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!




 

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!




 

DANGERS WE FACE

Michelangelo_Fall_and_Expulsion_from_Garden_of_Eden

Detail of Michelangelo’s Fall and Expulsion from the Garden of Eden

By  Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Whether we like it or not, we are contending with the powers and forces of evil. Consider our first parents, Adam and Eve. God put them in an ideal Paradise:

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Genesis 2:16,17)

To fulfill Adam’s life and her life, God gave him Eve to be his companion, his wife. They had plenty of everything. But Satan presented himself in the form of a serpent, who could speak. (She probably thought he was cute.) He told Eve that if they ate the fruit of the tree (God had warned them not to eat) that they would be like God. Of course, that was a lie, but Satan is accomplished in telling lies. God had given them a choice, either Paradise or death! Well, the fruit looked good, it was appealing, why should they not partake of it? The answer is that God had warned them of the danger, and they did not believe him, or thought God was depriving them from something they would enjoy. As a result they were expelled from the Garden.

The Apostle Paul warns us of the continuing battle between the will of God and the deceitfulness of the Evil One.

“For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) 

I am writing this because many of us are inclined to underestimate the power of evil. It can be made appealing, look desirable, seem innocent. Some of the temptations that we face are power, prestige, wealth, and sensual pleasures. These things, in and of themselves may not be bad. They can even be good. Nonetheless they can be appealing to us, and spiritually destructive. That there is evil in the world can be seen even in the “little” sins that we commit and the awfulness that we see around us: Isis and Boko Haram in the Middle East and northern Africa, cutting people’s heads off and bragging about it, tyrants waging war to increase their power, men using automatic guns to kill scores of people. Husbands who kill their wives and children, and mothers who do the same. If you look out at the world and say, “what is going wrong”—it is that people are disregarding and disobeying God. He gave us the Ten Commandments and the moral teachings of the Bible for our good! Our Heavenly Father wants us to have good lives. Many fail to understand that.

We have good news. Jesus Christ suffered on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. He invites us to come to him and repent and find new life. He tells us where to find strength:

“Therefore take the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod you feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the word of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:13-17)

GOD IS LOOKING OUT FOR YOU AND FOR ME!

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 POLITICAL RESPONSIBILITY OF CHRISTIANS

"Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's. . . "

“Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. . . “

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Jesus said to them,’Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17)

Jesus recognized the political scene, and affirmed the priority of God’s will. We are told to pray for our political leaders:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.” (I Timothy 2:1,2)

It is evident that God desires a peaceful and good life for each one of us. The atmosphere should be “godly”.

Although we are to seek God and his kingdom (Matthew 6:33), we are not to ignore the governmental scene around us. We are to be good stewards in our position of being the citizens of the United States. What are we to look for? Men and women of integrity who respect the truth and tell the truth. Men and women that seek the welfare of their country, and are perceptive and have understanding. We need leaders who are competent and strong in truth, justice, and righteousness.

Truth When our leaders lie to us, we become cynical, and wonder when tobelieve them and when not to believe them.

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.”

We wonder why they are not telling the truth. Do governing officials tell us what we would like to hear, rather than what we ought to hear? When the truth is told, we can be happy knowing that we are dealing with reality and people with integrity.

Justice means that in the same circumstances, all are to be treated equally. It does not matter whether we are black, white, or brown. It is not to matter whether we are rich or poor.

“My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” (James 2:1)

“You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor.” (Leviticus 19:15)

“My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” (James 2:1)

Occam’s Razor needs to be observed: “no complexity without necessity.”

Righteousness means that we do what is right, we do not lie, steal, or embezzle. We do not mislead, we do not cheat. We have high regard for God, and endeavor to do what he teaches us to do. We seek out and live by the teachings of scripture.

One of the privileges we have in the United States is to vote for officials and for propositions. We should not sit on our hands. We should be engaged, informing ourselves, studying the issues and showing up at the voting booth. We understand that we are servants of our Savior, and to make our decisions in harmony with the goodness he teaches us. Let us pray for our states and our nation, and for God’s guidance that we may be responsible citizens.

