DayBreaks for 1/24/17 – Where Is Jesus?

DayBreaks for 1/24/17: Where Is Jesus?

John 12:26 (NLT) – Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

The meaning of disciple is “follower”. For most, when we think of a disciple, we think of a disciple of Jesus, but a disciple can be any person who follows a teacher or a teaching or a way of life.

Jesus is very clear: if you want to be his disciple, you have to follow him. It isn’t an optional statement or something he said “off the cuff” without thinking it through. If you want to be his disciple, you “…must be where I am.”

Of course, we are familiar with the verse about Jesus that scares us all out of our minds: that we must take up our cross and follow him. But that’s not the point here today. It may sound strange, but I think we need to ask the obvious, simple question: where is Jesus?

Jesus is in your work place today. He is in your school. He is in the hospital. He is in the church. He is in your home. He is on your playground and fitness club. He is in the restaurant where you will eat today. He is in your neighborhood. He is…everywhere.

Jesus isn’t in all those places just for curiosity’s sake or because he’s spying on folks. He is there because he wants to do something there – to touch someone’s life and change them forever. He is there because there is human need wherever there are humans. And you must be there with him – imitating him, doing the things he is doing to comfort and confront, challenge and uplift, encourage and engage people with the reality of who he is and of what he wants for them.

Are you up to the challenge? You must be where he is, doing what he does. If you aren’t, the question must be asked: are you truly a disciple?

PRAYER: Let us be with you all day today, Lord, and with each interaction, help us to imitate you.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 05/14/12 – The One Jesus Loves

DayBreaks for 05/14/12 – The One Jesus Loves

John 13:23 (MSG) – One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder. Author and speaker Brennan Manning came up with a slogan. The slogan is, “I am the one Jesus loves.” It sounds a little arrogant doesn’t it? But he is actually quoting Scripture. Jesus’ closest friend on earth, the disciple named John, is identified in the Gospels as “the one Jesus loved.” Manning said, “If John were to be asked, ‘What is your primary identity in life?’ he would not reply, ‘I am a disciple, an apostle, an evangelist, an author of one of the four Gospels,’ but rather, ‘I am the one Jesus loves.'”

What would it mean, I ask myself, if I too came to the place where I saw my primary identity in life as “the one Jesus loves”? How differently would I view myself at the end of a day? Sociologists have a theory of the looking-glass self: you become what the most important person in your life (wife, father, boss, etc.) thinks you are. How would my life change if I truly believed the Bible’s astounding words about God’s love for me, if I looked in the mirror and saw what God sees? Does “I am the one Jesus loves” describe how you feel about yourself? Do you believe it? Whether you believe it or not, it doesn’t change the fundamental truth of that statement. Let the meaning and joy of that one simple sentence shine light into your day today!

PRAYER: Father, help us to believe not just that You exist, but that Your love for us knows no limits, no bounds, that each of us is the one You love! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

I Am 2 is now engaged in a project to provide temporary shelter, food, water and adult care to 37 orphans in Migori, Kenya. We are trying to raise up an army of compassionate people who will each contribute whatever they can – even $5-10 each, to help us provide care for these children until our partner in the project, BrightPoint for Children, can secure sponsorships for these 37 kids. If you want to contribute, follow this link and scroll down to find the “Donate” button: Help the 37 Migori Orphans Thank you! Your donations are tax deductible for 2012. If you prefer to send a check rather than give through PayPal, write it and mail it to: I Am 2 Partners, Inc., c/o 3678 Creekstone Drive, Norcross, GA 30092.

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, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks for 11/25/11 – The Actions of a Disciple

DayBreaks for 11/25/11 – The Actions of a Disciple

"Follow me..."

