DayBreaks for 9/01/15 – Of Slaves and Freedom

DayBreaks for 9/01/15: Of Slaves and Freedom

“But we are descendants of Abraham,” they said. “We have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean, ‘You will be set free’?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin. A slave is not a permanent member of the family, but a son is part of the family forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. – John 8:33-36 (NLT)

I was born a free citizen in a country that has historically loved and honored freedom. I am very grateful for it. I have never known someone who was a slave to another human being. Powerful movies (Twelve Years a Slave, The Color Purple, and Alex Haley’s Roots to name a few) give us amazing images related to the horrors of slavery – and yet I suspect it is even worse than those images could begin to portray.

Human trafficking and slavery is a huge topic around the world – and rightly so. It is an abomination and every decent human being longs for its eradication.

However – according to Jesus, we are all slaves. Everyone who sins is a slave to it – and that encompasses us all. There is nothing we can do about it. This is a depressing statement and would be enough to crush our spirits if not for what Jesus says next: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. There is a mystical transaction that takes place in the heavenly places where our slavery to the power of sin (both our constant desire to give in to temptation) and the domination of sin over us through death, is broken. It is broken by the Son, not by our obedience. Our job then is to hold to his teaching (as best we can), knowing that the power of sin has already been dealt with so we do not have to carry that questioning around with us.

Ready to cast off your bonds of slavery? Jesus came for that very purpose – to remove our chains and set us free!

PRAYER: Thank you for breaking the chains we have forged with our sin and for setting us free! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 03/15/13 – Prayer and Chains of Gold

DayBreaks for 03/15/13 – Prayer and Chains of Gold                 

Gold-ChainI’ve been working on a lesson on prayer.  I confess, praying sometimes comes hard for me.  It’s not that I don’t know how to pray nor is it that I don’t have things to pray about for others and myself.  I cannot imagine not be able to think of something to pray about – even if it is just to give adoration to the King!  No, the problem is time.  I’ve worked full time now for nearly forty years.  Over that amount of time it is easy to get so pressured for time with work, family and everything else, that carving out time to really pray seems to often get short shrift. 

As I was working on the lesson today, I ran across a part of a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson that I thought was beautiful and thoughtful.  It is the kind of encouragement for prayer that I sometimes need.  Here it is:

“If thou shouldst never see my face again,

Pray for my soul.

More things are wrought by prayer

Than this world dreams of.

Wherefore, let they voice

Rise like a fountain for me night and day.

For what are men better than sheep or goats

That nourish a blind life within the brain

If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer

Both for themselves and those who call them friend?

For so the whole round earth is every way

Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.”

There’s so much here that I like:

FIRST: When leaving a friend, I would like to ask them for the same request made in the second line.  And who knows if we shall ever see one another again on this earth?  It is a reminder of the value of friends…and that we can continue that friendship into eternity.  It’s not asking friends for something trivial – but for the most profound blessing a friend can do for another.

SECOND: We have no idea what has been accomplished by prayer because prayers are often unheard by human ear.  In our wildest imaginings, we couldn’t begin to see all prayer has accomplished, and that should be reason enough to let our voices 24 hours a day in prayer.

THIRD: If we don’t pray, we are not much different than sheep or goats.  It would be a “blind life” as Tennyson suggests. 

FOURTH: It is through prayer that my friends and I, your friends and you, the “whole round earth” is bound to the feet of God, but not by chains of iron and manacles…but by chains of gold while we seek His will as we bow at His feet.

PRAYER: Lord, as your disciples asked, so we too, ask: “Teach us, Lord, to pray!”  Let us lift up hands and minds and hearts to You and be ready to receive Your mind and blessing in return! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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