DayBreaks for 8/16/16 – Titanic Story #2

DayBreaks for 8/16/16 – Titanic Story #2

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2006:

This is from a letter to the editor of August ’97 Focus on the Family recounting another story about the aftermath of the Titanic sinking:

“The scene outside the White Star office in Liverpool beggared description.  A great crowd of relatives of those who had taken passage on that ill-fated vessel thronged the street.  On either side of the main entrance a large board had been placed.  Above one was printed in large letters, KNOWN TO BE SAVED.  The other: KNOWN TO BE LOST.

“Every now and then, a man would appear from the office bearing a large piece of cardboard on which was written the name of one of the passengers.  As he held up the name, a deathly stillness swept over the crowd; it watched to see to which of the boards he would pin the name.”

Galen’s Thoughts:

           What a tragic scene that must have been.  The heart-wrenching wait to learn of the fate of loved ones and friends!  And as each name came out of the White Star office, the crowd hushed to know whether or not the person whose name was on that card was dead or alive.

           It was just a name – but the name was connected to a real person who lived, breathed, laughed and cried.  A person who loved and was loved.  Perhaps a father, mother, husband, wife, fiance, son or daughter, brother or sister.  People are so much more than just a name on a piece of cardboard and they all have an eternal destiny to be won or lost.

           The names of the lists was so telling.  As tragic as it would be to have your loved one’s name put under the list that said “KNOWN TO BE LOST”, it will be even more tragic if their name isn’t found in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 20.11-15). 

           I’m sure that each of us has someone whom we are related to or whom we love that doesn’t know Christ.  What can you do for them?  Pray.  Pray and pray and pray.  Love them.  Speak the truth of Jesus in love to them.  Let them see the love of Jesus in you.  Avoid loud and angry controversy – demonstrate His love.  Refuse to raise your voice in either anger or frustration.  Too much is at stake to blow your witness. 

           Last week I heard a great idea: a minister in a town not far from where I live has a fishbowl in his church auditorium that contains pictures of loved ones and friends for whom the congregation is praying for salvation!  What a wonderful idea!  Once someone comes into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, they take the picture out of the fishbowl.  Right now they aren’t doing anything with the picture, but they plan to put a fishnet up and put those pictures on the fishnet as people who have been “caught” by the Master Fisherman, who in turn makes us “fishers of men”!  Why don’t you do the same?  It’ll remind you to pray for their salvation and to be a witness to and for them.  Pray diligently that their name may be moved from the KNOWN TO BE LOST to the KNOWN TO BE SAVED!

By the way – what list is your name on?  1 John 5.13 tells us that we may KNOW that we have eternal life.  If you don’t have it, if you don’t know you have it, now’s the time to be sure – someday it’ll be too late!

PRAYER:  Lord, our unsaved friends and family weigh heavily on our hearts.  We pray today for their salvation – that they will have their names added to the book of life through their faith in Your Son, Jesus.  May we join Your invitation to become fishers of men.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 8/15/16 – The Olympic Refugee Team

DayBreaks for 8/15/16 – The Olympic Refugee Team

Steve Brown, a Christian speaker and writer, has a saying: All life illustrates Bible doctrine.

It is hard to deal in absolutes, but Steve puts it right out there: ALL life illustrates Bible doctrine. The more you think about it, the truer it sounds. And as it does, there’s a wonderful truth: God is in control of all things, and all things will glorify Him at the end of the day.

Some examples of this truth are easier to accept than others: you get a speeding ticket, and it points to sin and consequence. Someone gives you a gift and it points to the grace of God. Sure, it’s sometimes hard to see some of the events of life and how they may point to the gospel and/or our sin, but if you will pause, as events happen, and ask the question: Is there an illustration here of Bible doctrine, Bible truth? Over time, you will see the mystery of the Kingdom as it is revealed in your life’s events – the things you see, hear, do, read and watch.

You may have been watching some of the Olympics over the last week. You realize, don’t you, that they are about much more than fast times and the winning of medals. They can point to the One who wears the crown and to the communion of saints as well as idols, effort and overcoming adversity.

If you did watch the Olympics recently, you may have heard about Team Refugee. They are a group of ten men and women who fled their countries due to war and persecution. They were without a home and with no country to represent. So, the Olympic Committee invited them to come and walk under the Olympic banner.  They may not be the best athletes, but the committee said that they deserve to belong to the Olympic movement.

