DayBreaks for 01/19/12 – A Fresh Breeze

DayBreaks for 01/19/12 – The Fresh Breeze

2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Acts 2:2

Last spring I challenged our congregation to read through the entire Bible over the course of the coming year.  I know that there is a blessing to be received from reading through Scripture (it’s the only book in the world that offers such a guarantee!), but I discovered one that I’d not anticipated this time.

Since I issued the challenge, I accepted the challenge myself, and I chose a reading method that was chronologically oriented.  That meant that I got to read through the Old Testament first.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the Old Testament!  There are so many lessons and stories for us to learn from – great men and women to meet, an awesome God to discover, His faithfulness on display.  It was, as the NT tells us, written to be a “school teacher” for us, to help bring us to Christ.  So we should never, ever underestimate the power and importance of the Old Testament.

But, I’ve now turned the corner into the New Testament, and when I did, something REALLY struck me.  I felt as if a huge blast of fresh air had swept into my soul as I began to read the stories of Jesus from the gospels!!!!  It was like turning from night to day, from cold to delightfully warm.  And why should it not be so?  I was literally turning from Law to Grace!  It was, I believe, the difference between the letter of the Law and the rushing power of the mighty Spirit!

There is something so refreshing about Jesus.  He not only came to bring us good news – He IS the good news and we should receive Him with great joy!!!!

PRAYER: For the delight of the Word, hallelujah, we praise You!  For the surprises that take our breath away as we discover the Christ anew, we rejoice!  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 01/18/12 – As I Walk

DayBreaks for 01/18/12 – As I Walk

On Sunday, one of the songs (Hosanna) included these words:

 Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity.

We are, you know, walking somewhere.  We are all walking into eternity someday.  My prayer is this:

Lord, my heart hurts from the sin and evil that have separated me from you.  Create that clean heart inside of me that you long for me to have.  Let the things of earth that enslaved me be stripped from me as I put on the robe and crown that you’ve promised to your children.  Let my selfishness be consumed and destroyed by the power of your love.  As the things of this earth fade slowly but surely from sight, let me see the “things unseen” that I have believed in and hoped for.  Turn my heart from self-love to a pure, true love for you.  Until then, Lord, break my heart not for the things that I don’t get in this world, but for the things that break your heart.  Day by passing day as I move further on the journey, let me give you more and more of what I am that you may use me for the greatest cause of all – your glory and kingdom.  Father, as I walk from earth into eternity, let me walk with my hand in yours.  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 01/17/12 – Who Lives Where?

DayBreaks for 01/17/12 – Who Lives Where?

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Here’s a question for you: does Christ live in us, or do we live in Him?  I suspect that the answer is “Yes” to both.  On the one hand, Paul said it is “no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”  That’s relatively clear, isn’t it?  But then we have the parable of the vine and the branches…and we are part of the vine…the vine isn’t part of the branches.

The mystery of the indwelling of the Spirit is purely that…a mystery.  If we could explain it, it would no longer be a mystery.  How does it work?

I liked the analogy that Randy Pope gave this past Sunday.  Think about eating food.  You take a piece of meat or a vegetable or whatever, and you eat it.  Before you eat it, it was something that was separate and distinct – it existed in its own right.  It was not part of you…you were separate and distinct, too.  But, once you eat that bit of foodstuffs, it becomes a part of you.  It is absorbed, it is no longer separate from you or your body.  It becomes a part, potentially, of every cell in your body and it is indistinguishable from “you”.  You, and “it” cannot be separated because you are now one in substance.  You were strengthened by what you took in.

So it is to be with the Spirit who lives within us.  He is separate and distinct, as we were, before He took up residence in us.  But when we belong to Christ, we become more Christlike, and as Paul said, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”  The Spirit is to be so tightly interwoven into the very fabric of our being that we are no longer distinguishable…He is to permeate our cells/hearts/minds, in fact, our body at that moment has become His temple – in a way it is no longer our body, but His temple where He is to be worshiped.

Does Christ live in us via the Spirit?  Yes.  We can only live as we remain connected to Him.  Christ doesn’t so much want us to live our lives with Him – He wants to live HIS life through us.

