DayBreaks for 01/31/12 – Living the Full Gospel

DayBreaks for 01/31/12 – Living the Full Gospel

We must not just speak the Word, we must live it...

8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ – Luke 10:8-9

What is the gospel?  When you hear the word, what do you think of?  How about when you hear the word “evangelism”?  Do you envision someone knocking on your door to tell you that Jesus loves you?  Or greeting you on the street and warning you that you’ll go to hell if you don’t accept Jesus?

Of course, the word “gospel” means good news.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like good news, do you?  I mean, who wouldn’t like the Publisher’s Clearing House van pulling up in front of their house to tell you that you’re the grand prize winner?  Most of us would think that is good news, right?

And it is good news that Jesus loves us.  It is!  And when you find out that you’ve “won” the favor of God (not because of what you have done, but simply because of what He has done), that is far better news than winning the grand prize from PCH!

I wonder, though, if we really understand the gospel.  This past Sunday, a guest speaker from Sao Paulo, Brazil, made a statement that I think bears repeating.  He said we are to live the gospel in word, and in deed.  What did he mean?

I grew up with a lot of emphasis being placed on sharing the Word…telling people the story, doing my best to convince them of their need to accept Christ’s free gift of salvation.  To me, that was what the gospel was – proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor.  But that’s just a part of it.  When Jesus sent the disciples out in Luke 10, he told them to proclaim the message: “The Kingdom of God is near you,”, i.e., share the Word about the joyous news.  But what else did they do?  They cast out demons and healed the sick.  That’s the other part of the gospel – the “deed” part.

Have we focused so much on the Word side of the gospel that we’ve neglected the “deed” side?  If so, we’re not fully representing the gospel to the world and the world is a poorer place for it.

PRAYER: Let us speak the word, and live the gospel deeds before the world by your enabling Spirit!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

If you wish to help support Galen and his work in bringing food, water and protection to children through the non-profit iam2.org, please mail checks made payable to “iam2 Partners” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 01/30/11 – The Power to Change Eternity

DayBreaks for 01/30/12 – The Power to Change Eternity

19 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. – James 5:19-20

In life we are often frustrated by the lack of control and power over the endless stream of circumstances and events that surround us.  Our plans are swept away so often by the changing tide of time, the actions of others, and our own inability to foresee and adequately plan for the future.  When we have great expectations and hopes and those dreams are snatched away seemingly by some whim of fate, it hurts.  We don’t understand.

When we look at the great tragedies that rock the world – man-made, natural, or the so-called, “acts of God” we also feel inadequate to rise to those challenges and make a difference.  And it’s frustrating.

Sometimes we forget what great power God has placed at our disposal.  I’m not talking especially about the power of the Spirit, though that is an incredible, unlimited power that is at work both on us and in us. The passage from James seems to me to hint that we have (by the Spirit, of course) the power to change eternity itself.  If we can turn one brother or sister, one wayward sailor on life’s seas, from the blindness to the things of God, we can change eternity.

Is that awesome (and humbling!) or what?

PRAYER: Thank you for the power and trust you have put in us to affect not just the future, but eternity!  Help us to not despair at our helplessness in things that don’t really matter, and to celebrate the ability to affect eternity!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

If you wish to help support Galen and his work with iam2.org, please mail checks made payable to “iam2 Partners” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 01/26/12 – The Missing Message

The forgotten, missing message...repentance.

About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. 2 “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? 3 Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. 4 And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? 5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.” – Luke 13:1-5

A mother calling to her son shouted, “Johnny, tell your sister to get in the house out of the rain.” “I can’t mom,” came the reply. “And just why can’t you?” demanded his mother. “Because we are playing Noah’s Ark mom, and she’s one of the sinners.”

We seem to take a sinister delight in distinguishing between the horrible sinners outside of the ark and the saints on the inside.  There is a distinction to be made, if we consider the ark to be the family of the redeemed.  But we should never do so proudly, nor joyfully.  Why?  Because when we do that, we are horrifyingly blind to the fact that the saints inside the ark are still sinners.  Sinners saved by grace to be sure, but still, sinners. It didn’t take Noah very long after exiting the ark to prove the point.