How, you ask, does that point us toward eternal things?

Well, maybe you know people who are not in the kingdom. If so, in reality, they are like Team Refugee – they are without a real home or a real country.  They are refuges. Our leaders says they can walk under His banner if they are willing to come as they are, put on the uniform of His movement – the righteousness of Christ.

If you think about it that way, you may be moved afresh to reach out to those around you, knowing that once, you too, were invited to walk under His banner.

So, how about a bit of homework? Watch some of the Olympics this week. Practice seeing how life (including the Olympics) illustrated Bible doctrine? I think if you do (and if I do, too), we will see them with more excitement and joy because they will strike a deep, rich chord of hope and perserverance.

We you willing to do it? Great! Now get to it!

PRAYER: Jesus, thank You for taking such a rag-tag team of refugees and dressing us in Your righteousness and inviting us to be part of Your team! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 8/12/16 – Worry

DayBreaks for 8/12/16 – Worry

From the DayBreaks Archive for August, 2006:

 “The same God that gave us commandments such as “Do not commit adultery, do not murder” said, “Do not worry.”  It’s a violation of our relationship to God to question His authority by worrying.

“Has any good ever come out of any worrying that you’ve ever done?  Worry only compartmentalizes us and makes us unable to do what we set out to do.  If you are worried about a problem, what you need to do is simply trust the Lord and do good.

“The word worry comes from a word that means ‘to divide’.  When you worry, you divide your energy.  Do you worry?  I worry about you if you don’t worry!  All of us worry, but we shouldn’t.  Jesus commands us half a dozen times, “Do not worry.”  When we worry about a situation, the problem gets us instead of us getting it.

“Jesus is not afraid of the things that cause us fear.  He never said, “Don’t bring your fears to me – I’m too busy.”  Instead he said, “I’m not afraid of the things that cause you fear.  Bring your fears to me.” – The Inspirational Study Bible

Galen’s Thoughts:

Worry, worry, worry.  Sometimes it seems like that’s all we do.  I tend to worry about financial things.  How will we pay the bills?  How will our daughter be able to go to college?  What will we do now that the air compressor on the air conditioner went out?  What would we do if the car breaks down – how will we pay for the repairs?  What if the pain in our son’s neck never goes away?  What if the local church body doesn’t grow? 

But you know, I can’t think of a single positive result that has ever come from any of my worrying.  I can control neither future events nor the components in my car by worrying about them.

I may be able to hide them from other people and they may never know that I’m worried.  I’m pretty good about hiding my worries – I’ve had plenty of practice to perfect my technique!  But I can’t hide them from God.  I need to confess my worry as sin before Him, accept my forgiveness and learn to trust Him.  After all, hasn’t He already promised to meet my needs?  Yes.  Ah, but I must be content to live with His definition of my needs and sometimes I don’t want to have to do that – I want to insist on my own definition!  I may decide something is a need and He thinks it’s just a “want”!  Am I willing to sacrifice it to Him?

In the sermon on the mount Jesus reminded us of our Father’s care for us – of our incredible value to him, of our value compared to that of a flower which is clothed beautifully – yet it doesn’t toil, worry or spin.  Why am I so driven to worry?  I’m lacking in trust and so I worry.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve been let down by people, and since God is a Person inasmuch as we are made in His image, I might be tempted to think that He’ll let me down, too.  Not so.  If He is with each dying sparrow as it draws its last breath, I can count on Him being with me.  If He has promised to help me, I need not fear or worry. 

What are you worrying about today?  Will you lay it on the altar of the Lord and sacrifice it to Him right now and decide never to pick it up again?  Find His peace!

PRAYER: Lord, how much better our lives would be if we truly trusted You instead of trying to manage our own lives and destinies.  Help us each day to grow in faith and trust in Your goodness and love for us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 8/11/16 – Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

DayBreaks for 8/11/16 – Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

From the DayBreaks Archive for August, 2006:

From News of the Weird, 7/10/98, UPI by Chuck Shepherd: “The New York Times reported in June that NASA has successfully field-tested an oil-spill-catcher that could have cleaned up the disastrous 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in about a week. A Huntsville, AL, hairdresser named Phillip McCrory came up with the idea to put discarded hair into mesh pillows, and a NASA researcher determined that 1.4 million pounds of hair would have soaked up the Valdez’s 11 million gallons in about a week. By contrast, Exxon Corp. spent $2 billion over several years and caught only about 12 percent of the oil.”

