DayBreaks for 3/13/19 – It’s the Truth

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DayBreaks for 3/13/19: It’s the Truth

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2009:

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him. While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and ‘sinners’?” On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  – Matthew 9:9-13 (NIV)

I recently received an email from a believer in which this person was a bit despairing about their Christ-walk.  On the one hand, I find that encouraging.  It says that the Spirit is still speaking to them – and that they are listening.  It is important that we listen to the Spirit and His take on our walk.  But, I have found in my own experience that the enemy can also attempt to convince me that because I’m not walking as close to Christ as I should and because that’s been true of nearly all my life, that I should just give up now and stop trying.  After all, if I stop trying, I’ll stop feeling guilty, right?  I’ll lose my shame, right?  No…those things are emotions that are planted deep within us.  We would just be in denial.

Then, I was thinking about this passage in Matthew.  I love what Jesus says, For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.  Who, after all, would there have been for Jesus to call if he’d come to call the righteous?  No one!  His expectation for is that this: we are sinners.  We will be sinners until the day we die.  We will always be sinners as long as we breathe the atmosphere of this world.  He knows it, he expects it and isn’t shocked by it.  If you are a sinner, Jesus came to call you…and He calls you still, day in and day out through the loving voice of the Spirit.  The Spirit will never encourage you to give up your faith walk.  Only the enemy will do that.  The Spirit will point out to you and to me our need for greater righteousness, but He is a comforter, a friend, who encourages us to walk forward into greater holiness and obedience. 

So, if you’re feeling down about your sinfulness and poor Christian walk, determine if you’re hearing from the enemy who wants to defeat you in your walk with Christ because you are a sinner, or the Spirit who wants to encourage you in your walk with Christ even though you are a sinner.  There’s a world of difference…and that’s the truth.

Prayer:  What a comfort it is to know, Lord, that you know we’re sinners and you came for us and you come to us over and over through your Spirit to encourage us and lead us into greater obedience, love and holiness.  Give us the wisdom to discern the voice of the Spirit and to distinguish it from the voice of Satan!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

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DayBreaks for 10/09/15 – Everything That Was Against Us

DayBreaks for 10/09/05: Everything That Was Against Us  

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT) – Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

How badly do you want God to know you?  How do you feel about the fact that He DOES know you?  Does it bring you comfort, or does it frighten you? 

We all want God to know what’s happening to us.  We don’t want Him to have a memory lapse and lose sight of us or forget about us.  We even usually want other people to know what’s happening to us – whether it is good (which we want to share) or whether it is hard (to share the burden with us).  But there’s big difference between people, or even God, knowing what is happening in our lives versus knowing US. 

Depending on how you’re living your life – morally or not-so-morally – you may not want God to really know you all that well.  (Of course, none of us are moral, but some professing Christians make no pretense of living a moral life – they are drunkards, drug abusers, sexually immoral, foul-mouthed, etc.)  Are those folks truly Christians?  Well, the “fruit” of their lives makes it a bit hard to tell, and Jesus did say that’s how we would be able to recognize His children.  Still, it’s not my place (nor yours!) to determine who is in the kingdom and who is outside the kingdom – that’s for God alone to know and decide.  But the point I’m trying to make is simply this: most Christians struggle with knowing that God knows all about them – even the tiniest, most minute detail that we hide from everyone else.  God knows.  Oh, He knows it all.  And that makes many very uncomfortable, leading to guilt and shame and a spirit of discouragement.

Let me share something that A. W. Tozer wrote about this in The Knowledge of the Holy: “How unutterably sweet is the knowledge that our Heavenly Father knows us completely.  No talebearer can inform on us; no enemy can make an accusation stick, no forgotten skeleton can come tumbling out of some hidden closet to abash us and expose our past; no unsuspected weakness in our characters can come to light to turn God away from us, since He knew us utterly before we knew Him and called us to Himself in the full knowledge of everything that was against us.”

