Your Life As A Righteous Shining Star

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Based Upon Ecclesiastes 9:4-7

“There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!” The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered. Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth. So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this!” (Ecclesiastes 9:4–7, NLT).

There are at least two things all of us are subject to—death and paying taxes. Whether we agree with them or not, whether we like it or not, these two are pretty much inevitable, with few exceptions. Sure, I can gauge my income to be just beneath the poverty line, so I have zero income tax liability, but there’s this little thing called sales tax that gets most of us. Sure, I could move to a jurisdiction where there is no sales tax, but then there’s this little thing called property tax. Sure, I could choose to rent instead of own to avoid that, but even if I do, my landlord who does pay taxes, will probably shift at least some of that burden over to me.

Then there’s this issue of death. While many people mistakenly believe that our lives go on-and-on, simply moving from one form to another or from one dimension to another, the Bible is clear that these bodies are breaking down like all else in nature. And, eventually, we all will die. It’s true that you could be the exception to the rule. Since we are living so close to the Second Coming of Jesus, you or I could be among those whom Paul and John saw who will be still alive when He comes, but apart from that, we will all die. No matter how much Botox we inject, how many miles per day we jog, how much organic food we consume, or how many pounds we lose, we will all die.

Since that is the case, we have decisions to make: How will we make use of the time we have left? Whom will we help? What positive impact will we make? How will we choose to best serve our God? What amends will we make with those we may have hurt in the past? What plans will we make for after the Lord returns? Since our life down here is a tax-ridden vapor, which is here today, and potentially gone later on today, it is our duty to do our level best to make a lasting, positive impact on the lives around us that are in the same predicament as we are.

If I ended this thought here, it might be kind of dismal, but there is some light at the end of this tunnel. While we all are subject to death, we all will be resurrected one day too. The Bible says that, “…those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:2–3, RSV).

So, the question is: Since we are all subject to death, for which resurrection are we preparing? Will we waste our short time on earth in foolish, evil things, preparing for the resurrection of condemnation? Or, will we invest our short time here in submission to God, taking heed to all that He says to us, preparing ourselves and others for the resurrection of eternal bliss?

Power To Be A Non-Conformist

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Based Upon Romans 12:2

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2).

Do not let the world squeeze you into its mold! This is the admonition Paul gave to all of us under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Some may say that this is easier said than done, but the truth is that every one of us may receive the key to living according to this blessing if we firmly place our trust in God.

Without doubt, the best Example of the contrast between worldly conformity and living “that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” is Jesus Christ. When you have an opportunity, reread the Bible account of His wilderness trial in both Matthew 4 and Luke 4. Jesus had been recently baptized in the Jordon River; He had received the blessed infilling of the Holy Spirit; He heard the voice of His Father’s love and approbation trumpeted through the air; and He was led by the Spirit as He entered His wilderness of fasting and temptation. And it is from this experience that we may learn the power of victory over sin in our lives. Let’s take a brief look at the three temptations presented there:

The Bible says, “And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (Matthew 4:3). In this moment, Jesus had a decision to make: Would He choose to satisfy His own flesh at the command of Satan (conform), or live by the power of the Word of God (be transformed)? “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4).

Then in Luke 4:5-7, the Bible says that Satan took Jesus to a high mountain and shewed Him all of the glory of all of the world’s kingdoms in a moment of time. He then said that he would give Jesus these glories, if He would worship him (conform). “And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (be transformed) (Luke 4:8).

Finally, not wanting to be out done by Jesus’ appeal to the Holy Word for His strength, the devil also appealed to the Holy Word by misapplying its principles, took Jesus to the holy temple, showed Him the holy city, and misstated the charge our Holy God gave His holy angels over our lives by tempting our Holy Savior to take and unholy, presumptuous leap to His death (conform). “And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” (be transformed) (Luke 4:12).

I am not certain whether you realize this or not, but John actually gave a synopsis of worldly conformity vs. holy transformation in the same order of Luke’s account of these temptations when he said, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [temptation concerning appetite], and the lust of the eyes [temptation concerning receiving the world’s riches/kingdoms under false pretense], and the pride of life [temptation to live presumptuously], is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16).

