Faith is “the essence of things hoped for. . . the evidence of things not seen”
I JOHN:1-21 invites us to recognize God’s goodness, greatness and purposes. In discovering what these passages have accomplished for my own understanding and application of the Bible, I am hopeful that sharing these words from the scriptures will be enlightening for you, too. As you read sections in the Bible, I encourage you to put what you find into your own statements.
The Bible tells us that not everything that we hear is of God. He requires that we ‘test the spirits’ to see if they are indeed from Him.
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God. For many false prophets have gone out into the world.” ~1John 4:2
God will not contradict himself, therefore the Holy Scriptures have been God’s vehicle for us to decipher his truth for many centuries.
The Bible declares there are many false prophets in the world, but how can we know which are untrue? His Word says,
“By this you will know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.” 1 John 4:2-4
The denial of Christ is the spirit of the Antichrist. Those who are of the world speak from their erroneous perspective.
“This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming, and is already in the world. You, little children, are from God and have overcome them, because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.…” 1 John 4:2-4
Though the world may not hear, we who are of the light and goodness of God – those who know God – listen to Him.
“He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
Jesus referenced Isaiah 42:20 when he said:
“This is why I speak to them in parables: ‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” ~Matthew 13:13
This is how we recognize both the spirit of God and the spirit of error:
“They are of the world. That is why they speak from the world’s perspective, and the world listens to them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error; whoever is not from God will not hear us. That is how we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of deception. ” ~1 John 4:6
Love comes from God—and he who loves is born of God.
“Beloved, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” ~1 John 4:7
He who does not love does not know God. God’s love was demonstrated in that he sent his only Son in to the world that we might love one another and learn to live by our relationship with Jesus.
We are to love God—but he loved us first. He sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Seeing that God loves us to this degree—we ought to love one another. When we love one another—we know that God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. How can we not forgive others, knowing we are forgiven?
We know that we abide in God because he has put his Spirit in us. The Father has sent the Son as the Saviour of the world. “Whoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.”~1 John 4:15
We know the love God has for us. We see that God is not distant. He is close to us. Our lives are enriched by his presence and teaching. He is love!
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear,” 1 John 4:18
We see in this passage of I John 4:20-21, a challenge to do what the Lord says, and to love one another.
“If anyone says, “I love God,” but hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” ~1 John 4:20
In your own words, put what you have read into your own heart, to live in your own life.
What are the Promises of God? They are Ultimate Truths we can believe, hold on to and partake of their blessings.
God creates us. God guides us. He prepares for our good and well being.
“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
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord O my Soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live, so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” Psalm 103:1-5.
“We know that in everything, God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first born among many brethren.” ~Romans 8:28-30
“Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” ~Jude 24
“Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be accountable to God. For no human being will be justified in his sight by works of the law, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation through his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because of his divine forbearing he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justified him who has faith in Jesus.” ~Romans 3:19-26
“For I will give you a mouth and wisdom which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.” ~Luke 21:15
God wants our repentance, so that we may have favor with him. He wants us to understand his mercy and his goodness, so that we may see ourselves as members in God’s family–and able to bear witness for salvation and life in Jesus Christ.
I recommend reading Romans 3:21-31:
“Count it all joy my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” James 1:2-4
By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
Need inspiration? I believe that God wants us to be happy people.
The basis of God’s instructions are with the Ten Commandments. We are to believe in God. We are to worship him. We are to give witness to those who need our Saviour. We understand that in our lives with much to experience—our relationship with Jesus Christ is primary. We are to avoid practices that conflict with the teaching of the scriptures. Indeed we should delight in the revelation that the Bible gives to us. God gives us life, understanding, concern for others, doing our best in our lives, and growing in the Grace of God.
Things would be much better in the world if people would just follow His guidance in the B.I.B.L.E. (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth)
The Ten Commandments in Exodus, chapter twenty are quite clear:
20:3 You shall have no other gods before me.
20:4 You shall not make for yourselves a graven image or in the likeness of anything that is in heaven above or earth beneath.
20:7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
20;8 Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. For six days we are to do our work.
20:12 Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.
