Focused on the Purpose of this Journey

As we step ahead today, we are totally focused on the purpose of this journey by being organized, documenting our thoughts, and affirming our faith each day. Reading today in Judges 16, the people of Gaza wanted to kill Samson but he escaped by pulling up the posts to the city gate and escaping during the middle of the night.

Sometime later, Samson fell in love with Delilah. This set the stage for Delilah enticing Samson to reveal the source of his great strength. After several attempts, Delilah finally found out that it was Samson’s dedication to God as a Nazirite and if his head was shaved, his strength would leave him (v. 17).

The Philistines had been defeated by Samson many times so they paid Delilah for her information on the source of his great strength. After Delilah shaved his head, Samson lost his strength and was subdued by the Philistines. They gouged out his eyes and took him captive.

While in prison, Samson’s hair began to grow again. On one occasion, the rulers of the Philistines all assembled at their temple to worship their god. They had Samson perform for them and Samson used this occasion to fulfill his mission in life. He prayed that God would use his strength for a great purpose as he pushed down the two pillars that supported the temple. Down came the temple and this one event killed more Philistines than Samson had killed in all previous occasions.

In today’s passage, we get another example of a pattern we’ve seen before in which the people would follow God for a while but then forget who had given them success. As the people reverted back to their old habits and turned away from the Lord, enemies would overtake them. To get the people back on track, God provide another judge or person to lead them.

I have some good news for you my friend! We have a permanent judge in Jesus Christ who has delivered us. Here is a link to God’s Plan for Us that leads to eternal victory. The take away from today’s lesson my friends is to pray each day for the understanding of God’s purpose in our life. To Ask for patience and discipline as we set out to achieve that purpose. Then to listen for directions as God leads us on.

This day with You Lord, lead us on. Your purpose for us is a big one and many times we do not feel ready or capable. But since we’ve said “yes” to Jesus, we are never alone and have a power greater than Samson’s great strength. With the power of the Holy Spirit, we will fulfill Your purposes here on earth and beyond. Amen.

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Step Ahead on Solid Ground

Read this poem as encouragement to step ahead one step at a time on the solid ground the Lord has provided.

Step Ahead

Like a mountain standing 
Rock solid over time
Is our Lord protecting 
In our long hard climb.

He helps to keep stepping 
On this long hard road;
A path on solid ground
The Lord has bestowed.

In the right frame of mind
We praise the Lord today
With sureness in the way,
We start without delay.

Even in frustration,
We feel broken today,
Things drifting … changing
But it will be okay.For many things are built 
On shifting sand
But we will withstand
Along the way as planned.

Poem by Mark Shields – © 07-29-2021
Inspired by
“Step Ahead on Solid Ground”
Photo - Quaint village surrounded by the Alps I took while traveling through Europe in 1986 after graduating from college

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Grace Power

For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace. – Romans 6:14

The post “Refreshed Strength” gives us a tremendous account of Samson being refreshed with water after victory. We all have heard about Samson’s physical strength but what is most astonishing is the strength he received from the Spirit of the Lord and that same spiritual power is available to us.

There are a lot of things in life we regret but each day is a new day so we can forget. We can forget the past without a trace. We can accept Christ as Savior and receive grace. Live victoriously today with songs like Same Power by Jeremy Camp. The same power that raised Jesus from the grave, lives in us. This power conquers the enemy as we continue to step ahead.

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Refreshed Strength

Believers are able to factor in the amazing and unseen qualities of God by accepting what Christ did on the Cross.  Because of grace, the spirit of the Lord is available to believers who are able to learn from the Bible and from each other. Grace is God’s gift that is always available like a flowing stream of water that keeps coming and coming.

As we read today in Judges 15, we will discover that Samson was not only given physical strength but spiritual strength to do remarkable things.

Today’s passage tells us that Samson’s Philistine wife was taken from him and given to someone else so to get even with the Philistines, he tied torches to the tails of foxes; setting them lose to burn down their crops and vineyards. In retaliation, the Philistines burned Samson’s wife and her father to death.

Samson took out revenge by attacking and slaughtering many of the Philistines. Then he stayed in a cave because the Philistines who were rulers over the Jews wanted to take Samson as prisoner. The Jews went to capture Samson so they could hand him over to the Philistines.

They tied Samson up but as the Philistines came toward them, the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him and he broke loose from the ropes that bound him (v. 14). Samson then took a Jawbone of a donkey and used it as a weapon to kill a thousand men.

Even though the Philistines were rulers over the Jews, Samson was able to take a different stand and defy the Philistines because the Spirit of the Lord was with him. After Samson’s great victory, he was thirsty and prayed for water. God opened up a place in the ground so a spring of water refreshed Samson (v. 19).

The Bible has many amazing accounts like this one today about Samson. We all have probably heard about the gift of Samson’s physical strength but the most astonishing aspect is that Samson relied on a greater strength; the spirit of the Lord. As a believer in Christ, we too have available to us this grace that keeps flowing like a stream of water and gives us amazing spiritual strength.

Share in the comments any experiences you have had when God met your request.  

For me, this blog is an answer to prayer. I can remember how this blog got started as I would share with a few friends in emails and now this blog has grown into over two thousand readers. I’ve found it to be a great tool in my journey through the Bible and you, my readers are holding me accountable to daily Bible reading and study.

This day with You Lord, thanks for this amazing account of Samson. You gave him physical strength but the most astonishing strength is the Spirit. As believers, we accept what Christ did on the Cross and have faith that anything is possible. Your amazing grace gives each of us the opportunity to receive this same power. Amen.

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Prayer Restores the Power

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. – Mark 11:24

Last winter, our power went out for about twenty two hours after we received the most snow in several decades in Waco Texas. We were cold and in the dark. In cold and dark times, all we have is prayer. It is during these times that we need to ask for help, believe we will receive it, and look forward to when it comes about. As a Christian, all we need is the power of prayer to restore us, warm us, and give light to a sometimes dark world.

Shared in the post “Shine the Light” is the fact that there may be times when those around us may let us down but it doesn’t pay to be discouraged. We can always go to God in prayer to restore our faith.

As the song Strong Enough by Matthew West says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”. Christ has conquered the roaring lion called Satan to assure us of a sweet victory.

Index of devotionals

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