North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    The best evidence of the resurrection of Christ is the fact he has the power to pull people out of the sloughs of despondency, to lift us up out of the mire and clay of sin. His power places our feet upon the rock and gives us new reasons to thank and praise Him. Every person that’s lifted into this new life are evidences of Christianity. This becomes their personal testimony to life. Christianity, in general must always be judged by the kind of people it makes. It’s a matter of looking to Jesus always. The Bible says, in Acts 7:55-56, “Stephen, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed steadily into heaven and saw Jesus standing at God’s right hand.” The apostle Paul declares that if we really are risen with Christ, if our hearts, our love, our faith, and our own hope have followed him (Christ) up out of the grave until we’ve really seen him, as Stephen did, then we will be inspired to live a noble life of high thought and pure imagination in a way that we can touch the world with the helpfulness of Christ.    Some people tend to dwell on the fact the Christian life is complete self-sacrifice and self-denial and this way of life is left wanting; unfulfilled. The surrendered life to Christ gives you something better than what you have lost for Christ’s sake. When a person gives their heart to God’s purpose, Christ raises them to a higher place. And it is true Christ’s standards are higher than the worlds. It makes practical sense that we need him to help us meet his standards. When we accept Christ as our Savior and Lord, we are in the glorious position to receive his aid. The Bible says, “We are partners together with God,” (1 Corinthians 3:9).

    Christ has paid the price and raised us to a mighty and lofty status. Revelation 1:5-6 says, “Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first to rise from the dead and the ruler of all the kings of the world. He loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever. Amen!”

    We can be sure that whatever Christ promised in his Word, or whatever he has done for others in the Bible, he is able to do for us. We can also be certain that no commandments are given to us that he will not help us achieve and obey.

    A young officer had orders from his commander to assault an enemies position that had been considered impregnable. A fellow officer told him, “It can’t be taken and you’ll lose your life!”

    The brave soldier replied, “I can, because I have the order in my pocket.” And take it he did. Always remember there’s nothing to which God has commanded us in His Word, or to which the Holy Spirit directs us in our daily life, that we cannot do in Jesus’ name.

    The highest and noblest life that a person can ever hope to live is possible to each of us if we walk in fellowship with Jesus Christ. Our duty is to stay in touch with Christ through prayer, worship, and fellowship. If we are to live in an atmosphere where prayer will be so natural to us that it becomes a regular source of nourishment and strength.

    A teenager was eating a snack in the kitchen of his home. He noticed his mother’s “To Do List” laying on the counter. It was the typical items: wash clothes, mop kitchen, go to grocery store, pick-up kids from school, dry clothes, fix supper, fold clothes, put up clothes, water the flowers. But one thing stood out from the rest, sandwiched in between going to the grocery store and getting the kids were the three words “Read and Pray”. When he saw, what made her a wonderful Mom, he knew why, with all her burdens why she was sweet-spirited, self-composed, and always able to give counsel, comfort, and cheer to those who were discouraged, including himself. Prayer was a regular source of strength for her and Bible reading kept her focused so she could live, function, and even help others to thrive on a higher plane in life. No person can live the risen life in his or her own strength. The risen life is sustained by looking to Jesus.

    Hebrews 12:2 reminds us to: “Run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who perfects our faith.” We are to look to Jesus in four ways:

    Look to Jesus “In” everything (Acts 17:28). In good times as well as bad, in joy as well as sorrow, and in triumph as well as trial we must look to Jesus. Doing so will help us obtain mercy and find grace to help in every time of need.

    Second, look to Jesus “For” everything. Relying on self-effort alone will lead us to disappointment. “According to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19) all our needs will be met.

    Third, look to Jesus “With” everything. If we are to be overcomers and victorious in life, we must look to Jesus with everything and that includes our time, talent, and treasure. The apostle Paul urges us to “Present our bodies to God as a living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1), so that we may be totally dedicated to Him.

    Finally, look to Jesus “Through” everything. When traveling through all phases of life, even the valley experiences, God will often allow suffering to strengthen our faith and fulfill His purpose. Don’t complain and blame God when suffering strikes, rather look to Him and seek His purpose with patience and trust.

    Let God resurrect your spirits, with the same power Christ was resurrected on that glorious Easter morning so many years ago!

• 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 1 2018. 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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