North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    While serving as a U.S. Army Reserve Battalion Chaplain in Jackson, Mississippi I spent part of an early morning going over my notes for chapel service. I read a passage from the Gospel of Matthew where it says, “Jesus reached out and touched a man” that was in need and the man was instantly healed (Matthew 8:3). The Master’s touch brought healing and peace to the poor leper.    Peace comes to us in many ways, as it did for this man. I’ve known about God’s peace since I was a child and I felt a little more when I got out of my car that day and heard a mockingbird welcoming the morning with a melodious tune. I paused, listened for a few seconds, and agreed with my little feathered friend, it was going to be a wonderful day.

    When our unit broke for lunch, I visited a fast food restaurant and walked swiftly across the parking lot because I was hungry. As I stepped up to the side entrance door I heard someone say, “Sir, hello sir!” I turned and saw a man, sitting in his car with his window down waiting in the drive-thru line.

    I responded by saying, “How are you?”

    He didn’t motion for me, but I sensed he wanted to talk. I cautiously walked over to the driver’s window and he said, “I noticed you’re in an army uniform. I’m so excited and wanted to tell you. You see, I tailor suits and uniforms. I went into business for myself and have been trying to take my services on base at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg. I just got word last week, they have approved my business and I’ll start next week. I’m nervous about the whole deal and want to make sure I do a good job and they will keep me. I see the cross on your uniform and I know you’re a chaplain. Will you pray for me?”

    After telling him congratulations I assured him I would pray for him. At that split second, a voice spoke to me and said, “Do it now. Pray with him and give him some of the peace you got from the mockingbird this morning.”

    I recognized the voice. It was God’s Spirit speaking to me. I reached to shake the gentleman’s hand and said, “Let’s pray right now. There’s no better time than the present.”

    I thanked God for giving this man his new job, and I prayed God would prosper him using his gifts and abilities. I prayed that his hands would help serve others. After a short goodbye. He said, “Chaplain, one more thing. Here’s my business card. Look me up when you train at Camp Shelby sometime.”

    I looked at the card and it said, “The Master’s Touch”, Sewing with Passion, William J. Pope. 30 Years’ Experience”.

    Meeting this man was one of many Divine appointments in my life. It was personally significant because a few hours prior I had been reading about Jesus’ healing touch, the Master’s Touch. Jesus’ touch has been healing and giving peace since the beginning of all time.

    We all seek peace. Because there’s a malicious enemy in the devil, who will do all he can within the powers of hell to disappoint us, defeat us, and destroy our witness for Jesus Christ. If you live under the illusion that you don’t have an enemy in the world, you need to cause that illusion to evaporate. The devil is alive and out to get you and will do so unless you commit yourself without reservation to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Christian life is a struggle. It’s like running uphill, like swimming upstream. Followers of Christ are not to float through life.

    Ephesians 6:15 tells us, “to put on the sandals (shoes) of the gospel of peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.” We shouldn’t be dogmatic about the meaning of this verse. It has to do with the gospel that brings the peace of God into the hearts of people, and it specifically emphasizes an attitude of readiness and eagerness. Perhaps what the apostle Paul was trying to communicate is that if we are to overcome evil, and life’s anxieties, we must respond to God’s goodness and let peace fill our hearts. We must also have a deep inward eagerness to share the message that brings peace and joy to the hearts and lives of others that we encounter.

    The prophet Isaiah declared Jesus as “the Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus came to bring peace to people and among people. The peace he seeks to give is not that which is born on the battlefield but found in the depths of the human heart. His peace is not the peace of stagnation or inactivity. His peace is not a spiritual narcotic to keep one from facing reality. The Prince of Peace gives believers peace with God through a right relationship with Him.

    Using sandals of a Roman soldier as a metaphor, Paul declared that if we are to overcome evil, we must have our feet prepared, that is, we must be eager and ready—to carry Christ’s message of peace to all who are in spiritual darkness. Isaiah 52:7 proclaims the following: “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” The primary emphasis of this passage is on the proclamation of the good news of God’s love to a needy world. The subjective effect of this attitude of readiness will provide for us as individuals the protection we need from Satan who wants to rob you of peace. May you be able to respond to God’s call as did Isaiah, “Here am I! Send me.” We need to go everywhere announcing the good news of God’s love.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s the author of the following books: “Living With Purpose (Volume’s I, II, III, and IV)”; “Loving Others With Purpose” and “Running With Purpose”; He can be reached by email: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

Posted by on Jan 20 2019. 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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