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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 1/28/2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 1/28/2013

Judges 16:1-3
SAMSON AND THE SHADY LADY, Lesson 22b

v. 2 SAMSON AND HIS DISCOVERY
While Samson is in the company of the harlot, his enemies discover that he is in town. They set a trap to capture him. Samson thought he would turn aside for a few moments of pleasure in illicit sexual relationship. He thought he would have his fun and just leave town. He never thought he would get caught.

Then again, neither do we! The truth is, Satan uses our sins to set us up for a fall. This passage demonstrates the way sin works in our lives to attack us and bring us down.

Something About Sin’s Surrounding Work – The Philistines “compassed him in”. That means that his enemies surrounded him. They laid a trap for his capture.

That is the way sin works as well. Some people criticize Christianity and say that it is too restrictive. They complain that the way of God is no fun; that it leaves no freedom; that it allows no wiggle room. What the critics fail to see is that the way of God, that is, a life lived according to the Word, is a life of true freedom, while sin is a life of captivity.

Sin is like a boa constrictor. It encircles the lives of its victims and slowly squeezes the life right out of them. The freedom of the sinner is stolen away by the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual toll of sin. Diseases, addictions, trauma, financial losses, ruined relationships, destroyed families, shattered trust, depression, and for some, incarceration, limit the freedom of living and bring destruction and pain. The life of sin is not a life of freedom and reckless abandon; it is a life of profound bondage and dark slavery, (Eph. 2:2-3).

Something About Sin’s Steady Work – The Philistines also “laid wait for him all night”. They were patient as they waited for him to leave the harlot’s house. They were in no hurry because time was on their side.

Sin is also patient in the way it works. It will play its cards close to the vest until the sinner is hopelessly entangled in its web. The sinner doesn’t always feel the trap closing around them when they are living out their life of pleasure, but sin is patient, and when the time is right, it will spring the trap and destroy the life of its victim.

Most of the time, by the time the results of sin are known, it is too late to escape the trap. Ask the chronic alcoholic if there is a sting in the liquor bottle. Ask the AIDS victim if he feels the sting associated with his lifestyle. Ask the promiscuous girl who will never know the joy of motherhood if she feels pain of her sin because she has been rendered sterile by a venereal disease. Ask the criminal sitting behind bars if there is a price to pay for sin. All these people would have laughed in your face if you had tried to warn them on the dangers they faced when they were in the grip of their pleasure! Now, it may be too late, but they all know the truth!

It may take a while, but eventually, sin will play its hand, spring its trap and the sinner will pay terrible price for falling into sin’s trap, (Gal. 6:7). The time to repent is now. The time to escape sin’s bondage is now while there still may be time to escape the worst horrors of sin in your life. You will always bear some scars in your body, your mind or your spirit, but you might just escape with your life and your soul intact. Get out now while there is time!

Something About Sin’s Silent Work – The Bible says the Philistines “were quiet all the night”. They did not let Samson know they were there and lying in wait to capture him.

Such is the subtle nature of sin. It does not tell the truth. It leads the sinner to believe that there can be pleasure with no consequences. Advertisers tell us that alcohol use is tremendous fun. Birth control commercials tell us how to commit fornication without the nasty side effects of an unwanted pregnancy. The lottery, and other forms of gambling, is exalted as a way to get rich quick. The facts are somewhat different. Sin never tells the truth!

Sin never tells you about the ruined health, the empty wallet, the destroyed lives, the ruined marriages, the broken homes, the shattered dreams, and the wasted years it leaves in its wake. Sin is deceitful and we must take whatever steps are necessary to avoid it. If the sinner knew what was waiting on them at the end of a life of sin, they would never take the first step of that journey! ( Pro. 16:25; Matt. 7:13-14).

Something About Sin’s Slaying Work – The Philistines said “when it is day, we shall kill him”. Death was the plan for Samson. The Philistines laid their trap and they planned to capture and kill Samson.

Death is the end of sin, (Rom. 6:23; James 1:15). Sin is destructive! If the sinner does not escape, he will experience death in Hell, separated from God. Even if he does escape by the grace of God, he will discover that many things around him will have already died. Sin kills joy, peace, relationships, marriages, hope, churches, and even the human spirit. Sin is a killer! It kills everything it touches. No one escapes unscathed!

I praise God there is victory in Jesus, (1 Cor. 15:55-57). I am glad that He can deliver us from a life of sin and give a new life in Him. I am thankful that He will forgive all those who turn to Him, (1 John 1:9). Instead, of clinging to the hope that God will forgive, you should seek His power to avoid sin altogether. I will tell you again, if we would live out ( Rom. 6:11-14), we would not need (1 John 1:9) as much as we do.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Proverbs 8:33-35 (New King James Version (NKJV)
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
And do not disdain it.
34 Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at the posts of my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life,
And obtains favor from the Lord;

TODAY’S HYMN!
“At Calvary” By Wm. R. Newell (1895)

1.Years I spent in vanity and pride,
Caring not my Lord was crucified,
Knowing not it was for me He died
On Calvary.

Refrain:
Mercy there was great, and grace was free;
Pardon there was multiplied to me;
There my burdened soul found liberty
At Calvary.

