DayBreaks for 11/30/11 – Salvation Trust, Trust #3

DayBreaks for 11/30/11 – Salvation Trust, Trust #3

While Galen is preparing to move (and moving!) we’ll be publishing from the DayBreaks archive.  New DayBreaks will resume approx. 12/15/11.

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 11/08/01:

I was just thinking about this series of messages about trust.  You know, it scares me to even write about this stuff.  Why?  Because God usually puts us to the test when we do something like this.  It’s easy to write about trust, and as I write this, I do believe that I trust Him more now than at any other point of time in my life.  But what if God chooses to take my children or my wife from me in a biochemical attack?  What if my job vaporizes tomorrow?  Scary things.  Those are the kind of things that really put our trust to the test.  But still, God has put these things on my heart and I feel that I must share them, so onward we go…

There is a measure of our “un-trust” that we often don’t consider.  When you think of actions that don’t provide evidence of trust, what images come to your mind?  Perhaps the Israelites cowering before Goliath and Saul strapping the armor on David.  Perhaps King David numbering the warriors in Israel – indicating his trust was in his troops instead of his Commander in Chief.  Those are worthy examples, and sadly, the Scripture is full of failures – such as these and the failure of Peter to acknowledge Jesus during his trial.  My life is chock full of noteworthy examples of failure to trust, too.

But before we can really start to trust God, we have to come to terms with our salvation.  After all, what good is any of this “God-thing” if there isn’t a payback for us some time, somewhere?  And let’s face it: salvation is the big carrot.  We long for a “better country”. We long for a peace and rest that we’ve never found on this planet.  We hope it exists.  And if you are a Christian, you are banking your earthly life and your eternity that the answer is found in Jesus who claimed to be “…THE way, THE truth, THE life…”.

The foundational trust for the Christian comes in accepting that God loves us and has (notice that is in the past tense) saved us by his grace (Eph. 2:5, 8).  Sometimes that is hard to accept and believe, isn’t it?  When you’ve fallen to the same temptation for the thousandth time it is hard to look at yourself in the mirror, let alone look God in the face and call Him “Abba, Father” (Daddy, Father).  So what do we do?  We wallow.  We rip ourselves up one side and down the other.  And we learn to hate – to hate ourselves for what we are and what we’ve done.  “Wallowing in shame, remorse, self-hatred, and guilt over real or imagined failings in our past lives betrays a distrust in the love of God.  It shows that we have not accepted the acceptance of Jesus Christ and thus have rejected the total sufficiency of his redeeming work.”  (Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning)

So, the question is: can you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine…”?  Can you sing in your heart, “Jesus loves me, this I know…”?  Can you, like Paul (who called himself the greatest sinner of his time), say: (2 Timothy 1:12b) – “…Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day”?  Or are you displaying your lack of trust in the sufficiency of the blood of Christ to remove your guilt, sin and shame?

Consider the following verses:

Phil. 1:20-21 – “20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Isaiah 49:23 – “Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers.  They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet.  Then you will know that I am the LORD; THOSE WHO HOPE IN ME WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.

Do you hope in Him?  Desperately hope that somehow (even if by accident!!!) He will find it in His heart of hearts to forgive you?  That somehow when the books are opened and everyone is judged, do you hope that your name will be found on the list of the saved?  Listen to His very own words: “THOSE WHO HOPE IN ME WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”  Breathe them in and make that your meditation.  Trusting in anyone and anything else will leave you bitter.  Trusting in him will set you free from your guilt.  Jesus’ sacrifice was more than sufficient to save you.  It WILL save you and it is what will save me, too.

First step: trust God with your salvation.  Once you’ve REALLY done that, you’re on the way and the rest of life becomes so much easier.

PRAYER: Father, we find it so hard to let go of trying to save ourselves and to trust our salvation totally and fully to You!  Thank You that those who trust in You will not be disappointed, ever, in any way!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks for 11/29/11 – On His Mind, Trust #2

DayBreaks for 11/29/11 – On His Mind, Trust #2

You are always on His mind!

While Galen is preparing to move (and moving!) we’ll be publishing from the DayBreaks archive.  New DayBreaks will resume approx. 12/15/11.

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 11/07/01:

The first key to trust comes in this very simple passage from Luke 12:6-7: “Can you not buy five sparrows for 2 pennies?  And yet not one is forgotten in God’s sight.  Why, every hair on your head has been counted.  There is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.

