DayBreaks for 7/10/17 – Writing Checks You Cannot Cash

DayBreaks for 7/10/17: Writing Checks You Cannot Cash

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2007:You may have heard the phrase, “You’re writing checks your body cannot cash.”  More often than not, it applies to either an athlete or some famous person who is demanding more of their body than they can reasonably do.  Sometimes it might be some ingénue or party guy who stays out until the wee hours of the morning partying, drinking…and then has to get up and go to work the next morning – and the scenario is repeated over and over again, each and every day.  Sooner or later, as another saying goes: the chickens come home to roost.  The Holy Word puts it a bit differently: You will reap what you sow.Thanh Nhat Le, 51, was arrested in Dorchester, Mass., in April, when he tried to cash a check he wrote to himself for $7,550 on his account at a Sovereign Bank.  He had opened the account two weeks earlier, handing over $171 in small bills.  He was certain that he had plenty of money in his account, though, because in the interim, he had also mailed the bank three checks for deposit:  one for $250,000; one for $2 million; and one for $4 billion.We laugh at Mr. Le, knowing how silly and foolish his actions (and apparently his thought processes!) were.  Now, if Mr. Le were Bill Gates, he might have been able to cash that check for $7,550, but alas, he was just Mr. Le.  Yet, how the question begs to be asked: are you thinking that you’ve been making deposits of good deeds into an invisible heavenly account, thinking that the day will come when you will meet your Maker and that you’ll cash them in so that you can gain admittance to heaven?  It won’t work.  The price of admittance to heaven is too steep of a price for any of us to pay – not even Bill Gates can pay it!  It’s foolish to think that we can build up enough good deeds to please God.  Does that mean that God doesn’t like it when we do good things?  No, he loves it.  But, good deeds won’t get you any further than $4,002,250,171 of “deposits” got Mr. Le.  With our most righteous acts being like nothing more than filthy rags, our hope of heaven must rest on something else.  Jesus wrote the check and paid the bill that was as far beyond our ability to pay than the heavens are above the earth.  May we with humility and gratitude accept the gift He has given us!

PRAYER: Lord, may we bow before you as foolish children, yet grateful for what You have done.  Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving us hope!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 01/31/12 – Living the Full Gospel

DayBreaks for 01/31/12 – Living the Full Gospel

We must not just speak the Word, we must live it...

8 “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’ – Luke 10:8-9

What is the gospel?  When you hear the word, what do you think of?  How about when you hear the word “evangelism”?  Do you envision someone knocking on your door to tell you that Jesus loves you?  Or greeting you on the street and warning you that you’ll go to hell if you don’t accept Jesus?

Of course, the word “gospel” means good news.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like good news, do you?  I mean, who wouldn’t like the Publisher’s Clearing House van pulling up in front of their house to tell you that you’re the grand prize winner?  Most of us would think that is good news, right?

And it is good news that Jesus loves us.  It is!  And when you find out that you’ve “won” the favor of God (not because of what you have done, but simply because of what He has done), that is far better news than winning the grand prize from PCH!

I wonder, though, if we really understand the gospel.  This past Sunday, a guest speaker from Sao Paulo, Brazil, made a statement that I think bears repeating.  He said we are to live the gospel in word, and in deed.  What did he mean?

I grew up with a lot of emphasis being placed on sharing the Word…telling people the story, doing my best to convince them of their need to accept Christ’s free gift of salvation.  To me, that was what the gospel was – proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor.  But that’s just a part of it.  When Jesus sent the disciples out in Luke 10, he told them to proclaim the message: “The Kingdom of God is near you,”, i.e., share the Word about the joyous news.  But what else did they do?  They cast out demons and healed the sick.  That’s the other part of the gospel – the “deed” part.

Have we focused so much on the Word side of the gospel that we’ve neglected the “deed” side?  If so, we’re not fully representing the gospel to the world and the world is a poorer place for it.

PRAYER: Let us speak the word, and live the gospel deeds before the world by your enabling Spirit!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 11/22/11 – One Drop Less

DayBreaks for 11/22/11 – One Drop Less

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ – Matthew 25:37-39

One interesting way to read Scripture and gain new insights is to emphasize different words when we read.  Then, meditate on each word, one at a time, to mine the riches buried in a passage.  I’ve used this technique before, but not in conjunction with the passage above.

I’ve read this story many times, but never using this tool…but what if we stop to think about the seemingly insignificant adverb, “when.”  ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or when did we see you thirsty, or when did we see you naked, or when did we see you sick?’  It is interesting that both those in the parable who see, and those who fail to see the needs of those around them ask the same question “When…?”  Also revealing is the fact that those who helped didn’t remember helping, while those who passed by didn’t remember passing by.  The common question that will be asked by both groups on the last day is “When? Lord?”

Mother Theresa once said, “I never look at the masses as my responsibility, I look at the individual. I can love only one person at a time. I can feed only one person at a time. So you begin with one. If I didn’t pick up that one person, I wouldn’t have picked up 42,000. My whole work is only a drop in the ocean. But if I didn’t put the drop in, the ocean would be one drop less.”

It takes a lot of water to fill the ocean.  But it can be filled – one drop at a time.  In this analogy, each act of kindness is a good thing done in love for someone else.  And to the person who receives that drop of water, it is life-giving and life-sustaining.

Find a way today to put a drop into the ocean of need and hurt that surrounds you.  Just as the world is diminished by each act of evil, it is blessed by each act of good.

PRAYER: Jesus, help us be influences of good, not evil this day.  Let us not lose heart because of the size of the task, but let us join in spirit with Your Spirit to help righteousness flourish!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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