DayBreaks for 6/25/19 – What He Doesn’t Require

Image result for john the baptist

DayBreaks for 06/25/09: What He Doesn’t Require

From the DayBreaks archives, June 2009:

A friend of mine was teaching a class on John the Baptist. He had some good thoughts that can related to our everyday life and ministries…and by the way, you DO have an everyday ministry whether you are on full-time church staff or not, so don’t think that this doesn’t apply to you!

John the Baptist was an interesting character…living in the wilderness, eating locusts and honey, dressed in what today wouldn’t pass for clothes for a homeless person. He probably didn’t smell too good and probably looked like a wild man – I picture him as being wild looking with crazy hair and beard (I could be wrong!) I picture him yelling out his message in order to prepare hearts for the coming of the Promised One – no subtle gospel messages from John’s lips!

So what are the points? Well, Jesus said that no man born of woman was greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11). But let’s stop and think about John for a moment. What did he do? He went about the business of being what God called him to be. The road-maker. The path-preparer. Not once in his entire life did John perform a miracle!

What is it that makes for greatness? It isn’t miracles. Miracles are not the measure of greatness, nor is the number of miracles or magnitude of miracles a sign of greatness that impresses Jesus. What impresses God is a life that is lived in accordance with its purpose – like John’s. That is fulfilling the command to be a living sacrifice.

Sometimes in your ministry (whether it is full-time church work or a ministry in the secular world), you can feel like a failure because you couldn’t pull off that “miracle” and reach that lost person for Christ, or keep that couple from divorcing, or turn that teen from self-destruction. You are not a failure because you couldn’t do a miracle. Miracles are God’s business…not yours or mine. And don’t let anyone put pressure on you to be a “miracle worker”. Sometimes we expect our church leaders to do heroic and seemingly miraculous things with their own families, with the local body and in the community. They should reach everyone for Christ, visit all the sick, and live perfect lives as role models. But that isn’t fair…and it isn’t God’s demand for anyone.

Don’t get discouraged in your work for God. God doesn’t require you to do miracles. He just asks for your faithfulness. Are you giving it to Him?

Prayer: May our hope and trust lie in You and not in anything we can do.  Help us to be faithful as our reasonable sacrifice to You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

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DayBreaks for 9/20/16 – In a Besieged City

DayBreaks for 9/20/16 – In a Besieged City

From the DayBreaks archive, 9/19/2006:

As I write this, I’m sitting in a hospital waiting word on a procedure that is being done on a brother from our church.  I took the last 30-45 minutes to read some Newsweek articles about the war on terror and how it has morphed through the past 10 years.  Some of it is enough to curl your hair and make you run to a bomb shelter with windows taped shut with duct tape to help prevent chemical agents from entering. 

It is a strange, yet interesting, time and place in which we live.  The rule of law, no – make that the rule of decency – seems to have been left in a toy box somewhere or discarded like a once-favored toy that is too old fashioned to still occupy us.  The degree of hatred and bitterness in the world is beyond comprehension.  The Deceiver has done his job well, it seems.  We are tempted to become despairing, discouraged and lose our hope as a result.

We would be wrong, however, if we think that our age is the only age which has confronted atrocity and attack.  C. S. Lewis preached at the University Church of St. Mary the Virgin at Oxford on October 22, 1939. Less than two months earlier, Hitler had invaded Poland. Britain was about to face the horrible Nazi onslaught. This is what Lewis told the assembled students:

“It may seem odd for us to carry on classes, to go about our academic routine in the midst of a great war. What is the use of beginning when there is so little chance of finishing? How can we study Latin, geography, algebra in a time like this? Aren’t we just fiddling while Rome burns?

“This impending war has taught us some important things. Life is short. The world is fragile. All of us are vulnerable, but we are here because this is our calling. Our lives are rooted not only in time, but also in eternity, and the life of learning, humbly offered to God, is its own reward. It is one of the appointed approaches to the divine reality and the divine beauty, which we shall hereafter enjoy in heaven and which we are called to display even now amidst the brokenness all around us.”

