DayBreaks for 1/12/16 – To the End!

DayBreaks for 1/12/16: To the End!

Galen is out of the country. While he is gone, you will be receiving DayBreaks from the DayBreaks archive from January, 2006.

John 13:1 (KJV) – Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Churches talk a lot about ministries.  Sometimes we are trying to get people to volunteer to help out, at other times, we’re trying to just get people involved who are sitting on the sidelines and being spectators.  There are plenty of ministry opportunities in this world: the tsunami victims, Katrina victims, Pakistani earthquake victims, those affected by the genocide in Africa, the poor and hungry here in the United States and perhaps in your own town.  The list of opportunities to minister to others is longer than could ever be printed, I suppose.

It is a good thing that we talk about ministering to our fellow humans.  God wants and expects us to do so, in the name of Jesus.  But sometimes we don’t focus that much on Jesus’ service to us.  At the last Passover, Jesus washed his follower’s feet.  In that washing of the feet, Fleming Rutledge sees strong parallels that we may have missed: the cleansing of the feet represents the cleansing by blood and water that was to come that Friday.  The laying down of his garments foreshadows the laying down of his life as a sacrifice.  She reminds us that this was his last action of Jesus towards his disciples as a whole before he lays his life down for them.  The apostle John seemed to grasp the significance when he noted that it was the proof that “he loved them unto the end.”

Ms. Fleming writes that he loved them “…to the end of his earthly strength, to the end of his earthly capacity, to the end of his earthly life.  But far more, to the end of the world, to the outermost boundaries of time, and beyond his own Second Coming into the time that is beyond time, he loves us to the end.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that, in spite of all the loves you have experienced on this earth – parent, friend, child, brother or sister, spouse – that there truly is one love that will never, ever run out, get tired of you, stop loving you or get bored with you?  That is the love of Jesus for his followers.  And that is the love that will follow and chase us throughout all eternity!

TODAY’S PRAYER: Lord, even the best love that we’ve ever experience here on this earth has been flawed and has failed us – and we have failed others with our imperfect love – and we’re inclined to be fearful that your love may someday fail us, too.  Lord, how we long to fully experience a love that is perfect, without any flaw, which will never grow old or tired of us.  Teach us to love others with that kind of love, and most of all, to love you in response in the very best way possible until we are perfected in heaven and see you face to face!   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 4/23/15 – Deeper Still

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DayBreaks for 4/23/15: Deeper Still

From the DayBreaks archive, April 2005:

Corrie ten Boom knew something about tragedy and suffering. She lived with a courageous faith. Upon emerging from a Nazi concentration camp she said, “There is no pit so deep that God isn’t deeper still.” She picked an apt analogy because pain and tragedy is a pit. For some, it appears bottomless. Many experience a falling, disorientation, a terror, as they grab for walls that are out of reach. They see only blackness, and hear only echoes of the life they used to know. And for many, they claim that God is not present. But Corrie ten Boom reminds us that even in the pits of tragedy, God is still there. He is present. Yes, pain is real. But God, indeed, is real, too. That’s where faith comes in.

On the wall of a concentration camp, a prisoner had carved these words:

I believe in the sun, even though it does not shine.
I believe in love, even when it isn’t shown.
I believe in God, even when he doesn’t speak.

As I write this DayBreaks, I’m in Florida at my sister’s home.  While the sun shines outside and the birds sing, it’s a bit darker inside.  Her husband died a week ago this past Sunday after a titanic struggle with pancreatic cancer.  She is a couple of years older than I, and she faces a future of raising 2 boys (currently 9 and 5) as a widowed mom.  It is a pit of tragedy?  Yes, it is – in human terms.  Her husband was a minister of the gospel and college professor.  But the human tragedy is still real and the pit is deep and the pain is deep.  And it will be for a long, long time.

But we also know that God is real.  He is the most Real reality that there is.  And though at times the sun doesn’t shine, and at times love seems to vanish, and though at times we may all cry out to God seeking answers to the universal question of “Why?”, even when He can’t be heard, He hears.  He cares.  He cries.  And He will heal.

Our faith in God must become deeper – and stronger – than our tragedy and despair.  If we allow our pain, tragedy or despair to be greater than God, we have made it our idol.  If we let it dominate our lives, fill our thoughts and minds – it has supplanted the place that only God is intended to fill.  By dwelling on those things instead of God, we are worshipping trouble rather than the One who will ultimately fix all things. 

May our faith in God’s goodness admit no boundaries, accept no limits, and grow until there is no room in our hearts for anything else.

Job 11:7-8 (NLT) – Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything there is to know about the Almighty?  Such knowledge is higher than the heavens—but who are you? It is deeper than the underworld—what can you know in comparison to him?

PRAYER: When we are tempted to despair, remind us of Your goodness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 4/06/15 – Love Unfailing

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DayBreaks for 4/06/15: Love Unfailing

I don’t know about you, but I am not ready for Holy Week to be over.  When I was pastoring a small church in northern California, this was by far my favorite week.  I loved preaching Easter-related messages.  I loved the deep meaning of the services and the contemplation of the reality that is the theme of the week.

The services for Holy Week 2015 have come and gone and the calendar has moved on, but I haven’t.   I want to linger in the mystery. 

I have just finished reading a book, The Insanity of God, (I’ll write about it in a few days) that has challenged me and my understanding of Jesus’ call upon our lives.  It has opened my eyes to truths about myself to which I was at least partially blind and in denial.  And it has, in spite of everything, left me rattled to the core as to my walk and understanding of what it means to be a disciple.  Suffice it to say, I’m not sure I have a clue what it means to be a disciple of His. 

That’s a scary thing to have to admit.  And it makes me wonder about my salvation in a way.  Oh, I know in my head that my salvation isn’t dependent on how “good” of a Christian I am, or how much I may sacrifice for Him.  It’s all about what He’s sacrificed for me and His mercy and grace.  But still…there’s that nagging voice of the enemy in the back of my mind that says, “You’re worthless.  Compared to some of those other folks who have given it all for Jesus, you’ve given nothing.  You’ve sacrificed nothing.  You will not be recognized on the day of Judgment.”  Deep inside, I know that’s Satan’s voice – not Jesus’.  Yet it is a loud voice and it is fairly convincing.

And so it was that two simple words we sang at our Easter celebration at church came leaping out at me with such force: love unfailing.  The song is This Is Amazing Grace, and here’s what it says in the chorus:

This is amazing grace
This is unfailing love
That You would take my place
That You would bear my cross
You lay down Your life
That I would be set free
Oh, Jesus, I sing for
All that You’ve done for me.

As I was celebrating, the concept of unfailing love washed over me and blew through my heart like the freshest breeze ever.  I had been dwelling on my failings and shortcomings…and not on His unfailing love for even someone like me!

My wife, bless her heart, is a saint.  And though I have to readily admit that my failings in love FAR outnumber her few failings in love towards me, there have been times when her love has not been all that I think it could have been.  I say that not to take her down in any way, but rather to lift her up – she is truly amazing.  But the hard truth is that every love of every human on this earth has at one time or another failed me.  And I have most certainly failed others many times over!

The problem comes when I think of Jesus’ love for me as if it were simply the love of another human being that will fail me when I stand before the throne of God.  It shall not be so!!!!!  Listen to His words: John 6:39 (NLTse) – And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 

Lest we think that Jesus may love us, but the Father is angry with us, it is the beloved apostle John, who wrote these words: John 1:14, 17 (NLTse) – So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son…For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.

On the day of judgment, I shall be saved.  Not because I’m something great or did anything at all of significance.  Not because I was or wasn’t a martyr.  Not because I was imprisoned for my faith or because I lived a life of little or no persecution.  I shall be saved because of unfailing love – a love that cannot now, nor ever, fail!

PRAYER: Jesus, we have never experienced love like yours upon this earth, and so we are tempted to believe that every love fails.  Let us lean with all our might into your unfailing love and trust your own words that you will not lose a single one!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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For an archive of the past 4 months of DayBreaks, click here:  DayBreaks Archive

DayBreaks for 12/04/14 – Things Jesus Will Never Say

DayBreaks for 12/04/14 –Things Jesus Will Never Say

From the DayBreaks archive, December 2004:

Have you ever felt that you were asking too much from someone?  Have you ever felt that others were asking too much of you – either at work, at home, in a friendship, or in your church?  Sometimes people will tell you that you’ve asked too much.  Sometimes our confidence can be misplaced.

In Lion and Lamb, Brennan Manning wrote about the confidence that we can have in Christ: Again it is the saints, the extravagant lovers of God and people, who challenge us to push our confidence to extreme limits.  Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:14-15: “The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.  Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners – of whom I am the worst.”

In modern times, some have said: “The good Lord is more eager to pardon a repentant sinner than a mother to rescue her child from a fire.”  Others said, “Our sins are grains of sand beside the great mountain of the mercies of God.”  Still another put it this way: “The moment we ask forgiveness, God throws our sins over His shoulder.  He forgets them, He annihilates them; they shall never reappear.”

Paul says we need to give FULL acceptance to the reason Christ came – to save sinners – and each of us is the worst.  One thing that I don’t believe we’ll ever hear from Jesus would be that we were ever too reckless in abandoning our hope and trust to Him, that we confided too much in Jesus, that we trusted in Him more than we should have, or that we hoped for too much from Him.  If anything, Christ might say to us, “Why did you not trust me more?  Why did you not believe in me completely, in simple, child-like faith?”

What do you think Jesus would say to you about your faith?