As many times as I’ve read and heard this verse, I’d never heard it put this way until I read Ruthless Trust and Brennan Manning put it so simply: “God, by definition, is thinking of me.”  Sure, I know that God sees me and all that I do.  But doesn’t that also mean that He’s ALWAYS thinking of me?  And as a child of His, somehow I believe that when He does think of me (which is all the time), He smiles.  And as His child, when he thinks of you (which is all the time), He smiles.  Does that mean that at times He isn’t displeased with me?  No, of course not!  As parents we know better.  But my daughter is still my daughter, my sons are still my sons, and when I think of them I smile inside and out.  I hope that they don’t make mistakes, but nonetheless, they are mine – and I love them.  And I am His – and He loves me.

What does it mean to know that God is thinking of you all the time?  Several things:

FIRST: the obvious – there is never a moment that you aren’t on His mind.  He is aware of what is happening to you.

SECOND: because He is constantly thinking of you and aware of what is happening to you, He is always looking out for your well-being.  If a car were coming down the street towards your child as you watched them playing, you’d get them out of harm’s way.  Believe it or not (and I know there are times when it doesn’t FEEL like this is true) – God whisks His children out of harm’s way, too.  At moments, we’re sure that God failed to grab us because we got hit by the Mack truck coming down the highway of our life.  But trust tells us that it can’t possibly be true that He has abandoned us or that He isn’t doing what is best for us – even when it doesn’t seem or feel like it.  God just can’t do something that is ultimately harmful to/for His children.  Do you believe that?  That is trust – God can’t be tempted with evil and works all things for our good (Romans 8:28).

…this kind of trust is acquired only gradually and most often through a series of crises and trials.  Through the indescribable anguish on Mount Moriah with his son, Isaac, Abraham learned that the God who had called him to hope against hope was eminently reliable and that the only thing expected of him was unconditional trust.  The great old man models the essence of trust in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures: to be convinced of the reliability of God.”  (Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust)

If you’re struggling with the left-over pain of feeling like the truck has hit you going full speed, hold on.  Don’t give up.  Contemplate His promises.  Understand that you haven’t disappeared from His sight – not for one nanosecond.  And you haven’t disappeared from His mind – for this very moment, and every moment of your darkness – He is thinking of you.  He knows exactly where you are at.  He knows exactly what you are feeling.  He knows exactly how hard it is to hold on against the pain and darkness that is trying to swallow you up.  There is a purpose that may only become clear long after your present ordeals are over.  But when He shows it to you, you’ll nod, fall at His feet and praise Him for it and for His infinite wisdom.  But until then, will you trust Him?  He’s thinking about you, you know!

PRAYER: How delightful to know that You are always thinking of us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks for 11/28/11 – The One Thing We Need, Part 1

FOR AT LEAST THE NEXT 2 WEEKS, I’LL BE POSTING DAYBREAKS FROM THE ARCHIVES WHILE WE PREPARE AND MOVE TO GEORGIA:

How desperately we need trust...

From the DayBreaks archive dated 11/06/01:

First, a word of explanation: I am on a new “kick”.  I suppose we all get on a kick from time to time, but this one has been especially meaningful for me in light of all that has happened in the past couple of months in our world, and in the past couple of years in my life.  As a result, there are lots of things I look forward to sharing with you in these DayBreaks in the next 30-45 days.  I will still try to mix it up a bit…but you’ve been forewarned, so sit down, strap in and hold on because we’re going on a journey together starting today!

In Ruthless Trust, Brennan Manning told the following story: “When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at the ‘house of the dying’ in Calcutta, we was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life.  On the first morning there he met Mother Theresa.  She asked, ‘And what can I do for you?’  Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him.

“What do you want me to pray for?” she asked.  He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States.  “Pray that I have clarity.”

“She said firmly, ‘No, I will not do that.’  When he asked her why, she said, ‘Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.’  When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, ‘I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust.  So I will pray that you trust God.’”

I have become more and more convinced that the secret of the Christian life lies in trust.  Some may say this is a semantical argument, but I don’t think so.  Some would say it is faith or life in the Spirit.  Sure, but you can’t have faith in someone or something that you don’t trust.  Faith and trust both grow over time with experience, but is in the dark nights of the soul that trust rules the roost.

Trust has been a bit hard to come by in the past few months.  We used to trust in our safety in the workplace.  That’s gone.  We used to trust that our fellow-man was generally decent and law-abiding.  But we don’t trust that quite so much any more.  And where we once opened our mail without a second thought, we now look twice at postmarks and return addresses and suspicious bulges in envelopes, don’t we?  Where we once felt relatively secure in our economy and our jobs, who among us hasn’t at least wondered a bit about if (and when) the pink slip might come our way?