2.By God’s Word at last my sin I learned;
Then I trembled at the law I’d spurned,
Till my guilty soul imploring turned
To Calvary.
Refrain:

3.Now I’ve giv’n to Jesus everything,
Now I gladly own Him as my King,
Now my raptured soul can only sing
Of Calvary!
Refrain:

4.Oh, the love that drew salvation’s plan!
Oh, the grace that brought it down to man!
Oh, the mighty gulf that God did span
At Calvary!
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Loving Father, God of Love, Light and Life! Help us to be separated from the world and yet still be an effective way to do your will. Show us how to live in this world and be Your light extended without being drawn into or influenced by all the darkness and danger. Strengthen us to reject all peer pressure to be anything other than who You want us to be. Show us our weakness where we have given in to practices that are not pleasing to Thee. Enable us to shut off or shut down anything that will pollute our hearts and our minds. Open our eyes to Your Love and light so we can become accustomed to living life Your way. Receive us so we may glorify the Lord of Lords, and the King of kings. It is in His name that we pray. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/2/2013 7:42PM

    God has always given us the freedom to choose. Satan uses force and deceit. I thank God for His character of Truth and for His perfect Law of Liberty.

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MNABOY 1/29/2013 12:16AM

    Amen. Some say we can't love the sinner if we hate the sin and thus suggest the sin is okay. I do not follow that rationalization.

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ANHELIC 1/28/2013 11:12PM

    Thank you Vic for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. When we allow sin to enter our lives, we will never walk the path with God. He will always love us, but we may not hear his still small voice speaking to us and leading us in the right direction away from our troubles. Thank you for the goodie and note. I belive we are contantly learning from Sampson's life and the trials he went through.

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RDGISME 1/28/2013 5:42PM

    He gives us the benefits of forgiveness every day..the temptations put before us each day are clearly not tests of His but of the Dark One's...When we allow sin to enter our daily lives, encompassing our souls, beliefs and behaviors, He gives us each a silent whisper that He is the Truth, the Way and the Life!

Thank you Vic, once again!

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RSSSLHB 1/28/2013 4:13PM

    emoticon emoticon for posting Vic

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MARYBETH4884 1/28/2013 3:19PM

    Thank you Lord for your ability to forgive all those who ask for forgiveness! Thank you for being present in the lives of your children, keeping us strong to resist falling back into sinning! Amen

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DETERMINEDBABE 1/28/2013 1:14PM

    Words of truth....Amen!

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KALLIE1958AR 1/28/2013 12:34PM

    emoticon

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JOANIE69 1/28/2013 10:30AM

    emoticon What a wonderful lesson and old hymn and prayer today!
emoticon for your faithfulness, Vic...
I so appreciate your daily devotionals! emoticon

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MSKRIS7 1/28/2013 10:11AM

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AMANDACOETZER 1/28/2013 7:22AM

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EDITOR 1/28/2013 7:12AM

    When one says Christianity is so restrictive, they still walk by law and not by grace or perhaps they do not know Him who does conquer all on our behalf. When one says grace permits then to do anything they choose, they have not met the One who says," Come Follow Me, the path is narrow and straight."
Sin says much, but the love of Christ says more.
Thank you for today's lesson Vic, and thank you for the goodie and note.

On a P.S., I'll be thrilled when the lessons of Sampson are over with!
emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 1/28/2013 6:59AM

    Love the hymn today Vic! thank you!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 1/27/2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 1/27/2013

A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!

Judges 16:1-3
SAMSON AND THE SHADY LADY, Lesson 22a

The last glimpse we had of Samson was of a man who seemed to have gotten his act together. As the previous chapter closed, we saw Samson calling on the Lord in humility. He prayed to the Lord and God delivered him from death through a great miracle. That story ends with Samson judging Israel for 20 years.

After a period of peace and steadfast service, Samson falls once again into his old ways. His old passions rise to the surface and Samson once again finds himself entangled in a web of sin. Samson may have been a powerful man physically, but he was a moral weakling. He may have demonstrated his power time and again over the enemies of the Lord, but he was helpless against the power of his flesh.

Samson reminds me of Achilles. In Greek Mythology, Achilles was the son of a human king named Peleus and a sea goddess named Thetis. Achilles was the greatest, bravest, strongest and most handsome soldier in his father’s army. The legend goes that Thetis held her infant son by the heel and dipped him in the waters of the River Styx. The magical powers of the river rendered Achilles invulnerable in every part of his body, except his heel, which had not been dipped in the river. That small, little part of his flesh was vulnerable to attack. Later, in the heat of battle, Achilles was struck in the heel by an arrow and was killed. That myth has become a proverb by which each of us live our lives.

We all have our Achilles’ Heel. We all possess those areas of life in which we are vulnerable to attack. We all possess that area of our walk with God in which we are prone to fail. The writer of Hebrews calls it “the sin which doth so easily beset us”,( Heb. 12:1). That sin varies from person to person, but whatever that sin is in your life, it is your Achilles’ Heel.

For Samson, his Achilles’ Heel was women and illicit sexual relationships. For others it might be the quest for money, fame, popularity, position, ambition, or power. For some it might be pride, lust, selfishness, gossip, anger, malice, or a host of other sins. Whatever that “besetting sin” might be for you, if you are not able to conquer it through the power of the Holy Spirit, it will be your downfall.

