North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose by Matt Dobson

Memorial Day Edition

The true stories of valor and courage my grandfather told me concerning his service in the U.S. Army I will remember all my life. He served our country in World War II and the Korean Conflict. As a young kid sitting at his feet, all the way through adulthood, I was always intrigued by his story-telling ability. It created a sense of heroism in my minds-eye. He served his country with integrity and honor. He was proud to serve and never lost his sense of dedication to the great principles the United States were founded upon. He was one of the fortunate ones who were able to serve and come back to their family. Some of his friends and fellow soldiers did not. They sacrificed their lives so we could be free. That’s why we remember our fallen servicemen and women during this time of year.

On the last Monday of each May our nation observes Memorial Day. This is the day to commemorate and remember the lives and sacrifices of those who fought and gave what we consider the greatest sacrifice they could give, so that you and I can live our lives today in freedom. There are some things worth remembering and this is one of them. The Bible says, “Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). The Christian Law Association says: “This love of country—this sense of honor and duty—should be reverenced and admired for the calling that these men and women have so admirably given of themselves to fulfill. Our military servicemen and women are daily placed in harm’s way both at home and abroad, carrying the torch of freedom for America. These freedoms, endowed by our Creator, are kept alive by the bravery and courage of our military forces. What an opportunity we have to celebrate this heritage of freedom! God allowed our founding fathers to institute a government in which each citizen is given opportunity to celebrate freedom, speak out, peaceably assemble, and publicly share his/her faith with others. Only by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ could a nation be founded with this broad range of freedom. May we never take for granted the privileges afforded to us by the men and women who have given their lives to preserve it for us.”

During the Memorial Day Week let’s remember all of our military and pray for their safety. In your daily tasks, wherever you go, if you happen to see them in uniform, give them gratitude and say, “Thanks.” In this way, you are expressing that you appreciate the sacrifice that he or she makes for our great nation.

As we remember those who have given their all for the freedoms we enjoy, let us remember what our Savior, Jesus Christ has done for us. Eternal life is the greatest security you can possess. Jesus laid down his life to free us from the bondage of sin. Galatians 1:4 says, “He (Jesus) gave himself to die for our sins. He did this so we could be saved from this sinful world. This is what God wanted him to do.” The Scriptures of John 10:18 and 1 John 3:16 also explain he did this willingly for our benefit.

315 million people live in the United States and Jesus died for every single one. All 7 billion people in the entire world; he died for us all. This is so we could all have freedom from sin if we would so choose. You don’t have to live with the burden of it. You no longer have to live with the haunting plague of guilt and resentment. God knows all. He sees all. Live life free from guilt and doubt. God will forgive you if you will only humble yourself and recognize your need of Him. What would you rather do? Humble yourself or let God humble you? Your acceptance of His love and forgiveness allows peace to overcome you. Fear is dispelled. And all threats from the world are as nothing. Isaiah 66:5 says, “Hear the Word of the Lord, all you who tremble (respect) at His Words: Your own people hate you and throw you out for being loyal to my name. Let the Lord be honored! They may scoff, but you are joyful in Him! But they will be put to shame.” God sent His Son to take away the sin of each one who accepts Him and also gives us abundant life and freedom in Him. “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

The trouble for so many people is that they feel they can make a better life for themselves than God can. We are a narrow-minded people thinking with a temporal mind-set. Let’s all try to think eternally-minded beyond this world. Let’s hear what the Lord has to say. The Bible says: “I listen carefully to what God, the Lord is saying, for He speaks peace to His faithful people. But let them not return to their foolish ways” (Psalm 85:8).

My grandfather, who I affectionately called Paw-Paw, never saw himself as a hero, because he was a humble man. But like all admiring grandsons, I consider him to be one, along with all our other fine men and women who have served and continue to serve the land of the free. Hear what God has to say to you this week by going to church where God’s Word is preached in truth and remember what great things He has done for you.

  • This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and a 1LT Chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserves. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at
Posted by on May 27 2012. 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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