North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Always doing the right thing can be a challenge. No amount of wealth, worldly success, or technological advancement will make it easier to follow the narrow path. The faith walk is not a cake walk, but an active journey of self-denial, self-discipline, and self-sacrifice. These three things are contrary to the world which always looks for the easy way. Much like the home exercise equipment marketing agents who prey off the consumer’s desire for the easy way out. Marketing specialists know that people want fabulous results with very little effort. You may have heard the ads: “In just five minutes per day, you can lose 15 pounds” “So-and-so lost 35 pounds in three weeks”. The path to physical fitness generally comes down to one thing: self-discipline. You must possess this trait for success in the area of fitness. All fitness equipment pieces are tools. They can never provide the essential element of self-discipline. It takes the right equipment and discipline to gain physical fitness. Add self-discipline to the right tools and you venture down a potential path of sound physical fitness.

Equal in its individual accountability, spiritual fitness requires self-discipline. There’s no short-cut for following Christ. God loves us so much that He gives us the option to choose Him or reject Him. In direct proportion to the intensity of your faith you exercise, will you receive the power to meet your personal challenges (Matthew 9:29). There is a power that will do everything for you. There is a reserve of power many people never tap into, because of disbelief. Don’t be that person that ignores the wonderful, amazing, magnificent power of the Almighty. You can recover yourself physically and spiritually no matter what you’ve gone through, are going through, or will go through.

Be open-minded and honest about your inadequacies and God’s restorative process. When you really decide to follow the path of Christ, you set in motion a journey of joy and peace. The Bible says, “But the path of the just is like the early morning light. It shines brighter and brighter until the perfect day (heaven)” (Proverbs 4:18).

The Christian path isn’t easy, but it is the best! This path requires patience, which is necessary for successful Christian living. God sometimes allows troubles and trials to come in an effort to strengthen our faith. Romans 5:3 says, “troubles help us learn not to give up (patience)” This path also involves affection. Love is our desire and with it progress can be made in overcoming difficulties. But we must do more than love God and ourselves; we must love other people. Make an effort to give a smile, kind word, warm hand-shake, or a helping hand so that love bonds are strengthened. There are certain formulas and procedures if followed faithfully can make you a person of love. I must urge you strongly to consider the importance of this subject. Failure to practice love for others is a sure way to bring more trouble for yourself. To the degree to which you are loved in return by others, will you become a released person. Genuine love really is the answer to all of life’s heartaches.

One of the most important aspects of your life path is your ability to trust in others. But the trust above all trusts, is the trust you place in God. The Bible says, “And the Lord will help them and deliver them…because they trust in Him” (Psalm 37:40). If you find yourself in need, perhaps it’s because of your lack of trust in God. Most people trust in money, their job, house(s), and cars. These things leave you with only a false sense of security. God deserves first place in your life because He never changes, never fails, and His promises are reliable.

Finally, the P-A-T-H of the just includes the promised glory of heaven. What a foolish thought to think one can carry their earthly possessions with them into the next life. Everything must be left behind. Enjoy your material blessings, but take no security in them, for the wise person will lay up treasures in heaven; because heaven is a place where “neither moth nor rust will destroy them and where thieves will not break in and steal. “ (Mathew 6:20).

The goodness of the Lord will stand under every possible test. Complete trust in the Lord satisfies all hunger—physical, mental, and spiritual. I can assure you more than anything I could possibly share, if you seek the Lord you will not lack any good thing. You can know the joy and satisfaction of having every need supplied, as David knew when he wrote, “the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (Psalm 23). It is trusting with all you heart, not just your lips that guarantees the full supply of every need. The best proof that you are satisfied is that you come back for more. Follow God’s P-A-T-H, trust Him, and glory in His provisions.

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 29 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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