North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

The chalkboard has been a teacher’s useful tool for many, many years. In by-gone times a student would be assigned to clean the chalkboards and if the job was half-done, yesterday’s work could still be seen among the smudges that remained. Most chalkboards have been replaced by dry-erase boards. And after repeated days of the write-erase, write-erase routine, a residue builds on the surface of the board. It takes a specialized solution to completely clear off every trace of previous day’s work. As you erase the marks there’s a truth reminder from God’s Word: “God has blotted them out, I’m happy and glad and free” (Isa. 44:22). This is talking about those things that hinder your walk with Him. God is your life’s special solution to cleansing.
We need to soon learn that to serve God with great effectiveness; we need to align ourselves in the right relationship with Him. This means we have the capacity to receive forgiveness. When you seek, ask, and receive God’s grace of forgiveness, your sins are blotted out. Only the devil will try to remind you of yesterday’s failures—sins of omission and sins of commission. Scripture describes God’s blotting-out process: “If we live in the light as He is in the light, we share what we have in God with each other. And the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, makes our lives clean from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
The culture in which we live crave notoriety and success. And if you’re not achieving success you are treated as a second thought, less important, ineffective, and at best “normal or average”. Certainly, not all people attest to this, but the world surely places a value on doing extraordinary things that make you better than everyone else. To be effective in what we do and to do service for God we must understand our position in God’s grand scheme. God says, “…when the day comes, I will put my laws in their hearts…I will not remember their sins and wrong-doings anymore. No more gifts on the altar in worship are needed when our sins are forgiven…let us come near to God with a true heart full of faith. Our hearts must be made clean from guilty feelings and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:16-22)
So, how does one S-E-R-V-E God effectively without guilt, but with meaning and purpose? First, you do it S-acrifically (Heb. 13:16). Millions of people in our affluent society don’t know what it means to sacrafice. Self-indulgence has replaced self-denial, but God must have first place in our life. His cause and kingdom must come before ease, pleasure, and personal gain for you to be effective and make a difference. Second, you need to serve E-nergetically. We mustn’t allow ourselves to lack enthusiasm for life and the things we are good at doing. To be effective we must give priority to God’s work, serving with our might and giving Him our best. It’s critical that we understand what we do for God counts most—in this life and in the life to come.
To be effective you must serve God R-outinely. “Be steadfast…always do your work well for the Lord. You know that whatever you do for Him will not be wasted” (1 Cor. 15:58). Be dependable, not hit or miss, working only when you feel like it. Even when the odds are against you, God will reward your faithfulness. Continuously strive to improve. To serve effectively without hindrances, do so V-oluntarily. Men and women volunteer to serve their country in the military. Christ-followers should offer Him their abilities and become Soldiers of the Lord’s army (2 Tim. 2:3). To serve God effectively, you shouldn’t wait to be forced into service, but give willingly of your time, talent, and treasure (Col. 3:23-24). These are the keys to a meaningful life.
Finally, your effectiveness is greater when you serve E-njoyably. Try to rid yourself of the negative image that comes easily to us. Count it a privilege to serve God and do it gladly. The Bible says in Psalm 100:2, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Remember the world is searching for happiness and will go where it can be found. Help them out by bringing it to them! When you are consistently positive in your approach to life, people will wonder why and what makes you that way. Explain to them you have the good fortune of having your sins erased because of God’s forgiveness and you are no longer bound to sin. Not that you don’t sin, but that your sins are forgiven because of God’s love and your acceptance of Jesus as your Savior. God has made it so plain that we can all have forgiveness and that yesterday’s sins need not hold you in a grip of remorse. You can start off fresh with a clean slate and a dry erase board that sparkles in the light. Find a church where you can experience the love and light of God, attend faithfully, and follow God in all your ways.
• 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 Aug 18 2013. Filed under 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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