North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

    A little boy was afraid of the dark. One night his mother told him to go out to the back porch and bring her the broom. The little boy turned to his mother and said, “Momma, I don’t want to go out there. It’s dark.”    The mother smiles reassuringly at her son. “You don’t have to be afraid of the dark,” she explained, “Jesus is out there. He’ll look after you and protect you.”  

    The little boy looked at his mother real hard and asked, “Are you sure he’s out there?”

    “Yes, I’m sure. He is everywhere, and he’s always ready to help you when you need him,” she said

    The little boy thought about that for a minute and then went to the back door and cracked it a little. Peering out into the darkness, he called, “Jesus, if you’re out there, would you please hand me the broom?”

    The Bible differentiates between light and dark in many passages. Jesus called himself “The light of the world” and he said, “If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life,” (John 8:12). Earlier in the gospel of John it says, “And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants” (John 3:18-21).

    We will be judged according to our light and God will be entirely just with us. If we are condemned before him, it will be because, having seen the light and known the better way, we refused to enter that way and turned our faces toward the darkness. A person who refuses to become a Christian, doesn’t by self-will, believe certain Christian truths. To believe in Christ is to know the truth according to God. And the truth hurts the self-will of the unbeliever.

    Take the case of “doubting Thomas”. He was in the first group of friends of Jesus when Christ lived on earth. When the other disciples came and told Thomas about the resurrection of Christ, he didn’t believe it. He thought they had been deceived. Yet his heart was heavy and he really wished it were true. Later when Jesus reappeared to all the disciples at one time, rather than scold Thomas, Jesus accepted him and said, “Look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” Thomas’ doubts were vanquished and Jesus said, “You believe because you’ve seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me” (John 20:27-29). It’s belief that shines light on our circumstances.

    We have a very different case in the men that stoned the apostle Stephen to death. The men that murdered Stephen believed what he said about Jesus (Acts 7). The light from heaven had shone upon their eyes, but the light condemned them, and they would not have it, they would not accept it. In that trying moment, Stephen looked upward and the heavenly world was opened to his eyes. He saw God and Jesus at His right hand. He dismissed the cruel taunts and the stinging blows and said, “Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man (Jesus), Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And those men, looking on Stephen’s face, believed it. They knew he was looking into heaven, for they saw light in his face brighter than any light of earth. But they couldn’t yield to the fact that he saw Christ, for that meant condemnation to them. And so they did what many people have been doing ever since—they “stopped their ears, put their hands over them and ran upon him” as if to silence what he had to say. They sought to extinguish the light for they cared more for the darkness. Our testimony is the light that people see in our lives.

    A prosperous man had a Christian wife that prayed for his conversion. He was lying awake in the darkness of his room one night, when he heard the voice from a little bed that was beside his.

    “Papa, it’s so dark, take my hand.”

    He took the little hand extended in the dark, and held it gently until the frightened child fell-fast asleep. This strong, proud, business man looked up through the darkness, and said, “Father, in heaven, it is dark. Will you take my hand as I took my own dear child’s hand? Give me rest of soul for Jesus’ sake.”

    A blessed peace entered into his broken heart, and quietly in the midst of the darkness he rejoiced in salvation. A very small beam of light had come to him in his child’s appeal. The sense of helpless weakness had led him to stretch the hand of his soul up to God, and Jesus Christ. God took hold and saved him in that moment. Trust God for the light that leads to salvation and faith. Lift your hand into the darkness today, trusting God through Jesus Christ, and he will take hold of you and save you, for this is what Christ was born to do—to save us! If you refuse this light which he offers and you turn from it, there is yet a deeper darkness that is yet to come for you that can only mean greater sorrow as the years go on. Follow the light which God gives you and it will lead you to heaven. It doesn’t take a great deal of light, to lead heavenward the one who is willing to be led.

• 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 May 27 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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