North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

A boy was watching his father, a pastor, write a sermon. “How do you know what to say?” he asked. “Why God tells me,” the father answered. The boy replied, “Oh, then why do you keep crossing things out?” Unfortunately, in these days of political correctness and potential censorship, even ministers are hesitating to preach their convictions. God’s Word should never be watered down to play into the hands of anyone. It will be a sad day indeed when the New Testament church is not free to speak the truth of God. We pray this day never comes. However, the day has arrived where darkness is taken as light sometimes. And light is not always welcomed. It seems society is getting used to the dark. Like a light turned on in the middle of the night, we squint, we cover our eyes, or we pull the sheet over our heads and sink deeper under the cover.

What is needed is a healthy dose of realization. The light is the way of success, the way of protection. We need not fear the light and the power of the light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; whoever follows will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). By trusting the “Light” and his teachings and following in the footsteps of the Master Teacher, God’s protection from the enemies in darkness will be one of your great assets. And one you will come to appreciate more and more over time. God’s light and protection is a promise.

“How do you know that God will protect you?” a hiker was once asked. “How do I know whether it was a man or wild animal which passed my tent last night?” answered the hiker, “by his footsteps.” Jesus’ footsteps remain in the world and in the Bible. Jesus walked these footsteps and left them for you and me. If you follow faithfully, you are kept out of danger. Christians are not immune to the darkness of evil. The lure of darkness that prevails today creeps in like a low hanging cloud or a fog that silently settles around you, engulfing you without you being aware. You know it’s true. It’s easy to get used to the dark. Yet, the “Light” of the world can come into your life and change it. When you fix your eyes on the light of Jesus Christ, a great transformation takes place. The greatest thing that can happen to a person is for them to accept Christ. To find him. To let him in and take control. To become identified with him.

We find ourselves floundering in this world with our own strength. We try to focus, but it seems the world is becoming darker and darker. Psalm 82:5 says, “The gods of this world know nothing, they understand nothing (ignorant of the truth); they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are out of course.” But you have a guide available to you this very hour! He is found by opening your heart and mind to him. This light of the world leads to power. This power will overcome every possible difficulty. God has planted a great and wonderful potential in you and it will never rest or reach its maximum until it is fully realized in our mind. So, renew your mind (Rom. 12:2). This is what you were made for. “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds, and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:14). This is God’s Word concerning you!

A former student of mine recently wrote to me and explained there was one thing I told him that has brought blessings to his life and made him a better follower of Christ. He went on to say, if I never see him again on earth, I will in heaven. The thing I told him was to read his Bible every day and ask God to help him understand it. The Holy Bible is your guide. The Scriptures in God’s Word will give you light and help you find your way in the darkness. The psalmist describes the Bible this way: “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105). You see, there’s no need for spiritual blindness or a darkened path. God has a plan for you—a hope and a future (Jer. 29:11). Look for it in His Word and find what you’re longing for…hope, peace, love, and prosperity in a life lived for Christ. I’ve known people to live their whole life for themselves and not know how much peace and joy could have been theirs. 1 John 2:8-11 says, “I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining…those that are resentful, do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them.”

Be set apart, come into the light, and let God’s glory rest on you. With a positive attitude, belief, and the help of God you can accomplish anything. Take the first step by finding a Spirit-filled church that teaches God’s Word unashamedly, attend faithfully, and follow God in all your ways.

  • This weekly column is written by Matthew Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, University of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida. Matthew can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts and questions concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at



Posted by on Apr 29 2012. Filed under 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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