PRAYER: How great, Lord, is the mystery of the Incarnation, and of the indwelling of Your Spirit within us!  Take control over every aspect of our lives so that we can echo Paul’s words that it is not any longer we who live, but You who live in us!  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 01/16/12 – Dressed In His Righteousness Alone

DayBreaks for 01/16/12 – Dressed In His Righteousness Alone

NOTE: I’ve had a major change in my life, having resigned with the church I was pastoring to serve as director of operations for a Christian-founded non-profit charitable organization that is dedicated to helping provide food, clean water and protection for children all over the world, including the United States.  As a result, I moved to Georgia and begin my work as of TODAY!!!  It is a new organization and I am in the process of raising 40% of my income for the first year.  DayBreaks has always been free and will remain free for anyone who wants to receive it.  If, however, you’ve been blessed through DayBreaks and if the Spirit leads you to help support me in this new ministry, I’d really appreciate it.  If you want to give, you can make your check to iam2 Partners and mail it to the address found at the bottom of this DayBreaks, or you can go to www.iam2.org and donate (either one time or on a recurring basis) through PayPal.  Whether you give or not will not interfere in any way with your “subscription” to DayBreaks or our friendship – you’ll get DayBreaks either way.  Go to the iam2.org home page and watch the video of our president/founder, Dan Bowling.  And follow us (iam2.org) on Facebook where we’ll be posting very soon!  Thank you!

TODAY’S DEVOTION:

There is a great Christian hymn, The Solid Rock¸ that includes this phrase: “…dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.”

Oh, how we hope and long to be dressed in righteousness, don’t we?!!!  But because we’re humans, we look in the mirror and see ourselves with flaws and faults that go far deeper than pimples on our face or scars on our skin.  We often look at ourselves with loathing.  We know the dark thoughts that go on behind the back of our eyes that no other human sees or knows.  In the darkness of night, those things haunt us…and taunt us.

We hear our enemy, Lucifer, accusing us as clearly as if we were in the halls of heaven where he is the “accuser of the saints,” accusing us as he did Job long ago.  And we know what appears to be the obvious truth: he is right.  We are miserable, despicable, desperately evil and wicked.  Without any redeeming virtue that could possibly undo all the wickedness that we’ve done, are doing, and will do in the future.  And we fear standing before God, clothed in our own righteousness – which is virtually nil (though we might be tempted to give ourselves more credit for righteousness than we really deserve!)

If that’s what we are thinking and feeling about ourselves, we’ve missed one of the most incredible truths of Scripture: for those who have put their trust in Christ, we are no longer clothed in our own wickedness, we are clothing with His righteousness – nothing more, and nothing less!

What is Christ’s righteousness?  It is sinless perfection.  Without spot or blemish, faultless.  And that’s how we will stand before the throne of God.

for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. – Romans 3:26

8 Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9 and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. – Philippians 3:8-9

PRAYER: Jesus, thank You for your unsurpassable gift of righteousness that You have given to us!  We look forward to standing faultless before the throne of the Father because of You – and You alone!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 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.

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.  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 01/13/11 – Of Dirty Diapers, Sin and Grace

DayBreaks for 01/13/12 – Of Dirty Diapers, Sin, and Grace

I’ve been a Christian a long, long time.  I’ve heard about sin even longer.  But I don’t think I’ve ever heard a better analogy about sin and God’s amazing love and grace than one from Jon Tyson, from Rumors of God which he co-authored with Darren Whitehead.  He tells of his 2-year old daughter and how they were trying to potty train her.  He wrote:

“It seemed that everything my wife and I did as a married couple centered on helping our daughter go to the bathroom by herself.  About a week into this process, my wife felt that we were making enough progress to leave me to watch our daughter without her supervision.   I took my daughter to Disney World in the morning, took her to lunch, to play, and around 2 we came home for her regular afternoon nap.  Knowing my daughter was exhausted, I put a fresh diaper on her and popped her into her bed for a relaxing afternoon of rest.

“I settled on the couch to do some light reading, when I was suddenly confronted with an overwhelming smell.  At first I thought that the toilet had overflowed, so I got up and walked in to check.  Nothing there.  I walked all around the house to locate the source of it, when I suddenly realized the unthinkable had happened.  Sure enough, I followed the smell toward my daughter’s room.  I braced myself to confront my failure as a parent.

“When I opened the door the stench was overwhelming, but I couldn’t see my daughter.  What I could see, however, was some creative finger-painting done in interesting shades of green and brown, all over the walls.  Her bed was empty except for the overflowing diaper that she had managed to pull off, and there were tiny brown footprints on the floor.  I followed the prints to the wall, and then in a circle to find that they led back behind the door.