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!




 

EASTER AND THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS

Christ is RISEN INDEED!

Christ is RISEN, INDEED!

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Jesus was illegally arrested by the officers of the Sanhedrin, and unjustly tried before the Roman governor, Pilate. After struggling to find another way to avoid the judicial process, Pilate caved. Pilate had already said that he had found no guilt in Jesus. Yet because of the cries of the crowd, and the threat that Pilate’s failure to act would be reported to Rome—Pilate reluctantly committed Jesus to execution by crucifixion. The soldiers that had stood by the cross reported to Pilate that Jesus was dead.

The body of Jesus was taken by Joseph of Arimathea along with Nicodemus, with Pilate’s permission. On Good Friday he was placed in a new tomb, and a stone was rolled in front of the entrance. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James witnessed this event. A guard was set before the tomb to assure that no one would come and steal the body, and the stone was sealed.

On the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. An angel from the Lord told them that Jesus had been raised from the dead. On the morning of the Sabbath a group of women went to the tomb hoping to complete the burial process. They found the tomb empty. On that Sabbath following the crucifixion, Jesus appeared to a number of his disciples. The disciples went to Galilee to a mountain to which Jesus had directed them. They worshiped him, some initially doubted, but were convinced when they saw him in person.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the crown jewel of Christian witness and theology. The tomb was empty, Jesus could not be found, then he appeared to the women, to two disciples on the way to Emmaus, and in the evening to at least ten of his disciples.

“After his suffering [Jesus] presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1:3)

The disciples, and many others with them, were convinced that this Jesus who had been killed and confirmed dead had been raised from the dead. Had this not happened there would be no Christianity and no church. The disciples would have returned to Judaism and their former relationships. On the Mount of Olives, the disciples and a crowd witnessed his ascension to heaven. They began proclaiming the resurrection of Christ (at the risk of their lives) and the good news of the salvation that is found through him.

The resurrection confirms the Old Testament. It is the foundation of the New Testament and the Christian Church. It is certainly and undeniable historic fact! With that we may believe in him. With that we may faithfully follow him. With that we may be assured, that when we depart this life, we shall live with him forever.

For your reading this week include one or all of these passages: Matthew 27:1-28:19; Mark 15:1-16:18; Luke 23:1-24:52; John 18:28- 21:19.

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!




 

RESPECT FOR OTHERS

vintage-boxing

Calling names is just a lazy way of neglecting the process of reason.  “Be angry, but do not sin” Psalm 4:4

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the counsel and whoever says “You fool” shall be liable to the hell of fire.” ~ Matthew 5:22

It appears to me that the above section of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, gets little attention. Anger leads to harm, and we should keep it under control, lest we say and do things that we will later regret. When Jesus said, “You fool”, he could have said “You idiot”, “You moron”, “You are stupid!”.

I have been watching with dismay the candidates for the Republican and Democratic nominations insulting one another. Virtually all of them claim to be Christians! Many years ago, President Lyndon Johnson, said something like this: “I do not think that my audience is interested in my opinion of my opponents.” Surely all of the candidates do much better if they tell us what they believe, what they disbelieve, and what they would do if elected President.

Do we sink to the level of calling other people disparaging names, when we disagree with what they do or say? I am not saying that we should not offer criticisms of people, whom we see doing wrong or of ideas that we recognize as fallacious. But calling them names does little good—and can produce considerable harm. Please understand that I do not look favorably on Political Correctness. It is an excessive effort to avoid imagined speech that might possibly discourage or hurt someone else. It is a significant threat to freedom of speech, which implies that we are not to punish people for saying things that we dislike. Indeed, Political Correctness is aimed at Christianity, that Christians should keep silent about their beliefs.

