Your Conflict an Opportunity for God to Confront

Friday Sept. 22, 2017

Dan.
3: 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

 

- Things rapidly escalated in this account. Suddenly the intensity went from zero to 60. Neb. was furious, the furnace was heated seven times hotter than usual, the strongest soldiers were employed to man handle the men and the swiftness by which their intended execution was carried out resulted in the unintended deaths of their executioners.

 

- While everyone and everything is escalating we do not hear of any escalation on the part of the, would be victims. They were thrown into the furnace but they soon after were walking around inside it. Now such an account defies any sort of logical explanation. What Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego experienced is without question impossible apart from a metaphysical interpretation. To be certain that such an interpretation is not missed we read of the Fourth Man in the fire. The Fourth Man is also walking around in the fire however, He is distinguished from Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as one who “looks like a son of the gods.”

The Following is a perspective on this account and the take home for us:

- No crisis of faith then no reason to take a stand. The crisis provokes a response.

- The magnitude of the problem these men faced only intensified the miraculous intervention they experienced. The enormity of your problem is an occasion for a greater intervention.

- The conflict was actually an opportunity for God’s confrontation.

- The, would be assailants actually perished in the flames intended to kill Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego the servants of God. God still protects His children.

- Before they would experience the Fourth man in the fire they first had to be thrown into the fire. The crisis was an opportunity for the believer to experience a deeper revelation of God and also an opportunity for the unbeliever to come face to face with God! This conflict opened Neb’s eyes and changed his heart, that can happen for you as well!

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Your Conflict an Opportunity for God to Confront

Friday Sept. 22, 2017

Dan.
3: 19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”

They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.” 26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

 

- Things rapidly escalated in this account. Suddenly the intensity went from zero to 60. Neb. was furious, the furnace was heated seven times hotter than usual, the strongest soldiers were employed to man handle the men and the swiftness by which their intended execution was carried out resulted in the unintended deaths of their executioners.

 

- While everyone and everything is escalating we do not hear of any escalation on the part of the, would be victims. They were thrown into the furnace but they soon after were walking around inside it. Now such an account defies any sort of logical explanation. What Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego experienced is without question impossible apart from a metaphysical interpretation. To be certain that such an interpretation is not missed we read of the Fourth Man in the fire. The Fourth Man is also walking around in the fire however, He is distinguished from Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as one who “looks like a son of the gods.”

The Following is a perspective on this account and the take home for us:

- No crisis of faith then no reason to take a stand. The crisis provokes a response.

- The magnitude of the problem these men faced only intensified the miraculous intervention they experienced. The enormity of your problem is an occasion for a greater intervention.

- The conflict was actually an opportunity for God’s confrontation.

- The, would be assailants actually perished in the flames intended to kill Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego the servants of God. God still protects His children.

- Before they would experience the Fourth man in the fire they first had to be thrown into the fire. The crisis was an opportunity for the believer to experience a deeper revelation of God and also an opportunity for the unbeliever to come face to face with God! This conflict opened Neb’s eyes and changed his heart,that can happen for you as well!

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Faith, Conflict and Conviction

Thursday Sept. 21, 2017

Dan.
3: 13 Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king, 14 and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipe and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”

 

 
 

- There will be times when our commitment to the Lord will bring us into conflict with others.

 

- Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in the good books as long as they appeared to be going along with the status quo, but as soon as their faith in God prevented them from doing what everyone else was doing they were immediately brought in and interrogated.

 

- As Christians we too can remain somewhat inconspicuous to the watching world as long as what we believe and how we behave as a result of our belief does not go against what everyone else is doing. Disagree with the popular view, speak against something that is believed to be acceptable, choose not to participate in something that is condemned as sin but that is being celebrated by the community around you and you might find yourself labelled as a hate monger, and judged and condemned even by those who you thought were your friends.

 

- Sometimes this type of thing happens even within the confines of the church community; mess with the status quo, attempt to move people toward a deeper relationship with the Lord, change a few things here and there and suddenly there is an uprising! There is the next thing to a civil war that begins to happen within the church! People begin meeting, conspiring, gossiping, spreading rumor and hate, and you wonder what in the world is happening? I’ll tell you what is happening, we are not alone in this world and the same type of spiritual influences that were in play in Daniel’s day are still active today. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood.

 

- We need to have the same approach to such spiritual warfare as Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; we need to first and foremost be people of prayer, Daniel 2:17-19 and then we must also be convinced that the Lord our God will see us through such times of satanic attack, Dan. 3:17. When Neb asked the men, “Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?” they knew exactly what God because they knew the Lord and they were convinced that God would see them through this no matter how it turned out!

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Are You Trying to Earn It??

