DayBreaks for 9/02/15 – What Do You Lack?

DayBreaks for 9/02/15: What Do You Lack?

A deaf man with a speech impediment was brought to him, and the people begged Jesus to lay his hands on the man to heal him. – Mark 7:2 (NLT)

In ancient Greece it was customary for peddlers who walked the streets with their wares to cry out, “What do you lack?” The idea, of course, was to let people know they were in the vicinity, and also rouse the curiosity of the people who would come out of their homes to see what it was that this peddler was selling. It might, after all, be something they lacked and needed, or simply something they desired.

It is a good question, don’t you think? “What do you lack?” We may have sight and hearing, but what do we lack? Take a bit of time to conduct an honest inventory of yourself. Have you found contentment? Are you close enough to God to receive his guidance and strength? Have you secured peace of heart and peace of mind, invaluable assets in life?

Deciding what we lack is the first step in securing it. Christ can fulfill our needs — needs that are to some extent physical, but, more so, the deepest needs of heart, mind, and soul.

The man in Mark 7 lacked the physical ability to hear. Let me suggest that many of us spiritual ability (or at least the spiritual discipline) to hear. We suffer a kind of a spiritual deafness. The affliction of not listening to people, or, to put it another way, the affliction of physically listening to people, yet failing to comprehend, to understand, and come to grips with what they are saying, is a plague upon the Church. For, you see, it is possible to listen to a person, yet fail to really hear them.

Perhaps you are spiritually blind to the truth of the Word and how it speaks into the culture around you. Perhaps you don’t think it is relevant to a time 20 centuries removed from the time of Christ. Maybe you read the words on the pages but think they are antiquated and that the truth that is behind the translation is no longer valid for our modern, “enlightened” culture.

I hope today you’ll really spend some time to think about what it is that you lack…and what you need to get from Jesus.

PRAYER: Lord, we all lack many things and it can be rather daunting to contemplate what it is that we truly lack and need. I pray that today You will reveal to us that which we are most in need of and then create a hunger in us that will not die until You satisfy it within us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 3/30/15 – THE Question

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DayBreaks for 3/30/15: THE Question

Mark 10:51a (NIV) – “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The verse above comes for the story of the healing of the blind man that Jesus encountered along the Jericho road.  Bartimaeus had been doing what he had done for many years – in fact, it was the only thing he could do: sit by the roadside and beg for money.  Jericho was a prosperous area, so Bartimaeus may have done fairly well, especially considering the Jews considered it righteous to give alms to the poor and disabled. 

Still, day after day, month after month, year after year, he would sit by the road and call out as he heard people passing by.  Some would give, others, I’m sure, walked right past him, either all engrossed in their own conversation and thoughts, or pretending not to notice him.  Thinks really haven’t changed much in 2000 years, have they?

Bartimaeus yells out to Jesus who hears him, stops, and instructs the disciples to have the man come to him.  The blind man jumps up, throws his coat aside (which probably was what he used to collect donations) and goes to where he’d heard the voice of Jesus.  And then Jesus asks the question – the question that at the surface seems so silly: this is a blind man after all…what do you think he would like you to do for him, Jesus?

Don’t rush past that question.  It is an important one – a very important one!  Wrestle with it.  Jesus didn’t just ask it of Bartimaeus.  I think He is asking it of each of us or it wouldn’t have been recorded in Scripture.

It is oh, so easy, to rush to give the approved Christian answer, but please don’t.  What is it that your soul really wants and longs for?  What is it that you think would really, truly bring you satisfaction and peace?  You may think it is a certain career.  You may believe it is the “perfect” spouse for you.  It may be that a child that you and your spouse long for.  Those things aren’t bad.  But are they really the thing you want Jesus to do for you?

I would imagine Bartimaeus though the question strange, but if he did, he didn’t let it show.  I suspect that we, like Bartimaeus, don’t really know what it is that we are longing for.  Bartimaeus thought it was his sight.  But what happens after he gets what he asked for shows that he learned a lesson that we may not have grasped: when Bartimaeus answers the question, he says “Rabbi…”  This isn’t the typical word used for a rabbi – a teacher.  This was a special word that was usually only used when addressing God in prayer.  The blind man, you see, is the only one who was seeing with crystal clarity: the man before him was God.  And then, after he received his sight, it says he “followed Jesus along the road.”  The verb tense is that he continued following Jesus.  And in doing so, I believe he found what it was that he really wanted. 

When this sermon was preached at church on Sunday, I asked myself how I would answer the question.  I honestly am not sure what my answer would be, or is.  I know what I’d hope it would be, what I think God wants it to be – but is that really what my heart soul is longing for? 

How about you?  What is it that you really want from Jesus this holy week and beyond?

PRAYER: Jesus, cause us to honestly seek for what You created us to long after and not just to give the trite, pat answer we think we should say!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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The Most Powerful Treadmill

DayBreaks 02/23/11 – The Most Powerful Treadmill

Are you into exercise?  Do you go to the gym and climb on a stair-stepper, elliptical or treadmill?  Such devices are literally, life-savers for many.  Well, maybe that’s a bit strong – they can’t save a life, but they can prolong it.


The most powerful treadmill...desire.

I don’t like treadmills.  I was in a health club in Atlanta during the holidays in which an entire wall was lined with treadmills so that the people exercising on the treadmills were all facing the same direction.  On the wall that we were looking at, a movie was being shown, so the room was appropriately dark.  One person came in to get on a treadmill and failed to notice that the last person who had used the treadmill didn’t turn it off, so when she stepped onto the treadmill, she did a nose-dive as she flew off the back of the treadmill!  It was a strong, powerful machine…and it got the better of her because she was unaware that it was running.


While treadmills can cause injuries, there’s another kind of treadmill that is even worse – in fact, it is the most powerful treadmill in the world.  What is it?  It is the treadmill of desire.  Humans seem to be insatiable for stuff – possessions, material things.  We aren’t content with a single burger, we have to have it supersized.  We aren’t happy with the things we possess and we want more.  Advertising experts are constantly reminding us that we can’t really be happy without what they’re hawking, and we sure seem to agree with them.

Are you on that treadmill?  Are you looking for completion, satisfaction and fulfillment for the wrong things?  Jesus came to give us fullness of life – in all the ways that really matter.  He knows that what we long for isn’t really anything we can buy, but something that only His Spirit can produce in us and give us.

Don’t let the treadmill of desire throw you.  Redirect your desires to the things which are above!

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. – Colossians 3:2

PRAYER: We need You to change our desires, Lord, to turn us away from the things that tempt us to remain in this world.  Change our hearts to long for those things that can only come from Your Spirit.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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