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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 2/5/2013

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

RUTH, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Tue, 2/5/2013

HOW ABOUT A LOVE STORY?

Ruth 1:1-22
AN EXAMPLE OF A STEADFAST LIFE, Lesson 1a

There are many stories in the Bible that serve as an encouragement to our hearts. The story of Ruth is no exception. Many look at this little book, which was written during the time of the judges, and see nothing more than a love story. However, while there is a love story of sorts in this book, that is the most shallow interpretation. The bigger picture is that of a lost sinner who, through divine guidance and providence, is brought into a relationship with Jehovah and is made to be an ancestor of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are taught in this book that God is not just the Savior of Israel, but that He is the Savior of the entire human race!

I wish there was time to teach this entire book, but there isn't. What I would like to do is to look into the verses we will read and pull out a little snapshot of the heart of this woman named Ruth. In these verses, and throughout this book as well, we see in Ruth a tremendous example of a steadfast life. She teaches us about remaining faithful even when others around us do not. As we have time, let's look into these verses and examine this “Example Of A Steadfast Life”.

V. 1-7 RUTH'S CONDITION

V. 4 Her Ancestry - Ruth was a member of a condemned nation. She and her people were sinful and had been judged and condemned by the Lord. Hers was a desperate and lost condition.

In this, Ruth is a picture of each of person who is outside of a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We were helpless and condemned before God. That condemnation fell upon us because of the sin of Adam, (Rom. 5:12), and we were all abiding under the wrath of God, (John 3:36). The fact is, we were nothing but lost and undone sinners, (Rom. 3:23).

V. 5 Her Adversity - This verse tells us that Ruth's husband and his brother both have died. These young women are left widows with no means of support and with no hope for the future. They faced a terrible trial. It seemed that there only hope was to return to the home of their father and hope another man would eventually marry them.

Again, in her condition, we can see a picture of humanity. The Bible tells us that life will be filled with troubles and afflictions, (Job 14:1). This is especially true in the lives of the lost, (Pro. 13:15).

V. 6-7 Her Ambition – Naomi, the mother-in-law, has heard that the famine that caused her family to leave Bethlehem to begin with has ended, and that there is bread in the land. So, she rises up to go home, and her two daughter-in-laws rise up to go with her.

This is purely conjecture, but it seems that Ruth and Orpah had seen or heard something from the lives of the backslidden Israelites that spoke to their hearts. It may be that even while they were in a condemned land that they continued to speak of Jehovah. Maybe it is the fact that these girls have married into an Israelite family. Whatever the case, it is worthy to note that both of these young women, in the beginning, made the decision to follow Naomi back to Israel.

That is precisely how the new life begins! A conscious decision is made to leave the old life behind and to go with Jesus into a new life in Him. I wonder, have you made that decision in your life? That is the starting point. That is where new life begins. We must be sure that we have indeed decided to follow Jesus.

TODAY’S VERSE!

Luke 1:42 (New King James Version (NKJV)
42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Boundless Love” By: Dennis Loewen ((1980) and arranged by Pam Stephenson (1993)

Boundless love, unending joy.
This is my life, it’s what I know.
And I can’t believe that He selected me,
Jesus, my Lord, it’s You I owe.
He keeps me when I’m weary.
He can hear me when I pray.
He’s even there beside me when I fall.
His love surrounds me even when I go astray.
I guess I’d have to say that He’s my all.

Boundless love, unending joy.
This is my life, it’s what I know.
And I can’t believe that He selected me,
Jesus, my Lord, it’s You I owe.
When my world falls all around me
I call upon His name.
Just in time He takes me by the hand.
Whose ways are perfect just like His Son who bore my shame.
I don’t even have to understand.

Boundless love, unending joy.
This is my life, it’s what I know.
And I can’t believe that He selected me,
Jesus, my Lord, it’s You I owe.
Boundless grace, because of Calvary
His life He gave, His love outpoured.
I now can live, with Him eternally,
Jesus, my Lord, it’s You I owe.

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Loving Father, God of Salvation, Sanctuary, Seasons, Service, Speech, and Spirituality! Show us how to have a heart of love for You and Your ways. Help us to be pleasing always in Your sight. Teach us how to love not just with words, but with all our hearts, souls, and might. Enable our actions to be evidence of our obedience and faithfulness, and manifestation of Your Word, Your Spirit and Your glory living in us. We thank You for loving us at all times even when we are not so lovable. We thank for loving us so much that You gave us Jesus, Your Beloved Son, to be a propitiation for our sins. Help us to live, think and do all things just like our Savior to Your Holy praise, glory and honor. These things we pray in His glorious name. Amen!

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

Ps: Today, I am 76 years old; my blood pressure is 128/73; I’m doing 10 to 12 miles four days a week; and am enjoying sharing this ministry and fellowship with each and every one of YOU! Thank YOU and PRAISE GOD! Vic.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 2/5/2013 11:47PM

    Happy Birthday Vic. May God grant you many more years of sharing wonderful lessons. God bless you. Ruth has been one of my favorite chapters. Thank you for the goodie.

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NADINEL 2/5/2013 10:02PM

    Happy Birthday, Vic! God has blessed you with years to exalt Him!

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MNABOY 2/5/2013 8:23PM

    Look forward to your words from the Bible daily

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JOANIE69 2/5/2013 9:02AM

    emoticon While we know that all Scripture is profitable, I am encouraged when in this line you say: we will 'examine this “Example Of A Steadfast Life”.' This is exciting for us because that it is exactly what we need...to create (in God's will) and steadfastly maintain always, a healthy lifestyle in body, mind and spirit.

emoticon to a great Bible teacher, and many blessings for you and yours in the year ahead.

