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!




 

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 THE SUNRISE

"He that is faithful in little is faithful in much" Luke 16:11 “...let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matt: 5:16

“He that is faithful in little is faithful in much” Luke 16:10  

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“If the gold rusts, what will the iron do?”

We live in a time when Christians, who believe in God and admire the truth of the Bible, may find themselves discouraged. We see values that have been previously held in our nation eroding. Changes in views of morality have come like an avalanche. Good people who have held views of the sacredness of marriage have been caught up by the winds of change. Others have been stunned by the change of mind that many have had on this and other subjects. It was not that long ago that a majority in our nation believed abortion to be a sin to be avoided. Now the position in our society is about 50-50. In the 1940s fifteen percent of marriages ended in divorce. At the present time, it is about fifty percent. One-third of our children do not have a father in the home. The percentage of couples who choose to live together without the benefit of marriage has increased substantially.

It is tempting to give up and withdraw—to throw in the towel! Many who have held to the basic moral teachings in the Bible have changed their minds, and interpreted the scriptures differently. It is easy to be caught up and carried away by this flood. We have a calling from our Saviour that we find in Matthew, chapter five:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how will its saltiness be restored.” “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

What should we do in these days? Should we dig our fox holes and hide? No, someone needs to be the gold. Someone needs to be the light. Someone needs to be the salt. We have a wonderful view of the San Gabriel Valley from our house—looking east. Almost every morning we can see the sunrise, and I never get tired seeing it. Every day it comes up and every day we have light! We rejoice in the light of the new day! What would we do if we did not have that light? We have many neighbors who are trembling with fear, and who are waiting for you to show up. If those who know you, see that you are firm in your convictions—they will be encouraged. The world is waiting for us to see that we are faithful to our God.

Goodness is not an invention. It is not something that someone stumbled on. It comes from God, and without him we would not have known goodness. God knows better than we do! We, who believe in him, are to be the light and the hope of the world. The Bible from beginning to end assesses our plight and our potential. Read II Peter, chapter two. God knows that our trouble is heavy. Through Peter, God calls us back to the prophets of the Old Testament and to the disciples of the New. May we celebrate and rejoice in the greatness of our God!

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

"Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people" Ephesians 6:7

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people” Ephesians 6:7

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land, that I should not destroy it, but I found none.” (Ezekiel 22:30)

One of the blessings of God is that when we believe in him, he calls us to enter his service. It is a great privilege for us to follow Jesus Christ, and be his joyful and willing servants. Prior to the moment when Jesus ascended to heaven, he gave his followers a commission:

“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 in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

I wonder if we sometimes make the error of thinking that God’s calling is to others, but not to us? We encounter many who would suppress Christianity, who would treat it as irrelevant. We are a part of a society that experiences too much violence. For those of us in California, and other states, laws are passed to enable suicide for the ill and distressed. The Ten Commandments are being removed from schools and public buildings. What is to be put in their place? All of us need rules. An increasing number of couples are choosing to live together without marriage. Great harm is coming to American families.

In her book, How The West Really Lost God, Mary Eberstadt reminds us of the cost of the weakening of Christian witness in order to make Christianity easier for people:

“… these reformist efforts bit by bit contributed to an unwanted and unexpected denouement: they weakened both literally and figuratively the foundations of which those same churches depended—i.e., natural families. In their efforts to reach out to individuals who wanted a softening of Christian doctrine, the churches inadvertently appear to have failed to protect their base: thriving families whose members would then go on to reproduce both literally and in the figurative sense of handing down their religion.” (page 140)

We might ask, well why are things the way that they are? Why did God not create us ready-made to be in his presence (Heaven)? I think, because he wanted people who would freely choose to love him; because he wanted a people who loved righteousness and justice and truth. If our choice is an important factor—then we must be given the option of bad choices as well as good choices.

