DayBreaks for 03/21/12 – The Trouble With You

DayBreaks for 03/21/12 – The Trouble With You

Trouble indeed...

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. John 3:14-15

Brian P. Stoffregen shared this illustration: “Lucy once said to Charlie Brown, “Discouraged again, eh, Charlie Brown?” “You know what your whole trouble is? The whole trouble with you is that you’re you!”

Charlie asks, “Well, what in the world can I do about that?”

Lucy answers, “I don’t pretend to be able to give advice…I merely point out the trouble!”

The symbol of Jesus on a pole indicates that the problem with us is us — and that Jesus is the solution. However, another conversation between Lucy and Charlie Brown indicates another part of the problem/solution.

Lucy speaks, “You know what the whole trouble with you is, Charlie Brown?”

Charlie answers, “No, and I don’t want to know! Leave me alone!” He walks away.

Lucy shouts after him, “The whole trouble with you is you won’t listen to what the whole trouble with you is!”

Stoffregen drew the perfect observation, one that we need to pay attention to: “The solution begins with listening. If “you” are the problem, “you” can’t be the solution. The solution has to come from outside yourself.”

We want to trust and believe in ourselves and our abilities to resolve the issues that come our way.  But when it comes to solving our most crucial problem – our sinfulness – we are powerless.  We can’t solve it precisely for the reason Lucy pointed out: we are the problem and we needed an external agent to show us the solution.

PRAYER: To You we give glory and praise for being truthful and honest with us.  Help us to see that we are not the answer, Jesus is the answer!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” 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 03/20/12 – Mortal Immortal Thoughts

DayBreaks for 03/18/12 – Mortal Immortal Thoughts

"For this mortal must put on immortality..."

42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:42-44

 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man. 50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. 51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies. 1 Corinthians 15:49-53

There are times and places in our lives where we are reminded of our mortality.  While many recoil from such thoughts, the wise man Solomon said we would be wise, too, to ponder such realities, because pondering them helps us not only live better as mortals, but to prepare to live as immortals.

Our physical bodies are weak.  It doesn’t matter if you are the gold medal heavyweight weight lifter in the Olympics or the greatest triathlete in the history of the world, the fact of the matter remains that we have weak bodies – bodies that will get sick, can be broken, bodies which will molder in the grave.  And that is why we recoil at contemplation of our mortality.

How refreshing are Paul’s words: “…we will someday be like the heavenly man.”  These bodies of which we are so fond (and can we be honest – even those who say they hate their bodies fight like banshees to maintain this mortal life.  It may not be our bodies that we love, but this mortal life.

I recently have had reason to reflect on mortalality/immortality and I am glad for it for I am better for having done so.  As I pondered it during the darkness of the bedroom at night, I almost had a vision (not to get too mystical here!) of that moment of translation from mortal to immortal – or rather, of how it happens.  I saw myself (from behind my back) standing and facing toward God.  I was clothed in mortal garb, but it was dirty and rather tattered.  Then, I saw hands reaching out to me holding a dazzlingly white robe.  The hands reached around my neck and put the robe upon my shoulders.  It was brilliant, clean, spotless.  It shone.

No sooner was the robe put upon me than I felt a tremendous sense of unworthiness.  You see, in the “vision” my filthy clothes had not been removed – but they were covered over with the robe that I understood to be Christ’s righteousness.  The filthy clothes I had on underneath were not left on me to cause me sadness, nor to bring me shame or guilt, but just to remind me that I was unworthy of any claim of my own to righteousness, and it was only the righteousness of Christ that ultimately mattered.

I must say that in that vision I had a tremendous sense of peace and inexplicable joy.  It will be a great day when our bodies are transformed and we take on the heavenly body of God’s design for us.  But let us not forget that today is a great day because we already have the robe of His righteousness.

PRAYER: Thank You Father, for covering our sin and shame with the brilliant, dazzling robe of righteousness that belongs to Your beloved Son!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” 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 03/19/12 – Enough Positive Thinking

DayBreaks for 03/17/12 – Enough Positive Thinking

Positive thinking can't fix our deepest problems.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. – Psalm 139:23-24

A Sunday School class in a church once made an unusual request. They asked that when it came to the part of the worship where the congregation joined together for the prayer of confession that the prayer be omitted.  Here are the reasons that they gave for their request:

1. Confessions imply that we are bad people.

2. Our children will get a negative image of themselves.

3. Guilt is damaging; we need to think positively.

4. Worship should always be uplifting and make us feel good.

This sounds like the philosophy advocated by that book some years ago I’m OK, You’re OK.  So, if I’m OK and you’re OK then what are we doing here? The refusal to acknowledge that we are sinful people is damaging the church today, and it is damage that is coming from within, not from without. We have bought in to the modern culture that we should have a positive self-image through positive thinking.

Sin is very, very real, and it is too deadly and destructive to ignore. The cross stands as a constant reminder to us of just how serious our sin is. The failure to freely and openly express our sin before God and to one another cheapens God’s redemptive grace. Positive thinking has never removed the guilt from even one sin.  The only thing that will do that is God’s redemptive action.

PRAYER: Lord, of one thing I am positive: in me dwells no good thing, but your love and grace abound unto me!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” 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 03/16/12 – And Lead Me

DayBreaks for 03/16/12 – And Lead Me

...and lead me in the way everlasting.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. – Psalm 139:23-24

Psalm 139 has been my favorite for as long as I can remember.  It starts out inviting God to examine our hearts, goes into His infinite and total knowledge of everything about us.  Then, it concludes with again asking him to know our hearts and our thoughts.

