DayBreaks for 5/17/17 – The Immanent or the Greater

Image result for fiery furnace

DayBreaks for 5/17/17: The Immanent or the Greater

Thanks to some writing by Mark Labberton, I’ve been fascinated again with the childhood story of Shadrach, Mescheh and Abednego.  I shared some insights in a DayBreaks before, but here’s one a friend had that I think is worth sharing.

I wrote before about how these young men had to discern the real danger when confronted with the choice of worshipping the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had built.  They had to decide for themselves if the greatest danger was in bowing down and worshipping the idol or in not worshipping the real and living God. 

As Hebrews, these three had been well versed in the 10 commandments, and I’m sure, could easily recite them by heart.  So, for them to truly be tempted to worship an idol, well, it probably wasn’t really a temptation for them at all.  Saving their lives might have been a temptation, but they certainly knew it was wrong to worship an idol.  But, here’s the thing: they believed that worshipping anything other than Yahweh was a greater risk and danger than worshipping the idol, however sometimes the immediate or immanent danger seems greater than the far off danger.  Even though they knew what was right and wrong, and they knew in their hearts that failure to be true to Yahweh was the greater danger, the heat from the fire was pressing against their skin, making itself felt RIGHT NOW, and the danger from not worshipping Yahweh probably seemed a long way off.

We are often tempted to compromise for a couple of reasons: we want immediate pleasure rather than delayed gratification, or we want to avoid the immediacy of pain and suffering.  The latter is just as dangerous as the first – and both can be deadly.

Is there some immediate suffering that you can foresee in your life that you’ve been wrestling with and trying to avoid by some compromise?  Are you thinking that you can set the record straight with God at some later point?  That’s very dangerous reasoning.  Remember the words of the writer to the Hebrews: (Hebrews 10:31, NLT) It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

PRAYER: In our foolishness, Lord, we often forget that it may be better to suffer now than to fall into Your hands later.  Give us courage and open our eyes to understand that just because one kind of suffering may be more immediate, that it doesn’t mean it is the greatest suffering we could encounter.  Let us have no other gods before You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

 

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DayBreaks for 7/08/15 – The Heat Is On

DayBreaks for 7/08/15: The Heat Is On

Brett Blair shares the following story told by Lloyd J. Ogilve, in his book Life without Limits, a story of a pastor who in the space of one week heard the following comments from various people:

A woman said, “I’m under tremendous pressure from my son these days. I can’t seem to satisfy him, however hard I work. He really puts me under pressure.”

A young man said, “My parents have fantastic goals for me to take over the family business. It’s not what I want to do, but their pressure is unbearable.”

A college woman said, “I’m being pressured by my boyfriend to live with him before we are married. You know…sort of try it out…to see if we are right for each other.”

A husband said, “My wife is never satisfied. Whatever I do, however much I make, it’s never enough. Life with her is like living in a pressure cooker with the lid fastened down and the heat on high.”

A secretary said, pointing to her phone, “That little black thing is driving me silly. At the other end of the line are people who make impossible demands and think they are the only people alive.”

A middle-aged wife said, “My husband thinks my faith is silly. When I feel his resistance to Christ, I wonder if I’m wrong and confused. As a result, I’ve developed two lives; one with him and one when I’m with my Christian friends.”

An elderly woman said, “My sister thinks she has all the answers about the faith and tries to convince me of her point of view. I feel pressured to become her brand of Christian, but I keep thinking if it means being like her, I don’t want it at all. When she calls, I just put the phone on my shoulder and let her rant on while I do other things. A half-hour later, she’s still on the line blasting away, but I still feel pressure.”

A young pastor at a clergy conference said, “I hardly know who I am any more. There are so many points of view in my congregation, I can’t please them all. Everyone wants to capture me for his camp and get me to shape the church around his convictions. The pressure makes me want to leave the ministry.”

All of these persons have one thing in common. They are being pressured by other people. We all, at one time or another, experience people-pressure.

That is the question Herod faced in Mark chapter 6. After making an oath to a pretty young girl that she could have up to half of his kingdom, she surprised him and asked for the head of the Baptist. Mark 6:26 reveals that the King was thrown into distress, he knew it was wrong, but because of his oath and his dinner guests, he did not want to refuse her.  He sent the executioner and on a platter was delivered the head of a holy man.   

The question today is: how will you deal with the pressure today? How will you let it affect your judgement and decisions?