20;13 You shall not kill. (Sadly, there are over 15,700 murders in the USA, yearly)
20:14 You shall not commit adultery. (Unfortunately there are 16,800 divorces each year in USA)
20;15 You shall not steal. (Work place thievery costs over 50 million each year)
20;16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
a. Damage relationships
b. Lose the trust of people
c. Cause dismay to those who are already unhappy
20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife nor his manservant, or his maidservant or his ox or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor’s.
The teachings in the Bible make it clear that we are to enjoy our lives. But not at the expense of others.
This is not a tall order. It just needs YOU to make it happen! How can we do it?
Let your Higher self be the boss of you.
We should be restrained in our speech.
“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 and love and self-control.” II Timothy 1;4
“Do your best to present yourself to God, as one approved, a workman who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
It is our great pleasure to be in the service of Almighty God.
GOD HAS GIVEN US SPIRITUAL GIFTS TO USE IN HIS SERVICE!
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same spirit to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy to another the ability to distinguish between Spirits.” I Corinthians 12: 4
We are to tell others about our faith in Christ, so that others will be encouraged and will come to believe in him. A person charged with the duty to seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, a guardian, superintendent.
We Are to remember the crucifiction and to celebrate the communion, the bread and the wine. We are to hear, remembering his death and Jesus resurrection remembering the gospel, and to believe in Jesus and to be baptized.
“Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan, I will now arise, says the Lord; I will place him in the safety for which he longs.” Psalm 12:5
Surely God wants businesses to be good and beneficial. God wants nations to be at peace. God has created the heavens and the earth; the mountains and the valleys; He established the rivers, the lakes, the stars, and the seas. He has made us male and female. He established animal life, the fish in the sea, the birds in the air.
He desires your enlightenment. God wants us to be confident.
We have responsibilities to help others: In our major cities, hundreds, if not thousands have spent the night on the roads and the sidewalks.
We have responsibilities in our homes and must work together — And not expect the other members of the family to do everything.
“But Jesus looked at them and said to them. With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible,” John 19:26
“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.” Mark 13:24-27
Time is running out!
Use it for GOOD, while you CAN!
“…let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy! Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song to Him who rides upon the clouds; His name is the Lord, exult before Him!” ~ Psalm 68:3,4
We all want to be happy – and most of us want happiness for others.
Happiness can come from a variety of happenings. We gain happiness from doing something well. We can study and obtain knowledge. We can create. We may become proficient with a musical or artistic talent.
And happiness can also come from our relationships with other people. Can we be happy alone? Maybe. If you are in a situation where others are mistreating you, it might make you happier to be alone.
And what if we are still not ‘happy’?
Thank Goodness, Joy comes from within, when we are at one with the Lord. In HIM we are never alone.
“Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” ~Matt 28:20
We have God’s promise of true joy forever in His presence!
“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. ~Ps. 16:11
“At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” ~John 14:20.
Having a religion is one thing. Having a relationship with the Lord is entirely different.
It’s one thing to assert to his existence. But it’s another to KNOW Him. We can believe Elvis existed and may have even seen him in concert. But if we had actually met him, ate and shared time with him every day, then we would be able to say we truly ‘knew’ him.
As we come into true belief and faith in God, we can know Him personally and find joy beyond happiness as we commune with him each day in prayer and fellowship.
“Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”~Ps. 16:11
His desire is that we might have joy, and that our joy may be FULL.
“There are many who say, O that we might see some good! Lift up the light of thy countenance upon us O Lord! Thou hast put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” Psalm 4:6,7
We may study God’s word and ponder Him in thought. In prayer we grow in grace and receive His spirit into our hearts. And as we walk with Him each day we are transformed. Nothing can substitute for a personal encounter with the Savior. Knowing Jesus brings Joy that can never be experienced by outward religious observance alone.
Rejoice! Jesus said: “These things I have spoken unto you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11
“And my God will supply all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
Jesus said in Matthew 6:33:
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness – and all these things shall be yours as well.”
We came into this world through our parents. While we were babies, they cared for us. As we grew up, they provided for us. And who provided for them? We live on planet Earth that was created by God. He is the one from whom we all get life.
1- Through Creation:
He speaks to us through the wonder of the universe we live in – the entirety of existence. The planets, the stars, the Constellations. All human, animal and vegetable life are the work of God. He who created us knows what is best for us. He speaks to us that we may know Him.
