DayBreaks for 7/29/14 – What God Was Looking For in Eden

DayBreaks for 7/29/14 – What God Was Looking for In Eden

Galen is traveling through 8/5/14…new DayBreaks will resume after he returns. 

From the DayBreaks archive, 7/21/2004:

Genesis 3:8-13 (NLT) – Toward evening they heard the Lord God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees. The Lord God called to Adam, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?”  “Yes,” Adam admitted, “but it was the woman you gave me who brought me the fruit, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God asked the woman, “How could you do such a thing?”  “The serpent tricked me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

What do you suppose it sounds like when God walks?  My first reaction is to think of the Jurassic Park movies – and I imagine that God’s footsteps must sound like the mighty cinematic beasts created by the movie makers.  But, I doubt that’s what it would really sound like.  It would imagine that it was more like the sound of the wind in the trees, but that’s not the point.

God comes walking in the garden – and He knows something has changed.  Something is different.  And He knows exactly what it is.  Yet, as He comes, his first question is “Where are you?”  Why do you think that God asked such a question?  There can be no doubt that God knew exactly where Adam and Eve were hiding.  Adam said he was hiding because he was naked.  I don’t think that his literal nakedness is why he was hiding from God.  He knew that God has already seen him naked.  But now he knew that his “clothing” of innocence had been taken away, and the shame of his spiritual nakedness before God was more than he wanted to reveal, so he tried to hide.

What was it that God wanted when He came into the garden that evening?  I believe we get a hint from the third question that God asks: “Have you eaten the fruit I commanded you not to eat?”  What God was really doing with this question was giving Adam and Eve a chance to confess to Him what they’d done.  And, to their credit, they do – well, sort of.

Adam admitted his wrong and Eve didn’t deny it, either.  But was this true confession?  No.  It wasn’t even close.  Adam admitted he ate the fruit, but took no responsibility for his actions, instead blaming them on his bride.  And Eve, following the pattern of Adam, passed the buck along to the serpent.  Admitting that we’ve done something wrong is only the very first part of confession – the real heart of confession is taking the blame squarely on our shoulders – not trying to blame society, our spouse, our co-worker, the nasty lady at the bank, the too-spicy tamales that we ate last night, the media or anything or anyone other than ourselves for what we’ve done.  That is the heart of confession.  That is what God was looking for in Eden – confession – and instead He got a blame game.

Isn’t that like most of us?  “Yes, you caught me with my hand in the cookie jar again, God, but…”.  “Yes, Lord, I’ve been thinking of cheating on my spouse, but it’s her/his fault, you know…”.  “Yes, Lord, I know it’s wrong to steal, but if you hadn’t caused my car to break down I’d have had the money I needed and I wouldn’t have had to do this.”

God stills walks this earth, calling out to us: “Where are you?  Have you don’t the thing I commanded you not to do?”   He wants our heart-felt confession.  Will you give Him yours?

PRAYER: Father, we have so many sins to confess! Help us to see you as the One who is eager to hear our confession…and to forgive!  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 7/28/14 – It Must Be Believed to Be Seen

DayBreaks for 7/28/14 – It Must Be Believed to Be Seen

Galen is traveling through 8/5/14…new DayBreaks will resume after he returns. 

From the DayBreaks archive, 7/21/2004:

John 20:25-29 (NIV) – So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”  But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

I was listening the other day to a U2 album and I caught a phrase that I’d missed before about a “place that must be believed to be seen”.  We usually, like Thomas, say something like this: “I won’t believe it until I see it.”  But where’s the faith in such a saying?

God desires faith from us.  He desires that we trust Him implicitly.  But we don’t, do we?  Let’s face it: our ability to trust God implicitly is affected by the fact that we’ve never been able to trust anyone that way without disappointment.  But that’s because we’ve never really dealt with anyone even remotely like God.  God simply CANNOT fail.  His plan can’t fail.  His will can’t fail.  His Word can’t fail.  His promises can’t fail.  And when Jesus told his followers that he was going to prepare a place for them – a place that other passages tell us cannot be described for it’s glory – and that he’d eventually come back and take us to be there with him – you can be sure of it!

Does heaven exist?  Sure, it does.  But it is one of those places that you must believe in in order to see it!

PRAYER: For the mystery of faith and the power of belief, we thank 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 7/25/14 – Medals of Honor

DayBreaks for 7/25/14 – Medals of Honor

From the DayBreaks archive, 7/24/2004:

John 20:26-28 (NLT)  Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” “ My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

Rev. 5:6 (NLT) I looked and I saw a Lamb that had been killed but was now standing between the throne and the four living beings and among the twenty-four elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God that are sent out into every part of the earth.

