This message was preached by Gary Welsh at Word of Grace Church on January 31st, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here.To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
If you are a leader you need to have people following you.
Samson is a complex mixture of a man- Sexually promiscuous, violent man. But in Hebrews he is one of the heroes of the faith. This was a time of difficulty for people of Israel. At this point Israel was delivered Egypt and has entered the promise land.
In Judges 1:6-7, we see that they begin to do the very thing God has asked them not to do. They began to intermarry and began to worship other Gods. This is a very low period for the people of Israel. We are in a similar time where the people of God need are required to rise up.
In the promise land, the philistines were ruling over them and they have accepted it. God chose Samson because God wanted to fight. Samson is the only one who wants to fight, granted for wrong reasons, but was ready to pick a fight with the Philistines.
- Leadership can be lonely. We preach teams, we have eldership teams and we want build teams. But sometimes you can feel like the only person who is concerned about things. Israel was overwhelmed. If God did not choose the judges, they would have been totally ineffective and have assimilated with the others.
- We live in urgent times. If godly men and women don't fight, we can miss the thing we have been called into. He's coming back for his glorious church but we can be the generation that experiences a great downfall like the Israelites did at this point. If we are not careful, we can get overwhelmed by the vast majority of the population who are not Christians. It is tough for the gospel to enter some place, but in some places the gospel is also retreating. The gospel was thriving in different places at different times. Ephesus which was once a thriving center Christianity, is the presence Turkey where most of the population are confessing muslims. Around the world, the gospel is retreating. 98% of Indians are not confessing Christians. We are in urgent times and we have a God given task to go and spread the gospel. We need to take action.
- This is the time for Christians to fight. Judges 15: 14-15 " " God wanted someone ready for a fight. Although we cannot model our life according to everything Samson did, we need to model ourselves to have this fighting spirit. Fighting is the language of the church. To see nations changed we need to be a fighting people. We musn't be complacent.
Ephesians 6:12- For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" If you are followers of Christ, you have a battle and our battle is against the spiritual forces.
We need leaders who will lead us into a battle- Men and women who just refuse to go along with the crowd.
Q. Are you fighting? Are you a warrior?
Our task is the discipling of all nations. Pune is just the beginning. It goes to the ends of the world.
- We need to do it in the power of the spirit. Samson did not look like a body builder. So they asked him- where does your strength come from? It is all in the power of the spirit. There is no other way to do it. Without the Holy Spirit, we will run out at some point.
Q. Are you baptized in the Spirit?
It is not just for experience. It is so that we can be powerful witnesses in the Spirit.
- Fight with holiness. We are to look like Jesus. Others need to ask us- why do you behave, speak, respond like that? we should be different from the people in the world. The Holy Spirit and holiness are not additional extras. They are essential.
The grace of God is so extraordinary that my past sin, my present sin and the sins I will commit in the future have all been dealt with already at the cross. It is amazing! But let not this glorious truth lead us into careless living. Samson loses his power because of lack of holiness. His hair was merely a picture.
- We need to pray. We trust God to do something. We need to have solid times of seeking God for him to do what only he can do. we are all called to pray.
- Let's give all that we've got. Samson says, let me die with the philistines. When Samson is holding the pillars, and giving up his life for the sake of his people, it is intentional that he looks like Jesus. He is a shadow of who was going to die on the cross for the sake of God's chosen people. We are called to die- to give all that we've got.
Q. What have you got?
God gives us everything we have to serve him and to give him absolutely everything. Jesus says, lose your life for my sake and you'll have it abundantly. Don't perish, have eternal life.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.