DayBreaks for 4/26/16 – King and Country

DayBreaks for 4/26/16 – King and Country

I confess that I am baffled by the current crop of national candidates for the highest office in our land. I realize that politics is an incendiary topic and I seldom write about it. Don’t worry – I’m not really writing about it today, either, so it is safe to read on!

I find myself dismayed at the choices before us. Where have the great leaders gone to? Why and how did we get to this point in our history where we seem to have such a shortage of genuine, true leaders? I can’t know the realities in their hearts regarding their faith, but I do see signs that I find deeply disturbing about nearly every single one of our presidential candidates and I am struggling with the question of “Who will I vote for?” if so and so are the nominees.

On Sunday, one of the teachers at our church spoke on this issue as so many are wrestling with the same things I’m feeling. His message was: King and Country and focused on may passages that talk about what God has to say about living as a citizen in this world.

The preacher didn’t tell us who to vote for, but he did try to help put things into a well-informed, Biblical perspective for us. Here are some of the things he had to say:

  1. Our frustrations have grown to a fever pitch because we have placed our hope in government, not God. If we are counting on government and human leaders to deliver us, we will be disappointed 100% of the time. What we are longing for is the Garden – the way things were created to be originally;
  2. Jeremiah 29:7 describes the Israelites in Babylonian captivity and they wondered how they should live there. God’s answer, through His prophet Jeremiah, was that our role in exile should bless the place where we live and pray for it – be in it, but not part of it;
  3. He illustrated it by having two boxes on stage. One was a large box that represented the Kingdom of God, the smaller box represented America. He reminded us that it is the Kingdom of God that is the greater of the two and that our lives as Americans is not the pre-eminent thing, it is our life as Christians that encloses our life as Americans, not the other way around;
  4. The Kingdom of God demands our highest level of allegiance and all that we are to carry out our responsibilities as citizens of any earthly kingdom in light of His kingdom;
  5. The Kingdom of Jesus is not only our ultimate security, but our ONLY security.

I don’t know who will be the president-elect after November 4, 2016. Thank goodness I don’t have to know. Our fate as a nation is dependent on God and His plan, not some puny president. America is not God’s “chosen people”. That title once belonged to Israel. Now it belongs to all believers of any nation. And that’s the nation we should, and must be most concerned about!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord for the reminder of priorities and of where our hope should rightfully rest! Let us find peace in our hearts even in the midst of this tumultuous time in our country, and help us as Your people to humble ourselves and pray so that You may heal our nation! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 01/08/14 – Sitting By the Enemy’s Fire

DayBreaks for 01/08/14 – Sitting by the Enemy’s Fire

https://daybreaksdevotions.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/3496d-bukowskifire.jpg

Luke 22:54-55 (NLT) So they arrested him and led him to the high priest’s home. And Peter followed at a distance. 55  The guards lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter joined them there.

How quickly we are humbled!  How quickly we can turn from proud and confident followers to betrayers! Mere hours before, Peter had said with full confidence in himself, that he would never betray Jesus. Now, the deed that echoes through the centuries is done in a heartbeat.  Note the progression: long before the first denial, Peter had gone from standing beside Jesus, sword drawn and flashing in the dancing torch light to “following at a distance”. No one had yet accused him of anything…but he was at a distance. Notice the next statement: Peter even joined the same guards he’d seen in the garden and sat beside them at the fire!

What happens when we let distance come between us and the Lord? Other things grab our attention. In this case, it may have been the guards who were roughly handling Jesus in the garden that first caused Peter (even after chopping off an ear!) to perhaps duck and hide, bob and weave, through the night shadows from one olive tree to another.  It may have been the number of swords that were drawn. It may have been the suspicion of what would happen at the trial.  We don’t know what all went though his mind, but this we do know: he followed “at a distance.”

How often I follow at a distance! How easily my pride can be destroyed by a threat of personal harm. How easy it is to find myself sitting in the enemy camp by a warm fire rather than standing with my Lord!

We will all face choices today regarding whether we will stand with Jesus or sit by a warm fire with the enemy. Which will you choose?

PRAYER: Forgive me, Lord, for the times I’ve sought the comfort of the fire to standing with you in a cold and terrifying position! Forgive my pride that makes me think from time to time about how strong my faith might be and about what a committed follower I am! Give me courage, Lord! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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