Comment edited on: 2/5/2013 9:04:18 AM

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RSSSLHB 2/5/2013 8:44AM

    Happy Birthday Vic

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TONYVAND1 2/5/2013 8:44AM

  Happy Birthday and I look forward to your insights on the book of Ruth. Have a great day.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/5/2013 8:08AM

    Happy Birthday, Vic! Great B/P and cardio stats for ANY age. That's a testimony in itself. Ah, Ruth... So enjoy this story with a happy ending! Thank you for the added spiritual insight in this lesson.

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EDITOR 2/5/2013 7:06AM

    Thank you for the goodie yesterday, Vic.

Someday we women will learn what it is like to be a widow, to depend on the kindness of others, and to trust God as our husbandman. We may not marry again because youth is against us, but we will know with a surety that God never fails the widow.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

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AZMOMXTWO 2/5/2013 6:52AM

  thank you

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 2/4/2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Mon, 2/4/2013

A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!

Judges 16:21-31
THE RESTORATION OF A FALLEN HERO, Lesson 24c

v. 26-31 IT WAS A TIME OF RETALIATION

v. 26-28 Samson’s Desire – Samson stands before the people a shell of the man he had been. Yet in his darkness, his humiliation and he imprisonment, Samson turns his heart toward the Lord. He prays for strength so that he can get vengeance against those who put out his eyes. His priorities are still somewhat out of order, but he is heading in the right direction. Samson has it in his heart to see the Philistines destroyed. That after all, is why the Lord raised him up to begin with!

There are times when we all fall into sin. When we do, it is easy to allow that sin to keep us from seeking God in prayer. Seeking the Lord is the only avenue we have for restoration. We must not allow guilt over our actions, depression or discouragement to keep us away from Him. He is the only hope of restoration we have. We must get to Him, we must be honest about our sins and we must seek His forgiveness. When we do, He will hear us and He will forgive our sins, (I John 1:9)!

Is it possible that some are harboring unconfused and unforgiven sin in your lives? Everyone around you thinks you are doing well spiritually, but you know the truth. You know you are cold, distant and empty. You know that you are not where you used to be with Him. You know that you have allowed sin, life and others things to come between you and the Lord. You restoration will not come to pass until you come to Him and get honest about your condition.

The horrors Samson suffered at the hands of the Philistines caused him to examine his life. He had time to think about what he had done. He took the necessary steps and God accepted him. His bondage resulted in his freedom. His blindness caused him to see the light. God forgave Samson and used him one more time. He also forgave David for his sins and used him again, (Psa. 32:1-5). He forgave Peter when he denied the Lord, (John 21), and the Lord used him in a powerful fashion.

Your sin does not have to define you! Your fall does not have to be all that people remember about your life. Your sin does not have to have the last word. Come to God! Be honest before Him! Reach up to Him and He in His grace will accept you, forgive you, restore you and use you for His glory!

v. 26-27, 29-30 Samson’s Deed – Samson asks a young man to help him find the pillars of the building. The young man does this. Samson calls on the Lord, then He pushes against the pillars with all his might. The pillars come down, and so does the temple. The place was filled with Philistines; they are watching Samson push against the pillars. They are laughing at him as he calls on his God. They think this is a great joke. They are not worried about him. He is a has-been. He is washed up. He is a nobody. He is a fool in their eyes, and deserves nothing but their laughter and their ridicule. Samson prays, and then he pushes. The Lord answers his prayer and the temple of Dagon comes crashing down, killing 3,000 Philistines. Samson dies also, and in his death, he kills more of the enemy than he had killed in his life. 1,030 Philistines died at Samson’s hand during his life.

The whole point here is that God used Samson again. He used him to strike a terrible blow against the enemies of the Lord. Friend, He will use you too! When there is repentance, forgiveness and restoration, the Lord will use you again for His glory!
v. 31 Samson’s Death – Samson, the mighty Judge is dead. His brothers and the other men of his family come to Gaza. They dig through the rubble and find the broken and battered body of the man of God. They take him home and honor him by giving him a proper burial. That was very important in those days.

Chances are that your sins will not lead to the same set of events that marked Samson’s life. Chances are that you will fall, seek the Lord in repentance, and He will forgive you and restore you to usefulness. Chances are you will not die in while carrying out His will for your life. In other words, the changes are good that God will use you, bless you and carry you home to glory in the usual manner. Like Samson, however, you can receive glory at the end of the way of you serve the Lord faithfully while you are here.

We all want to hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord,”( Matt. 25:21). Many will not hear Jesus say that because they never deal with their sins. They never repent and they never seek His forgiveness and His restoration. There are some in the family of the Lord who fail Him, and they do it in a spectacular fashion. Many of those people come back to the Lord, humbling themselves and confessing their sins. These people are forgiven and they are restored. When they stand before Him, they will hear no mention of their sins, for they are gone. They will hear Him say, “Well done!” There will be honor at the end of the way for the saints of who keep short accounts with Him. When we fail, we should be quick to seek His face in forgiveness. When we do He will forgive and restore. When we do not, He will touch our lives through chastisement. He does this not because he wants to destroy us; he does it because He loves us, (Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:6-11).

Conc: If there is a lesson from the life of Samson, it is this: Sin carries a devastatingly high price. When we engage in sin, we must be prepared to pay the consequences. There will be consequences in our lives, in our families, in our churches, in our communities and in the eyes of the world.

Another lesson presents itself, and it is this: sin does not have to rule in your life. There is a place of repentance. There is a place of forgiveness. There is a place of restoration. There is a God in Heaven Who loves you in spite of your sins. He will cleanse you, forgive you and restore you, if you will come to Him.

