North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Many of us don’t appreciate or realize our potential. Moving beyond the limitations we place on ourselves is a battle that must first be won internally. But when it happens, they’ll be no end to the potential you have. I once tried to convince a friend from my past that the best was yet to come in her circumstance, if she would be patient and endure. Her response was, “No, I’m not going to wait. I’m going to settle.” So many of us miss the best because we want to fix it ourselves; we mistakenly think it will never get better, or we don’t think we have what it takes. Life was never meant for us to settle for second best. Every great thing Jesus did, you can do, if you think positive and believe. Jesus’ own words from John 14:12, “For sure, I tell you, whoever puts his trust in me can do the things I am doing” he even goes on to say, “You will do greater works than these because I’m going to the Father.” Such a statement may be difficult to understand, but he said it! I’ve been reading the Bible most of my life and it’s never failed to give me the good guidance I needed. For all of us, the Bible makes it clear that every man, woman, and child can do infinitely more with themselves than they ever thought, but it requires a commitment to discipline and a belief in self.
If we would just humble ourselves and acknowledge our inadequacies and God’s loving provision, we would be a greater nation. Our country doesn’t have to be so confused, uncertain, and mixed-up. One of the reasons is the willingness of people who abandon God and Biblical values. In 1788, the English historian Edward Gibbon wrote his classic book, “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire”. He lists five (5) reasons for that fall: 1) The undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society, 2) Increasingly higher taxes and the spending of public money for free things, 3) The craze for pleasure and sports/recreation becoming more brutal, 4) The building of gigantic armaments against the enemy, when the biggest foe was within, and 5) The decay of religion; losing touch with life and forsaking the importance of healthy role models and accountable leadership. All five of these reasons are strikingly similar to some of the things that are taking place within our culture today.
We must bear up under the difficult circumstances we have to face. There’s enough negativity and evil in the world to last a lifetime. In certain circles, being positive is the exception rather than the rule. For our time, for ourselves, and our families we must return to the belief of the miracle-working power. We can participate in God’s miracle process by believing, planning, and working to tackle problems. You and I must believe in our future and be about our work with energy knowing we were made to accomplish great things. The philosophy of Christian faith says we have Jesus to help us, if we fully trust and obey God. Reject the impossibilities; dwell on the possible. I’m not talking about blind optimism. Rather, accept the dangers and be willing to risk on the things you know to be true. Embrace God’s will no matter what and consider this question: Don’t you want to do something positive that will outlive you? Something others will speak about long after you’ve left the world scene? Choose optimism and believe! See God’s enablement in everything He asks you to do.
Nothing is as contagious as optimism. It rubs off as inspiration and encouragement to our less daring friends and neighbors. Don’t be a pessimist and refuse to grow by saying, “I’ve never done that before” or “We’ve never did it that way”. The inference in this case is the cry of the pessimist: “It won’t work” or “I can’t do it”. Miracles can happen in people’s lives, even in these tumultuous times, if they believe. So, never forget the dynamic words of Jesus Christ, “He who believes in me will also do the works that I do and greater works than these will he do.” Pessimism is embodied unbelief and optimism is faith at work. When you step out in faith, God solves the big problems that plague you.
You and I are wishing desperately God would step in and provide an easy, simple, and dramatic answer for all that troubles us. But He won’t. He respects us too much and knows that way back at the very beginning He took men into partnership and gave him dominion over all of the things He created. He will not go back on that, but will and does show you and me the way of obedience and suffering. Respond to this in love and trust, do your best with what you have, and let the world set back and wonder at the amazing things Jesus said you are destined to do.
• 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 CPT 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 Nov 16 2014. 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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