So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. 20 Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!” Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.” 21 So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.­ – 1 Kings 19:19-21

This past week I was given new insight to this story by Kyle Idelman’s Not a Fan.  I’d read and heard the story before, but never in this context.  The great prophet Elijah (considered by the Jews themselves to be the greatest of the prophets), was told that he should select Elisha to be his disciple and successor as prophet in Israel.  When Elijah finds him, Elisha is out plowing his fields with 12 yoke of oxen.  This is a sign of Elisha’s great wealth.  By far the vast majority of people in his time were too poor to own an ox, or if they had an ox, they had AN OX – just one.  Not Elisha.  Elisha as 12 yoke (at least 24!) of oxen.  When Elisha receives the invitation to follow after Elijah and be his disciple, he doesn’t try to keep his business going on the side or negotiate the terms of his discipleship.  Instead, Elisha slaughters all 24 oxen, puts all his plows together and burns them.  The people of the community were invited to come and he barbecued the oxen and fed all his neighbors.  He was making a very clear statement that he would not be looking backwards with longing.  He was committing himself to give God his full attention – no holds barred, nothing held back.  Elisha understood a truth that we try to avoid: that God desperately wants us, but he won’t share us.

But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62

Jesus, the very Son of God, has said to us, “Follow me!”  Will we be placing limits on our discipleship? Or will we destroy and get rid of everything in our lives, IMMEDIATELY, to follow?

PRAYER: It is hard to let go of our wants, of our very selves, so that we can follow you without looking back.  Give us the courage to burn our plows so there is nothing to entice us backwards!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 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, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks for 07/12/11 – The Signs of a Disciple

DayBreaks for 07/12/11 – The Signs of a Disciple

Matthew 25 contains frightening images of judgment.  It speaks of the time when Christ will come again in glory and He will separate all humanity into those who were his disciples and those who were not.  It is an interesting scenario that Jesus himself (who will do the separating) describes.  During my recent road trip, I was pondering this passage and was rather astounded at what I saw.

If you were to be put on trial, wouldn’t you find it to be a great advantage to know what the criteria for your judgment would be?  It would certainly help you prepare for your defense, wouldn’t it?  And if you knew it far enough in advance, you could change your life to comply with what you knew the judgment criteria would be.  Talk about an advantage heading into a trial!!!!

So, look closely at Matthew 25:31-46.  What you find may shock you.  Not once in that entire passage describing the judgment criteria does Jesus mention anything about frequent attendance at church, never does he mention the topic of correct doctrine or orthodoxy or practice, how generously we give, how much we pray.  He doesn’t mention memorizing Scripture, having a daily quiet time, teaching Sunday school or leading a small group.  No, those things don’t even appear in the list at all.  I suspect that if they did appear we’d feel a lot better about things because the church has majored in such things in America.

So what is there, in the criteria for judgment day?  Feeding the hungry, providing shelter, water, clothing.  Visiting those in distress and hurting alongside those suffering.  These are the things that, according to Jesus’ own words in Matthew 25, will form the criteria on judgment day.  Now how do you feel?

Don’t misunderstand my point: it is GOOD to be in regular worship, to give generously, to pray constantly, to have solid doctrine (while remaining humanly humble at our limited understanding of the things of God!), to memorize the Word, have quiet times and be involved with church service.  Those are all good things: but not the kind of things that save us, or others.

So, what does feeding others, giving water, clothing and companionship have to do with salvation?  I’m still thinking all that through, but here must be part of it: James tells us that God is love.  Jesus tells us that we are to love God above anything else, and our neighbor like ourselves…and that if we do those things, we have kept the law because all the rest of it is based on those two things.  Feeding the hungry in an effort to be saved won’t cut it (it’s an attempt to be saved by works) – but feeding them because we love them is something else entirely.  If we have that kind of love for others that we extend ourselves for them, not only are we obeying the second command, we are opening the door to spiritual discussions that can lead to their acceptance of God’s grace as they see it lived through us.  And, as an extra bonus, we will have conducted our lives in such a way that we’ll be better prepared for the judgment!