Have you seen the commercials on television about a type of medicated bandage that can be put over a scar and which makes the scar less obvious?  It’s fascinating, but I have to admit that every time I see that commercial I think, “So what?”  Scars are part of life.  And as a young boy (even as an older one now!), guys take a certain perverse pleasure in showing off their scars.  Scars are like a badge of courage, a medal awarded for doing something brave and courageous (well, OK, maybe a bit foolish at times, too)!  So, why would we care if our scars were made less obvious?  (I realize that some disfigurement due to accident or disease is an entirely different matter!)

I love the passage in Revelation 5:6 that is quoted above.  “I saw a Lamb that had been killed but was now standing…”.  How would John have known the Lamb had been killed?  I don’t know, but I figure it must have been because of the scars upon the body.  Jesus showed his scars to Thomas – and they led to belief.

We, too, get scarred by life.  Seriously scarred.  Is there value to our scars?  I should think so.  Mark Buchanan, in Your God Is Too Safe, had this to say: “I don’t think that God, this side of the Jordan, ever completely removes our wounds.  I have at times wished He would.  I wish He would obliterate the past and remake it.  Take this cup away from me.  Spare me the wounds, and if not, spare me the scars from them, the deep ache in the flesh and the memory.

“But God has set this limit on His power.  Not even He can remove the past.  And the past comes bearing its wounds.  What God does is better.  He redeems the past and its wounds.  I have not given or taken a single wound that has not made me wiser – slower to judge, more discerning, more forgiving, more open to forgiveness, more shrewd and yet more trusting.  In fact, I have not given or taken a single wound through which I did not come to know Christ better and even, this is the amazing thing, become more like Him.

“The one way we recognize the risen Christ is by His scars.  He wears them like medals of honor.  And so they are.”

You don’t have to live long to collect scars – physical, emotional, spiritual.  I look back at some of the scars I’ve “earned” through my rebellion – and they are deep and ugly scars.  They bring back memories of failure and shame that I’d rather forget.  But perhaps that is some of the value of scars – they remind us of what not to do again.  And hopefully, we learn.

PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for the scars that come our way in life that teach us much.  And thank You for the scars that Jesus, now glorified in heaven, wears on our behalf!  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 7/24/14 – Look Up and Be Re-sized!

DayBreaks for 7/24/14 – Look Up and Be Re-sized

From the DayBreaks archive, 7/23/2004:

We live in a culture that appreciates big, powerful things.  It wasn’t enough just to build a memorial at Ground Zero in New York City.  No, they had to come up with a design that resulted in another huge, massive building.  We look admiringly at powerful women and men – whether they are sports figures, actors/actresses, politicians or business folk.  We are captivated by greatness and grandeur.

Psalm 8:3-4 (NLT)  – When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and the stars you have set in place—what are mortals that you should think of us, mere humans that you should care for us?

You see, I think that our attraction to greatness is part of what God put in us that was intended to lead us to seek Him.  Sadly, as with all other God-given abilities, even this one can be perverted into something unrecognizable.  But as David, as a young shepherd laying in the fields at night, lifted his eyes to the heavens, he was struck with the incredible greatness of the Creator.  David had no idea how many stars there were, let alone how many galaxies.  He had no concept of the light-year, nor of the incredibly vast distances that had been traveled by the light of the stars that fell on his retina.  But that’s OK – he didn’t need to have that kind of understanding.  Just seeing the night sky was enough, and when David looked up, he was resized.

It may have been the day that David slew the lion that he looked up at the stars and wondered about why God should care for us.  He may have just had the most successful day of his life.  Or he may have had his worst.  Either way, when we look upward toward God, we are inevitably resized into a better perspective of ourselves.  We are not the almighty – only He is Almighty.  We are not even very good, let alone great.  But God! – well now, He’s something else! 

And why should He care for us?  Several reasons I should think:

1. He made us and is therefore responsible for us in a real moralistic sense;

2. He gave us a spirit, an eternal soul, that is unique among His creation (as far as we know), and that makes us special;

3. He made us to “look” like Himself – a huge compliment that was not paid to the stars or moon or sun;

4. He loves us beyond reason and beyond our ability to hope or understand.

But the key point of this DayBreaks isn’t what makes us special – except that God thinks we are special.  That we matter to Him, that He thinks about us and cares for us.

No matter what kind of day you have today, let me encourage you tonight to go outside with a blanket and lay down on the grass and look up at the stars and think about God.  Go ahead – don’t worry about what the neighbors will think!  Get lost in the wonder of His greatness.  You just may sleep better tonight as a result!

PRAYER: Fill our hearts with Your Spirit that we may have not only your mind, but also your heart!  Let glory come to You from what people see flowing forth from our hearts!.  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 7/23/14 – Rivers of Living Water

DayBreaks for 7/23/14 – Rivers of Living Water

John 7:37-38 (NLT) On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38  Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

Have you ever been caught in the roaring power of a river as it rushes headlong downhill toward the sea?  I recall a whitewater rafting trip I took with some friends a few years back.  The river was relentless, possessed of a fearsome and mighty power as it caromed and raced over, around and past rocks and trees.  It was an irresistible force, inexorable.  It cared for no one else – only to pursue its own desire and destiny.  It would tear and sweep away any obstacle that stood in its path, mindless of the havoc it carried in its flowing.