If nothing else, Jesus’ victory in the wilderness taught us two things: First, we see that we all must endure the devil’s onslaught of temptations to live worldly lives, but our God is able to keep us from breaking under that pressure (1 Corinthians 10:13; Titus 2:12-14; Jude 24-25). Second, we see that receiving and rightly applying the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit is central to our victory. With every temptation, Jesus quickly hid under the shadow and trusted in the Word of the Almighty. He knew that the Father was His refuge, and in Him did Jesus trust (John 14:30; Job 23:12; Jeremiah 15:16-17). By God’s grace, you too can be transformed by His Word.

Faith That Moves In Closer

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, June 16, 2015
Based Upon Hebrews 11:6

“But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].” (Hebrews 11:6, AMP).

Remember from yesterday’s devotional thought that faith lays hold of the power and promises of God. It empowers us to accept as actual, literal fact, the things God has promised even when our senses cannot detect them. For example, when God promises that we are forgiven when we confess our sins to Him, faith enjoys a calm assurance that regardless of the number of times we find ourselves needing forgiveness, and regardless of whether or not we “feel” forgiven, we are in fact, because God said so.

Today’s lesson focuses our attention upon another facet of that reality. Were we to create a statement in the positive sense from the text, it would say something like, “If we have saving faith, we can satisfy our holy God! This kind of faith humbly acknowledges the reality of God’s preeminent existence, as well as the blessing of rich rewards to those who follow hard after Him.”

The closing verses of Romans chapter one underscore the fact that the reason people do all sorts of wicked and abominable things is because we do not embrace the creatorship of God. When we fail to embrace that reality, we absolutely cannot worship Him. If we do not embrace His creatorship and cannot worship Him, it means we do not have faith; therefore, we cannot please Him. Did you get that? I said, “When we fail to embrace that reality, we absolutely cannot worship Him. If we do not embrace His creatorship and cannot worship Him, it means we do not have faith; therefore, we cannot please Him.” Those who cannot please Him, cannot see Him in all of His effulgent beauty and live in His presence when Jesus returns with His rewards for the faithful.

So, if you find yourself in the predicament of faithlessness, simply surrender your heart to God right now and ask Him to increase that minuscule measure of faith that He gives all human beings, into the kind of faith that ultimately pleases Him.

Forgiveness That Is Money In The Bank

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, June 14, 2015
Based Upon Hebrews 11:1

“NOW FAITH is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].” (Hebrews 11:1, AMP).

This is one of the most discussed verses of Scripture, and with good reason. It is central to the reality of every believer’s life. Faith is what gives us access to the power of God.

I would like to highlight one little aspect of faith that will be very useful for your day. Have you ever sinned? Now, that question may be too obvious to even answer. The Bible says that all of us have sinned. I am pretty sure that most of us do not need anyone to convince us of that fact.

Let me ask you this: Have you ever sinned, then asked for forgiveness, only to commit the sin again? Is this another obvious question?

OK, have you had the latter experience and then felt too ashamed or doubtful to either ask God for forgiveness again, or believe that He would forgive you, since you keep doing the same thing over and over again? I think most of us have. How can our theme text help us in this case?

The verse says that faith is assurance or confirmation of things we hope for. In this case we hope for forgiveness. The Bible continues that this assurance or confirmation is proof (I like that word) of things we cannot see, and the conviction of their reality even though our senses may not detect them. Let us tie a bow on this. In our context, faith is the assurance that we are actually, literally, forgiven and cleansed from all unrighteousness when we confess our sins to God, even before our senses can detect the fact.

There are so many who are daunted by the feeling that forgiveness is oftentimes intangible. It takes an act of courageous faith in God (real faith is the work of righteousness) to believe what He promised, on the strength of the fact that He said it, and not whether or not we feel it. Bible faith sees God’s promise of forgiveness as a check for $10,000,000 that we can go to the Bank of Heaven to cash, even though we have been lying, ungrateful thieves in the past. When we rest our faith in God, His promises become or immediate reality. This may sound too good to be true, but the fact is that it is too good for it not to be true. And it is true, not because we believe it, but because God said it.

