North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

Christmas Edition
Christmas is a “season of hope”. This is one of the more accurate descriptions of what Christmas is about. Hope for a new beginning, hope for a loyal and kind friend, and hope that things are going to get better. Hope, hope, and more hope. Doesn’t the Bible say something about it? Referenced in Romans 5:5, it says, “…and hope does not disappoint…” Hope is depended upon each and every day by all who believe in promises.
Several years ago, as a music and youth director, I led an adult choir in presenting a Christmas musical titled, “Hope Has Hands”. This cantata was masterfully arranged and orchestrated by Russell Mauldin; a brilliant man of praise music compilation. The lyrics of the title song tell a beautiful story of this thing we call hope: “In search of a child they travel so far, led by a star to a place of joy. Now the wise men tell a beautiful story describing the glory of a baby boy. Hope has hands and freedom has feet, truth will stand, the Word will speak. The holy and lowly will finally embrace, for love has a heartbeat and grace has a face. Compassion has a tear, joy has laughter, peace has a smile for hear and after. Hope has hands, freedom has feet, truth will stand, the world will sleep. The holy and lowly will finally embrace, for love has a heartbeat, and grace has a face”.
Show me a person that believes in living with purpose and I’ll show you a person that’s hope-filled! Sometimes life will strip you of everything except hope. People on the brink of quitting and giving up on life cling to some small thread of truth that will give them reason to keep on persevering. Well, Christmas is here, just in time.
Christmas is about hope. And hope is found in Christ. John 13:3 says, “Jesus knew the Father had put everything into his hands. He knew he had come from God and was going back to God.” This Christmas let’s consider the hands of hope; the “H-A-N-D-S” of Jesus. He has H-ealing Hands. We read in Matt. 8:3, “…Jesus put his hands on him and said…You are healed! At once the man was healed.” The touch of the Master’s hand releases God’s power even today. His healing power is actualized through your prayers and faith.
Jesus also has A-nointing Hands. The Scriptures say, “He took the children in his arms. He put his hands on them and prayed that good would come to them” (Mark 10:16). Children are symbolic of humility. That’s why Jesus entered the world as a humble little babe. As a man, when children were brought to him, he touched them and blessed them. Jesus has not changed to this day. Through the Holy Spirit Jesus places special blessings upon those who come to him in humility and faith. He honors the humble and to those who totally commit themselves to him he anoints with power and blessings.
Christ also has N-ailed Pierced Hands. We celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas, but when he was crucified, his hands were nailed to the cross; he suffered and died a cruel death for our sins. In John 20:27, it says, “He said to Thomas, Put your finger into my hands. Put your hand into my side. Don’t doubt, believe!”
Jesus has D-edicated Hands. As he listens to all the prayers and hears those in distress, he loves us and lifts us up. Mark 6:2 says, “…He began to teach in the Jewish place of worship. Many people heard him…and wondered, saying, Where did this Man get all this?…How can he do these powerful works with his hands?” If you believe Jesus is the reason for the season, how dedicated are you in following him? You can follow Christ’s example by helping the less fortunate, lifting the burdens of friends, and sharing Christ’s love by the way we treat others.
Many a man and woman have found constructive ways of putting their hands to good and positive works. Parents and guardians raise and care for their dependent children. Children care for their aged parents who need them. Yet, it’s Christ alone who can save souls. And it’s Jesus, who with S-aving Hands patiently and lovingly stands and knocks at the door of every heart. Rev. 3:20 tells us, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to them and we will eat together.” What joy shall thrill our souls to know the Lord himself desires to fellowship with each one of us this Christmas season. Want you let him come in?
Don’t let loud chaos, busy confusion, and too many commitments cloud your understanding of what Christmas really is. Christmas is simply this: “For unto you, is born, in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Find a church where you feel comfortable and free to worship, attend faithfully, and follow God in all your ways. MERRY CHRISTMAS!
• 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 Dec 23 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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