DayBreaks for 10/31/18 – Pick and Choose Morality

Image result for morality

DayBreaks for 10/31/18: Pick and Choose Morality

From the DayBreaks archive, 10/09/98:

James 3:11-12: Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Our country is suffering a real trauma. For months, accusations against President Clinton were on the front pages, along with denials from the president himself. As events have sadly shown, they weren’t just accusations or rumors – they were true (by the president’s own admission). It is sad and heartbreaking. We need to pray for the president just as we would for anyone who has been overtaken by sin – pray for true repentance so forgiveness can be given. But I don’t really want to focus on the president or the political issue per se. In J. Budziszewski’s article in the August 22 issue of WORLD magazine, he was discussing the president’s situation and the fact that many Americans believed Mr. Clinton was lying, but many go on to say he was doing a good job as president. Budziszewski asked, “What could they be thinking?” and then went on: “Through diligent listening, I’ve compiled some possibilities: ‘Who am I to judge?’, ‘Everyone lies about sex’, ‘All I care about is the economy’, ‘The other politicians are just as bad’, ‘If his wife can put up with it, so can I,’, ‘I’m so disgusted I’ve stopped paying attention.’ “Have these thoughts any common thread? Yes: they all express the idea that character doesn’t count – that you can be a bad man and yet a good statesman. I doubt that many people would swallow that notion whole. But they do tend to swallow a big part of it – the belief that you can be a bad man in some ways, yet a good statesman.”

Budziszewski calls this the “Pick and Choose Delusion”. It is a disease I think we all suffer from. He says, “We believe that we can pick and choose our sins; persistent disobedience to God in one area of life leaves the others unaffected. This delusion is like thinking, ‘I’m not going to do anything about my cancer. After all, it’s only in my lymph glands!’ The truth is that we cannot pick and choose our sins. Untreated by repentance, disobedience to God spreads from organ to organ until it reaches the heart.”

We can’t pick the areas of our life that we are willing to let God clean. We can’t choose to be holy in some areas and unholy in others. In fact, it is precisely those areas that we might choose to be “unholy” that God most wants to clean in us. You can’t be a good Christian but a bad father or mother, or a faithful follower of God and be unfaithful to your husband or wife. Yes, we all sin and all need forgiveness, but we can’t pick and choose morality. “No man can pick and choose his sins, because sin is never satisfied. Like the fire, it spreads; like the leech, it devours.” And like the cancer, it kills. “Choose for yourselves this day who you will serve….

PRAYER: You know our secret sins and weaknesses even better than we do, Lord. We need your help to be clean! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 12/21/17 – A World of Impossibilities

Image result for impossible

DayBreaks for 12/21/17: A World of Impossibilities

Matthew 1:18 (ESV) – Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.

This is a story of impossibilities. Consider the impossibilities Mary faced in this story: she is a virgin and pregnant – she is having a child while she is a virgin. Impossible! No way! Won’t happen! Joseph has to follow through on the marriage after he discovers Mary is pregnant. Impossible! Mary must avoid being stoned to death when the neighbors hear the news. Impossible!

Consider the impossibility Elizabeth faced. She was well past the childbearing age, and yet God says she is going to conceive and bear a child. This impossible news left old Zechariah speechless. Impossible! No way! Won’t happen!

This is a story of biblical impossibilities. We love to ponder them because we all long for some impossibilities in our own lives, don’t we? But, what are the impossibilities in our world? What would you label “impossible” in your life? Peace in our world. Impossible! No way! Won’t happen! Christian values returning to our nation, morality becoming the norm? Impossible! Our church reaching our surrounding community and making our world different? Impossible! Restoring relationships, healing past hurts in our lives. A relative or friend entering a relationship with Christ. Breaking an addiction and overcoming past hurts and disappointments? Impossible!

We find ourselves with the same troubled mind as Mary, wondering over the impossible. We even ask the same question Mary asked, How will this be? To us it seems impossible! No way! Won’t happen! The real question for people today is “How can the impossible become possible?”