How wonderful!  I remember the ancient story about Job and how Satan came before God accusing Job.  I feel certain that he does the same thing with each and every one of us.  But God already knows about everything that Satan could throw at us by way of accusation – and God’s already DEALT WITH IT!  He did that on the cross – 2000 years ago.  Imagine how frustrating it must be for Satan to come before Him to accuse us, only to hear God say, “I know.  I’ve known that long before you did.  And I’ve already forgiven him/her, so be gone!”

In our day and age we hear a lot about skeletons in the closet – and we’ll probably hear a lot more as the President nominates another Supreme Court justice, etc.  It seems that all too often people have skeletons in their closets that cause them to slink back into the deep shadows because no one knew about them and now they’ve come to the light of day and are being scrutinized.  That will never happen with us and God.  And He loves us in spite of all He knows!

Jer. 12:3a – Yet you know me, O LORD; you see me and test my thoughts about you.

PRAYER: God, I know I am easily drawn to glittery things! Let me be drawn to You in love, for You are the far greater treasure! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 1/26/15: It Doesn’t Take a Genius

DayBreaks for 01/26/15 – It Doesn’t Take a Genius Christopher Langan

Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers tells the strange story of Christopher Langan, a genius with a staggering IQ of between 195 – 210. (For perspective, Einstein’s IQ was 150.) In high school, Langan could ace any foreign language exam by skimming the textbook 2-3 minutes before the test.  He got a perfect score on his SAT, even though he fell asleep at one point.  But Langan failed to use his exceptional gifts and ended up working on a horse farm in rural Missouri.  According to Gladwell, Langan never had a community to help him capitalize on his gifts.  Gladwell summarized the story of Langan in one sentence: He “had to make his way alone, and no one– not rock stars, not professional athletes, not software billionaires, and not even geniuses– ever makes it alone.” (Source: preachingtoday.com, 2/14/11)

“Remember the old adage in Proverbs 27:17, As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another?  The Lord created us, not only with a God-shaped hole, but an “others-shaped hole” as well.  We need others to stimulate us to become everything God intends for us to be.  Hebrews 10:24 challenges us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (NIV).  The NLT reads, “encourage one another to outbursts of love…” The Message puts it, “let’s see how inventive we can be…” and the NAS uses the word “stimulate”.  I guess the good old King James is my favorite when it reads, “to provoke” one another (sort of like a spiritual cattle prod).  Any way you unwrap it, we need to intentionally seek out a community of believers who can stimulate, encourage and, yes provoke us, to become all that God desires for us.  And you don’t have to be a “genius” to figure that out!” – Barney Cargile

PRAYER: Thank You for giving us community with one another!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DayBreaks for Christmas Day, 12/25/12 – How Silently

DayBreaks for 12/25/12 – How Silently

silently-swinging-jan-pillerMatthew 28:20 (NLT)Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Among the Christmas carols, perhaps none has achieved the favor and popularity of Silent Night.  While I am not too sure how accurate it is historically (I rather doubt that the angelic choir proclaiming the birth were all that quiet when they appeared to the shepherds!) but the sentiment is wonderful.

I was pondering silence earlier today.  I love peace and quiet.  It is one of the reasons that I love to be out in the woods where the only sound may be the sighing of the wind as is stirs the tree-tops and makes them dance in their peculiar way.

I was reminded of the silence of a falling snow when we lived in the woods of Maine.  It was truly magical, and that silence spoke so loudly to my heart and soul that I shall never forget it.

We need more silence – more stillness and quietness in our hearts.  That’s why the angels that surrounded His birth came with the message that we should not be afraid of God breaking into human space and time because He was coming because He loved us.

I contemplated Silent Night and how silence at this time of the year is so appropriate.  It would be very difficult for us to hear His voice if we are raucous and noisy.  After all, little babies don’t really make that much noise, and to hear His message of love we have to listen very closely.  The world can be such a dark place, but He brought light and love to us, whispering between each breath of the Christ-child, “Don’t be afraid.  I love you.  I am with you always, even until the end of the age.”

Though all others may leave you, He never will, nor will His love for you diminish, nor will it become more perfected, for it is already perfect!

Merry CHRISTmas to all the DayBreaks readers!!!

PRAYER: Quieten our souls this day, Lord Jesus, that we may truly hear your message of love on this very special day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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