Oscar Wilde, a British writer known for his decadent lifestyle and taste for the ungodly wrote, “I can resist anything but temptation. The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.” That seems to be the motto that Samson embraced in his life, and I am sad to say, it seems to be the motto embraced by many in the modern church.

This passage is a reminder of the great power sin holds over us. It is a reminder that we never really defeat sin. It is always there, in the depths of our fallen natures, waiting like a cobra to strike us and fill us with its deadly venom. This is a reminder that we must be ever vigilant and aware of sin’s presence and power in our lives. This is a reminder that one moment of weakness can cause us to fall back into old, sinful habits we thought were long dead, (1 Pet. 5:8). This passage is sad, because it is a terrible way for Samson to conclude 20 years of successful ministry. But, it is a reminder that we are never beyond the allure and pull of our sinful affections. Satan only needs an inch in order to become your ruler, (Eph. 4:27).

I want to teach about “Samson And The Shady Lady”. I want you to notice some lessons that present themselves to us in this text. These lessons will help us when we face our battles with our own “besetting sins”.

v. 1 SAMSON AND HIS DEFILEMEN
The reasons for Samson’s fall back into sin are given to us in this first verse. Several elements are involved in his fall.

Involved The Wrong Address – The Bible says, “Then Samson went to Gaza.” Gaza was a Philistine city located near the Mediterranean Sea. It was situated on the main road that allowed travel between Egypt, Babylon and Assyria. It was a commercial and military crossroads. The name “Gaza” means “strength” and it was a Philistine stronghold. It was a place known for its wickedness and idolatry. It was no place for a man of God.

It does matter where you spend your time. If you consistently find yourself in places where you are surrounded by sin, or even in a place where you can be tempted, you are setting yourself up for a fall. The Bible warns us to avoid places where we might be tempted to sin. Proverbs 4:14-15 says, “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.”
Some people will question your refusal to go where they go and do what they do, but you have a duty to the God Who saved you. You have a responsibility to your own soul to protect it from temptation. It is better to bear the scorn of sinners than it is to be scarred by sin!

If you are an alcoholic, you should avoid the beer and liquor stores. If you are a drug addict, you should avoid the places where such things are available. Falling into this type of sin does not always require a change of physical address. For instance, if you have problems with lust, be careful where you go on the Internet and what you watch on TV. If you have problems with gossip, be careful to whom you talk on the phone.
The lesson we learn from Lot’s example is priceless! 2 Pet. 2:8 says, “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)”. Lot placed himself and his family directly in the crosshairs of sin by moving them to Sodom. He paid a terribly high price for his sins!

Involved The Wrong Attractions – We are told that in Gaza, Samson “saw there an harlot”. Samson has always had “eye trouble” and it seems that he still does. He casts his gaze on the wrong things and it led him into sin.

If we do not guard the “eye gate” we will allow things into our minds that will cause us to be tempted. It is possible to be defiled by the things we see, (Matt. 5:28). In the Bible, men like Samson, Judah, David and Solomon were all led off into sin by the things they looked at with their eyes. We must take steps to guard our eyes from the things that would defile us, (1 John 2:16)!

As you might expect, the Bible offers some very good advice in this important area:

“Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way,”( Psa. 119:37). We should seek the Lord’s help in guarding ourselves in this vital area.

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?”( Job 31:1).

“Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil,” (Pro. 4:25-27).

When the wrong images are allowed in through the eyes, it will not be long until they find their way to the heart. It will not be long from there until you find yourself tempted and falling into sin. That is why we must guard our eyes at all times!

Involved The Wrong Alliances – We are told that Samson “went in unto her”. Samson’s sin was not an accident. He was not merely a man overtaken by some snare of the devil. Samson was in the wrong place, looking at the wrong things. In this instance, he was his own worst enemy. He contributed to his own fall.

When we play around with sin and tempt ourselves, we become the reason for our own failures. It isn’t God’s fault that we fail. We can’t even blame Satan for all our failures. We sin because we give in to our own lusts. We sin because we allow ourselves to go to the wrong places and look at the wrong things. That is what the Bible teaches, (James 1:13-15).

Samson got into trouble because he was overconfident. He thought he could handle the pull of his flesh. He learned the hard way that he was helpless against his flesh and the lusts that lived there. When we get to the place where we think we have arrived, we too are headed for a fall, (Pro. 16:18; 1 Cor. 10:12)!

Let’s not overlook the fact that Samson sinned because he allowed himself to be with the wrong people. He would have never committed this sin had he been around the people of God at the house of God. Because he was in the wrong place, looking at the wrong things with the wrong people he fell into sin! The same will happen to us, if we are not careful! You cannot keep company with defiled people without defiling yourself! The people you surround yourself with will influence your thinking and your actions. That is why the Bible warns us about being friendly with the wicked.

Proverbs 22:24-25 says, “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.” Also, 1 Cor. 15:33 says, “Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.”

We can blame no one but ourselves when we set ourselves up to sin. The fact is, some people get so far away from the Lord that they do not need to be tempted; all they really need is an opportunity. That is why we must ever guard ourselves. Where we go, what we do and whom we congregate with had a lot to do with how our lives will turn out!

