DayBreaks for 04/30/12 – The One Who Calls the Shots

DayBreaks for 04/29/12 – The One Who Calls the Shots

Matthew 26:1-5 (NLT) –  When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” 3 At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, 4 plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. 5 “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”

Sometimes the bible is full of such irony!  Obviously, Jesus was very soon to be crucified.  The chief priests and scribes were behind the plotting to kill Jesus.  It had been on their mind for some time and they were scheming in secret as to how they could eliminate him.  As badly as they wanted him dead, they concluded that this was not the time, not during Passover, because it could lead to riots, and if there was one thing that the Romans would not tolerate, it was riotous rebellion.

What is so ironic about this statement is that they believed they were in control of the times and events that were unfolding.  They were resolved to kill him, but not now.  I wonder when they did plan to kill him?  How long would they have waited after Passover?  We don’t know.

But what is interesting in this passage is the very clear testimony as to who was in charge.  While Jesus’ enemies thought they were in charge, in control, it was God who was calling the shots.  And, as God has foreordained, the Lamb was killed on the Passover.  It was decreed by God and foreshadowed by the original Passover…that the blood of the Lamb was to be spilled on that day.

We all make plans.  We all struggle if we feel as if we don’t have a plan and fear that we are losing control.  You may feel like life has it in for you, that you can’t get a break.  You  may feel that your boss or co-workers are taking advantage of you.  While it may seem almost impossible to believe, Scripture says that God has a plan for your life and He will see it through.  It isn’t your boss, neighbor, co-worker, your spouse, or even you who is in charge of your life.  God is.  And in spite of our efforts to control the times and events of our lives, God’s plan for you will not be derailed.

PRAYER: Lord, it is often hard for us to believe that Your plan for us is really the best or even that it is good!  Often, Your plan seems confusing and painful.  Let us trust in Your character, and Your promise, that Your plan for us to for good and to give us life and a future!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 is now engaged in a project to provide temporary shelter, food, water and adult care to 37 orphans in Migori, Kenya.  We are trying to raise up an army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us provide care for these children until our partner in the project, BrightPoint for Children, can secure sponsorships for these 37 kids.  If you want to contribute, follow this link and scroll down to find the “Donate” button: Help the 37 Migori Orphans

Thank you!  Your donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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 04/27/12 – What Makes Us Vulnerable

DayBreaks for 04/27/12 – What Makes Us Vulnerable

Psalm 90:14 (NLT) – Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.

What is it that makes us so vulnerable to sin?  I know what James says about the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.  Those things are undeniable.  I also know that we are led into sin when we are enticed by our own desires.  I’ve supplied plenty of evidence of that throughout my life.  It is the nature of the flesh to “fall.”

I read this from John Ortberg in Fighting the Good Fight, in the spring 2012 issue of Leadership Journal, and thought it worth contemplating.  He was talking about what makes us so prone and vulnerable to sin when he wrote:

“It is perhaps the inversion of one of the great observations of ancient Israel: the joy of the Lord is our strength. Those of us in church leadership read or hear with sad frequency of one of our sisters or brothers ending up in a moral ditch. A mentor of mine noted once that when that happens, as a general rule, the person has been living without a deep sense of soul satisfaction for a long time, which is what made them vulnerable. I asked him how often someone who does live with a deep sense of soul satisfaction in God and their life ends up in a moral ditch.

“Never, he said.  Always it is the unsatisfied soul that finds sin to look good.”

How is your soul satisfaction?

PRAYER: Satisfy us with Your good things that we don’t go looking for satisfaction elsewhere!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 is now engaged in a project to provide temporary shelter, food, water and adult care to 37 orphans in Migori, Kenya.  We are trying to raise up an army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us provide care for these children until our partner in the project, BrightPoint for Children, can secure sponsorships for these 37 kids.  If you want to contribute, follow this link and scroll down to find the “Donate” button: Help the 37 Migori Orphans

Thank you!  Your donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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 04/26/12 – Snatch Us From Evil

DayBreaks for 04/26/12 – Snatch Us From Evil

Deliver is to gentle of a term for what Jesus does...

