North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

There once was a young man who grew up going to church because his parents were faithful to go. Understanding his own need for a relationship with God he committed his life to Christ at 10 years-old. As the years past he grew increasingly attracted to the world and all the temptations to live it up with bad company, alcohol, and drugs. After high school he attended college and “party time” became “all the time”. When he had a brush with law enforcement his parents threatened to withdraw their financial support for his educational expenses. Despite this warning he continued living life his way and was ultimately kicked out of college. As he packed all his belongings into boxes he came across his long-forgotten student Bible. It brought up old memories. He opened it and his eyes fell on the words of Psalm 27: “The Lord is the strength of my life. In this will I be confident.” He started reading more of it, moved back home, and rededicated his life to God. His life was changed and he became a new person. He put his whole faith in God and started to follow the principles outlined in the Bible. Soon he was working at a good job and re-enrolled in a different college to take classes part-time. He disowned negative relationships of his past, chose not to touch alcohol, and happily flushed out old failures from his system. His spiritual experience was a real experience and he became a new person. He found that real life is not living as you please, but it’s being released from sin and accepting freedom in Christ.
Some people use the excuse that sin has such a power over them that they can’t resist the allurement of drugs, excessive alcohol, and other worldly things. The powers of these temptations are greater than we are. However, there’s a power that trumps all others. John 1:12-13 says, “He gave the right and the power to become children of God to those who received him. He gave this to those who believe in his name. These children of God were not born of blood and of flesh and of man’s desires, but they were born of God”. Receiving Christ requires belief. It’s more than an intellectual belief in Christ’s existence. The essence of this belief is described in this verse as “personal trust”. This word expresses confidence in the One who gives the power to overcome weaknesses.
Receiving Christ into your life and becoming a new person means opening your life to him. When you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, God accepts you as His child. When you really believe that Jesus is God’s Son sent to save you, then will you entrust your life to him. This kind of commitment makes you a new person, with a new heart and a new spirit. All of humankind by virtue of creation belongs to God, but those who respond to God through Christ are His children. This means that every person must become what they’re not. Only by God’s power can you be made into something new. To those who receive him and believe in his name he gave the power to overcome temptation. A person can’t rightfully claim a kinship to God unless they’ve been given that position by Jesus Christ. You don’t get to heaven by being good and kind. No person can boast that they are good enough to earn heaven. Being born into God’s family is all of God; He planned it and He made it possible. Ephesians 3:20 says, “God is able to do much more than we ask or think through His power working in us.”
The greatest joy, that can be yours, is to know there’s a divine plan to give you a better life than what you can live for yourself. New life comes not by hard work to be good, but by saying, “Yes God, I will make my new life in Christ.” God gives us a new life not so we can coast and float through life like a leaf on a breeze, but so we can channel our talents and gifts into His plan. People, who live in the patterns of the world, unknowingly find their strength in satanic power. People who think they’re living it up and don’t need God are only copying Satan. The devil inspires disobedience and will provide you an array of excuses to pick from when it comes to the church. Hypocrisy and inconvenience are two excuses people use when it comes to things associated with the church.
Every person is born with a sin nature that repels them away from God. Humanity simply follows whatever desires for physical and mental satisfaction that comes to them. This is the picture of our moral and spiritual condition; but unless we are prepared to say, “Yes, that’s me” we will not be inclined to come to Christ for new life. The Christian life consists of following God’s plan, not by working hard to earn enough merit. What a difference it makes in motivation for living when we know God will renew us when we go to Him. Relax and trust God to work out His purposes in you.
• 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 is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. 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 Jun 22 2014. 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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