Let me encourage you to take heart this season if you are facing what seem to be impossibilities. This season is a reminder that nothing – absolutely nothing – is truly impossible!

PRAYER: Father, we delight in knowing you are the Master of all that is impossible and that the word doesn’t even exist in your vocabulary. Help us to not lose hope even for the things that seem impossible, because if this season shows us anything, it is that there is no such thing when you are inclined to intervene. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 5/31/17 – It’s An Impossible Thing

DayBreaks for 5/31/17: It’s An Impossible Thing

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2007:

Daniel 2:10-11 (NLT) – The astrologers replied to the king, “There isn’t a man alive who can tell Your Majesty his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer!  This is an impossible thing the king requires. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live among people.

Nebuchadnezzar’s request was totally out of line with reality.  He not only wanted to know the meaning of the dream, he didn’t want to tell his advisors about the dream.  Putting myself in their place, I, too, would rant against the impossible and unreasonable request.  Life seems to make unfair demands upon us all the time.  Sometimes it is people who make the demands, sometimes we find ourselves in situations where every option and choice seems unfair.  The astrologers had it right – there isn’t a man alive who could tell them the dream…or so they thought.  Daniel was alive.  What can we learn from this?

FIRST: we think we’ve got our arms around situations and we think we know more than we really do.  They immediately concluded that what was being asked was impossible for any human.  They were right insofar as a human on his/her own couldn’t do anything to answer the king’s request.  This is what so often happens when God is taken out of the picture.  Our world faces seemingly impossible challenges – what about global warming?  What will we do when the oil runs out?  What can be done to stop diseases in this day of rapid travel?  How do we stem the tide of violence, greed, drugs and brokenness that we see all around us?  Some look to politicians for answers to these dilemmas, but they should take a page out of the astrologer’s book: “No man alive” can do these impossible things (even if they say they are the only person who can!)

SECOND: unfair things happen.  There’s not much we can do about them.  We should probably expect them, and while we may protest against them, in the final analysis, we didn’t ask for the situation nor do we have answers for it.  Such, as they say, is life.

THIRDLY: when God is put back into the picture, the impossible becomes possible.  And with Him in the picture, while we may still protest the unfairness, we can also understand that God’s hand has permitted it.

The astrologers, and our culture, desperately needed answers.  Sadly, neither look to the right place for them.  If our culture needs anything, it needs Jesus.  Some argue for putting the 10 Commandments back into the mainstream of life, arguing that if we could post them in schools and court houses, city buildings and corporate centers, then the “good life” would return and our country would get back on track.  While I agree it is sad and tragic that God’s words are banned from public places, simply displaying them won’t make a bit of difference.  God Himself, in the person of Christ, is the answer.  The indwelling Spirit of God, the Lamb of the World engraved on our hearts, is what America and the world need, not the 10 commandments or any other such list.  We need the change that comes only from within the human heart – that starts there and that changes what it finds there.  It is impossible for men to make the change in culture for one reason – we can’t even make the change in ourselves.  It is impossible for any person to do so – but let’s not make the mistake the astrologers did and forget that there is a God who can do all things that we humans find impossible.

PRAYER: Lord, today we’ll be faced with situations that, at the very least, don’t seem to be fair!  Help us to not think we know more than we do about such things, let us realize that even in the midst of unfair situations, we are still called to be and act like Your children, and let us never give up hope that You will act in due time.  Help us to be like the astrologers insomuch as we will never foolishly place our trust in man.  May we rest in You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

 

DayBreaks for 12/23/14 – Consider the Possible Impossibilities

DayBreaks for 12/23/14 – Consider the Possible Impossibilities

Isaiah 7:14 (ESV) Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This is a story of impossibilities. Consider the impossibilities Mary faced in this story: She is a virgin and pregnant — she is having a child while she is a virgin. Impossible! No way! Won’t happen! Joseph has to follow through on the marriage after he discovers Mary is pregnant. Impossible! Mary must avoid being stoned to death when the neighbors hear the news. Impossible!

