North Santa Rosa

Living with Purpose

    My great uncle lived to be 99 years-old. And not long ago I visited my 95 year-old great aunt. What a blessing it must be to experience such long life and to know that you’ve had so many years to grow in the wisdom and stature of the Lord. All though they reached their peak in physical growth many, many years ago, they continued to grow spiritually. All things physical are limited and have an expiration date. But the spiritual and eternal things can be renewed each and every day.    Ephesians 4 speaks of a full-life and growth as a Christian. “God’s people are equipped for His work and will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we’ll no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Instead, we’ll speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:12-16).

    Several years ago when I worked in my grandfather’s peanut fields I was amazed at how quickly the morning glory vines would grow. And in my grandmother’s garden, where the morning glories were wanted, they would grow quickly and reached higher and higher as they were allowed to grow more beautiful and vibrant.

    For a lesson in long life and growth we need look no further than the morning glories that may be growing near your front porch. I’ve had an affinity for the morning glory flower ever since I found that it’s my birth month flower. I did some research and found that the tendrils of the morning glory grow in the same direction toward the right.

    A college professor tried an experiment. He painstakingly unwound a length of a morning glory vine and guided it in the opposite direction. After a number of days it was obvious that the plant had stopped growing at that point. He reversed the process and aligned the vine in its original direction. Within a day it resumed growing. It would only grow and flourish when it was headed in the “right” direction!

    Some people become bitter and cynical as they get older. But for those who have walked with God, there’s a pathway of peace that leads to comfort in the last days. The Apostle Peter’s last exhortation comes in 2 Peter 3:17-18, “You already know these things, dear friends. So be on guard, then you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.”

    Peter has passed to us the Words of the Spirit: “Grow in grace”. Even in these times of uncertainty and apostasy. The world tells you to curse the life that God has called you to. But the person that seeks the face of God will gain an understanding of God and their creative purpose for life. The longer you live, the more opportunity there is to gain knowledge of Him. And the knowledge of Him is the key to growing in grace. Just “growing” is natural. “Growing in grace” takes the supernatural. It’s not difficult to comprehend that the same vine that bends always to the right is always climbing and growing upward.

    From a humble vine and from a 95 year-old Christian’s testimony we may learn that it’s never wrong to be growing in the right direction.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a teacher, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. He recently published another book titled “Living With Purpose Volume III” and it can be purchased on Contact him at:

Posted by on Aug 28 2016. Filed under Church News, 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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