DayBreaks for 6/28/18: I Could Have Been Free

Image result for running away

DayBreaks for 6/28/18: I Could Have Been Free

From the DayBreaks Archive, June 2008:

Dr. Ramesh Richard was the final speaker at Promise Keepers in Fresno.  He talked about living a Godly legacy, and he told a story about a man in Alabama who was imprisoned for a crime and given a life sentence.  The man had been wrongly convicted but was in jail serving time.  Over the course of the years while he was in prison, he tried three times to escape but was recaptured each time.  Finally, after many years had passed, the original conviction was overturned.  However, in Alabama, there is a law that says that if you are serving a life sentence and have tried 3 times to escape, that you are automatically sentenced to another life sentence.  As the man said after learning about this law: “I could have been free if I hadn’t run.” 

When a prisoner attempts an escape and goes on the run, they don’t usually end up finding the one-armed man that was guilty of the crime (remember The Fugitive?).  They usually end up getting caught and more time is added because of the escape attempt.  As attractive as running may seem, it is costly.  In the case of the Alabama man, it may cost him the rest of the years of his life.

Think about that in a spiritual light for just a moment.  What usually happens to men and women when they have committed some sin?  Do they typically come running to God or do they run from Him?  There is a part of us, like Adam and Eve demonstrated in the garden, that runs from God when we have done something wrong.  And you know what?  That is exactly the WRONG way to run.  Instead of running from God, we should run to him and take the discipline He has to give us.  Instead of running and trying to pretend that nothing is wrong, we need to be in His Presence, heads bowed and seek His forgiveness.  Then we can be free, but not until. 

Perhaps you’ve been running from God.  Moses tried to run from God with his excuses about why he wasn’t the man God wanted.  Jonah tried to run from God and found that he couldn’t find freedom in that direction.  Perhaps you are running from His calling for your life.  You’ll never find freedom as long as you are running.  Perhaps you are running because of sin that you don’t want to face up to because you’re afraid the discipline will be more than you can bear.  It won’t be.  God disciplines, yes, but He loves you and will not break you (Isa. 42:3): A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice…  Perhaps you are running from making a commitment to the Lord and giving Him your life.  What a tragedy it will be when someday you stand before His throne and say to yourself, “I could have been free if I hadn’t run.”

PRAYER:  Let us run to You, Lord, and cast ourselves on Your great mercy!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 7/22/16 – Beware the Dragon

DayBreaks for 7/22/16 – Beware the Dragon

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2006:

Where does one begin to fight against the evil in the world?  In the political arena?  In the media?  In the schools? Perhaps it’s because there is so much evil in the world that we may have a hard time figuring out where to get started.  But perhaps the real question isn’t where do we begin to resist the power of evil, but that we DO begin and HOW we begin.

I must say that it shames me when something evil has happened and some famous Christian strikes back with mindless words of rancor and bitterness.  Of course, such things get plastered all over the press.  And the net result?  The name of Christ is once again dragged through the mud.  

It was Nietzsche who said, almost prophetically: “Beware when you fight a dragon that you don’t become a dragon.” There is no shortage of targets for us to choose to tackle, but we probably should spend more time thinking about how to tackle them in a Godly fashion before we launch into some kind of diatribe that Christ wouldn’t recognize or approve of.  

As I get older, I’m becoming more and more convinced that how we go about fighting against evil is probably even more important than the fact that we do engage it.  If we don’t employ the right strength (His, not ours) and right tactics (again His, not ours), we will fail and he will be shamed.  Let’s not become the very kind of dragons that we’re fighting against.  Let us rather be instruments of love, compassionate but correcting, rather than blunt instruments that bruise and break and bludgeon.  Those were the tools of those who took the life of Christ and they are not to be the tools of our trade.

PRAYER:  Sometimes, Lord, we get so very angry at the injustice and wrong-doing that we see all around us.  We get carried away with anger, not with love.  Please, use your Spirit to put a check in our hearts to respond and take on evil only in the same manner that our Lord and Master did while he walked this earth.  Keep us from being well-intentioned “dragons.”  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 10/02/12 – Avoiding Jesus

DayBreaks for 10/02/12 – The Best Way to Avoid Jesus

Revelation 6:16 – They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!

This passage tells us about a great and dreadful day when those who sought to avoid Jesus throughout their lifetimes will find themselves unable to either ignore or avoid Him any longer.  Even their words to the mountains and rocks are intended to be another effort to avoid seeing the Lamb.

I don’t know about you, but as I get a bit older, I find myself looking forward with an ever increasing excitement and expectation, to the day when I see Jesus.  Oh, sure…there are moments when I am so overwhelmed by my failures and sin that I can’t imagine facing Him.  But then I ponder his grace and mercy and endless love, and I am comforted again.

Quite some time ago, Flannery O’Conner was musing on the topic of avoiding Jesus, and her conclusion went like this: “The best way to avoid Jesus is to avoid sin.”  You see, Jesus never flinched when it came to the subject of sin.  He never failed to confront the sin issue in the hearts of men and women.  Why?  Because it is a serious issue.

O’Connor’s advice was good: if you want to avoid Jesus, the best way to do that is to avoid sin.  Otherwise, He’ll be knocking on your door in order to have a heart-to-heart conversation with you about your life!

Of course, let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that we can avoid sin very successfully…we can’t.  Which means we’ll be encountering Jesus frequently…and we’ll be encountering His grace as His children then, too.  We can’t ever hope to make it on our own..we DO need His help and His righteousness!

PRAYER: Jesus, even though we sometimes want to hide from you in our guilt and shame, we are grateful that you care enough about us that you don’t hide from us, but seek us out and confront us with our need to renew our commitment of love and obedience to you once again!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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