DayBreaks for 6/30/14 – Awaiting the New Heavens and Earth

DayBreaks for 6/30/14 – Awaiting the New Heavens and Earth

Isaiah 65:25 (NLT) The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. But the snakes will eat dust. In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the LORD, have spoken!

In that marvelous vision known as the “Peaceable Kingdom” (which we find in Isaiah 65), there is the image of the wolf and the lamb feeding together. Let me tell you a story about that.

Back in the days of pre-perestroika Russia … when hers was a name that made all of us tremble: the Russians brought an exhibit to the World’s Fair that was entitled “World Peace.” In it was a large cage. And in the cage were a little lamb and a Russian wolf … feeding peaceably together. As an exhibit, it was most impressive. And as the fair unfolded, it was spectacularly attended. One day, however, somebody asked the curator the obvious question: “How in the world do you do it?” To which he replied: “Oh, it’s really very simple. We replace the lamb every morning.”

Right now we do not live in the “Peaceable Kingdom”.  At least, not fully.  Nature (including human nature) is still dripping red in tooth and claw, the grass and dust of this world bathed in much spilled blood.  One can scarcely open Facebook without seeing stories about pets or animals that have been hurt and rescued.  The shame and anguish if it is that they were hurt at all.

Daily the news is chock-full of stories of death, butchery (yes, even in the name of religion), torture, humiliation, dishonesty, bodily and character assassination…it’s a long, long list.  No, we do not yet live in the Peaceable Kingdom, not like we someday shall.

It frustrates me, angers me and puzzles me how some think that there is glory and honor to be found in detonating a strapped-on bomb in the middle of a peaceful crowd of men, women and children.  I do not understand those who pull men and boys, women and children, from their bed in the darkness of the night and take them outside to shoot or behead them or abuse them in the name of their god or for any other reason at all!

As Christians we should long for and expect the imminent coming of the new heavens and new earth.  We should pray fervently for it  I can only think of one good reason why we may not be eager for it to arrive: if we are living in such a way that we know is not pleasing to God and we are in need of repentance!

Let us lift our voices as one mighty request for the new heavens and new earth to arrive this day.  I love how the following verses express it – that once they have come, NO ONE will even THINK about the old heavens and earth any longer!  Whatever they held will be gone, done, wiped away from memory and their place taken with something much sweeter!

Isaiah 65:17 (NLT) Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.

2 Peter 3:11-13 (MSG) Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? 12  Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day— 13  but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.

A new heaven and new earth…landscaped with righteousness!  Won’t that be a sight!  Right now it is just beyond our vision…but it is a promised, coming day that will last forever!

PRAYER: Come quickly, Lord Jesus, to create that new dwelling with everything is new and totally enveloped in righteousness (including us!)  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and putS090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeplyy appreciated!

 

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DayBreaks for 6/27/14 – He Thinks About You

DayBreaks for 6/27/14 – He Thinks About You

Psalm 8:3-4 (MSG) I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?

Psalm 8:3-4 (NLT) When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them?

I wonder if there has ever been any human being in full possession of their faculties who has not sat under the starry sky on a dark night and been spellbound with amazement?  Sure, the ancients had no concept of how many stars there are in the universe nor of the vast distances that their light has traversed to paint their image on our retinas, but I’m nearly certain that we’ve all been captured by the majestic night sky!

When I sit under the stars with all the lights far away, even with my fading vision, I feel so infinitesimally small and insignificant.  If my body were to be thrown into space by a sudden upheaval of the earth’s crust, I’d be far smaller and occupy a much tinier space than a grain of sand in the Pacific Ocean.  And I echo the words of David, “Why?  Why, God, do you even both to take a second look in my direction?”  There is perhaps nothing more humbling.  Maybe that’s why He created space so immense – to teach us the difference between us and Him.