PRAYER: Lord, I know that today we will all come under varying degrees of pressure – pressures to compromise and take the easy way out rather than doing what we deep down inside know is right.  Help us be strong through Your Spirit! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 3/07/14 – That’s Temptation!

DayBreaks for 3/07/14 – That’s Temptation         

William Willimon, in his book What’s Right with the Church (San Francisco: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1985), tells about leading a Sunday School class that was studying the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. After careful study and explanation of each of the three temptations, Dr. Willimon asked, “How are we tempted today?” A young salesman was the first to speak. “Temptation is when your boss calls you in, as mine did yesterday, and says, `I’m going to give you a real opportunity. I’m going to give you a bigger sales territory. We believe that you are going places, young man.’

“But I don’t want a bigger sales territory,” the young salesman told his boss. “I’m already away from home four nights a week. It wouldn’t be fair to my wife and daughter.”

“Look,” his boss replied, “we’re asking you to do this for your wife and daughter. Don’t you want to be a good father? It takes money to support a family these days. Sure, your little girl doesn’t take much money now, but think of the future. Think of her future. I’m only asking you to do this for them,” the boss said.

The young man told the class, “Now, that’s temptation.”

Temptation doesn’t have to be blatant. It may not appear as a temptress or in the form of a bottle or needle or any such obvious thing as that. One man’s temptation may not be tempting to another, but we all have our areas of weakness.  Have you taken good stock lately of the times when you’ve been tempted?  Of the times you’ve thought about compromising something? The temptation and sin of compromise is often overlooked by fine-sounding arguments that make it seem OK.

What’s your temptation?

PRAYER: Satan is very crafty, Lord, and can make even bad things sound good.  Keep us from falling! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 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 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 Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) 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 make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. 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 both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 1/30/14 – Seeing Straight

DayBreaks for 1/30/14 – Seeing Straight

Matthew 6:23 (NLT) – But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!

There are times when I am dumbfounded by what self-professed Christians believe in, what they say and what they do. If I am puzzled by it, I wonder what God things of it. Of course, I could be wrong in my beliefs of how Christians are to act and what we are to value, but many things are very clear in Scripture…and yet many act as if they don’t care what the Bible says while they pursue their own interests and act like unbelievers. Perhaps that’s why I found this interesting:

In 1897 vision scientist and psychologist George M. Stratton (1865-1957) created a pair of glasses that turned the world upside down. Actually, he turned the world right-side-up because our eyes project an image to our brains that is naturally upside down. Our brains take an image and invert it – giving us our “right side up” perception of the world. Stratton strapped on his goggles and proceeded to blunder into things for several days. In this new, now “upside-down” world, his brain was seeing liquids “poured up,” he saw himself walking on ceilings. Everything he viewed was completely inverted.

But only for a few days. Our eyes are our cameras, but the pictures we take with our eyes are developed by our brains. After a few days Stratton recorded that his most powerful visual organ, his brain, had figured out that something was amiss. After a few days his brain re-inverted the images it was receiving, and the world no longer looked upside down to the scientist. His brain completely flipped the images and presented him with a right-side up world once again. The process took about three days…

In this physical example, Dr. Stratton’s mind figured out that something was wrong and corrected the problem. How does that relate to Christianity and our behavior and beliefs? We have been given the Spirit that is to convict us of sin, right? So why aren’t “Christians” feeling convicted when they support causes and activities that are clearly (to me and many others) un-biblical?

I suspect the clue lies in the very last fraction of a sentence: “The process took about three days…” How does that relate? Simply this: it doesn’t take long for our vision, our understanding, our beliefs and actions, to find a new “normal” and to believe it is normal. Dr. Stratton was still wearing the glasses that switched the orientation of all he saw, but within just 3 days, his brain told him it was normal and he had adjusted to that new “normal.” So it is with our beliefs – it doesn’t take long to forget where the authority lies, to listen to the wisdom of mankind, and to come to see that as the “normal”, the “right” thing. When our view of morals and ethics become twisted, we are in danger of believing that lies are truth and truth is false.

Who is your authority? Who will you believe about right and wrong? And what will you do about it?

PRAYER: We want to believe what is more comfortable for us and when others tell us that it is okay, Lord, we are quick to believe them. Lead us back to the Truth of Your Word and give us wisdom to understand it and the ability to act on it! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 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 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 Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) 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 make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. 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 both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!