GOD BLESS AMERICA!

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

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

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

Paul speaks his hope for the church at Colossae:

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

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

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

That we may absorb God’s spiritual wisdom and understanding

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

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

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

That we will be delivered from the dominion of darkness

That we might be transferred to the kingdom of Jesus Christ

That we might be redeemed and forgiven of our sins

Some additional teachings from Colossians:

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

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

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

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




 

WHAT GOD WANTS FOR YOU!

Jesus And The Children, by Ruth Elliott, 2003

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Please forgive me for being late with this week’s Blog. We intend to post it every other Wednesday. Janis and I recently returned from a ten day trip to Hawaii that was very good. As a result we had to do some catching up when we came back!

All of us who have children, have hopes and desires for them. We would like to be a good example to our children, we would like for them to grow in knowledge and understanding. As they grow, we hope that they will choose a good path for their lives; that they will choose goodness over evil. Faith in Christ, plus high regard for the teachings in the Bible gives great support for the future that we hope for.

We receive good guidance from the teachings that we find in the letter of Paul to the Colossians. He writes this letter while in prison in Rome. Whatever situation we find him in—he is engaged in serving his Savior, Jesus Christ. Twelve of the twenty-seven New Testament books were written by Paul He was a great traveler for Jesus Christ, by road or by ship. He covered much of the Roman Empire. He wrote to the Romans that he aspired to go to Spain (Romans 15:24), but we are not assured that he reached Spain. There is no evidence that he went to the British isles. His allegiance for his Savior must be a great example and encouragement to each of us.

The letter is addressed to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ in Colossae. They have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ through Paul’s associate, Epaphras. Through his ministry, a strong church was established. It was Paul who came to Asia and established himself in Ephesus. Out of Ephesus many churches were planted; Colossae was one of those churches.

All who believe in Jesus are the children of God. The teachings that Paul brought to Colossae are God’s instructions to his children: “We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding to lead a life worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (Colossians 1:9,10)

This emphasizes that our intentions are to seek and understand and do the will of God. It clearly implies that we are to be students of the Bible, engaged in the Christ’s Church looking for the fulfillment of God’s will.

“He has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” (Colossians 1:13)

“And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which you heard,” (Colossians 1:21-23)

In this remarkable scripture, we find the Heavenly Father’s desire for parent and children.

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!




 

GOD ANSWERS PRAYER

On the road to Damascus: Saul on the road to becoming Paul.

On the road to Damascus: Saul, on the road to becoming Paul.

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

One of the most impressive people in the New Testament is the Apostle Paul. We encounter him as a fiery Jew willing to attack anyone who diverted from the faith of the Hebrew religion in that day. Of course, we know that the doctrine of that religion included the promise of a Messiah who would save his people and the world. Jesus was the fulfillment of those Messianic promises which are embedded in the Old Testament. Paul (Saul of Tarsus) did not recognize Jesus and Christianity as being that fulfillment. He became a persecutor of Christianity, holding the clothes of those who stoned the Deacon Stephen, because of his Christian faith and witness for Christ. Paul went from Jerusalem to Damascus to destroy the Christian community there. On the outskirts of Damascus he was confronted by a vision of Jesus:  “as he was going along and approaching Damascus suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice from heaven saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” He asked, “Who are you Lord?”

The reply came, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and enter the city and you will be told what you are to do.” (Acts 9:3-6)

From that he became one of the greatest Christians who have ever lived, giving his life fully in the service of the Christ; he never married.

Along with many other faithful people, Paul proclaimed Christ, and was a key in establishing the Church in the Roman world. He was inspired by God to give us thirteen of the books in the New Testament. He was a man of prayer and prayed for the healing of many people. Yet he encountered a time when his prayer was answered with a No! We read about this in II Corinthians, chapter 12. Speaking in the second person he tells us that he was caught up to heaven:

“And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person…was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat….But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth.”

Paul then speaks of a thorn in the flesh that Satan gave to torment him–to keep him from being too elated. [we do not know what it was, but it is obvious that it was a serious matter] Three times he pleaded to the Lord that it would leave him.

The Lord said,

“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”

So his prayer was answered, but not in the way he hoped. At times God does not answer our prayer as we have wished, because he always seeks what is best for us.

“Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:19) God teaches us to pray; to be assured that God hears our prayers and answers them.

“You do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2)

“Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete,” (John 16:24)

Let us have a personal prayerful relationship with our Savior every day!

