Samson was the last of the Old Testament Judges. His story is one of the strangest and most disappointing in the Bible. He was set aside as a Nazarite before he was born, then he was blessed with godly parents who taught him to honor Jehovah. He was endowed with supernatural powers which he often used for his own selfish purposes. As you read the story of his youth, he indulged in frivolous behavior, forbidden pursuits and immoral conduct.
When he is captured and blinded by his enemy, he becomes remorseful and disappointed, but no real piety is shown. He never understood his mission in life.Samson never measured up to his potential in becoming the man he might have been.
Many Christians never get it! Some people are abundantly blessed with opportunities to become a vital part of God’s work, but they squander the chance with a life of selfishness. Take a good look at yourself and discover the wonderful way God made you. Don’t compare what you see to others, because God has plans just for you. He wants you to become the very best at what you do, and you can! If tragedy or disappointment has defeated you from living up to your potential, rejoice! God isn’t finished yet. He has been waiting for a moment like this to begin that work in you for which you were born.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, when I face the sunset of my life, I long to hear you say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Improve my serve so that I may live up to the man you intended when You made me. Amen and amen.
"Shout your praises to God, everybody!Let loose and sing!Strike up the band!Round up an orchestra to play for God, add on a hundred-voice choir.Feature trumpets and big trombones; fill the air with praises to King God.Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause, with everything living on earth joining in.Let ocean breakers call out, 'Encore!'And mountains harmonize the finale - A tribute to God when he comes, when he comes to set the earth right.He'll straighten out the whole world, He'll put the world right, and everyone in it."
(Psalm 98:4-9 - The Message)
I have been fortunate enough to sing God’s praises since I was a child in elementary school. The music director at the small Episcopal Church my family and I attended was a very talented man and could bring out the best in our little, untrained voices. Most of us hated rehearsals, but he made it fun!
Over the years, I have been in other choirs, taken voice lessons and have thoroughly enjoyed learning new anthems, hymns or my favorite, spirituals. God has provided a rich tapestry of music for us to proclaim our love for Him!
In recent times, I find myself singing God’s praises in places other than church. I sing with gladness and I sing in sadness.It brings me comfort knowing that God is right there and He hears me.
GospeLines Prayer: Father, we may not be blessed with fabulous voices, but we joyously shout for all to hear that You are the King of Kings and we sing to Your glory. While we may only sing in the shower, the car, or with the congregation at church, we are part of Your choir and we want to stay in harmony with You.
I rejoice in my life song - “I want Jesus to walk with me; all a long my pilgrim journey, Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me. In my trials, Lord walk with me; when my heart is almost breaking, Lord, I want Jesus to walk with me.”
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, November 7, 2007
"Too Much of a Good Thing"
Boy, did I learn a lesson! About a month ago, I fertilized my lawn and it was looking great. When rain was forecast yesterday, I decided to hit it again and let the moisture dilute the extra heavy feeding I had planned. Guess what, it never rained and when I got home in the evening I had several spots of BLACK GRASS, burned from the nitrogen in the fertilizer.
Christians are like fertilizer to the world, providing spiritual nourishment to unbelievers and those who have lost their way. When used properly we are a wonderful force of God’s nature. But too much of a good thing can have an opposite effect. Being abrasive with our witness can cause irreparable damage to a person in need. Someone said it like this... "Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good".
GospeLines Prayer: Father, give me grace to measure my good witness so others will see your mercy and not my judgment, your unconditional love and not my criticism, your passion for goodness and not my narrow-mindedness.Amen and amen
"...if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2nd Chronicles 7:14)
"This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Let my people go..." (Exodus 5:1)
This is one of the most well known phrases in scripture.Christians and non-Christians alike know these words: "Let my people go."Most probably see images of Charlton Heston (as Moses) saying these immortal words; but, nonetheless, they know them.
"My people!""MY people!"Can you really appreciate what this means?When we consider the heavens, the work of His fingers, the moon and the stars, which He set in place, what is man that He is mindful of him? (Psalm 8:3-4)God, the Creator of the Universe is mindful of us...
He is so mindful that from the beginning, He made provisions to redeem us from sin (Genesis 3:15).His love is so great that He didn't even withhold His own Son - "For God so loved the world (us), that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)
What a joy to be called "My people" by our God.
"...we are the temple of the living God.As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord." (2nd Corinthians 6:16-17)
Does He live with you?Have you separated yourself from the world to walk with the Lord?If so, you are blessed to be counted among "His people."If you are not walking with Him, start today.Call on the name of the Lord - call on Jesus."Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)Call on Him; accept Him as your Lord and Savior so He can say to the Father, this child of man is forever counted among "My people."
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
Why are some blessed financially and others are not? Why are some healed and others suffer their affliction for years? There was an excellent article by Ron entitled “Paul’s Thorn” which addressed some of these issues.It's available in the GospeLines Archives at http://www.gospelines.com/102405102805.html.
Some of the godliest people I know have been poor and others have been sick for more than twenty years. Yet their witness is remarkable! Does God dislike them? Is he angry with them and thus chooses not to grant them health and wealth?
Every time you suffer physically or financially, ask yourself, “What does God want me to learn from this?” It isn’t necessary to be wealthy to serve the Lord! And good health does not always belong to every Christian. Any time you are in doubt about the desire of the Lord to heal you from sin or disease, remember what the Bible has to say about this.
In the sixth chapter of Mark’s gospel, verse 56, are these unforgettable words: “...And as many as touched Him were made well.”
First, healing is not selective. Jesus does not sort out the easy diseases or respond to the desirable people. He cannot be criticized for sexual, racial, age, or religious bias.
Second, some show of faith is required on the part of those who are sick. God does not force healing upon us nor does He reward those who play games.We must be determined.
Third, the result of faithful touching is freedom from the disease and/or completeness from the fragmented life we had lived previously. Jesus is more ready to bless our touch than we are willing to reach out by faith and receive His blessing.
If you are one of those suffering saints that cringes every time you hear the “prosperity gospel” preached on television, remember this. Our Heavenly Father knows that poverty or wealth, sickness or health belongs to all of us indiscriminately. He has not selected you to suffer because He dislikes you, but it is because He trusts you with how you will live or die with it. Do you need biblical proof of this teaching? Look at Jesus, the Son of God, who suffered on the cross for our sins.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, I reach out to you in my broken state, and beseech you to accept my touch of faith.Heal me of everything that hinders my walk with you.Amen and amen.