DayBreaks for 3/11/19 – A Most Sobering Truth

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DayBreaks for 3/11/19: A Most Sobering Truth

On Sunday we recognized, remembered and honored the persecuted church around the world. I’m sure you know the stats: more Christians were martyred in the 1900’s than in all the other centuries combined. In fact, based on one source I consulted, 65% of all Christian martyrs ever were killed between 1901-2000. At one point at the height of communism and fascism, 330,000 annually were dying. Best guesses are that presently between 100-150,000 are being martyred each year – that’s over 410 martyrs each and every day, 365 days a year.

Yet, statistics only go so far. They tell neither the personal stories of those who suffer and die for their faith, nor the stories of their families. Putting a face to those who suffer is much more impactful than the numbers themselves.

On Sunday, we had some people with us from China and India who shared stories – and in the case of the brother from India – his own personal story of beatings and his struggle.

But, as harrowing as some of the stories are, what impacted me the most was this verse from 2 Timothy 3:12 (ESV) – Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…  Read that VERY CAREFULLY. It is part of inspired Scripture and is says that not just some, but ALL who desire to live a godly life will be persecuted. That brought me up short. Are you being persecuted for your faith, really? I am not. Part of that is living in America where we have some freedoms, but the verse didn’t say that only those living in countries without religious freedom would be persecuted…it says that ALL who desire to live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted.

The reason I’m not being persecuted isn’t because I live in America – but this verse tells me that it is because I don’t desire to live a godly life. All my life I more or less assumed I wasn’t persecuted because I lived in a free county. And all my life I’ve been wrong.

PRAYER: Forgive me, Lord, for wanting a persecution free life more than I desire to live a godly life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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


DayBreaks for 12/08/17 – Being the Real Deal

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DayBreaks for 12/08/17: Being the Real Deal

NOTE: Galen is traveling for the next few days.

From the DayBreaks archive, December 2007:

A Georgia woman’s outrageous attempt at fraud has landed her in jail under charges of forgery.  Thirty-five-year-old Alice Pike attempted to pay for $1671.55 worth of merchandise at a Wal-Mart with a one-million dollar bill.

When Pike handed the cashier the bill, the cashier refused to take it, and also declined to hand over the $998,000 change.  She immediately called the manager, who also refused to take the bogus bill.

Pike reportedly offered $2.32 on a gift card, and then tried to cash the big bill again.  At the point the manager called police, who took Pike into custody.  Authorities found two more of the seven-figure bills in her purse. 

Police say Pike claims the bills were a gift from her husband, and she thought they were real.  Chief of Police in Covington, Georgia, Stacey Cotton says, “The bill ‘looks’ real, but of course there’s nothing real about this.”

The U.S. Treasury does not print a one-million-dollar bill, but several varieties of the large bills are available as toys, novelty gifts, or souvenirs.  –, Funny-$$ Gal 1 in a Million, by Amit Srivastava, March 10, 2004.

You’ve heard the saying, “If something looks too good to be true, it probably is”, and yet we still have a tendency to fall for things, don’t we?  Perhaps it’s because we so badly want some things to be true. 

When it comes to money, merchants want the real deal, as do doctors, lawyers, dentists, sanitation engineers and even employees (when payday rolls around!)  No one likes to be defrauded or duped.  We want authenticity.

When it comes to the Christian life, the world deserves to see the real deal.  That means people on an authentic journey, working to change the world a little tiny piece at a time into God’s kingdom on earth.  The world is full of folks who, as Paul put it in his letter to his spiritual offspring, Timothy, where he warns Timothy about those who appear to be as “…having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them.” (2 Tim. 3:5, NIV)  

The real challenge for us is not to decide who such people are and to judge them, but to examine ourselves to see if we hold not only the form of godliness, but also its power in our lives to resist sin, overcome temptation, to love our enemies, to forgive those who have wronged us.  Don’t be so eager to decide if others really have the power of godliness – look first at yourself.

