DayBreaks for 4/02/19 – A Burned Patch of Ground

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DayBreaks for 4/02/19: A Burned Patch of Ground

From the DayBreaks archive, April 2009:

In the early days of American life on the great plains, if a wildfire was started by a thunder strike or a careless settler or Native American, the results could be incredibly catastrophic.  If you’ve never seen the great plains, they are largely flat and windswept.  And therein lies the problem.  Once a fire started on the prairie, if there was any wind, it would move across the plains with startling rapidity.  The stronger the wind, the faster the destruction would travel, sweeping every living thing from its path. 

Settlers could often see the smoke from an approaching wildfire.  That wasn’t the problem.  There weren’t enough trees or hills to block the view.  So they could see the fire that was coming there way.  The problem was that if the wind was strong enough, there was simply no way to outrun the fire – not even on horseback.  Some other solution had to be found.

So it was that the settlers did the only thing that they could: they would light a match and burn a patch of ground as large as possible, but large enough to hold the family and their livestock (if they had time!).  Once that patch of ground was burned, the terrified family would huddle together in the center of the scorched earth and watch as the wildfire raged onward towards them.  As the fire reached the scorched earth, it found nothing to consume in the burned patch of ground and so the flames would simply “split” and move past the huddled family and animals, moving on its way, leaving the family behind, alive. 

God’s Holy Word says that there is a wildfire coming – a wildfire of the Lord’s own making: And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don’t know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. – 2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 (NLT)  And again: The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. – 2 Peter 3:9-10 (KJV)

Yes, the fire is coming.  No one will be able to outrun it. No one will be able to hide from it.  We need to find a safe place to stand when it happens so that we are not swept away.  The good news is that God created that safe place for us.  At the foot of the cross is the only patch of scorched earth where we can and will be safe.  Let us rush to the safety that God offers, for the fire may be much closer than we think.

Prayer: You are our Shelter, Lord Jesus.  At the foot of the cross we run to You for deliverance from the fire that is sweeping our way.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

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DayBreaks for 8/14/18 – Where the Fire has Been

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DayBreaks for 8/14/18: Where the Fire Has Been

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2008:

One of the great threats in California this year (and almost every year) has been wild fires.  Surely, you’ve heard or read stories about it in the news.  There was a strange night of lightning storms that swept California a while back, and over 800 fires were running amok around the state.  Even to this date, some are still burning. 

Wild fires are nothing new.  Back in the days of the pioneers, there were times when the owners of a log hut would look contentedly out over the miles and miles of swaying, tall grass when they would catch a glimpse of a dark cloud out on the far distant horizon.  As they watched it over a period of time, they could see that behind the apparent cloud was a fierce, fiery glare.  Although it was still a long way off, there could be no doubt about what it was – the prairie is on fire and the winds were driving it straight toward the settlers.

Driven by the wind, the fire would approach at speeds of fifteen miles per hour or more.  What could they possibly do to stop it?  Nothing, absolutely nothing.  There were no flying bombers that could drop tons of flame retardant chemicals, no helicopters that could chopper off to the nearest water hole and fill a huge bucket with water that could be dropped on the fire.  It was true that wise pioneers build a firebreak around their little settlements, but such fire breaks were only effective for an ordinary grass fire, but not for any kind of safety from a massive wild fire sweeping across miles and miles of grassy plain. 

Men and animals with terror–stricken eyes would flee from the onrushing cataclysm for their lives.  No time for thinking was left.  What can be done?  Was there to be no escape, no deliverance?  Would all inevitably perish?

There was one—and only one—hope of escape.  What is it?  How is it accomplished?  It involved the very element (fire) that was pursuing them and threatening them!  If the pioneers struck a match and lit the grass at their feet, the new fire, blown by the wind, would move ahead of them as if fleeing from the oncoming torment itself.  This new fire would burn the prairie ahead of the fleeing pioneers, consuming all before it, leaving the ground, blackened and bare.  As soon as a patch of the prairie was burned, the men and animals could then pass onto the scorched ground into a zone of safety.  Why were they safe?  Because there was nothing left to consume!  The fire started by the pioneers had already burned over the place once, leaving nothing for the approaching flames to burn when they arrived!  The pioneers were then safe and secure from the devouring fire which now raged around them but which could not touch them itself! 

