CALLED TO SERVE

With GOD as the HEAD… We can be the Arms and Legs!

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

God has rightly assessed our human nature. We are sinners who foolishly ignore and contradict the word of God. The Bible warns of the dangers of evil, that multitudes have chosen darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil. Adam and Eve, whom God made, rebelled against God and turned to sin, rejecting God’s teaching and guidance. That rebellious spirit has been our inheritance ever since. The Bible teaches that we all are in conflict with evil. We must flee evil and not embrace it.

“For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him…And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:17 & 19)

What the Bible says about human beings is accurate. He calls upon us to turn to him. From God flows discernment, truth, righteousness, goodness, understanding, and salvation. God wants us to be people of integrity, adhering to the truth, keeping promises, doing what is right, loving what is good.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:1,2)

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17)

We have the privilege of learning about Jesus, believing in him, finding life in him. He teaches us what is right. We need to be his followers. He bids us join him in his ministry in this life.

“But seek first [the Father’s] kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Matthew 6:30)

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you: and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation God’s own people that you may that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Peter 1:9)

As believers in Jesus Christ we are not a separate clan loosely associated with him. We are stunned to realize that we are called to work with and for him.

“And whatever you do in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17)

God has called us to a great service! We my tend to think of Jesus as distant, not closely connected. Actually, he is right with us, wherever we may be. Let us not say that we cannot help. Let us accept the opportunities that he sets before us. Isn’t it great that our Lord needs us in his work! Should we not recognize that we are honored to be called on by our Lord to work with him?

“And [Jesus] said to them , “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” (Luke 10:2)

The Lord calls some to be missionaries—but what about the mission God calls us to, where we are?

THE IMPORTANCE OF DECISIONS

By Dr.Foster H. Shannon

TheThinker, by Rodin

Almost all of the decisions that we make affect someone. We live in a sea of decisions that were made before we were born! The decision of Eve to allow herself to be beguiled by the devil and then Adam’s decision to  follow her in disobedience of God has impacted the human race ever since. We are affected in our daily lives by thousands of decisions made before we were alive: where our parents chose to live, what work they engaged in, our ancestors that decided to make North America/the United States their home, perhaps.

The counselors of King George III who urged him to bear down on the Colonies; the decision of King George III to impress his will on the American colonists with armed force. George Washington and the founders of our nation—all impact where we are today. We may ask why are we where we are; why did this happen? The answer, at least in part, is that thousands of decisions made by others over hundreds of years have brought us to this place.

I remember our visit to Lebanon in 1973 and to Israel and to many countries in the eastern Mediterranean. Things were much better at that time than they are now. As we traveled the roads in Lebanon, I observed many good cars severely damaged left by the side of the road (Mercedes seemed to be in abundance). I asked, what was going on to cause so many accidents? I was told that many of these people are Muslims and believe that Allah has determined everything. Why be conscientious about your driving?

“Whatever will be will be.” We call this determinism.

Many believe in a determinism that rules out free will. Indeed, a lot of things have been determined for us, but our choices and decisions are important. The Bible recognizes free will and human responsibility. The Bible speaks of choices:

Joshua 24:11: “And if you be unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”<br/ >
John 3:19:” And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” <br/ >
Matthew 11:28: “Come unto me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”<br/ >

I acknowledge, that when I speak of my salvation in Jesus Christ, I give the credit to God. But there must be some response. We are called upon to believe and obey. We remember that virtually every decision we make will have an impact upon others. If a person never reads the Bible, does not attend church, curses in the name of the Lord and savors bitterness in his life—he has made a series of decisions that will keep him forever alienated from God. And those decisions impact the lives of other people!

Again and again we are called to believe in the word of God, to believe in Jesus Christ, and to honor our Lord by the way that we speak and live—and thereby find life.

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.
He is currently Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA. He is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. He is the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, which he established with others in 1981. Green Leaf Press, Inc. 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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