THE LIFE TO COME

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Heaven is being with God.

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

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

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

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

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

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




 

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!




 

SURPRISE AND DISAPPOINTMENT

 

"Thus saith the Lord unto you: 'Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's." 2 Chronicles 20:15

“Thus saith the Lord unto you: ‘Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Many of us were stunned by the attacks of ISIS in Paris, France. What caused eight young men to kill at least 129 people, and to seriously wound more that 300? What was the purpose? Why would that group spend many weeks planning violence, equip themselves, and then blow themselves up to destroy hundreds? What we see in this terrible event in France is what we see to a lesser degree in our own country! How many murders? How many occasions when scores of people are slaughtered with automatic rifles? In our own country, fathers, mothers, children, killing their own kin. Adam and Eve disobeyed God, later their son Cain murdered his brother Abel. Human beings have been killing one another ever since.

A factor that we may be reluctant to recognize is that we contend with evil every day, and not infrequently we hear or read or see the meanness that human beings are capable of. When Satan rebelled against God, with his angels, he was cast down to Earth. He is still with us. It appears to be his pleasure to temp us, to stir up strife among us, and to lead us toward wickedness which may lead to deceit, stealing, embezzlement, selfishness, and cruelty.

Our God who created the heavens and Earth and all of life is absolutely good, and he desires goodness for us. When we go astray and worship other gods we end up immersed in evil. We learn goodness from God. We learn righteousness, justice, and truth from God. Without him we are lost! Human beings are inclined to rebel and disobey God. It is in the Bible that we find out how we ought to live, and it is in Jesus Christ that we see goodness exemplified. Because he is aware of our sins, he went to the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, taking our judgment upon himself. If we believe in him, he forgives us and helps us learn how to live.

God gave us the Ten Commandments, plus many teachings to keep us in order. He gives us Bibles, he establishes the church, he gives us teachers and leaders to help us. He exalts justice and righteousness and truth, that we might have good lives. We depart from him or ignore him at our peril. Without him, we will eventually destroy ourselves. With him we can be happy and joyful a good deal of the time in this life and forever in the life to come.

What we are to do is explained to us in the Bible. For example, Ephesians 6:10-13, “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. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand.”

What can we do? Believe in Jesus and stay close to him. Follow his teachings, and teach and encourage others. Honor our Lord in your speech, and live in such a way that you become an encouragement to others.

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!




 

STRENGTHENING THE CHRISTIAN

paul-and-timothy

 

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We have family Bible study almost every Sunday evening after dinner. This coming Sunday, we are beginning with II Timothy, chapter 1. A passage in that chapter stands out for me:

Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner but take your share of suffering for the gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling,… (II Timothy 1:8,9)

What was it that struck me about this passage? It was Timothy’s position in the leadership of the church. He was Paul’s #2 man. He was a leader above many in the growing church. Here are some of them: Apollos, Archippus, Artemas, Barnabas, Epaphroditus, Luke, Onesimos, Priscilla & Aquila, Silas, Titus, Tychicus, and Zenas. There were others. Yet Timothy needed to be refreshed. He needed to be encouraged. We may find ourselves saying, Amen, recognizing that we need to be refreshed in the Lord. We should give priority to our Bible study and our prayer time.

Let us look at what Paul said to this valuable Christian leader:

  • “Rekindle the gift of God that is within you.” Is this not a clear teaching here that believers can have times when they grow discouraged, and need to be invigorated?
  • “Do not be ashamed of testifying to our Lord.” There are people who will put us down at any sign of our personal faith in Jesus Christ. Now, we do not have to shout or be irritating. Rather than being ashamed, we should be encouraged and devoted to our Savior. Explaining carefully, what Jesus means to you.
  • “Take your share of suffering for the gospel.” It seems to me that we prefer to have things go well. We do not like difficulties. We want to avoid suffering, if we are able. I am not suggesting that we be ready to go out and suffer! Nonetheless, the Bible makes it clear that suffering will come our way, and do not be surprised, but it may turn out to be valuable.

Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. (James 1:2)

What may seem to be unwelcome to us, may turn out to make us better people. Again, we read, Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12) Difficult times will come to all of us. Especially, when the difficulty arises to challenge our faithfulness to our Savior—by a clear and kind response, we can be an encouragement to others, and strengthened in our own faith. Unwelcome difficulties come into our lives, we can either cry or praise God. If we are moved to prayer we are thereby strengthened in our faith. One thing we know for sure. God will uphold us.

Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

Foster

Dr. Foster H. Shannon, Green Leaf Press

Green Leaf Press, Inc.
P.O. Box 880 Alhambra
CA 91802-0880
(626) 281-7221
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.
MY 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!




GOOD NEWS!

In Christ we move from darkness to light . . .

In Christ we move from darkness to light . . .

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.” (II Peter 1:3-4)

The gospel means good news. Frequently, those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, underestimate the riches that God disposes on those who believe.

In Jesus Christ we move from darkness to light—we move from guilt to redemption. We move from doubt to assurance. We have a wonderful eternal destiny that exceeds our imagination. We have riches in our Savior that are beyond measure:

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (I Peter 1:3,4)

What was the secret of the disciples, the apostle Paul, and many others who built the church on the foundation of Jesus Christ? The disciples had spent at least three years with their Savior. They knew that he was for real. When Saul of Tarsus (Paul) encountered Christ in a vision on the road to Damascus, intending to persecute Christians, his life was transformed. These servants of God endured abuse, prison, and hardships because they knew Christ and his kingdom. We know that Paul was, at times, discouraged, but he was like the psalmists who ask God if he has forgotten them, always ending up praising God for his promises and his goodness.

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Our God is a God of salvation; and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death.” (Psalm 68:19)

They knew that they were on the edge of God’s eternal kingdom; that they were on the winning team. We think of the person who sees his glass full, not empty. The word of God overflows with good news.

“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) 

The believer has the great privilege of being an ambassador for God to a world in need. Our lives are valuable because we belong to God, and because we know that we have eternal life with him forever. We know that he will never fail us nor  forsake us.

We live in a time when Christians can grow discouraged. The society that we live in has gone sour with unbelief, fornication, adultery, broken families, hopelessness, violence, and discouragement. Many seek relief in the crummy dramas that are on television. They do not realize that salvation is nearer than they think! We cannot exhaust the goodness, grace, and mercy of our God. Let us bless him, rejoice in him, and delight to do his will. We find in him the life that is life, indeed!

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!





OUR STRENGTH AGAINST THE POWERS OF EVIL

Illustration from Foster's book, THe Scroll with 7 Seals, What the Book of Revelation Really Says

Illustration from Foster Shannon’s book, THE SCROLL WITH SEVEN SEALS (What the Book of Revelation Really Says).  Illustration by Ruth Elliott

By Dr Foster H. Shannon

We cannot and must not ignore what is going on in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria. Isis, a radical Muslim movement is seeking to expand its control over Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and beyond. The movements have different names in Iraq (Isis) and Nigeria (Boko Haram). In the process of trying to control territory, they are especially focusing on Christians. On Monday of this week we learned of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptics (Christians) in Libya. Earlier as the Isis militants moved from Syria eastward and northward in Iraq, they sought out Christians and beheaded or otherwise killed them. They slaughtered several hundred Iraqi soldiers who had surrendered to them.

It is hard for us to not be distressed when we hear and see beheadings and mass executions. We are seeing before our very eyes the fulfillment of what the scriptures teach: that we are contending with the powers and forces of evil! In fact, we are seeing manifestations of evil, slaughtering, the kidnaping of young girls and making sex-slaves of them—a thirst for blood and a delight in the suffering of others, exemplified by cutting off heads and showing all of this on international television. We wonder if matters can get any worse!

The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, and that those who resist the will of God, on the one hand, can do great harm and on the other hand will suffer for their evil, and be eternally separated from the presence of God.

We must not be downcast and crying that we do not know what to do! God has warned us against the powers of evil and their effects. These powers and forces of evil are formidable. Ephesians 6:12, “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.

Revelation 12:17, “Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.” I think of a passage in Genesis, before the Flood: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) Surely we are seeing a similar thing in our day: the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.

Now what do we do? Do we despair? Do we give up praying? Do we give up studying and discerning what the scriptures teach? Do we remember Psalm 23? “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” (23:4) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,” (I Timothy1:7) We must be in prayer that God will give strength to those who are opposing Isis. We must honor the promises of God found in the Psalms and many places in the Bible that God will watch over us and protect us. Our Lord said, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:12,13)

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!