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!




 

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.
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!




LIGHT AND LIFE AND GOODNESS

lightbulb-lit-for-others

 

 

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

God loves us and desires good for everyone. When we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord and are baptized into his name, we enter a new world. We bask in the love of God; we are strengthened in the truth and reliability of the scriptures. We recognize that we are not alone. We have guidance and strength in our Savior.
“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)

Even though we see evil about us, and nations and people doing dreadful things, we know that better days are coming. We know that there is right and there is wrong, and that goodness flows from God.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1,2)
From the apostle Paul:

“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own…forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14)

We belong to our Savior. He is the source of our life, of our well-being. What we do, we do with his counsel and his strength. It is evident that we are not to hold our Savior at arms length. We converse with him in prayer. We seek his guidance, his enablement and strengthening and encouragement. We cannot lead a worthwhile life without him. He is the source of our happiness, of our joy. It is our Savior that make our lives worthwhile. He is the Creator, the Teacher, the Redeemer. In him we find life, and in him life is very good. Jesus said,

“I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

Thus, believing in Christ, we are to be the light of the world. Jesus pointed out that we do not light a lamp and then cover it up, rather we want its light to shine. (Matthew 5:14-16) There are those about us who would have us keep to ourselves and be quiet about our faith in Jesus Christ, but we cannot do that. We must not let them intimidate us. We must take great pride in our Savior. We must want others to know about him. There are people about us whom we may encourage.

Almost all of the people in our nation believe that God exists. But they may not read the scriptures, and they may not know much about him. We need not approach people, as if we have righteousness and they have not—but that we have found life in Jesus Christ, and have good news to share. If we love those about us, we must want what is best for them. The best is to be found in the Bible and in our Savior. May God deliver us from arrogance—but may he help us to be generous to the people among whom we live, and encourage them to find the hope and good news that is in Jesus Christ.

Foster H. Shannon
P.S.
By Robert J. Morgan, is available at GoGreenLeaf.com. It includes music and lyrics to the most loved Hymns of all time. This is your chance to take advantage of it at a great price!
 

 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!




THE TRIUMPH OF THE RESURRECTION

resurrection

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

This coming Sunday we celebrate Easter, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is absolutely the most significant event in the history of the world. Jesus purposefully allowed himself to be taken to the cross, because there the Son of God suffered the punishment of God the Father for the sins of the world. He suffered for every person who will come to him in faith and confess their need of his forgiveness—without which no one can be saved. There are those who question the reliability and dependability of Christianity. The resurrection, the deliverance from death of our Lord, guarantees the reality and certainty of Christ.

When Jesus was with his disciples on that Thursday night, he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane,

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)

He chose his path to the cross, because he knew that there he would make our forgiveness possible. The resurrection was and is a reality. It is not just something that we wish were true. It is true.

Jesus suffered terribly from the abuses of the soldiers. He was arrested and taken before Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor. Pilate understood what Jesus enemies were about. He knew that Jesus was innocent, but he lacked the courage to do what was right. So he gave in to the crowd that demanded Jesus’ death, and ordered the crucifixion of Jesus. He was taken to Golgotha, and nailed to a cross. The cross was set into the ground, and he was bleeding from the nails in his hands and in his feet. Later, to advance his death, a sword was plunged into his side.

“But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.” (John 19:24) “And Jesus cried out with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.” (Matthew 27:50)

A large crowd witnessed all of these events.

Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin and a righteous man, asked Pilate for the body of Christ that he might prepare him for burial.

“And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead. And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.”

He was buried by Joseph of Arimathea, with the assistance of Nicodemus.

Let us reflect. We know that Jesus lived. We know that Jesus died. We know that he was raised from the dead, and that he was with his disciples for forty days after his resurrection, and that he ascended to heaven. We know the many promises in scripture that he will return to this world. The world will be redeemed, and there will be a new heaven and a new earth.

Perhaps it is evident that there would be no Christianity, no church, no hope, were it not for Jesus Christ. The transformation of the disciples after the resurrection of Jesus; the rapid growth and development of the church would have been absolutely impossible without the resurrection. Let us be renewed and refreshed in the good news of the resurrection of our Savior. HE IS RISEN!

Foster H. Shannon
P.S.
By Robert J. Morgan, is available at GoGreenLeaf.com. It includes music and lyrics to the most loved Hymns of all time. This is your chance to take advantage of it at a great price!
 

 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!





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!