Where are you in your walk with Him? Are you saved? Are you as close as you should be? Are you as close as you used to be? Are you facing a time of testing through temptation? Has God spoken to your heart today? If there are needs, please come to Him now for the help, forgiveness, and restoration you need!

TODAY’S VERSE!
Daniel 12:3 (New King James Version (NKJV)

3 Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“None of Self and All of Thee” By: Theodore Monod (1874)

1. Oh, the bitter pain and sorrow
That a time could ever be,
When I proudly said to Jesus,
“All of self, and none of Thee.”
All of self, and none of Thee,
All of self, and none of Thee,
When I proudly said to Jesus,
“All of self, and none of Thee.”

2. Yet He found me; I beheld Him
Bleeding on th’ accursed tree,
And my wistful heart said faintly,
“Some of self, and some of Thee.”
Some of self, and some of Thee,
Some of self, and some of Thee,
And my wistful heart said faintly,
“Some of self, and some of Thee.”

3. Day by day His tender mercy,
Healing, helping, full and free,
Brought me lower while I whispered,
“Less of self, and more of Thee.”
Less of self, and more of Thee,
Less of self, and more or Thee,
Brought me lower while I whispered,
“Less of self, and more of Thee.”

4. Higher than the highest heaven,
Deeper than the deepest sea,
Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:
“None of self, and all of Thee.”
None of self, and all of Thee,
None of self, and all of Thee,
Lord, Thy love at last has conquered:
“None of self, and all of Thee.”


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Father Almighty, God of Reason, Reaping and Redemption! Help us to separate ourselves from the past and live in the here and now. You have set us free from our past with you tender mercy and loving forgiveness. We will never be able to move into all You have for us if we continue to carry the past on us. Deliver us from every negative aspect of the past, for our future lies ahead of us and not behind us. Enable us so that the past doesn’t impact or influence the present, nor keep us from moving forward to Your glory. Help us to release all bad memories and seek forgiveness so the torture of the past does not destroy the good You have already established in us. These things we pray in the name of Jesus who died for us. Amen!

This ends our study in the Book of Judges. Next, we will look at a love story from the Book of Ruth!

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:

MNABOY 2/4/2013 11:13AM

    Amen

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RSSSLHB 2/4/2013 9:00AM

    emoticon Vic, I love the book of Ruth emoticon

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TONYVAND1 2/4/2013 8:48AM

  We can be forgiven if we come to Christ and ask for it. Having been forgiven we need to gird ourselves with the breastplate of truth so as not to fall into the same sin over and over again.

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JOANIE69 2/4/2013 8:47AM

    I am almost sad to see the lessons on Samson come to an end. It is for sure the most I have ever learned from his story. I know Ruth too shall teach us many things. Thank you Vic.

Today's hymn reminded me of a little saying I once heard about being a "Perfect Ten". The way to achieve that is to make God the number one and make yourself the number zero.

Blessings, have a great day, Joanie.

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ANHELIC 2/4/2013 8:06AM

    Thank you Vic for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. with this lesson we can see that God will forgive our sins if we come to Him and humble ourselves and not dwell on our past that keeps us from our God. Lord, please help us to focus on You and not on our past and be with us during our days. With our eyes focused on You, we will not dwell on our past. Thank you Lord, in Jesus Name, amen. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note. God bless you.

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IAM_HIS2 2/4/2013 7:35AM

    Thank you for this blog filled with HOPE and GOD's LOVE & MERCY for us.

When I think about how much God loves us and is so willing to forgive us for our sins, it is truly something that is an act of agape love.

I am so more than thankful for God's love and mercy! Thank you for this blog!!!!

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LINDAMARIEZ1 2/4/2013 7:16AM

    I thank God daily for the good things going on in my life! emoticon

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/4/2013 7:01AM

    There's a lot of hope in today's reading. Especially for parents with "Samson" children. I look forward to meeting Samson one day :)

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DIANER2014 2/4/2013 6:55AM

    Thank you Vic! emoticon

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AZMOMXTWO 2/4/2013 6:52AM

  thank you

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EDITOR 2/4/2013 6:46AM

    Love Ruth and will love a sacrificing women's perspective. Thank you, Vic for mixing it up. God bless!

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sun, 2/3/2013

Sunday, February 03, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, SUN, 2/3/2013

A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!

Judges 16:21-31
THE RESTORATION OF A FALLEN HERO, Lesson 24B

v. 23-25 IT WAS A TIME OF REPROACH
God’s Man Was Degraded – Samson was brought into the temple of Dagon. Dagon was the god of the Philistines. He was portrayed as half man and half fish. From his navel down he was depicted as a fish, from the navel up, he was portrayed as a man. The Philistines were fishermen and they worshipped Dagon believing that he would bless their efforts to catch more fish.

Verse 25 tells us that they brought Samson to this temple “to…make sport for them.” The word “sport” comes from a word that refers to “a dance or a jig.” In other words, they brought Samson in as entertainment. They brought him in to mock him. They are drunk, (v. 25), and they are looking for a good time. They force Samson to perform like some kind of circus freak. They no longer fear him as the mighty, undefeatable judge of Israel. They no longer see him as a threat to their way of life. They view Samson only as an object of mockery and derision. They bring him in so they can laugh at him. He is diminished in their eyes and they force him to do tricks while they laugh.

Don’t you know that Samson felt humiliated? He surely feels as though he is worthless. When he was engaged in his sins, he could not see the danger that lurked nearby. Now, he sees it clearly, but it is too late. Sin has humiliated the once proud Judge of the Hebrews. Sin has turned the mighty, fearsome warrior into a clown. Sin has transformed from the stuff of legends into a punch line for the enemies of God.