Wednesday Sept. 20, 2017

2 Kings
10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” 11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. 13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

 
 

- Naaman went seeking healing for his leprosy but when the process of that healing was not to his approval he walked away angry and his anger grew to a rage. Naaman considered the means by which he would receive his healing crude and demeaning.

 

- Now just thing about that for a minute, here is a guy who is afflicted with a horrible disease of the skin, yet he is so very concerned about appearances! Isn’t that just like us today? How many are so focused on how things look that they are missing out completely on the blessing God has for them simply because they have such high standards?

 

- Is it barely possible that God required Naaman to go wash in the Jordan because God knew this would be an issue that would provoke his pride? You say, “God didn’t do that, Elisha did”. Reality check, Elisha was the servant of the Lord and what that inherently means when properly understood is that Elisha spoke the message of God to Naaman. The requirement to wash in the Jordan was from the Lord.

 

- Sometimes we choose not listen to the prompting of God because it does not suit our preconceived notions of what His Word ought to say to us. Often times it is our pride that stands between us and our healing, our deliverance, the opportunity God has made available for us.

 

- But there is something else we also must consider here, Naaman quite possibly wanted to do something to merit his healing. What he had been told re a prophet in Israel healing him – a work of God’s grace, he had decided was something that would require his own personal effort. How many of us make this mistake on an ongoing basis? How many question their salvation because they believe they do not deserve it? Listen to the words of Paul or more precisely the Word of the Lord as communicated through Paul, You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

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It is Faith in God, not Status that Transforms Lives!

Tuesday Sept. 18, 2017

2 Kings
Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!” When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.”So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” 11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

 
 

- Naaman acted on the young girl’s advice, that in and of itself is incredible! This young girl had been taken from her family and made to serve in Naaman’s home, yet she boldly shared her witness testifying to the power of the God of Israel to heal her master. Some would say the girl’s witness was without any credibility based on the fact that she was a prisoner – after all her God had certainly failed to protect her from her captors did He not? Sometimes we feel our witness is without merit because of our situation, but we are wrong when we think this way. Like this young girl, or the Samaritan woman in John 4, our witness can be very effective based on our experience with God and our conviction that He is able to do “immeasurably more …”! What I am saying is our situation or status has nothing to do with our ability to effectively communicate the life transforming power of God for those who believe!

 

- A young servant girl boldly testified to her master’s wife about the power of God to heal Naaman of his leprosy and the king of Israel recoiled in fear and frustration after receiving a letter asking the king to see to it that Naaman was healed of his leprosy. What a servant girl was more than willing to believe and speak openly about, a king was completely ignorant of and without recourse to do anything about.

 

- Elisha, however was undaunted by the request and sent word to the king to, “Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” O how desperately we need this kind of faith to be lived out today. Naaman would also experience a crisis of faith when asked by the prophet of God to do something he deemed an insult. In this story we have the faith of two contrasted with the doubts and questioning of two. Please note the humble positions of the two possessing faith with the exalted positions of the two whose questions presented tremendous obstacles to their faith. It is faith in God, not status that transforms lives!

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Boaz, The Portrait of a Real Man

Devotional Series on Faith

 

Friday June 16, 2017

Ruth
3: When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in good spirits, he went over to lie down at the far end of the grain pile. Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man; he turned—and there was a woman lying at his feet!

“Who are you?” he asked.

“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.”

10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied. “This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor. 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask. All the people of my town know that you are a woman of noble character. … 16 When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “How did it go, my daughter?”

Then she told her everything Boaz had done for her 17 and added, “He gave me these six measures of barley, saying, ‘Don’t go back to your mother-in-law empty-handed.’”

18 Then Naomi said, “Wait, my daughter, until you find out what happens. For the man will not rest until the matter is settled today.”

 

 - As we approach Father’s day it seems fitting to ask the question, “What does a real man look like?” We need to look no further than Boaz as depicted here in the Book of Ruth. If Ruth might be considered a heroin in this story, certainly Boaz is a hero.

 

- Here is the portrait of a real man: A real man is first and foremost a believer and a follower of God. Boaz was without question a man of great faith and strong conviction in God.

 

- A real man gives generously to those in need. Boaz was wealthy but he was not stingy. So often times those who have much hoard what they have and even complain that they never have enough. Boaz was content with what he had and he gave to those in need by allowing the needy to come and to glean from his fields without cost. Not only did this show Boaz’ generosity it also demonstrated his faith in God because in doing this he was obeying the Word of God that said, Lev. 23:22 “‘When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and for the foreigner residing among you. I am the Lord your God.’”

 

- A real man values character above all else. Boaz was attracted to Ruth because she was a woman of virtuous character demonstrated by her actions in leaving her homeland for the sake of her mother-in-law, Naomi as well as adopting Naomi’s faith as her own.

 

- A real man will do whatever is necessary to protect his wife and family. Boaz wasted no time securing Ruth’s future as his wife. To achieve this goal required wisdom, cunning, and risk. Boaz’ primary concern was ensuring that Ruth would be provided for and taken care of and believing God would take care of the rest.

 

- A real man loves unconditionally, gives sacrificially and lives with integrity!

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True Faith! Part 2

Devotional Series on Faith

 

Thursday June 15, 2017

Ruth
2 Now Naomi had a relative on her husband’s side, a man of standing from the clan of Elimelek, whose name was Boaz.

And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.”

Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.

Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!”

“The Lord bless you!” they answered.

Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?”

The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”

So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” 10 At this, she bowed down with her face to the ground. She asked him, “Why have I found such favor in your eyes that you notice me—a foreigner?”

11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

 

 - Ruth had made an unexpected call in staying with her mother-in-law, a call based not on circumstances or perhaps not even on self-preservation and certainly not on self-advancement but on a judgment call based primarily on faith. Such a call might seem ill advised given the way things appeared, but a decision to trust God is never ill-advised. From this time on we see the Hand of God all over the place in Ruth’s life. Ruth decides to go out and glean from the fields – no easy task. She is determined to do what she can to make a life for her and Naomi. God is with her. It just so happened that the field she went in to glean was owned by Boaz, a relative of Naomi’s husband. God had gone before her. Then while she is hard at work, Boaz shows up and, wonder of wonders he takes notice of her. Boaz had heard of Ruth’s sacrificial love for Naomi (another god thing) and then proceeded to bless her for it, vs. 12. O, you can be certain that the Lord was blessing Ruth and also repaying her 100 fold as she stepped out in faith and thereby took refuge under God’s wings!

 

- Through faith God had turned a desperate and despondent situation completely around. Whereas Elimelek had left Bethlehem to improve his situation only to find out things were not so much better on the other side of the fence, Ruth had made the sacrifice to leave her homeland to pursue faith in God with Naomi and in so doing experienced God’s blessing and miraculous provision! Ruth seemingly gave up personal security in search of God and found the greatest security under His wings. “He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose”, Jim Elliot, missionary to the Auca Indians and martyr for Christ.

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True Faith!

Devotional Series on Faith

 

Wednesday June 14, 2017

Ruth
1:
15 
“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.” 18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

19 So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, “Can this be Naomi?”

20 “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. 21 I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me.”

 
 

- Naomi had experienced a great deal of personal loss and heartache. Due to famine her husband made the hasty decision to relocate the family to Moab. Ironically the place where Elimelek and Naomi had lived was in Bethlehem, a name signifying “House of Bread”. Moab was the name for a land just short of the Land of Promise and that nation had been a perpetual enemy of Israel. So Elimelek allowed circumstances to move him away from the Promise of God to a foreign and hostile land. This is what happens to us every time we get our focus off seeking the Lord and allow our circumstances to dictate to us what we should do.

 

- Elimelek’s decision carried with it dire consequences, first he died away from his God ordained inheritance and was buried in a foreign land and then his two sons after marrying Moabite women also died suddenly, far from the happy ending you can be certain Elimelek envisioned when he uprooted his family. Following the deaths of her two sons, Naomi decided to head home – we often times turn back to the familiar and a place of safety when the bottom drops out. Naomi’s return home also carried with it significant spiritual implications not only for her but also for at least one of her daughters-in-law. Naomi told the girls to go back to their homes in Moab, but Ruth refused to go.

 

- Now, Ruth’s decision was perhaps far bolder than you might think. She was a Moabite which included a religious belief system very different from Judaism. She too had observed the tragedies that unfolded in Naomi’s family – three deaths, the men were now gone and the women left alone, very vulnerable. Where was the benefit for Ruth in sticking with Naomi? Elimelek walked away from the blessing and inheritance of the Lord because of circumstances far less grievous than what currently faced these women; yet Ruth chose to go with Naomi. Ruth valued what Elimelek so easily walked away from. Despite the hardship, the difficulty, the incredible challenges they had already encountered, Ruth chose to embrace not only her mother-in-law, but her life, her religion, her people and her God! This is true faith! Faith that perseveres despite the pressure, Faith that keeps on giving despite the sacrificial cost! Why? Only a deeply felt conviction, and a desire to live by faith could compel such a decision!

