DayBreaks for 8/11/17 – In Union With Christ

DayBreaks for 8/11/17: In Union With Christ

From the DayBreaks archive, 8/9/2007:

The following excerpts were from an Orthodox priest, Stephen Freeman.  I hope they spur your thinking…

“True Christianity is a life lived in union with Christ and all that we do that has value is what we do in union with Him.

It is in reflecting on this that I ponder many conversations I hear (or overhear).  Many times I hear myself or others expressing dismay or anxiety over a situation, or plotting to achieve one goal or another. The frightening dynamic in many of these conversations – let alone the actions that flow from them – is the dynamic of secularism.  We live as though there were no God, or as if the God Who Exists is not able to act within our world.  Having decided what is in God’s best interest, or the interest of the faith, we design our efforts (perhaps even thinking to please Him).

“But God does not seek to be pleased by actions taken in separation from Him.  It is union with God that saves us (and this alone).  Neither can we undertake any activity that has a saving character except that activity be taken in union with Christ.

“Why should we love our enemies and pray for them?  Because there is little else you can do for them that is in union with Christ.  You cannot seek vengeance in union with Christ.  You cannot even seek to “fix” other people in union with Christ.  The action of Christ is always respectful of our freedom and always acts in love.  Action in union with Christ cannot have some other character.

“Actions such as kindness and mercy, patience and love are easily lived in union with Christ.  But our secular mindset rarely sees such actions as useful.”

I was struck recently as I studied the life of Jacob by Jacob’s methodology in Genesis 32.  This is just before he is scheduled to meet up with his brother, Esau.  The last time they’d been together, Jacob had been running for his life, and he didn’t know how Esau would now respond.  So, Jacob makes his plans and puts them into action.  Then, in verse 9, after he’s put his plans into action, he prays to God for blessing and protection.  It strikes me that the sequence is reversed, or should be.  Shouldn’t we seek God’s will and plan before we put our own into place?  Why don’t we?  Partly, I think, because of what Freeman says in the second paragraph above: “we live as though there were not God, or as if the god Who Exists is not able to act within our world.” 

It is only those who are believers who can be guilty of this shortcoming.  Why are we smitten with this disease of thinking that I Am isn’t able to act in the world today?  Perhaps it’s mostly because we’ve never asked Him to really reveal Himself to us.  Perhaps it’s because we don’t even have the faith to ask Him to act in the first place, or we hedge our bets in our prayers with phrases like, “If it is your will…”.  Mind you, it’s not a bad thing to pray for God’s will to be done.  It’s biblical.  But it’s also just as biblical (in fact, there may be more examples of this than the prior) to boldly ask God for exactly what we want – be it a loaf of bread, a drink of water in the desert, the parting of the waters or the ability to walk on their surface.  But we don’t do this very often – we’re afraid that others will hear us, and if we don’t get what we asked for, will think we’re not very spiritual. 

Freeman’s point is valid: we need to live in union with God, joining ourselves to Him and His purposes and His desires.  And that includes living and acting as if He still exists and will do great things that we can’t imagine.

PRAYER:  Lord, teach us to live in union with you, to not become dismayed or anxious, to not plot our own victories and deliverances, but to wait patiently and always act in union with You.  Don’t let us run ahead of you, or lag behind, but always walk by Your side.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 9/17/15 – Image Bearers

DayBreaks for 9/17/15: Image Bearers

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT) – Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

I must confess that when I looked in the mirror this morning, what I saw didn’t look a whole lot like how I picture God. When I got to church on Sunday, I looked at the people there (who are great, and I love them all!), but quite frankly, they didn’t look a whole lot like how I picture God, either. And when we watched the news clips from New Orleans after the recent hurricane and we saw people stealing things that weren’t related to their survival, or shooting at rescue helicopters, well, that didn’t look like God, either.

Yet, Scripture is very clear about it: we are made in the image of God. That doesn’t mean that God looks like us, nor that we resemble him just by nature of our existence. It means that we’ve got something of the image of His character on and in us. What all does it mean? That’s hard to say, but certainly it must mean that we’ve got the ability to do good, to love, to be compassionate, to serve, to sacrifice. We are thinking beings who are destined to live eternally. The Scripture says that God created man (male and female) in His image. That doesn’t mean that God is male and/or female – but rather, I think that we should understand it to mean that God is a person, not an it

John Ortberg wrote, in God Is Closer Than You Think: “Of all creation, only people are said to be bearers of the image of God. So people have the capacity to be carriers of His Presence like nothing else. We take long trips to see marvels like the Grand Canyon. Engaged couples plan far ahead so that they can honeymoon at Niagara Falls. But if our eyes could see clearly, if our hearts were working right, we would fall to the ground in amazement at the sight of a single human being. They are the miracles. They are the God-carriers.”

