North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

The older I get, the more philosophical I become. But I’ve always been interested in the meaning behind short, quip phrases people pass on to one another. I once heard someone say, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”. Everyone needs to evaluate their priorities in life; more than once. Several times in fact. What you deem to be most important is what you’re going to spend most of your time doing.
Every now and again you need to ask yourself: “What’s most important to me?” and “What do I value the most at this point in my life?” Self-examination is a positive thing. But it’s often avoided by believers and non-believers alike because when honestly analyzed, it can bring to light negative insights about ourselves. Perhaps you’ve allowed yourself to become distracted from what you should be doing. We don’t like to admit there are things we need to separate ourselves from to be what we claim we are. This can be a struggle. I’ve found my core beliefs have remained virtually unchanged through the years. However, I have made adjustments to some of my long-held ideals because I have been enlightened to new truths I once was blind to otherwise. I have life experiences and friends to thank for this.
Nadyne Lee, a retired nurse practitioner at the Leitchfield Pediatric Clinic, once said, “Life priorities are the values that drive our lives and define our spiritual essence. We talk about them, but that’s as far as it gets. Our task is to put our life’s priorities into action. “There’s much to be said about the “good old college-try”, but until your priorities are in order or until your priorities take center stage, you will never be the best you could be. People who keep their priorities in proper perspective can expect the best in this life and also in the one to come. This is not only a principle of Scripture; it’s plainly a principle about the kingdom of life in general. One of the greatest Bible verses that apply to evaluating priorities can be found in Matthew 6:33, where it says, “But seek first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” An interpretation of this might be: Let your first priority be to get right with God; make Him number one in your life and then all the other things and priorities in life important to you, will fall into their rightful place. Of course you and I both know this requires faith; Faith that God is trying to provide all the necessities in life that contributes to an abundant and satisfying life.
Let’s consider the “good things” in life and what constitutes their priority in your own, day-to-day living. #1 FUN. We live in a fun-seeking and fun-loving world. Millions live for short sinful pleasure only to find it short-lived. In the last days, the Bible says, “They will think too much of themselves. They will love fun instead of loving God” (II Tim. 3:4). Fun must be held in proper perspective. Personally, I would go mad if I didn’t get fun out of life. Since God has first place in your life the fun the Bible speaks of is real and lasting (Phil. 4:4).Christians should be the happiest people on earth because they’re forgiven and on their way to heaven (Rom. 6:23).
#2) Food. A crowd once told Jesus, “You need to eat something!” Jesus replied, “I have food to eat that you don’t know of”. (John 4:32). Good nutrition is necessary to good health. Cajun food, Italian food, American food, Mexican—I don’t discriminate; I like them all. But we should be partakers of Spiritual food also. Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see the Lord is good.” Jesus says spiritual food should be a high priority in your life just as mush or even more than physical nourishment. Meditate on God’s Word and you will grow in Him and know “that the Lord is gracious and how good He is” (I Peter 2:2-3). A fine cooked meal pleases all of us, but it’s God who satisfies the hunger of the soul.
#3) FAME. See what the Bible says about this: “How can you believe when you always want honor from each other. And yet you don’t look for the honor that comes from God only.” The key words in this verse are “always wanting” (John 5:44). Fame isn’t sinful but it should be taken in stride and not sought after above everything else. Some people live for fame, honor, and acclaim. It can lift a sagging ego, but it doesn’t last like you think. The honor of people makes you feel good, but it never satisfies the deep needs of the soul and spirit. Honor from God “sustains, gratifies, and endures”.
#4) FORTUNE. The Bible says, “Don’t gather together for yourself riches of this earth…gather together riches in heaven where they will not be destroyed” (Matt. 6:19-20). Use money and fortune in the right way. Don’t get caught up in materialism. “For the love of money is the beginning of all kinds of sin” (1 Tim. 6:10). When you consider all the things of this earth and of heaven, its love, joy, peace, faith, and hope that are the greatest treasures.
Fun, food, fame, and fortune—the good things in life we all enjoy! What are your attitudes toward them? You can have the best of them all, providing you keep your priorities in the proper perspective. Jesus says, “Watch yourselves…a man or woman’s life is not made up of things…” (Luke 12:15). Find a church where you can learn how God will supply all that you heart truly longs for.
• 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 Sep 15 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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