This kind of gives new meaning to the concept of having oily hair, doesn’t it? I couldn’t help but think about how easy it is to clean something up when you’ve got the right tools – like say, 1.4 million pounds of hair. What was a huge task with the wrong tools is made quick and easy when you’ve got the right ones.

A few thoughts: Sin is no different. People try to clean up their lives with all kinds of things: by trying to be a good person, by trying to stop being unfaithful or to stop swearing or drinking. By giving to their church and sitting in the pew some try to alleviate their bleeding consciences. Others, trying to get rid of their guilt, go to secular counselors who wind up telling them that “You’re OK! See, we’re all OK! What you did is normal and natural and you only did what you had to do.” But the problem with all of that is that it doesn’t really take away the scum from our lives. There is only one thing that can take our sin away and that is the blood of Jesus. And it is instantaneous. It is effective. All the things that we try to do from a human perspective can’t really clean our conscience, because deep inside we know the explanations for why we did what we did can’t undo the wrong we participated in.

The quality of the clean-up is important, too. The Valdez disaster was terrible, costly and as you can see from the story, the recovery efforts weren’t very successful. Yet, if sin was as easy to get rid of as oil spills, we wouldn’t have needed Jesus. We needed him at the beginning when we became believers – to claim his blood as our cleansing agent, and we need him constantly to cleanse us from the blackness of our sin. What if Jesus’ cleansing were only as effective as Exxon’s efforts and you were left with 88% of your sin?

I Jn 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from ALL unrighteousness.

Jesus blood is the perfect cleansing agent – while we may sin from time to time, it is forgiven totally, completely and without reservation. Don’t carry your burden of sin and guilt for one more moment. He died to make you clean!

PRAYER: Behold, what manner of love you have shown us that you call us your children and dress us in the finest clothing and invite us to the party of all eternity!  Help us to stay clean and alert as we go through this day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 8/10/16 – What Love Really Means

DayBreaks for 8/10/16 – What Love Really Means

From the DayBreaks Archive for August, 2006:

Matt. 5.43ff: Ye have heard that it was said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thine enemy; but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you, that ye may be sons of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.

From The Cost of Discipleship by Deitrich Bonhoeffer: “Here, for the first time in the Sermon on the Mount, we meet the word which sums up the whole of its message, the word “love”.  Love is defined in uncompromising terms as the love of our enemies.  Had Jesus only told us to love our brethren, we might have misunderstood what he meant by love, but now he leaves us in no doubt whatever as to his meaning.”

APPLICATION: Have you ever really thought of love in those terms?  Isn’t the love that we have for those who are our enemies a much greater measure of our love than what we feel for those who are our friends?  It’s easy to love friends and relatives (usually!!)  It is another matter entirely to love those who see you as a weak person and who ridicule you for your faith, or who might even persecute you because they believe you are dangerous and your ideas about right and wrong might cramp their style or contradict theirs.

Wasn’t the love of God for His enemies (that’s us) the real measure of His love?  We expect Him to love His son.  What was unexpected was that He should love us as He does.  And indeed, in the passage from Matthew, it is the love for our enemies that he says causes us to be sons of our Father.  If our Father loves that way, we must be that way, too, if we are to bear the likeness of the Father.

What enemy are you having a hard time loving today?  Is it someone who slighted you?  Someone who laughed at you?  Someone who treated you unfairly at work – maybe taking credit for something good that you did or possibly blaming you for something they did wrong?  Is it a someone competing with you for a promotion?  A competitor for someone’s affections?  Perhaps a relative who wronged you?  Identify someone that you need to love with the love that the Father has shown us.  Pray about it.  Ask the Spirit to show you how you can show love for them in a way that will bring glory to our Father.  And then – do it!  God will be pleased and you’ll have the peace that comes from knowing you are walking in the Father’s footsteps!

