North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

One of my congregants called me one day and said, “Pastor, I need to talk to you. I’m in trouble.”
It sounded serious so I asked them, “What’s the trouble?”
“I think if I died today I might not make it to Heaven. How can I know I’m forgiven and God will not hold what I’ve done against me?”
I asked him, “Did you ask God to forgive you?”
“Yes, many times.”
“Are you genuinely sorry? And do you believe what the Bible says about God?”
“Yes, oh yes I believe everything in the Bible.”
“Then I have good news! God has forgiven you.”
He seemed relieved then he said, “I sure hope so, because I don’t like this feeling. And I think the devil wants me to doubt myself and to doubt God will forgive me.”
Many people feel the same way about their faith in Christ. People try to work up enough faith to overcome their guilt and inadequacies. Sometimes they think they have enough faith and other times they’re not sure. Faith is not trying hard to believe something you’re not quite sure is true. Faith believes something that is true, on the authority of the person who says it. When God says that your sins are forgiven because Jesus Christ died for you and rose again, you can be sure it’s absolutely true. Faith accepts it as true on the authority of the one who said it.
Be mindful that faith is not a mindless leap in the dark for people who have no brains to know better. A life of faith is not for a misguided person, but for the one who seeks greater meaning and purpose in life.
The way to faith and salvation is not difficult and remote, but near and easy. There’s a strange feeling that comes over some people that seems to say righteousness is for perfect people with no history of indiscretions. How shall a person be accounted righteous before God? God’s righteousness is a gift, not attained by keeping a law, not by works, but by faith. The Bible says, “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Faith is readily accessible to anyone who wishes to have it. One must decide within themselves to believe and to trust. Skeptics today consider the achievement of salvation to be impossible because of our repeated sin and mistakes. People make it hard when it’s not meant to be difficult. They want God to be brought down to their level, when all it takes is for us to reach up to Him.
Salvation is a matter of personal trust in Christ. No miracle of religious attainment will bring faith to your soul, only a person’s commitment of their life to Christ. Don’t let faith be a nebulous feeling or wishful thought. Let it be a belief in your heart and an outward confession. God has not left humankind to suffer fear, doubt, and bewilderment about their faith. Jesus tells us, “Don’t be faithless, but believe” (Matthew 21:22). This faith is based on the person of Christ, who he is (Lord), and what he did (died and rose again).
I know of a young U.S. Army Soldier who believed and accepted Christ while doing a tour in a foreign land. When it came time to come home, he was afraid he would slip back into his old habits when he returned. He thought to himself, “Would God still accept me?” So, he decided to tell the first five people of his old gang what he had done. When he made it back to his home town, he happened to see a girl he knew. She smiled when she saw him, gave him a big hug, and asked how things we’re going. “The greatest thing that could happen to a man has happened to me”, he said.
“Oh”, she said, “You’re engaged to be married?”
“Better than that”, he responded. “I’ve taken Jesus as my Savior.”
Her face froze. She said, “That’s nice!”, and quickly excused herself.
An hour later he ran into a friend who started talking about throwing a party for him with drinks and drugs. The young man told him about his new life in Christ. His friend muttered something and walked away. The world would rather live a selfish life of temporal happiness than turn their life over to the Creator of the universe.
I challenge you to accept the following seven things to rid your mind of doubt and encourage your faith:
1. Understand the simplicity of salvation is that it comes by faith alone.
2. Bring your doubts honestly to the Lord.
3. Be convinced that Jesus loves you as you are and that you don’t have to be good before you can be saved.
4. Know that the power of faith helps you boldly confess your dependence on Christ.
5. Pray that others will believe, confess, and be saved.
6. Rid yourself of doubts by focusing on God, reading your Bible and memorizing Scripture.
7. Align your life with Christ and strengthen your own faith in the Lord.
One of the greatest things that can be said of you is that you’re a contagious Christian. Bear the responsibility for sharing God’s Good News. Talk about Jesus and show the world what it really means to follow Him. The fields are ripe for harvest, time is short, and the faithful workers are surprisingly few. Share your story with others, because tomorrow may indeed be too late.
• This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the newly released book: “Soldiers of God: A Bible Study guide for Spiritual Warfare”. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living

Posted by on Mar 22 2015. 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

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *