The story of Samson is God seeing his plan through despite the sin of people. If God wills it God does it. God always fulfills his promises and never lies. Lets see what we can learn from Perry Stone about what the story of Samson really tells us.
Revelation 1:1-6 "This is the revelation which G-d gave to Yeshua the Messiah,
so that he could show his servants what must happen very soon. He communicated
it by sending his angel to his servant Yochanan, 2 who bore witness to the Word
of G-d and to the testimony of Yeshua the Messiah, as much as he saw. 3 Blessed
are the reader and hearers of the words of this prophecy, provided they obey the
things written in it! For the time is near! From: Yochanan To: The seven
Messianic communities in the province of Asia: Grace and shalom to you from the
One who is, who was and who is coming; from the sevenfold Spirit before his
throne; and from Yeshua the Messiah, the faithful witness, the firstborn from
the dead and the ruler of the earth’s kings. To him, the one who loves us, who
has freed us from our sins at the cost of his blood, who has caused us to be a
kingdom, that is, cohanim for G-d, his Father — to him be the glory and the
rulership forever and ever. Amen."
Tonight at sundown begins the Festival of Pesach. Passover, the feast of
unleavened bread. Initially the purpose of the unleavened bread was because the
Israelites were about to leave Egypt. It was going to be in a hurry so the L-rd
had them use unleavened bread because they did not have time for it to rise. But
it has a deeper meaning than just that. It also is about not being affected by
the yeast of the world.
When the Isra'elites were going into the wilderness on the way to the Land
of Promise, it was a message to them. The message was "the people you will
displace are pagan in all their spiritual practices. I do not want you to be
affected by their practices." Initially they were supposed to go in and defeat
all the inhabitants so they would wipe out their sinful, idolatrous practices.
But things got messed up from the beginning.
The Isra'elites lost faith quickly. They failed to walk by faith and they
quickly turned to idolatry. But the worst part was their lack of faith in
believing the 10 negative spies and not the report of the good spies. So G-d
caused them to wander for 40 years. 40 years of punishment so that the
generation of unbelief would have a chance to die out. Those 20 and older would
not survive to the Land of Promise - except for the two good spies - Y'hoshua
Look at the words of the introduction of today's passage again. What do you
see? Twice it says that these things will happen soon. But it has been nearly
two thousand years since they were spoken. Yeshua had told his emissaries at one
point to beware of the yeast of the P'rushim, the Pharisees. They were not to
allow the legalistic influence of the P'rushim to affect their spiritual
beliefs. And he issued a similar warning here. He said in verse 3 "provided they
obey the things written in it!"
What are some things written in this prophesy that people have failed to
obey? This book goes on the speak seven letters to seven communities throughout
Asia. I believe those seven are types. They are not seven specific congregations
but seven types of congregations. In it they are described by the ways they do
or do not follow the truth. And there is still the word "soon." He says that
these things will happen soon. It is a building of expectation.
Today we tend to think like the world around us. We go to our jobs and save
for retirement and hope to live comfortably. But that is not how the walk of
faith is described. It is not that those things are sinful, but they do not
concentrate on right things. The right things of relying on G-d and telling
others about him. Even today we need that reminder of walking with G-d and
trusting him for our sustenance. Because his rulership is forever and ever!
The Four Passover Cups
Prophecy in the News
Each of the cups on the Passover table has a special meaning. The fourth cup is a prophecy that will be fulfilled at the second coming of Christ.
SITUATION Matthew recorded the ending of Jesus sermon. Jesus called his hearers to put his teaching into practice.
OBSERVATION Jesus said that the true way which leads to life is based on an internal transformation, not on external deeds.
INSPIRATION You want to make a difference in your world? Live a holy life.
Be faithful to your spouse.
Be the one at the office who refuses to cheat.
Be the neighbor who acts neighborly.
Be the employee who does the work and doesn't complain.
Pay your bills.
Do your part and enjoy life.
Don't speak one message and live another.
Note the last line of Paul's worlds in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12, "Do all you can to live a peaceful life. Take care of your own business, and do you own work as we have already told you. If you do then people who are not believers will respect you.
A peaceful life leads non-believers. What is John's life had not matched his words? What if he'd preached repentance and lived immorality? What if he'd called for holiness and yet had a reputation for dishonesty? If John's life had not matched his words his message would have fallen on deaf ears.
So will ours.
People are watching the way we act more than they are listening to what we say.
Saint Francis of Assisi once invited a young monk to accompany him to town to preach. The novice was honored at the opportunity. The two set out for the city, then they walked up and down the main street, then several side streets. They chatted with peddlers and greeted the citizens. After some time they returned by another route to the abbey.
The younger man reminded Francis of his original intent. "You have forgotten, Father that we went to town to preach."
"My son," he replied "we have preached. We have been seen by many. Our behavior was closely watched. Our attitudes were closely measured. Our words have been overheard. It was by thus that we preached our morning sermon."
