By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
Janis and I worshiped at Hollywood Presbyterian Church on Sunday, 1 November. It was a good service; we appreciated it, and the best part was a story from a lady who had been delivered from darkness and brought into the light. Her marriage had broken up, and she had been cast out and forced to leave her two daughters behind. Left with nothing, she found help in a shelter for abused women. Two women from the Hollywood Church connected with her and helped provide for her needs. They explained the love and goodness of God to her and invited her to attend church. Her children were returned to her. The two women gave a brief report on her background. Down to nothing, she had no assurance of God. In the worship service, she told us how her life had been transformed, how God’s presence had become a daily reality for her. With God’s help, she is now growing in the grace of God, and standing on her own feet. It was an amazing testimony.
In a way, we are not surprised. We know the difference that Jesus Christ can make in people’s lives. But it is always good to have a fresh reminder of that reality! The proof in the pudding is that Christianity works. Our lives are always better off with Jesus than without him. How often do we learn of people’s lives being destroyed by alcoholism, drug abuse, cheating, stealing, deceiving, and violence! We recognize that they could have have a good life, if they would trust in Jesus, and live in harmony with his teachings.
How is it that we are to know that we are always to tell the truth?
How is it that we are to know that we should help others?
How is it that we should know that kindness is to be preferred to meanness?
How is it that we are to know that life has a purpose with a marvelous destiny?
Where would we be if we had no Savior, no Bible, and no church?
Where there is life, there is hope.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, become the new has come.” (II Corinthians 5:17)
“…and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)
In celebrating the Lord’s Supper, we affirm our bond with Jesus, receiving his body and his blood. When you go to the store and find something that you want, you purchase it. It is one thing to want or to desire something. It is a further step to make it your own.
We are dealing here with a Christianity that is alive. It is not enough for a person to to believe in the existence of God. When we become new people in Jesus Christ and accept him as our Savior—we belong to him. We are members of the family of God. We must proceed from belief to faith to obedience.
“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)
Foster H. Shannon
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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