DayBreaks for 8/27/14 – Devotees of the Easy Way

DayBreaks for 8/27/14 – Devotees of the Easy Way

There is a story about a young man, eager to make it to the top, who went to a well-known millionaire businessman and asked him the first reason for his success. The businessman answered without hesitation, “Hard work.” After a lengthy pause the young man asked, “What is the SECOND reason?”

Matthew 16:21-25 (NLT) From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. 22  But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” 23  Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” 24  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.

Today, I want to think about the lure of the easy way. Jesus and His disciples were at Caesarea Philippi. Their ministry to this point had been a stunning success. Crowds pressed in on them everywhere they went. People eagerly reached out to touch this attractive young teacher from Nazareth. The disciples themselves were caught up in the excitement of it all. Jesus asked them, “Who do you say I am?” and Simon Peter answered enthusiastically, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” It was one of the most dramatic moments in the disciples’ pilgrimage with Jesus.

Then Jesus abruptly changed the subject. He began to tell them that the crowds would soon turn against Him; He would be crucified, on the third day he would be raised. The disciples didn’t know what to make of all this. Simon Peter took Jesus aside: “Forbid it, Lord, that these things should happen to you.” Jesus’ response to Simon Peter is as harsh as any words in the New Testament: Get behind me Satan! You are not on the side of God but of man.

Perhaps Jesus called Simon Peter ‘Satan’ because of Jesus’ experience in the wilderness immediately after His baptism by John. In today’s parlance, it was there that Satan revealed to Jesus the way to make a million dollars in three easy steps turn stones to bread, leap off the pinnacle of the temple, “Bow down and worship me!” I see Satan not as a red caped figure with a pitchfork but dressed in a $1000 suit and offering in a glib and polished tongue instant success, instant glamour, instant gratification. We can see Satan almost anywhere today. Jesus encountered him this time in Simon Peter: Forbid it, Lord, that you should have to suffer and die.

If there is any doubt that Jesus is resisting the lure of the easy way, listen to the words that follow: If any man would be my disciple, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

What way are you pursuing in your life?  How can you change today? 

PRAYER: Jesus, I know that I almost always seek the easy way, and that the easy way is very seldom Your way.  May I be more like You! In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 8/26/14 – The Secret Location of Knowing God’s Will

DayBreaks for 8/26/14 – The Secret Location of Knowing God’s Will

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

“God, what should I do for a career?”  “God, is this the person I am to marry?”  “Father, are we supposed to buy this house or not?”  “Lord, what should I say to my wife after the fight we had?”

Don’t you wish that you got really clear answer to questions like those above?  Sometimes we seem to, don’t we?  But sometimes we just are left with huge questions and no answers.

This past Sunday, the minister started a series about hearing God in a noisy world.  And in the message, he pointed out that the secret of knowing if we are making decisions in harmony with God’s will is found in the verses at the top.

Simply put, what the writer of Romans is saying is this: put yourself on the altar – your body (all that you are and do in life) and sacrifice yourself to God.  As we do, God will transform us into a different person by changing how we think.  It is then, the passage concludes, that we will know God’s will.

Bottom line: if we know we are on the altar and if we stay on the altar, we will know His will.  If we have made ourselves into living sacrifices, God will give us a mind that knows His will for us.

It isn’t easy.  We can deceive ourselves about whether we truly are on the altar or not.  To put ourselves on the altar is the hardest thing we will do in our lives.  But if we want to know His will for us, that is the requirement.  It is only when we have determined to sacrifice our will in favor of His, then He will show it to us.

