North Santa Rosa

Living With Purpose

Maybe you’ve been trying to get in better shape. Perhaps you’ve been trying to eat the right kinds of foods to promote weight loss and good health. You look for time to work out; you run, you walk, you do all the things you’re supposed to do. In time and if you stay consistent, you can achieve your goals step by step. But there are certain times, the old ways and habits become very tempting. You love chips, cookies, or some other treat that’s hard to resist. One won’t kill you. Two might be OK. But if you let your guard down and give in, you can down the whole bag without realizing it.

Wrong things for us and sin can be like this. Sin can overcome you if you’re not careful. The Bible says, “Let us lay aside every weight, and sin that so easily entangles us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” (Heb. 12:1). Satan uses sin to entice us. The devil and sin are very deceptive. Some things that are wrong for you can seem insignificant. Maybe you take a quick glance at another student’s test paper, fudge on a job application, or let a string of curse words slip. We may rationalize that just this one “small” sin will not doom us to hell and eternal damnation and that God doesn’t hold these small things over our heads. But like your favorite snack or dessert, sin has a way of sneaking up on you and spinning out of control. Before you know it you’ve blown your health plan for the day. Don’t be overcome and let one small sin become a habit that turns to an unhealthy addiction and keep you from reaching your positive potential in life. Fight against the devil and sin with all your heart and rely on God’s strength to give you the victory. .

Romans 12:1 says “Don’t be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” God would have never given us this verse if He did not intend on giving us the power to overcome. Satan will work to no end to cause you to fail. So, Don’t Be Over-concerned to the point of worry. The Bible says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6). Although society is complex and disconcerting, we shouldn’t be over-concerned and try to carry the burdens of the world on our shoulders. But trust in the Lord, surrendering everything to Him. The sting of suffering and sorrow can be eased when you cast your cares on God.

Some people are over-careless in their conversation, the way they dress, pay their tithes, and attend church. Over-carelessness hinders a Christian’s influence for God, so Don’t Be Over-careless. Like watching our diet on a positive health plan, we must be careful to avoid this trap. The Bible says, “Give diligence to your calling and what God wants you to do; because if you do, you will not fail” (2 Peter 1:10). This promise is our encouragement from God.

One of the things that keep people from achieving success is the bondage of what others might think of them. Convictions are needed and lessons are to be learned from our mistakes. But, don’t let others discourage you because of your past failings. Seek to please God, rather than others. Exercise faith, courage, and act when you know God’s Spirit is guiding you. Don’t Be Over-conscientious, but align yourself with God’s Word and He’ll be faithful to you.

The Scripture, John 8:28, gives you one other tip about not being overcome by sin. “Jesus said to them, I do nothing of myself. I say (do) these things as my Father (God) has taught me.” Don’t be Over-confident. We know Christ depended on his Father rather than his humanity. Let’s be God-confident, not self-confident and know we can do all things through Christ (Phil. 4:13). Don’t be over-concerned, over-careless, over-conscientious, or over-confident. Simply, don’t be overcome, but be an overcomer.

Finally, ever since the dawn of creation when God “divided the light from the darkness”, “the day from the night”, God set fourth His principle of separation. Sin separates us from God. Not on the basis of good works, good families, or good anything is the separation resolved. It’s solely a matter of belief or unbelief. Jesus told us to seek God and get forgiveness of sins or we will surely have to pay for them. Don’t run from Jesus. Don’t turn from him and his love. His promise is crystal clear: “I go to prepare a place for you; that where I am, there you may be also.” No special qualifications of skills or training are required, no diploma, or degree. Faith in Christ alone opens the door to the heaven he has gone to prepare. Believe in him and you will know a love and peace like no other you have ever known. Find a church where Jesus is taught and lived. Be encouraged by the sincere and genuine love of a church that honors God.

This weekly column is written by Matt Dobson. A graduate of Florida State University, Univ. of West Florida, and Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, he is Pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Jay, Florida and is a Captain (CPT) in the U.S. Army Reserves Chaplain Corp. Matt can be reached by email: He welcomes your thoughts concerning faith, belief, and Christian living. Visit the Living With Purpose website at

Posted by on Mar 2 2014. Filed under 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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