Helmut Thielicke says that during World War II, his students often wrote from the battlefield saying, “I am so exhausted from marching, my stomach is so empty, I am so plagued with lice and scratching, I am so tormented by the biting cold of Russia and so dead tired, that I am totally occupied, without the least bit of inner space for any speculative thinking.” Sometimes they would write that they were too weak to leaf through the Bible and were even lazy about the Lord’s Prayer. Dr. Thielicke would reply, “Be thankful that the Gospel is more than a philosophy. If it were only a philosophy, you would just have it as long as you could keep it in mind and it could afford you intellectual comfort. But even when you can no longer think about God, he still thinks about you.”

Today you may feel small.  Insignificant.  Microscopic.  Unimportant.  Worthless.  Alone in a vast sea of humanity and cosmic dust.  If Scripture is to be believed (and I do believe it), though we are small, we are not insignificant to God.  Though we are microscopic, we are not invisible to Him.  Though we are unimportant in the great scheme of things, we matter to Him.  Though we are worthless in comparison, He finds us priceless.  And though we may feel alone…we never are.

We are held in not just His thoughts, but in His heart, not just for now, but for forever!

PRAYER: Thank You for “seeing” and thinking of us and believing we are of such great worth that You gave everything for us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

DayBreaks for 6/26/14: I Won’t EVER

DayBreaks for 6/26/14 – I Won’t EVER

Romans 15:5-7 (NLT) May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.

Recently I read this story: “I saw him in the church building for the first time on Wednesday. He was in his mid-70’s with thinning silver hair and a neat brown suit. Many times in the past I had invited him to come. Several other Christian friends had talked to him about the Lord and had tried to share the good news with him. He was well respected, honest, a man of good character. He acted much like a Christian would act, but he never came to church or professed Christ.  After I got to know him well and we had talked about a wide range of subjects I asked him if he had ever been to a church service.

“He hesitated. Then with a twisted grimace told me of an experience he had as a boy. He was raised in a large family. His parents survived the depression but they struggled to provide food and clothing for the family. When he was around ten years old a friend invited him to go to church with his family.

“He went – the Sunday School class was great. The songs were fun to sing and the stories, oh the great Bible stories, were exciting to hear. He had never heard anyone read from the Bible before. As class ended the teacher pulled him aside and said, “Son, please don’t come again dressed as you are now. We want to look our best when we come into God’s house.”

“He looked down at his old hand me down overalls that were certainly worn and tattered. He thought about that for a moment and said softly, “No ma’am I won’t ever.” Then he looked at me, the author wrote and said, “And you know what… I never did.” It was clear that he was done with that conversation.

I am sure that the Sunday School teacher meant not harm and was probably reflecting the feeling of perhaps the majority of the folks in that church at that time. But what if, what if she had put her arms around the dirty little boy in the ragged overalls and said, “Son, I am thrilled that you came this morning and I hope you will come every chance you get to hear more about Jesus because he loves you so much.” Moreover, what if she would have talked with her pastor or her friends in the church and mobilized a full blown outreach effort to help this family make ends meet.

How might this story have been different if that church “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Or whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple will receive a great reward.” (Matthew 10: 40 & 42)

The story ended like this: Yes I saw him in the church house for the first time on Wednesday and I cried as I looked at the immaculately dressed old gentleman lying there in his casket. He was looking his best. But all I could think of were those words of an impressionable little ten-year-old boy echoing in my mind, “No ma’am I won’t ever.”

PRAYER: For all the times we have meant well, but have harmed, forgive us!  Help us love as You do, those who are so different than us.  Teach us to welcome the poor and the outcast and those the world might consider unworthy.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and putS090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeplyy appreciated!

DayBreaks for 6/25/14 – Frustrated Expectations and Empty Searches

DayBreaks for 6/25/14 – Frustrated Expectations and Empty Searches

Isaiah 55:2 (NLT) Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? Why pay for food that does you no good? Listen to me, and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.

A preacher recently told a story about when his grandmother died.  Some time after her death, his mother received a notice from the bank that her grandmother had left not just one, but two, safe deposit boxes in their vault and that the contents would now be passed along to the preacher’s mom. 

The family was astounded by this and wondered what might be in the boxes?  The grandmother’s husband had died 20 years prior, and the family speculated that perhaps the grandmother had set aside cash or jewelry or other items such as stocks or bonds to help cover her own living expenses as she aged.  The mystery and excitement grew as time passed and the family was finally able to get to the bank.