The Ten Commandments were given by God through Moses about 1400 B.C. Thus, they have been with us for about 3400 years. As God has blessed us with life and breath and many delights and enjoyments—for our sake—he draws a line regarding what we can properly do (Exodus 20:2-17). Here is an abstract:

I. You shall have no other gods before me.

II. You shall not make for yourself a graven image—you shall not bow down to them or serve them.

III. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

IV. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

V. Honor your father and your mother.

VI. You shall not murder.

VII. You shall not commit adultery.

VIII. You shall not steal.

IX. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

X. You shall not covet.

What is our choice: to be in the game on the field—or to be a spectator in the bleachers?

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 GOSPEL IS GOOD NEWS!

Sharing the Truth in Love.  A Nicky Imber Bronze of two old men talking.

Sharing the Truth in Love. A Nicky Imber Bronze of two old men talking.

by Dr Foster H. Shannon

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (II Timothy 2:24,25)

From the Bible, there are some basic requirements that we must fulfill:

  1. Believe in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, so that we may find forgiveness and fulness of life.
  2. Become students of the Bible.
  3. Read, study, and think so we can fulfill the instructions of I Peter 3:15, “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.
  4. Share your faith with others. As Christians we must be pro-active, eager to tell others about our Savior.
  5. Take care that we communicate God’s word in an appropriate manner. We are not to be rude. We are not to yell. We are to be respectful. We are not to act superior and put others down. May we love those with whom we speak.

Certainly it is good to know that you are right in what you have to say, but we must remember whom we are serving!

“I am the vine, you are the branches….for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

There are passages in II Timothy that we should find helpful:

“Remind them of this, and charge them before the Lord to avoid disputing about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers.” (II Timothy 2:14)

“Avoid such godless chatter, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.” (II Timothy 2:16)

“Have nothing to do with stupid, senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels.” (II Timothy 2:23)

Evidently, the Christians in the first century had problems similar to ours. That is, people are blabbering a lot of nonsense today. It is as if all that we have to do is to spit out words, and everyone will think that they are cute and interesting. Much of gossip is similar. Someone tells us something and we take it for the truth, although we have not verified it. To make it more interesting, we embellish it, add to it, to the end that the person who started the questionable statement would not even recognize it.

These are days when the winds are blowing against those who have a high view of scripture. We are required to swim upstream against the currents. We do not believe that any group of people should be reviled or despised because of the color of their skin, their language, their location or cultural practices. But we believe that there is both right and wrong.

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

We want for people to get along with one another. Conflicts are disturbing—they may make us uncomfortable. Yet, as we have the privilege of believing in God, we also have the responsibility to tell others about him!

Thank 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!




IMMEDIATELY THEY LEFT THEIR NETS AND FOLLOWED HIM

Raphael, The_Miraculous_Draught_of_Fishes_(1515)

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Immediately they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:20)

All of us who believe in Jesus Christ should have a hearty desire to grow in his grace. Christianity is not static; it is dynamic. We are not to stand still. We are to grow in our Savior. I Peter 2;2,3, “As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby. If so be you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” So how do we grow? We are to be faithful students of the word of God. We are to assess our God-given talents and find ways to serve him. This means that we set aside a time each day that belongs to the Lord, to study his word, meditate on it, and pray.

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

Not infrequently, there are things that stand in our way, not bad in themselves, nonetheless, we have to be freed from them that we may love God and walk with our Saviour. Thus, the analogy of the runner in Hebrews 12:1,

“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,”

The runner could legally carry weights, but he does not want to, because they would impede him. In Luke 18:18-25, we have the account of the rich ruler who came to Jesus asking how he could have eternal life. He addressed Jesus as “good teacher”. Jesus responded, how did you know that I am good, since only God is good? Jesus listed a number of the commandments for him, and the rich man affirmed that he had observed them since his youth. Jesus told him that he lacked one thing:

“Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

The message here is that one cannot be saved simply by keeping the commandments (because no one can keep them fully and completely). We are not saved by works, but by faith. Salvation is a gift. I believe that Jesus was telling this man that there was an obstacle between himself and God that had to be dealt with. He was in love with his riches instead of in love with God. Jesus gave him an amazing offer: that he was to sell all that he had, give to the poor, and become a follower of Jesus. Jesus understood that what he owned stood between him and God. Jesus wanted to set him free. If we find ourselves loving property, or adventure, or fame more than God, we are on the wrong path. Peter and Andrew, James and John gave up their fishing business to follow Jesus. It is good for us to look within ourselves for those things that we love more than we love God. Our salvation is not in our good deeds, but in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, whereby he paid for all of our sins in offering himself on the cross in place of our punishment. All of us have things that we must leave when we come to the cross.