PRAYER:  We all have enemies, or at the very least, we confess we have those who we don’t love the way we should.  Help us, Jesus, to turn our enemies into loved ones.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 8/9/16: Saving John Doe

DayBreaks for 8/09/16 – Savind John Doe

From the DayBreaks Archive for August, 2006:

Have you seen “Saving Private Ryan”? It is supposedly about as graphically realistic (at least in the first 26 minutes or so) about the horrors of war as you can get in a movie. I don’t like that kind of stuff at all. Veterans, by and large, say it is pretty realistic – but they say it just doesn’t go far enough in picturing the awful human carnage of war. But the message is somewhat clearer because of the brutal visual honesty of the movie: victory is costly. Dwight Eisenhower, who ordered the D-Day invasion depicted in the first part of the movie, had this to say: “There are no victories at discount prices.”

In the cross we see only what our sin cost God. What if we could see that awful carnage of sin through God’s eyes? Because we can’t see the future, we sometimes can’t see how our sin maims, cuts, pierces and destroys our relationships with those around us and the world we live in, let alone God. We can’t see, in graphic terms, the way our selfishness tears out hearts and leaves people bleeding in our wake of sin. We can’t see the effect of our sins on our children and grandchildren (Ex. 20:6). And it isn’t just the sin of things we do that will affect them, but the sin of the things we don’t do that will possibly have an even greater impact on future generations.

Another thought: if I am trying to gain victory over some sin in my life – I shouldn’t think the victory will be cheap. It will come hard. What am I willing to lose to gain the victory? We want the victory to come easily, cheaply – but when it comes to defeating sin issues in our lives, we have to be ready to go to war with that sin.

How far am I prepared and willing to go to play a role in the “salvation” of others? Would I do what the troops did on D-Day to save someone’s soul? To use a crude analogy, Jesus stormed the fortified beach of sin and took all the bullets for me. Would I take even a single bullet for the soul of my best friend, let alone my enemy?

Of course as Christians we picture the horrible carnage of the cross and the beatings that preceded it, and rightly so. It was at one and the same time the ugliest and most beautiful even that ever happened. I hope we never forget the ugliness of what our sin cost God.

PRAYER:  Are there words, Lord, to thank You for coming to rescue us, to save us?  Help us to be able to grasp even a fraction of what sin does to You, and what it does to us.  Help us be holy, even as you are holy.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 8/8/16 – The Gospel in Twelve Words

DayBreaks for 8/08/16 – The Gospel in Twelve Words

How would you tell someone about the good news? Some have developed tracts, some have written entire books to explain the gospel. But I like how our preacher put it these past few weeks. It’s so simple, so to the point, that I love it!

Here it is: We lost it all. Jesus paid it all. We get it all.

We lost it all: what did we lose? In Adam we lost our innocence, the ability to literally walk by God’s side and speak directly to him, we lost life and we lost eternity. It all happened so quickly that it takes your breath away.

Jesus paid it all: our sin incurred a penalty that would have to be paid. And we were destined to pay it forever separated from God’s presence. But instead of us having to pay for our own sins, Jesus left the glories of heaven for earth, suffered and died and paid the penalty for our sin.

We get it all: because of Jesus completed work (and what a key word that is!!!!), we got back everything (and what a key word that is!!!!) that was lost in the first place – and more. Yes, we were made in God’s image, we were his creation in the beginning, but now we are called his friends, his sons and daughters…and we will reign with him – all because of the middle step: because Jesus paid it all!

So, the next time someone asks you about the gospel, just remember those twelve words; We lost it all; Jesus paid it all; We get it all!

Now, go and celebrate!!!!

PRAYER: Oh, Jesus! The beauty of the good news takes our breath away! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 8/5/16 – From Light Bearer to Prince of Darkness

DayBreaks for 8/05/16 – From Light Bearer to Prince of Darkness

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2006:

When we think of the devil, we usually call him either Devil or Satan.  These names essentially mean the same thing: “adversary” or “accuser”.  But there is another name for the devil in scripture and it is found only once in Isaiah where he is called Lucifer (the NIV puts it “morning star”).  The name Lucifer means “light-bearer”, “bright star”, “brightness” or “morning star”.   In Isaiah 14.12-15 and Ezekiel 28.11-19, there are some passages that many believe to be descriptions of the fall of Lucifer (couched in terms of the king of Babylon or Tyre, respectively).  In Ezekiel it describes Satan as being the model of perfection among created beings, surpassing everything else beauty and wisdom.  He was described as being on the mountain of God, and Isaiah describes him as the morning star.