Because of our sins, the fires of hell sweep towards us, seeking to consume and burn us until we are dead.  But, as believers, we can do something about it: we can so burn the knowledge of the Word of God into our lives that the flames of the outside world and hell itself will have no influence!

1 Jn 2:15-17 (NIV) – Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world — the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does — comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

PRAYER: Thank You for the Word, the Life, that has prepared a safe place for us where we can be secure from the fire to come!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 3/31/17 – Warmed by the Wrong Fire

DayBreaks for 3/31/17: Warmed by the Wrong Fire

From the DayBreaks archive, 2007:

John 18:17-18 –  “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter.  He replied, “I am not.” It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.. As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?”  He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

I’ve been preaching through the gospel of John for a bit over a year now (I’m sure the congregation is about ready for something different!), but as we’ve gotten into the final 5 chapters, I’ve been touched and amazed again by the drama and scenes of the final hours of Christ.  The washing of the disciple’s feet, the establishing of the Lord’s Supper, the prayers for the disciples, for you and I, the encounter in Gethsemane, the trials, crucifixion and resurrection.  Is there any story in all of human history that can compete with these events?

When Jesus was inside the home of the high priest, John went in with him, because John was an acquaintance of the high priest but Peter, apparently, was not. He stayed outside, away from close proximity to Christ.  It was night in Jerusalem, and it gets cold at night – every cold.  And this night was no exception.  You know how when you’re really tense and nervous about something how it makes you shake and shiver?  No doubt Peter was shivering – and not just from the temperature. 

Peter drew close to the fire to warm himself…John mentions that twice.  What can we conclude?  Peter was cold, but the greatest coldness was that which was in his heart, not that which surrounded his body.  Rather than following John into the chief priest’s home where his soul could be warmed by the presence of the Lord, he chose an earthly fire made of mere wood. 

We often get cold.  This is a cold world – and we need warmth.  We can stick with Jesus at those times, drawing our warmth from the One who is a consuming fire, the Light that will forever illumine all eternity, or we can turn to some earthly solution for our warmth.  What is your tendency?  When your world gets cold, do you seek to draw closer to him? 

PRAYER: God, we get so cold in this world sometimes.  Please help us to recognize where genuine warmth and comfort comes from, and to stay with Jesus through thick and thin.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

 

DayBreaks for 6/06/16 – From YHWH to Daddy

DayBreaks for 6/06/16 – From YHWH to Daddy

Exodus 3:14 (NIV) – God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’

As Moses was having this encounter with God, he naturally wanted to be able to say Who was sending him back to Egypt. Why? Because the task he was being asked to do would require authority. But I suspect that there was also another reason: the Israelites had become idol worshippers during their 400 years in Egypt and all the Egyptian gods had names. So it would be expected that they would ask the name of the God that sent this dude in from the wilderness to tell the Israelites that it was time to leave.

This is the first time that God gives His personal name in Scripture. The Jews came to so revere this name that it became known as the tetragrammaton. They so revered God that they wouldn’t pronounce the name Yahweh, or Jehovah. Instead they removed the “vowels” and shortened it to YHWH or JHVH. They were not to even pronounce it when thinking about His name because His name was so holy and elevated that humans were not thought worthy to speak it or think it so great was their fear of this mighty God. That is fairly understandable, is it not? They’d witnessed how He’d laid waste to Egypt and they would see His blessing and would taste His displeasure with them in the wilderness and they didn’t want to risk offending him. They came to know him as a “consuming fire” (Dt. 4:24) during the time of Moses. That is why both David and Solomon at different times made the observation that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

And then something happened.