 “Deliver us from evil.” – The Lord’s Prayer

It is a very simple request, is it not?  And it is a request that one would expect every single Christian to make.  There are those who don’t believe evil exists.  Those people were never kept in a crowded building in Auschwitz or gassed by a mad dictator who bombed the village with chlorine gas.  They were never locked in a closet under a staircase.  They were not blinded by their parents so that they’d make more convincing beggars as a way for the parents to get hand-outs from passers-by.  But all those things happen.  Evil exists.

But not all evil is that obvious nor blatant.  Most of evil seems relatively tame by comparison, not something that would cause us to quake in our boots because the evil is so palpable.  Perhaps that’s why Jesus put this in his model prayer for us – to help us realize that evil, while there may be degrees of it, is always still evil and insidious and in all forms, deadly and dangerous.

Writing in Leadership Journal’s Spring 2012 edition, John Ortberg made this observation: “Even though what we call “the Lord’s prayer” is familiar to Christians, there are parts of it we rarely dwell on. For instance, what it really means when Jesus says, “Deliver us from the evil one.” New Testament scholar Dale Bruner notes that Jesus uses an almost violent verb translated “deliver.” It means to snatch; it’s what a hand does when it seizes an object in considerable danger. The idea here is that the devil is constantly luring us into pits, snares of moral destruction, and being saved from them is beyond mere human willpower. Only God’s watching and snatching and saving can rescue us. Deliverance indeed.”

A parent would snatch a child from in front of an on-rushing, snarling pit bull or car, or pull them back from a precipice.  It’s an almost violent act, motivated by urgency, and often, fear.  Yet that’s the word Jesus chose to use when He asked the Father to “snatch us from evil.”

You see, we stand at the precipice and are often ready to take the leap and yield to the temptation, not realizing the great danger we are in.  Jesus knows…and that’s why he used such a strong verb.  I have a hunch we may all need to pray “Snatch us from evil” a bit more often than we do!

PRAYER: Father, snatch us back now and always from falling into ruin and disgrace, from bringing shame on Your glorious Name!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 is now engaged in a project to provide temporary shelter, food, water and adult care to 37 orphans in Migori, Kenya.  We are trying to raise up an army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us provide care for these children until our partner in the project, BrightPoint for Children, can secure sponsorships for these 37 kids.  If you want to contribute, follow this link and scroll down to find the “Donate” button: Help the 37 Migori Orphans

Thank you!  Your donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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 04/25/12 – Prayer and the Ceiling

DayBreaks for 04/25/12 – Prayer and the Ceiling

It certainly is a common enough phrase that “Sometimes it just seems my prayers can’t get past the ceiling.”  Why is that the case?  Because it is a common experience of nearly everyone I know who has ever prayed that there are times it seems that God just doesn’t hear – that our prayers never get out of the room in which we find ourselves, or that the ceiling is lead-lined and stops not only x-rays but prayers from passing through.

I’ve said it on more than one occasion.  It is difficult to pray when one feels as if God can’t hear you.  It’s maybe even worse to think that He won’t hear you or because you’ve convinced yourself that you’re such a horrible sinner that He doesn’t even want to hear you anymore.

I liked something I read today that was written by John Ortberg in the Spring 2012 edition of Leadership Magazine in an article called Fighting the Good Fight (I’ll share more from that article in the next few days).  Here was his observation: “People often speak of feeling frustrated that their prayers never make it past the ceiling. Of course, if the Spirit of God is present right here right now, they don’t have to make it past the ceiling—God is already on this side of the ceiling.”

As with most of our perceptions about God, our perception that He doesn’t hear our prayer is flawed.  There is no magical ceiling through which our prayers must pass, no level of holiness me must first reach before He will listen, no sin to great that will cause Him to turn from us when we are turning to Him in repentance.  In fact, He was in the room waiting to hear from you before you even thought about praying.

“God is already on this side of the ceiling.”  I like that.  I hope that if you’re in one of those times right now where it seems He is not hearing, you’ll remember He’s in the room with you…listening!

PRAYER: Forgive us for our weakness that makes us doubt Your desire to hear us, to listen to us, and to respond to our requests and cries, especially in those times which seem to be the darkest to us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 is now engaged in a project to provide temporary shelter, food, water and adult care to 37 orphans in Migori, Kenya.  We are trying to raise up an army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us provide care for these children until our partner in the project, BrightPoint for Children, can secure sponsorships for these 37 kids.  If you want to contribute, follow this link and scroll down to find the “Donate” button: Help the 37 Migori Orphans

Thank you!  Your donations are tax deductible for 2012.  If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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 04/24/12 – The Worst Things Are Not the Last Things

DayBreaks for 04/24/12 – The Worst Things Are Not the Last Things

From Taps to Reveille...

