North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose by Matt Dobson

Valentine’s Day Edition
By coincidence, a woman ran into her husband in the local grocery store on Valentine’s Day. He was carrying a beautiful bouquet of flowers and she joked, “Those better be for me.” A lady standing in the aisle beside them said, “They are now.” The purity of love can come to all who are willing to nurture it. The potential of true love in every one of your relationships is dependent upon how you use its power. Love has a very significant power that can determine your destiny. Treat it with respect and nurture it and it will grow to something beautiful. Forsake it and trample on it and it can bring sadness, loneliness, and hurt.
How many times have lonely hearts echoed the question—how can I find love? Love enters in not by doors, but by the heart. And that’s exactly what happened to me 17 years ago. Throughout life I had been surrounded by a loving family and good friends who seemed to care. In my 26 year old mind I thought I knew what love was all about. Life has since proven me wrong. I had a lot more to learn concerning this crazy thing called love. In 1996 my wife and I had only been married for a short period of time. But love and passion had its way and we found the doctor telling us we were going to have a little baby girl. I’ll never forget the day I got this news…February 14th, Valentine’s Day! This became the greatest valentine I have ever received and I genuinely doubt it will ever be topped. The real way to charm in love is through the heart. And my daughter has done that to me. I was blessed with another touch of God’s love when my son came along. It seems to me I have done nothing to deserve God’s wonderful favor in these two ways. It’s important you understand we can do nothing to merit God’s love. We don’t deserve it and there’s nothing we can do to earn it. It’s a gift given to all that will accept it. God is the very definition of love. The Bible says, “…God is love” (1 John 4:8). This verse alone, unquestionably tells us where the purity of love comes from.
When a person loves another, they want to please them and do for them. The way we say “I love you” to God is by saying Y-E-S to Him. We express it by deciding to Y-ield to God. Romans 6:13 says, “Yield (give) yourself to God…give every part of yourself to God to do what is right.” Everybody wants what’s good for them. Even some Christian’s want God’s will for their lives, but they’re unwilling to yield everything to Him. True love means you trust the other person. “YES, God”—means a total commitment to God’s entire will, not just part of it. For the best in all things (job, health, relationships) there must be no reservations when it comes to surrendering your will to God’s will. This means personal secret prayer, devotion to those you love, good deeds to others, and a positive attitude toward all things. All that you do and say has an effect and influence on others. Yielding to God is the first step toward positive living.
We say Y-E-S to God when we E-ndure for God. II Timothy 2:3 says, “…therefore endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” There are some who have yielded themselves to God, claim to trust Him, but when the storm is raging, when the battle comes full blast, or the going gets tough, and life becomes unfair—they lack the stamina to endure. All people, especially Christians are subject to testing, trials, and tribulations. The world and the devil place a “bull’s eye” on Christians. So, when hurt and disappointments come your way, you must and I repeat, you must remind yourself God has a purpose in what He allows to come to you (Rom. 8:28). In all my long-distance running and racing I have had to acquire the trait of determination. And determination is necessary for endurance. “Yes, God” means to “keep on keeping on” regardless of situations or circumstances. A second element in this is patience. To love someone is to be patient. The Bible says, “Love is patient…” (1 Cor. 13:4). This is also necessary if we are to endure for God. We must wait in faith, think positive, and expect God to follow through on His promises and not give up. James 5:11 says, “We think of those who stayed true (endured) even though they suffered. You have heard how long Job waited. You have seen what the Lord did for him in the end. The Lord is full of loving-kindness and pity.”
We say Y-E-S to God when we S-erve with Him. The Bible claims this partnership when it says, “We then, as workers together with Him…” (II Cor. 6:1). Some may willingly yield themselves to God, and even endure for Him, yet fall short in doing God’s work. There are a number of reasons for this: complacency, lack of concern, inferiority feelings, lack of confidence, and courage. When you genuinely pray for God to help you, I can guarantee He will. It’s not all on you to perform. It’s the Holy Spirit working through you. Trust God for courage to do His work. The value of one soul is beyond estimation. “Yes, God” expresses love for God and it means working with Him to bring souls to Christ. We are not alone. He goes with us, for 1 Cor. 3:9 says, “We work together with God…”
On Valentine’s Day, appreciate the way God has loved you by the wonderful relationships He brings to you. Bring God into them all. And through the shadows of life let true love shine and transform you and equip you to yield, endure, and serve.
• 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 Feb 10 2013. 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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