PRAYER: Lord, we fight against crawling on the altar and it is not comfortable to stay there.  Help us remember what Jesus has done for us so that it is something we are not just willing, but eager to do!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 8/25/14 – Still Singing After All These Years

DayBreaks for 8/26/14 – Still Singing After All These Years

NOTE: Galen and Laurel are relocating to Georgia this week, so warmed-over DayBreaks are on the menu.  New DayBreaks will resume later this week!  From 2004: 

  1. 4:2-9 (NLT) – And instantly I was in the Spirit, and I saw a throne in heaven and someone sitting on it! The one sitting on the throne was as brilliant as gemstones—jasper and carnelian. And the glow of an emerald circled his throne like a rainbow.  Twenty-four thrones surrounded him, and twenty-four elders sat on them. They were all clothed in white and had gold crowns on their heads.  And from the throne came flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder. And in front of the throne were seven lampstands with burning flames. They are the seven spirits of God.  In front of the throne was a shiny sea of glass, sparkling like crystal.  In the center and around the throne were four living beings, each covered with eyes, front and back.  The first of these living beings had the form of a lion; the second looked like an ox; the third had a human face; and the fourth had the form of an eagle with wings spread out as though in flight.  Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered with eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty—the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”   
  1. 5:11-14 (NLT) – Then I looked again, and I heard the singing of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: “The Lamb is worthy—the Lamb who was killed. He is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They also sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.”  And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped God and the Lamb.” 

The vision that John records in the book of Revelation (above) was very similar to a vision that the prophet Isaiah had 800 years earlier (Isaiah 6).  But there are differences, as Mark Buchanan noted in The Holy Wild: in the time of Isaiah, the only ones who sang were the angels.  It was an elite choir, to say the least.  But now, 800 years later, it’s different.  All of heaven and earth join in to sing the song.  That’s one difference, but not the biggest one. 

The second difference: in Isaiah’s vision, the seraphim around the throne use 2 of their wings to cover their eyes.  As holy as these beings are, they would appear to not gaze upon the holiness of God Himself.  It would have been too much, even for them.  In John’s vision, the creatures who surround God’s throne are covered with eyes – all over and on every side.  They still have 6 wings, but even the wings have eyes underneath them.  In short – they can’t help but look upon the Lord who is high and lifted up. 

What changed during those 800 years?  Here it is in a nutshell: “Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne.”  This is the Lamb of God that John the Baptist declared took away the world’s sin.  

The difference: Jesus.  He is the difference.  Like Isaiah, we are still people of unclean lips and hearts.  But because of Jesus, that which not even angels once dared to look upon is made visible for all eyes to see, and in fact, God invites us to gaze upon the Son who died for us, but who lives forevermore. 

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty!” 

PRAYER: Give us hearts that are ready and willing to surrender anything You ask of us, Lord!  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 8/22/14 – What Is Given Up

DayBreaks for 8/22/14 – What Is Given Up

NOTE: Galen and Laurel are relocating to Georgia this week, so warmed-over DayBreaks are on the menu.  New DayBreaks will resume again sometime next week!  From 2004: 

“Lord, it’s good to talk with you again.  Have you missed me?  I’ve missed You.  I love you, God.  I love You so much!  I’m sorry I’ve not spoken to you more regularly lately.  Let’s see, how long has it been?  Two weeks?  Really?  Well, I’ve been awfully busy, You know.  But, here I am now!  I know, God, that all that I have has come from You.  Thank you for this beautiful home You’ve given me, Lord.  And that You for the second job that You gave me so that I could make my house payments.  Oh, and did I ever thank you for the sports car in the driveway?  And God, I’m sure enjoying the swimming pool in the back yard when it is this hot.  Thank you!  Thank you that my prescription for Prozac is working and I’m finally being able to calm down and not feel so depressed and freaked out.  God, I’d like to have a new computer?  Can you also give me a raise so we can buy that bigger house with the in-ground pool?  And Lord, I don’t want to sound greedy, but my wife’s car is starting to make strange noises and it has 185,000 miles on it and we could sure use a new car.  Thanks, Lord.  

“Lord!  Did I just hear you right?  You want me to give up my beer and pizza night out with the guys?  How dare You ask such a thing!  That’s the problem with You, God, You always want me to give up something, and quite frankly, Lord, I’m getting sick and tired of it!  I’ll think about it, God, but please don’t ask me to give up any more of MY things. 

