North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

True love has been known to last for a lifetime; even into eternity. And great love stories tend to move us. Romeo and Juliet, Noah and Allie, Rhett and Scarlett—these and others tell a story of committed loves. For love to last in any relationship there must be a “declared commitment”. One of the greatest examples of this can be found in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Ruth. This particular passage is not about romantic love, but it portrays the loyal friendship and deep affection between family members. This short story communicates what love truly means and how to express it to the ones we love.
Ruth 1:16-17: “Ruth said, do not beg me to leave you or turn away from following you. I will go where you go. I will live where you live. Your people will be my people. And your God will be my God. I will die where you die, and there I will be buried.” Following the deaths of their husbands, Ruth chose to stay with her mother-in-law. It was a statement and declaration of commitment. Acts of love can come in different forms. When is the last time you performed a true act of love? Did you do it seeking nothing in return?
We all need someone to walk beside us and to stand by us during our difficult days. Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play Major League Baseball was playing in his home stadium in Brooklyn. He committed an error by letting a ground ball roll through his legs. He was humiliated; embarrassed, and just stood at second base. As the crowd began to “boo and jeer him”, shortstop and teammate Pee Wee Reese came over and stood next to him. Reese put his arm around Robinson and they faced the crowd together. The fans grew quiet. Robinson later said, “That arm around my shoulder saved my career.”
For a person to be healthy and thrive during their time on earth, it’s an absolute necessity to have the love of family, friends, and peers. Life can be a struggle when people and things are not the way you would like them to be. And it’s easier to have them near when things are hard, than to avoid life’s hardships and responsibilities alone.
It’s impossible to avoid trouble. And it’s highly unlikely that every person you meet will like you. All relationships are not meant to be intimate and close-knit. However, as you live in the respectful thought that “WE” all have a purpose, slowly the theme of love and approval can escalate to a point that you don’t live with bitterness and resentment in your heart, but that you have something inside you that can help any person that crosses your path. Find ways to positively influence those you know, especially your family and loved ones. John 13: 34-35 says, “I give you a new commandment. You are to love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. If you love each other, all men will know you are my followers.”
Be a person who people want to know. Have a love that shares. Be ready to give a simple or kind word. Do something to help the needy and tell your story of faith and triumph. Have a love that sacrifices. The Bible says, “Because he (Jesus) laid down his life for us; we ought to lay down our lives for one another” (1 John 3:16). Sacrifice your time and attention for those hurting around you. Let your love show, because it’s a psychological and spiritual need. Everyone needs it and people who love God should reach outward to bless others and glorify God (Matt. 5:16).
One final act of committed love happened several years ago for one dear family. What firefighters thought was a routine fire in a Chicago apartment complex turned into something else. The firefighters discovered a mother and five children huddled in one apartment’s kitchen. The fire chief commented, “She could have escaped with two or three, but couldn’t decide which children to pick. So, she chose to wait for firefighters to arrive. All of them died of smoke inhalation.” Try to love others, but most of all, love your family and never take them for granted. Hope to see you in church on Sunday!
• 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 Jul 27 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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