North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    Summertime in the south is truly a happy and enjoyable time even if it is hot outside. Summer is the season of birds and flowers, and all the delightful colors and fragrances that go together in harmony. It’s a time of natural beauty. Its beauty appeals to us in the green foliage of the trees, in the flowers of the garden, and in the many birds that fly and perch atop tall pine trees singing their happy song. There is beauty to be enjoyed in the balancing act the clouds perform at daybreak and at sunset. And in the evening, the fire flies and the moon light up the forest. The sounds of the waves splashing against the seashore and the rushing water racing through the creek bed all give way to the natural beauty that appeals to us in the summertime.    This beauty is one of God’s many gifts intended to influence our hearts. There is something wrong with a person when these things don’t affect them. In Psalm 18:35 King David said, “God’s gentleness made him great.” It’s plain to see God shows us His gentleness in wonderful ways through the glorious harmonies during the summer days. These beautiful things should humble us and soften our hearts with gratitude. They should awake within us the deep conviction that God is much better to us by far than we deserve. Summertime is a time of plenty. The fruits and vegetables we plant and gather are blessings to our sight and our taste! I can remember my grandfather planting his fields and gardens and how he would say, “If I get caught up today, we’ll go fishing tomorrow.” I would want to help him to make sure that fishing trip happened!

    The flowers of summer and their perfume provide for rich and colorful experiences in the great outdoors. The New Testament is especially full of words associated with the fullness of summer: “abundance”, “riches of grace”, “unsearchable riches”, “inexpressible joy”, “abounding”, and “love beyond measure”. These and more speak of the unlimited generosity that the Christian can enjoy with a surrendered allegiance to Christ. God intends for good to come to us. He says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). Do we deserve such blessedness during the summertime? God is our heavenly Father and desires to give us good things. Good things we do not deserve.

    Many years ago, a goldminer had reached the end of his resources financially and physically without finding an ounce of gold dust. He decided to give it up and flung his tools down in the very spot where he had finally made the decision to return to his camp. After a restless night of sleep, he reluctantly decided to go back on the trail and get his tools. He was down to his last piece of bread and felt surely that his tools might bring the price of a meal or two until he could find a job. As he stumbled back that hot morning, the trail seemed long and his heart was almost to heavy to carry. At last he saw his wheelbarrow and pick standing a short distance away. As he wearily dragged himself toward them, he stumped his toe against a stone that was embedded in the sand and he fell. This was the straw that broke the camels back. He lay there on the ground cursing his luck and wallowing in self-pity. He felt like a little kid who kicks and breaks the thing that hurt him. He was so frustrated and enraged that he determined to crush the rock that tripped him. When he couldn’t pry the stone out of the ground, he dug it up with his pick, intending to smash it into as many pieces as he possibly could. He tried with all his strength to break it up, but he could not. He looked closer and found that it was solid gold and nearly as big as a pine melon. When he brought the huge stone of gold to the buying merchant in town, he told him how bitter he had been toward God before he found it. He said with tears, “Now sir, I ask you, did I deserve this good fortune?”

    None of us deserve God’s grace and mercy, but He loves us, even during our hardest days. He wants us to be a part of His Kingdom. It is our unseen Heavenly Father, His provisions, and His Spiritual virtues we adopt that hold value forever.

    I can recall as a child how I enjoyed the summer months. The fishing and running with my Dad all the way to sunset. The sweet innocence of childhood has been called “the Kingdom of Heaven”. Jesus reminds us that childhood is the standard of value in human life, and has declared that except we are converted, and become as a little child, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:2-4). This child-like faith should cause us to long again for the trust and hope of our own childhood and bring us back to a child-like spirit that puts us in communion with God.

    Summer is always a sentimental season for me; for I hold so many sweet memories of wholesome times with family and friends. There is freedom in the summertime. Just as there is freedom in our life to do as we please. Let us take our carefree days of summer and make them free from all that is disobedient to our Heavenly Father and serve Him gladly with ready minds and joyous hearts.

• This bi-weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. He’s a health educator for the State of Florida, U.S. Army Reserve 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 by email: rmdobson@liberty.edu.

Posted by on Jun 16 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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