Monday, April 26, 2010

Sampson.....a mighty man!

This morning we shared with the kids the story of Sampson. In Judges chapter 13 it says an angel appeared to Sampson's mother saying she will bear a son and what she is to do. She told her husband who prayed to God asking that the angel return to teach them how to raise this son, and so the angel returned telling them exactly how to raise this son. Just like as parents we are told how to raise our kids. There are certain things we do to protect them from the world. There are boundaries that we set and rules to abide by that should line up with the Word. We don't have to apologize for keeping the standard set by the Word of God. Sampson grew up pure from so much of the world around him. While people were drinking wine, he did not. While people were doing things that were unclean, he did not. His strength was supernatural because of his obedience. He killed a lion with his bear hands....which we shared with the kids how the lion is the king of the jungle because of its strength and ability. He picked up the gate to a city out of the ground, carried it up a hill and through it over a cliff. This young man was super strong. So, we shall be if we obey the voice of God and walk in purity.

2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,

2Pe 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that [pertain] to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,

2Pe 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption [that is] in the world through lust.

2Pe 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,

2Pe 1:6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,

2Pe 1:7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.

2Pe 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, [you will be] neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Unfortunately Sampson started to do things that were sin. Some today would say it is because he was so protected by his parents, and not allowed to do some things. That doesn't line up with Scripture. His parents obeyed what they were told and how they should raise their son. In his sin, he was keeping things from his parents, wanting things because "it pleased him", fornicating and ultimately making peace with the enemy. Here this once supernaturally strong man who could kill a lion with his bear hands was now in the hands of the enemy. Just like Satan is said to be a roaring lion walking about seeking whom he may destroy (devour). Sampson who had the strength (through God) to destroy the lion, we (through God) have the power to overcome Satan (the lion). The sin Sampson allowed in his life began to blind him to the point where he was completely blind and without strength. We are the same if we allow sin in our lives. Continuing in 2 Pe 1 verse 9 it says But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. What things? Look at verse 5-7. All this comes in the Divine power given to us. The story of Sampson has a good ending. He had enough Truth in him from his upbringing that he knew who to turn to. In his blindness where he was very weak, he cried out to the Lord asking that his strength return so that he may destroy those that blinded him. The Lord heard his cry and gave him the supernatural strength where he killed them all. We have to eradicate the things in our lives that cause us to be blinded. If you will humble yourself and call out to the Lord for His strength He will give it to you. Sampson died that day too, just like the Lord requires that we die to ourselves in order to live.
Matthew 16:24 If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Romans 8: 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Are you being pro-active or re-active?

Scott and I both read a daily devotion this morning talking about hating this life. The Scripture used was, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal" (John 12:25).

It moved us both, because lately it seems we have been doing our day to day things only to be frustrated. In the process we have hated things we've said or when we started doing it ourselves instead of trusting God. We both recognized the tendency to re-act to life instead of being pro-active...planning with proper tools for our next step. We desire to be disciplined daily and do what is expected of us as disciples of Christ and parents. In order to accomplish this we need to be pro-active and prepared for anything. We shared that with the kids this morning using illustrations they would understand so that they too can learn from this valuable lesson. The prefix "pro" means before, forward, forth, or prior to. The prefix "re" means with regard to, again, back. We need to have a plan of action spiritually. To seek God in prayer, by reading the Word, by worship, by fellowship, by serving. If we just react to what we know we should be doing then we will become frustrated or worst...spiritually dead. An example Scott used was Haven playing baseball. He said, to be pro-active is to practice every day for the position you want to play and be prepared way in advance. To react is to wait until the day of practice and then expect to play that position since you warmed up. Or with Peyton....he can come home every day and take 15 minutes to go over what they did in school that day, and when the test is given at the end of the week he is prepared. Or he can wait until the night before the test, try and cram for that test and fail. Do we want to live a life of wisdom following the Word and being obedient, or wait until we are older or know more before we step out and do what God has told us to do? You must have a plan and be prepared if you are going to be pro-active. Another example he gave was in big business' they meet with the board to determine what they can do to fix problems or make something better all the time. We need to do the same thing with our spiritual lives. Scripture teaches us to evaluate our lives on a daily basis. We need to ask ourselves, "What do I need to repent of (change the way I think)? Then change it! So, are you going to be pro-active or re-active?