By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
LIFE IS FROM RELATIONSHIP
How do we enter this world?
All of us come out of our mother’s womb. I was delivered into this life in the Evangelical Deaconess Hospital in Chicago, IL, Sunday, 13 July 1930.
How do we live?
We are cared for by mother and father, and possibly by older siblings and family.
What are we to do?
Almost from the day of our birth, we begin to desire what is good and desirable for us. A baby makes its desires known by crying. We all need food and clothing and a proper placement to grow physically and learn habitually and mentally. We are to live where our parents live, to be taught and provided for by them. We are naturally selfish, and early on we expect (demand) that our desires will be filled. As we grow physically and mentally, hopefully we will be taught principles by father and mother who talk about God, and read from the Bible. What father and mothers always want is an ideal child, and hope that they will do what is right. The desires of father and mother for the children may not be the same–and it is possible there will be disagreement. The child may be dissatisfied, too.
How are we to know how to live?
Do we not recognize that we are not a happenstance? That the Earth and all people and animals have a Creator? The Bible gives us the information that God is our Creator. As we would not be here without parents, we would not have life without Him. In the Bible, we learn that God cares for us. As a good parent, he gives us rules that we should live by, with the Ten Commandments as an example. Through them we find out that God loves us, and that we are to love one another. Love is the capacity to desire good for others, and to be moved to help others. The children are to love their parents, and the parents to love their children.
However, we find ourselves in the midst of good and evil; of truth and falsehood of caring and indifference, and encounter ideas that are bad for us. Early on there are challenges as to what path we may take.
WE ARE CHALLENGED WITH SERIOUS PROBLEMS
1. Single moms account for 41% of infant births in the USA.
2. Children today are obsessed with cell phones, TV, computer games, texting, and pornography.
3. A large percentage of children today have become selfish, disrespectful, and unappreciative of what they have.
GOD IS THE EXAMPLE
There are many challenges, but we can rejoice that God is the example, in that he loves us, in spite of our sins. Since he created us, he knows what we are made of. He understands our needs and seeks our welfare. As we are born into this world through relationship with our parents, we can be born into a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. Children are fortunate who have parents with faith in God, who read and believe the teachings that are found in the Bible, and can introduce us to him.
We are fortunate to get guidance through good parents, through study of the Bible and through the fellowship with other believers. Even if not, God has equipped every human being with a conscience, that makes us feel guilty or satisfies us. God guides us through the Holy Spirit to sense the challenge of good and evil. We can choose either to live in a relationship with God or without a relationship. We are equipped with the ability to think. We are enabled to examine and consider. We make decisions either good or bad—and we live with the consequences.
We are challenged in what we read in the Bible. We may be tempted by the society in which we live. We may associate with friends who are a good influence upon us, or with others who lead us in bad paths. How do we discern the difference, or do we care? Do we respect the wisdom of God, or do we rebel against it.
Why are we inclined to what is bad?
There are good amusements, and there are bad, even awful amusements. The primary challenge comes out of the Bible. God teaches us through the prophets, Jesus Christ, and the apostles. We have a number of books that deal with issues of wisdom or folly. The problem may be an erroneous aptitude or seeking the favor of a crowd who do not honor God.
WE NEED A GOOD EXAMPLE
We should follow Jesus in his examples and teachings for our lives. Just as we need good food to eat that will strengthen us, we need truth that will guide us:
I Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”
Hebrews 12:1,2, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings to closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
GOOD EXAMPLES AT GREEN LEAF PRESS
On our Green Leaf Press Book List, we have a number of books that illuminate what is good and what is bad.
For example: “Stealing From God”, by Frank Turek;
“The Devil’s Delusion”, David Barlinski;
“The Rage Against God”, Peter Hitchens.
You can find these and other great Christian Books on our Green Leaf Press web page, where we give a 35% discount and even pay for shipping!
Though the world is in turmoil in the Middle East, in South Korea, in Afghanistan, in many of the countries of Africa with despots governing, seeking welfare for themselves, and not caring for their people, God surveys our lives, our sins and hopes and beliefs. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the hope of the world!
Psalm 121:7,8: “The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life,. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in, from this time forth and for evermore.”
Here’s wishing you a Relationship with God!