“I found my tiny two-year old daughter covered from head to toe with the smelly brown mess, with her tiny little hands over her face, whimpering in shame.  I looked at the disaster of the room, and then back at her.  How could someone so tiny make such a colossal mess?  I suspect that, disappoint she had not used the potty, she slipped the dirty diaper off.  As she did this, the mess got all over her.  She tried wiping it off on the wall.  Then she unknowingly stepped in the dirty diaper and left a trail around the room.

“I knelt down to talk to her.  ‘Sweetheart,’ I said, ‘what happened?’

“She peeked through her hands, then burst into tears, held them up to me, and cried, ‘Poooooooh!”

“I gently picked her up and walked with her into our bathroom.  I couldn’t find any bath soap, so I ended up using dishwashing detergent to wash her clean.  The whole time she was crying, thinking she was in trouble.  I tried to calm her down, but she refused to listen.  Eventually I grabbed a giant white towel and gently dried her.  I carried her downstairs, we sat on the couch, and she whimpered in y arms.  I kept telling her that it was okay, she was not in trouble, and that Daddy would clean up all the mess.  After about 15 minutes my words finally sank in.  She jumped out of the towel, ran and grabbed some toys, and asked me if I wanted to play.

“As I looked at this tiny little girl whom I loved with all my might, I pondered the idea of bringing our sin to God, instead of dealing with it on our own.  So much of my daughter’s shame was based on the fact that she tried to clean her mess herself, but she only ended up making things worse.  God knows that we struggle.  Christ himself is our advocate with the Father.  Christ stands to acquit us based on His perfect work.  Instead of trying to deal with our sexual failure, lies, bitterness, hatred, pride, and shame, we need to bring it all to Jesus.  He will not only forgive our sin, but will cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

“Our world needs to know that the rumors of grace are true.”

There is a kind who is pure in his own eyes, Yet is not washed from his filthiness. – Proverbs 30:12

 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. –  Ezekiel 36:25

PRAYER: Wash me Lord, and I shall be whiter than snow!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 01/12/12 – Trust, the Final Word – Trust #16

DayBreaks for 01/12/12 – Trust, the Final Word, Trust #16

Trusting Him sets us free!!!

From November 2001:

This DayBreaks will conclude this series of thoughts on trust.  I don’t want to leave you with the mistaken impression that I’ve got it all together when it comes to trust.  Far, far from it.  I don’t.  But He is faithfully teaching me and has opened my eyes to the power of trust in the Christian life to free us and enable us to do things that we would never dream of even trying because we know it won’t be our doing or even our responsibility to make it happen – it is He that gives the victory and strength.

Yet, I have a dear friend with two young children whose husband is not longer in the home.  I have a dear friend whose mother is no longer able to care for herself and God doesn’t seem disposed to heal her.  I have friends at church for whom God has not provided a job for a long time, in spite of many prayers asking for a job.  I have a cousin who has a life-threatening illness – and I’ve prayed over and over for a miracle from God – thus far to no avail.  Why should these people trust Him?  Why should I?

Let me turn one more time on this topic to Brennan Manning and his work, Ruthless Trust: “Abba, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup away from me.  But let it be as you, not I, would have it.”  (Mark 14:36)  Jesus’ death on Calvary is his greatest act of trust in his Father.  Jesus plunges into the darkness of death…confident only that somehow his Abba will vindicate him…and his blessed, obstinate, importunate trust ravishes the heart of his Abba.

“To be like Christ is to be a Christian.

“Clearly, growth in trust cannot be self-initiated.  The one thing most needed cannot be self-supplied.  But there is one abundant source of trust to which we must return again and again.  It flows from the barren rock of Golgotha at the feet of the crucified Christ.  Contemplate the incomparable love of Jesus as he suffocates to death.  ‘There is no greater love than this…’ (John 15:13).  For a few minutes stay face to face with the dying Jesus and hear him whisper, ‘I’m dying…to be with you.’

“The same love yesterday on Calvary, today in our hearts, and forever in heaven.   Jesus crucified is not merely a heroic example to the church.  He is the power and wisdom of God, his love capable of transforming our cowardly, distrustful hearts into hearts strong in the trust that they are loved.  We do not have to do anything, except let our unworthy, ungrateful selves be loved as we are.  Trust happens.  You will trust him to the degree that you know you are loved by him.

“I am the resurrection.  If anyone believes in my, even though he or she dies will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?  (John 11:26)

“Ruthless trust ultimately comes down to this: faith in the person of Jesus and hope in his promise.  In spite of all disconcerting appearances, we stare down death without nervousness and anticipate resurrection solely because Jesus has said, ‘You have my word on it.’