I wrote not long ago about some of my struggles over the past couple of years and how I’ve seemingly reached the end of that dark tunnel.  Many DayBreaks readers (perhaps more than for any other single DayBreaks) wrote in response to that message, sharing with me the depth of their own struggle and how (at times) it just doesn’t seem that God is there – that He is not holding up His end of the bargain.  Believe me, I understand.  I have felt exactly the same things.  But there’s a problem here – we trust God when he acts the way we want Him to and when He is acting the way that we would expect Him to act (based on our human “wisdom”), but it is much more difficult when He doesn’t act in the way we would prescribe.  I believe, however, that part of our problem is that we have a misconception about trust.  Once again, Brennan Manning (in the same book quoted above) suggested: “We often presume that trust will dispel the confusion, illuminate the darkness, vanquish the uncertainty and redeem the times.  But the crowd of witnesses in Hebrews 11 testifies that this is not the case.  Our trust does not bring final clarity on this earth.  It does not still the chaos or dull the pain or provide a crutch.  When all else is unclear, the heart of trust says, as Jesus did on the cross, ‘Into your hands I commit my spirit’ (Luke 23:46).

When some of you wrote me, you suggested you were having a hard time trusting God because things were still a mess in your lives – perhaps after spending years in the pain and anguish.  You’re in good company – the roll call of the faithful in Hebrews 11!!!  Hebrews 11:13-17 tells us: “13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

Can we be really honest with each other for just a second?  All of our lives are a mess.  We have all languished in the darkness to varying degrees.  Even these heroes of the faith did.  Read Jeremiah and then tell me that you think his life was peaches and cream.  Or King David.  Or the apostle Paul.  Don’t miss what the passage from Hebrews is saying: “THEY DID NOT RECEIVE THE THINGS PROMISED; THEY ONLY SAW THEM AND WELCOMED THEM FROM A DISTANCE.”  They didn’t get clarity in their day-to-day life, other than to know that they longed for a “better country” and they trusted that if it existed, it would be God that held the key to getting there.  That is trust, and trust is what gave them the ability to endure the horrific things listed in the rest of Hebrews 11.  If trust worked for them, I have a hunch that if we understand it properly that it will work for us, too.  It’s not a magic elixir, it won’t likely bring daily clarity, and you can’t produce it on your own.  But trust happens!

Let’s take a journey together and explore this thing called trust.  I’m convinced it is the key to the Christian life – to our strength, our humility and our ability to persevere!

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks for 11/25/11 – The Actions of a Disciple

DayBreaks for 11/25/11 – The Actions of a Disciple

"Follow me..."

So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. 20 Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!” Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.” 21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.­ – 1 Kings 19:19-21

This past week I was given new insight to this story by Kyle Idelman’s Not a Fan.  I’d read and heard the story before, but never in this context.  The great prophet Elijah (considered by the Jews themselves to be the greatest of the prophets), was told that he should select Elisha to be his disciple and successor as prophet in Israel.  When Elijah finds him, Elisha is out plowing his fields with 12 yoke of oxen.  This is a sign of Elisha’s great wealth.  By far the vast majority of people in his time were too poor to own an ox, or if they had an ox, they had AN OX – just one.  Not Elisha.  Elisha as 12 yoke (at least 24!) of oxen.  When Elisha receives the invitation to follow after Elijah and be his disciple, he doesn’t try to keep his business going on the side or negotiate the terms of his discipleship.  Instead, Elisha slaughters all 24 oxen, puts all his plows together and burns them.  The people of the community were invited to come and he barbecued the oxen and fed all his neighbors.  He was making a very clear statement that he would not be looking backwards with longing.  He was committing himself to give God his full attention – no holds barred, nothing held back.  Elisha understood a truth that we try to avoid: that God desperately wants us, but he won’t share us.

But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62

Jesus, the very Son of God, has said to us, “Follow me!”  Will we be placing limits on our discipleship? Or will we destroy and get rid of everything in our lives, IMMEDIATELY, to follow?

PRAYER: It is hard to let go of our wants, of our very selves, so that we can follow you without looking back.  Give us the courage to burn our plows so there is nothing to entice us backwards!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks for 11/24/11 – Virtue in Anxious Times

DayBreaks for 11/24/11 – Virtue in Anxious Times

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones. ­- Psalm 127:2

What anxious people we are!  We are worried about our health.  We worry about our futures.  We worry about our pasts.  We worry in the present.  We worry about circumstances.  We worry about what may happen and we worry about what may not happen.  We, like Martha, are “anxious about many things.”  And that’s not how God wants us to live!  Why?  Because all our worrying can’t control any of those things…and therefore, as the Psalmist said, it is “useless.”

