DayBreaks for 7/13/20 – And They All Came Tumbling Down

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Remember that old nursery rhyme about Humpty Dumpty, the old egg who sat on a wall and fell off, but who couldn’t be put back together again in spite of the best efforts of “all the king’s men and all the king’s horses”?  Or the old children’s Christian song about the foolish man who built his house on the sand and how the walls “all came tumbling down”?  There are great lessons to be learned from such simple stories and rhymes.

Edward Gibbon, the author of the seminal work, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, examined and studied the decline and fall of the mighty Roman Empire.  At the conclusion of his research, he attributed the fall of mighty Rome to five key things:

1. The rapid increase of divorce; the undermining of the dignity and sanctity of the home, which is the basis of human society.

2. Higher and higher taxes and the spending of public monies for free bread and circuses (giveaways) for the populace that led to laziness and complacency.

3. The mad craze for pleasure; sports becoming every year more exciting and more brutal.

4. The building of gigantic armaments and armies to protect themselves from outsiders when the real enemy was within, the decadence of the people.

5. The decay of religion–faith fading into mere form, losing touch with life and becoming impotent to warn and guide the people.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds awfully familiar to me.  But instead of focusing on the nation, we need to focus on ourselves first, for if God’s people are not different from the world when it comes to the five things Gibbon discovered, will not our own personal lives all come tumbling down, too?  Statistics say that those who identify themselves a born-again believers are not different that the world in most of these things: our attitude towards family and sexual mores, wanting handouts instead of being willing to earn things by the sweat of our brow, the pursuit of pleasure and comfort while others are starving and in torment, erecting all sorts of mechanisms to protect us from others who can hurt us but turning a blind eye to the disease that is within our own flesh and spirit, a faith that has become watered-down, ritualistic and that has lost meaning and power to make us different from the world around us. 

I fear that the diseases that led to the fall of Rome will lead eventually to the fall of America, but before that happens, we need to look hard at the church (that’s His disciples – we ourselves – not buildings!) and see if we aren’t already crumbling from within for all these reasons.  If you look at your life and feel that you’re doing just fine, you may be.  But someone once said that the greatest sin is to have no sense of sin.  We can all be guilt of that far too easily.

“Let him who thinks he stands, take heed lest he fall.”

PRAYER: Father, turn Your Spirit loose to search each corner of our hearts and reveal to us the corruption that is within us as individuals, as Your church, and as a nation that You brought to power to do good in this world.  Let us repent with bitter tears and return to You in all humility and trust.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 7/07/20 – Hope for Troubled Times

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DayBreaks for 7/07/20: Hope for Troubled Times

Daniel 2:44 (CSBBible) – In the days of those kings, the God of the heavens will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever.

What an amazing time we live in. Pandemics, scandals, demonstrations, riots, political division that is truly painful to see. It’s easy to lose our sense of balance in such a time.

I think Daniel’s interpretation of the king’s dream speaks to us at this moment, and every moment, in time. What Daniel tells the king (who was far and away the most powerful earthly ruler of his day) was this: a mighty kingdom is coming that will smash any earthly kingdom into smithereens. It’s not a kingdom of this world, but it is the kingdom of God himself.

As Jared Wilson put it in The Story of Everything: “It is the reality of the kingdom of God…that should comfort Christians today, not the rising and falling of popular opinion or the ways of the Supreme Court or the majority votes in Congress or the moral sanity of the president. All those people are sinners. We can root for them and persuade them and pray for them and hope for them – but we cannot hope in them, because none of them is not a sinner. Only Jesus Christ’s kingdom comes with perfect grace and peace and justice. And only Jesus Christ’s kingdom will remain.”

It may seem strange to think of the kingdom of Christ conquering all when we look around today. After all, when Christ came it was as a baby and he died not in a palace but on a wooden cross. When he came he didn’t come as a typical king does to fight and conquer and amass territory and wealth. Why didn’t he come that way? He didn’t have to. He already possessed it all. As Abraham Kuyper said, “There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, ‘Mine!’”

Be reminded, Christian, not to put your hope or faith in the president or in an election or in the scientists working to prevent COVID-19 or in anything else in this world. The one thing that is worthy of our hope is the completion of the coming of the kingdom of Christ. And that is where our prayers and efforts should be focused.

