GOOD NEWS!

In Christ we move from darkness to light . . .

In Christ we move from darkness to light . . .

By Dr. Foster H. Shannon

“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature.” (II Peter 1:3-4)

The gospel means good news. Frequently, those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, underestimate the riches that God disposes on those who believe.

In Jesus Christ we move from darkness to light—we move from guilt to redemption. We move from doubt to assurance. We have a wonderful eternal destiny that exceeds our imagination. We have riches in our Savior that are beyond measure:

“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, who by God’s power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (I Peter 1:3,4)

What was the secret of the disciples, the apostle Paul, and many others who built the church on the foundation of Jesus Christ? The disciples had spent at least three years with their Savior. They knew that he was for real. When Saul of Tarsus (Paul) encountered Christ in a vision on the road to Damascus, intending to persecute Christians, his life was transformed. These servants of God endured abuse, prison, and hardships because they knew Christ and his kingdom. We know that Paul was, at times, discouraged, but he was like the psalmists who ask God if he has forgotten them, always ending up praising God for his promises and his goodness.

“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Our God is a God of salvation; and to God, the Lord, belongs escape from death.” (Psalm 68:19)

They knew that they were on the edge of God’s eternal kingdom; that they were on the winning team. We think of the person who sees his glass full, not empty. The word of God overflows with good news.

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” (II Corinthians 2:14) 

The believer has the great privilege of being an ambassador for God to a world in need. Our lives are valuable because we belong to God, and because we know that we have eternal life with him forever. We know that he will never fail us nor  forsake us.

We live in a time when Christians can grow discouraged. The society that we live in has gone sour with unbelief, fornication, adultery, broken families, hopelessness, violence, and discouragement. Many seek relief in the crummy dramas that are on television. They do not realize that salvation is nearer than they think! We cannot exhaust the goodness, grace, and mercy of our God. Let us bless him, rejoice in him, and delight to do his will. We find in him the life that is life, indeed!

Foster H. Shannon
P.S.
By Robert J. Morgan, is available at GoGreenLeaf.com. It includes music and lyrics to the most loved Hymns of all time. This is your chance to take advantage of it at a great price!
 

 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.
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The IMPORTANCE of FREEDOM

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by Dr. Foster H. Shannon

Thursday, July 4, is the day in 2013 that we annually celebrate the independence of the United States of America. What does it mean to be free? Not to be coerced, not to be compelled to do something contrary to your will. Freedom is having the ability to decide your own destiny, hopefully within the will of God. When God calls us to believe in Jesus Christ—he wants us to be free from false allegiances, from harmful loyalties—from dangerous courses. Sin is tyranny. Faith and trust in God is freedom. People seek freedom from tyranny because they want to be free from the domination of a despot. Unfortunately, many people surrender their freedom when they become addicted to drugs, alcohol, sex, or hatred.

Freedom is believing in Jesus Christ—walking in his will. Freedom is making your own decisions, and not being compelled to do things that are contrary to your will. There is a false freedom that celebrates the will of man above the will of God. This freedom ultimately leads to destruction and disaster. Liberty consists in the freedom to do good—not to do evil. Freedom of speech does not give us the right to make malicious or false statements about others. Freedom of worship means that every person has the right to worship God as they please.

Our nation was built on the principle that the source of law and freedom comes from God. Note the highlighted references to God in The Declaration of Independence:

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness….

We therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in general Congress assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,…And, for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

The founders of our nation understood the seriousness of human sin when constructing the Constitution of the United States of America. They reckoned with Lord Acton: “All power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Therefore, the political power was divided between the national government and the states, with the balance of power left to the states. It was further organized by dividing the powers within the national government between Administrative, Legislative, and Judicial. Our founders recognized that we can barely trust ourselves—for many people have a lust for power, and a desire to use it for their personal benefit. “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately corrupt, who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

God offers us freedom! I Peter 2:16, “Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but live as servants of God.”

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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