2- Through the Bible:
“Your word, O Lord, is settled in heaven” ~Ps. 119:89
“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.” ~Proverbs 30:5
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness” ~ 2 Timothy 3:16
3- Through his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ:
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” ~Heb 1:1,2
“…These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” ~John 20:31
4- Through the Holy Spirit:
“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” ~2 Peter 1:21
God has given us our conscience, that He embeds in each one of us, so we and others may live a righteous and beautiful life.
God cares about you very much and wants to protect you from harm.
God is paying attention to you, and we are to pay attention to Him that he may give us understanding and wisdom and inspiration to care for others. We must not disrespect God, for if we do, we have challenged what he has taught us – and there are consequences. We will miss the land of goodness and we will struggle with the land of disobedience.
He teaches us the right kind of living, so that we may be in good health, have good relations with other people and live a good life.
He gives us laws that are a map for our lives: The Ten Commandments in Exodus 20; the teachings of the prophets; and, most importantly, the teachings of Jesus.
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”” ~John 8:32
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” ~Matthew 7:7
God is our Creator and our keeper. Our life is His gift. We can have a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior through Jesus Christ. When we accept him into our hearts He speaks to us. We can then ‘walk with God’.
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:6)
He watches over us. Because he cares for us, he will also rebuke us. The Holy Spirit ‘comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable‘. The word SANCTIFICATION and sanctify are found in the Bible many times. It means faith in God and spiritual growth before God. It means our willing responses to his teachings and our confident hope of continuing growth and our entrance into Heaven.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” ~Ps 119:11
“Finally, brethren, we beseech and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God, just as you are doing, you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God for your sanctification – that you abstain from immorality… For God has not called us for uncleanness but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.” (I Thessalonians 4:1-3;7,8)
“Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 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, 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. (Hebrews 12:1,2)
There are important things that we may do to strengthen our walk with God:
Many of us have a favorite football, baseball, or basketball team. We want to see our team win. We rejoice in victory. We rejoice in athletics—but shouldn’t our enthusiasm for God be even greater?
We have something eternal to rejoice in!
“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.” (I Peter 1:3-4)
Thank you for reading,
Foster H. Shannon
PS – Remember to get my book, Answering Questions People Ask About Christianity, one of the greatest tools I have created to help you discover the treasures the Bible offers, as well as a dynamic reference in sharing nuggets of truth with others who are struggling.
I am always here to help with any questions.
Please contact me by email here:
Blessings to all!
Foster H. Shannon
By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
Do people keep their promises?
Most of the time they do. But sometimes they don’t.
Numbers 23:19 tells us that “God is not a man, that he should lie”
He has given us His WORD that He loves us. You can believe Him. Here’s proof:
“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)
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” ~Ephesians 2:9
“For all who are led by the Spirit are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14)
“it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:16,17)
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” ~Ephesians 2:10
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” (I Peter 2:9)
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”
“Whom the Lord calls, He will also enable” ~Romans 8:30
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” (I Corinthians 12:4-7)
“And this is the record, that God has GIVEN us eternal life, and this life is in His son. He who has the son has life, and he who does NOT have the son does not have life. These things have I written to you that believe in the name of the son of God, that you may KNOW that you HAVE eternal life, and that you may believe in the name of the son of God.” I John 5: 11-13
“Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (I Corinthians 15: 49)
“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)
“…whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be saved” ~ Joel 2:32
“My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
“No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those who love him.” I Corinthians 2:9)
“Thou dost show me, the path of life; in thy presence there is fullness of joy, in thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
Don’t be afraid to come to God.
He wants you to come. He’s given you His Word on it. He says,
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
“Seek and ye SHALL find.
Knock and the door SHALL be opened.
ASK and it SHALL be given.”
Searching for the truth in the Bible can seem like mining for gold.
However, as one who has been mining it’s pages for many years, I have done the digging for you, helping you find it’s riches without getting lost along the way.
For instance, my book, Answering Questions People Ask About Christianity is one of the great tools I have created to help you discover the treasures the Bible offers, as well as a dynamic reference in sharing truth with others.
And as always, I am always here to help with any questions.
Blessings to all!