PRAYER: Jesus, we long to see the mighty kingdom come in its totality and finality. Keep us from trusting in other humans for deliverance and look only to you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/25/20 – The Gift of a World

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DayBreaks for 6/25/20: The Gift of a World

From the DayBreaks archive, June 2010:

One year just before Christmas, a Christian by the name of Halford Luccock asked his two young granddaughters what they would like for Christmas.  “Give us a world!” they responded with childish enthusiasm.  It took Luccock a while to understand what they wanted but eventually he concluded that what they wanted was a globe.  He was happy to get it for them, so he went shopping for a nice, big globe that would spin and which would also be an attractive addition to the room the girls shared. 

Christmas morning arrived and he waited to see their excitement and joy as they opened their gift from him.  Yet, somehow when the present was opened, he sensed they were a bit disappointed. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “I thought this is what you wanted.” “Well, yes,” said one of them, “but we were kind of hoping for a lighted world.”  Immediately he understood that what they wanted was a globe with a light inside.

“I can fix that,” he said. “Let me take it back and exchange it for a lighted one.” Unfortunately, the store where he bought the globe did not sell lighted ones. So, he got his money back and set out to find a lighted world rather than a darkened one. Finally, he located a globe with a light in it, bought it and presented it to his granddaughters, who were absolutely thrilled with it.  Later, when telling a colleague about this episode, he was asked if he’d learned anything from this experience.  “Yes,” he said, “I learned one thing.  I learned that a lighted world costs more.”

A lighted world does cost more.  It cost God His Son.  If we are serious about letting our light shine in today’s world, it will cost us as well.

PRAYER: Thank You for the Light of the World that has turned our darkness into day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/19/20 – To DO or to BE – That is the Question

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DayBreaks for 6/19/20: To Do or To Be – That is the Question

From the DayBreaks archive, June 2010:

“To be, or not to be, that is the question” is a phrase spoken by Prince Hamlet in William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 1. Hamlet is contemplating life, death and suicide, overwhelmed by life’s pain while also wondering if death is even worse than life. It is one of the most quoted lines in English literature.

This DayBreaks isn’t about suicide or death or life per se, so I hope you’ll continue reading.

The preacher said something this past Sunday that prompted the title of this DayBreaks.  When you think about it, which is more important as a Christian – doing the right things or being the right thing?  I grew up in a denomination where doing the right things was stressed – you had to do certain things and not do others if you were a “good” Christian. Some would say that’s works-based religion and I suppose they’d be right.

But if we asked Jesus which he’d prefer, I suspect he’d want us to be more than to do. He’d want us to be people of justice, mercy, compassion, to be a disciple, a lover of our fellow man. Sure, there’s a link between the being and doing – but if you are not being who you truly are, the works will die out soon enough.

And what are we to be? Well, someone said that “Sanctification is the process of becoming who we already are in Christ.” You see, in Christ we are already viewed as perfect – because we are IN him and his righteousness covers us fully and completely. But we know in our souls we are not perfect – hence the above saying about sanctification is spot on.

I am to be one who loves God above anything else in heaven or on earth. I am supposed to be honest, fair, loving, a healer of hurts, a righter of wrongs, forgiving, a walking, breathing imitator of Jesus. That’s what Jesus desires from us the most – to be like him. To do, or to be…the answer should be fairly clear to us all. Now, it were only that easy.

PRAYER: Jesus, don’t let us get distracted with busyness doing for you that we neglect who are to be in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/15/20 – Contradicting Culture

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DayBreaks for 6/15/20: Contradicting Culture

From the DayBreaks archive, June 2010:

The following is from a sermon by Tim Keller, author of The Reason for God, and I thought it was worth sharing.  Many today think that Christians are busy-bodies who do nothing more than rail against the culture of their time.  And, let’s face it, perhaps at times we have deserved such criticism.  Here’s that Tim had to say, I urge you to contemplate it seriously. I think he makes an excellent point:

“Many of us read a certain passage of Scripture and say, “That’s so regressive, so offensive.” But we ought to entertain the idea that maybe we feel that way because in our particular culture that text is a problem. In other cultures that passage might not come across as regressive or offensive.