That is what sin will do in our lives if we allow it to reign in our hearts. Sin has the power to turn our lives into grist for the rumor mills. It has the power to bring us low so that people point at us and whisper about our failures behind our backs. Sin has the power to defeat us, to degrade us, to diminish us and to demoralize us. “Many times did he deliver them; but they provoked him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity,”( Psa. 106:43).

God’s Glory Was Diminished – Not only was Samson degraded; God’s glory was diminished. Because Samson was defeated, the Philistines glorified Dagon and gave him the credit for their victory, (v. 24). Samson probably believed that he would have his fun, and then he would go right back to serving the Lord and helping the people. He never imagined that he would be captured. He never imagined that he would be humiliated. He never believed that his sin would allow the enemies of Israel to mock God. Samson learned the hard way that not only does sin bring about terrible consequences in the life of the sinner; he also learned that sin in the lives of God’s people always reflects badly on the Lord.

We must remember that the things we do either glorify God or they dishonor Him. When David sinned with Bathsheba and was confronted by Nathan the prophet, Nathan said, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme…” (2 Sam. 12:14). Nothing has changed. We must ever remember that, if we are saved, we belong to the Lord and we must never do anything in our lives that brings dishonor to His name or that allows the enemies of truth to mock Him.

“Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed,” (1 Tim. 6:1).
“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed,” (Titus 2:3-5).

“I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully,” (1 Tim. 5:14).
“Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written,” (Rom. 2:22-24).
We, who know the Lord, should live lives that speak well of Him. We should ever strive to bring Him glory and do nothing that causes Him to be reproached by the enemies of truth. Here is His desire for us:

“Be ye holy; for I am holy,” (1 Pet. 1:16).

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,” (Phil. 1:27).

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain,” (Phil. 2:12-16).

What does your life say about Him? Paul says, “For to me to live is Christ…,”(Phil. 1 :21). He also said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me,” (Gal. 2:20). We should be able to echo those words, and see to it that God is never reproached for our sins.

TODAY’S VERSE!
Psalm 6:9 (New King James Version (NKJV)
9 The Lord has heard my supplication;
The Lord will receive my prayer.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Sweet Will of God” By: Mrs. C. H. Morris (1900)
1. My stubborn will at last hath yielded;
I would be Thine, and Thine alone;
And this the prayer my lips are bringing,
Lord, let in me Thy will be done.
Refrain:
Sweet will of God, still fold me closer,
Till I am wholly lost in Thee.

2. I’m tired of sin, footsore and weary,
The darksome path hath dreary grown;
But now a light has ris’n to cheer me;
I find in Thee my Star, my Sun.
Refrain:

3. Thy precious will, O conqu’ring Savior,
Doth now embrace and compass me;
All discords hushed, my peace a river,
My soul, a prisoned bird set free.
Refrain:

4. Shut in with Thee, O Lord, forever,
My wayward feet no more to roam;
What pow’r from Thee my soul can sever?
The center of God’s will my home.
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Most Holy Father, God of Pardon, Peace, Perfection, and Prosperity! We know You never tempt us, and that temptation comes from our enemy, the devil. Make us continually aware of everything that presents itself as a temptation. Help us to separate ourselves from whatever tempts us to be or do something that is in opposition to Your will and way. Show us our weaknesses and tendencies to give in to our sins. Enable us to turn to You in our weaknesses so that we may be strengthened by the power of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Help us not to stray when tempted, but rather to lean upon and trust The Lord to stand firm in the way of righteousness. Teach us to acknowledge You in all our ways to direct our path. These things we ask and pray in Jesus’ wonderful 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:

IAM_HIS2 2/4/2013 7:40AM

    Vic, thank you for this blog...it made me realize how much every thought, action and word spoken is an opportunity to love God.

Thank you so much!! God bless!

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KALLIE1958AR 2/3/2013 7:44PM

    emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 2/3/2013 4:13PM

    Amen! A daily necessity.

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RSSSLHB 2/3/2013 1:57PM

    Amen on that prayer Vic God bless

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ANHELIC 2/3/2013 1:11PM

    Thank you Vic for another great lesson, hymn and prayer. Seeing how Samson's life was at the end makes me really understand being honest with everything God provides us with. We must follow God's way and not be tempted to stray from His goodness. Thank you for the goodie and note. God bless you Vic.

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TONYVAND1 2/3/2013 12:53PM

  Be Holy as He is holy.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/3/2013 11:35AM

    This makes me think of the saying "How the mighty have fallen". So sad! Like so many of us Samson had to hit rock bottom before his eyes were opened to his total need of God. What a merciful and patient Creator we serve!

Comment edited on: 2/3/2013 11:37:49 AM

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LINDAMARIEZ1 2/3/2013 9:41AM

    thank you Vic! Jesus is always in my heart!

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JOANIE69 2/3/2013 8:01AM

    Amen and emoticon once again. I don't know what I would do if there was no devotional here each day, now that I have discovered them. Your devotionals are so in depth, thought-provoking, pertinent, honest and helpful. I really appreciate them and share the thoughts with my husband. God bless you as you continue to teach and share His word. Bless you. emoticon

"I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word". Psalm 119: 16

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 2/2/2013

Saturday, February 02, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Sat, 2/2/2013

A BLESSED MORNING TO EVERYONE!

Judges 16:21-31
THE RESTORATION OF A FALLEN HERO, Lesson 24a

In our study of the life of Samson, we have encountered a man who was far less than he should have been. He came into this world born of a promise from God that he would be a Nazarite set apart for the glory of God, and that he would be the deliverer of the nation of Israel, (Jud. 13:1-14). There can be little doubt that the Lord used Samson in his life, but his service to the Lord was hampered by the sins that marred his life.

Samson was a man characterized by weakness in his flesh. He had a weakness for wicked women. That desire for illicit sexual relationships continually hindered his usefulness to the Lord and eventually it cost him his freedom, his ministry and his life.