What should we do? God has given us the power of reason, to discern between good and bad. If we object to what someone has said or done, we should be able to explain it. Calling names is just a lazy way of neglecting the process of reason. We understand that almost everyone insults others, whether present or absent. But the behavior of the majority is not necessarily the indication of what is right! I have to tell you, that thinking about this matter is going to make me more careful in how I express myself regarding others, including those with whom I strongly disagree.

There is another side to criticism, and that is commendation and recognition of the good that someone else does. There are few of us who would not be helped by an encouragement or a word of thanks. God gives us wonderful words of encouragement in the Bible:

“We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28

“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. ~ Psalm 103:2-5

“Jesus then said to the Jews who 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, 32

WAITING FOR LIGHTNING TO STRIKE?

"And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

“And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

The Power Ball lottery, with a prize that may exceed 1 billion dollars, has caught the imagination of the United States. Surely it is an innocent matter to put down $2.00 for a ticket, but many are buying multiple tickets. Some are even investing thousands of dollars in tickets! Your chance in winning with one ticket is one in 292 million. You have a much better chance of being struck by lightening.

Does this desire to become rich overnight teach us something about ourselves? The majority of people in the United States have a reasonable place to live, have decent clothing, and eat well. A substantial minority do not. In many passages, the Bible encourages us to give thanks to God for his blessings. It even warns us against desiring more than we need.

“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, ‘I will never fail you nor forsake you.” ~ Hebrews 13:5, 

We find another warning in I Timothy 6:10,

“For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs.”

Probably the best advice, for many of us, is to work hard, save for the future, and not waste our money. We have sayings like, “waste not, want not”. In other words, our chance of winning one out of 292 million is exceedingly slight. Perhaps, a lesson to be learned from this present craze is to consider what we can do to improve our present situation rather than to wait for lightening to strike! In other words, make your efforts in areas that will be assuredly beneficial.

“He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits has no sense.”  ~ Proverbs 12:11

The Bible teaches us responsibility with our money:  

“Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for your and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.” ~ Malachi 3:10

It also teaches us generosity:

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” ~ Proverbs 3:27

“One man gives freely and grows all the richer. Another withholds what he should give and only suffers want.”  ~Proverbs 11:24

My advice to those who may be strained financially: Discuss your situation with God in prayer; ask him for provision and guidance. The probability that your prayer will be answered is high. Gratitude to God is a commendable attitude. He gives us our very lives. He teaches us how to live. He gives us discernment between right and wrong. He forgives us of our sins, and makes us into new people. Our future with him is wonderfully bright.

 “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” ~ Hebrews 12:8

“Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift.” ~ II Corinthians 9:15

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!




 

WALK IN NEWNESS OF LIFE

plant-hands-2

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

As we look forward to the new year, we should remember that Christianity is dynamic; in it we find new life. We are drawn by God to believe in him. We understand that Jesus Christ is our redeemer; that we are accountable for our sins, and that Jesus went to the cross for that very reason. He suffered for our sins. He paid the penalty that was our due. So we commit our lives to him. We find forgiveness and acceptance through Jesus Christ. We affirm our faith in him. We are baptized in his name. We rejoice in our salvation. Ours is a living religion. As we believe in Jesus Christ, we are to walk with him. We are to grow in his grace.

The book of Romans teaches us of our salvation in Jesus Christ. It further reminds us that we are to become the people that God would have us to be. The believer has the calling to align his or her life with the will and purposes of God. The Bible gives the name sanctification to the process of Christian growth. Believing in Christ, we belong to him. We are members of his family. We are brothers and sisters with all who believe in our Savior.

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”~Romans 6:1-4

We are to grow in the grace of God, because he is preparing us to live with him for all eternity! Our destiny is with our Lord in heaven.

“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,

As we look forward to the new year, let us look with confidence in our Savior that we will be growing in his grace. We are to be like a growing tree:

“He is like a tree planted by the streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does he prospers.” ~ Psalm 1:3

We can celebrate the New Year with the psalmist:

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” ~Psalm 27:1

THE CHRISTIAN DOES NOT SEE THIS LIFE AS THE END!

