DayBreaks for 08/30/13 – Too Good to be True?

DayBreaks for 08/30/13 – Under-Dreaming Heaven

Luke 18:15-17 (NLT) –One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. 16  Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

Receiving the kingdom like a child is not as easy as it sounds, especially for us adults.  We’ve seen a lot of life, survived a lot of disappointment and pain and have grown skeptical of anything that sounds too good to be true.  We’ve been warned of precisely that all of our lives.  And we have fallen for it over and over again – whenever Satan whispers in our ears about how much we will enjoy the sin activity we are contemplating, we always find out afterwards that it wasn’t as good as he made it sound, in fact, it was something that made us feel slimy.

So we wonder, based upon our conditioned response and myriad warnings over the years, are the things of God the same way?  Is Jesus just trying to sucker us in by telling us we need to accept the kingdom with the blind trust and naiveté of a little child – only to find that it will be less than he built it up to be?  I think not.  Expectations are strange things, but they are powerful.  If the apostle Paul is right (1 Cor. 2:9), our expectations for an eternity with God are way off base, but in a good way!  Our expectations won’t be disappointed in the Kingdom.  We will awaken to find them far too tame and minimalistic, we will have under-dreamt the vision of heaven. 

Can we take Jesus at his word that we need to come in blind trust, openly receiving all that He has told us about His home and a life to come will all be worth it and that we won’t be disappointed?  We stake our faith on it, don’t we, each time we say no to the world and yes to Him.

PRAYER: We have grown jaded through the years and have lost the simple delight of accepting something good at face value.  Let us learn to be children again in our acceptance of your teaching!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 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, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 08/29/13 – RX: Cataract Removal

DayBreaks for 08/29/13 – RX: Cataract Removal

Luke 18:9-13 (NLT) – Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else:  “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.  The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector!   I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’ 13  “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’

When we read this parable, we are quick to think about how brash and proud the Pharisee was and think that we’d never, ever make such bold statements to God!  And we probably wouldn’t (though I’ve heard many people say, “I’m a good wo/man, so I’ll go to heaven” which is only a slightly tamer version of the attitude of the Pharisee in the story!)  I certainly have never heard anyone pray that way.  BUT…how often do we compare ourselves to others and come away feeling proud about our level of righteousness versus theirs?  We may have hearts and minds full of angry thoughts, lustful thoughts, bitterness and prejudices, but because we’re not shooting up or smoking crack, because we are clean and not filthy and smelly, we look down on those who do those things.  Our sins may be invisible while theirs are highly visible.  And somehow, we think that makes us better than them.  We wouldn’t say that to God, but we think it in our hearts.  And that makes us just like the Pharisee in this story from Jesus.

When is the last time you were on your knees, beating your breast over your sinfulness?  Are you even aware of your sinfulness, or have the eyes of your heart become so covered with sin cataracts that you can’t see it in yourself anymore?  It happens to all of us…as the result of continuous sinful practices, one sin at a time, followed by a repetition of those acts.  Blindness is the result.  We need cataract removal!!!!

PRAYER: God, remove the scales from our eyes as you did with Saul of Tarsus, that we may see ourselves clearly in the blazing Light of your holy Presence!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 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, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 08/28/13 – The Invisible Man

DayBreaks for 08/28/13 – The Invisible Man

Isaiah 48:8 (NIV) – You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ear has not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth.

The Pharisees and other leaders intently watched Jesus and heard his words but they could not see his meaning. They could not see the issues as Jesus saw them, so they set themselves against him rather than making an alliance with him. They were so hung up on rules, laws and ceremonies, that they missed the heart of faith: God’s forgiving love that frees one to live as son or daughter of God.

It’s similar to the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach. We know Bach as one of the genius musical masters of all time. But it was not so for his contemporaries. The parishioners at St. Thomas Church where he worshipped and composed often complained about the strange and innovative music that Bach wrote for the choir and organ each Sunday. They didn’t know what a gifted musician was in their midst. After his death, the music of Bach was seldom performed until Felix Mendelssohn began a revival of appreciation that has lasted into our own time. So the people of Bach’s time watched him, but they didn’t see him. 