In our last glimpse into the life of this man, we saw a man who had been deceived by an ungodly woman he had come to love, (Jud. 16:4). This woman’s name was Delilah and she tricked Samson into revealing the source of his strength to her. His strength was not his own; it came from the Lord. Samson’s power was related to his Nazarite vows. His hair symbolized that vow. When he allowed Delilah to cut his hair, Samson showed contempt for his vows to the Lord. As a result, the Lord removed His hand from Samson’s life and God allowed him to be captured by his enemies. The Philistines tied Samson, put out his eyes and took him to the prison, where he was forced to grind. The mighty judge of Israel was reduced to doing the work of a female slave.

Thankfully the story of Samson does not conclude with him bound by his enemies. This passage records The Restoration Of A Fallen Hero. These verses remind us that no matter how far we may fall, we too can be restored if we repent and turn back to the Lord.

That should be encouraging news to every child of God. We all fail, and sometimes like Samson we fail in a big way. We are like the fellow who said, “I do not what the Lord stays often, but when I do, it’s a beauty.” We all fail the Lord from time to time, and sometimes we fail in a spectacular fashion. Of course, we see this in the lives of all the heroes of faith mentioned in the Bible. “The Hall of the Faithful” in Hebrews 11 could also be labeled “The Hall Of The Failures”, because all the members of that illustrious organization failed God, and they failed Him big.

Abraham lacked the faith to believe God’s promises to take care of him and he went down to Egypt where he lied about his wife.

Sarah laughed at God and mocked His promises.

Isaac lied about his wife.

Moses committed murder and tried to cover it up.

Joshua was full of pride and failed to pray before he attacked Ai where the nation of Israel was defeated.

Rahab was a prostitute.

The successful Christian is not the person who never fails, but it is the person who when they fail, gets back up and goes on for the Lord. The successful Christian is the person who accepts God’s remedy for sin and reaches up to God for cleansing and forgiveness when he does fail.

That is what these verses are about. Let’s look into these verses and notice the lessons they have to teach us about “The Restoration Of A Fallen Hero”.

v. 22 IT WAS A TIME OF RESTORATION
The Power In The Restoration – “The hair of his head began to grow again.” After a time, Samson’s began to grow back. If you will remember, his hair was the symbol of his vows to God as a Nazarite. Samson’s power did not come from his hair, but it came from his relationship with the Lord. The regrowth of his hair was symbolic of the restoration of that special relationship Samson had enjoyed with the Lord.

The Picture In The Restoration – The regrowth of Samson’s hair was a picture of the truth that God was not through with Samson yet. The grace of God allowed Samson to live long enough for his hair to grow back and this lets us know that God has plans for Samson.

The Problem In The Restoration – Samson’s hair grew back, but it was a slow process. The average growth rate of human hair is about 1/8th inch per week. That translates to about 6 inches per year. To grow hair to the waist takes about 6 years. All that means is that Samson was in the process of restoration for a very long time. His return did not come over night.

There are a few observations that we need to notice concerning this restoration process.

If you have sinned and failed the Lord, especially in a very grievous and public way, restoration is possible, but it will be gradual. You cannot expect to be restored to service overnight.

You can be forgiven of sin in an instant, but restoration may take a lot of time. It takes time to earn back the trust of others. Sin takes a tremendous toll on all the people within its orbit. It takes time for the pain, distrust and effects of sin to ease.
Huge failures in our lives are not the result of a sudden fall into sin. They are the culmination of a long period of disobedience. It takes time to replace bad habits with good ones. It takes time to change the way the mind thinks, thus it takes time to change the way we live our lives. It takes time to earn back the trust of the people who have been wounded by our failures.

While sin might be forgiven and the sinner made right with God, forgiveness does not cancel out the consequences of our sins. Samson’s hair grew back, but he was still bound; he was still blind and he was still in the prison grinding grain. Sin leaves a terrible mark on the lives of the guilty. The scars of sin may be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. The scars sin leaves behind may never be fully healed. While relationships with God and others may be restored, the reminders of sin may haunt you for the rest of your life. Regret, guilt, and a loss of peace may stalk the guilty party until they leave this world. We must ever remember that sin brings consequences, and those consequences may follow us to the grave, Gal. 6:7; Pro. 13:15. We may be forced to live our lives ever asking, “What was I thinking? Why did I do that?”

While there was restoration, there was a limitation of Samson’s service. It is possible to commit sins that will disqualify us from holding certain positions in the church. It is not that we do not forgive, or that the Lord does not forgive; the issue is that people will not follow a leader in whom they no confidence.

This passage challenges us to avoid sin in our lives at all costs. Whatever steps are necessary to avoid committing sin must be utilized. God will help us to be the people He saved us to be. He will help us in the hour of temptation, 1 Cor. 10:13. He will help us protect our testimonies and our reputations so that He is glorified and we remain useful to Him.

This passage also reminds us that there is restoration for the fallen, 1 John 1:9; Pro. 28:13. There is forgiveness with the Lord, Jer. 33:8.

TODAY’S VERSE!
1 Corinthians 13:13 (New King James Version (NKJV)
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


TODAY’S HYMN!
“The Greatest Command” By: Traditional (1993)

Alto:
Love one another, for love is of God.
He who loves is born of God;
And knows God.
He who does not love, does not know God,
For God is love, God is love, God is love.

Bass:
Love bears all things,
Believes all things,
Love hopes all things,
Endures all things.

Tenor:
God is love, God is love, God is love.
God is love, God is love, God is love.
God is love, God is love, God is love,
God is love, God is love, God is love.

Soprano:
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
With all thy soul, all thy strength,
All thy mind.
Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
For God is love, God is love, God is love.


