DayBreaks for 11/07/18 – The Easy Road

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DayBreaks for 11/07/18: The Easy Road

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2008:

A missionary society wrote to David Livingstone in Africa saying, “Some people would like to join you. What’s the easiest road to get to where you are?” Livingstone replied, “If they’re looking for the easiest road, tell them to stay in England. I want people who will come, even if there is no road at all!”

Isn’t it just like human nature to look for the easiest way to get somewhere? Seldom do we want to put in the hard work to blaze new trails. So we look for the easiest way. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that in some matters, but when you start talking about spiritual things, it gets really risky.

Satan specializes in “the easy way” – the path of least resistance. Think about this example: why did Jesus come to the earth? To save mankind and regain that which was lost for God’s cause, right? So how did Satan tempt Jesus in Luke 4:5-8? He offered Jesus the “easy way” to get what he wanted. After showing him all the kingdoms of the world, he offered them to Jesus if he would “…worship me, it will all be yours.” It would have been the easy way to get the “kingdoms of the world”, their “authority and splendor” – much easier than going to the cross and dying! But Jesus knew that even though it may be the easy way, it wasn’t the right way.

In the case of Dr. Livingstone, he understood the same thing that Jesus did: those who seek the easy way aren’t made out of very tough stuff. They have a tendency to quit when things get hard and the heat gets turned up in the kitchen.

God wants people who will come to Him no matter what the cost. He’s made the road available through Calvary. When there was no road in the past, he parted the Red Sea and His children walked through on dry ground.

Where is God sending you? The road may not be easy – in fact, you can bet that it probably won’t be easy. Maybe you can’t even see a road to get there. Don’t worry – He’ll make one just for you!

Whenever you are tempted to take the easy road – think twice and make sure you know where it will lead before you start walking!

PRAYER: Lord, give us the fortitude to choose your pathway no matter how difficult rather than taking the easy route to nowhere. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 7/09/15 – Tried and Found Difficult

DayBreaks for 7/09/15: Tried and Found Difficult

It wasn’t an easy thing to put people on the moon. It takes herculean effort to reach the pinnacle of Mt. Everest.  Those are exceptional things – achievements that very few people who walk this earth have, or will, every accomplish.

Somehow, part of the glory of such things is the difficulty involved – the sheer magnitude of the effort involved and the overcoming of daunting challenges along the way. It is only when one has stepped onto the lunar soil or the peak of Everest that the sheer wonder and joy of the achievement can be fully relished. Sure, one can anticipate what it would feel like, but no one can truly imagine it. Yet, I’ve never heard of one lunar explorer or Everest conqueror say it wasn’t worth it.

When we attempt to live a life worthy of the Gospel it is because our understanding of “worth” is far different from that of the world. John the Baptist was not beheaded because he chose the easy path. John gave his life because of his commitment to what he understood to be worth the cost, much like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his struggles with Nazism and Hitler. Being a pastor in the German Lutheran Church, Bonhoeffer was forced to choose between the worth of loyalty to God or to an insane ruler. He was executed in 1945 for the opposition he voiced to the satanic rule of Hitler.

As G.K. Chesterton so concisely wrote: “It is not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting, but tried and found difficult.” Life has many roads to travel. However, to be a Christian, we must choose the road on which the shadow of the cross falls. It always leads to freedom, joy and celebration when the final lap of the race has been run and the goal reached. Some 2000 years later, we speak of the reigns of the Herods and Caesars with pity and disdain, but the names of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ live on as those for whom life was lived with devotion and courage.

PRAYER: Give us the confidence, Lord, that the journey we have undertaken is truly worth the cost and that in the end, we shall stand in glorious celebration! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 10/29/12 – When You Thought the Worst Was Over

DayBreaks for 10/29/12 – When You Thought the Worst Was Over

From the DayBreaks Archive: October 29, 2002

When you’ve walked through the valley of the shadow of death

When you thought the worst was over

And the worst is what was left

Some things he can’t explain now,

But by and by he will.

Look up through the pain now, and you will find him

Deeper still.

Deeper still you will find him, deeper still than before

Deeper still goes the anchor, deeper still the ocean floor.

Deeper still he has taught you, deeper still there is to go

Deeper still is the Savior, deeper still than we know.”  – from Deeper Still: For Those Who Grieve, copyright 1997 IBS Publishing

There is something inside of us that leads us to hope that our troubles are about at an end.  But what happens when you discover that what you thought the worst was only the beginning, or only a mid-point in the trouble?  I wish I had a silver-bullet answer that worked in every situation for everyone.  But the following I do know:

FIRST: God is still in His heaven and is still on His throne.

SECOND: God still loves you – regardless of the cause of the difficulty (and sometimes it is brought about as a result of our sinful, selfish decisions).

THIRD: God still sees you (Psalm 10:14): “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.  The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless.

FINALLY: Whether your mind and heart can grasp it or not, you will still win – because your Father God will have His way when all is said and done.

PRAYER: Father, it is tough not knowing if we have seen the worst and things will get better or not.  We try, Lord, to hold on to your certainties, but it is not easy.  Give us the courage and the strength for each day to face whatever it brings, and help us to know that you truly are in it with us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 09/20/12 – The Few, the Brave, the Courageous

DayBreaks for 09/19/12 – The Few, the Brave, the Courageous

Joshua 1:9 – I command you — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Let’s face it: life isn’t for the weak of heart.  Life is a challenge – far more difficult and hard than we could ever imagine.

We start out as children and life is like a game.  Then, we get a bit older and we find out that we can’t win every game, and that along with the game, come certain expectations and responsibilities.

We become young adults and find someone to love and marry – and for a while, we enjoy this thing called a “honeymoon” period of our relationship where all is peachy, but then we start to discover aspects of this person we married that we don’t care for very much.  And as the pressures of job, children and money mount, we become more disillusioned with this thing called life.

As young and middle-aged adults, we have probably settled into a relatively calm routine…and then we awaken one day to find that the routine is really a rut – a rut we don’t feel we can get out of and the walls start closing in and we feel desperately trapped.  The result: mid-life crises.

As age begins to descend upon us and our health starts to fail, we can get discouraged as we look back at our lives and wonder, “What if?”  We may often ask ourselves the very disturbing question: “Did I misunderstand what God wanted me to do?”  And we realize we don’t have time left to go back and undo what we may have misunderstood, to undertake what we might have been able to do when we were younger.

Life isn’t for the weak of heart.  It takes courage.

“Whatever you do, you need courage.  Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.  There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right.  To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs.  Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You will face choices today that will take courage because life is like that.  Let the strength of the Lord be your strength, let his courage fill your spirit and may you make the right choices.

PRAYER: Life frightens us at nearly every corner, Lord.  We can’t see past the shadows and often, even though we know what we should do, we lack the courage it takes to win the victory.  Give us your courage today!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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