“It doesn’t get any more ruthless. Either we believe in the resurrection and therefore trust in Jesus of Nazareth and the gospel he preached, or we do not believe in the resurrection and therefore do not trust in Jesus of Nazareth and the gospel he preached.  If Easter is not history, we must become cynics.  In other words, either we trust in the person and promise of Jesus and commit our lives to both, or we do not.

“In the century just gone by, was there a bolder witness than that of Deitrich Bonhoeffer?  On April 9, 1945, in a concentration camp in Flossenburg, Germany, having been condemned to death for conspiring in a plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler, Bonhoeffer broke loose from his two Nazi guards and went running toward the gallows, shouting, ‘O death, you are the supreme festival on the road to Christian freedom!’

“Ruthless trust is an unerring sense, way deep down, that beneath the surface agitation, boredom, and insecurity of life, it’s gonna be all right.  Ill winds may blow, more character defects may surface, sickness may visit, and friends will surely die; but a stubborn, irrefutable certainty persists that God is with us and loves us in our struggle to be faithful.  A non-rational, absolutely true intuition perdures that there is something unfathomably big in the universe, something that points to Someone who is filled with peace and power, love and undreamed of creativity – Someone who inevitably will reconcile all things in himself.

“…trust is the pre-eminent expression of love.  Thus, it may mean more to Jesus when we say, ‘I trust you,’ than when we say, ‘I love you.

“Where am I in all this?  With you, clasping hands each morning and crying out in unison, ‘Lord Jesus, I trust you; help my lack of trust.”

PRAYER: Jesus, I want to know you and love you and trust you more!  Grant me your grace to grow in trust!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 01/11/12 – Trust in the Third Millennium, Trust #15

DayBreaks for 01/11/12 – Trust in the Third Millennium, Trust #15

Modern times/weapons make it difficult to hold onto hope, and trust...

From November 2001:

This is a time like no other in history.  Never before has a millennium (or for that matter, a century) started in which mankind had the power of destroying the world’s living things through nuclear, biological or chemical warfare.  That power exists today, and there are those that would use it if they can find a way to do so.  Some would do it because they are motivated by hatred.  Others would do it in the name of their god.  How, as Christians, are we to live in such a world?  We find ourselves faced with a dawning awareness that if we had ever put our trust in the goodness of our fellow man, that perhaps we were wrong.  And if we can’t trust one another, what is there that we can trust?  A God that none of us have ever seen?

As we enter the third millennium, ruthless trust is the courageous confidence that despite suffering and evil, terrorism and domestic conflict, God’s plan in Jesus Christ cannot fail…the day will dawn when the lion will lie down with the lamb…”. (Brennan Manning, Ruthless Trust)

Sometimes it is a bit hard to believe that the lion will lie down with the lamb when we go to bed at night wondering if we’ll awaken to another terrorist strike or deadly water in the shower.  But ruthless trust, the kind of trust that takes no prisoners, hears those words from the mouth of God and against all reason and logic, believes in them and believes that whether we live to see that day in our time or not is irrelevant because sooner or later, that day will certainly come.

Some would say that we’re crazy as Christians to feel that way, that we’re out of our minds and just deluded dreamers.  “We are neither boozy dreamers, hopeless idealists nor cockeyed optimists.  We are not playing ‘the religion game’…Search your heart for the Isaac in your life – name it and then place it on the altar as an offering to the Lord – and you will know the meaning of Abrahamic trust.

What is the “Isaac” in your life that God has been asking you to relinquish, to sacrifice to Him – in trust?  Is it your family?  Is it your job?  Is it your finances?  Is it your fear about the future?  Is it your doubts about His existence, or His goodness?  Stop fighting against Him and let it go.  Put it all on the altar.  If you live with ruthless trust in Him, your past failures will haunt you no longer, your insecurity be swallowed up by the security He offers, your fear of anthrax, botulism, smallpox or plague will disappear in the knowledge that NO MATTER WHAT happens to you in this world, you have nothing to fear – only heaven awaiting you on the other side.

PRAYER: I know, Lord, that we are not to fear what other humans can do to us, but we do fear such things.  We fear the unknown future and conjure all sorts of demons in the darkness of our minds and imaginations.  Remind us that we have nothing to fear, for your will WILL be done and the day when the lion lies down with the lamb will surely come!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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