TODAY’S PRAYER!
Holy Father, God of Opportunity, Obedience and Oneness! Your Word changes our hearts, enriches our souls, and makes us wise. Your commandments are true, right, pure, dependable, edifying, and life giving. Instruct us in Your Word that we may find Your Great Peace. Help us to hold fast to Your Word so that we may rejoice in Your glory and in the Works of Christ. We thank You for Your loving-kindness and Your truth which set us free. We thank You for magnifying Your Word which will stand the test of time and stand forever. We thank You for Jesus who is the Living Word. It is in His blessed name that we pray. Amen!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANHELIC 2/2/2013 9:52PM

    Thank you for a great lesson, hymn and prayer. Samson was a real example of how our lives are when we sin. God will forgive us, and I am grateful to know that He will never leave us or forsake us. We really learned what Samson went through until the end and it is something we have to be careful of and try to walk down God's straight and narrow path. Praying daily for His guidance to do right for His glory. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note. God bless you and have a blessed Sunday.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 2/2/2013 7:14PM

    Very good lesson. Even though we may repent over sin, I like how it is pointed out that the consequences may always be there. Why should I not resist sin from the very first promptings? Lord, help me recognize and shun sin by hiding your Word in my heart!

Comment edited on: 2/2/2013 7:16:14 PM

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TONYVAND1 2/2/2013 5:11PM

  Avoiding sin and resting in His faithfulness.

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MNABOY 2/2/2013 1:52PM

    Thanks for witnessing

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FALLENSHORT 2/2/2013 12:46PM

    Thank you MJRVIC; you have no idea what this lesson means to me! First of all I had no idea the story of Samson was so complicated, and second, I always thought once God forgave us the guilt would go away immediately. Your story proves that's not true!

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JOANIE69 2/2/2013 10:08AM

    What a great lesson..I can't even pick my favorite part in it...it is ALL emoticon

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LOOKINGUP2012 2/2/2013 10:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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RSSSLHB 2/2/2013 9:19AM

    emoticon God bless

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FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 2//1/2013

Friday, February 01, 2013

SAMSON, FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF FAITH, Fri, 2/1/2013

Judges 16:4-21
THE STORIES OF SAMSON AND DELILAH, Lesson 23c

v. 15-21 THEIRS IS A STORY OF LOSS

Verse 17-20a – Delilah wore Samson down and he told her the truth. He told her about his hair being a symbol of his Nazarite vow before God. Apparently, Samson trusted Delilah and believed that his secret was safe with her. How foolish! No sooner is he asleep that she has a man cut off his hair. She began to “afflict him”. This phrase means that she “humiliated him, or she began to mistreat him.” The former strong man has become weak in the hands of this woman. He cannot even defend himself against her because “his strength went from him.” Let’s examine the losses incurred on both sides of this relationship.

Delilah’s Losses Were Considerable – In the end, Delilah really lost everything. She was a sinner before this event and she remained one after this event. The real tragedy is that Samson was supposed to be a man of God. As a Jew he was supposed to take the light of God’s law and the grace of God’s love and share it with the lost Gentiles so that they might come to know the God he was supposed to have been serving. Because he allowed his passions to govern his life, he destroyed his testimony in front of Delilah.

The aftermath of this story is easy to reconstruct. Delilah enjoyed the fruits of her deception. She instantly became a very wealthy woman. Financially, she was set for life. However, in the end, she lost everything. Eventually she dies, and when she did, she died in her sins and went to Hell. She gained nothing of lasting value while losing the things that’s valued the most, her own soul. In the end, she lost everything!
Mark 8:36-37, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Delilah stands as an example for all those who would put sin ahead of a relationship with God. You might enjoy the pleasures of this world for a while, but in the end, there is nothing in front of you but the judgment of God and an eternity in Hell. If you are not saved, I challenge you to come to Jesus Christ today for the only hope of salvation that can deliver you from the wrath of God!

Samson’s Losses Were Complete – While Delilah lost little in her day-to-day life because of their encounter, Samson lost everything of value, and he lost it immediately. Consider the high price Samson paid for indulging his sin.

He Lost Much Physically – Samson paid a high physical price for his sin with Delilah.

v. 21 He Lost His Freedom – The Bible says that the Philistines “took him” and “bound him”. No more could Samson go out and do as he pleased. His sin had robbed him of his freedom and he was the prisoner of his enemies!

v. 21 He Lost His Vision – The Philistines “put out his eyes”. They took away from him the faculty of sight. They blinded him to make him easier to control.

v. 21 He Lost His Dignity – The first time Samson came to Gaza it was for the purpose of finding pleasure, (v. 1). This time he returns as the prisoner of the Philistines.

They take him to their prison and they force him to “grind”. Grinding was the work of women or of the lowest slaves. This shows the disdain the Philistines had for Samson. They humiliated the mighty Judge of Israel by forcing him to labor as a slave.

All these things are pictures of sin’s power in our lives. Those who allow themselves to be taken in the trap of sin will find that sin has the power to bind, blind and grind. Sin binds men by enslaving them in habits that are hard to break. Sin blinds them into believing that there is nothing wrong with their lives or with the sins they are committing. Sin grinds them into powder and uses up their lives until they are just a shell of what they used to be. The truth is, sin will bind you, blind you and grind you. It will wear you out and waste your life. A life that could have been productive and useful to the Lord will become a proverb on the dangers of sin. You may not believe a word I am saying to you today, but sin will ruin your life.