“Let’s look at just one example. In individualistic, Western societies, we read the Bible, and we have a problem with what it says about sex. But then we read what the Bible says about forgiveness—”forgive your enemy;” “forgive your brother seventy times seven;” “turn the other cheek;” “when your enemy asks for your shirt, give him your cloak as well”—and we say, “How wonderful!” It’s because we are driven by a culture of guilt. But if you were to go to the Middle East, they would think that what the Bible has to say about sex is pretty good. (Actually, they might feel it’s not strict enough!) But when they would read what the Bible says about forgiving your enemies, it would strike them as absolutely crazy. It’s because their culture is not an individualistic society like ours. It’s more of a shame culture than a guilt culture.

“Let me ask you a question: If you’re offended by something in the Bible, why should your cultural sensibilities trump everybody else’s? Why should we get rid of the Bible because it offends your culture? Let’s do a thought experiment for a second. If the Bible really was the revelation of God, and therefore it wasn’t the product of any one culture, wouldn’t it contradict every culture at some point? Therefore, if it’s really from God, wouldn’t it have to offend your cultural sensibilities at some point? Therefore, when you read the Bible, and you find some part of it outrageous and offensive, that’s proof that it’s probably true, that it’s probably from God. It’s not a reason to say the Bible isn’t God’s Word; it’s a reason to say it is. What makes you think that because this part or that part of God’s Word is offensive, you can forget Christianity altogether?”

How arrogant that people (including us) think that our judgments and pronouncements about what is good and bad in culture are always true and right!  In fact, if we find ourselves in constant and strong alignment with our culture, chances are good that we need to open again the Word and see what it has to say about it!

PRAYER: Let us have more of Your wisdom, O Lord, and learn to apply Your Word to the life situations we face and the culture that surrounds us.  We want to be strong disciples, Lord, and help us to take the stands that You would like for us to take – and to do so with compassion and grace!  In Jesus’ name, Amen

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/08/20 – Forgiven

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DayBreaks for 6/08/20: Forgiven

We struggle with many things in life. We struggle with pride, pain, relationships, work, finances, failures, parenting, loving others who are different from us…the list could go on virtually ad infinitum. But there is one thing that we as believers struggle with perhaps more than non-believers. and that thing is forgiveness – and by that I mean accepting that we have been forgiven.

Why is that so?  You’d think that of all people on this green and blue orb that Christians would be the quickest ones to accept our forgiveness. And that’s true of many. But there are untold thousands, if not millions, of believers who just have a hard time accepting that our sins are forgiven. I think it is because while we have forgiveness, we also have the Spirit. Part of the role of the Spirit is to convict us of sin – not to torment of agonize us, but to cause us to confess and to steer us back into a good path.

If we are to believe anything about the cross, it must be this: that the price for ALL our sins was paid for – past, present and future, when the God-man died sinlessly. It wasn’t just for the sins I’d committed before I became a believer – though those are surely forgiven – but every sin I’ve committed since then and every sin I’ll ever commit in the future.

Maybe you did something this weekend, or last week, or last month or 20 years ago that you believe can never be forgiven. That simply isn’t true. To say it is unforgiveable is to deny the power of the blood of Jesus’ blood and sacrifice to take care of YOUR sin. My friend, you are not bigger, nor is your sin more powerful than the Father’s heart of love for you.

I love music and find it very powerful in causing me to think. And so I want to share this YouTube link with you from David Crowder’s Forgiven, where he says, “Forgiven, forgiven! Child there is freedom from all of it. Say goodbye to every sin you are forgiven.”

Walk in perfect freedom – now and forever!

Romans 8:1-2 (ESV) – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for our freedom – bought and paid for by your mighty, invincible blood! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/3/20 – A Plea to Reverse Babel

Genesis 11:9 (CSBBible) – Therefore it is called Babylon, for there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth, and from there the Lord scattered them throughout the earth.

