DayBreaks for 6/09/17 – You ARE Holy

 

DayBreaks for 6/09/17: You Are Holy

From the DayBreaks archives, June 2007:

Holy ground. The Holiest of Holies. Terms from the Scripture that we are familiar with. We believe that the ground on which Moses stood was holy. We believe that the temple was made holy by the One who dwelt there. For sure, these things are true.

There was nothing special about the sand and rock on which Moses stood. They were made of the same chemicals and molecules that is the essence of the created world. Iron, magnesium, copper – whatever kind of rock and sand he stood on, was still made up of electrons, protons and neutrons spinning and twirling around one another in an atomic dance.

The gold and silver and wood and linen in the temple were the same chemical compounds that you can buy in the store today. They were the ordinary, routine stuff of existence with which we are so well acquainted. Nothing special there.

In both cases, however, they were holy for one and ONLY one reason: God was there. It was not a miracle of atomic transformation that made all these things holy, it was the miracle of His Presence. His Presence transforms where He is into a holy place  – the holiest of holy places.

Colossians 1:18-23 (NLT)  – Christ is the head of the church, which is his body. He is the first of all who will rise from the dead, so he is first in everything. Â For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and by him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of his blood on the cross. This includes you who were once so far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions, yet now he has brought you back as his friends. He has done this through his death on the cross in his own human body. As a result, he has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. The Good News has been preached all over the world, and I, Paul, have been appointed by God to proclaim it.

The apostle Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, makes a dazzling claim in the passage quoted above. Here it is: you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. Wow.

Do you belong to Christ? Then you stand before Him – holy and blameless without a single fault! How can this be? When we became Christians, did the atoms of our flesh change to make us holy? No, no more than the atoms of the material of the wilderness floor or the temple walls. We are holy the same way they were holy: God is present with us. He now dwells in us as he did in the temple – and there His presence made the temple holy.

God sees us through the eyes of the Spirit. We see ourselves through the eyes of the flesh. We need to learn to see ourselves, and believe the truth about ourselves, as God sees us. Paul even stressed it: But you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. What truth was he talking about? Our holiness and blamelessness even when we don’t feel holy or blameless. Paul continued: Don’t drift away from the assurance you received. It is believing the truth about who and what we are IN HIM that fills us with the motivation and love and wonder to live for him more fully, each and every day.

PRAYER: Jesus, how desperately we need to take this passage to heart! To believe that we ARE now, and not just at some point in the future, holy and blameless as we stand before you. Let this truth transform our lives for your praise and glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 10/12/15 – Walking In God’s Shoes

DayBreaks for 10/10/05: Putting On God’s Shoes

It’s quiet on the street.  Deadly quiet.  I can’t help but wonder if this is what hell looks like – without the screams. 

“Ghost town.”  That phrase seems to fit, at least partially.  One of the best preserved ghost towns of the old west is Bodie, California, where the wind blows the sandy dust up and down the street that once was witness to gunfights and drunken brawls between the silver miners who labored there.  I’ve been there several times and it’s sort of like this, but there’s a couple major distinctions.  Bodie is far cleaner and Bodie doesn’t have the stink that is everywhere on this street. 

I don’t know the name of the street we’re on because the street signs are gone, either blown or washed away.  The houses tell me this was once a beautiful neighborhood – most of them are, or I should say, were brick.  But as we walk this street there are no children holding mock gunfights or wrestling on the yard with their best friends.  There are no children here – praise God for that. 

A pastor recently told a story worth repeating, about children drawing pictures of God and of Jesus.  Their pictures of God showed him with white hair, a white beard, a smiling face and a flowing white robe.  Their pictures of Jesus showed him with white hair, a white beard, a smiling face and a flowing white robe, too.  But there was a difference.  They drew sandals on the feet of Jesus.  I don’t know what the children were thinking when they drew their pictures, but it seemed to be indicating that Jesus gave feet to God so that we could see Him, hear Him, touch Him.  And that made their pictures different.

We like to visit places where famous people have walked or slept or where great things have happened.  “Abraham Lincoln slept here.”  “George Washington crossed the Delaware here in 1776.”  Shiloh.  Manassas.  Bull Run.  Fredricksburg.  Gettysburg.  The beaches of Normandy.  Dealey Plaza in Dallas, TX.  Ford’s Theater in Washington DC.  There is something about being where history altering things have happened that changes you inside. 

Last week as our relief team walked through one of the neighborhoods in Chalmette, Louisiana in St. Bernard’s Parish, we wept.  Our hearts fell out of us and it seemed as if our insides melted.  Some stopped in their tracks and wept in the middle of the street – but that was OK because there were no cars anywhere except ours. 

When I put on my shoes that morning, I didn’t really think too much about where I’d be walking that day.  Even as we walked the streets, I didn’t realize the truth and reality of what was happening.  It was only on Sunday (yesterday) that I knew.  The streets of the neighborhood may have looked abandoned, but I know now that before we had visited those streets of destruction, God has walked those streets…and wept.  And when we were walking there, we were walking on Holy Ground because God had been (and still was!) there.  At the time, all I could see or apprehend was desolation.  How blind I was.  How blind we are as we walk the streets, campuses, hospital corridors each day.  The reality is that no matter where we go or when we go there, God has walked there, and is walking there even now.  Holy Ground is everywhere, for God has been there since the beginning of time.

When you put your shoes on this morning, chances are that you never thought that you’d walk on Holy Ground this day.  Open your eyes a little bit more and perhaps you’ll see His footprint, perhaps you’ll hear His sobs as He cries over the devastation of His creation and of the shattered lives of men and women overtaken in sin.  And perhaps, hopefully, you’ll join Him in His weeping.  And also perhaps, you’ll think about it in the morning when you again put on your shoes that you are the only Jesus many will see…you are putting on God’s shoes and making Him visible.  What an awe-inducing responsibility we have been given.  May we wear the shoes and reflect the image well this day.

Eph. 6:15 – For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that you will be fully prepared.

PRAYER: Father, we can never fill Your shoes, but let us walk and live in imitation of You to a broken world. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>