TODAY’S VERSE!
John 14:1 (New King James Version (NKJV)
The Way, the Truth, and the Life
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” By: Helen H. Lemmel (1922)
1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!
Refrain:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

2. Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!
Refrain:

3. His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!
Refrain:

TODAY’S Prayer!
Heavenly Father, God of Kindness, Kingdom and Knowledge! Help us to separate ourselves from all sin. Lead us away from sin so we can always stay focus on Your Word and in the Way. Grant us a strong conviction in our soul to do that which is right according to Your Word. Keep us from being around those things which may even appear to be sinful. Enable us to crucify any unholy desires we may have. Let there be no wall of separation between us and the God that loves us. May there never be an attitude in us of disregard for Your Will and Your Ways. May our hearts be filled with joy always and our lips sing praises to our Lord and King, Jesus Christ. This we ask and pray in His blessed name. Amen!

BE SURE TO READ MY DAILY “DID YOU KNOW” POST!
SHARE THIS LESSON WITH FRIENDS AND INVITE THEM TO JOIN THE TEAM!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/2/2013 7:26PM

    I'm going back to the days I missed the past week. I am enjoying this series on Samson. Thank you, Vic.

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ANHELIC 1/27/2013 7:22PM

    Thank you Vic. Because we are all sinners, it is easy to be tempted and I agree, we must keep our eyes focused on Jesus. He will carry us over our temptations or take us out of it. I am learning to avoid things that will challenge me to the point I can't resist. Thank you for the note and goodie. Thank you also the the great lesson, hymn and prayer. You are a great minister of God's word.

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RSSSLHB 1/27/2013 3:56PM

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ANIHAKA 1/27/2013 1:20PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Will be looking up all those passages you've quoted. Your blog makes such sense!

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LOOKINGUP2012 1/27/2013 12:34PM

    Thank you for making our way plain before us every day!

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MSKRIS7 1/27/2013 9:01AM

    emoticon emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 1/27/2013 7:36AM

    thank you vic! good lesson!

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EDITOR 1/27/2013 6:47AM

    Terrific, Vic and thank you for the goodie and note. On a word of caution for us, if you are an overeater, refuse grocery stores, restaurants, and those feel good friends that insist we eat to enjoy life. Indulgence in any form is sin and we dieters pray," Give us our daily bread, and no more than that." We are all sinners and fall short of the grace of God. May God strengthen and comfort us in that area where we are blinded!

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GHOSTFLAMES 1/27/2013 6:42AM

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 1/26/2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 1/26/2013

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING EVERYONE!

Judges 15:18–20
SAMSON’S FINEST HOUR, Lesson 21c

V19. SAMSON’S CONSOLATION
God’s Response – When Samson prayed, God heard him, and God answered his prayer. Our text says, “God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came the water thereout”. That has always bothered me. We already learned as we have studied the life of Samson that donkeys were unclean animals. It seemed strange to me that God would take the bone of an unclean animal and use it to provide water for his servant. It also struck me as strange that God would cause Samson to drink from the jawbone of a dead animal when Nazarites were forbidden from touching the dead.

Then, when I studied the text, I discovered that the word “jaw” and the word “Lehi” translate the same word. Thus, it could mean that God caused a spring to flow up from the ground near where Samson was. Of course, God is God and if he decided to give Samson water from a jawbone that is His business. In Acts 10:15 and 28, a voice reminds Peter that what God has cleaned is neither common nor unclean. What really matters here is that God heard the cry of his man, and God answered his prayers.

This is just a reminder to us that we serve a God who hears and answers prayer. God invites us to pray, (Jer. 33:3), He promises to hear us when we pray,( Isa. 65:24), and He promises to answer our prayers, (Matt. 7:7-11). No prayer is too small, and no prayer is too large. We are invited to come and Him, (Heb. 4:16), and the cast our “cares” upon Him, (1 Pet. 5:7). God has made great promises to His people regarding prayer. When we pray, we will see Him work in power for His glory. If we refuse to pray, we will see nothing, (James 4:2).

Samson’s Revival – When Samson prayed, God heard him. God answered Samson through the great miracle; by giving Samson what he needed at the weakest moment of his life. When Samson took what God gave them, his strength revived. Samson experienced a physical revival, and he was able to continue living.

Like Samson, we are often in need of a revival. There are two basic times in life when God’s people need revival. The first is in times of wickedness, and the second is in times of weakness. During both those times, we need for the Lord to miraculously open His word and give us the resources we need to have our strength restored. If we could ever drink deeply of the word of God, we would seek God’s deliverance from our times of wickedness and from our times of weakness. We would see him revive our weary souls. We would see him use us in greater ways.

This is a call for all of God’s children to heed the word of God, to embrace its message, and to live out its dictates day by day. I would remind you of what James says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”, (James 1:22). There is much benefit in hearing, heeding, and honoring the word of God, but there is only defeat in ignoring what God has to say. God has given us a well filled with refreshing water. We call that water the Bible. May we drink deeply of its refreshing streams, so that we may be revived in our spirits to live for him for his glory?

v. 20 SAMSON’S CHANGE
After the events at Lehi, Samson appears to change his ways. We are told “he judged Israel in the days before listings 20 years”. We have no record of what Samson did during those 20 years. None of his exploits are recorded for us. But there are two quick observations I would make from this verse that would let us know what kind of the time it was.

