Summary: A study of waste and wasted potential. Samson had such potential to be a great man of God. Instead of treasuring the gifts he'd been given, he wasted his strength on his own desires.

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What a Waste

Seeds: some background notes from a Steve Malone message/outline.

1. I’m aggravated by waste.

2. Waste: wasted time (waiting in line, or at the doctor, or to get your driver’s license), wasted food (seeing food thrown away, or left on the plate), wasted money (government waste: $600 toilet seats, shrimp treadmill, Ad council)

3. The worst, though, is a wasted life. Musicians (Kurt Cobain of Nirvanna, Jimmy Hendrix, Amy Winehouse, Jim Moorison of the Doors), athletes like Len Bias (drafted by the Celtics, took cocaine and died the next day) or Steve Prefontain (Olympic runner), actors like James Dean (car crash) and Heath Ledger (Batman).

4. Wasting time is one thing. Wasting money. Wasting food. But a wasted life is a horrible, horrible tragedy. To have so much potential, so much promise and to waste it away. (Tennessee Titan Pacman Jones).

5. Dictionary: waste. To consume or spend uselessly or without adequate return; to squander.

6. Intro Samson. We meet Samson in Judges 13.

• Samson was born to parents who were childless, but wanted a child badly. His parents believed in and worshipped God. Samson was set apart by God (Nazarite) and God gave him great strength. And … he was probably good-looking because he was popular with the ladies.

• “A real bad dude” illustration.

• But in Judges 14 we see Samson start to go astray. He liked the ladies, and he chose a wife who wasn’t Hebrew. In fact she was a Philistine, the enemy. It didn’t matter, though. Samson wanted what he wanted when he wanted it.

• When you make choices like that, you start down the path to a wasted life.

7. Judges 16:4-21. (thongs: not sandals or tiny underwear. Bowstrings)

8. He had been blessed; given much. But he wanted what he wanted, ignoring God’s will and God’s instruction. He chose his own way. He thought he was indestructible (Prov. 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall”). He ignored the warning signs (Hello! Philistines keep jumping out from out of nowhere.). And he pressed his luck until it cost him. What a waste!

9. There’s so much more to the story of Samson, and we’ll study Samson more thoroughly later.

• But my challenge this morning is for you to look at your own life and see the many, many, many blessings you’ve been given by God.

• Every one of us today is in danger of wasting the incredible gifts/blessings God has given us.

• I don’t want for someone to look at my life and say, “He had so much potential. He was given so many gifts. He had such promise. But he wasted it all.”

10. How do you make sure you don’t end up like Samson?

• Recognize all that God’s done for you (we often focus on what we don’t have instead of the blessings we already have). Value the blessings and gifts God has given.

• Stay close to your Heavenly Father, listen to Him and obey Him.

• Surround yourself with the right people.

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