DayBreaks for 10/02/19 – God’s Heaviest Grief

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DayBreaks for 10/02/19: God’s Heaviest Grief

From the DayBreaks archive, September 2009:

Have you ever known someone who had tremendous potential, but they squandered their opportunities pursuing meaningless things? Perhaps you look back at your own life with a certain measure of regret for “what might have been.”  There isn’t a one of us who can’t look back at our past and say that about one thing or another.  Not one. 

On the other hand, there are others who seemingly have nothing going for them – ordinary men and women – who manage to achieve incredible things.  Mother Theresa was so small physically, and not greatly educated, but has there been anyone in the 20th century who made a bigger impact on people and the world than she did?  Maybe, but not many.  Einstein was a mail clerk, for Pete’s sake.  He wasn’t an educated mathematician or physicist to start with.  In fact, he was singled out by his early teachers and being too dumb to learn.  Yeah, right!!!

So it is that we see this paradox: there are those we’d never suspect who shake the very foundations of the world, and those who we believe could make a huge difference – but they wind up wasting their lives and talent.  When the funerals come around for both the wasters and the achievers, they will all be nice funerals and nice things will be said.  But not all that is said will likely be true. 

The Christian writer, A. W. Tozer, once said, “A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God.  This is man’s greatest tragedy and God’s heaviest grief.”

Well put, don’t you think?  We were made by God to do things – to achieve, to create, to invent and to change and grow to be more like our Father.  Because we are made in his image, we are capable of magnificence with his help! And because we often don’t represent what God is like by our actions and when we waste the life that God has blessed us with it must deeply grieve Him!

How are you doing at becoming and achieving all the potential that God put into you and your DNA?  Have you wasted much of your life in the pursuit of the frivolous?  Do you have many regrets at opportunities you had but which you lost?  Why not turn all that around today and recommit yourself to becoming more like Him and to fulfill all that He’s put into your ability to become?  There is nothing that would give Him greater joy!

PRAYER: We are often too tired and lazy, Lord, to make much effort at becoming all You have gifted us and created us to be.  May we live up to the potential You have created in each one of us that we might bring You joy!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 1/22/18 – When Salvation Comes to Your House

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DayBreaks for 1/22/18: When Salvation Comes to Your House

We often think of salvation as freedom – at least as being freed from something.  And that’s all well and good, and even accurate.  For those of us born in the United States, we’ve never experienced slavery.  The language of Scripture speaks of the delivery of Israel from Egyptian slavery as a salvation, freeing them from their oppressors.  It’s hard to argue with that, so I won’t even try.

If, however, all we think of when we think of salvation is freedom – the ability to stop being enslaved to someone or something, I think there’s something seriously wrong with our concept of salvation.  Take, for instance, the story of Jesus and Zacchaeus.  I won’t bother going through the story – let’s get to the point, and see something about what salvation really involves.

After Jesus spent some time with Zacchaeus (we’re not told much about their conversation at all), Zacchaeus breaks forth with an exclamation: Look, Lord!  Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.  (Lk. 19:8)  What prompted Zacchaeus to come to this conclusion and decision, we just don’t know.  We can only assume it was either something Jesus said, or just the experience of His holiness that moved Zacchaeus.  Regardless, he meets Jesus and changes his mind about things, but immediately he also changes his ways. 

But what is fascinating is Jesus’ proclamation at that point: Today salvation has come to this house.  Here’s what Mark Buchanan wrote about this incident, in The Rest of God: “When salvation comes to your house, first you think differently, then you act differently.  First, you shift the imagination with which you perceive this world, and then you enact gestures with which you honor it.”

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think that Jesus was saying that because Zacchaeus was taking actions that he was saved because of it.  I think Jesus was pointing out the motive behind the actions: Zacchaeus had been saved, and the evidence of his salvation was a change of both mind and action.

Have you been saved?  What changes in action has salvation wrought in you?

PRAYER:  May our minds be change and our hearts rekindled by the wonder of the salvation that has come to our house, and may we live lives full of the evidence of that salvation.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 10/01/13 – The Trembling Spider Web

DayBreaks for 10/01/13 – The Trembling Spider Web

Psalm 19:14 (ESV)  Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

There is, of course, nothing that begins to approach the wisdom and truth of Scripture.  But every now and then one comes across some statement that strikes a chord and one can sense the wisdom in the words.  It seems that many believe that no one who is not a believer can ever speak truth, but that’s obviously not the case when one considers the words of King Nebuchadnezzar, Darius, Xerxes and others in Scripture who spoke truth but were pagans.