It Was A Time Of Obedience – Up to this time, Samson has lived his life in disobedience. Now, it appears that he settles down and obediently serves the Lord for 20 years. That reflects a tremendous change in Samson’s attitudes and actions.

This is the kind of obedience God is looking for the lives of His people. He wants us to honor his will, (John 14:15). He wants us to yield to his authority (Rom. 12:1-2). He wants us to be a people who are standing for him all the time in the midst of a wicked world, (Rom. 13:11-14).

It Was A Time Of Order – Our text seems to suggest that this 20-year period was a time of peace for the people of Israel. Samson was able to subdue the Philistines, and he was able to faithfully lead the people of God. For 20 years, Samson and the people of Israel, submitted themselves to the will of God, as a result, they experienced His peace in their lives.

The lesson for us ought to be clear. If we want to enjoy the peace and blessings of God; if we want to experience tranquility in our lives; if we would have the best God has to offer to us, then we must learn to submit to his will, at all times, in all things, and in all ways.

This also reminds us that God is leading us to a place of stable performance. His desire for us is that we simply walk for Him. This implies simple, consistent, daily walking with God. It is a way of life in which we simply walk with Him, yield to Him and honor Him in all things day by day. It is a walk of life in which we are not up and down, in and out, and hot and cold. We are just faithful as we walk with Him moment by moment, (1 Cor. 15:580. God is looking for that kind of faithful obedience to His will, (1 Cor. 4:2). ( Like Enoch – (Gen. 5:22).

Conc: Samson made a lot of mistakes in his life, but when he humbled himself under the hand of God and submitted to the will of God, he achieved victory in his life.
What is the take away for us today? For me, I am reminded that I can be very stubborn at time. I can be want to go my own way, instead of going God’s way. If I am not careful, I can be a lot like Samson.

What I need to remember is that God is “a very present help in a time of trouble”. If I will humble myself before Him, walk in His will and do what He has called me to do, I can experience His victory in my life.

What about you?

Has God brought you to a place of weakness? Is He seeking to humble you before Him?

Are there areas of your life that are not yielded to Him today?

Do you have some need that you need to bring before the Lord today?

Do you need a revival from a time of wickedness or weakness?

Has He spoken to you about some need in your life?

If He is reaching out to you, please respond to Him and let Him have His way!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Psalm 13:6 (New King James Version (NKJV)
6 I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.


TODAY’S HYMN!
“Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary” By: John M. Moore (1952)

Days are filled with sorrow and care (sorrow and care)
Hearts are lonely and drear
Burdens are Lifted at Calvary
Jesus is very near

Chorus:
Burdens are lifted at calvary (lifted at Calvary)
Calvary (lifted at Calvary), Calvary (lifted at Calvary)
Burdens are lifted at calvary (lifted at Calvary)
Jesus is very near

Cast your care on Jesus today
Leave your worry and fear (worry and fear)
Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary
Jesus is very near

Repeat Chorus

Troubled soul, the Savior can see (Savior can see)
Every heartache and tear (heartache and tear)
Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary
Jesus is very near (is very near)

Repeat Chorus

Jesus is very near
Jesus is very near

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Holy Father, God of Joy, Judgment and Justice! Fill us with Your Spirit today. We let go of all else and open our lives to You. Enable us to resist the temptations of the flesh that would cause us to stray from the path You have created for us. Help us not to minimize all that You want us to do; help us to be ever mindful of Your presence and Your power in our lives; help us to show our love for You by embracing You and Your commandments; help us to touch You with our worship and obedience. Teach us all we need to know about walking and living by faith in our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is in His name that we pray and approach Your throne of grace. Amen!


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AMANDACOETZER 1/28/2013 7:21AM

    emoticon

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ANIHAKA 1/27/2013 1:35PM

    emoticon My new years resolution for 2012 was to allow God to guide me but I failed a lot of time. It's so easy to be distracted. I will allow this to be the foundation of getting my health(mind,body and spirit)in order. I decided not to have any new years resolutions for 2013. emoticon for the very gentle reminder to allow God to guide me.

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MNABOY 1/26/2013 10:21PM

    Thanks for sharing a blessing

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DOROTHYAKERMAN 1/26/2013 7:46PM

    Thank you great message.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 1/26/2013 4:25PM

    Good afternoon! I'm late getting here today. I appreciate the message and comments very much. I had to get 2 different Bible versions to read about what Samson drank water from. The Clear Word, which is a paraphrase, says in verse 19 "The Lord heard Samson's prayer and carved out a low spot in the rocks right there at Lehi and filled it with water from a spring..." The New International says "Then God opened up the hollow place in Lehi, and water came out of it. When Samson drank, his strength returned and he revived. So the spring was called En Hakkore, and is still there in Lehi". Since I know God would not have commanded Samson's parents to be careful in their diet and expected Samson to follow His health laws I believe God provided for Samson just as he did the Israelites in the wilderness. He brought water from the ground or rock.

As you stated, Vic, what really matters is that God heard Samson's cry and answered his prayer. It is so comforting to me to know we serve a God who longs for us to talk to Him. Nothing is too small for Him and nothing is too large for Him to handle. He knows the cry of our hearts even when we can't find the words.