Prov. 21:27 (NASB) – The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, How much more when he brings it with evil intent!

PRAYER:  We want to be authentic followers of Yours, Jesus.  We want to have the power You have promised us in our lives so we can bring You glory and find the deliverance from the wiles of Satan that You intend for us to experience.  Help us to examine our hearts to determine if the truth be within us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 11/22/17 – A Great Mystery

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DayBreaks for 11/22/17: A Great Mystery

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2007:

You’ve probably gathered by now that I’ve been interested in the topic of godliness lately.  I’ve been preaching a series of messages from 2 Peter 1, and since Peter wrote about godliness, even saying that we need to make every effort to add to our “perseverance, godliness,” it’s rather caught my attention.  Godliness could be defined as being “like God”, or “like Jesus”.  Well, since none of us have ever seen God or Jesus, it’s a bit hard to know what that means in all its entirety. 

The apostle Paul, as he often does, digs deep into the topic of godliness, too.  Perhaps one of the most intriguing passages of Scripture on the topic, yet one I’d not really contemplated too much before, is found in 1 Timothy 3:16, where the apostle Paul wrote these mysterious words: Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.”   Paul, describing Christ, says that the mystery of godliness was revealed by certain things relating to the life and person of Jesus.  In particular, there are six things about the godliness that Christ demonstrated (as noted by Mark Buchanan in Hidden In Plain Sight:

FIRST: he appeared in a body.  Now that doesn’t sound all that godly, does it?  In fact, it sounds rather human.  I think what Paul was getting at might have been this: Christ, in the flesh, made God accessible – and personal.  Before, we could only imagine God, but in Christ, we could see Him.  Being godly means making Him accessible to those in our world.

SECOND: Jesus was vindicated by the Spirit.  One of our least godly characteristics is our intense desire to vindicate ourselves – to make ourselves look good to others, to show that we ARE good and that we are not bad.  Jesus didn’t worry about how others would perceive him.  He was more than willing to let God vindicate him – which He most certainly did by raising him from the dead.  Godly people don’t worry about pleasing others – but entrust God to vindicate them before their enemies in His time.

THIRD: Jesus was seen by angels.  Throughout his life, Jesus was aware that life consisted of more than meets the eyes.  Angels ministered to him at various times.  He lived with an awareness that this world isn’t all there is.  People who are godly know and understand that we are “playing” out a scenario that is viewed on a heavenly stage and that the main audience we live for is not earthly, but cosmic.  When we remember that angels and God are watching us, it could change a lot in how we live!

FOURTH: Jesus was preached among the nations.  While Jesus himself lived in Palestine nearly his entire life (except for a brief sojourn in Egypt), the message of Jesus has been preached throughout the world.  His message was for the world, it was not something to be hoarded and kept in a righteous little box.  His influence goes far beyond where he lived.  Our influence, too, should be global, and we should be engaged in carrying his message to the world – we should, like Christ, have a global influence.

FIFTH: He was believed on in the world.  It’s key that he says, “…in the world.”  We would have expected people in the “church” to believe on him, but even those in the world believed on him.  Part of the reason he was believed upon was because of how he lived his own life.  And when people believed on him, their world was turned upside down and changed for the better.  Godly people are supposed to have an influence outside of the church walls – in fact, that’s where our primary influence should be felt.  That’s where the non-believers are!

SIXTH: Jesus was taken up in glory.  He wasn’t caught up with glory – he wasn’t a “glory-hog”.  He was taken up “in glory.”  His life had a purpose and an ultimate reward.  Godly people will live in such a way that, though we live in the here and now, we never take our eyes off the “forever” towards which we are moving, and the reward that awaits us there.  This is motivation for us to be godly.

What is godliness?  Maybe you’ve not thought about this verse in that way before, but I think Buchanan was onto something good.  Everything there is to be learned about being godly can be learned at the feet of Jesus.