“Thanks, God, for listening.  I love You!” 

Does that sound like one of your prayers?  We sure ask God for a lot, but when He asks us for something – whether it is 10% of our income, our time, our talent, our energy, our intellect – we start to get defensive right away and we resent that He should have the nerve to ask us to give up anything. 

I like what Calvin Miller had to say in Once Upon a Tree:What is given up is never seen as a real sacrifice between lovers.”  If we truly love God as we profess to do, whatever He would ask us to give up would not really be seen as a sacrifice – it would be more of a gift that one gives to a lover.  Kinda makes me wonder how much we really love God… 

John 14:15 (NIV)  –  “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” 

PRAYER: Give us hearts that are ready and willing to surrender anything You ask of us, Lord!  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 8/21/14 – The Nature of the Kingdom

DayBreaks for 8/21/14 – The Nature of the Kingdom

NOTE: Galen and Laurel are relocating to Georgia this week, so warmed-over DayBreaks are on the menu.  New DayBreaks will resume again sometime next week!  From 2004: 

Luke 13:20-21 (NLT)  –  “He also asked, ‘What else is the Kingdom of God like?  It is like yeast used by a woman making bread. Even though she used a large amount of flour, the yeast permeated every part of the dough.’” 

If someone were to ask you what the status of the kingdom of God is in the world today, what would you say?  Do you believe it is expanding and growing?  Or do you believe that at the present time the forces of evil are gaining ground?  Why do you believe what you do?  What evidence do you have for your conclusion? 

Certainly, if we were to look around and see the evil of mankind on a global basis, we might be tempted to get pretty down about things.  After all, it isn’t a pretty picture that we’d see.  Wars.  Famines (some man-made out of greed).  Diseases.  Things once considered by everyone as being wrong now being declared okay and legal.  Terrorism and orange alerts.  Be-headings.  I could keep going, but the list doesn’t get any better.  You get the point. 

Jesus’ response to the question he asked about the kingdom of God should serve to encourage us.  Several things can be noted: 

FIRST: the kingdom starts from very small beginnings – the leaven isn’t nearly as much in terms of volume as the dough, yet it changes everything once it is applied.  Just because it looks like the kingdom is not faring well, we can’t judge by comparing sizes of the “armies”.  It’s not fair to the “dark side”! 

SECOND: the nature of the kingdom isn’t big and splashy and doesn’t come with fanfare.  The work of the kingdom goes on unseen – you can’t see the leaven as it works in the dough, but it’s there and it is making progress.  The kingdom IS moving forward.  We need to remember that what we see on the surface isn’t the way the kingdom works.  It works in the hearts and minds of people – one person at a time, from the INSIDE. 

THIRD: the dough is helpless to change itself.  It takes an infusion of a foreign agent from the outside to effect the change.  The world is a dark and hopeless place if left to its own devices.  But God wasn’t willing to leave it that way.  First, he started with just one – Jesus.  He then drew others to him as the leaven worked in their hearts.  They went out and preached the word and things happened as the leaven got further into the dough.  Now it’s our job to spread the leaven (not spread ourselves, but HIM!) into the dough that is the world.  That’s the only way it can ever be changed! 

The kingdom will move forward.  Will we move with it? 

PRAYER: Let our feet move in conjunction with Your Spirit to further the kingdom! In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 8/20/14 – The King is Here

DayBreaks for 8/20/14 – The King is Here

NOTE: Galen and Laurel are relocating to Georgia this week, so warmed-over DayBreaks are on the menu.  New DayBreaks will resume again sometime next week!  From 2004: 

From William Barclay’s Daily Study Bible Commentary on Luke: “Latimer was once preaching in Westminster Abbey when Henry the king was one of the congregation.  In the pulpit he soliloquized, ‘Latimer!  Latimer!  Latimer!  Be careful what you say, the King of England is here!’  Then he went on, ‘Latimer!  Latimer!  Latimer!  Be careful what you say.  The King of Kings is here.” 