I especially like the song and prayer today. Thank you for this thought provoking and faith building blog.



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FALLENSHORT 1/26/2013 2:06PM

    Your message has hit home for me, today, as I am also going through the same humbling process....my life is a mess and my family's life is a mess. I have a question, however, I do believe it matters whether God gave water to Samson from a jawbone or a spring. God is consistent. True, God doesn't have to follow his own laws if he doesn't want to, but that he does speaks to unbelievers. In talking with my daughter, who is an unbeliever, it makes a difference. It also teaches us to follow up on these 'inconsistencies' we find in the Bible. What do you think?

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SANDRALEET 1/26/2013 11:09AM

    When God puts us down When we are to examine our self Now we have to examine all our beliefs What even from our parents beliefs we to belief is not with God.God only corrects his own Those he loves he corrects

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LOOKINGUP2012 1/26/2013 10:19AM

    Thank you for sharing your insights into the meaning of these passages. emoticon

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JOANIE69 1/26/2013 9:31AM

    The lesson for us ought to be clear.
emoticon emoticon emoticon
If we want to enjoy the peace and blessings of God; if we want to experience tranquility in our lives; if we would have the best God has to offer to us, then we must learn to submit to his will, at all times, in all things, and in all ways.

(bears repeating and repeating - and memorizing)


Comment edited on: 1/26/2013 9:32:59 AM

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RSSSLHB 1/26/2013 9:19AM

    emoticon blog emoticon

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 1/25/2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 1/25/2013

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING EVERYONE!

Judges 15:18–20
SAMSON’S FINEST HOUR, Lesson 21b

v. 18 SAMSON’S CRY
In that moment of great weakness, Samson does the smartest thing he has done in his life to this point: he calls upon God. In this short, 27-word prayer, Samson speaks volumes. He speaks volumes about himself and about his God. Let’s take a moment to examine Samson’s cry.

It Was A Cry Of Humility – This prayer that poured from the lips of Samson is vastly different from the statement he made in verse 16. In that verse, Samson demonstrated that he had “I” trouble. In verse 16 Samson quotes a poem and his own greatness. Samson gives no glory to God, but he claims all the glory for the victory for himself. Samson failed to remember that verse 14 says, “the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him”.

Now, Samson has been brought to the end of his abilities. He humbles himself before God and acknowledges his utter dependence upon the Lord. Samson knows that unless God intervenes, he will die. This is no longer a matter of personal glory; it is a matter of survival.

This is a good reminder to us about how we should approach the Lord. We should never come to him making our demands of him; with the expectation that he owes us something. We should come to him humbly, remembering that he is the potter and we are the clay. We should come before him remembering that he owes us nothing, but that in his grace he has promised to give us everything, (Phil. 4:19; Matt. 6:25-34; Eph. 1:3). We should come to him remembering that he has invited us to come into His presence “boldly”,( Heb. 4:16), but even as we come boldly, we should come as little children, with a humble heart and a meek spirit, looking to him for the things we need.

A child comes to a parent with their hand out, their heart open, and with absolute faith that they will receive what they come after. They don’t come demanding, but they come with innocent expectation, believing that the one they look to for their provision will give them their hearts desire. That is how we should approach our heavenly father,( Luke 12:32).

It Was A Cry Of Honor – Not only did Samson humble himself and look to God to have his needs met, he also took the time to exalt God in his prayer. Notice three ways that Samson honored the Lord when he prayed.

He Acknowledged God’s Power – Samson gives all the glory for the victory to God. He says, “thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant”. Samson acknowledges the fact that it may have been his hand that held the jawbone of the donkey, but it was God’s power that gave the victory.

Again, that is a tremendous lesson for us. Sometimes we act like we think we can make it on our own. But the fact is, every victory in this life is the gracious gift of God. And we need to take time to knowledge His power in our lives. How long has it been since you praised Him for the victories He has given you in your life? He worthy to be acknowledged for His power! Think of all the prayers He has answered for you. Think of all the times that He has enabled you to serve Him. Think of how many times He has made a way when there seemed to be no way. Think of how His power has been manifest in your life, and praise Him for it! He is worthy!

He Acknowledged God’s Person – Not only does Samson praise God for His power, he also acknowledges God’s person. Samson calls himself “thy servant”. With this statement, Samson appears ready to acknowledge God as his Master. This is why I said this might be Samson’s finest hour, because he finally got the priorities of his relationship with the Lord in the right order. Up until this time, Samson has been the master and God got only the leftovers of a wasted life. Now, Samson appears ready to bow to the authority of God.

Again, there’s a lesson in this for us. Sometimes we fail to remember who is the Master and who is the slave. I would just remind you today that when God saved us, He purchased us unto Himself, (1 Cor. 6:19-20). Now, He owns exclusive rights to our lives. He alone has the power, and the right, to direct the course of our lives. He is the Master, and we are His slaves. We would do well to remember that!

He Acknowledged God’s Preeminence – Samson is worried that he might die, and “fall into the hands of the uncircumcised”. He seems to be concerned that if he dies in this manner, the Philistines will take his body and use his death as a way to dishonor God. So, Samson prays that God will spare him so that God may not be dishonored. At this single moment in time, Samson’s focus does not appear to be himself, but it appears to be the glory of God.