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Samson Found Life Laying Down His Life For

Devotional Series on Faith

 

Tuesday June 13, 2017

Judges
16: 25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. When they stood him among the pillars, 26 Samson said to the servant who held his hand, “Put me where I can feel the pillars that support the temple, so that I may lean against them.” 27 Now the temple was crowded with men and women; all the rulers of the Philistines were there, and on the roof were about three thousand men and women watching Samson perform. 28 Then Samson prayed to the Lord, “Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Then Samson reached toward the two central pillars on which the temple stood. Bracing himself against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other, 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” Then he pushed with all his might, and down came the temple on the rulers and all the people in it. Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived.

 

- Samson asked a servant to take him to the central pillars that supported the temple structure. The guests were revelling in their would-be conquerors defeat. The man who had singlehandedly wrought destruction and decimation on their nation now stood before them in humiliation. It seemed the end. It seemed the situation was irrevocable.

 

- Samson was now helpless. Do you know that feeling? Have been helpless? Are you helpless right now? That feeling of helplessness comes from sin. Sins effect in this world and in the lives of people everywhere results in the people created in the image and likeness of God feeling utterly helpless. We stand by helpless while our loved one is dying. We want to help heal marriages while they disintegrate right in front of us. Starvation, illness, war, terrorism, sexual assaults, sin is at work in all of it. Sometimes it is our own sin, sometimes the sins of others, and sometimes the consequence of the original sin in the Garden, but brother, sister that helplessness you are experiencing is a consequence of sin.

 

- God does not leave us there, however! God is there and God still cares! The blinded and humiliated Samson somehow knew that, even as he was being led around by a servant and derided by the howling mob. I know this with all my heart because it was then that Samson stopped to pray. Many times he failed to pray when he was at the top of his game but now, in a place of contempt and scorn, with his eyes put out, he looked heavenward and Samson prayed.

 

- Some would scoff and say, “Why pray now Samson? Your God has obviously forsaken you!” It seems often times when things are at their very worst, it is then that we sense the presence of God like no other. Samson not only prayed, he prayed asking God to strengthen him once more. This prayer was not for his benefit, it was so that he would become the instrument of judgment God had intended him to be all his life. And let me also say this, Samson prayed to receive from God so that he could give his greatest sacrifice of all to God – his life. Jesus told us that, “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it”, Lk 17:33. Samson found life as he lay down his life in service to God. His end was not the tragedy, in fact it was his misguided life that was the true tragedy.

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He Gives Us More Grace

Devotional Series on Faith

 

Monday June 12, 2017

Judges
16:  21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding grain in the prison. 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved. 23 Now the rulers of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god and to celebrate, saying, “Our god has delivered Samson, our enemy, into our hands.”

24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, saying, “Our god has delivered our enemy
    into our hands, the one who laid waste our land
    and multiplied our slain.” 25 While they were in high spirits, they shouted, “Bring out Samson to entertain us.” So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them.

 

- The words, 22 But the hair on his head began to grow again after it had been shaved”, offer a message of consolation following Samson’s horrible fall. Samson’s ruin was not the doing of Delilah, it was his own doing or undoing for that matter. Samson had been giving in to sinful desires for years and the culmination of those years of entertaining sin in his life was a sound defeat. This was no shocking surprise, no need to ask God, “why?” The answer to the why question was elementary, why even a child could solve this riddle.

 

- Samson the powerful was reduced to Samson the helpless and it was all because of a life that had allowed sin to be entertained as one might entertain a dinner guest. What was the harm after all? What could possibly come of such recreational sins? But in the words of David, “O, how the mighty have fallen”! 2 Sam. 1:25, 27. When sin stands at the door it is not interested in a friendly visit. Sin knocks at the door and if you answer it instead of Christ it will push its way into your heart and take up residence there with no intention of ever leaving. Sin is a wild animal set lose in your living room and when it is finished there will not be one square foot left unscathed.

 

- Samson fell in sin, but then we are told that his hair began to grow again. Intrinsic to this revelation is a glimmer of hope, God was not completely done with Samson. Even though his persistence in sin caused the Spirit to leave him, grace was still available and where there is grace, there is hope! Let me tell you something, nothing that you have done in the past makes you irredeemable. God still loves you and God is at work right now in your life, through natural circumstances and even physiological processes to bring you back into His loving embrace. Your situation may seem irredeemable but you friend are not!

 

- The Philistines believed their god had delivered Samson into their hands. What do you think the truth is regarding that issue? Who delivered Samson into the hands of the enemy? Was it God? Was it Dagon the god of the Philistines? Or was it Samson himself?! The answer is obvious, it was Samson who delivered Samson into the hands of the enemy. Now Samson the destroyer of the Philistines was Samson the clown to be laughed at. This is what happens to believers who pursue sin rather than pursuing God who gives us LIFE! But He gives us more Grace, James 4:6! Look around you for the signs that God is still at work in your life.

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