DayBreaks for 12/21/18 – The Priest’s Sacrifice, #4

Image result for gold frankincense and myrrh

DayBreaks for 12/21/18: The Priest’s Sacrifice, #4

Finishing off the theme of Sacrifice for this week preceding Christmas, I’m sharing some thoughts from the message at church this past Sunday.

Our fourth, and final, sacrifice as Christian priests and priestesses is found in Philippians 4:18 (ESV) – I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.

Paul says that the gifts which were sent to him from the church at Philippi weren’t just gifts, but sacrifices that pleased God.

The privilege we have as believers is that God supplies all our needs. Every good and perfect gift starts with him for our enjoyment, yes, but also to pass through our fingers into the hands of others in need.

The responsibility of such a privilege is that we are empowered by his generosity to meet kingdom needs and human need.

I was struck by the fact that the first gifts given to Jesus at his birth by the magi didn’t really come from the magi, but from the Father who provided it for the magi to bring to the stable. Yet, I believe that the myrrh and frankincense (and gold) the magi were sacrifices that were fragrant offerings that pleased the Father immensely as he stared down at the son in the manger – and also into the hearts of the magi.

God gave the most perfect gift of all time, the most urgently needed gift, in the person of Jesus. If you have the means at all this season, you’ll give gifts to family and friends. Question: what will you give to those who may be your enemies? After all, isn’t that what God did for us with the child in the manger?

PRAYER: Let us give freely, not only to those who are friends and family, but to our enemies and strangers as well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 12/25/14 – Paltry Gifts

DayBreaks for 12/25/14 – Paltry Gifts It is Christmas morning.  For most of us, there are presents under the tree and squeals of childish delight (not always coming from the little ones!)  We give gifts to those we love and appreciate on this day.  Why?  Well, it all started long, long ago in a village far, far away… 

Matthew 2:9-11 (NLT) After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

The wise men (or magi) came to see a king.  And they did.  Only it wasn’t the kind of king that they planned to encounter.  They found a King all right, but far more.  They had prepared to meet a king.  But, as Todd Agnew asks in his song, “How do you prepare to meet the Lord?” 

They brought with them perhaps the finest gifts they could think of or afford: gold, frankincense and myrrh.  They were not paltry gifts by earthly standards, but as Todd Agnew sang, “We brought Him gold, frankincense and myrrh, when riches untold he left behind…”  No one can possibly know how true of a statement that was!  As much as Mary and Joseph must have been stunned by the extravagance of the gifts, God wasn’t.  The baby in the manger wasn’t.  To Him, the presents were mere trifles.  

What have you brought to Jesus this Christmas season?  Have you brought gold, frankincense and myrrh, or their modern day equivalent?  Perhaps you feel that you gave Him gift by attending a Christmas eve service – that maybe you did Him a favor by doing so.  You haven’t.  You didn’t.  

God never wanted the gold and other presents.  What He wanted was the hearts of the wise men and Mary and Joseph and the shepherds in the fields.  And that is what He wants from you and from me…our hearts.  The wise men apparently “got it” as they came to worship Him…to give the praise of their heart and lips to the Christ Child.  

That, my friends, is what He wants from you and me not just today, but always and forever.  To God, that is the most precious gift in the universe that we could possibly give to Jesus.  Will you give it to Him? 

Full lyrics to “God With Us” can be found here.   To listen to the song, click here. 

Merry CHRISTmas to you all! 

PRAYER: Lord, it isn’t easy to give my heart fully, as much as I would like to!  I struggle to keep a bit of it for myself and I try to appease You with substitute gifts that are paltry and trivial.  As I go through this day, this coming year and the rest of my life, help me surrender more and more of my heart to You each day! In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to 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.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations! Your support would be deeply appreciated!

DayBreaks for 03/12/13 – Just Figs, Nothing More

DayBreaks for 03/12/13 – Just Figs, Nothing More               

figsLuke 13:6 (ESV) – And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.

The world-famous writer, Somerset Maugham, said it best in his autobiography, Summing Up, “I knew that I had no lyrical quality, a small vocabulary, little gift of metaphor. The original and striking simile never occurred to me. Poetic flights…were beyond my powers. On the other hand, I had an acute power of observation, and it seemed to me that I could see a great many things that other people missed. I could put down in clear terms what I saw…I knew that I should never write as well as I could wish, but I thought, with pains, that I could arrive at writing as well as my natural defects allowed.” Somerset Maugham discovered the secret of genius.”

As a wanna-be writer myself, I can identify with Maugham’s statement: “I knew that I should never write as well as I could wish…”  I feel the same about my efforts at photography – as much as I would like to be, I’m no Rodney Lough or Ansel Adams.  In fact, I’m embarrassed to have people look at my pictures!  I will never be as good of a husband or father as I should have been, or could be.  Why?  Because of my “natural defects” and my God-given abilities. 

I’m sure that there are things you try to do that, no matter how hard you try, you don’t feel as if it was done as well as you would have liked.  Maybe you like to paint but have never painted a masterpiece to rival the Sistine Chapel.  Maybe you write poetry but are no Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  And maybe you feel badly about it. 

Let me suggest that you need not feel that way.  Life does not ask us to become what we are not. In the parable of the fig tree, the tree was neither required nor expected to produce a variety of fruit like apples, oranges and bananas.  Just figs.  That’s all…just figs.  And not even the best figs in the world!

It isn’t just life that is that way, it is Jesus, too.  You and I are asked by the Lord only to accomplish what our natural gifts allow, not to be as strong as Samson, as great of a leader as Moses or as magnificent of an evangelist as Paul, or as great of a mother as Mary must have been.  But we are asked to accomplish what Jesus has given us to do through our gifting and abilities.  He isn’t down on you because you’re not sinlessly perfect.  He’s not down on you because you can’t teach like He did.  But if He gave you the gift of teaching, He expects you to use that gift as best you can….not as well as someone else can. 

Don’t let your gifts lie idle because you think you’re not good enough to use them.  If He gave you the gift…it’s good enough for Him, and who are we to question His judgment?

PRAYER: Jesus, thank You for what You have gifted us to do.  Help us to accept our limitations, glory in Your limitlessness, and use what You have entrusted wisely! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen has started work as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (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 MAI, you can make a donation to Medical Ambassadors on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made online 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.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.

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