April 19th, 2018 — IGNITE

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Have you ever asked yourself how far God will let you go in your sin? It’s an interesting question to ponder. Not many people even attempt to ask themselves the question because they fall back on the grace of God. It’s their “get out of jail free” card, for not living the life God wants them to. It becomes a frail, insignificant kind of grace at best.

Now if you fall into that category, you might want to read the book of Romans again and get a new perspective of what grace looks like and actually is. You might also want to read the book of Jonah again, as I think it is a wonderful picture of the grace of God from so many different levels.

I also know a good number of people who like to fall back on the “second chance” kind of grace. You know… even though I blow it, God will give me a second chance.

But please ask yourself if that is always the case, because I see something different in the Bible. Ananias and Sapphira didn’t get a second chance, did they? (Acts 5). Lot’s wife didn’t get a second chance when she was told not to look back and did, did she? Even Jesus referred to her. (Genesis 19:26 & Luke 17:32) What about King Saul, when he disobeyed God and was stripped of his kingdom? (1 Samuel 15:28-29). Samson?

Samson was one of God’s judges over Israel. God had appointed him even before he was born to fulfill that calling. Yet he was reckless, rebellious, self-centered, egotistical, and immoral. Because he was blinded by his love, or maybe it was lust, for Delilah, he divulged where his strength came from. You’d think he would have learned his lesson and figured something wasn’t quite right, since she asked him the same question three times before and his enemies came rushing in to capture him, right after he told her. The fourth time the Bible says…
“… she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death. So he told her all hat was in his heart…” Judges 16:16-17a

After he had fallen asleep, she actually had a man come in and cut his hair while he was sleeping.

Now, I’m not sure how to explain that. As you know, I don’t have any hair. Samson had never cut his hair from the day he was born. It had to be long. It was braided in locks. But somehow he didn’t wake up to know that his hair was being cut. And then the most tragic verse in the Bible…
“But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him.” Judges 16:20c

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: We know the end of Samson’s story. He lost his life but defeated his enemies while doing it. God used him again, but at great cost. Don’t rely on second chances. Walk humbly and upright before God.

Father,
Forgive me for abusing and misusing Your specious gift of grace so freely given to me by Your Son, Jesus. Jesus, in Your name I pray, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen