DayBreaks for 1/21/19 – The Most Tragic Figure

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DayBreaks for 01/21/2019: The Most Tragic Figure

From the DayBreaks archive, January 2009:

If you were to pick the most tragic figure in all of Scripture, or in all of history, who would it be?  I suppose one could argue for a variety of persons:

ADAM: here is a man who walked and talked with God in the garden, and yet was overcome by sin.  If anyone had motivation to continue to walk uprightly because he had recognized so many blessings from his relationship with God, you’d think it would be Adam.  Yet, one whisper from the serpent and he and his wife fall!

CAIN: it didn’t take long for hatred, envy and jealousy to rise to the point that a man would kill his own brother.  Tragic, indeed.  And over something as foolish as whose sacrifice was most pleasing to God?!?!?!  Why kill your brother instead of taking up the matter directly with God?????

SAUL: this king had it all going for him: he was big, brawny, and popular with the people.  Maybe that’s why it all went to his head and he fell from the throne to madness, wallowing in self-pity and taking his own life.

Perhaps JUDAS is the most tragic figure in all of human history.  He certain is one of the most vilified – at least by believers – who shake and wag our heads at the heinous act he perpetrated. 

The, of course, there are the Atilla the Hun’s, Idi Amin’s, Joseph Stalin’s, Adolph Hitler’s, Genghis Khan’s…sadly, the list is rather long.  You may feel at times that your life has been the most tragic in all of history because it has been so difficult.  At times, we’re all prone to believing we’ve got it bad until we’re reminded of someone who truly is in dire straits. 

There is, of course, another totally different point of view.  While most of the people mentioned above were, well, not nice folks, perhaps the most tragic figure in history is God.  Every single human who has ever lived has wounded the heart of their loving Father.  And not just once, but over and over and over – countless times.  And we continue to do so, even knowingly many times.  And yet His love endures forever.

We need to stop thinking so much about the pain in our lives and consider more the pain in God’s existence.  We need to stop thinking about obedience so much as an act of submission to His will as a response to His heart of love.

Prayer: For all the pain You bore on the cross, and for all the pain we cause You now, we seek Your mercy and forgiveness.  Teach us to obey out of love for a heart that has always loved us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 4/25/18 – The Surprising Proclamation

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DayBreaks for 4/25/18: The Surprising Proclamation

John 4:25-26 (NIV) – The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”  Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.

The verses above are taken from the story of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well in Samaria.  It’s a fascinating story for a variety of reasons.  Jesus, a man, initiating a conversation with a woman.  It wasn’t supposed to happen that way – not in that age.  Jesus, a Jew, speaking to a Samaritan.  It wasn’t supposed to happen – Jews and Samaritans were supposed to hate one another.  Jesus was a rabbi, a very holy man – and this woman was, well, less than virtuous.  She had gone from one relationship to another, and was now living with a man to whom she wasn’t married.  No self-respecting rabbi would strike up such a conversation.

But Jesus wasn’t into self-respect, he was into love and sharing that love with anyone who needed it – and certainly, it would appear that this woman had perhaps mistaken many things for love in the past. 

The most amazing thing, however, about this story, was Jesus’ announcement that he was the Messiah.  As far as we know, this is the very first time that Jesus identified himself this blatantly.  He hadn’t made this kind of proclamation to even his disciples, so why this woman?

I believe he announced himself to this woman precisely because she was the kind of person who needed to know that the Messiah had come.  This woman probably had lost most of her hope for her life.  Her track record this far had not been stellar.  With the first relationship, she probably had hoped that “my life is set and I’m on track for happiness.”  But her heart had been broken.  Then came a succession of more men – and with each one, more heartbreak had come and a bit of hope had died as each relationship died.  Perhaps she wondered, deep in her heart, if there would be any hope for her at all.

And to this hurting, shame-filled, discouraged woman, the Messiah is revealed for the first time.  It was for women (and men) just like this one that Jesus had come.  And in revealing himself to her, hope and possibility were reborn.

Our sins burden us and crush us and destroy joy and hope.  Stop by the well and drink the Living Water that the Messiah gives and you will never thirst again.

PRAYER:  Lord, thank you for revealing yourself to sinners like us.  Renew our hope and open our eyes to what it means that the Messiah has come!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 02/15/13 – Breaking the Heart of God

DayBreaks for 02/15/13 – Breaking the Heart of God

NOTE: Galen just had some surgery so there’ll be some DayBreaks from the archives for the next few days.  Your prayers are appreciated and welcomed!

bridegroom-the-betrayed-bridegroom1-719x1024From the DayBreaks archive for 2/15/2002:

Genesis 6:6 – “The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

It is no surprise that God’s great heart is filled with pain.  The degree of suffering as the result of sin is massive.  The diseases that wrack our bodies and cause such agony won’t be a part of the new heaven and new earth because there will be no pain there.  And, in a sense, God is responsible for it all.  If He had never created the cosmos, there would be no people to have diseases, there would have been on people to make sinful choices.  There would have been no men and women to kill His Son because there would have been no sin to die for.  But perhaps the thing that is most shocking is that God “gives” men and women the ability to hurt Him so by our mere human actions.  He has made Himself very vulnerable, in a way, to us.  And we inflict a universe full of pain.

But there is probably another way in which we break the heart of God.  Consider: “Too often we pray for things rather than union with Christ.  In our prayers, we often ask God for what we want or want done.  It must break the heart of God here and there that we are so busy seeking answers that we almost never seek Him.  We hunger to have what prayer can provide us rather than have Him who could make our prayer effective.  There is too little hunger for unison with Christ in our prayers.” (Calvin Miller, The Unchained Soul)

This is a DayBreaks about prayer.  Ask yourself these questions: how often do you pray?  How long do you pray?  When you consider your prayers, how much of the time do you spend in asking God for things instead of seeking union with Him and listening – literally listening – for His voice in your spirit?  It really doesn’t matter how long you pray – but what you do when you pray has the capability of thrilling or breaking the heart of God.  Consider how you’d feel if all that your children ever spoke to you about was to ask for something, and never to just enjoy your company, to exchange thoughts or to ask advice?  Do you really think God is any different?

PRAYER:  Father, we are sorry for causing Your heart so much pain!  Forgive us when we seem to not want to talk with You, to hear You, to abandon Your Presence and counsel for that of others. Fill us with a holy hunger for union with You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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