Most of us are touched by the suffering of the world and would like to do something to help.  But the core message of anxiety is that we cannot afford to share or get involved because we can never have enough. Put more strongly, in a culture permeated by anxiety and fear, the very things we have traditionally called sins or vices (hoarding, greed and suspicion) seemingly have become wise and prudent virtues.  We have allowed fear, rather than trust and love, to govern our lives. But such fear is a form of idolatry because it suggests we are giving more attention to our own security than we are giving to God.  Scott Bader-Saye warns, “the ethic of security produces a skewed moral vision. It suggests that suspicion, preemption, and accumulation are virtues insofar as they help us feel safe. But when seen from a Christian perspective, such ‘virtues’ fail to be true virtues, since they do not orient us to the true good—love of God and neighbor. In fact, they turn us away from the true good, tempting us to love safety more than we love God.”

God’s virtues have not changed.  He loves forgiveness, mercy, justice, righteousness, generosity.  Those things have not changed because He never changes.  Let’s not let the world re-define virtue for us!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

PRAYER: It is so easy for us to be subtly influence by the world and the way it thinks, Lord.  Help us be grounded and rooted in your Word so we know what you care about and have a basis for living life that doesn’t ever change.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks for 11/23/11 – We Stand and Watch

DayBreaks for 11/23/11 – We Stand and Watch

We stand and watch...

3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” – Psalm 82:3-4

If you have been a Christian for a while, you’ve heard the story of the gospel over and over.  You know the entire story, you have all the information.  You’d think that it would be easy for us to see and recognize Christ at the King.  But do we?  How do you recognize Jesus as the King?  Or do you?  We American’s are an “independent, stand on our two feet, nobody tells us what to do, rugged” kind of people.  Because of that we may have trouble recognizing Jesus at times.

In Luke’s story of the crucifixion it seems that there is nobody on the scene who recognizes Jesus as the king.  As Luke weaves the story about those of his time, he has taken the liberty of painting us into the story as well.  He describes people who were there that day but who did nothing except to stand there and watch: And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” – Luke 23:35

Did you see yourself there?  “And the people stood by, watching.” That’s us, isn’t it?  All around us grinding poverty and immorality is slowly destroying our youth and we just stand by and watch, preferably from a safe distance, preferably from inside a gated community. We watch the world turn secular and get busier and busier – all while we know that there is a spiritual side to life but we just can’t seem to find a crack our tightly wound schedules to grow spiritually.  We think about a Bible study but just can’t tolerate the idea of one more thing to attend. We won’t even pull off the road to watch a sunset for fear that we will be late to the next appointment. In trying to do everything, we are doing nothing of lasting value for our souls. When a king passes by in your life, you don’t just stand and watch. You respond.

Have you seen the King?  Do you recognize Him?  Or do you just stand and watch, letting opportunities and life pass you by?

PRAYER: Lord, when we see you, help us recognize you and not be counted among those who “stand and watch!”  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks for 11/22/11 – One Drop Less

DayBreaks for 11/22/11 – One Drop Less

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ – Matthew 25:37-39

One interesting way to read Scripture and gain new insights is to emphasize different words when we read.  Then, meditate on each word, one at a time, to mine the riches buried in a passage.  I’ve used this technique before, but not in conjunction with the passage above.

I’ve read this story many times, but never using this tool…but what if we stop to think about the seemingly insignificant adverb, “when.”  ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or when did we see you thirsty, or when did we see you naked, or when did we see you sick?’  It is interesting that both those in the parable who see, and those who fail to see the needs of those around them ask the same question “When…?”  Also revealing is the fact that those who helped didn’t remember helping, while those who passed by didn’t remember passing by.  The common question that will be asked by both groups on the last day is “When? Lord?”

Mother Theresa once said, “I never look at the masses as my responsibility, I look at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. So you begin with one. If I didn’t pick up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up 42,000. My whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if I didn’t put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less.”

It takes a lot of water to fill the ocean.  But it can be filled – one drop at a time.  In this analogy, each act of kindness is a good thing done in love for someone else.  And to the person who receives that drop of water, it is life-giving and life-sustaining.

Find a way today to put a drop into the ocean of need and hurt that surrounds you.  Just as the world is diminished by each act of evil, it is blessed by each act of good.

PRAYER: Jesus, help us be influences of good, not evil this day.  Let us not lose heart because of the size of the task, but let us join in spirit with Your Spirit to help righteousness flourish!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.