by Dr. Foster H. Shannon
I am writing this in a motel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We are currently on a thee week road trip from from Los Angeles through Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. We were in Dallas for four days for the Fellowship of Presbyterians/ECO Gathering. There were at least 1300 in attendance. We had the opportunity to be one of the Exhibitors. We presented almost all of the books that we sell through Green Leaf Press, and sold a good number of them. I appreciated the opportunity to talk with many who came to our table. We have seen great beauty along the way in fantastic variety. We are blessed in what we see: grandeur, vegetation, and animal life. What also impresses me are the people: friends, family, and brief contacts. Our relationships with other people are of great importance! Renewing and strengthening relationships is very meaningful. God did not create us to live our lives alone. We need other people. How wonderful when you eat in a restaurant and the staff are courteous and kind to you; that friends and family are glad to see you. People are important to us. The Bible recognizes the importance of personal relationships, so it gives us commandments and instructions. Part of it is that we don’t put other people down to raise ourselves up. Consider the following: “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) We live in a day when many people are discouraged by failures in the governments, drug abuse, all kinds of violence and crime, and the terrorists and evil people in the world at large. If we believe in Jesus, we must reckon with the reality of evil. We cannot wish it away. However, we must continue strong and courageous in his presence and goodness. We have much to encourage us: 1. We are loved by God
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16)
2. We are created in the image of God
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27)
3. We belong to God. We are enfolded into his family
“But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (John 1:12)
4. We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
“We are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,” (Romans 8:16,17)
5. We are appointed to serve God.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (John 6:33)
“…what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (II Timothy 2:2)
6. We are destined for a beautiful, eternal relationship with our Savior.
“…and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)
“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)