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North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose 

    I once read the story about a preacher who was traveling across the countryside with a friend that was in the business field. At one of their many stops the businessman took out a New Testament that was neatly packed away in his briefcase. It was very worn and he opened it and handed it across to the preacher.    He commented, “Do you know this is the dearest treasure I have on earth?”

    “Oh really? Why’s that?” the preacher asked.

    “My little girl gave it to me on my birthday 10 years ago. She told me as she put it in my hand, Papa, I want you to carry that with you when you travel, and every time you take it out to read it you will remember the little girl at home who loves you so.” Tears came into the man’s eyes as he continued, “A month after that, I was 1000 miles away, when I received a telegram from my wife which said, come home quick! Lorraine is very sick. I hurried home. It seemed to me the trains never went so slow. Death out ran me, and my little girl left her farewell kiss for me with her mother. That’s why I love that little Testament. Every time I take it up I see her dear face again, and it seems to be looking happily at me out of the gate of heaven, and I read it, and try by God’s help to do the right thing, because of the little girl who loved me so.” 

    Sentiment can cause us to keep things close to our heart. Do you think this man was any less of a man because of the sacred sentiment in which he lived? Definitely not! He was more of a man because of it. His heart had been touched by God.

     The Bible in and of itself should be cherished because it’s God’s Word to all of us. God has provided it for us so that we can know how to live in our physical life, which in turn helps us know how to prepare for the spiritual life to follow. 

     As we live, suffer, and gain victories, we find the Bible to be a guide to help us navigate through the changes. So often in our circumstances, we are forced to face sorrow whether we want to or not. But, we have a resource of hope to help us carry on. Never forget, where there is life, there is hope. 

     I can sympathize with the person who wrote the verses to the following song: 

    “The world they say is getting old, and weary as can be, but write me down as saying, it’s good enough for me. It’s good enough, with all it’s grief, it’s pleasure and it’s pain, and there’s a ray of sunshine for every drop of rain! They stumble in the lonesome dark, they cry for light to see, but write me down as saying, it’s light enough for me. It’s light enough to lead us on from where we faint and fall, and the hilltops nearest heaven wear the brightest crown of all. They talk about the fading hopes that mock the years to be, but write me down as saying there’s hope enough for me! Over the old world’s wailing the sweetest music swells. In the stormiest night, I listen and hear the Bells! This world of God is brighter than we ever dreamed or know; it’s burdens growing lighter and its love that makes it so. And I’m thankful that I’m living, when love’s blessedness I see, ‘Neath the heaven that’s forgiving when the Bells ring home for me.”

     If we could only meet the struggles of life with a song in our heart like this one. We are capable of it, but we neglect the abilities we have within us. We are distracted by the world or we haven’t been touched by God into the clear realization that He can help us to meet every challenge.

     Emotional highs can sometimes spark a spiritual renewal in your life. But the daily grind can also sap your spiritual well-being. God wants to give you a fresh touch. 1 Samuel 10:26 says, “A group of men whose hearts God had touched went with him.” God-touched hearts have the following four characteristics:

     They are called by God. Ordained ministers are not the only people called by God. Everyone is called to salvation and service. But everyone doesn’t always accept this call. All Christ-followers are to use their time, talent, and money to build God’s kingdom. Christians are called “with a holy calling.” They are not called because of their works, but they should work because of their call (1 Corinthians 7:17).

     They are committed to God. Reserving portions of your life for yourself, hinders your power flow and delays blessings. God requires a total commitment. God’s intended will is what’s best, not what others dictate or what we think is best. We are safest when we submit to his design.

     They are courageous for God. The Bible says, “Be strong and courageous,” (Joshua 1:7). It wasn’t until the apostle Peter was totally committed that he was spirit-filled and found the confidence to boldly stand up for Christ. We all need the empowering touch of God’s Holy Spirit. God-touched hearts become involved in meeting the needs of others. They glorify God and do His work with joy and confidence. 

     They are conquerors through God. Despite tribulation and daily distress, the Bible says, “Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love, neither our fears for today, nor our worries about tomorrow,” Romans 8:38. Don’t live a defeated life anymore! Don’t trust in money and possessions. Always pray, read God’s Word, and work for God. God-touched hearts triumph over the atheistic humanistic teaching of our day. With the right perspective, there’s nothing wrong with striving for eternal rewards. “Store your treasures in heaven. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be,” (Matthew 6:20-21). Striving for the glory in heaven helps conquer lethargy, indifferences, and the lure of materialism. 

    It’s the distinct privilege of the Christian to go into the hardest battles of life with a heart full of love, devotion to the good of others, and with the assurance that God is with us. This will bring us through as more than a conqueror. We are called to a victorious life!

 

• 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. His “Living With Purpose” Book series can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him at: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

 

 

Posted by on Apr 23 2017. Filed under Church News, Churches, 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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