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June 12, 2024

Giving Birth to Greatness (Judges 13)

Preacher:
Passage: Judges 13
Service Type:

In a recent sermon titled "Giving Birth to Greatness" based on Judges 13, Pastor Allen Victor of Calvary Chapel West Jacksonville delved into the profound and often challenging journey of parenting, especially in raising godly children. He began by acknowledging that parenting is one of the toughest jobs, humorously noting that the hardest part is "just the first 40 years." He explored why parenting is particularly difficult today, pointing to influences such as friends, social media, societal pressures, and the universal truth that most parents often feel clueless about their approach. Thankfully, as Pastor Victor emphasized, God has provided us with a manual, called the Bible.

The sermon moved from Israel’s period of disobedience resulting in oppression by the Philistines for forty years, to the miraculous announcement of Samson’s birth to his barren mother. Pastor Victor highlighted how God often works wonders during times of barrenness, referencing other biblical figures like Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, and Elizabeth, who also experienced periods of childlessness before God's intervention. He underscored the transformative power of "But God" moments, where hopeless situations are radically changed by divine promise.

Samson’s birth came with specific instructions: his mother was to abstain from wine and unclean foods, and Samson was to be a Nazirite from birth, dedicated to God. Pastor Victor explained the Nazirite vow's three conditions from Numbers 6, which included abstaining from grape products, not cutting one’s hair, and avoiding contact with the dead. These rules symbolized the purification of the mind, body, and soul. The Lord’s promise that Samson would begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines was pivotal, setting the stage for his parents' responsibility in his spiritual upbringing.

The Angel of the Lord's appearance to Samson's mother and later to his father, Manoah, was described as awe-inspiring. Pastor Victor stressed the importance of both parents being united in their mission to raise their child according to God’s will, rather than their own or their parents’ traditions. Manoah’s prayer for guidance highlighted a critical point: raising children requires divine wisdom and guidance, not merely human effort or popular parenting techniques.

The sermon emphasized the necessity of setting a godly example for children. Manoah and his wife’s encounter with the Angel underscored that true fellowship with God involves sacrifice and purity. Pastor Victor related this to the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which allows believers direct access to God’s presence.

Manoah’s desire to know the Angel's name to honor him and the Angel’s response, "It is wonderful," linked to Isaiah 9:6, revealed the divine nature of their visitor. This encounter, culminating in the Angel’s wondrous ascent in the flame of Manoah’s sacrifice, symbolized the coming of the Holy Spirit after Jesus’ ascension, crucial for empowering parents in their task.

Pastor Victor concluded by addressing common misconceptions about Samson, noting that his strength was not physical but spiritual, stemming from the Holy Spirit's presence in his life. The key to raising godly children, he asserted, lies in praying for them to be filled and moved by the Holy Spirit, thereby ensuring their actions align with God’s will.

This sermon provided a rich, scriptural roadmap for parents seeking to fulfill their divine calling in raising children. It underscored the power of prayer, the necessity of godly example, and the transformative influence of the Holy Spirit.

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