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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!

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  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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