This morning during worship, we read together the verses above, and I’ve often thought about the parts which invite God to search my heart and to know it.  Truth be told, I’m not sure I know my own heart all that well.  I know at some level what I want to be true of my heart.  Sadly, I seldom live up to what I want to be and do.  All of which makes me wonder if I really know my heart at all.  Therefore, it is wise for us to ask God to search our hearts…and then to point out to us what He finds there.

But the part of the verses that struck me this morning was the last phrase: “and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”  Do we want God to lead us along that pathway?  Really?  God won’t lead us unless we are willing to be led.  We think of being led as a bad thing, implying that we aren’t capable of finding our own way or of getting to where we want to go.  It seems to suggest that there is something deficient in us if we have to be lead.  When it comes to our own wisdom and ability to successfully navigate a pathway from this temporal life to an everlasting life, aren’t those things true?

Are you willing to not be in charge, to put your hand in His and let Him lead you?  If not, there is no way you will ever reach that everlasting and eternal home.

PRAYER: Lord, our vision is so limited, yet we think we see clearly the pathway of life.  Give us humility that we can yield to Your lead in peace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” 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 03/14/12 – You Took My Place

DayBreaks for 03/14/12 – You Took My Place

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; 24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me. – 1 Corinthians 11:23-24

There is a story about a man who visited a church. He parked his car and started toward the front entrance. Another car pulled up nearby, and the irritated driver said to him, “I always park there. You took my place!”

The visitor went inside and found that Sunday School was about to begin. He found an adult class, went inside, and sat down. A class member approached him and said, “That’s my seat! You took my place!” The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down in an empty pew. Within moments another member walked up to him and said, “That’s where I always sit. You took my place!” The visitor was troubled, but said nothing.

Later, as the congregation was praying for Christ to be present with them, the visitor stood, and his appearance began to change. Scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and cried out, “What happened to you?” The visitor replied, “I took your place.”

PRAYER: Thank you, Jesus, for being the substitute sent from heaven, to take our place.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” 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 03/12/12 – The Need to Hear

DayBreaks for 03/12/12 – The Need to Hear

Hearing is vital for life...

Oh, that my people would listen to me! Oh, that Israel would follow me, walking in my paths! 14 How quickly I would then subdue their enemies! How soon my hands would be upon their foes! Psalm 81:13-14

There are many prayers recorded in Scripture, especially in the Psalms, where people cry out to God with heartfelt prayers, imploring Him to listen.  Over and over their pleas fly heavenward.  We ask God to listen to us a great deal.  Isn’t it interesting that God longs for us to listen to Him?

The emperor Frederick, who ruled the Roman Empire in the 13th century, thought it would be a useful experiment to discover what our original language was–Hebrew, Greek, Latin or whatever. So he decided to isolate a few infants from the sound of any human voice. He reasoned that, if so isolated from anything prejudicial, when they spoke, it would be in the universal, natural tongue of the human species.

Wet nurses were obtained to care for these infants. But they were sworn to absolute silence and could not engage in any socializing with these infants in any way. From the moment they were born, these infants never heard the sound or hum or song of a human. Within a year they were all dead.

We cannot over-emphasize the importance of listening to God, even as we ask Him to listen to us.  Our willingness to hear Him is the difference between life and death.  How much time and energy are you spending to try to hear Him, instead of asking Him to hear you?

PRAYER: We are hard of hearing and hard of heart, Lord!  Open our ears, give us hearts that long for Your voice and words even more than we long for the air to breath, for Your Word is life to us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” 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 03/09/12 – Circumstances, Obedience and Happiness

DayBreaks for 03/09/12 – Circumstance, Obedience and Happiness

The truth about our circumstances, obedience, and happiness...

There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!” 7 You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:6-8

Humanity has long been caught up in trying to find happiness.  Our track record isn’t very good.

We think our problem is the circumstances in which we find ourselves.  We don’t like what’s going on around us, what’s happening to us, we cry about how unfair it is (and that may be true), we hate being powerless in the face of seemingly overpowering circumstances.

So, what do we do?  We try to change our circumstances.  We get into rebellion mode.  If we are children and don’t like that we have to do what mom and dad say, what do we do?  We get out of the house or out of their sight and do want we want, not what they told us to do.  We disobey.  Why?  Because we think that our happiness will be found, or at the very least, increased by disobedience.  We see the “forbidden fruit” and think that if only we can have it, we will be happy – if even for a little while.  So, like Eve and Adam, we reach out (in disobedience), grasp it and take a bite, thinking that it will increase our happiness.  I wonder how long Eve and Adam felt better about what they did?  I’d be willing to bet that the feelings of guilt set in within the first second.  And things didn’t get any better after that…they go worse.  And yet, we persist in the notion that disobedience is the pathway that leads to happiness.  It does not.

As Randy Pope said a couple weeks ago: “Circumstances to no determine the happiness of the heart.”  He was talking about how believers are oppressed.  When it gets difficult, what is our temptation?  To disobey, thinking we’ll be happier without the suffering that obedience may bring.  He noted that we signed up for following a suffering Christ.  He concluded by saying, “Happiness is always found inside obedience.  It is not found in disobedience.”  He’s right.

Maybe you’ve been searching for happiness in the wrong ways.  Maybe I have, too.  Maybe instead of disobedience, we should try obedience.  Instead of grabbing the forbidden fruit, we should pull our hand back and say, “Lord, you are all I need.  In obedience to You I will find delight and joy and happiness enough for ten million lifetimes!”

PRAYER: Grace – O Lord, how sweet the sound!!!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks has always been free, but if you wish to help Galen raise his support for his work with iam2.org (an organization committed to helping bring food, clean water and protection to children wherever they are in the US or overseas) please mail checks made payable to “I Am 2 Partners, Inc.” 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.