Again, this has something to teach us. God’s preeminence and His glory, should be the overriding factor in every decision and every action of ours, (1 Cor. 10:31). I fear that we often think about ourselves before we ever take God into consideration. We do as we please, go where we please, and act as we please, with no regard for how our deeds reflect upon Lord. Our first consideration in every area of life should be to ask ourselves, “Will this action glorify God, or will it diminish his glory?” Sadly, for many people, the glory of God never even flickers on the radar of their life. Our goal should always be to exalt Him. Every action, every thought, every word, should be considered in the light of had impacts the glory of God. After all, the primary goal of our lives is to bring glory and honor to the God who redeemed us.

TODAY’S VERSE!
1 Peter 1:13 (New King James Version (NKJV)
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

TODAY’S HYMN!
“I Need Jesus” By: George O. Webster (1924)

1.I need Jesus, my need I now confess;
No friend like Him in times of deep distress;
I need Jesus, the need I gladly own;
Though some may bear their load alone,
Yet I need Jesus.

Refrain:
I need Jesus, I need Jesus,
I need Jesus every day;
Need Him in the sunshine hour,
Need Him when the storm-clouds low’r;
Every day along my way,
Yes, I need Jesus.

2. I need Jesus, I need a friend like Him,
A friend to guide when paths of life are dim;
I need Jesus, when foes my soul assail;
Alone I know I can but fail,
So I need Jesus.
Refrain:

3. I need Jesus, I need Him to the end;
No one like Him, He is the sinner’s friend;
I need Jesus, no other friend will do;
So constant, kind, so strong and true,
Yes, I need Jesus.
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, God of Immortality, Inspiration, and Integrity! Our prayer is not to die in our sleep while the enemy rapes our land. But with sword in hand, with prayer on lips, and with fire we see in each other’s eyes, our aim is to help revive God’s church, reenergize God’s people and restore our faith and our home. Help us Father, for we are our worst enemy. We come to fight as free men. And free we are. For the cross is our statue of liberty. Rally up the troops we must! For only warriors beget warriors! And in this war, only death begets life. As His loyal army serve, we will also serve with one another! And with eyes witnessing Jesus standing, waving His troops to “onward go,” our prayer is not just to die to self, but to live for Him. To God be the glory. Lord give us strength to die well and to live humbly. These things we pray In Jesus’ glorious name. Amen!

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LMOK1956 1/25/2013 11:46AM

  AMEN Vic,

Laura emoticon

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LINDAMARIEZ1 1/25/2013 10:58AM

    great lesson, Vic! thank you!

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JOANIE69 1/25/2013 10:12AM

    Wow! What a lesson and what a prayer!
I want to gird on the whole armor of God and go out and slay the enemy now- with the Cross before me- in His will and strength. And I love the thought that our statue of liberty is the Cross of Christ. Sooooooo true!
emoticon again.
Blessings, Joanie



Comment edited on: 1/25/2013 10:15:55 AM

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ANHELIC 1/25/2013 10:10AM

    Thank you Vic for this great lesson teaching us to be humble before God and give Him the praise and honor for what He does and allows us to do in our lives. We can only do things through His power, not our own. Our choices do not always go in God's direction. I want to be a warrior for God and follow Him all the way. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 1/25/2013 9:37AM

    Oh, I especially loved this devotion! Key thought: My decisions can give honor to God. I can vindicate His character before the world and I can prove Satan wrong! What an awesome motivator to make right choices! May He live out His life in me.

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RSSSLHB 1/25/2013 9:14AM

    emoticon Vic

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LOOKINGUP2012 1/25/2013 9:07AM

    Amen! Thank you Vic for raising up warriors for Christ.

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 1/24/2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Thu, 1/24/2013

GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD MORNING EVERYONE!

Judges 15:18–20
SAMSON’S FINEST HOUR, Lesson 21a

As we have studied the Judges of the Old Testament, we have considered several great individuals who shone as bright lights in a dark night. When Israel was in trouble, God would send them a Judge, a deliverer, who would liberate them from their oppressors. Most of the Judges were faithful, obedient and godly people.

Samson, however, was a little different from the rest. Most of the judges we have studied lived by faith and were obedient to the will of God. Samson, however, lived most of his life not by faith; he lived in the power of his flesh. Samson spent most of his life trying to please Samson.

Physically, Samson was the most powerful and imposing of all the Judges. Spiritually, he was the weakest.

Most of his exploits revolve around him seeking revenge against those who have offended him. Most of his exploits arise out of his sinful desires, a love for forbidden women. More Scripture is devoted to Samson than to nearly any other Judge, but that Scripture reveals a man who is not to be emulated.

Samson is a man whose life should be studied, but not duplicated. Yet, the lessons we learn from the life of Samson teach us that the greatest enemy we have is ourselves. If we can learn to conquer self, we can walk in this life in spiritual victory and power. But I fear, there is more Samson in each of us that we would like to admit.

In this text, we are going to see Samson at his finest hour. Samson’s star never climbed higher, nor did his light shine brighter, than it does in these three short verses. In a moment of great desperation he casts himself on the Lord by faith.