Winston Churchill had planned his funeral, which took place in Saint Paul’s Cathedral. He included many of the great hymns of the church, and used the eloquent Anglican liturgy. At his direction, a bugler, positioned high in the dome of Saint Paul’s, intoned, after the benediction, the sound of Taps, the universal signal that says the day is over. But then came the most dramatic turn: As Churchill instructed, as soon as Taps was finished, another bugler, placed on the other side of the great dome, played the notes of Reveille – “It’s time to get up. It’s time to get up. It’s time to get up in the morning.” That was Churchill’s testimony that at the end of history, the last note will not be Taps; it will be Reveille. The worst things are never the last things.

It’s been a long week for you already – and it’s just about Tuesday, not Friday!  You may be worn out.  You may be despairing.  You may not see hope for the future.  Just remember: the worst things are never the last things, for we will “get up in the morning” of glory!

PRAYER: For the hope that never dies, for the expectation of the coming morning of glory, we rejoice and give you our praise!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks is 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: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!  Donations are tax-deductible.

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 04/23/12 – We Still Don’t Believe It

DayBreaks for 04/23/12 – We Still Don’t Believe It

Our natures are at war...and they are real.

Sorry I missed some posts this last week, folks…I was sick!

Romans 7:18-19 (NLT)
18 (NLT) And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. 19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.

One of the most prevalent beliefs we humans have about ourselves is that we are really pretty good.  Sure, we may talk humbly about ourselves (especially when we are in the church or around other Christians), but our actions belie our words.  When we are left alone in our own minds and no one can see what we think, we tend to compare ourselves favorably with others, to think that we’re pretty decent people, that surely God must be proud of us.

What we are struggling with is illustrated by a story about a professor of preaching who would take his students out every semester to the cemetery.  They would stand along the perimeter of the cemetery and the professor would ask his student to speak to the graves and call people to come forth.  Usually, the students would look at each other rather incredulously, maybe chuckle a bit, but the professor insisted, and so with obvious embarrassment, they would do as request.  They, of course, failed – miserably, every one of them.  It was after they’d failed and looked rather sheepish, that the professor reminded them of the core truth of the gospel: people, like those corpses in the cemetery, are spiritually dead…and that it is only the words of God Himself that can bring life to spiritually dead humans.

Paul said that his sinful nature, tied to his flesh, was “nothing good” alive in there.  We need to come to grips with the fact that we are NOT good people.  Our most righteous acts are like filthy rags.  There is not one of us who is good – for only God is good.

Our failure to grasp our inherent sinfulness, our dead and rotting spirit, is one of the reasons people find it hard to accept grace – they feel they don’t really need it.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

PRAYER: Speak life into us, through Your Spirit put to death moment by moment our sinful natures that are contrary to the Spirit.  Remind us of our great need for grace!  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.

DayBreaks for 04/19/12 – Must I Always Be?

DayBreaks for 04/19/12 – Must I Always Be

Must I always be...your Thomas?

 I found this poem and I thought it might bless you today.  There is freedom in being honest with Jesus about both the good and bad:

“Let me meet you on the mountain, Lord, Just once.

You wouldn’t have to burn a whole bush.

Just a few smoking branches

And I would surely be …your Moses.

 

“Let me meet you on the water, Lord, Just once.

It wouldn’t have to be on White Rock Lake.

Just on a puddle after the annual Dallas rain

And I would surely be…your Peter.

 

“Let me meet you on the road, Lord, Just once.

You wouldn’t have to blind me on North Central Expressway.

Just a few bright lights on the way to chapel

And I would surely be…your Paul.

 

“Let me meet you, Lord, Just once.

Anywhere. Anytime.

Just meeting you in the Word is so hard sometimes

Must I always be…your Thomas?” – Norman Shirk, April 10, 1981, KQ (Dallas Seminary)

PRAYER: Thank you for understanding our faith and doubt, failings and triumphs, our hopes and wishes versus the reality of our shortcomings!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks is 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: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!  Donations are tax-deductible.

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.