Consider the impossibility Elizabeth faced. She was well past the childbearing age, and yet God says she is going to conceive and bear a child. This impossible news left old Zechariah speechless. Impossible! No way! Won’t happen!

This is a story of biblical impossibilities. But, what are the impossibilities in our world? What would you label “impossible” in your life? Peace in our world. Impossible! No way! Won’t happen! Christian values returning to our nation, morality becoming the norm? Impossible! Our church reaching our surrounding community and making our world different? Impossible! Restoring relationships, healing past hurts in our lives. A relative or friend entering a relationship with Christ. Breaking an addiction and overcoming past hurts and disappointments? Impossible!

We find ourselves with the same troubled mind as Mary, wondering over the impossible (v. 29). We even ask the same question Mary asked, “How will this be?” (v. 34). To us it seems impossible! No way! Won’t happen! The real question for people today is “How can the impossible become possible?”

PRAYER: God, for all who need to believe in the impossible this day, during this season, may they find the hope they need in You! 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 10/22/14 – Faith Walking #5 – The Great Illusion

DayBreaks for 10/22/14 – Faith Walking #5 – The Great Illusion

I wrote a bit yesterday about risk.  I don’t know anyone who enjoys failure, do you?  I know people who learn from it and get better (I’ve even managed to do that a few times along the way!), but I don’t know anyone who either sets out to fail or who wants to fail.  Risk scares us because with risk there is always the possibility of failure.

At least, that’s how we humans see things.  I wonder if Moses, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Rahab, Deborah, Samson, Gideon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elisha, Elijah, Peter, Paul, Mary, David or any of the other great women or men of Scripture had second thoughts about how foolish they might look if they attempted something great for God…and failed.  Things like commanding the lame to rise us and walk, casting demons out of a boy (remember – the disciples failed at this one!), knocking a giant down with one stone, interpreting dreams all have inherent risk built into them.  Picture Jesus standing before the tomb of Lazarus and saying, “Lazarus!  Come forth!”…and nothing happening.  Jesus would have looked pretty bad, wouldn’t he?  In fact, his ministry would have crashed and burned on the spot.  The same could be said for all those I mentioned. 

But here’s the rub: it comes down to knowing God’s will and to having faith – real, vibrant, deep faith!  Jesus, of course, knew it wasn’t a risk because he operated totally and always in full harmony with God’s will, so it might be easy for us to dismiss his case as being unique.  We lack that kind of certainty.  He KNEW he was God and that all things were possible for Him!

We read it and have heard it over and over: With God nothing is impossible.  We focus on that word, impossible, a lot because we think things are impossible.  And if we’re just talking about mere humans, MANY things are impossible – in fact, most things, I suppose.  But there are three key words at the start of that verse: With GOD…so we’re not talking about mere humans doing things in their own power, but about an omnipotent God who has zero limitations.  And then perhaps the key word: nothing…no matter how impossible something looks or sounds to us, God laughs at it.  He has never yet met any challenge that even begins to tax His infinite resources and power. 

But the great illusion is that we think things are impossible.  We even tend to believe it in our hearts.  “God, I can’t heal someone.”  “God, I can’t possibly do this.”  To a degree those are true: WE can’t.  But if we are acting in faith on one of His promises, how can we even think it could fail?

Look closely at these words from Jesus: John 14:12-14 (NIV) I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.  

And listen to that same verse from the Message: The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.

So…is it an illusion that keeps us from faith walking?  How much do you believe those words of Jesus?  How much do you believe in Him?

PRAYER: My faith is so weak and frail, Lord!  I see impossibilities and not possibilities.  And I put the limits I see on You and I know that’s foolish and wrong, but I do it all the time. I believe, Lord, help my unbelief!  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 10/20/14 – The Critical Calculation

DayBreaks for 10/20/14 – Faith Walking #4 – The Critical Calculation

“It makes no sense.  This just can’t work.”  “It’s impossible.”  “There is no way.”