In Jesus’ time, the self-righteous Pharisees (indeed the self-righteous saints all through history), felt that the message of repentance did not apply to them – it was only necessary for those sinners outside the ark. In many modern American churches, repentance is considered a valid topic if you’re preaching at the mission or on skid row, but not in the gathering of the saints.  Billy Graham has said, “I have been shocked to find that the theme proclaimed so emphatically by the prophets and apostles is scarcely mentioned by contemporary preachers.”

When is the last time you repented?  I’m not talking about asking for forgiveness…I’m talking about really repenting, to have a change of heart and decision, to set aside the dalliances of the sinful nature so that you can pursue God with a full heart?

PRAYER: Forgive our haughty pride that has declared ourselves to be better than those on the “outside”!  Remind us of our sinfulness, lead us to true repentance.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

If you wish to help support Galen and his work with iam2.org, please mail checks made payable to “iam2 Partners” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 01/25/12 – Improving Vision

Improving Vision...how's yours?

1 It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3 They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”-  Isaiah 6:1-3

Some time ago I read the story of a young boy approaching his slightly older sister with a question about God. “Susie, can anybody ever really see God?” “Of course not, silly,” came the response. “God is so far up in heaven that no one can see God.” Sometime later the boy approached his mother with the same nagging question, “Mom, can anybody really see God?” More gently his mother answered, “No, not really. God is a spirit and dwells in our hearts, but we can never really see God.”

His mother’s answer was somewhat more satisfying, but still the boy wondered. Not long afterwards, the boy’s grandfather took him on a fishing trip, and the two had a great day together. As the day was winding down, the sun began to set with unusual splendor. The grandfather was enraptured by the beauty, and the grandson was aware of a deep peace and contentment etched upon his grandpa’s face. “Granddad,” the boy began, a bit hesitatingly. “I wasn’t going to ask anyone else, but I wonder if you can tell me the answer to something I’ve been wondering about a long time. Can anybody ever really see God?”

The grandfather sat in thought for a few moments, then said simply, “Grandson, it’s getting so I can’t see anything else.” – Joel D. Kline, Faith Is a Verb

I am getting older.  My ears don’t work as well as they once did.  My muscles don’t bulge like iron bands anymore and my six-pack has become a butterball.  My feet and legs hurt.  I get winded and tired more than I used to.  My vision isn’t what it once was, but I can somewhat relate to the words of the grandfather.  I’m getting a better view of life and what really matters, but my vision of the Lord has improved as he’s taught me lesson after lesson about patience, faithfulness, justice, mercy, grace, compassion and love.

When we are young we can’t imagine the end, let alone see it.  When we are older, we can no longer see the Alpha (beginning), but the Omega gets larger and we are eager to see him even more closely.  This is as it should be.

PRAYER: Fill our vision completely with You and Your glory!  May you grow more precious, and nearer, each day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

If you wish to help support Galen and his work with iam2.org, please mail checks made payable to “iam2 Partners” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 01/24/12 – Busted Parts and Beautiful Things

DayBreaks for 01/24/12 – Busted Parts and Beautiful Things

1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2 He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3 a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. – Isaiah 42:1-3

Julie Pennington-Russell, in Our Friend Calling, wrote: “I have a friend. He’s a man in his late 60’s. Rugged, burly, brilliant guy. He’s always reminded me a little of the Marlborough Man. He studied at a prestigious university in the East some years ago, and then he moved to Texas to work on his doctorate. But somewhere along the way he became addicted to cocaine–just tumbled into that dark hole. Lost his family, lost his place in graduate school, lost big pieces of himself. But somehow he washed up on the shores of a good church. And when he did, he was so fragile–he looked like he’d been “rode hard and put up wet”–as they say in Texas. But the folks in that church put their arms around that man and slowly he started to heal, and eventually, miraculously, even reunited with his wife and children.

“We had this couple in our home for dinner and the man began to talk with Tim and me about where his life was going. “I want to believe,” he said, “that my best days aren’t behind me, and that my life can still count, can still make a difference for God.” He sat at our table with his head in his hands. “I just can’t help but feel like I’ve blown all of my best chances,” he said. That’s when his wife, who’s just this wonderful, middle-aged bohemian Texas flower child kind of woman, reached over and took his hand and said–and I’ll never forget this–she said, “Baby, you’ve got to take your sticky fingers off that steering wheel. If God could yank Jesus out of a grave, I figure he can make something beautiful out of busted parts.” And I tell you what –if I live to be a hundred and ten, I don’t expect to hear the gospel better articulated than that.”

When we are broken and busted, we tend to think that we are useless.  As we get older and feel that we’re defective, we can really despair thinking that we’re washed up and ready for the junk heap.  The joyful news for all of us is that we are never too old for God to use us, if we just stop trying to control our life and let Him take control.  It is hard to pry our fingers off the steering wheel.  We live under the illusion that we’ve done a good job of driving so far so we figure we just as well keep on driving since we’ve done so well so far.

Deep inside, though, we know we’ve not done all that well.  Could we have done worse?  Probably.  Could we have done better?  Certainly.  But God doesn’t ever make mistakes.  Let Him take the busted parts in you.  Gather them up, put them in His hands, and see what He does with them!

PRAYER: We are like shattered glass, Lord.  We need you to put our lives back together and back on track!!  Make something beautiful out of our brokenness, Lord!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

If you wish to help support Galen and his work with iam2.org, please mail checks made payable to “iam2 Partners” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!  And YES, donations are tax deductible!

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DayBreaks for 01/23/12 – Where’s the Difference?

DayBreaks for 01/23/12 – Where’s the Difference?

“Are you the Messiah we’ve been expecting, or should we keep looking for someone else?” 4 Jesus told them, “Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— 5 the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor. 6 And tell him, ‘God blesses those who do not turn away because of me.’”-  Matthew 11:3-6

This is one of the most perplexing passages in Scripture.  Jesus will go on just a bit later in the discussion to say that no man ever born of woman was greater than John, yet here is John in prison, sending his disciples to Jesus to ask him if he’s really the Messiah.  This is the same John who had seen the dove descend on Jesus at his baptism and heard the voice of God proclaim Jesus was His Son.  This is the same John who said of Jesus, “He must increase, I must decrease” and “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the world’s sin!”  It is comforting to know that even the greatest man born of woman had questions and doubts at times.  But that’s not the point I want to consider today.

Jesus didn’t directly answer the question, but pointed the questioners to what they’d seen: the miracle, the blind who could now see, the lame who could now walk, lepers healed, hearing restored – and even the dead raised to life.  Had those present seen the dead who Jesus had raised?  I don’t know.  Jesus seems to imply that they had.  But then I got to thinking, perhaps Jesus was referring not to the physically raised, perhaps he was referring to the people who had been spiritually dead who had found new life – such as the immoral woman who washed Jesus feet, even those who were part of the crowd who had been dead, but found in Jesus new life.

I started to ponder my life.  As Christians, we have been born again.  Our old man is dead, the new life has come.  But if questioners were to look at me, would they see someone who is truly alive, vibrantly alive?  Is not the Christian experience supposed to be life from the dead?  “We were dead in our trespasses and sins” Paul wrote.  But we’re now alive in Christ Jesus!

Has anybody noticed it in you?

PRAYER: Let your life be brilliantly visible in me, may I give witness to the new life I have in Your Son, and may people wonder at how the dead can live again!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

If you wish to help support Galen and his work with iam2.org, please mail checks made payable to “iam2 Partners” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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 01/20/12 – I AM the Resurrection

DayBreaks for 01/20/12 – I Am the Resurrection

"I AM the resurrection." - Jesus

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” – John 11:25-26

For some reason this past Sunday, I was pondering this passage and something struck me that hadn’t ever gotten my attention.  Look closely again at the verse above.  What is Jesus’ claim?  It is not that He will be responsible for the resurrection, nor for the power that brings it about, but that He IS the resurrection.

What does He mean?  I must confess that I’m not totally sure, and I’m surely not bright enough to have figured it out in any great detail.  But this I know: John, in the first chapter of his gospel, says that “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.”  Why do we die?  Romans 6:23 says it is what we earn for our sin…both physically and spiritually.  In Christ is the solution to the death problem – both the physical (as he demonstrated through various resurrections, but mostly through his own resurrection) and spiritual, but killing the sting of death, removing it from us, and we have his promise that those who believe in him will never die (spiritually).

I now think that I’ll no longer be excited simply by thinking that Jesus will bring the resurrection to pass.  That’s nothing…it’s easy for him to do.  But what I am more excited about than ever is simply this: Jesus’ coming, for he IS the resurrection, and death flees from Him!

PRAYER: Be my life, Lord Jesus, resurrect me, even this moment, with Your Presence!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

If you wish to help support Galen and his work with iam2.org, please mail checks made payable to “iam2 Partners” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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.