Foster H. Shannon
He should! He created the Universe – our world with its mountains and streams, oceans, lakes and plains and made the clouds, stars, planets, the atmosphere in which we breathe and in which our plants grow. He created the animals: dogs and cats, sheep and cattle, horses, lions and tigers, camels, giraffes, kangaroos and monkeys, all kinds of fish, sharks, penguins, whales, seals, and turtles. And He created us – with a capacity to work, reproduce and provide for our families, enjoyment and studies. He made it possible for us to have all we need: flowers and trees, fruits and grains.
It is evident that God wants us to have a good life. He provides for us and taught us how to live as friends by following the Ten Commandments:
1.You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make for yourself a graven image
3.You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
4. Remember the seventh day to keep it holy
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not kill.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet.
Surely we want an orderly life in our homes, and in our neighborhoods! We do not want to be robbed. We expect our promises to be kept. We want the teachings of God to be respected. To ignore and break the teachings of God is to commit sin. The word sin is in the Bible again and again. God understands everything, and warns us when we disregard his teachings. Nations fight with one another, and people steal and lie and kill and curse, not realizing they can have their needs met an easier way, by following God’s advice.
He knows us well. We delight in the teachings and Counsel from God by reading His word every day!
Some become cranky, resentful, harmful and destructive. God can help us love and encourage one another.
Nations fight with one another, killing and destroying, and God gives us directions in great passages throughout The Psalms, Gospels, and scriptures for guidance.
God calls us to live in peace. He wants us to be faithful in our marriages and not to commit adultery with another man or woman. He wants us to love each other and not to divorce. Love covers a multitude of sins and can help us overcome many problems. We should teach our children to be responsible to ourselves and others, to avoid fornication and not to abort their babies. Our good example will speak volumes.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbals. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful. I is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on is own way, it is not irritable on resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all thing, hopes all things, endures all these things.” (I Corinthians 13:1-7)
Whether we live in the United States or in some other country, our hopes are founded on the teachings of God. Moral citizens and happy families will produce a happy nation. Unfortunately this is not the case. Many don’t go to church and about 60,000 murders and 830,000 divorces occur each year in the USA alone – including over 70,000 opioid deaths.
Sometimes, we get disappointed with ourselves, that we are not very good Christians: God teaches us and gives us encouragement:
“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 which my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous and he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins – and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:1)
“Count it all joy my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
“But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.(Philippians 3:20)
“All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching for reproof, and, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that everyone who belongs to God may be complete equipped for every good work. (II Timothy 3:16,17)
“For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to understand or contradict. (Luke 21:15)
In other words, DON’T GIVE UP THE SHIP!
Foster H. Shannon
“The safest place to be is in the center of God’s Will.” ~ Corrie ten Boom
Many look upon Christianity as harsh, hard to believe, oppressive and no fun. Many think that they can live quite well without Jesus Christ and the Bible. The Bible teaches that God is our Creator, and that he loves us. God gives strength to those who believe in him. God is the source of goodness—without him we live in darkness! He teaches us and even chastises us for our welfare. We expect rulers with all the power to seek what’s best for their people. However, we have many tyrants in our world today, only looking out for themselves. God condemns tyrants, who look out for themselves at the expense of those who over whom they rule. Adolf Hitler is an example. He had no faith in God. He led Germany and all of Europe into destruction and ordered thousands of Jews executed. Know that their sin will be punished.
Consider the present scene in Bashar al-Assad’s rule over Syria, where more than one hundred thousand were killed. His leadership demonstrates he cares more for himself than for his people. Another example is Venezuela with President Nicolas Maduro presiding over a country terribly troubled. It is quite evident that he is more concerned for himself than for those under his care.
The scriptures make it plain that lying is contrary to the will of God. We are all to prefer truth and not to lie:
“He [The Devil] was a murderer from the beginning, refusing to uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” ~ John 8:44
“But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall glory; for the mouths of liars will be stopped.” (Psalm 63:11)
“If anyone says,“I know Him,” but does not keep His commandments,he is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (I John 2:3-5)
“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the new nature with its practices and have put on the new nature,” (Colossians 3:9,10)
It is encouraging that many in the United States believe in the Bible and in Jesus Christ. Thanks to the Gallup surveys: 80% believe that the Bible is the actual or the inspired word of God; 65% claim to belong to a Church or a Synagogue; almost 40% claim to read the Bible at least once a week.
