DayBreaks for 4/21/17 – Listen to the Birds

DayBreaks for 4/21/17: Listen to the Birds

From the DayBreaks archive, April 2007:

Romans chapter 1 (starting with about verse 20) makes it clear that God has revealed His existence to man through the things that can be seen – His creation.  But mankind has decided that God doesn’t exist: Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.  (Rom. 1.28)

Suppose for a second that a student were to write on a physics exam that she didn’t believe in atoms because she couldn’t see them.  No one would blame the professor for failing the student!  The existence of atoms is clearly undeniable on the basis of their recognized effects.  Just ask anyone who lived through Hiroshima or Nagasaki and they’ll tell you that atoms exist – they’ve seen their effect.  Yet man persists in insisting that God doesn’t exist because we can’t see, smell, hear, taste or touch Him.  Silly, isn’t it?!

Job 12:7-9 has this to say: But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? 

In the movie, Doctor Doolittle (I think that was the name of it), the good doctor was supposed to be able to talk with the animals.  Scripture tells us that the animals will tell us about the God who formed them – and we don’t have to learn to speak their language! 

Why is it that “they (mankind) did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God”?  I don’t think it is because most of mankind really doesn’t want to believe there is a God, but rather that they don’t want to believe in the kind of God who would tell them not to practice sinful lifestyles – who would cramp our style!  We want to believe in a God who would tell us that we can do whatever we want and that because He loves us that He’ll just look the other way.  But that isn’t the God of the Bible.  He couldn’t look the other way precisely because He does love us too much. 

1 Pet 1:8-9 puts it this way: Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 

Like the atom, God is unseen.  Like the atom, He is powerful.  Like the atom, He is real.  How tragic that the greatest thing in all of God’s creation and that which He loves the most (mankind) is the one thing in all the universe that denies His existence and which rejects Him.  Let’s all go outside and listen to the birds sing their melody about the greatness of God – and maybe we, too, can learn how to praise Him from the animals that He made!

PRAYER: For the wisdom behind the creation, we thank You and give You praise.  May we hear and sings songs of greatness to Your glory this day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 5/01/15 – Invisible Dangers

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DayBreaks for 5/01/15: Invisible Dangers

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

Have you ever spent time in a boat, navigating a river or lake?  When we lived in Maine, we went on a moose safari in some canoes with some friends.  We paddled around a lake (in between swatting away mosquitoes, black flies and no-see-ums), and at one end of the lake, we were paddling in shallow water where there were rocks that could capsize the boat.  Fortunately, the water was clear enough that we could see them and navigate around them.  We didn’t unintentionally go swimming that day.

Other dangers in life are invisible to the naked eye, too.  For example, bacteria, viruses, a cell that decides to run amok and turn cancerous.  There are many invisible dangers that we face.  Some of our dear friends here in Cloverdale live out in the country with quite a few acres.  They have a dog named Charlie.  It isn’t practical to fence the adventurous dog in, at least not in the normal way.  So they bought one of those “invisible fences”.  If you’ve not heard of them, they’re really like an electronic force field – sort of.  You set out markers that determine the boundaries of where the dog can run, and the dog wears a collar that picks up a signal from the markers.  If the dog tries to cross the “invisible fence”, it gets a small shock from the collar.  Well, from what our friends tell us, Charlie is a fast learner!  He only got zapped a couple of times and he quickly learned his boundaries!

We live in a world where evil things are made to look good and to sound good.  Wickedness is painted as fun and exciting in the media.  Words are changed to make bad things sound like good ideas.  There are plenty of invisible dangers.  The truth is that most of those dangers aren’t really invisible, but they may require a new way of looking or thinking in order to see and recognize them.  And that takes retraining our minds, looking through the lenses of the Word of God at what is being said and promoted, and seeing things with God’s eyes.  Is it possible?  Not totally – God will always be able to see things we can’t, but we are to be discerning.  We can’t be discerning if we don’t even know (or worse yet, care) about what the Word teaches.  As the body of Christ, we must rededicate ourselves to banqueting on the Word, communing with God in prayer – and then getting His guidance on how to apply truth to everyday situations so that we don’t founder on invisible dangers! (They really aren’t invisible when subjected to the Light – it is more a question of whether or not we want to see them and be obedient to the Word!)

Hos. 14:9 (NLT) – Let those who are wise understand these things.  Let those who are discerning listen carefully.  The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them.  But sinners stumble and fall by the way. 

PRAYER: Teach us to not just delight in Your word, but to live by it! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 08/28/13 – The Invisible Man

DayBreaks for 08/28/13 – The Invisible Man

Isaiah 48:8 (NIV) – You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ear has not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth.

The Pharisees and other leaders intently watched Jesus and heard his words but they could not see his meaning. They could not see the issues as Jesus saw them, so they set themselves against him rather than making an alliance with him. They were so hung up on rules, laws and ceremonies, that they missed the heart of faith: God’s forgiving love that frees one to live as son or daughter of God.

It’s similar to the musical genius of Johann Sebastian Bach. We know Bach as one of the genius musical masters of all time. But it was not so for his contemporaries. The parishioners at St. Thomas Church where he worshipped and composed often complained about the strange and innovative music that Bach wrote for the choir and organ each Sunday. They didn’t know what a gifted musician was in their midst. After his death, the music of Bach was seldom performed until Felix Mendelssohn began a revival of appreciation that has lasted into our own time. So the people of Bach’s time watched him, but they didn’t see him. 

Wallace Kirby suggests this: “I would insist that we have a good understanding of Jesus and what he was about but I don’t think we have great insight. Christians today must be careful in their confidence. We can know that we are saved but we never know if our behavior is completely acceptable. We watch Jesus, but we do not see him. We are acquainted with him, but his rich meaning is not yet part of our lives. Occasionally we confess this when we sing in worship: 

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord; open the eyes of my heart.  I want to see You, I want to see You.”

Our overarching confidence can be a symptom of deep pride.  We may choose not to see Jesus as He is because it would require changes within us.  We may not see him because we are just too busy to take the time.  I think we can only see so much of him because it is like saying, “I saw Mt. Everest” when you only have seen it from one side, and in fact can only see it from one side at a time.  There is too much of Jesus to take in with our earthly vision, but we should try to humbly see, hear and understand him for all he’s worth!

PRAYER: We do ask You to open our eyes so we can see more of your truth and beauty each day, Lord!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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