It’s easy to become disillusioned and disenchanted with other humans. We’re easy targets, because we’re all so horribly flawed. And if we get disillusioned enough, we give up on one another, relegating others to the garbage dump of the universe. Of course, when we do that, we forget that we belong in the garbage dump of the universe, too. It’s only because of His image in us, His Presence that lives in the Christian, that our destiny is heaven and not hell.

Who is it that you will see today that you “can’t stand”? Is there someone that you’ve “given up on”? Give them another chance – though His image in them may have been defaced severely, they were still made in His image – and by His grace, it can be recovered.

PRAYER: Jesus, let us bear more of your image with each passing hour. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 1/27/15 – The Power of One

DayBreaks for 01/27/15 – The Power of One This past Sunday, we had a visiting preacher from Poland at our church.  He gave a very simple, but very understandable and meaningful illustration about the power of the indwelling Christ. 

He started out talking about how many of us feel worthless, that we have no power in life to change or really do anything meaningful.  Even many Christians feel that way – and some might say that Christians in particular, because of our keen understanding of sin and its consequences, feel lower than dirt because we recognize how sinful we are…and we struggle because we can’t seem to overcome our “besetting sin.”

We see ourselves, he said, something like this: 0000000000…., i.e., we have no value, we have no power, we are empty and meaningless.  But just because we feel that way, it doesn’t mean it is true.  We DO have value, if for no other reason than the virtue of being made in the image of God, and we are not zeros.  We may be more like this: 000000001.  The addition of that one number give something value!  It may not be great in the scheme of things, but it is not a zero, either!

The more we recognize and put to work the abilities and skills that God has given us, that number may look more like this: 000000010, or 000000100.

But this is where the magic comes into play!  When we are indwelt by Jesus, when we “put on” Jesus and His righteousness, the number is more like: 100000000.  And the beauty of it: we have been given access to His unlimited power at work in us!  How does it happen?  We could perhaps take a clue from John the Baptist who said, “He must increase, I must decrease.”  As long as we are trying to be the BIG one, we will remain miniscule.  The Greatest, after all, is the Servant of all.

You are not a zero.  I am not a zero.  Jesus is everything. With Jesus, the sky is the limit!

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NIV) – And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.

Ephesians 6:10 (NIV) – Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

PRAYER: Thank You for giving us value – significant value – and access to your mighty power that is at work in us for Your glory!  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 01/29/14 – God Showing Through

DayBreaks for 1/29/14 – God Showing Through

SM_MG_7315Galatians 2:20 (NLT)  My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

One Sunday as they drove home from church, a little girl turned to her mother and said, “Mommy, there’s something about the preacher’s message this morning that I don’t understand.” The mother said, “Oh? What is it?” The little girl replied, “Well, he said that God is bigger than we are. He said God is so big that He could hold the whole world in His hand. Is that true?” The mother replied, “Yes, that’s true, honey.” “But Mommy, he also said that God comes to live inside of us when we believe in Jesus as our Savior. Is that true, too?” Again, the mother assured the little girl that what the pastor had said was true. With a puzzled look on her face the little girl then asked, “If God is bigger than us and He lives in us, wouldn’t He show through?”

Many people debate about the meaning and purpose of the Beatitudes. Some say that it is a true prescription for what the Christian should achieve. Others say that it is a goal that we are to reach for, but which God doesn’t expect us to ever achieve. You are entitled to your opinion – I have one, but I think I’ll keep it to myself! But this is the point: I think that the little girl was on to something huge that is typified by what we see in the beatitudes. No matter what else they may be, the beatitudes are about the life of God “showing through” us, becoming visible to a world that needs to see and know and come to love God.

When you are out and about, what is showing through you? Is it God and the characteristics in the Beatitudes, or is it your pride, anger, selfishness, competitiveness, etc.?

Think about it!

PRAYER: The beatitudes are such a challenge, Lord, and we can despair of ever living up to them. We realize we won’t do that perfectly, but we pray that we will do it well enough so that You do shine through us because You are too big in our lives to be hidden! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 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 Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) 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 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.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 03/20/13 – A River Runs Through You

DayBreaks for 03/20/13 – A River Runs Through You               

a-river-runs-through-it-jakub-sisak(Photo by Jakub Sisak.)

John 7:38 (NIV) – Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.

It is fascinating what computer software has done to Bible study!  It certainly makes it far faster and easier (in my humble opinion), not to mention that I don’t have to have numerous paper-and-ink books open all over my desktop as I do my study.  Just a few clicks and they’re all there, in their own orderly window (my wife told me just today how messy I am when I work, so this is good news!)

One of the best things about Bible study software is that it makes it easy to determine how many times a certain word is used in Scripture (by translation if you wish), what the original root word was and what it meant, and where it is found in each instance.  For example, in the NIV, the word “camel” is found nine times.  The word “peace” is found 250 times and the word “heart” shows up a whopping 570 times!  Generally speaking, the more a word is found, the more important it is as a topic to which we need to pay attention!