God is looking out for us that we may have good families and avoid thievery. He wants us to receive and tell the truth. He wants us to be kind and thoughtful of others. The parable of the “Good Samaritan” (Luke, chapter 10) encourages us to be of help of others even it is a cost to us. We certainly do not want murder.
“When a man’s ways please the Lord, he make even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (Proverbs 16:7)
The Bible makes it plain that we live in a moral universe. God is the Creator; he has made human beings in his own image; we have a sense of right and wrong. We call this our conscience. God gives us an abundance of guidelines to live by, because he loves us. Are we to say that it is nice to have these teachings, but they really do not matter, since we can live our lives as we please? The Bible teaches us that the consequences of such attitudes are formidable.
From the beginning of the world, God has given us guidance. An example is the Ten Commandments, found in Exodus 20:1-17.
Here is an abstract:
1. You shall have no other gods before me.
2. You shall not make for yourself a graven image—you shall not bow down to them or worship them.
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not bear witness against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet.
The above are for our well-being
The Bible correctly analyzes and resolves the most pressing problems of human beings. God wants us to have healthy lives, thus his teaching and commandments are given that we may be happy, and that we may make others happy. When people believe in the Bible, they find that it works. Their lives are better, and the lives of those around them are better.
The resurrection of our Savior is a great example. There would be no Christianity, if it were not for the resurrection. The disciples were wonderfully changed by the reality of the resurrection.
THESE RULES ARE VERY HELPFUL!
by Dr. Foster H. Shannon
Should we just ignore the things in the world that clamor for our attention today? To our dismay, we see it filled with all kinds of evil: Thievery, deceit, cheating, murder, warfare, adultery, and licentiousness.
This is where the Bible has a lot to say that makes sense. It exposes all the evil in the world for what it is. It lays out a path for us to follow so we may have a good life, despite the evil in it. The message from beginning to end tells us what we are and why we are and who we are meant to be.
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 to follow him.
“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)
If we are to grow in the grace of God, we must keep close to Him in Spirit. He speaks to us through His Word in the Bible and through the Holy Spirit.
“THY WORD have I hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.” ~Ps 119:11
It is essential for us to be studying it every day to see what God wants to teach us, and what he wants us to do. When you read the Bible every day, it will come back to you, just when you need it, through the Holy Spirit. This is one of the promises God makes to us in His Word:
“All this I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have told you. Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled; do not be afraid.” ~John 14:25-27
The more you read the Bible, the more you will appreciate its value! It is guidance for life. If you haven’t been reading it every day, choose a plan for every morning or afternoon or evening and hopefully set aside one-half hour for your reading.
“O Lord in the morning, you do hear my voice; in the morning, I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” (Psalm 5:3)
“…For You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You take no pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” ~Ps. 51:17
It is God who teaches us right and wrong, so that we may know how we should live. Indeed, he has embedded a conscience in us , so that we may be convinced of what is right and what is wrong. The conscience is exceedingly valuable. We are warned not to corrupt our consciences.
“… the aim of our charge is LOVE that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith.” (I Timothy 1:5)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” ~Ps 51:10
God has given us the teachings of the prophets, the teachings of Jesus, and the teachings of his disciples. His authority is written on our hearts.
He wants us to have a good life. He wants us to be healthy. He desires what is good for us. To those who forsake the Lord he gives this warning:
“Therefore thus says the Lord God: “I spoke and you did not listen; you did evil in My sight and chose that in which I did not delight. Behold, my servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold, my servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you. shall be put to shame; behold, my servants shall sing for gladness of heart, but you shall cry out for pain of heart, and shall wail for anguish of spirit.” ~ Isaiah 65:12,13,14
When we pray, we speak to God. When we meditate, we LISTEN to Him.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it, for then you shall make your way prosperous and then you shall have good success.” (Joshua 1:8)(Matthew 11:28-30)
We need to be in harmony with God to have the life and life “more abundantly”, that Jesus promises. We need to sit at his feet and learn from him. We must be students, drinking deeply of the truth He gives for our good.
The Bible teaches us what is right and warns us against what is wrong. We are to love God first, and love our neighbors as ourselves.
“Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3,4)
“So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7:12)