by Dr. Foster H. Shannon
We live in a world that is in turmoil. We see it in the struggles in the streets in Egypt; in the killing that continues in Syria, with little hope of resolve. We see it in the wickedness of the governing regime in North Korea. We see it in the city of Chicago, with a murder rate that is out of control; much of it blacks killing blacks. We see it in the restlessness of our streets; in the foolish recklessness and vandalism that occurred in Huntington Beach, California last Sunday, 21 July. People rioting, not for any cause or belief—just for the delight of destroying and pillaging property and fighting with one another!
Does God have a solution or does he will to allow us to learn the hard way through the costs of our foolishness? I believe the solution begins with our allegiance to our Lord and his teachings. One of those teachings is found in the letter of the apostle Paul to the church in Corinth: the chapter on love. We tend to use the word love by using it in superficial and misguided ways. Biblical love is a giving love, marvelously illustrated in John 3:16,
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…”
For many, love is sentiment, shallow and not deep.
Biblical love has to do with caring so much that you give something of yourself for the wellbeing of another. Instead of what can I get?, biblical love has to do with what can I give?
Biblical love is expressed clearly and concisely in I Corinthians 13:4-7:
“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 at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
Perhaps, we say sometimes to ourselves: Why does God not help me? Why does God not help us? Well, he helps us in his teachings recorded in scripture. He helps us in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who paid the penalty for our sins on the cross, so that we might be forgiven. He helps us when he calls us to righteousness and justice and truth: words that too easily can be misconstrued and misused. We redefine them to suit our interests..
Consider the words of Jesus: John 10:10:
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
And in John 10:27,28:
“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.”
God loves us. He wants us to find life and goodness and wholeness. He says in Ezekiel 18:23:
“Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?”
The world and we have a choice, it is either God’s way, God’s will, God’s purposes or our own way and our own will.
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.
‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!