North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

New Year’s Edition
New beginnings and starting over usually have a good following. Especially by those who are not happy with where they are in life. Both can elicit thoughts of better things. In either case, change is inevitable. You and I have more control over changes in our lives than we might think. Most of us, when asked, would readily admit there are some things that need changing in our lives. Elements in our personality can shift depending on some of the life experiences we face. You can possess characteristics that turn people off and make them not like you. Maybe there’s something about you that’s not quite right. Perhaps you have a certain weakness that has developed over time. Maybe there’s something that’s been there for as long as you can remember and it plagues you. Today, you can welcome the good news that there is power available to change your life! There’s a deep tendency to become precisely like that which you imagine yourself to be. There is a force that exists, and when focused, can produce the positive changes that are needed and desired.
It’s a great time to turn over a new leaf in the first week of the first month of a brand-new year. Life in the New Year can take on new meaning for you, a deeper joy inside yourself can emerge, and greater satisfaction with your efforts can develop. This can happen when you elicit the divine help of God. Maybe you need to break that habit that’s had a strong-hold on you, or you need to start exercising, or could it be you need to offer forgiveness to someone? Don’t think it’s too much to overcome. Rather, be mindful of Psalm 27:1, 3: “The Lord is the strength of my life…in this will I be confident.” Claiming this verse as the source of your strength can change your life and those rough edges that need smoothing out. Think good thoughts about yourself. When you do, you set in motion positive forces that bring positive results. Remember, to change your circumstances, start thinking differently. Don’t accept the negative unsatisfactory circumstances that you’re now in. Hold in your mind noble, good, positive circumstancs as you think they should be. Think in detail, believe in it, and pray about it to make sure it’s God’s will for you. The truth will be made known to you and you will be set free from the very thing holding you back from positive changes (John 8:32). God’s power can be channeled through to you and help you achieve. Most people think their life is controlled by their circumstances. But that simply is not true. Our lives are controlled by the attitudes we take toward our circumstances.
When you become an enthusiastic Christ-follower, faith becomes real in your life and the old patterns of failure and error start turning into patterns of righteousness and success. Psalm 23 says, “He leads me in the paths of righteousness.” So it is for the person that sincerely wants to make positive changes and start over. Always when awareness of need joins with complete sincerity the power is given. Want it, ask for it, and receive it. Matthew 21:22 says, “All things you ask for in prayer, you will receive if you have faith.” However, this faith must be a true belief. A belief in an all-powerful God that gives what you ask for every time as long as it is right and good for YOU.
My challenge to all who are serious about setting personal goals for the New Year and those who seek improvements in their life should get alone with God and pray. Allow God to transform you during your time with Him. Romans 12:2 says, “…let God change your life…let Him give you a new mind. Then you will know what God wants you to do.” It’s like the story of the two hunters who took shelter in a cave because of a great storm in the mountains. It was night when they came out and all the familiar landmarks had been changed or swept away. But one of them pointed to the evening stars and said: “They’re just the same. They’re still there. We can find our way home by them!” When you are alone with God and surrender to His will, He will make the way for you to be clear. God doesn’t change and He knows what you need before you even ask (Matt. 6:8). He will give you the power to make the necessary changes within yourself to achieve His ideal will for you. We change our lives by changing the attitudes of our mind.
You can make just about anything with your life—anything you believe or visualize, anything you’ll pray for and work for. When considering changes for the better let’s remember, “…if anyone belongs to Christ, they are a new creation; the old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Cor. 5:17). Your new life begins by realizing the power to change your life comes through faith in Christ. Surrender your life and your problems to God and adopt the faith principle of “letting go and letting God”. Get on your knees and ask God for the power to change and believe He will supply the power needed. Read the New Testament dialogue between Jesus and his disciples. Get in the habit of daily prayer and make it your top priority. Memorize Scripture that inspires you the most. Fill your conscious mind with Christ-centered thoughts and think positive as much as you can. Help others by loving them where they are and do good to people you don’t even know. These few things can help you change for the better in the New Year. But the best thing you can do today is find a loving, Spirit-filled church that encourages you in your faith; attend it faithfully as you seek to do things God’s way.
• 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 30 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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