But, there was a problem.  As beautiful as he may have looked on the outside, there was a cancer eating away at him on the inside – pride that led to rebellion.  And instead of living up to his name of Lucifer (light-bearer), he became the prince of darkness that rules (temporarily) over the pit of hell. 

I’d not really thought too much about this before, but it struck me this morning that we are not all that different from Satan in many ways.  We were created to glorify God.  Mankind, among the things that are created in Genesis, is the only thing of which it is said that it was “very good”.  We were made in His image, to have fellowship with Him.  We were created to bear and reflect His glorious light. 

But, there was a problem.  Like Satan, our pride took over.  We began to exalt our wishes over God’s wishes for us. We filled ourselves up with our learning and our intellect and minds became darkened as we became convinced that we knew better than God what was the right way to do things and what was best for us. 

We all did it.  I’m not the exception to the rule and neither are you.  We, like Lucifer, were created to be light bearers but our light went out because of sin. 

But that’s where the similarity ends.  Lucifer is bound, destined to be cast into utter darkness forever.  God couldn’t stand for that to be our fate so He stepped in, and as Colossians 1.13 puts it: For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.  Likewise, in Paul’s defense before Agrippa, he describes God’s work in Acts 26.18 this way: …to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.

Lucifer’s fate has been determined and decreed by God.  We have a choice.  We can be light-bearers, servants of the One in whom is no darkness at all, or servants of the prince of darkness.  As Joshua put it: Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…

PRAYER:  Help us to bear Your light not just today, but every day, that Your glory may be seen.  Help us Lord to keep our lamps trimmed and bright so that those who are lost in darkness may be drawn to You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 8/4/16 – Scratching the Itch

DayBreaks for 8/04/16 – Scratching the Itch

When I was a kid, I sometimes got into poison ivy. The key to poison ivy, once you have it, is not to scratch. Restraining yourself is hard, for your skin itches and you want relief. But scratching only makes poison ivy worse.

Greediness works the same way. We get infected, and we want to scratch, although we know we shouldn’t do so. Possessing more and more appears to provide relief, but only makes the situation worse. We keep scratching, but it’s no solution and it certainly doesn’t solve the real problem in our souls.

Jesus issues a warning inspired by a squabble over inheritance, but one that all of us need to hear. He says: “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.”

Clarence Jordan’s translation of this verse brings out its original earthiness. Here’s what Jesus says according to Jordan: “You all be careful and stay on your guard against all kinds of greediness. For a person’s life is not for the piling up of possessions.”

In these few words, Jesus rejects much of what keeps our society humming. He warns us against greed, avarice, the desire to possess more than we need, more than we can use, more than we want. In other words, the more we scratch the itch, rather than getting better…it just gets worse!

PRAYER: Father, you have been so generous with us, but it seems we are never satisfied and we keep on scratching the itch and wanting more. May we learn to be grateful…and content. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 8/3/16: If I Should Die…

DayBreaks for 8/03/16 – If I Should Die…

Many of you are familiar with the childhood prayer “Now I lay me down to sleep, ” but I was little surprised to learn that it is a shortened version of an Old English prayer, which goes like this:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,

bless the bed that I lie on.

Before I lay me down to sleep,

I give my soul to Christ to keep.

 

Four corners to my bed,

four angels there aspread,

two to foot, and two to head,

and two to carry me when I’m dead.

 

I go by sea, I go by land,

the Lord made me by his right hand.

If any danger comes to me,

Sweet Jesus Christ, deliver me.

 

He’s the branch, and I’m the flower,

pray God send me a happy hour.

And if I die before I wake,

I pray that Christ my soul will take.

 The prayer has an important refrain, that Christ is the keeper, the caretaker of our soul. And, when we slip into the unconsciousness of the night I suppose, on a daily bases, we are never nearer death. It was out of this fear of sleep that this prayer was written. At night, when we are vulnerable, we want someone watching over us. During the daytime when we are afraid, we want someone watching over us. When we come to die, we want someone watching over us.

The wonderful news: Someone is!

PRAYER:  Thank you for never sleeping or taking your eyes off us for even a single moment. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.