Our nation is torn and bleeding…literally. A man, made in the very image of God, killed by those who are charged with upholding and enforcing the law and the rights of every human being. As a result of that, countless thousands protesting peacefully, while others (I won’t call them protestors, for the aren’t protesting, but rioting and looting) destroy the life work of fellow citizens and violently attack humans in the streets, businesses, and even trying to force their way into homes to wreak havoc and harm. Flames and smoke ascend to the heavens.

A long time ago in a place far, far away, a people thought too highly of themselves and tried to ascend into heaven. In response to their hubris, God confused their language and they scattered over the face of the earth. And it seems we have been scattered ever since.

Right now in America, we have people who speak the same literal language, but who are in no way unified. And sadly, through much of the life of the country and especially in the last week, it seems that the church as been all too silent. Should not the church be a voice crying in the wilderness for peace and unity, dialog and reason, that calls us to love one another regardless of whether the person next to you is red, white, black, brown, green, purple, polka-dotted or striped?

We should all be speaking to each other, hearing one another’s pain and fear and understanding what each human longs for and desires.

On the day of Pentecost, the birthday of the church, tongues of fire descended from heaven to earth and Peter spoke in a language that everyone heard – and understood in their own tongue – a universal language if you will. That’s how the church started. Where is that universal language in the church today? At this moment, tongues of fire ascend in the opposite direction as the flames of burning cities lick the heavenly sky. With one united voice, the church needs to be speaking against what God hates – racism, abuse, hatred, falsehood, misogyny, abuse of power – and to speak and bring his love to all humanity even as God does.

As always, it starts with me. And with you. For we are the church. Let us raise a common language for reconciliation and for healing and ask forgiveness for our own blindness.

PRAYER: Almighty God, where once you confused the language or mankind, we pray now that your Spirit will enable the church to speak with one voice of the preciousness of every human on the face of the earth. We ask you now to restore a common language filled with love and compassion, not hatred and rage. Search our hearts to reveal to us our own prejudices and forgive us for our hardness of heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/1/20 – Dying to be Free

From the DayBreaks Archive, May 2010:

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin– 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. – Romans 6:5-7

Today we celebrate Memorial Day.  It is a day that honors those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  It is certainly appropriate and fitting that we honor the heroes, men and women alike, who died so that we might live.  It shows the high value that we place on freedom that people are willing to die for not just their own freedom, but for the freedom of others. 

Every Sunday we celebrate communion (the Eucharist to those with more traditional backgrounds).  Why?  It is a reminder, much like Memorial Day, of One who died for our freedom – who shed His blood so we could be free.  There are those who argue that observing communion weekly is “overkill” and leads to minimizing the meaning and message of what happened because it becomes a “routine.”  Interestingly, the New Testament church seems to have observed it at least weekly – and typically whenever some of the believers were gathered together.  It’s only “routine” if we let it become that way.

In the passage above, Paul uses an interesting analogy of death and resurrection spiritually – but it is tinged with physical reality.  His final phrase “…because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” seems so obvious that it would go without being stated.  And so it is – the dead cannot be tempted to sin any longer.  The consequences of their sin may follow them into eternity if they have rejected the Christ, but they are now free from further temptation.  Believers don’t even have to carry the consequences of their sin into eternity because those consequences were already left behind at the cross of Christ.

Do you long for freedom?  Are you willing to die for it?  Jesus said that his mission was to free the captives.  He has opened the door.  That’s His part.  Our part is to walk through that open prison door into God’s glorious freedom.  It may seem obvious, but I like what John Ortberg had to say on this matter: “Nobody is more free than a dead man.”  Hear Paul’s words: For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. – Romans 6:10-11  If we are dead to sin by the death of Christ – we are give an eternal freedom – not a freedom that must be fought and paid for over and over again by succeeding generations of soldiers. 

John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Revelation 1:4-6

I couldn’t have said it better if I tried for a million years! PRAYER: Hallelujah Lord Jesus for the eternal freedom You bought for us with Your blood!!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 5/27/20 – Putting the Blood on Trial

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DayBreaks for 5/27/20: Putting the Blood on Trial

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2010:

The following was sent to me by a DayBreaks reader.  I don’t know the author.  (Thanks, Kate, for sending this along to me!):

“One night in a church service a young woman felt the tug of God at her heart.   She responded to God’s call and accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior. 
“The young woman had a very rough past, involving alcohol, drugs, and prostitution.  But, the change in her was evident. As time went on she became a faithful member of the church.  She eventually became involved in the ministry, teaching young children. 