He Lost More Spiritually –
This is the most expensive haircut in history! Did you know that the average woman spends over $50,000.00 on her hair in her lifetime? Did you know that the average woman spends two years of her life washing, styling and setting her hair? Did you know that the average woman spends 41 minutes per day working on her hair? Did you know that a recent survey found that during the last month, 54% of the women surveyed, got madder at their hair than they did at their husbands? Did you know that Americans spend over 7 billion dollars per year on hair care products? That figure does not include the billions spent by Americans every year having their hair cut, colored, permed, set, and styled. It seems to me that our hair is important to us.

If our hair is that important to us, think of how important it should have been to Samson. His hair had never been cut. He was a Nazarite, and part of the vow he was required to take stipulated that Samson could not cut his hair, (Num. 6:5). Samson’s hair was the external symbol of his commitment to God. It identified him as a man set apart for God’s glory and God’s use. As long as Samson’s hair was left to grow, it set him apart as a man of God. When his hair was cut, he lost God’s power in his life.

As long as Samson allowed the Lord to control his hair he was fine, but when he allowed Delilah to take control of his hair, he lost his power with God. This passage describes what is easily the most expensive haircut in the history of the world. When Samson demoted God in his heart, he lost the only thing that set him apart: He lost the power of God! Notice what this haircut cost Samson.

He Lost His Fellowship With God – “the Lord was departed from him” – When Samson allowed his hair to be cut, he lost his strength. Now, there was no power in Samson’s hair. His hair was the visible symbol of his commitment to God. Samson was a Nazarite, and one part of the Nazarite Vow was that the Nazarite was never to cut his hair, (Num. 6:1-4).

All through his life, Samson had treated his vows as a Nazarite with disregard. He had played fast and loose with his vows. He had touched a dead body, (Jud. 14:9), which was forbidden. He attended “wine feasts”,( Jud. 14:10), and he spent time in vineyards, (Jud. 14:5); all of these put him in danger of breaking his vows to God.
When Samson allowed his hair to be cut, he crossed the final line with God. In that moment, Samson was declaring that he loved Delilah more than he loved God. He was saying that he loved his life of sin more than he loved his life as a servant of God.

Samson’s power did not derive from his hair. It derived from his relationship with God. His hair was symbolic of that relationship. When his hair was cut, his fellowship with God was broken and he paid a terrible price.

God left him, and when He did, God took Samson’s power away as well. He paid a high price for his sin!

So will we! If we want power with God in prayer and in our daily lives, we must live clean and close. We must address our sins and put God first in our lives. There can be no room for sin in the lives of those who want power with God. In Jesus Christ, our relationship is secure, (John 10:28), but our fellowship is fragile. When we want our sins more than we want Him, it will cause Him to withdraw His power from our lives. As a result, our prayer lives will be hindered. Our worship will be hindered. Our walk with God will be hindered. Sin drives a wedge between the saint of God and God. We cannot have both! (Eph. 4:21-32).

He Lost His Spiritual Discernment – The saddest statement in these verses might be the words “wist not” in verse 20. When Samson awake from sleep, he did not even know that God had left him. Sin’s grip on his life was so great that he did not know the power of God had been removed from his life. He assumed that God would be on him like He always had been. This time he was wrong. Sin had robbed Samson of all his spiritual discernment. Samson had gotten so used to living life under his own strength that he did not realize that God had removed His strength from him. He had taken God for granted for so long that he wasn’t even aware when God left him. That was an expensive haircut!

There is nothing sadder than someone who claims to know the Lord, thinking they are living in the will God, when God is nowhere around them. That is a tragedy, but such is the result of sin. There is nothing sadder than the husk of a Christian! How tragic it is when people allow sin to strip of them of all the things that matter. When they do, they are merely going through the motions of serving God. Without His presence and His power, anything we do is in vain!

My question is, how could Samson not know? Sin has a way of blinding us to the truth of our condition. Sin will make you think you are right and that everyone else, including God is wrong. Sin will cause you to believe that you are always right, regardless of what you do, or whom you hurt. Sin is a deceiver!

Sin will rob you of spiritual discernment. Because of sin, most church members have little or no discernment. They cannot recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit in a service. Thus, they do not know how to respond appropriately when He does show up. Because of sin, most people don’t know if a sermon is good or bad, sound or unsound, true or false, filled with biblical truth or hot air. Sin is killing us in these days because it destroys our ability to recognize God, His presence and His power.

Even Isaac, as he traveled with his father to Mt. Moriah, had enough wisdom and discernment to know that something was missing, (Gen. 22:7). We need to repent of our sins, ask the Lord to forgive us and cleanse us, so that we might have His power and be wise enough to know when He is on us or when He isn’t.

He Lost His Ministry – Because of his sin, the Lord put Samson on the shelf. He was removed as the Judge over Israel. He was no longer a vessel fit for God’s use. His ministry was over.

That same can happen to us. It was Paul’s fear, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway,” (1 Cor. 9:27). The word “castaway” refers to that which is “unfit, reprobate, not standing the test”. It was used of coins that were tested and not found to be struck from real gold. In other words, they were worthless. Paul’s fear was that he would become worthless to the Lord. So, Paul took the necessary steps to overcome his flesh. The phrase “keep under” means to “beat black and blue”. The word “subjection” means, “to enslave.” Paul took the initiative. He mastered his flesh instead of allowing the flesh to master him.

Paul’s fear should be our fear as well. I don’t want to lose my usefulness to the Lord! But, it could happen in any of our lives, if we do not take the necessary steps to defeat our sin and control our passions. Samson lost his ministry, and we could lose ours, if we are not careful.

He Lost His Testimony – Samson, the strong man, the mighty Judge, was taken to a Philistine prison and made to do the work of a woman. He was made to do the work of the lowest kind of slave. In other words, he was humiliated in the eyes of the enemy. Did you ever stop to consider that God was humiliated right along with Samson? When they laughed at Samson, (v. 23-24), they were mocking his God as well. A victory over Samson was considered to be a victory over God.

My friends, when we fail in the flesh; when the traps of the devil ensnare us; when we fall into sin, we bring reproach on the name of the Lord. When a child of God sins it always harms the cause of Christ. God is so closely identified with His people that our shame in the eyes of the world and the devil translates into His shame as well.
2 Sam. 12:14, “Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.”

1 Pet. 4:14-15, “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters.”

Titus 2:5, “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

1Tim. 6:1, “Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.”

1Tim. 5:14, “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.”

The lesson from this ought to be crystal clear. What we do matters. What we do reflects back on God. Let us resolve that we will do nothing that will be an evil reflection against the glory of God. He deserves our best; let’s give it to Him! There is nothing more shameful and harmful to the cause of Christ than a damaged testimony. When we allow sin to rule in these bodies, it will always tarnish our testimonies and bring dishonor to the name of our God. May it never be!

Conc: What are we to do with this sad, tragic story? We are to take it to heart! We must come before the Lord and deal with our sins and our temptations. We must get honest about weaknesses and realize that God alone is our strength.

If we are to stand against sin in this world, we must have His help. “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing,” (John 15:5).

If we have already committed sin, He will forgive us and restore us. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,” (1 John 1:9).

If we are struggling against sin, He will help us achieve the victory. (1 Cor. 10:13), “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

How will your story be written? The time to change the ending is now. The time to deal with sin is now. The time to come to Jesus is now. The time to make a break with your Delilah is now.

TODAY’S VERSE! (New King James Version (NKJV)
14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.

TODAY’S HYMN!
“Throw Out The Life-Line” By: Edward S. Ufford (1886)

1. Throw out the lifeline across the dark wave;
There is a brother whom someone should save;
Somebody’s brother! Oh, who then will dare
To throw out the lifeline, his peril to share?
Refrain:
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is drifting away;
Throw out the lifeline! Throw out the lifeline!
Someone is sinking today.

2. Throw out the lifeline with hand quick and strong:
Why do you tarry, why linger so long?
See! he is sinking; oh, hasten today
And out with the life boat! Away, then, away!
Refrain:

3. Throw out the lifeline to danger-fraught men,
Sinking in anguish where you’ve never been;
Winds of temptation and billows of woe
Will soon hurl them out where the dark waters flow.
Refrain:

4. Soon will the season of rescue be o’er,
Soon will they drift to eternity’s shore;
Haste, then, my brother, no time for delay,
But throw out the lifeline and save them today.
Refrain:

5. This is the lifeline, oh, tempest-tossed men,
Baffled by waves of temptation and sin;
Wild winds of passion, your strength cannot brave,
But Jesus is mighty, and Jesus can save.
Refrain:

6. Jesus is able! To you who are driv’n
Farther and farther from God and from Heav’n,
Helpless and hopeless, o’erwhelmed by the wave,
We throw out the lifeline—’tis, “Jesus can save.”
Refrain:

7. This is the lifeline, oh, grasp it today!
See, you are recklessly drifting away;
Voices in warning, shout over the wave,
Oh, grasp the strong lifeline, for Jesus can save.
Refrain:

TODAY’S PRAYER!
Divine Father, Needful and Noble God of Newness of Life! We worship You, praise You, adore You and thank You for giving the Holy Spirit to us. We thank You, Jesus, for sending the Comforter and Helper to teach and guide us every day. We praise You Spirit, for the wisdom, revelation, and knowledge You impart to us daily. We love You and appreciate the joy You bring into our lives. Thank You for being the seal to the promise of our inheritance. We cannot understand the things of God in our flesh, but we can discern them in our spirit because of You dwelling in us. Enable us to turn all control of our lives over into Your capable hands that we may be the light we ought to be to those in darkness. These things we ask and pray in the name of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. 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 2/1/2013 1:58PM

    May the Lord bless the reading of His Word. Thank you, Vic.

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JOANIE69 2/1/2013 1:39PM

    emoticon again today, Vic.
I get so much out of these devotionals, and I especially love your prayers...it is exciting to read the wonderful attributes of our loving God in your descriptions of Him, such as : 'Needful and Noble God of Newness of Life!'

Praise and glory be to our magnificent, merciful Lord. Blessings, Joanie

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SANDRALEET 2/1/2013 12:18PM

    Slaves How bad the poor were treated That is not treating others as our self Sin the good life at the expenses of others Money partying brought so many down at there hands by sin.I was brought up on a farm I now how you felt after working in the garden all day or making hay or trashing wheat I can understand his lot. I can feel the hardship of so many who were not sinners but like all who loved God.Sin in this world then as now destroys life even those who did not do it The drunk driver Rage of a man using a gun to kill his wife The company who takes away even the pension as they go fake bankrupt to make money Lies cheating hate murder robberies and so much Then as now people do not change

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SAINTBETH 2/1/2013 11:48AM

    Amen

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63KEEPONGOING 2/1/2013 8:57AM

  Thanks for being a faithful servant.

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RSSSLHB 2/1/2013 8:41AM

    emoticon for posting Vic God bless

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ANHELIC 2/1/2013 8:38AM

    Thank you for your great lesson, hymn and prayer. We must keep our eyes and life focused on God and not on the pleasures of the world. Sin can destroy our life with God. Satan knows how to tempt us to feel what he is offering is great. But greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world. We must constantly keep focused on God. Thank you Vic for the goodie and note.

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LOOKINGUP2012 2/1/2013 8:36AM

    Amen! May I be a light in darkness which closes in.

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TONYVAND1 2/1/2013 8:21AM

  Sin does blind us and we loose all of our discernment. Pray that we might stand up against the tricks of the evil one and that we keep our hearts and eyes on Christ Jesus

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