Wallace Kirby suggests this: “I would insist that we have a good understanding of Jesus and what he was about but I don’t think we have great insight. Christians today must be careful in their confidence. We can know that we are saved but we never know if our behavior is completely acceptable. We watch Jesus, but we do not see him. We are acquainted with him, but his rich meaning is not yet part of our lives. Occasionally we confess this when we sing in worship: 

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord; open the eyes of my heart.  I want to see You, I want to see You.”

Our overarching confidence can be a symptom of deep pride.  We may choose not to see Jesus as He is because it would require changes within us.  We may not see him because we are just too busy to take the time.  I think we can only see so much of him because it is like saying, “I saw Mt. Everest” when you only have seen it from one side, and in fact can only see it from one side at a time.  There is too much of Jesus to take in with our earthly vision, but we should try to humbly see, hear and understand him for all he’s worth!

PRAYER: We do ask You to open our eyes so we can see more of your truth and beauty each day, Lord!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 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, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 08/27/13 – The Coming of the Kingdom

DayBreaks for 08/27/13 – The Coming of the Kingdom

Luke 17:20-21 (NLT)  One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. 21  You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”

Signs.  Warnings.  Visible representations of pending danger.  We see them every day when we drive the freeways or streets of our towns.  We read them on medicine bottles, see them at the gas stations, hear them on the radio and television.  We are somewhat immune to most of them because we see and hear them so often that we’ve grown numb to their message.

Some Christians today are obsessed with “the end” and when it will happen.  I can understand that.  The world’s in a rather big mess right now and on the surface it doesn’t look like it will get better.  So we want to know when God will bring this to an end.  When He will stop the pain and war and suffering and hunger and sin and death and disease.  And we today, like the Pharisees of old, ask: “When will the Kingdom of God come?”

Jesus’ words are very instructive here: the kingdom is not detectable by visible signs.  So much for the Harold Camping’s and others who try to nail down its coming.  Any time that I hear someone who claims to have it figured out I pretty much shut them off without giving them much credence.  Why?  Jesus says that the Kingdom is already here.  People can’t see it because they are looking for the wrong things.  The kingdom takes place in everyday life because it is within people who are going about their daily activities.  Earthly kingdoms come with borders, rulers, authorities, laws, armies, navies, bombers, fighter planes and the like – but the kingdom of God is a kingdom of the heart that comes with tiny, daily acts that pass unnoticed by the world, but not by God: a cup of water, a bite of food, a gift of a dress or shoes, a prayer uttered in silence, a praise lifted in the solitude of the heart, a tear shed in shared compassion and grief.  Can there be a greater or more wonderful kingdom to be a part of than this?

How is the kingdom doing in you?  Would anyone be able to detect it within us?

PRAYER: Jesus, we do long for the fullness of your Kingdom rule – when all things on heaven and earth are in full and complete compliance to Your gracious rule!  We long for the time when our own hearts, minds and actions are in harmony with only goodness.  In the meantime, may we live so that those who are seeking Your kingdom can see it present and alive in our lives. In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 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, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 08/26/13 – The Lesson of the Ceiling Tile

DayBreaks for 08/26/13 – The Lesson of the Ceiling Tile

1 John 1:8-10 (NLT)  If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. 9  But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. 10  If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.

On Sunday, a man by the name of Kurt Filter was giving a communion devotion that really spoke to me.  He described how one time at church during prayer time, he looked up at the ceiling and saw the ceiling tiles (you know, those kind that have the holes in them and they are made out of sheet-rock like stuff, only not as thick and sturdy).  He got distracted, noticing how some were water-damaged, others had various stains on them, some had places where they’d crumbled a bit.  They obviously were in need of repair and work.

Later on after some time had passed, he looked up at them again and noticed that the maintenance crew had been at work trying to make them look better.  They’d painted over the surface of the tiles so that they looked clean and white.  But upon closer inspection he noticed that it was the same old tiles.  He knew that on the inside, the damage was still there from the water and whatever else had weakened them and made them crumbly and stained.

As we prepared to share in the communion/eucharist together, he suggested that we are a great deal like those tiles: we may do all we can to make ourselves pretty on the outside, painting  ourselves to make ourselves look good and “together”, but inside we are stained and that the outside is just covering up what’s inside.

We need to admit what’s inside, what causes us to crumble, what has stained us (sin) and let God fix us from the inside out.  We need to be painted by the blood of Jesus that penetrates to our hearts and gives us new ones in exchange for the old, ugly, stained ones we’ve carried for year after year. 