Such statements can be heard in business meetings around the world every day.  These sentiments are not limited to just the business world, but can be found in academia, in science, politics, even in homes.

I suppose that one of the things God gave us was good sense – or at least enough of it to not take exorbitant risks that might cost us life and limb. We do, for the most part, want to survive, avoid untenable risk and keep body and soul together (though I do wonder about some folks who are into really extreme sports, etc.).

But there comes a point and time, however, where we are called to cast caution to the wind.  Those are the times when God has given us clear direction or promises – and then asks us to take some action prior to seeing His solution – even, and perhaps especially, when it makes no sense and seems impossible.

It is the capacity to trust God in spite of the severity and size of the obstacles that distinguishes faith from un-faith.  Consider just a few cases in point: David faced a 9-foot tall obstacle.  Elijah faced hundreds of prophets of Baal and an altar of extremely waterlogged wood.  For three young Hebrew boys it was a furnace of fire.  For the apostle Peter, it was the corpse of a dead girl.

Those obstacles are huge.  Can you imagine how Peter felt when confronted with the dead body of the young girl?  How much courage (or craziness, as some would say) does it take to go and stand at a bedside and tell her to “Rise”?  Can you think of either a greater risk or greater obstacle than death itself?  Yet, in each of those instances, the child of God chose to act in spite of the risks and the sheer lunacy of the situation.  They walked in faith.

How large, really, are the obstacles that stand in your way of walking in faith?  How large do the obstacles have to be before we throw up our hands and abandon all effort related to walking by faith? And one more question as we calculate the risk: is it really a risk when we have a promise of God and act upon it?

Luke 1:37 (NLT) – For nothing is impossible with God.

PRAYER: Father, I confess that it doesn’t take much of a threat or risk to get me to walk by sight and not by faith.  With each passing day, help me to walk with greater courage and faith in You and Your promises.  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 10/31/13 – What Can, and Can’t, Be Changed

DayBreaks for 10/31/13 – What Can, and Can’t, Be Changed

Luke 1:37 (MSG)  Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.

You hear all sorts of things as a pastor.  Some of them make you laugh inside that someone could actually believe or have done the things they describe.  Some break your heart at the pain their actions have brought home to roost.  Some just frustrate the heck out of you, doggone it!!! 

Here’s a case in point (and I’ve had this said to me on multiple occasions by numerous people): “I can’t change.  I’m too old (or in an alternative explanation, “too set in my ways.”)  Well, if I were given to the use of foul language, there’s a thing or two I’d say about that kind of attitude.  I won’t tell you what the first thing would be, but the second would be something like this: “What!?!? That’s not a Christian attitude at all!  Have you never read the Bible?” It is enough to make a pastor want to punch them in the nose (and that’s a very unpastor-ly thing to say!)

A famous preacher once said, “When people tell me that human nature cannot be changed, I am moved to reply that in light of my experience, human nature may well be the only thing that CAN BE CHANGED!”  

I believe that the preacher nailed it.  We can’t change the courses of the moon or the sun or stars. We cannot change or suspend the laws of physics. We cannot change the ebb and flow of the ocean.  We cannot change where we were born or where and when it is appointed unto us to die. That being true, the pages of the Bible reverberate with testimonies of the lives, purposes, events, and habits which have been changed and which can be changed.  At the top of that list is the human heart and our behavior.

Jesus didn’t come so we could and would stay the same.  He came to transform us, to renew us.  God doesn’t give us a pass when we get older.  He doesn’t give us a pass because we’re too set in our ways to change.  If anything, as we get older, we should be more and more conformed to the image of His Son, not making excuses for our failure in that regard! 

Time to stop making excuses for our bad behavior, because that’s precisely what “I can’t change!” is doing!

PRAYER: With you, all things are possible.  With you, anything situation can be changed!  Change our attitudes from defeatism to a victor’s attitude.  Change our hearts to be completely committed hearts.  We want to be done with excuses for our human weakness!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  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. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!