The incarnation changed many, many things forever.  God became flesh…and dwelt among us. And when he was asked by his followers how they should pray, he told them to pray thusly: “Our Father who art in heaven….”  The word, Father, is Abba – it’s not a lofty, power filled word, but simply what a little child calls out: “Daddy!”

In such a short span of about 30 years we moved from YHWH to Daddy because we learned something else about this God that Israel had worshipped: He loves us like precious little children! What cause it? The incarnation…when mankind could finally look into the eyes of God face to face, when we could witness him raise the dead son of a grieving widow, when he touched the unclean lepers, when he gently and graciously spared the woman caught in adultery, when he fed the hungry people of Israel and healed the sick gave sight to the blind.

David and Solomon had a point: the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, but to my way of thinking, it is only the beginning of wisdom, not the end. The end comes when we have learned to trust him and love him as our Daddy.

PRAYER: Abba, what a blessing it is to call you by that name and to run to your mighty arms and be lifted high and hugged tightly to your heart of love! Thank you for becoming personal to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 5/11/16 – Spirit Signs

DayBreaks for 5/11/16 – Spirit Signs

As the story goes, a little girl was visiting her grandmother one beautiful spring morning. They walked out into her grandmother’s flower garden. As grandmother was inspecting the progress of her flowers the little girl decided to try to open a rosebud with her own two hands. But no luck! As she would pull the petals open, they would tear or bruise or wilt or break off completely. Finally, in frustration, she said, “Gramma, I just don’t understand it at all. When God opens a flower, it looks so beautiful but when I try, it just comes apart.” “Well, honey,” Grandmother answered, “There’s a good reason for that. God is able to do it because He works from the inside out!”

God works from the inside out. That is the great message of Pentecost Sunday, isn’t it? This is what the disciples finally came to understand at Pentecost. Jesus had ascended into heaven. And He had told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.

Here is where the story of Pentecost picks up. The disciples are back in the Upper Room waiting and wondering and some of them likely were grumbling impatiently and nervously. “What in the world are we doing here? All this waiting around is driving me up the wall! There’s no use. He’s gone and without Him, we are nothing. It’s over! We’d just as well face it. What is this Holy Spirit business anyway? Maybe we misunderstood Him!”

Maybe just then they heard a sound. The breath of God began to blow on that place like the rush of a mighty wind. Images of fire danced around them. Suddenly, their fear was gone, replaced by peace and confidence, courage and strength and unity and they began to speak and communicate the word of God boldly and amazingly people from all different backgrounds heard and responded and 3,000 people were converted that day.

It’s interesting to note that the three classic symbols for the Holy Spirit in the Bible remind us of how God works through us and how God works from the inside out. Do you remember what they are? The three traditional symbols of the Holy Spirit in the Bible: Breath: the symbol of Life. Fire: the symbol of Power. The descending dove: the symbol of Peace.

Are those three things visible in your life? Do people around you see the Spirit at work within you?

PRAYER: Jesus, may be know the Breath of Life, the Fire of the Spirit, and the Peace that comes from You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

 

DayBreaks for 3/25/14 – Passion and the Fire

DayBreaks for 3/25/14 – Passion and the Fire

John 2:17 (NLT) – Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”

I’ve written recently about some of the spiritual struggles I’ve been wrestling with – about a desire to come closer to God, to really, really connect with Him, to come to trust Him without reservation. Much of my life has been spent, I now realize, trying to keep this frightful God at arm’s length for fear of being asked to do something or sacrifice something that I am unwilling to do or give. Is it that I want to be that way?  No, not really.  It is just the truth about me in my human weakness and fear.

Yesterday, in my quiet time, I was in looking at today’s text while I was trying to learn something more about the Jesus who is my Lord. I tried to picture the scene in my mind…and then to contrast it with my own “passion” for the Lord’s house.  I didn’t like what the passage revealed to me about myself!

