shaftesbury, English politician, philosopher and writer said, “Truth is the most powerful thing in the world, since even fiction itself must be governed by it, and can only please by its resemblance.” 

In Ephesians, chapter six, we are reminded of the contest between good and evil, between what is right and what is wrong. We read:

 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

We are privileged to serve our Savior, and to speak for him.

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 LIFE TO COME

"Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them." Revelation 21:3

“Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them.” Revelation 21:3  (Image from Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel)

Many people in the USA are discouraged in these times. The increase in racial tension has been unexpected. The political differences within the nation have become sharper. Honesty and truthfulness have suffered. The brightness of a world, that we might have dreamed of, has lost much of its luster. Study the history of the world from 4000 B.C. to the present. We have never given up taking the property of others, killing and slaughtering one another, even rejoicing in the damage that has been caused. God warned us with the 10th Commandment:

“You shall not covet your neighbors’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant or his ox, or his ass nor anything that is you neighbor’s.”

God teaches us so that we may have better lives, and avoid the things that damage us. Do we value his teaching?

Of course, we should do our best in this life to make things good for others as well as for ourselves. We should be honest about our limitations. We need large sections of the teachings of the Bible to find as much truth and understanding, as is possible. The book of Revelation is the last book in the Bible. There are pictures and words in it that we may find difficult. However, it is a forward looking book that warns us of danger, but offers to us great hope.

1. Heaven is a holy place. Because God is holy, everything about heaven must be appropriate for enjoying the presence of God.

“But nothing unclean shall enter it, nor any one who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” Revelation 21:27

2. Heaven involves being a new person. The Bible teaches us that we each have a unique identity. We will surely retain that uniqueness in the life to come. Nonetheless, God begins a new work in our lives.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now, and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies.” Romans 8:22,23

3. The life to come is being like Jesus Christ, not in his Divine nature, but in the quality of life that he represents.

“…until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, in the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13

4. Heaven is being with God.

“I heard a great voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them.” Revelation 21:3

Our knowledge will increase immeasurably. God is the greatest scientist. He is the mathematician par excellence. He is the consummate musician and artist. The expansion of one’s knowledge and capacity to reason in the future life will be absolutely incredible. Surely our senses will be greatly enhanced. Our Savior said that “we will be like the angels in heaven”. The gospel means “good news”.

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!




 

Good Without GOD?

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (Photo credit: Elizabeth Elliott, 2006)

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah (29:11-13)

I remember a slogan that I read years ago. “If God seems distant, guess who moved.”

Indeed, we are to welcome God into our hearts and find him! In prayer, we speak to God. Through the scriptures, God speaks to us. It is important to every believer, that he or she reads the Bible every day.

The Bible is full of statements of encouragement for each one of us. In the words of scripture, there are many promises and encouragements. God states that he loves us. That it is his desire that we find forgiveness and salvation in Jesus Christ. He encourages us to pray—that he will heal us, guide us and strengthen us.

I see that an atheist organization in California is posting billboard notices:

good-withoutgodanim

They could not be farther from the truth. Human beings without God are murderers, thieves, liars, selfish, despots, destroyers, licentious, embezzlers, corrupt. Goodness comes from God, and goodness is not to be found elsewhere; there is no alternative. The killings in Brussels, in Germany, in Istanbul, in Orlando, in San Bernardino call our attention to the evil in our midst. Mexico, the nation to our south, has been struggling with the corruption of the drug trade for decades. We do not know how many have been killed, robbed, or tortured by the drug cartels. How many in the United States contribute to this evil by purchasing the drugs? Are we praying for life and goodness and freedom for the people of Mexico?

One mistake that Christians may make is to underestimate the powers and forces of evil. God in his goodness gives us the remedy: Read or reread Ephesians 6:10-17:

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.”

In chapter three of the Gospel of John, we have wonderful promises from God along with a strong warning:

“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….And this is the judgment that light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

If you believe in Jesus Christ, you are very fortunate. If you are willing to consider what it means to believe in Jesus Christ, you are fortunate. All of us must recognize that we cannot go it alone. We need 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.
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HEAVEN

"...as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)

“…as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (KJV)

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

This life has its ups and downs. Its disappointments and victories. Its truths and its falsehoods. One can live a life of discouragement and loss—or one of sound hope and joy. If you think of life as a book, the last chapter has to be fulfilled. For the one who believes in Christ, the last chapter is Heaven, eternal joy with our great God. Hopefully, we all have visions for success in business, in education, in music, in politics, in writing and more—but all of these are just on the way; important and significant, but not final. Our destiny is either with God – or with eternal separation from God!

Someone asked me, “When we are in Heaven will we just sit on a cloud playing a harp? Is that all there will be in eternity?”

Similar questions illustrate the paucity of the knowledge and imagination of many when it comes to contemplation of the life to come. When we bring together all of the teachings in the Bible regarding Heaven (even though we do not see as clearly as we might like) we surely will realize that it will, indeed, be a marvelous, wonderful life!

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him,” (I Corinthians 2:9)

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Psalm 23:6)

“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)

An important observation that we might make about heaven is that it gives substance, meaning to life; for living this life according to the will of God. Rene Pache wrote in his very fine book, The Future Life,

“If another world does not exist, nothing in this life makes any sense.”

All that is wrong will be made right by God. His judgment will come upon those who disregard him, and his blessing upon those who believe in him. Awareness and belief in the life to come is vital to maintaining the present life in its proper perspective. We are limited, both by our experience and by the limitations of human reason, because we are not yet ready for the full disclosure of the heavenly vision, just as a three year old is not ready for many of the realities of adulthood.

Heaven is a holy place (in full trust with the character of Jesus Christ). Everything in heaven must be in harmony with the presence of God.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (II Corinthians 3:18)

“Until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ;” (Ephesians 4:13)

Wherever we are—in success or failure—in sickness or in health, we can always rejoice in our Lord and in his salvation!

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 BLESSINGS OF GOD

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33 (KJV)

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. ~John 16:33 (KJV)

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Psalm 103:1-4 reminds us to remember how much God has done for us:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name! Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s”

Last Sunday I delivered a message on the theme, “The Blessings of God.” Some of us may think of God as hard and difficult. Thus, they look elsewhere for an easier path. As a result, they find more disappointment and difficulty on the way than they expected. This is being written on Wednesday (the day that this Blog is due). Just this morning we had the very bad news of a murder on the UCLA Campus in Westwood. One student murdered another, and then killed himself (or herself). It is unlikely that the murderer believed in Jesus or read the Bible!

John 5:10, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.”

I Peter5:8, “Be sober, be watchful, your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

These two passages, on the surface, are not good news. The presence of evil is manifest when we go astray and depart the path of goodness. 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. What is the matter with this world that we live in? It is right for us to ask, How do we find deliverance? Where is the help that we need? The problem is disregard for God and unbelief.

When things get difficult, we look to the scriptures for guidance. We understand that God knows what is good for us. He teaches us with his word. He comforts us with his presence. He forgives us of our sins. He blesses us with goodness. The way of Jesus is the best.

Matthew11:28-20, “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.”

God is the source of all goodness. We understand that God loves us. For the believer the end of life is not the grave but heaven. God promises to help you. His purposes will be fulfilled. You are given guidance of what road to take. We are delivered from confusion between right and wrong. We do what is right, because God teaches us.

All have a choice: To live with God or to live without him. All that is good proceeds from God. Those of us who believe in Jesus Christ should be eager to share his good news with others. The result will be a far better society.

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!