Samson is never stronger than he was during this moment of extreme weakness. On the heels of a great victory, Samson finds himself in a desperate situation. He turns to God and finds not only help for the moment; he also finds hope for his future.

I want to spend some time in these verses to consider the events that are revealed here. For the Samson’s finest hour, we find some lessons that will help us to live cleaner, more productive lives for the glory of God. So, let’s consider the lessons that are revealed here as we think about “Samson’s Finest Hour”.

v. 18 SAMSON’S CONDITION
This passage opens with Samson having just killed 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. After the battle we are told Samson is “sore athirst”. Notice a couple thoughts related to Samson’s condition.

The Reason For It – Having just come out of a heated battle, Samson is hot, tired, and dehydrated. I would imagine that killing 1000 Philistines would take a lot out of you. Judges 15:1 tells us that these events took place during the time of the “wheat harvest”. Thus, the weather would’ve been hot, and the battle would’ve exacted a tremendous physical toll upon Samson.

The Reality of It – Verse 18 suggests that Samson feared he was going to die, for he said, “and now shall I die from thirst”. Samson believes he has just come through a great battle and won a great victory, only to die as result of not having any water. For all of his great strengths, Samson was unable to help himself at this critical moment.

God brought Samson to this point just to teach him a very important lesson. God allowed Samson to come to a place of total inability that he might learn the truth that he was not self-sufficient. He may have been able to kill 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey, but he still needed God to meet the most basic needs of his life. Samson was taught the valuable truth, that “without him” we “can do nothing”,( John 15:5).

That is a lesson we need to learn as well. Many times we act like we think we are self-sufficient, but the truth is, without Him we are as helpless as babies. We are dependent upon him for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and for everything else we enjoy and have in this life. When we forget that, God will sometimes work in our lives to remind us that we need Him. There’s an old song says, “I can’t even walk without you holding my hand”. There’s much truth in that statement! Without him we can “do nothing”! This is a lesson Paul had to learn, (2 Cor. 12:7-11), and it is a lesson we would do well to learn also.

TODAY’S VERSE!
James 1:17 (New King James Version (NKJV)
17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Without Him” By: Mylon R. LeFevre (1963)

Without Him I could do nothing
Without Him I'd surely fail
Without Him I would be drifting
Like a ship without a sail

Refrain:
Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
Do you know Him today
Please don't turn Him away
Oh Jesus, my Jesus
Without Him how lost I would be
Without Him how lost I would be

Without Him I would be dying
Without Him I'd be enslaved
Without Him life would be worthless
But with Jesus thank God I'm saved

Refrain:
Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
Do you know Him today
Please don't turn Him away
Oh Jesus, my Jesus
Without Him how lost I would be
Without Him how lost I would be


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Most High Father, God of Heritage, Hope, and Holiness! You are the Keeper of our hearts and the forgiver of our souls. For this we praise You; we praise You for sending Your Son to die for us so that we may be redeemed and saved. Thank You for forgiving our wickedness and foolishness, and for not remembering our sins no more. We were dead in our sins but You have made us alive in Jesus Christ our Lord. We are grateful that there is no condemnation for those who walk with Jesus. Thank You for the law of the Spirit of Life that sets us free from the law of sin and death. We praise You for the being our God and Wonderful Lord. In Jesus glorious name we pray. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 1/25/2013 12:37AM

    Thank you Vic for the great lesson, hymn and prayer. Yes we are our worst enemy. If we could only learn to depend on God more and not try to do things our own way. Thank you for the goodie and note. I look forward to your lessons every day. I am learning more and more.

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FLEMIDG 1/25/2013 12:25AM

    Wonderful blog. Thanks for the lesson. It is so true. God bless you.



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EAGLES_WINGS 1/24/2013 1:45PM

    I am seeking to do the Lord's bidding but I am troubled by self as well. I am being transformed by God though I feel as if I must stumble and fall a bit as I learn His ways.

I pray that the power of the Everlasting Lord of Life would come upon us and lead us home in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Ghost. Lord, thank you for Vic and his steadfastness. God bless us with strength to do your will!

Thank you Vic for your faithfulness and for teaching of God's will in our lives.

I appreciate your blog.

Have an awesome day in the Lord!
God bless you! emoticon

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 1/24/2013 11:44AM

    Good morning to YOU! Yes, Samson was blessed by God despite himself. The Lord gave him a great victory against the Philistines. The same is true with us, but how He longs to give us the victory over Self. Paul said "I die daily". May I learn from stories like this and from the mistakes in my own life to choose to let Him live out His life in me.

Comment edited on: 1/24/2013 11:48:34 AM

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JOANIE69 1/24/2013 8:47AM

    emoticon Another great lesson today Vic, and I like what Editor said about our own worst enemy being ourselves.

emoticon Boy! That is SO true sometimes.

God bless, Joanie

Comment edited on: 1/24/2013 8:48:49 AM

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LINDAMARIEZ1 1/24/2013 8:21AM

    Good Morning, Vic! with God all things are possible!

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EDITOR 1/24/2013 6:57AM

    Vic, thanks for the goodie. I always say if you want to see your greatest enemy, look in the mirror. We fight no greater foe than that which we refuse to surrender to the Lord!



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AZMOMXTWO 1/24/2013 6:49AM

  thank you

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