Rivers are mentioned 150 times (depending on translation) in Scripture, often as a picture of spiritual life.  There is good reason for this: Israel was a desert country, so a river is a physical manifestation of grace.  A river is life.  We don’t know much about the Garden of Eden, but we do know this — a river ran through it (Genesis 2:10).

If a river flows, life flourishes.  But if that river dries up, the life in that river dies.

So it is with us and the Spirit. The first human being was just a pile of dirt until God breathed into him the “breath of life.”  (In Hebrew the word for “breath” is the same word used for spirit.)  One of the signs that you are in the flow of the Spirit is a sense of God-given vitality and joyful aliveness overflowing in you.  If that is not what you are experiencing most of the time, the river in you (the Spirit) may be drying up.  You may be “quenching” the life-giving power that comes with the Indwelling of the Spirit. 

When the Spirit flows in you, you are given power to become the person God designed.   Not only are you given that power, but you actually begin to become the person God meant for you to be.

A river flowed through the Garden of Eden.  A “river of life” is mentioned in heaven.  And the same River of Living Water flows through you!  Roll, river, roll!

PRAYER: Thank you for the life and refreshing that comes from the Spirit you have put within us as your children!  Let us drink deeply – and live!  And let us be a refreshment to others we meet!  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 has started working with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising 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 and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name 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 (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. 

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are also members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 03/07/13 – Proof of the Presence

DayBreaks for 03/07/13 – Proof of the Pudding               

6a00d83452024769e200e553e14bd88834-640wi1 Kings 8:11 (NLT) – The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple.

The passage above describes a day after Solomon finished construction of the temple and the temple was being consecrated.  Hundreds of years earlier, the Presence of God was with Israel as they moved through the wilderness as a pillar of cloud during the daytime and a fiery pillar at night.  God gave those two visible manifestations of His Presence to Israel as reminders that He was there…that He was real…and that He was powerful. 

As I read this passage two days ago, I was struck with a sense of wonder at what it must have been like for those present when God’s Presence came into the temple in such a visible way.  We aren’t told much more about it, but I don’t think that it was just a normal looking cloud – there was something very glorious about it.  It may have been a cloud which glowed brilliantly (we tend to think of glory as something blindingly bright), or which echoed with peals of thunder and flashes of lightning (God did that on numerous occasions).  Whatever it was, it was a very special moment in Israel’s history.

What really struck me though was not so much the nature of the cloud itself, but the question that I was led to ponder: when God’s glory came down to the temple and filled it, there was a visible sign of it that was undeniable.  As the New Testament tells us, our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit of God, and I must ask myself, “What sign(s) of His glory are there in my life?”  If God has filled us with His Spirit, if He lives within us as we often say, certainly there must be some visible, outward sign of that Presence.  But is there?

How about your life?  What signs would be visible to others that God lives in you?  Perhaps we would all do well to first take a personal inventory, and then to ask those brothers or sisters who we know and trust to tell us if they are able to see signs of God living within us. 

This is something we should take seriously.  Romans 8:9 (ESV) – You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.

PRAYER: Father, I pray that we will take Your indwelling Presence seriously.  Help us not to “manufacture” signs of Your Presence hypocritically, but to simply let Your Presence shine out of us in such a way that it is visible and that You are glorified!  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 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.

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient in many ways for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 08/31/12 – Infused by God

DayBreaks for 08/31/12 – Infused by God

(NOTE: Galen will be traveling for the next week and will have very limited access to email to respond to comments/questions.  Thanks for your understanding!)

Jeremiah 18:5-6 – “5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.

Yesterday’s DayBreaks had to do with the illustration of God as the potter and we as his clay.  The second point I got out of a recent talk I heard had to do with the inability of the clay to do or be anything other than what it is without the potter’s handling of it.

We like to think that we know what is best for ourselves and even others – especially those we love.  We think “if only this, or that”, we would be happy.  The plain truth is that without God enabling us we couldn’t even continue living, much less order our own lives to make us happy.

A lump of clay can’t do anything with itself and simply remains a lump of clay.  But when a potter handles the clay, he infuses his ideas, skill and knowledge into it and out of what is in the potter, comes what is created.  It is the same with God and us.  When he “molds us and makes us after his will” he infuses his Spirit into us, making us into what fulfills the potential he knows we have that He himself put into us.  More than that, through his Spirit, he makes us more Christ-like.  He fills that “God-shaped hole” in us with himself and we become what he has had in mind for us to be throughout eternity.

Is that why people who have refused God won’t be with him in eternity?  Is it that lumps of clay without the spirit of their Maker in them have nothing eternal to live on with?  I don’t know, but it is worth remembering these things when what we are going through seems too hard to bear.

I am eager to find out what God intends me to be throughout eternity.  And I’m eager to see how much more wonderful my loved ones and friends will be when I see what God has fashioned them to be!

PRAYER:  I yield, Lord.  I’ve fought you most of my life and I still do, day by day.  I know I shall fight you again, but what I really want is to be what You intend for me to be in eternity.  Until that day, hold me!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 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” link at the bottom of the email.