North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

In 2004 I had my best overall finish at the Boston Marathon. I finished 49th and was the 18th American. However, it didn’t come easy. The temperature was in the 80s by the time runners were crossing the finish line. Due to the heat many runners had to get IVs due to dehydration. I probably needed one too, but I choose to shuffle along and stagger back to my hotel. Due to the physical toil of racing 26 miles in two and half hours, I had to spend a little time sitting on a park bench. The hotel was less than a mile from the finish and under normal circumstances I could’ve found it on my own. I wasn’t thinking clearly so I let go of pride and asked a man for directions to the Hyatt Hotel. He said, “Sure, you’re almost there!” At this point I was nauseated and he asked me, “Are you ok?”
I responded with, “I’m a little tired”. After a slight hesitation I said, “No, I’m really tired. I need a shower, rest, and a Coca-Cola. But I’ll get over it.”
He laughed and said, “I bet! I’ll lead you to the building you’re looking for. Just follow me.” He led me to the proper hotel just in time before the checkout hour. Rather than give me directions that would have been hard to follow due to my “semi-delusional” state, he became my way. So it is with Jesus, he becomes our Way for life, restoration, and recovery.
The Bible describes Christ as the Good Shepherd and us as his sheep. It says, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). The following points should encourage your faith and trust in Christ.
The sheep listen to him. John 10:3 says, “The sheep listen to the voice of the Shepherd. He calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out.” In nature when sheep hear and heed their shepherd’s voice, he calms their fears and reassures them in times of danger. We must be alert to the voice of Christ, the Good Shepherd. His comfort brings healing and his commands give direction.
The sheep are led by him. John 10:4 says, “When the Shepherd walks ahead of them, they follow him because they know his voice.” Sheep follow their shepherd with confidence, because he goes ahead of them and leads them in safe places. Christ wants to lead you. You can trust that the path he leads you in has been screened by his love. And the words of Psalm 23 help us follow him with safety and assurances.
The sheep are loyal to him. “They will not follow someone they don’t know, because they don’t know his voice. They’ll run away” (John 10:5). There are some people who claim to follow Christ, but find themselves being unfaithful and in pursuit of their own way. All of us must change our thoughts, words, deeds, and actions from betrayal to loyalty. To be loyal is to reject wrong-doing and strive to do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
The sheep live through him. One of my favorite verses is John 10:10, “I have come so they might have life, a great full and abundant life.” The entire human race is under the penalty of death, but Christ came into the world to pay the sin debt for us. If we listen to, are led by, and are loyal to Christ in this life, we shall live with him forever in the life to come. This is his promise to us.
After World War I, some people found a French Soldier suffering from amnesia. When they picked him up at the railway station, he looked at his interrogators and kept saying, “I don’t know who I am. I don’t know who I am.” Because he had been disfigured by facial wounds, three different families claimed him as belonging to them. He was taken to one village after another where these different families lived and was allowed to walk around by himself. When he came to the third village, a sudden light of recognition came to him. He walked down a side street through a small gate, and up the steps of his father’s home. The old familiar surroundings had restored his mind. Once again he knew who he was and where he belonged.
At some point we all come to God like amnesia victims or delirious wonderers. We lose our way because of the chaos of this world. Distractions and temptations lead us down wrong paths. We find ourselves in places where we’ve no idea how we got there and sometimes question what purpose we have. Let us, with faith, listen for the Shepherd’s voice and make our way down a side street that leads home. Following the Good Shepherd will help us find our way to God.
• 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 Apr 20 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

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