MAKING DECISIONS

decision2

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

All of us must make decisions. What time do we get up in the morning? My dear wife has to decide what it is that we should eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (yes, I do give her some suggestions and some help). What college should I attend? What vocation shall I choose? How shall I dress today? Which bills should I pay first? Where shall we go on vacation?

We have the responsibility to choose what we shall believe. There are only so many options: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Atheism, Agnosticism, New Age, (Syncretism, a mixture of religions) We should choose the one that is most true, that makes sense, that is most consistent, that upholds goodness and avoids harm. In the world in which we live, we have seven choices. Atheism and Agnosticism are choices of disbelieving in God or questioning the likelihood of God’s existence. Every person has a choice to make, whether they like it or not. There is either the wrong religion or the right religion. I think it is essential to remind people that they only have seven choices, and which choice they make is vitally important!

We live in the world, hoping that all will be good, but to our dismay, we find it filled with much evil: Thievery, jealousy, cruelty, lying, deceit, murder, warfare, adultery, licentiousness. Where is the path to goodness? The Bible makes sense. Its message is the same from beginning to end. It tells us what we are and why we are. It lays out a path for us that we may have a good life. God created the universe, the world that we live in. He created the plants and the animals, and he created men and women in his image.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1,2)

We know that we need to be better people. There are many people who are incredibly bad. The Bible speaks to this reality. It urges upon us a good life. God seeks our salvation. We find salvation in Jesus Christ, who paid the penalty for our sins. It is only in Jesus Christ that we find forgiveness and new life. The Bible assesses our situation far better than any other religion.

God provides a path of salvation for all who will believe in him and trust him. God understands that we have no ability to save ourselves. Because of our inability, he has taken our salvation upon himself. Jesus came to Earth for the people of this planet. He offered himself up for our sins. God is triune; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ came to Earth in order to atone for our sins. We cannot atone for our sins. The heavenly Father punished his innocent Son for our sins. Jesus is our Savior. With the sacrifice of his life, he paid the penalty for our sin. We are invited to believe in him, trust in him, obey him, rejoice in him. In these matters Christianity is unique.

On making decisions, make sure to watch this special interview with Foster, on the Book of Revelation:
Click on the image above to see excerpts from an interview with Dr. Shannon talking about the book of Revelation!

Click on the image above to see the video.

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!




 

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.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!




 

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!




 

THE GIFT OF GOD

shepherds see angels

by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

The greatest Christmas gift is Jesus Christ! We are impressed with the gifts which the Magi brought: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts were expensive and impressive. They inspire the giving of gifts during the Christmas season. However, the major giver for Christmas is God the Father, who gave his only begotten Son so that we might have forgiveness of our sins and gain an eternity in his presence.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Gifts are important at Christmas, are they not? Think of how the children look forward to Christmas day and the opening of gifts for which they have longed. Indeed, there are relatively few who are not enticed—and looking forward to receiving a gift at Christmas. We give Christmas gifts out of love. Sometimes we give Christmas gifts to impress. Some may even give Christmas gifts to outdo someone else in their giving. The purchase of Christmas gifts has become an important factor in our economy. We all know of Black Friday: the Friday after Thanksgiving, when the department stores claim to begin making a profit for the year. The commotion regarding Christmas has become an important economic factor for many businesses.

We read in Romans 3:24,

“…they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,” “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God…” (Ephesians 2:8)

We note that gifts are given without any expectation of payment on the part of the receiver. Thus, when we speak of salvation we see it as an act of God’s grace. We are undeserving; unable to repay!

Much of the Christmas music that we cherish and enjoy reminds us of the greatness and glory of our God—and that the true riches are to be found in him. There is a lesson from the gospel of John, chapter four, when Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman near the well.

“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink’, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)

“Hark! The herald angels sing, Glory to the new-born King;

Peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!

Joyful, all ye nations, rise, Join the triumph of the skies;

With the angelic host proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!”

Hail the heaven born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness!

Light and life to all He brings, Risen with healing in His wings,

Mild He lays His glory by, Born that man no more may die,

Born to raise the sons of earth, Born to Give them second birth.”

CHRISTMAS IS A TIME TO HUMBLY RECEIVE THE GREAT GIFT THAT GOD GIVES US

IN JESUS CHRIST—AND TO EXPRESS OUR ADORATION OF HIM.

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!