By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
“Finally, brethren whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:6-9)
What we see in the Bible is to encourage and teach us. This passage, from the book of Philippians is characteristic of the biblical teaching on how we should live.
Where do we get this kind of thinking and doing?
We have the Ten Commandments, the teachings of our Saviour, and the words of the prophets.
How do we know that this comes from God? Because it is radiating from beginning to end.
The consequences of ignoring God are like a spiritual car wreck.
It is evident that many people believe that they can live their lives without God. We live in a day when many are unhappy and confused. Many actually state that they do not believe in the reality of God. Or they may believe that there is a God—but they don’t care!
For 4000 years the Bible has affirmed God as the creator:
Where do we come from? What makes us what we are? Is our existence an accident without any explanation? How can we recognize what is right and wrong without the Bible? The Bible affirms the reality of God from the beginning of the world. He created our world, and he created us. It is dangerous to ignore God and his teachings. We would not have such learning if it were not for God.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep; and the spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:1,20)
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5)
The word of God – and the presence of the Holy Spirit— enables us and gives us confidence.
“In many and various ways, God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God, and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power.” (Hebrews 1:1-3)
How shall we live?
The Bible teaches us to be better people:
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice in the wrong, but rejoices in what is right. Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (I Corinthians 13:4-7)
What helps us to believe effectively?
- Cultivate friends who believe in and respect God.
- Worship God at home, and in the Church.
- Read good books that strengthen your understanding and your faith.
Here is a spiritual challenge:
Look up the 65 books in the Green Leaf Press website: www.gogreenleaf.com…
Order at least one book, and when finished reading it, order another! This will strengthen your faith and your ability to speak convincingly with the people of this world.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” ~Eph. 6:10