FAITH AND CONFIDENCE

lion-in-mirror

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“If my people, who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14

I was ordained for ministry in March 1959, since before that time and to the present, I have been preaching, teaching, and writing about the significance and meaning of the Bible. I understand that some people are confused by the Bible, and frankly others have chosen to reject it. The foundation of what the Bible teaches is that we are to have a living relationship with our God forever. That God has created the universe and all forms of life. That God has created us in his image; we are his offspring, and he desires that we live with him forever.

The essential matter for all of us is that we are to live in obedience with what God teaches us. A serious obstacle is the powers and forces of evil that would draw us into their realm. We need understanding, and we are faced with choices—and all too frequently we may be tempted by what is at hand instead of the grace and mercy and glory of God. Even the best of Christians will acknowledge that they struggle with their sin (they have made wrong choices).

Our God understands our predicament. We need forgiveness. In the Old Testament times, that forgiveness came through confession, repentance, and offering sacrifices. Even though we are dealing with more than two thousand years in the Old Testament, we learn that our forgiveness and salvation comes through Jesus Christ: the atonement and salvation that was made possible through the cross of Jesus Christ.

“For our sake, he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” II Corinthians 5:21

God took upon himself our salvation, as he came into this world as Jesus Christ. God is triune, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father condemned the Son on the cross for our sins, we receive him by believing in him, and seeking forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Remember the words of Joshua 24:15,

“Choose you this day whom you will serve.”

We are responsible to cast our lot with our Savior. In him, we find forgiveness for all of our sins. Our salvation is not in us. It is in the grace and mercy of God in placing our sins in our beloved Savior.

“[Jesus] came to his own home and his own people received him not. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:11-13

The words of Jesus:

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.” John 10L27,28

We can look into an imaginary mirror, and become disgusted with ourselves. We need to look to Jesus and trust in him. He is our Savior. His promises are sure.

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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FORGIVENESS

forgive-me
By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Please Read: Matthew 18:23-35

A very rich king had loaned ten thousand talents to one of his servants. This would be a very large sum, probably the equivalent of several million dollars today. After a period of time, the king called upon the servant to repay what he had borrowed. The servant said he no longer had the money; he could not pay. As a consequence the king ordered the servant to be sold with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment would be made for them. The servant was shocked, he fell on his knees and begged the king to forgive him and that somehow, he would be able repay the loan. The king had pity on him, and ordered him released, and the debt forgiven.

The text tells us that when he went out, he met a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii (call it one hundred dollars). He grabbed the servant by the neck, and demanded that repayment be made. The servant was unable to repay, so he fell down on his knees, and begged for forgiveness. The king’s servant ordered his fellow servant to be put in prison, until he should pay the debt. Other servants reported to the king what he had done. The king summoned the servant who had been forgiven much. The king rebuked him, and ordered him put in jail until full payment be made. Jesus said, “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

The meaning of this parable is obvious. We come to God seeking forgiveness for all of our sins, because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins on the cross. He forgives us for every sin: what we have thought, what we have said, what we have done. We need to seek his forgiveness every day!

Matthew 18:21, “Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times? Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”

I hope that we all get the point! What God has done in forgiving us is exceedingly greater than any forgiveness we may give. When we forgive a member of our family, or an employer, or a teacher, or someone that made an unfilled promise—we must not carry around the faults of others for all of our lives. It will dishonor our Savior. Our hurt can turn into bitterness; we can become slaves in resentment; we can even become self-righteous.

Our Lord wants us to be free of resentment and hatred. I am not suggesting that we should commend bad manners, or crime, or evil. We honor our Lord when we look through the cross of salvation and forgive. Indeed, we can rejoice in the grace and mercy of our Lord! We can show our gratitude through our faith and our loyalty.

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!