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.

DayBreaks for 08/16/13 – The Judas Goat

DayBreaks for 08/16/13 – The Judas Goat

judas-goatFrom the DayBreaks archive, August, 2003

Matthew 27:3-4 – When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.

The following is from Life on the Edge, in which James Dobson shared about a documentary he once saw:  The documentary followed the life of – of all things – a sheep!  The sheep’s life ended in the “slaughterhouse”, where a “Judas goat” is used. A Judas goat is a specially trained goat that leads the herd of sheep up the ramp that leads into the slaughterhouse. Step by step the Judas goat leads on, stopping every few steps to look back at the sheep to make sure they’re following. Once one sheep starts following the rest do the same, as their herd mentality leads them to their death.  You see, sheep aren’t likely to take the lead themselves.  They are by nature, followers.  They get nervous if they have to “lead” – they much prefer to follow and find a lot more peace and calmness when there is someone, or something to follow.  Hence, the Judas goat that betrays them into a false sense of security and leads them to their doom.  And by the way – the Judas goat doesn’t get butchered, but is taken back to lead another group of sheep down the pathway to their doom.

Here’s a couple of applications to this story: 

FIRST: in this story we can see an application about leadership.  People often behave just like those sheep. We find some level of security when we can look around us and see that we’re headed the same way as everyone else.  It makes us feel just a bit more comfortable to know that we’re not alone and that perhaps our judgment and direction is right.  The implication of this for Christian leaders is to be very diligent to own our responsibility to lead people in a positive direction, to make sure that we are not becoming a “Judas” goat that is leading them the wrong way to possible destruction. 

SECOND: there are lessons here about peer pressure, choices, and popularity.  We humans often behave just like those sheep.  However we need to beware that we are not joining the herd in following a “Judas goat”.  We need to pray for discernment and to be willing to make choices that “cut us off from the herd” so that we may follow the path to true and abundant life.

PRAYER: Father, keep us from being, or following, Judas goats!  Let us clearly hear the Good Shepherd’s voice and follow Him!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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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.

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