North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    Of all the treasured possessions we have here on earth, friendship is one of the things that rise above all others. I don’t know of anyone who has not at some point in their life, depended on someone to help them successfully navigate through a difficult circumstance. A true-blue friend will be sincere and faithful, and can be depended upon for sympathy, comfort, and loving fellowship.    I once had a friend who I did not see very often, but easily maintained communication by way of our high-tech modern world. My friend lived out of town and was enduring the ill-effects of a serious illness. She was walking through the valley of the shadow of death and had a strong bout of discouragement. Sometimes we need to be reminded from “whence cometh our help” (Psalm 121:1-2). And that’s what I did; I reminded her. Words can still give encouragement, comfort, correction, and affirmation over the long miles of separation. Never underestimate the power of the written word. She told me, “You’re my life-line, thanks for being my friend.” Should we not all be “life-lines” to as many as we can? Who is there in your circle of friends that you are a “life-line” to?

    An old man died and left a great amount of wealth behind. As far as anyone knew, no written will had been prepared. After a while the house furniture was put up for sale. When the auction date arrived an older woman, who had been a nurse to the man’s only son, decided to attend the sale. She had been like a second mother to the little boy as he struggled with a disease that finally took his young life. A painted portrait of the little fella was put up for sale and she felt a lump come into her throat.

    “Who bids?” cried the auctioneer.

    “Oh, how a wish I could!” sighed the poor woman, “But I have only $10, and it will not go for that.”

    It wasn’t the best picture in terms of detail, and there wasn’t a single soul who bid a penny more.

    “Please, sir,” the poor woman ventured to say, “I’ll give $10 for it, but no more, as that’s all I have.”

    “$10 is the active bid,” the man shouted, “Anything further?”

    No one said anything, and so the picture was given to the former nurse for $10. When she got home she took the painting out of the frame to clean it. Much to her surprise, attached between the back of the frame and the portrait was the old man’s missing will, and it read something like this: “Whoever buys my son’s portrait shall have all I possess; for perhaps someone who knew him will buy it and keep the memory of him alive.”

    So, because of a past friendship characterized by loving fellowship, the poor old woman became rich. She became rich in that she had plenty of money, however she was already rich because she had the love of Christ in her heart and that’s the greatest treasure any person can possess. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.”

    When Jesus is your friend, and you’re tired and overburdened, have a little talk with him. When you’re hit with a wave of sorrow and grief, take it to Jesus and cry out to him. The Bible promises that God is close to the brokenhearted. When you’re tempted to lose faith in a person or humanity in general, go to Christ and allow him to increase your hope.

   If there ever was anything that was naturally guaranteed it’s the assurance that Jesus Christ will be your friend. In fact, it’s a supernatural guarantee! There comes to every one of us times of sickness, pain, and disappointment when Jesus is the only friend who can touch us inside to give peace and comfort. What a glorious prospect to know we can have a tender and loving friendship with him.

    A friend with Jesus all the way to his death, Major Whittle penned these words when his pain kept him from sleeping:

    “Swift with melodious feet, the midnight hours pass by; as with each chiming bell so sweet I think, My Lord draws nigh. I see heaven’s open door, I hear God’s gracious voice; I see the blood-washed round the throne, and with them I rejoice. The Lord remains the same, faithful He must abide; and on His Word my soul I’ll rest, For He is by my side. Some midnight, sleepless saints, made quick by pain to hear, shall join the glad and welcome cry, the Bridegroom draweth near! So sing my soul in praise, as bells chime o’er and o’er, the coming of the Lord draws near, when time shall be no more”.

    We become rich in life when we come to know him as Savior, Lord, and friend. When we journey through life we may get lonely, but we’re never alone because we have Christ as our most loyal and trusted friend. Jesus said, “The Father will honor anyone who serves me” (John 12:26).

    Make friends with Jesus and you will have treasures better than any the world can give, and treasures from which death cannot rob you; treasure that will enrich your soul, and fill heaven with joy and welcome you into eternity one fine day.

• 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 Feb 11 2018. Filed under Church News, 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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