Saints & Struggles: Sampson
Pastor Justin Miller
“That’s the truth about sin – the price is always higher than the payoff.” In this message, Pastor J leads us through the famous story about Samson. Samson’s strength didn’t keep him from sin, but through God’s renewal he was redeemed! We serve a God who works ALL things together for our good and His glory. Have hope that the broken things are being rebuilt by God!
- To be a Saint is to be in the struggle.
- God wants us to know these struggles because their struggles of yesterday are our struggles today.
- We overcome our struggles through the power of Jesus Christ.
- Struggles (bad things) can and will happen to good people.
- May people look great on the outside but are struggling on the inside.
- God uses imperfect people to accomplish His perfect will.
Today’s Saint is Samson and we will learn how God used Samson to teach us.
Judges 16:4-9 New International Version
4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.” 6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” 7 Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh bowstrings that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” 8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. 9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the bowstrings as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered.
The first mistake that Samson made was to venture in enemy territory and fall to the temptations of Delilah.
James 1:14 New International Version
14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.
For Samson temptation came wrapped in a red dress.
Sin always has a payoff, some temporary, fleeting pleasure that certainly doesn’t last and then leaves us in debt with a price to pay.
The devil masquerades as a friend who lifts the pleasure payoff but neglects to show us the costs.
2 Corinthians 11:14 New International Version
14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.
With God, where there is big work there is an even bigger payoff.
Trust God enough to pay the price and trust Him for the payoff.
Here’s a question; Are you looking for a feeling or are you will to hold out for a filling?
Don’t chase a feeling, wait for God’s filling.
Samson chose not to wait, instead he caved and fell to the temptation of his own desires.
Judges 16:17-21 New International Version
17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” 18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 After putting him to sleep on her lap, she called for someone to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. 20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 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.
James 1:14-15 New International Version
14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
The devil can’t force evil on us but he can make it very, very tempting. This is how Satan operates.
Sin starts with our own desires.
When we feed our desires, it grows up and becomes sin and finally leads to death.
Where Samson ends up, humiliated and defeated is where the enemy wants the same ending for you.
Satan is jealous of the love God has for you wants you to be defeated, humiliated, and destroyed. He wants to take you down.
He wants to crush God’s plan for you.
Whatever the enemy is offering you the not worth God’s plan for you.
Jesus tells us that the enemy comes to kill and destroy.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 New International Version
12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Submit your emotions to God.
If you think you are strong enough to walk alone you are not. The devil prowls and waits for you.
1 John 1:7-9 New International Version
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
Where do you need to shine the light and the truth of Jesus? The devil thrives in the darkness so avoid the darkness of temptation.
Question: Who has God sent to help you in your struggle? It’s okay to struggle – we all do. It is not a sign of weakness. Struggle is not the end; with God it is really the beginning.
With God it is never over. He will never turn His back to us.
Judges 16:21-23 New International Version
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.
We serve a God who makes all thing new. Whatever you are suffering with your story is not over.
Trust and know that God restores you.
Always and forever, God Loves You No Matter What!
ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS
The week of 10-24-21 through 10-31-21
Wednesday, October 27th
Not Your Mama’s Bible Study
Paul’s Letter to Ephesians
Paul wrote Ephesians in about 61 AD, while imprisoned in Rome. A few years earlier, Paul lived in Ephesus for about three years during the Third Missionary Journey, so he knew many of the Christians in the church there. From Paul’s interactions with their elders at the end of that journey, we know the people of Ephesus loved him, and he loved them back.
The church at Ephesus had been founded and established by Priscilla, Aquila, and Paul. It seems they built a firm foundation because Paul does not have to address any obvious problems in this letter to them.
If you were to be banished to an island and only got to take one of Paul’s letters, which one would you take? Ephesians would be well worth considering because in it, Paul shares theological insights and very practical information for living a Christian life.
Complimentary dinner starts at 6pm, study starts at 6:30. Be our guest.