So make it a point today to reach out your tiny little hand of faith and lay hold of God’s immeasurable promise of forgiveness, cleansing, and power to live a holy life. He said “Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God. And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the LORD which sanctify you.” (Leviticus 20:7–8).

Why Are You So Thirsty?

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Friday, June 5, 2015
Based Upon Numbers 11:6

“But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.”

The Lord demonstrated His love and patience for the Israelites for many years. He heard their cry and sent a liberator through whom He would deliver them from slavery. Through the entire process, He was restoring their religion, dignity, and respect among those whom did not believe in God. All of this was done that they might know that God was desperately in love with them, and that the world would know that the God of heaven is the one true God who was worthy of worship.

All too often the children of Israel complained about the way God was choosing to effect their freedom. Murmuring became an intolerable habit that God hated. It is a blessing to know that in spite of the fact that God knew before He set them free, that they would behave this way, He still loved them.

One of the complaints they often related was their lust for the rich foods of Egypt. They were enslaved in their minds to the foods that many people today are enslaved. The Lord gave them a miracle of provision while they wandered in the wilderness. “Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no” (Exodus 16:4). In spite of this perfect food that God provided, they still cried for the fleshpots of Egypt. “But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes” (Numbers 11:6). How could their souls be dried up when God Himself, knowing their need, gave them bread from heaven?

This bread was an object lesson about the Messiah, the perfect provision for all of our needs (John 6:35).

Do we wander in our wilderness of life with dry souls? How can it be that God has given every provision for us and we still cry that our souls are dry? Eat and drink from the heavenly storehouse. God always supplies all of our needs (Philippians 4:19). Pray today, that the Lord will teach you how to accept His perfect provision and be satisfied. Why should your soul be dry?


Who Is the Greatest?

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, June 4, 2015
Based Upon Luke 22:24-27

“Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.” (Luke 22:24–27, NLT).

The discussion of who the greatest is silly in my opinion. What is the standard of measure, and who supports that measure? Who is the best pound-for-pound boxer ever? Which U.S. president was the best? Who is greatest singer/performer of pop music? Who is the greatest poet, all around athlete, daytime talk show personality, Olympian, or humanitarian? Who has the greatest military? Which country provides its citizens the greatest opportunities of success? Who is the greatest person to live in a particular era? Is your brain on fire going through your private catalogue of possible answers? Don’t forget to choose a standard of measure that everyone will approve, while you work on that.

While it is true that answering the question of greatness and what qualifies a person or people as great is somewhat elusive in many ways, Jesus settled the issue of greatness as His followers argued about it. He presented Himself as the standard. The greatest among us is the one who serves. I don’t know if you realize this or not, but many of the things over which we debate within Christian circles and outside those circles would be settled, were we to really get this vital lesson. In the eyes of Eternal God who created us, greatness is antithetical to achievements, acumen, trophies, awards, résumés, scholastic advancement, and financial status. That is not to say that none of these matter.

The greatest among us is the one who serves.

But let me let you in on a little secret: They do not matter nearly as much as many of us suppose. All that we do, and all that we have, only rates in heaven inasmuch as these are submitted to God for His use. Thus, submission to God and yielding our all to Him is the key to greatness, no matter who we are.

My challenge for all of us today is to ask God to reveal to us whether our aspirations and past achievements have been given to Him in humble submission, or set before our eyes to incite us to claw our way up the earthly greatness ladder. If we want to be great, we must receive the humility of Christ, who is the fulness of the Godhead bodily, yet He ever lives to serve His people in the eternal purposes of God.

The Word In A Seed

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Based Upon Luke 8:4-15

You have it, now what will you do with it?

“And when much people were gathered together, and were come to him out of every city, he spake by a parable: A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it. And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be? And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection. But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:4–15).

