North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose

Your life is one of distinction, because there’s no one else exactly like you in the entire world. In all of God’s creation, you were wonderfully formed and made to be somebody (Psalm 139:14). When you face hardships and difficulties, Satan’s lie to you will be, “If God is so loving, if you’re so special, then why did this happen to you?” Any doubt that can be raised in your mind concerning your worth to your family and to society will be exploited by the devil himself. Doubt is one of the two major tools used by Satan to buffet your impact upon others. With so much emphasis on belief in God’s Word, it’s no wonder the devil tries to counteract Christ’s commands of belief with thoughts of doubt and second guessing. Have you thought about this? Your unbelief is the very thing that keeps you from achieving success. Believe and you will receive.
The limitations that run us aground in life are often self-imposed. I know this to be true. For in God’s Word He tells us, “…with man this is impossible, but …all things are possible with God” (Mark 10:27). Never let fear rise above the faith you have in God. Fear must yield to faith in all things. Many times we are not led out of the paths of darkness, because we surround ourselves with people who like the dark and they have no intention of seeking to come out of it. Never let someone’s own waywardness be the very thing that keeps you from being your best. You may think you’ve been left defeated, alone, with no help from anyone. In this state, it’s easy to reach out to the nearest person who offers themselves. Beware of the convenient person who talks a good talk, but their walk is nothing close to what they profess.
Let’s consider a man who once lived years ago. He was left alone in a dark and desolate place. He surrounded himself with darkness and the forces of evil overtook him. He knew who Jesus was; even the demons who controlled him knew the Son of God (Mark 5:7). As Jesus approached him, the demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them” (v. 12). They would have rather been in a pig than to go to the pits of hell for punishment. Jesus instructs us to do everything we possibly can to keep from going to the pit. As you face the Truth of God, being that Jesus died on the cross to save you; you have the option to choose the light or to stay in the dark. To stay in the dark is to choose less than the best. This demon-possessed man was left alone to live in a grave yard and he cried out in pain day and night. Have you ever been in need and cried out for relief (Psalm 34:17)? He was naked and not in his right mind. When Jesus healed this man he was delivered from the darkness. He joined the company of Jesus, the disciples, and other Christ-followers.
Naturally when a person comes to Christ and experiences salvation, their desire is to follow Jesus. In fact, Jesus had told many others before this man, “Come, Follow me…” (Matt. 4:19). But, this time Jesus told the man to go to his home and tell others what great things the Lord had done for him and how much love God had shown to him (v.19). Jesus was sending this man out as a missionary to be a living testimony to how God had changed his life. He didn’t send him to a foreign land; he instructed him to start in his own home town. God can take the lonely, the neglected, those that seem to have gone down the road of destruction and change them. There is hope for everyone. When you’ve gone as low as you can and you’re at the bottom, look up and turn your eyes upon Jesus. Helen Lemmel writes: “Look full in his (Jesus) wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace”. Could it be that God has allowed you to suffer to get your attention, when nothing else would? Call out him so that your life of death and destruction can be changed to life and eternal security.
Consider your life and where you have been. Your story is one of worth and one that is different from mine and everyone else’s. This is why all life is precious and each person has a story worth telling. When you’re tempted to think no one cares, consider this man from the Bible. Make your way to Jesus. Seek out a person that professes their faith in God and lives it unashamedly. Be cautious in who you confide; remembering “not everyone that says, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the person who does the will of my Father in Heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Ask God to place someone in your life that will listen to your story, will care about the things that matter to you, and one that encourages you in your pursuit of peace and joy. In this process, you may have to end a relationship, forsake a habit that causes you to stumble, or stop going to certain places. If you do the things that are right, honest, and good you will come out of the darkness and into the light. Be patient with God and yourself as the new you begins to appear. If you do this, there will come a day when people will see you and ask, “What happened to you?” It’s at that moment you can tell them what great and mighty things the Lord has done for YOU! And how God has shown you love despite the things of your past. Tell your story. Tell it often and let the world set back and wonder that truly all things are possible to them that believe.
• 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 26 2013. Filed under Churches, Living With Purpose, Local. 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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