As someone who often speaks in public, it is true that when there is someone you know in the audience that holds a position of power or prestige, you’re aware of it.  Hopefully, the message of the gospel never changes as a result of such a thing, for the gospel, like God, is no respecter of persons.  But at a human level, there is a consciousness about who is present. 

In Luke 13:32, Jesus has a message that he wants delivered to king Herod.  It goes like this: “Jesus replied, “Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and doing miracles of healing today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose.”   Jesus was “just” a rabbi or carpenter and yet he addresses Herod in very strong terms.  Herod wanted Jesus stopped.  By calling Herod a “fox”, Jesus was saying three things: 

FIRST: the fox was regarded by the Jews as the slyest of animals.  Jesus is saying that Herod is sneaky, slippery and full of trickery; 

SECOND: the fox was regarded as the most destructive of animals.  Anything that Herod, or we, do that will hamper the spread of the kingdom (actions, words, attitudes, failure to act, etc.), is the most destructive thing possible; 

THIRD: the fox was considered to be worthless and insignificant.  When it comes to value and importance, earthly rulers just can’t hold a candle to the God of heaven and His work.  The kingdom work will go forward, with or without the aid of human kings! 

Every day when you are at work or play and you speak, remember this: the King of Kings is here.  He is the one to whom we must pay the utmost attention! 

PRAYER: Make us aware this day that the King of Kings is watching over our shoulder all day, every day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 8/19/14 – The Runaway Bunny and Which Way to Run

DayBreaks for 8/19/14 – The Runaway Bunny and Which Way to Run

NOTE: Galen and Laurel are relocating to Georgia this week, so warmed-over DayBreaks are on the menu.  New DayBreaks will resume again sometime next week!  From 2004: 

Have you ever thought about what the encounters were like in Eden before Adam and Eve sinned?  It is interesting that they ran from God afterwards, but there’s no indication that they were ever afraid or even intimidated by Him before that.  I have the impression that prior to the fall, when they heard God walking in the garden that they probably ran to greet Him!  I try to put myself in their position.  What would my reaction be if I heard God walking on the deck outside right now?  If I am to be honest, right now I’d probably say that I’d try to find a place to hide, too.  That’s probably more a reflection of the ups and downs in my life and my ongoing struggles with obedience, but I know that the reason I’d try to hide is because of sin. 

In Dangerous Wonder, Mike Yaconelli made an astute observation: “Running away from God is a learned behavior.”  I think He’s right.  It’s what Adam and Eve did.  We run because of our sin.  And once we feel the guilt of the sin, we keep on running – trying as hard as we can to hide from Him in our shame.  But He runs after us.  He came to the garden looking for Adam and Eve, and Jesus came to earth to seek and save those who were running from Him.  But at some point in our life, we have to decide which way to run.  

Margaret Wise Brown wrote a story for children called The Runaway Bunny.  In this story, the little bunny announces to momma bunny that he is running away, and the mother responds, “If you run away, then I will run after you.  For you are my little bunny.”  The little bunny does run away, running everywhere, but the mother keeps running after him until finally, at the end of the book, the little bunny wises up to his predicament.  “Shucks,” he says, “I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.”  The little bunny sure wasted a lot of time and energy trying to run away from the pursing love of the mother.

We can waste our life running from God, or we can come to the conclusion the little bunny did: “I might just as well stay where I am and be Yours…”.  Psalm 139 verse 7 is pretty clear: “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your Presence?”  No where.  The Father relentlessly pursues us, His heart of love beating furiously in the pursuit, hoping that at some point we’ll stop running from Him and turn to run to Him and be embraced.

PRAYER: Oh, God of the open arms, may we learn to run to you and not from you!  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!