“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

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 IS WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO

"So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." Hebrews 13:6

“So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Hebrews 13:6

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“We know that we are of God, and the whole world is in the power of the evil one.” (I John 5:19)

“Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.” (I Peter 5:8)

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. It is fair for us to ask where do we find deliverance? Where is the help that we need? We tend to use the word, evil, for behavior and sin that has reached an extreme level: Natzism and the Holocaust, Issis in the Middle East, Boko Haram in Nigeria and neighboring countries, parents who murder their children and children who murder their parents. These remind us of the capacities that human beings have for great evil. The disregard of God, and ignoring one’s conscience can lead to human behavior that is detestable and horrible.

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 wickedness of 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. We saw it in in the foolish recklessness and vandalism that occurred in Huntington Beach, California 21 July 2014. People rioting, not for any cause or belief—just for the delight of destroying and pillaging property and fighting with one another!

We seek for a life that is free of evil. We do not fully understand what there is in our lives that make us say and do and think things that are wrong and are on the borderline of evil. If we, who believe in Jesus Christ, have a strong desire to please him—that makes an important difference. We are not sinless, we still struggle with our sin, nonetheless, we recognize that God has made a difference in our lives. While that is very good, it may lead us to underestimate the power of evil and the damage that it does. In other words, all of us are to be on our guard.

As we ponder some of these things, what are we to do? The Bible urges us to be strong:

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)

“Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (I Corinthians 16:13,14)

We are to be students of the word of God. We are to worship regularly. We are to avoid associates with those who themselves are evil. We are to keep company with those who can be helpful and encouraging to us. Our God is well able to deliver us from the bondage of sin, and to lead us in the paths of righteousness.

“He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:2,3)

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!




GROWING IN THE GRACE OF GOD

Reading-the-Bible3

Psalm 119:11 “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee…”

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

The Supreme Court ruling allowing same sex marriage was a discouraging and jarring decision for many of us. We see this not only as an attack on the significance of marriage, but as an ignoring of the teaching of the Bible. I recognize that I have Christian brothers and sisters who will not have the same viewpoint. I note that a former president, a Christian, Jimmy Carter, said that the action of the Court would be approved by Jesus. Such a response disturbs me. Are we to quit reading the Bible and believing what it says? Are we to edit it so that it conforms with the secular thinking of the day?

If the Bible is the means whereby God reveals his will and his purpose to us, then it is worthy of our attention. Some have suggested, in one way or another, that much of the moral decline in out nation is that too many Christians have been asleep, disinterested, not paying attention. It was encouraging to read a significant front page article in today’s Los Angeles Times (8 July, “Spiritual war on same-sex marriage”) that many of our Christian brothers and sisters in the black community are speaking out and engaged regarding the Supreme Court decision, because they are offended by the degradation of morals in our society.

This brings me to a concern that I have had for some time. It is that many Christians appear to be too casual regarding the reading and study of the Bible. If it is God’s word to us, it is worthy of our careful attention. I think our schedules can be an enemy to Bible study. If so, we should reckon with it and rearrange our day. For some of us the first hour in the morning is dedicated to the study of the Bible.

“O Lord, in the morning you do hear my voice, in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you, and watch.” (Psalm 5:4)

But if it does not fit there, it should fit somewhere.

“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)

“Jesus then said to the Jews who 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 8:31,32)

The Bible teaches us of the importance of reading the Bible. Some people assume it is a tough task, and not for them. I remember when I was in the fifth or sixth grade and began ice skating at the Coliseum in Tulsa, with some buddies. I was awkward, my blades bent inward, and I fell down a number of times. But after a few weeks I was standing up straight, and getting confidence in my skating. This is not a perfect example, but becoming a committed reader of the scriptures is like ice skating, it has to begin—and we need to be patient. A continuing daily encounter with scripture strengthens us all, and fits us to be a witness for our Savior. We need to be integrated with it. It will strengthen our spines.

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!