Foster H. Shannon
P.S. I have appreciated hearing from a number of you. However, every response that I have made has been returned as undeliverable.
To get in touch with me please use this email address:   fjshannon[at]sbcglobal[dot]net  
Reformat the email address by placing the @symbol where I wrote [at] and a (.) where I wrote [dot].
I wrote it this way to cut down on the automatic robots that look for email addresses to send spam messages to.

 Thank you.

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!





HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS!

the nativity

Photo thanks to Amy Jung

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We are now in the midst of the Advent Season, the four weeks that precede Christmas Day. It is the time that Christians remember and celebrate the gift of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who emptied himself of many of his divine prerogatives, and came as a baby in order to come and dwell among us.

“Have this mind among yourselves, which you have in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

Promises of the miraculous birth, life, death, and the powerful resurrection of our Savior are foretold in the Old Testament. Some of the passages, written more than one thousand years before the birth of the Savior; others hundreds of years before.

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feed, until he comes to whom it belongs; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.” (Genesis 49:10)

The hope of the believing people of Israel was primarily in the good news of the coming Messiah in scores of passages.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace, who brings good tidings of good, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7)

The greatness, the glory, the magnificence of the coming Messiah was celebrated by the prophets in the Old Testament—and also his suffering.

“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” (Isaiah 53:3)

One of the promises was that the Messiah would bring a good and perfect government. A major problem in our world continues to be the corruption and evil of many governments: leaders who use their position to benefit themselves at the expense of the people—whom they are supposed to serve.

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

Where is the peace? How is it that we have so little of it? Because when we fail to live by the teachings of scripture, we bring the roof down on our heads. Our Savior teaches us how to live in peace, and we are remiss in following him.

“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)

“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 2:2,3)

“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Galatians 5:14)

These teaching apply to the nations as well as to individuals. If we say and do what we are taught to do, surely we will have an encouraging influence upon others.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

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!





 

IT IS IMPORTANT TO CHOOSE AND TO VOTE

voting-booth

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

No more than ten days ago, we had elections in all fifty states for members of the House of Representatives and for the Senate–and then for governors and other state and county and civic officers. It appears that the voter turnout was about 40%, somewhat lower than the average for mid-term elections. It is evident that more than half of the people who could have voted did not vote, and this is, unfortunately, usual in mid-term elections. A democracy needs an informed and engaged participation by the citizens. To be indifferent or not to care is irresponsible.

Joshua challenged the people of his day:

“And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

All of us make choices every day. We should prefer wise choices over unwise; good choices over bad. What and whom are you going to believe in? Do you have something in which you put belief and trust that is superior to the Bible? The Bible explains where we come from and why we are here. The Bible teaches righteousness, justice, and truth. The Bible explains to us the struggle of life—the direction of life—the fulfillment of the promises of God. Our God is the fountain, the source, the giver of all that is right and true. God gave us the Ten Commandments, not to annoy or harass us—but so life might be good for us and for others.

“Jesus then said to the Jesus 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)

Indeed, there are other faiths and other beliefs, and people can follow them if they choose—but if they so choose, their destiny is death and eternal separation from God, who is the source of life and of all that is good. Those who choose another way will be on the wrong road, and the destination will be terrible. We may believe in God and walk with him, or we may choose not to live in accordance with his will. We may gain temporary success and fame and riches—but without God, there will be nothing in the end. It is God who gives us the true law—who teaches us what is right. If there is no God, there is no law. Christianity is the only religion that has a Savior! Jesus took our place; he suffered the penalty for our sins, and gives us eternal life.