PRAYER:  Thank You, God, for the mystery of godliness that has been revealed in and through Your Son.  May we imitate the One You sent.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 8/9/17 – ‘Tis Foolishness

DayBreaks for 8/09/17: ‘Tis Foolishness

From the DayBreaks archive, 8/7/2007:

I’ve been thinking about contentment lately.  Mind you, I’m not content with my thinking on the topic!  But I’m trying to learn to be more content in my station in life in various venues, but especially in the area of possessions.  It seems that much of what we struggle with in this world as far as contentment goes has to do with things – stuff – possessions. 

I recall when our kids were little.  They’d hear about a new toy in a Happy Meal, or a new video game, or some new action hero figure, and they would ask for it.  Sometimes I gave it to them, sometimes not.  My decision certainly wasn’t all based on “need” – they really didn’t need any of it.  Sometimes I withheld the gift solely to help them learn lessons related to happiness and contentment.  Sometimes, if they really wanted something, they’d say words to this effect: “If you get it for me, I promise I won’t ever ask for another thing, ever!!!!”  Yeah, right.

Of course, none of us adults would be so silly as to think that a change in circumstances or possessions would bring lasting contentment, would we?  Maybe not.  Someone once said that the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.  There’s more truth to that than I want to admit.  In Love Beyond Reason, John Ortberg observes: “All day long we are bombarded with messages that seek to persuade us of two things:

  1. That we are (or ought to be) discontented, and
  2. That contentment is only one step (or change or purchase) away.”

These two things are at the heart of all marketing.  They try to make us believe that the only thing that stands between us and the girl or guy of our dreams is our toothpaste (as if all our other problems were already fixed!) – and that if we buy a certain brand of toothpaste, we’ll get that girl or guy and live “happily ever after.”  We may have jobs that we’re competent at and that we love, but the promise and allure of “more money” makes us discontent and leads us to jump ship into a position that will mean we sacrifice family time or values.  That one new car may seem like a siren calling your name – and if you had it, you just know you’d be forever happy. 

It’s all a pack of lies.  I don’t know how else to put it.  Doesn’t even your own experience and life tell you that such marketing drivel is not true?  The pursuit of such things, indeed of happiness in this world, is trivial pursuit.  The pursuit of the Kingdom of God bears everlasting dividends, and the promise of happiness and joy that is not made by marketers who have something to gain, but by God, who can’t gain a single thing from us.  How much better for us to seek first His Kingdom and Righteousness…and in due time, all that He has will be ours!

1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NIV) But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

PRAYER: Father, we struggle to find contentment, thinking we can find it in all the wrong places and in all the wrong ways.  Teach us to be content with what we have in this world, but to never be content in how much we have of You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 04/09/13 – A Form of Godliness

DayBreaks for 04/09/13 – A Form of Godliness

form_of_godliness_1NOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25.  Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence!  Thank you…I cherish your prayers!  You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) after today until I’ve returned.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 – “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.

If there is any passage in the New Testament that describes the present age, it seems to me to be this one.  If we stop and take a look at the characteristics of people in the last days, it sure seems to fit our time in history.  While it is easy to apply these characteristics to others, I can see way too much of myself in them, too.  Not all of the terms apply to me, but I can see several that do.  For example, I’m not nearly as grateful as I should be.  I’ve so much to be thankful for, but I seldom spend much time on my knees thanking God for His great blessings.

But it is the last part of this passage that has my attention today.  One of the characteristics of people in the last times is described as being lovers of pleasure rather than of God.  It is typified by having a form of godliness but denying the power of the godliness.  What does this mean?  Moffat translated it this way: “For though they keep up a form of religion, they will have nothing to do with it as a force in their lives.”  Paul goes on to suggest to Timothy that he should have nothing to do with such people – people whose religion seems like a godly one, but who go through life unchanged by their brush with godliness. 

One of the characteristics of the Christian should be POWER.  Ephesians 6:10 encourages us to “…be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”  2 Timothy 1:7 puts it more bluntly: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”  If your life, and if my life are characterized by weakness, one would have to wonder about the form of godliness that we practice.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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