Frederick Buechner is not an unbeliever…he is a highly respected theologian.  Someone sent me an email that had this tag line in it: “Humanity is like an enormous spider web, so that if you touch it anywhere, you set the whole thing trembling…. The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt.  Our lives are linked together.  No man is an island.” – Frederick Buechner

Think about his words.  Think about witnessing a spider web and how it trembles when the spider moves, or a fly lands on it, or even when the gentlest breeze blows upon the silky strands.  What Buechner is saying is simply this: what we do affects the world for good or ill, in a far wider circle than we can ever imagine.

In the movie, Gladiator, the character played by Russell Crowe makes an observation that echoes this, but also expands on Buechner’s words.  It goes something like this: “What we do in this life, echoes in eternity.”  Wow.  There’s a lot of wisdom and truth in those words, too.  And it reminds us that not only do our actions and words here affect this world, but they affect eternity as well.

We might all be well advised to traverse our daily lives with more care and caution.  It doesn’t mean we need to be stern-faced and somber.  It means we need to be thoughtful and wise with everything for every action has ramifications. What is your life weaving?

May God grant us the wisdom to live in ways that bring good, not evil, to time and eternity. 

PRAYER: We often flit through our days rather thoughtlessly and carelessly, Lord.  May we be more attentive to the implications of our words and actions on those You bring into our lives this day, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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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 08/06/13 – Choosing Bad Gods

DayBreaks for 08/06/13 – Choosing Bad Gods

godExodus 20:1-3 (NLT) – Then God gave the people all these instructions: “I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery. You must not have any other god but me.”

I have recently been reading a very thought provoking book titled Discipling Nations by Darrow L. Miller.  It is fascinating as it dissects prevailing world views (secularism, animism, Christianity and Islam being the major ones dealt with).  The more I work with Medical Ambassadors International the more aware I become of the vast differences in world view and how they affect nearly everything in our lives…not the least of which is religion and ethics. 

For example, the modern mantra is a call for tolerance.  This was largely promulgated by those holding a post-modern worldview that says tolerance means showing equal respect to all moral and metaphysical ideas.  They hold that being tolerant towards people who disagree with us is a virtue.  Is it always that case, though?  Is tolerating false ideas and evil social practices that lead to wickedness, cruelty, injustice and oppression really a virtue?  Would we really think it a virtue to tolerate those who propagated Nazism and the Holocaust, communism and socialism?  Even the World Bank has conceded that not all moral ideas and practices have the same consequences.  Typically, the poorest nations are the most corrupt nations.

It is worth noting what Plato (a pretty smart guy, all things considered) observed in Republic, when he told his fellow Greeks that it is impossible to even begin to build a just society without getting rid of the foul stories of their gods and goddesses.  A people cannot be better than their gods.

This is why, perhaps, God said what He did in Exodus 20:1-3.  Is what God said popular?  No.  It isn’t very tolerant, right?  It is not a question, however, of tolerance, but of truth.  Why did God say what He did?  Because He knows that people cannot be better than their gods and goddesses.  If their gods, like those of the Greeks, engaged in revels and orgies and the like, people will tend to imitate their gods.  If their gods are materialistic in nature, we will be given to materialism ourselves.  But if our God is GOD, we will be a holy and righteous people and society.

What is your God like?  It’s an important question because it will determine what you are like!

PRAYER: Lord, how many substitute gods have we placed before You?  How many lies of world view have Your people surrendered to?  Clear our minds of the foolishness that we have come to believe that we may believe only the Truth that proceeds from Your mouth!  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 working as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising 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 and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name 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 (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368. 

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are also members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 01/31/12 – Living the Full Gospel

DayBreaks for 01/31/12 – Living the Full Gospel

We must not just speak the Word, we must live it...

8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ – Luke 10:8-9

What is the gospel?  When you hear the word, what do you think of?  How about when you hear the word “evangelism”?  Do you envision someone knocking on your door to tell you that Jesus loves you?  Or greeting you on the street and warning you that you’ll go to hell if you don’t accept Jesus?