But not all rivers are like that …

Rivers of living water will flow from his heart…what a beautiful description of Jesus!  The Scripture makes it clear that it is speaking of the Spirit, but it certainly also describes the love, compassion and mercy that flows out of his heart to his creation, and in particular, to humanity!  Jesus was FULL of living water.  That pure water is the result of the Spirit that He had without measure.

How would people describe what flows from my heart?  What do I believe flows from my heart?  We all like to think that we are kind and act lovingly, but in reality we are quite self-serving and many times even when we do something for others we do so with hidden motivations that are seeking something for ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be great if people could say of us that “Rivers of living water flow from her/his heart!”

PRAYER: Fill our hearts with Your Spirit that we may have not only your mind, but also your heart!  Let glory come to You from what people see flowing forth from our hearts!.  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 putS090 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 7/22/14 – Blinding Ourselves

DayBreaks for 7/22/14 – Blinding Ourselves

John 7:25-27 (NLT) Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah? But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.

The power of human tradition and “wisdom” is on display here.  Scripture doesn’t say that no one would know where the Messiah would come from.  In fact, it explicitly predicted his birth in Bethlehem, the city of David.  Yet the people were blinded by what people had told them.

There is tremendous power in human words and human thoughts.  They can blind and deceive us, or they can lead us to greater truth and insight.  We must be careful with them – especially when we speak of eternal matters that can affect eternal destinies.

Jesus never, ever, pulled punches.  He delivered the truth with straight face and direct words.  I, for one, do not like confrontation.  I often will go to great (and sometimes inappropriate) lengths to avoid it.  Or, when it becomes unavoidable, I will dissemble and try to find a circuitous route that is less direct and hopefully less offensive.  That can, at times, be a good thing.  But I suspect that more often than not, especially in our 21st century American culture, we tend to soft-peddle the truth when we believe it will be painful for the recipients to hear.  To those we love who are considering shacking-up with a significant other, we may be tempted to say “It’s okay to live with your boyfriend/girlfriend as long as you truly love one another” rather than speaking the truth of God’s Word in love and helping them see that they have chosen their feelings for the person over obedience to God – a form of idolatry.  Or, we conveniently talk about little white lies and excuse the behavior of others and ourselves in doing so.  We have seemingly thrown out the idea of a call to repentance.  When we water down the truth we water down the response that is needed to get right with God again.  And we need to remember that though we may water it down, God doesn’t.  Never has, never will.

Speak the truth.  But speak it with love.  And lives will be changed by the truth because it is the only thing that will set people free.

PRAYER: Your love and forgiveness are incomprehensible, Lord Jesus.  We are ashamed for the many times we have spit in your face through our actions and words!  Thank you for bearing our shame to the cross.  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 putS090 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 7/21/14 – The Purpose of Spit

DayBreaks for 7/21/14 – The Purpose of Spit

He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to crucify him. Some of the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters and called out the entire battalion. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him. They made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on his head, and they placed a stick in his right hand as a scepter. Then they knelt before him in mockery, yelling, “Hail! King of the Jews!” And they spit on him and grabbed the stick and beat him on the head with it. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.  (Matt.27:26-31 NLT)

Few things seem more degrading or humiliating than someone spitting in your face.  In He Chose the Nails, Max Lucado makes this observation about the spit of the soldiers: “The soldiers assignment was simple: Take the Nazarene to the hill and kill him. But they had another idea. They wanted to have some fun first. Strong, rested, armed soldiers encircled an exhausted, nearly dead, Galilean carpenter and beat up on him. The scourging was commanded. The crucifixion was ordered. But who would draw pleasure out of spitting on a half-dead man?

“Spitting isn’t intended to hurt the body– it can’t. Spitting is intended to degrade the soul, and it does…They felt big by making Christ look small.  Allow the spit of the soldiers to symbolize the filth of our hearts. And then observe what Jesus does with our filth.  He carries it to the cross.  Through the prophet he said, ‘I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting’ (Isa.50:6 NIV). Mingled with his blood and sweat was the essence of our sin…For some reason, the One who chose the nails also chose the saliva. Along with the spear and the sponge of man, he bore the spit of man. The sinless One took on the face of a sinner so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint.”

It wasn’t just the soldier who spit in Jesus’ face.  One way or another, we all have.  And he carried our spit to the cross, too, and forgave it.

PRAYER: Your love and forgiveness are incomprehensible, Lord Jesus.  We are ashamed for the many times we have spit in your face through our actions and words!  Thank you for bearing our shame to the cross.  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!