Many times throughout my years, going to church has felt like a duty, an obligation, something one had to do in order to make God happy with us (and I was a pastor for 12 of those years!) I think nothing could be further from the truth.  While God invites us and wants us to come to His house, I don’t think God wants us going there begrudging Him the time.  He wants us there because we delight in worshiping Him, in fellowship and communion with the Trinity and other someday-to-be-glorified saints.

Oh, that we had such passion as Jesus did for the Lord’s house! Where do we get it?  Where does it come from?  It can’t come from a rocking worship band (though I love powerful worship!), from some spell-binding preacher, lest it be a manufactured thing, and God never manufactures passion for us.  It can only come from within, from a strong bond with the Spirit of the Living God Himself, that stirs us to love and adoration, gratitude and humility, inspires us with awe and wonder. The Spirit longs to be with the Father and Son, and They all long to be with One Another!

We are given the gift of the Holy Spirit when we become followers of Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:19 says we are not to quench that Spirit.  In context, that passage comes in the midst of many exhortations to love, to encourage, help, be patient, rejoice, pray, do good always, giving thanks…  Those are combustible things that fuel passion for the Spirit.   A fire is quenched by putting non-combustible things on it…dirt, water, etc.  When we put worldly and non-spiritual things into our lives and hearts instead of the combustible things of God, we will quench the Spirit. 

As I have struggled to draw closer to God, I have looked for the “silver bullet” of how to actually do it. I don’t claim to have found all the answers. But this illustration of combustible and non-combustible spoke to me. I have the Spirit that Jesus has given me. If I am lacking in passion for God, it is not the fault of the Spirit – it is because I have quenched the Spirit by feeding myself non-Holy Spirit combustible things. If we are lacking in passion for the Lord’s house, it may well be because we are filling our lives with non-combustible things rather than what fuels the fire of the Spirit!

PRAYER: Jesus, I need your passion for the Father’s house! Ignite those things in my life that need to be consumed and destroyed so that I may be ignited by the Spirit! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax-deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 01/24/13 – Discovering Fire

DayBreaks for 01/24/13 – Discovering Fire

HEART-OF-FIRE-love-30476808-1920-1080From the DayBreaks archive, 1/24/2003:

I am fascinated by science and scientific discoveries.  It seems like we are on the verge of many great discoveries.  Every day man’s knowledge explodes with new discoveries being made in molecular biology, genetics, astronomy, physics, medicine and just about any other branch of science that you can think of.  Throughout history there have been discoveries that have changed life forever after: the discover of how to make use of fire, the wheel, iron, the internal combustion engine, semiconductors, even nuclear energy.  There are so many key discoveries throughout history that entire books could be dedicated to listing them and debating what were the greatest discoveries of all time.

Teilhard de Chardin put it all in perspective, however: “Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love.  Then for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire.

I suspect that de Chardin may be humanist in his thinking, but wouldn’t it be great if sometime, even for a few moments, we could all live in love with God and our fellowman?

Bottom line: the greatest discovery of the human race still remains – how to love others even as He has loved us.  How would the world be changed if we loved one another with the love pictured in Song of Solomon 8:6-7 – “6 Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave.  It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.  7 Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.  If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned.

Once we really learn how to love like Jesus, we and the world will be forever changed.

Copyright 2003 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Lord, I know that I don’t love like you do!  I seem to have too much self-interest to love as unselfishly as you have loved us.  Break our selfishness, fill our hearts to overflowing with the love that only comes from the One who is love!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 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, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen has started work with a new ministry, Medical Ambassadors International (medicalambassadors.org).  He needs to raise his own support.  DayBreaks has always been free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with Medical Ambassadors, you can make a one-time donation at http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Go to that link and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section and look for the link for Galen Dalrymple.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his account.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient in many ways for 32 years.  Check them out!

If God has blessed you through some of the DayBreaks messages and you want to help support Galen, you’re help will be greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!