Lewis was right, and I think he made a key observation.  Our lives are rooted in time, but as Christians (and even non-Christians), there is an eternity that awaits us.  What we do in this life, if offered to God with thanksgiving and reverence, is a blessing and carries certain rewards with it.  But we’re here – alive in this time of turmoil and terror – because it is our calling to be here now.  We are not here, at this moment, in the place you are in, by mistake or by some freak coincidence of timing.  You are where you are right NOW because it is God’s calling for your life to be alive now. 

Let’s not worry about if there’s a chance of finishing what we start.  Let’s commit ourselves to being faithful with each breath and let Him worry about the ending.

Psalm 31:21: Blessed be the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city.

PRAYER:  We are in a besieged world, Lord, and you know that well.  It was besieged in your time, too, and help us draw comfort that you know what it is like to live in tumultuous times in topsy-turvy places.  Let us not lose sight of your wonderful love even while we are in the middle of the enemy’s attack.  Help us fulfill the calling you’ve given us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

 

DayBreaks for 8/19/15 – A Higher Priority

DayBreaks for 8/19/15: A Higher Priority

At the Olympic games in Paris in 1924 the sport of canoe racing was added to the list of international competitions. The favorite team in the four-man canoe race was the United States team. One member of that team was a young man by the name of Bill Havens.

As the time for the Olympics neared, it became clear that Bill’s wife would give birth to her first child about the time that Bill would be competing in the Paris Games. In 1924 there were no jet airliners from Paris to the United States, only slow-moving ocean-going ships. And so Bill found himself in a dilemma. Should he go to Paris and risk not being at his wife’s side when their first child was born? Or should he withdraw from the team and remain behind. Bill’s wife insisted that he go to Paris. After all, he had been working towards this for all these years. It was the culmination of a life-long dream.

Clearly the decision was not easy for Bill to make. Finally, after much soul searching, Bill decided to withdraw from the competition and remain behind with his wife so that he could be with her when their first child arrived. Bill considered being at her side a higher priority than going to Paris to fulfill a life-long dream.

To make a long story short, the United States four-man canoe team won the gold medal at the Paris Olympics. And Bill’s wife was late in giving birth to her first child. She was so late that Bill could have competed in the event and returned home in time to be with her when she gave birth.

People said, “What a shame.” But Bill said he had no regrets. After all, his commitment to his wife was more important then, and it still was now.

The story of Bill Havens is a story of how one man paid a high price to fulfill a commitment to someone he loved.

But the story doesn’t end there. The child eventually born to Bill and his wife was a boy, whom they named Frank. Twenty-eight years later, in 1952, Bill received a cablegram from Frank. It was sent from Helsinki, Finland, where the 1952 Olympics were being held. The cablegram read, and I quote it exactly: “Dad, I won. I’m bringing home the gold medal you lost while waiting for me to be born.”

Frank Havens had just won the gold medal for the United States in the canoe-racing event, a medal his father had dreamed of winning but never did.

There is a sequel to our acts of commitment as well, our commitments to one another, and our commitment to God. We reap the abundant harvest of righteousness. We reap a harvest of joy and peace that endures forever.

What is your highest priority? What will you NOT surrender or give up because it is of too great of value to you? Is it Jesus and His Word?

PRAYER: Commitment is a hard lesson to learn, Lord. My will power is not strong enough and I need Your help! Help me hold fast to that which I know in my heart should be my highest priority! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 6/19/14 – Your Mission, Should You Decide to Accept It

DayBreaks for 6/19/14 – Your Mission, Should You Decide to Accept It

Matthew 4:19 (NIV)  “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

One year during high school (when I wasn’t involved with the football team) I played in the high school marching band.  There was no flag corps, rifle drill team or dance routines.  There was “just” the band for half-time entertainment (pretty dull, eh? – but remember, Moses was just a kid when I was in high school!) Everything depended on the band and its abilities and talents in playing and marching. Every week we had to learn a new set of songs, to go with new marching formations to be performed at half time of the football games. We received our instructions early in the week and then practiced them until we got them right. They were not always easy: count time, play the music, step out on the appropriate measure and move exactly eight steps every five yards. As long as everyone followed their set of instructions, the maneuvers on the field were correct and the trombones did not spear into the clarinets and the trumpet players didn’t wind up with their heads embedded in the drums! Of course, if you missed a beat, or turned the wrong way, you could end up at one end of the field (all alone!) while the rest of the band was at the other. It’s not easy trying to convince everyone that you were right and the other 64 were wrong!