So, how’s your hearing? How’s your heart? Jesus’ parable is quite clear. From it I gather that there are several types of people in this world, but all have a few things in common: The Lord presents His Word to us all; The enemy presents many obstacles to distract us all; The Lord has given us all ears to be able to hear His Word; The Lord has given us all minds capable of receiving His Word; The Lord has made a way for all to bring forth much fruit as an out growth of the Word spoken; and the Lord has given all the ability to make a decision concerning Him and the Word He presents.

Really, then, the only question we need to answer is: “In light of this reality, what are we going to do?” We often hear the heated debate about whether or not everyone in the U.S. has access to the same opportunities. Are there such things as the privileged and the under privileged? Do some have better access to information than others? Do some have better access to quality education based on geography or socio-economics? Does “the system” that is the United States of America give equal support to the dreams and aspirations of all its citizens? Is the playing field actually equal across all strata of our diverse society? Must we all pull ourselves up by our bootstraps? Do we all even have bootstraps?

I will most certainly not attempt to answer these vital questions, but a similar reality is in play with our parable, and I have answered the overarching questions. Truth is, God has given each person the power and opportunity to hear His voice and do His will, by faith. No matter where or under what circumstances we were born, we all can be delivered from sin and eternal ruin. We all can thrive and succeed at submitting to His will. We all can become change agents who help others do the same. Within our varying spheres, and to the degree we can individually, we can respond to the call of God to be holy, because He is holy. But, will we choose to surrender ourselves to God, or will we say, in effect, that the enemy’s power to distract is greater than God’s power to deliver? It is our privilege and responsibility to answer these questions for ourselves, and decide whether to embrace the God of love, or the enemy who offers false promises and hates us all. Make the right choice.

Work While You Watch

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Based Upon Luke 12:35-53

“Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.” (Luke 12:35–37).

In Bible lands, even today, it is customary for a man to gather his loose outer garments together right before he springs into action or exerts his strength, so the clothing will not impede his progress. It is very interesting that Jesus used this imagery to illustrate what our attitudes should be as we await His return. We must be girded with our lamps burning brightly, and watching. It is also interesting that when He does return, the Bible says that He will gird Himself and serve those whom He finds watching.

Our spiritual senses should be tingling right now! Girding one’s self and watching do not support idle waiting for some event to occur. Remember, men gird themselves so they can spring to action. Watchmen stay attentive so they can perform their duty of alerting at appropriate times during their watch. Girded watchmen need light in order to see what they are doing! I hope you are getting this. If we are to be girded and watching, with our lights burning brightly while we await Jesus’ return, and these all are antithetical to idleness, then what actions are in line with such girded watching?

Only those who are girded and watching, with the light of God’s Word shining brightly in the Spirit have the tools necessary to arouse and open the door to Him immediately when He comes.

All who say we are followers of Christ have our duties to perform as we await the King’s arrival. There are so many who have no idea that our God is coming back for a spotless people and that they need to repent, by His grace. There are so many who have no idea that our God is presently preparing a place for those who love Him. There are so many who have no idea that they can be empowered by the Holy Spirit to rescue others from the destructive vices of a sinful world, which will ultimately cause their destruction. There are people to feed, people to clothe, people to heal, people to encourage, and people to warn. Who will do all of this? Only those who are girded and watching, with the light of God’s Word shining brightly in the Spirit have the tools necessary to do the will of God. Only those who are girded and watching, with the light of God’s Word shining brightly in the Spirit have the tools necessary to arouse and open the door to Him immediately when He comes. Those who spring faithfully into active service in God’s strength now, not allowing the drag of life circumstances to impede our progress, will be served by our Lord who is preparing to gird Himself when He returns.

Samson’s Last Stand

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, June 1, 2015
Based Upon Judges 16:20

Been selfish? Doing the wrong thing? Samson made up for lost time; you can too.

“And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.”

This is a very sad story. The man whom God called from the womb to be a peculiar treasure, a Nazarite, found himself in a dire situation. Many times in spite of his vow to the Lord to be a special soldier for truth, Samson indulged his selfish passions, and misused the power God had given him to do well. He allowed the lust of the flesh and a daring thirst for power to rule him in the same way a ventriloquist controls a dummy.