John was a voice for Christ with more than his voice. His life matched his words. When a person's ways and words are the same, the fusion is explosive. But when a person says one thing and lives another, the result is destructive. People will know we are Christians not because we bear the name, but because we live the life. (From A Gentle Thunder by Max Lucado)
APPLICATION What would other say about your life? What kind of fruit are you producing? Think of three specific steps yo u can take to live the life of a Christian.
EXPLORATION Producing Fruit -- Isaiah 3:10, Matthew 3:8, 21:43, John 15:1-17, Colossians 1:10, James 3:18
The Devotional Bible by Max Lucado, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers, page 1155
TODAY PRAYER My Heavenly Father, I often approach you for help in my plans. Teach me to wait upon you Lord and to seek your will over my life. You know my deepest needs and I trust that you will answer my prayers in your timing and in your way. As it says in the Bible, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7 NIV). Lord, I ask for your wisdom and guidance for this next season of my life. In Jesus' name, Amen.
"You didn’t die so that I could follow all the rules You didn’t bleed so that we could make ourselves look good You didn’t rise from the grave to keep me safe You gave it all so that I could do the same"
As we enter into the Christmas season, we face a world
of uncertainty, turbulence, and conflict. Economies rise and fall, racial strife
simmers in the streets and on college campuses, and refugees flee murderous
Islamists in the Middle East and Africa. Darkness seems to be closing in, but we
are reminded that Jesus Christ came as the light unto the world.
the author and instigator of all evil. He is the very personification of it.
Even those who doubt or deny God cannot deny there is an obvious force of evil
present in our world. Jesus said Satan is the father of all lies and, above all,
a thief and murderer. He seeks to destroy life—every precious aspect of it. When
he is in control, he continually manifests despicable, unimaginable acts defying
all logic. We are right to be abhorred by unspeakable brutality and murder of
the innocent and the helpless, whether in the womb of an expectant mother, a
concert hall in Paris, or the dusty streets of Aleppo.
Such is the case
when the resistance and clear-mindedness on anyone’s part has been compromised
and diminished. Many things can negatively impact our spiritual and mental
condition to some degree: addiction to alcohol or drugs, damaging emotions such
as bitterness or envy, emotional or physical exhaustion. It can even be the
result of self-intoxication, as with Herod at the time of Christ’s birth. He
ordered the murder of all little boys under two years old in Bethlehem (Matt.
2:16). Satanic? Yes. Demonic? Yes. Even so, it was Herod’s choice to act on his
evil schemes. Satan so detests freedom and godliness that he seeks to destroy
any deliverer or possibility of deliverance.
In the fatherless home and
the dysfunctional community I grew up in, you cannot imagine the suggestions
other kids made to me, along with the fiery darts (horrific suggestions) Satan
fired my way. I was vulnerable; but thanks be to God, praying Christians, a
pastor and his wife who never forgot the boy they cared for the first few years
of my life, and then the witness of committed Christian teenagers led me to the
Christ whose birth we’re about to celebrate. I am convinced that the prayers of
others (even before my conversion to Christ) helped prevent me from giving into
violent impulses, especially when my alcoholic father threatened to take my
life. Sadly, some choose to give in to their anger and act out in unimaginable
Jesus is the answer. He was my answer and He is the sole answer for
those who have been devastated by recent events. Only a great God and a loving
heavenly Father can give us the ultimate comfort. We rightly celebrate the
birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, because He is the only way to
overcome evil and the evil one. He alone can direct our steps and help us build
wise, secure walls of protection.
God’s Word should be our hedge of
security. He wants His Word to be written in our hearts, not just carried in our
hands. He wants His Word to carry and lead us and, as Paul said, write “letters
in the hearts of other men’s lives” as a result of our consistent Christian
In addition to celebrating His birth, we need to praise God
for the resurrection life He offers each day! Jesus came to overcome the evil
one and to give us the ability to be delivered from that despicable, damaging
influence. Because Christ was born and now lives, we live. May others see Jesus
living in us.
Jesus is God’s answer to man’s weakness and evil’s
intention. Christmas and the rest of His story can become our story. Jesus took
this broken, fatherless, and impoverished boy writing this commentary and
delivered me from destruction and the intentions of the evil one. He will do the
same for all who receive Him and follow Him with their whole heart. Jesus is the
light that pierces the darkness. He offers strength beyond ourselves and grants
us the grace and ability to share the hope, joy, and peace that only He can give
in the face of the most challenging possible circumstances. Just as the
shepherds and wise men followed the light of the Star of Bethlehem, we must
follow the light of the forever bright and Morning Star – Jesus!
Christ shine His light in your heart and home.
Grace and Peace (2 Thessalonians 1: 2)
As we pray for France, images from a century ago illustrate this song based on
Dr. Kevin Clarkson and Author David Hamblin take an exhaustive approach to the study of the end times. Using the proven techniques of the scientific method, David put together a system of prophecy analysis that would allow for extremely complex theories to be tested against the many and varying passages of end times prophecy.