North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose

There is reason to be happy this time of year and you know what it is. Many years ago, almost two thousand to be exact, the true Savior Jesus of Nazareth, entered the world in the form of a little babe. Because of his life, because of his act of obedience to the heavenly Father, we have a way to be reconciled to the Creator. This means for you and me, we have reason to hope beyond what we have to endure here on earth. It is well worth a few moments each day to take pause and reflect that earth is not all there is and that eternity in heaven holds a glorious future for us when our work on earth is done.

Think of your own loved ones who have left this physical life. Perhaps it is difficult for you to experience the fullness of Joy, this time of year, because of a family member’s death or a friends passing. These things are understandable. For man’s heart is quick to give way to sentiment. We long to feel the love and presence of those departed from us. The more I read from God’s Word and the more I study Scripture, the more I am convinced our departed loved ones are not that far away. And because Christianity teaches that our soul lives forever when we are saved, we can take comfort in the fact our loved ones are alive and well! They are in a dimension that awaits those who have accepted God’s gift of eternal life (1 John 5:11). It is times like these that you might ask yourself, will it always be this hard? Can I ever be happy and have Christmas joy at this time of year again? The answer is a resounding Yes! Yes you can. Fondness for past relationships and the joys attached to them are reflections of what’s in your heart.

One of the great things I miss about Christmas is spending Christmas Eve with all the extended family and particularly my Grandfather. My memory will never let me forget his giving spirit, his quick wit, his stories, his kindness, and his love. I am thankful for every moment I had with him. My daughter reminded me of this in a quote not too long ago. She wrote, “Don’t cry because they’re gone, smile because of the time you had with them” (paraphrased). It is times like these when we need to draw close to God (James 4:8) for comfort in our sorrows and sadness. Read the Bible and discover the promises God has given. They will be like blessed pages of sunshine to bring light to your darkness and peace to your heart.

How true it is—Jesus is the reason for the Christmas season. We can apply this to all seasons of time. Jesus, the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger, grew to be a man that paid your sin debt and mine on the cross. Glory to God in the highest, and peace, goodwill toward everyone (Luke 2:14). Jesus accomplished his goal, he left his mark, and his words ring out to all who will hear: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27). Jesus the blessed Messiah we celebrate at Christmas time helps us to know God. Once you put your troubles and anxieties into the loving hands of God, you do not need to take them back again. And just think what you get in return for putting them in His hands. You get the Prince of Peace, a Savior who is Christ the Lord. The greatest Christmas gift ever! Jesus says, “My peace I give unto you.” If you accept Jesus as your Savior, like Mary so long ago, you will be the “favored” one (Luke 1:30). He will make you alive, the Lord will be with you and you do not have to be afraid, and nothing will be impossible for  you in partnership with God (Luke 1:37). Celebrate Christmas by finding a church, attend faithfully, and follow God in all your ways. Merry Christmas everyone!


  • This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, University of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts and questions concerning faith, belief, and Christian living.


Posted by on Dec 24 2011. Filed under Living With Purpose, Local, Top News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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