PRAYER: Let us abandon ourselves fully to hoping in You, Jesus! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise 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, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and 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 put S090 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 and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

DayBreaks for 9/17/14 – Wanting for Nothing

DayBreaks for 9/17/14 – Wanting for Nothing

Ps. 23:1 – The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

This is perhaps the best known verse in all Scripture.  Even little children now it by heart.  If they have gone to church, or been read Bible stories at all, they’ve seen pictures of Jesus carrying a lamb, or Jesus surrounded by children and lambs.  They may not know what a shepherd is, but they love the imagery and get the sense that it is something good, something safe…and that Jesus is a welcoming character, not a forbidding one.

David certainly understood what a shepherd was and what the job entailed.  He must have been picturing himself as a sheep when he wrote this passage.

What did he mean by “I shall not want”?  After all, if you read the Psalms, there were many things that David wanted: he wanted peace, he wanted his pursuers to be destroyed, he wanted a clean heart…read them for yourselves.

I don’t think that he was so much stating something about himself, though, when he wrote this.  I think it is more a statement of his faith and trust in the shepherd.  He wasn’t claiming that he didn’t want things, but that he knew the Shepherd would give him what he needed – and that was good enough for him.  It is a statement that he is trusting the Lord, his Shepherd, for the future.

I confess that I often struggle to trust the future to Him.  I try to figure out what I will do to make so-and-so happen, or what I’ll do “if” happens.  David seems to be content, at least as he wrote this verse, to let all that go and let his Shepherd worry about it.

Wise decision.

PRAYER: Father, let us not worry about what You will give us, but trust in Your goodness to give us all we need!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise 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, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and 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 put S090 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 and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 10/10/13 – To Be Sure!

DayBreaks for 10/10/13 – To Be Sure

It is interesting how powerful a litany of words can be.  Poets know it, public speakers know it.  So do politicians.  Think of these familiar phrases that were repeated over and over in speeches: “I have a dream…”.  “Yes, we can!” (from Barack Obama’s campaign). “We shall…” (from one of Churchill’s famous speeches during WW2).  “Blessed are….” (from the Sermon on the Mount).  Such words and phrases build upon themselves, stirring our hearts and emotions to fever pitches.

Theodore Schneider wrote: “I am always impressed with the litany-like phrases Martin Luther uses in The Small Catechism as petition by petition he explains the Lord’s Prayer:

“To be sure, God’s name is holy itself …To be sure, the kingdom of God comes of itself, without our prayers …To be sure, the good and gracious will of God is done without our prayer …To be sure, God provides daily bread, even to the wicked, without our prayer…

“To be sure, to be sure, to be sure! God’s gifts come to us despite our unfaithfulness and often without our prayers. Paul quotes an ancient Christian hymn in his second letter to Timothy: “If we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself (2 Timothy 2:13).”

When God decrees something, we can be sure of it.  When God promises something, we can be sure of it.  When God describes his love for us, we can be sure of it.  When he says he will never leave us, we can be sure of it.  When he says he draws close to the broken hearted, we can be sure of it. 

We never have need to doubt or question him.  He will never fail – he simply cannot do so for it would be contrary to his very nature and an utter impossibility.

If you are carrying a burden today, read some of his promises, listen to his character, consider his actions.  And make them your own…

To be sure, even when we fail him, he will not fail us!

PRAYER: Thank you, thank you, thank you that we can be totally and unconditionally sure of You, Your words, Your character and Your promises to us!  In Jesus’ 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 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 04/26/13 – Where Our Salvation Rests

DayBreaks for 04/28/13 – Where Our Salvation Rests

safearms-300x225NOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25.  Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence!  Thank you…I cherish your prayers!  You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) until I’ve returned.

John 6:37-39 – “37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

This is one of the most comforting of all passages in Scripture.  What a picture of our God and our Savior!  Consider these highlights from this passage:

FIRST: God is the One who gives the saved to Christ.  God isn’t prone to forget, God never makes a mistake, God will never accidentally lose sight of one person who is to come to Jesus.

SECOND: Jesus will never drive away those who come to him.  We never need to wonder or worry if we will find a welcome when it comes to Jesus.  He will never be too tired to spend time with us, never to busy to become involved with our issues or to celebrate our joys with us.

THIRD: The will of the One who sent Jesus is that not a single one of those God has given to Jesus will be lost.  What a comfort!  What a promise!  It doesn’t matter that we are prone to wander, Jesus won’t lose a single one of us.

As Chuck Swindoll put it: “Our salvation rests on God’s strength, not our.  Our safety is in Jesus Christ’s power, not ours.  Our protection depends on the Father’s firm grip, not ours.  No one, including the devil, can sever that vital union that comes to us with the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Why?  Because it was Christ’s death and resurrection that perfected us…because of His finished work, not ours.

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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 has started working 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 linke: 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!