Of course, the word “gospel” means good news.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like good news, do you?  I mean, who wouldn’t like the Publisher’s Clearing House van pulling up in front of their house to tell you that you’re the grand prize winner?  Most of us would think that is good news, right?

And it is good news that Jesus loves us.  It is!  And when you find out that you’ve “won” the favor of God (not because of what you have done, but simply because of what He has done), that is far better news than winning the grand prize from PCH!

I wonder, though, if we really understand the gospel.  This past Sunday, a guest speaker from Sao Paulo, Brazil, made a statement that I think bears repeating.  He said we are to live the gospel in word, and in deed.  What did he mean?

I grew up with a lot of emphasis being placed on sharing the Word…telling people the story, doing my best to convince them of their need to accept Christ’s free gift of salvation.  To me, that was what the gospel was – proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor.  But that’s just a part of it.  When Jesus sent the disciples out in Luke 10, he told them to proclaim the message: “The Kingdom of God is near you,”, i.e., share the Word about the joyous news.  But what else did they do?  They cast out demons and healed the sick.  That’s the other part of the gospel – the “deed” part.

Have we focused so much on the Word side of the gospel that we’ve neglected the “deed” side?  If so, we’re not fully representing the gospel to the world and the world is a poorer place for it.

PRAYER: Let us speak the word, and live the gospel deeds before the world by your enabling Spirit!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

If you wish to help support Galen and his work in bringing food, water and protection to children through the non-profit iam2.org, please mail checks made payable to “iam2 Partners” to this address: 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092, or go to http://www.iam2.org to donate (one time, or recurring).  Thank you!

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DayBreaks for 11/22/11 – One Drop Less

DayBreaks for 11/22/11 – One Drop Less

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ – Matthew 25:37-39

One interesting way to read Scripture and gain new insights is to emphasize different words when we read.  Then, meditate on each word, one at a time, to mine the riches buried in a passage.  I’ve used this technique before, but not in conjunction with the passage above.

I’ve read this story many times, but never using this tool…but what if we stop to think about the seemingly insignificant adverb, “when.”  ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or when did we see you thirsty, or when did we see you naked, or when did we see you sick?’  It is interesting that both those in the parable who see, and those who fail to see the needs of those around them ask the same question “When…?”  Also revealing is the fact that those who helped didn’t remember helping, while those who passed by didn’t remember passing by.  The common question that will be asked by both groups on the last day is “When? Lord?”

Mother Theresa once said, “I never look at the masses as my responsibility, I look at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. So you begin with one. If I didn’t pick up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up 42,000. My whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if I didn’t put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less.”

It takes a lot of water to fill the ocean.  But it can be filled – one drop at a time.  In this analogy, each act of kindness is a good thing done in love for someone else.  And to the person who receives that drop of water, it is life-giving and life-sustaining.

Find a way today to put a drop into the ocean of need and hurt that surrounds you.  Just as the world is diminished by each act of evil, it is blessed by each act of good.

PRAYER: Jesus, help us be influences of good, not evil this day.  Let us not lose heart because of the size of the task, but let us join in spirit with Your Spirit to help righteousness flourish!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 10/24/11 – Act Accordingly

DayBreaks for 10/24/11 – Act Accordingly

He always sees...and so does the world

Proverbs 15:3 – “3 The eyes of the LORD are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.

Scripture is full of statements about the things that mankind does, and how that the Lord sees them all.  In fact, the phrase “the eyes of the Lord” occurs 88 times in the New International Version.  I think God is trying to tell us something – that He is watching, and that He sees both the good and the bad that we do.  But He isn’t the only one who is watching.  The apostle Paul indicated that God wasn’t the only one who was watching, nor is He the only one we should be conscious of: 2 Corinthians 8:21 – “21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.

One of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, seemed to understand this and put it in his own words: “Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you and act accordingly.

The key is in the second phrase – even if you are doing something that will only be known to yourself – do it as if the entire world will be seeing what you do.

What are you contemplating doing today or this week or this month that you wouldn’t want everyone to see?  Please, don’t do it.  If you wouldn’t do it on the stage in front of the entire world, Paul tells you not to do it.  Act accordingly!

PRAYER: Lord, keep us from sinning in the secret places in our lives and in our hearts.  Help us to everything in such a way that we could be seen without shame by anyone at any time!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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