One day, after having betrayed his mission and the trust of the living God, which gave him his extraordinary strength, he thought to shake himself awake and go on to presume upon the gift God had given to him. He did not realize that the Lord had departed from him. How did he move from being a chosen vessel, called specifically to bring Godly order, to anathema? How is it that the Spirit of God left him?

We can learn valuable lessons from the life of Samson. He decided many times to ignore the promptings of God to do right, and took for granted that God would always strengthen him no matter what he did. We see that God will not allow such presumption but for so long. Yes, the Lord is longsuffering, but He is not mocked (Galatians 6:7, 8). God allowed Samson the option of separating himself from Him to the point that the Spirit left him. It is a terrible thing to choose disobedience as a lifestyle.

Another lesson that can be learned is that although we sink to our lowest point spiritually, the Lord is able to raise us up. You see, Samson did not go to his grave having forsaken the Lord. In the closing scenes of his life, he allowed the chastening of the Lord to mold his character in such a way that his dedication was demonstrated even to the point of death. “And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars. And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them. Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men, and women, that beheld while Samson made sport. And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.” (Judges 16:25-30).

In the closing scenes of his life, he allowed the chastening of the Lord to mold his character in such a way that his dedication was demonstrated even to the point of death.

It is a blessing that the Lord is so merciful, but let us not take His kindness for granted. The story of Samson is a lesson about the grace of God and His forgiveness, but it is also a lesson about the benefits of obedience to God’s will. Be faithful in all of your endeavors and receive the promise to God’s people that He will never leave, nor forsake us.

God-given Green Light

Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, May 31, 2015
Based Upon Judges 14:3-4

Ordained plan or permissive plan. Under which are you operating?

“Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.”

The Lord’s will is broader in its scope than most of us understand. His thoughts are far above our thoughts and His ways are above our ways.

The Lord’s will is broader in its scope than most of us understand. His thoughts are far above our thoughts and His ways are above our ways. There is an aspect of His will that can be considered as the ideal. For example, God created humankind to live perfect lives and intended that Adam and Eve pass the test at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. His purpose was that we never sin, and that we would live eternally. As you know well, based on your own experience, sin did enter the world; therefore, God’s original intention was not met. If God were a human being, this would be the end of the story. Since He is not, this is where the arm of the Lord is revealed.

The Lord had a plan from eternity past that would immediately be enacted when humans chose to sin. We were not on an inevitable rollercoaster toward sin that we could not escape, but the Lord knew what choice we would make, therefore He had a plan. The Son of God would become a human being, live a perfect life, die a perfect substitutionary death, and rise again to minister for us in heaven. This plan, albeit beautiful, was only necessary because of the choice Adam made in Eden to defy His Lord. This fit more into God’s permissive will, though He was active in orchestrating it.

There are different versions of the Lord’s permissive will (as we understand it), which He allowed in order for His ultimate purposes to be realized. These versions would be painful for those involved, but if they accomplished their perfect work, the pain would drive God’s people to Him. For instance, the Lord never intended for Israel to have a human king, but He allowed it. He never intended that human beings ever divorce, but under certain circumstances, though it may not be expedient, it is permitted. God never intended that we consume the flesh of dead animals for food (or living ones for that matter), but because of certain environmental issues after the flood, along with the griping and murmuring of His children in the wilderness, He allowed certain types for a season.

green light on pole

Such was the case with Samson. God told him at the beginning of his ministry what his plans for the Philistines were. He understood that Samson would be slow at carrying out his intended purpose; therefore, God figured it all into the equation. He wanted a wife that his parents disapproved of because of the clear counsel of God against marrying uncircumcised, ungodly people, yet the Bible says the Lord was leading him. God did not intend that he ever marry that woman, but knew what choice he would make, therefore the Lord allowed it so his ultimate purpose could be realized. In the end, through much turmoil and unnecessary pain, Samson fulfilled the Lord’s will.

Here is the simple question for the day. Will you accept the Lord’s will for your life? There are two ways for it to be accomplished, the second of which is long and painful. I personally like the idea of allowing the Lord to perform His ideal in my life, but He loves me enough to do whatever it takes to save me; even if I need His permissive will to be done.