After clearly everything legally and with all the paperwork done, the family was escorted into the vault where they first box was opened and much to their surprise it contained nothing but air.  Air is valuable, but it is not what they were hoping for.  Yet, one box still remained.  They moved to that box and opened it fingers crossed (mentally if not physically!) only to find that it, too, contained nothing but air!

Their hopes and dreams had been disappointed.  It is part of the human condition.

As people, we search for meaning and worth and love…often coming up with nothing but air as a result of the pursuit.  We keep thinking that “Surely, this is the one!” or “This is my ticket to wealth!” only to find that it turns out to be nothing but vapor. 

What is the cost?  The emotional toll is very high…and we can spend our entire life looking in the wrong places, opening one box after another after another, never finding anything that satisfies, nothing that was worth the effort.  Yet we persist opening boxes, looking everywhere but the one place we can truly find satisfaction and joy. 

God offers us the very best – He offers us Himself as the Bread of Life and the Living Water.  Isn’t it about time to give Jesus a try?  Isn’t it time to stop running from box to box, place to place, lover to lover and to run to the only Lover who will never abandon you? 

He’s waiting for you!

PRAYER: Jesus, forgive our foolish pursuits! Open our hearts to Your love, to the riches that are hidden only in a relationship with You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeplyy appreciated!

DayBreaks for 6/24/14 – The Great Exchange

DayBreaks for 6/24/14 – The Great Exchange     

2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Every day we make deals, often time without even thinking about it.  We exchange our time for a certain amount of money, or education, or play.  We go to a store and exchange money for a coffee or groceries, or a restaurant where we exchange money for someone else’s time to cook food and serve it to us.  We swap good and services, do favors for one another (sometimes hoping for favors in return).

Generally, both parties to an exchange must feel that there is something of interest in it for themselves or the exchange won’t be made.

Perhaps the most amazing exchange ever is the one described in today’s verse.  This exchange was “life for life” – the life of a sinless God in exchange for the life of sinful mortals.  Who would have ever believed that a God would make such an exchange?  Mortals might only dream of such a thing in their wildest imaginings.  It is too preposterous to be true, right?

But it is true.

Here’s the real mind blowing thing about this passage: how much righteousness does God have?  He’s got it all, right!?!?!  And yet this verse says we can become “the righteousness of God” Himself!  How does it happen?  By our efforts and diligent labor?  No, never!  God forbid that any human should feel that God is indebted to him for how good s/he is!  As Isaiah put it: our most righteous deeds are like the filthiest rags to God (Isaiah 64:6).

Are you a follower of Jesus?  If so, are you always down on yourself about your sin?  Memorize this verse.  Put it in your heart.  We’ve all heard that old saying about when God sees you, he doesn’t see you but Jesus, right?  Well, he sees you, but sees you clothed in the robe of His very own righteousness!

Hard to believe, right?  I know, I struggle with believing it at times, too…but God doesn’t make mistakes and He has declared it to be so!  Perhaps realizing this can help you face this day with a bit lighter step!

PRAYER: God, Your truth is incomprehensible, as is Your love, that caused You to exchange our filth for Your righteousness!  Thank You for this incomprehensible, amazing gift!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeplyy appreciated!

DayBreaks for 6/23/14 – Trying to See Him

DayBreaks for 6/23/14 – Trying to See Him          

Luke 9:7-9 (NLT) When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about everything Jesus was doing, he was puzzled. Some were saying that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead. Others thought Jesus was Elijah or one of the other prophets risen from the dead. “I beheaded John,” Herod said, “so who is this man about whom I hear such stories?” And he kept trying to see him.

It is a common enough thing – this trying to see someone famous.  If you’ve ever gone to a live concert, or a professional sports event, or a revival meeting with Billy Graham, you know what I’m talking about.  You lean this way and that trying to see around those in front of you.  You stretch and stand on your tip-toes to try to see over those in front of you.  You might even get up and walk to another vantage point.  Why?  Because there is someone famous there and you want to catch a glimpse of them!

In some ways, it would see, Herod Antipas, though he was the tetrarch of Galilee, was also seeking to see someone famous so he was a lot like us (or we are a lot like him!)  He might, based on this passage, have had another motive: he had killed John the Baptist and had heard that perhaps John “was back” (in fact, in Matthew 14:2, Herod himself declares that this Jesus must be John!).  Herod may have had sleepless nights thinking about that – wondering if perhaps this Jesus was really John, back from the dead, come to seek revenge.  By seeing Jesus, Herod hoped to put his mind at rest.

But, Jesus wasn’t John, and Jesus didn’t appear before Herod Antipas – at least not at this time.  He would appear before him during the crucifixion week when Herod (who we are reminded was still desiring to see Jesus) was in town and Pilate shipped Jesus off to Herod when he learned Jesus was from Galilee, Herod’s jurisdiction).

Herod had a couple of problems.  He wanted to see Jesus (hoping, we’re told, to see a  miracle during Jesus’ trial) for all the wrong reasons.  He didn’t want to see or hear Jesus speak – he wanted Him to perform.  Perhaps that’s another way we’re like Herod – we often want Jesus to perform according to our wants and wishes.  He wanted to see Jesus to satisfy his curiosity, but not to follow Jesus.

There would be one more time when Herod and Jesus stood in front of one another.  The first time, in Jerusalem, was when Jesus was on trial for his life and he stood before Herod.  The second was in the afterlife when the tables were reversed and Herod stood before Jesus, on trial for his life.  We don’t have to wonder what transpired the second time: every knee bows and confessed before Jesus…including tetrarchs and kings.  When Herod saw Jesus for the second time, when he looked into His eyes – he knew.  He also knew it was too late.  How one wonders what went through the minds of the two individuals and what other words may have been exchanged!

There is one more way that we are like Herod and he is like us: we, too, shall someday stand before Jesus.  What will you say?  What do you think He will say to you?

PRAYER: Jesus, help us to seek you now – for all the right reasons, knowing that we shall someday see you clearly and plainly without distraction, and that we will gave an answer for our lives!  May we hear You declare, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and putS090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeplyy appreciated!

DayBreaks for 6/20/14 – When Doubt Sets In

DayBreaks for 6/20/14 – When Doubt Sets In      

 

 

John 14:18-20 (MSG) – I will not leave you orphaned. I’m coming back. In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you’re going to see me because I am alive and you’re about to come alive. At that moment you will know absolutely that I’m in my Father, and you’re in me, and I’m in you.

Someone once wrote these words: “The reason mountain climbers are tied together is to keep the sane ones from going home.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I can appreciate and believe those words!  Heights are not my thing, and the idea of hanging on the side of a mountain secured by pitons and rope terrifies me!  Whoever it was that said those words was playing with us a bit, because we know the real reason: mountain climbers are tied together to keep from getting lost or going over a cliff. But there’s another piece of truth here. When things get tough up on the mountain, when fear sets in, many a climber has to be tempted to say, “This is crazy! I’m going home.”

The Christian life of faith can be like that at times – doubts set in, despair overwhelms us, and the whole notion of believing in God seems crazy – and we begin to wonder if we are lunatics to stick with it. Jesus knew his disciples would have days like that (and if they did, it’s pretty clear to me that we will, too!) So he told them we’re tied together like branches on the vine – or like climbers tied to the rope – tied together by the Spirit, to trust in One who is always more than we can understand, to keep us moving ahead on the journey of faith, to encourage us when believing seems absurd. “I will not leave you orphaned,” said Jesus. “I am coming to you.”

What is making you fearful today?  Perhaps you feel as if you are facing it alone.  If so, stop, pray, look around…and if you look long enough and hard enough (and are quiet enough!), you’ll see Him.  He’s right there beside you and He won’t leave!

PRAYER: Jesus, we’ve all had friends who left us in times of difficulty.  Thank you that You won’t leave us to face any situation in life on our own!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and putS090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be greatly appreciated!