Why does Jesus look at those manner of things in judgment rather than orthodoxy and high levels of obedience?  Is it not because God is love…and the things Jesus will be looking at are measures of love and compassion?

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for showing us what the day of judgment will be like, and what matters to your heart.  Give us the courage to live so we can please you by helping those in need.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 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, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks for 06/28/11 – Avoiding Our Crucifixion

DayBreaks for 06/28/11 – Avoiding Our Crucifixion

NOTE: Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11.  Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!)  Thanks for your understanding!

Crucifixion, by Van Dyk

Matthew 26:39 – “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.

From Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane, it is clear that he wished for another way out – another way for man to be redeemed that would be less costly to him in personal terms.  Yet, he knew it wasn’t possible – there was no other way, and as a result, he laid down his own life, willingly and joyfully.  Even Jesus, as the son of David in his humanity, rebelled at the thought of the crucifixion.  Perhaps it is that very fact that makes his statement in Luke 9:23 so amazing: “Then he said to them all: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’

Jesus’ invitation is clear.  If we want to follow him, the price must be our lives.  Having been in a similar situation himself, facing a crucifixion, he hoped for another way out.  But there was no other way out for him, or for us.

I’m sure that Jesus didn’t make his statement in Luke 9:23 lightly.  Of course, at the time he spoke those words, he’d not yet faced his own crisis.  His crisis, I’m sure, was felt as deeply as we feel any of ours.  In many ways, his was much worse because he was beginning to feel the burden of the sin of the world in Gethsemane, the separation for God.  I can barely carry the weight of my own sin.

Satan has always been the patron “saint” of unholy self-interest.  He knows that, just as Jesus shrank back from the idea of the crucifixion, that we shrink back from the words of Jesus that tell us we share his destiny.  As Calvin Miller put it, “We sin when we try to picnic in Gethsemane.  Every time we refuse the cup of our own crucifixion, we serve the enemy of him whom we say we love.

Let’s stop trying to picnic in Gethsemane.  We’ve got a cross to bear.  It is the price of following Jesus.

Copyright 2001 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, you also click on the Subscribe button at and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.

DayBreaks 2/25/11 – The Intelligence of Sheep

DayBreaks 02/25/11 – The Intelligence of Sheep

Isaiah said it: All we like sheep have gone astray. – Isa. 53:6a  We are all “like sheep.”  That’s not a compliment in case you are wondering.

A professor of animal husbandry, Warren Gill, has been asked if sheep are dumb.  His answer was very interesting: “It depends on how you define intelligence.  A sheep has precisely the correct amount of intelligence it needs to function as a sheep.”

At first glance, that seems rather obvious – a statement that doesn’t even need to be made.  There is no sheep in this world that can function as an astronaut, a lawyer, or doctor.  Sheep just aren’t meant to do those things.  We have enough intelligence, as humans, to act like the “sheep” of His pasture are expected to act.  You have precisely the right amount of intelligence you need to function as you.

To continue with the sheep analogy, Jesus said, I know my sheep, and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. Do you see how this relates to the intelligence a sheep has?  We have enough intelligence to recognize and know the Good Shepherd and to recognize His voice.  We don’t have enough intelligence to lead the sheep.  We don’t have enough intelligence to be the shepherd.  But we do have enough to recognize Him.

Sheep, by nature, are not leaders.  Sheep are followers.  We will follow someone, something.  If there is no shepherd around, sheep will follow the sheep that is in front of them…and they will follow them right over the edge of a cliff.  Who are you following?  Are you hearing the voice of other sheep, or the voice of the Shepherd who longs to lead you into green pastures where you will be safe, cared for and loved.

PRAYER: Free us from our tendency to close our ears to the voice of the shepherd, and to follow would-be shepherds who would lead us to disaster and death.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on either the Subscribe button at the top of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, you also click on the Subscribe button at the top and select the Unsubscribe drop-down.