North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose

     It’s been said there’s value in all things. The Bible even tells us: “…we know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him…” (Romans 8:28). Sometimes we have to look really hard to find the value in disappointments and heartaches. We might not discover the good until a later time. But the lessons to be learned are ever before us as we seek the truth.

     Through the years, I’ve taught Sunday School, Bible Clubs, and coordinated numerous recreational events for kids. I once asked a smart seven-year old girl this question: “What is the best thing a person can do for God?” She replied, “Be nice and do things for people. And thank Him for making us.” I thought to myself…How profound! A child realizing the importance of helping others, treating people right, and enjoying God by appreciating the life He has given her. Being impressed by her answer, I asked her another question: “What is the best thing God can do for a person?” She answered, “To help a person do things and help them when they pray to Him.” Out of the “mouth of babes” comes wisdom from above. The Bible assures us this is exactly what God wants. Psalm 149:4 says, “For the Lord takes delight in His children and He helps them…”His delight is with us. There’s nothing God holds more dearly to His heart than to enjoy the fellowship of you and me. What a disappointment it must have been when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Sin happened to mankind for the first time and fellowship was broken. Our confession and His forgiveness make a way for us to reconcile our fellowship with Him. Because of the longing in His heart for fellowship with the people He created, He made a way through Jesus and the cross so that we could be restored to a right relationship with Him.

     Exodus 19:5 says, “…if you will obey my voice and keep my agreement, you will belong to me…for all the earth is mine.” God holds His children (all Christians) as His most prized possessions. This is how much we mean to Him. To put this fact into perspective consider your own children.

     The love of my kids drives my own purpose for living. At the time of my divorce, Anna Marie and David were very young. It was very discouraging for me to be separated from them although I saw them very regularly. I loved to have them within reach, to have my eyes on them, and to hold them and tell them that I loved them. Both are teenagers now and I still draw strength from the joy they give to me. As their father, I know it’s important that they should be near me. God, our heavenly Father, loves to have us near Him and around Him, and within reach of His hand always. It brings joy to God to have His children pray to Him and go to church to worship Him. It’s humbling for me to look up to heaven and know the Creator of the universe longs for a relationship with us. And He promises to care for us (1 Peter 5:7). Woe to us when we creep away, and put distance between ourselves and Him.

     We will always need God and we are always to Him as little children. We are a people for His own possession: This relationship is infinitely powerful when it comes to persevering through the hardships and victories of life on earth. When we get too busy to pray, it robs us of power. And it robs God of joy and leaves Him with one less faithful servant. The nearer we get to Him the more joy we give Him. The Bible says that Enoch, a servant like us, pleased God (Heb. 11:5) Why? Because of what Enoch accomplished in life?…No. The Bible says he “walked with God” (Gen. 5:24). That’s all! Is this so hard for us to do? ….to carry the Spirit of God in our hearts and minds?

     Christ went to the cross and died for us and the sins we commit. He gave himself for us that we might give ourselves to Him. What worth you and I are to God that He gave His Son Jesus Christ for us. When we back into the world because of the pull of temptation, remember the price Jesus paid for us and our salvation. Think about how much He loves you, even with all your mistakes and let it keep you from backsliding and being overcome with the world’s ways.

     It’s true, my kids grew out of their diapers and they no longer need a baby bottle. But even as they grow, mature, and approach life as a young adult I will always be their Dad. They will never outgrow my love and they will always need God because they will always be His children. Let’s remember this: Jesus gave himself for us that he might have us for himself. The One who created you loves you. Want you walk with Him, so He can guide you through life? Find a church where you can be engaged with a loving body of believers and experience the loving support of friends and family.

      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 15 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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