I’d never thought about ceiling tiles being an analogy for our human lives before, but it fit so well…we need to confess our sin and not just paint over it, for when we do confess it, God takes the stain away – and we are free!

PRAYER: Lord, we can consume ourselves with our thoughts of failure, guilt and shame!  Remind us when we do that You have lifted that off us past, present and future because you are our closest friend! In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 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, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 08/23/13 – Not By My Shame

DayBreaks for 08/23/13 – Not By My Shame

ShameHandsI took my wife out for lunch yesterday and as we were sitting there at Boudin bakery (we love their sourdough bread bowls), I was watching people come in and out.  People come in such a huge variety or shapes, sizes and colors.  And as I watched them, I was struck (for about the millionth time in my life) be the fact that they all carry around their own consciousness all day long and no one else can see it.  They carry concerns and joys, pains and relief, despair and hope, love and hate – to name just a few emotions and thoughts. 

Not one of us can see inside their heads or hearts to know what is going on there.  And, if they hide what is there, we cannot tell.  There may be some who have studied human behavior and could make an educated guess based on little tell-tale signs, but for the most part, we’re clueless about what is going on with others.

Maybe we need close friends with whom we can be vulnerable…yet safe.  Someone that we can share what’s happening between our ears and the beats of our hearts.  We need fellow humans who can help us navigate the rapids and falls of life’s river that flows inexorably onward toward a common end. 

More than that, though, we need One who knows ALL about us.  One who will judge us by our hearts and not our shortcomings – just as He did with David long ago. 

There is a song by Fernando Ortega (possibly my favorite Christian musician) called Shame that has these words in it (excerpted):

Though I am weak
Sometimes weary
In times of trial
I hide my face
In the balance
Judge me wholly
Please don’t judge me
By my shame

I have tried to
Live life humbly
Not a coward
Not in vain
When my meekness
Overcomes me
Remember me
Not my shame
Not my shame

I am weak
Sometimes weary
Sometimes small
I hide away
When my hours
Are all accounted
Please don’t bind me
To my shame.

What a blessing it is to know that Christ has borne our shame, that He knows our innermost hearts, hears the unspoken words and thoughts that rattle and zing around inside our craniums…and loves us the same!

PRAYER: Lord, we can consume ourselves with our thoughts of failure, guilt and shame!  Remind us when we do that You have lifted that off us past, present and future because you are our closest friend! In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 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, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 08/22/13: Serving God’s Purpose

DayBreaks for 08/22/13 – Serving God’s Purpose

From the DayBreaks archive, 8/22/2003:

Acts 13:36 – “For when David had served God’s own purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.

The story of King David is a wonderful and inspiring story.  It is the stuff of Hollywood – only better – for it is the stuff of Heaven!  From a humble shepherd boy to the greatest king of God’s children, from fighting animals to fighting giants – David is the stuff of legend. 

He wasn’t perfect – but he was humble.  He wasn’t beyond falling to temptation – but he wasn’t beyond admitting his failures and seeking forgiveness.  And through it all, he was a man after God’s own heart.

The verse from Acts 13 is short and sweet – and poignant.  I love the way the bible speaks of death as simply “falling asleep”.  That’s what Jesus said about Lazarus, and about the little girl who he raised from the dead.  In fact, we’re told that not all believers will be “asleep” when Christ returns – i.e., we won’t all be dead, but there will be faithful found on earth when he comes back.  And those who are asleep will awaken to eternal life.

But that’s not what caught my attention in this passage.  Rather, it was that David did something that we all should be striving to do: to serve God’s purpose in our own generation.  Through all the ups and downs of his life, David kept finding his way back to God, to His calling for his life, and he kept getting back on track each time he fell.  And in so doing, he served God’s purpose. 

You and I can do the same in our generation.  Does your heart burn to serve God’s purpose?  One thing to note: you can’t serve His purpose if you’re already asleep.  Now is the time for effort, for energy, for doing what needs to be done.  The time for sleep comes once we’ve served (past tense) His purpose for our generation.  And not one minute sooner.

PRAYER: Let us serve Your purpose all the days of our lives in order to fall asleep and awaken in Your Presence!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 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, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!