“It was not very long until this faithful young woman had caught the eye and heart of the pastor’s son.   The relationship grew and they began to make wedding plans.  This is when the problems began. 

“You see, about one half of the church did not think that a woman with a past such as hers was suitable for a pastor’s son.  The church began to argue and fight about the matter…so they decided to have a meeting.  As the people made their arguments and tensions increased, the meeting was getting completely out of hand. 

“The young woman became very upset about all the things being brought up about her past.  As she began to cry the pastor’s son stood to speak.  He could not bear the pain it was causing his wife to be. 

“He began to speak and his statement was this: “My fiancee’s past is not what is on trial here.  What you are questioning is the ability of the blood of Jesus to wash away sin.  Today you have put the blood of Jesus on trial.  So, does it wash away sin or not?” 

“The whole church began to weep as they realized that they had been slandering the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Too often, even as Christians, we bring up the past and use it as a weapon against our brothers and sisters. 

“Forgiveness is a very foundational part of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.  If the blood of Jesus does not cleanse the other person completely then it cannot cleanse us completely.  If that is the case, then we are all in a lot of trouble.   What can wash away my sins?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus!  End of case!!!!” 

PRAYER: Hallelujah, Lord Jesus!  Thank YOU for Your blood that never loses its power!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 5/14/20 – Choosing What to Celebrate

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DayBreaks for 5/14/20: Choosing What to Celebrate

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2010:

I’ve always believed you could tell something about people and perhaps even nations by examining their heroes – those they honor.  There are groups that celebrate those who wore white hoods, burned crosses and killed African-Americans.  There are others who celebrate Stalin, Hitler and others of that ilk.  For the life of me, I can’t understand why anyone would celebrate any of those people or causes.  And the fact that they do, says a lot about them, I think. 

This bit of disturbing news was published just last Thursday: FOX NEWS: 5/13/10 – “A nationwide petition has been launched by the Catholic League after the Empire State Building denied a request to commemorate Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday.

“Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based Catholic civil rights organization, submitted an application to the Empire State Building Lighting Partners in February to have the skyscraper feature blue and white lights — the colors of Mother Teresa’s congregation — on Aug. 26 to commemorate her centennial. The request was denied without explanation last week, and more than 6,000 people have signed a protest petition in just one day, Donohue told FoxNews.com.

“I’d like to find out what’s driving this,” he said. “But I’m confident it’s just a matter of time before we win on this thing.”

“Donohue noted that the iconic building in midtown Manhattan changed its colors to red and yellow last year to honor the 60th anniversary of China’s Communist Revolution.

“Yet under its founder, Mao Zedong, the Communists killed 77 million people,” Donohue said in a statement. “In other words, the greatest mass murderer in history merited the same tribute being denied to Mother Teresa.”

“The iconic Empire State Building is lit in white most nights, but nearly every week the skyscraper gets splashed with color to honor holidays and heroes.

“Mother Teresa received 124 awards, including Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Medal of Freedom,” Donohue’s statement continued. “She built hundreds of orphanages, hospitals, hospices, health clinics, homeless shelters, youth shelters and soup kitchens all over the world … Not surprisingly, she was voted the most admired woman in the world three years in a row in the mid-1990s. But she is not good enough to be honored by the Empire State Building.”

“A spokeswoman for the building’s public relations firm declined comment Thursday when reached by FoxNews.com.

What has happened to us when we can celebrate those who commit genocide and “honor” them but we won’t do it for a little Albanian nun who gave comfort to the oppressed and food to the hungry?” 

Perhaps it is because we don’t know how to choose heroes anymore that the name Jesus means nothing to so many.  If there ever was a hero who deserved not only whatever honor we could give him, but also our worship, it’s the Lord.  Will you honor Him by what you do and say today?  He would rather that you did that than decorate the Empire State Building in His honor!

PRAYER: All honor and glory truly belong to You, Jesus!  May we choose to honor You this day through all we do!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>