As disciples of Christ, we are all called to march, to move out with a special mission in the world. Matthew heard those moving words as addressed not only to him but to all who would join the movement in the years to come. There is about them an echo of the old television program “Mission: Impossible!” I can hear the words coming through: “Your mission, Matthew, should you decide to accept it….”

Here’s the scoop: if you are a Christian, you don’t have a choice on whether or not to accept this mission.  It is the same mission that Jesus gave to every disciple: to go and make more disciples. The Great Commission wasn’t given to just pastors, seminary professors or writers of religious works. It’s for all of us! If you’re a Christian – it is already your mission.

And there’s an extra bonus that Jesus throws in: when we do, we won’t ever wind up marching alone.  He’ll be with us!  Is that great, or what?!?!?!

Will we march with Him, or will we go our own way?

PRAYER: Lord, for those of us who don’t have the gift of evangelism, this is one tough command!  We are afraid we’ll “blow” it and say the wrong things and wind up embarrassing ourselves.  Remind us that your Spirit lives and speaks through us and that our job is to “go” and make disciples…and leave the rest to 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: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html. 

Look down the left side of the page, locate the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section, 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.

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DayBreaks for 11/03/11 – Faces to the Coal

DayBreaks for 11/03/11 – Faces to the Coal

Faces to the coal...

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17

During the dark days of World War II, England had a great deal of difficulty keeping men in the coal mines. It was a thankless kind of job, totally lacking in any glory. Most chose to join the various military services. They desired something that could give them more social acceptance and recognition. Something was needed to motivate these men in the work that they were doing so that they would remain in the mines.

With this in mind, Winston Churchill delivered a speech one day to thousands of coal miners, stressing to them the importance of their role in the war effort. He did this by painting for them a mental picture. He told them to picture the grand parade that would take place when VE Day came. First, he said, would come the sailors of the British Navy, the ones who had upheld the grand tradition of Trafalgar and the defeat of the Armada. Next in the parade, he said, would come the pilots of the Royal Air Force. They were the ones who, more than any other, had saved England from the dreaded German Luftwaffe. Next in the parade would come the Army, the ones that had stood tall at the crises of Dunkirk.

Last of all, he said, would come a long line of sweat-stained, soot-streaked men in minor’s caps. And someone, he said, would cry from the crowd, “And where were you during the critical days of the struggle?” And then from ten thousand throats would come, “We were deep in the earth with our faces to the coal.” We are told that there were tears in the eyes of many of those soot laden and weathered faced coal miners. They had been given a sense of their own self-worth by the man at the top. Service does not always come with big fancy ribbons. And I think it is forever true, that humble acts of service provide us with the deepest sense of joy and the most fulfilling satisfaction.

You may feel that you are working in the coal mine while everyone else is in the sunshine receiving glory.  Some are called to be pastors, some evangelists, some teachers…some mothers, some clerical workers, some helpers.  They are all essential.  They all perform a vital service in His kingdom, if they choose to do so.  The older I get, the more convinced I am that it isn’t so much what you do, but the attitude you do it with, that either makes our work pleasing and glorifying to Him or not.

How’s your attitude today about your work?

PRAYER: Lord, help us have the attitudes about our work and vocation that see it as all being of service to you and your creation.  Keep us from the discouraged, frustrated spirit that causes us to be ungrateful for what you’ve given us to do, or that might lead us to be envious and jealous of others to whom you have chosen to give the “great” tasks!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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