North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    There once was a young woman named Emma whose father died after a lengthy illness. He had worked hard all his life and passed on to her a good-sized inheritance. It helped put her through college and raise three young children. When she received the inheritance, she gave 10% of it to her church, believing this had been a blessing from God.    In another small town a man had been a faithful member of his local church and had religiously given his tithes and offerings to the church. When he died, it was discovered he had managed to save quite a lump sum of cash. In his will, he left his entire estate to the church. This investment helps the church pay most of its expenses related to the maintenance budget each year. In life and in death, he joyfully gave to God what had been given to him.

    Little Allie gets an allowance from her parents. Each week she uses $10 for various expenses, puts $5 in the bank, puts $2 in the offering plate, and uses the other $3 for more candy than she needs, but nobody’s perfect!

    In 1 Samuel 1:26-28, Hannah testified, “Many years ago I prayed to the Lord and I asked Him to give me this boy, and He has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” When we give back to God from what God has given us, we are blessed beyond measure. Hannah’s joy over the birth of Samuel, incredible as it was, was not complete. In God’s own time, her joy was multiplied as she dedicated her son to God’s service. Her faith inspires us to put God first and give back to Him what He has given us. When we do, He blesses us with all we need and more to share. Knowing this principle is true and worthy of our following, how do we go about giving God first place?

    First, put Him before PLEASURE. We live in a pleasure-seeking world. Millions of dollars are spent on entertainment each year. Christians should be faithful and honest to worship God in church attendance, prayer, and the ministry of His Word before anything else (Matthew 6:33).

    Second, put Him before POSITION. Some people make their job their top priority. And when inclement weather or company rolls in; a hindrance to church attendance is born. Jobs, responsibilities, and finances are necessary, but they should be kept in proper perspective.

    Third, put Him before POPULARITY. It’s a very natural thing to want the approval of others. Even in school, youngsters want to be like the other kids. In the office or the factory, it’s easy to go along with the crowd. However, gaining God’s approval is most important. Christians should be on the offensive by giving witness for Him. By doing so, God assumes the responsibility of supplying us with courage and grace.

    Fourth, put Him before POSSESSIONS. Luke 12:15 says, “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.” The Bible also warns that the “love of money” is the root of all evil. God wants our wholehearted devotion. We should be faithful in paying God’s tithes and giving offerings liberally as He blesses and meets our needs.

    Finally, put Him before PEOPLE. No relationship is worth forsaking a faithful loving God who created you in the first place. Once I was downtrodden and depressed because a friend was no longer in my life. It was a burden that was getting to hard to carry and I shared my plight with another friend. He told me, “As much as you miss this person, understand that the ultimate fulfillment in relationships is found in Christ.” It helped me turn the page and move on, because what he told me was the truth and I needed to be reminded of that.

    Give God the first fruits of everything; the best you have to offer in every area of your life. If and when you feel weak in your commitment to this task, recall the words of Matthew 6:33, where it says, “Seek the Kingdom of God (a relationship with Him) above all else, and live a life pleasing to God, and He will give you everything you need.”

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a health educator for the state of Florida, U.S. Army Chaplain, and the Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in the New York Community. He recently published his 4th Volume in the “Living With Purpose” Book series which can be found and purchased on www. Amazon.com. You can contact him at: rmdobson@liberty.edu

Posted by on Sep 2 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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