Is it not a blessing if we can join the psalmist in saying,

“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.” (Psalm 103:1-5)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

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 ARE NOT ON OUR OWN

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

As we believe in Jesus Christ, we know that we are not alone. He is our Savior who forgives us of our sins, and enables us to lead a life that is worthy of him. Yet those who believe in our Lord may tend to discouragement. That discouragement is seen in many Christians as they withdraw to the shelter of their homes and their churches—feeling incapable of dealing with a world that is in a mess.

But our God encourages us! “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)

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” (II Corinthians 2:14)

God has worthy things for each one of us to do. He is our leader; he is our guide; he is our teacher. He teaches us how we should live, and what we should do.  Belonging to Jesus Christ, we are to be engaged in the work of God. But we look at ourselves and find ourselves insufficient. We need to keep firmly in our minds whom we are serving. God does not ask us to operate on our own strength—he promises to be with us.

There are no limits to God’s power and authority. He created our planet, our solar system; the Sun that makes life possible. He has created billions of galaxies, and within those billions of galaxies are billions of stars. His Universe is incredibly vast. He has created every atom, every molecule—and he has made us with all of our gifts and abilities. He raised Jesus from the dead. He invites us to share in his work, to be his witnesses, his ambassadors. We are reminded of his limitless power.

“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,” (Colossians 1:11)

We are very limited when we depend upon our own strength—but with God all things are possible.
We are at the beginning of the college football season. The players don’t just show up for the first game! They have had spring training—and then weeks of preparation for the first game. We need to be preparing ourselves in daily Bible study–gaining knowledge–so we are ready to speak up and to act on behalf of the kingdom of God. We should expect to be challenged in the world in which we live.

“For it is the God who said, ‘let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” (II Corinthians 4:6)
“With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can man do to me?”  (Psalm 118:6)


Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

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 NEED THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

ten commandmentsby Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We have a saying, “If all else fails read the directions.” God teaches us what is right for our benefit. He knows that we find health and healing and prosperity in his word. God cares for us more that we realize. He wants us to be able to distinguish between right and wrong. Because of that he has given us the Ten Commandments, The Sermon on the Mount, and a plethora of teachings in the letters of the New Testament.

Many of the sceptics in our time are affirming that we do not need the Bible or the teachings of the Bible. They see God as a spoil-sport trying to take the fun out of life. The Scriptures tell the truth: “The wages of sin is death.” Either we go our way or God’s way. Our way ultimately leads to jealously, greed, strife, anger, and worse.

The Ten Commandments were given by God through Moses about 1400 B.C. Thus, they have been with us for about 3400 years. As God has blessed us with life and breath and many delights and enjoyments—for our sake, he draws a line regarding what we can properly do (Exodus 20:2-17). Here is an abstract:

I. You shall have no other gods before me

II. You shall not make for yourself a graven image—you shall not bow down to them or serve them.

III. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain;

IV. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.

V. Honor your father and your mother.

VI. You shall not murder.

VII. You shall not commit adultery.

VIII. You shall not steal.

IX. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

X. You shall not covet.

Which of the above should we be able to do without or to ignore? As you know, the posting of the Ten Commandments in our schools and in many of our public buildings has been diminished a great deal. A plethora of law suits have resulted in the taking down of the Ten Commandments. A reasonable question is what do you put in their place? We need to know what is right and what is wrong. We need to understand that to follow the wrong path is ultimately disastrous.

“But the wicked are like the tossing sea, and it cannot rest. And its waters toss up mire and dirt. ‘There is no peace’, says my God,  ‘for the wicked’.” (Isaiah 57:20,21)

The Evil One will try to tell us that we should go our own way; do the things that we enjoy; live it up. The truth is that we are sinners that need forgiving, redemption, and reforming. We need rules. We need guidelines. We need to do our very best to live as God would have us to live. Our God, in his mercy, has given us good rules to live by. We recognize that we are not saved by the law, but by the atonement of Jesus Christ, who paid the full penalty for our sins in his suffering on the cross. Yet, as we believe in Christ, we are to live as he would have us live!

“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)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

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!