DayBreaks for 6/14/16 – The REAL Lesson of the Good Samaritan

DayBreaks for 6/14/16 – The REAL Lesson of the Good Samaritan

Chances are that you know the story Jesus told about the Good Samaritan. It’s so well known that the term “good Samaritan” has found a place in our culture to describe anyone who does a good turn for someone in need who can’t possibly repay them for their kindness.

I don’t know about you, but for all my life I have read, heard and studied the story and I think I’ve missed the real point of the story every time. On Sunday, for the first time, I got a fresh new insight into this incredible story.

When I hear the story, I think about the priest and the Levite who passed by, I always try to figure out who I am in the story. And that means I’ve gotten it all wrong.

The road to Jericho, along which the story takes place, was known as “the path of blood” because it was so notorious as a dangerous, deadly route. And so it was that the victim ill-advisedly travelled this road and paid a price for it – nearly being killed.

The priest, who presumably had been to Jerusalem to be “cleansed”, was on his way to Jericho. If he had stopped to help the victim, he would have become unclean and would not have been able to conduct his services in Jericho. To the Jews, it made sense that this priest passed by the beaten man.

The Levite was more like a priest-in-training. He was not bound by the rule of cleanliness and would have been expected to stop to help the bloodied victim. But he didn’t.

And then comes the Samaritan. Samaritans were deeply hated by the Jews, half-breeds between Jews and pagans. Moved with compassion, he lifts up the beaten man, tends to his wounds, takes him to a place where he could be cared for, pays, and even offers to pay whatever else the landlord deemed fit. He was giving the landlord a “blank check” that he could cash at the Samaritan’s expense.

When I have considered this story in the past, I usually beat myself up as I try to figure out if I am the priest, or the Levite, or whether I ever act like the Samaritan. There is truth that I sometimes do something kind for others, but more often than not, I fail to act like the Samaritan and am more like one of the other two characters. But that’s not the point at all.

I believe that every parable is intended to teach us something about God/Jesus, and this is no exception. Who am I in this story? Who are you? We are not the priest nor Levite nor Good Samaritan. We are the one who has done something foolish and we are beaten and bloodied and dying. We are desperately in need of someone who will come to our rescue, who will pay the price on our behalf both now and for whatever debt we may rack up before He comes back again. You see, it is Jesus who is the Good Samaritan. He has paid for my care and if there’s more to pay (which there isn’t…because he’s promised to pay for it all), he will see to it that all that I need has been taken care of!

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for opening my eyes to the greater story in this parable. My heart sings in gratitude that you stooped to pick me up, bandaged my wounds, stopped my bleeding and that you will even come back for me to make sure all my “bill” has been paid! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 5/10/16 – Come to Me

DayBreaks for 5/10/16 – Come to Me

Matthew 11:28 (NLTse) – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest…”

Sometimes the most profound things are easy to miss, aren’t they? We often look for thunderbolts, and I suppose that figures because they tend to get our attention rather clearly and suddenly. We like things that aren’t hard to miss and don’t like to have to look hard for those nuggets of truth, but there’s one in today’s verse.

Jesus’ statement is one of the most beloved in Scripture for good reason – we’re all weary, all carrying burdens…and all in desperate need of rest. So, what do we focus on in this verse? On the rest part, right? And that’s where we miss it.

The most important words in this passage are the first three words out of Jesus’ mouth: Come to me…

Think about what Jesus didn’t say: he didn’t invite us to come to a synagogue (or church), he didn’t invite us to come to a social or gospel meeting or even to worship. He didn’t invite us to come participate in some program or project. He invites us to come to him.

It is in Christ that we will find all we long for – and far more.

PRAYER: Jesus, I want to come to you. I accept your invitation. Thank you for inviting us into your very Presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

 

DayBreaks for 01/16/14 – Close Enough to See His Face

DayBreaks for 01/16/14 – Close Enough to See His Face

NOTE: I am traveling for work this week so I’ll be recycling some DayBreaks from previous years.  New DayBreaks will resume again on 1/20/2014.  Thanks for your understanding!

From the DayBreaks archive, 1/15/2004:

Luke 8:20 (NLT)  – “Someone told Jesus, ‘Your mother and your brothers are outside, and they want to see you.’”

I doubt that there are Christians who don’t look forward to seeing Jesus.  Sure, there may be times when because of our sin, we may not want to see him at that particular moment, but when we think of seeing Jesus, we do have a sense of joyful expectation, don’t we?  Most of the time when we think of seeing Jesus, we picture it either in the context of His second coming, or the setting of our death or resurrection.  Yes, we’ll see Him then.  Every one will see the eyes of Jesus!  When we behold him, in that instant, I’m sure that we’ll learn a great deal about him.

But perhaps there is another time when we would do well to get close enough to him to see his face, so to speak.  In A Deeper Walk, Ben Pasley wrote about the reality of our frustration and anger with God at times because of how life is treating us or someone we love.  At times, when things are bad, we act as if God has offended us, let us down, or is failing to do his duty towards us.  Pasley suggests that at those times that we should “Tell him.  Do you think he can handle it?  Maybe he needs us to pound his chest and slap his face until things begin to make sense again, or at least until we have exhausted our anger.  Most people discover that when they move close enough to see his face, even in the rage of misunderstanding, that there is something to learn.  They discover the unexpected God.  Stereotypes begin to melt from the heat of his compassion and the washing of his tears.  How he reacts to human pain makes a difference.”

The passage from Luke records an instance in the life of Jesus where his mother and brothers sought to see him, but were prevented by the crowd that pressed around him.  What is admirable to me is that they wanted to see Jesus.  When things aren’t going the way I think they should in my life, rather than being angry at God and withdrawing from him in my anger and frustration, I’d be much better off to go to God and get close enough to see his face.  It’s there that I’ll learn something that could change my life.

How long has it been since you’ve been close enough to see his face?

PRAYER: Teach us new truth about You this day and every day until we finally see You face to face, Lord Jesus!  Let us seek Your face always! 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 serves as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to support Galen in his ministry, you can donate (one-time or recurring) 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 a link 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 01/01/14 – Let There Be No Doubt

DayBreaks for 01/01/14 – Let There Be No Doubt

One of the striking features of John’s gospel is how John pictures the life and ministry of Jesus. The other gospels tell us stories about Jesus so we, like the disciples, we are left to ask what seems the obvious questions, “Who is this, that wind and sea obey him? Who is this who feeds the multitude on a couple of loaves and a few fish?” But in John, there’s no doubt who Jesus is  because both John and Jesus tell us who He is! Usually Jesus did so with a statement that starts with “I am.” Put him in a situation and he will clarify who he is and what he has come to do.

If you put him in a desert surrounded by people who are chronically unsatisfied, and Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

If you put him in the midst of confused people who ask, “Who are you, Jesus? What makes you different from all the other gurus, rabbis, and religious leaders?” Jesus replies, “I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture” (10:7, 9).

If you find him at a graveside surrounded by grief-stricken people, Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live” (11:25).

On the other hand, if you put him in the middle of people who feel disconnected by life’s difficulties, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing” (15:5).

You see, in the Gospel of John, in situation after situation, Jesus defines himself and says, “This is who I am….” In the eighth chapter, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (8:12). His words echo the opening words of the Fourth Gospel, where the writer defines the person and work of Jesus in terms of light. “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people … The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” (1:3-4, 9).

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” That, my friends, is wonderful news – just the kind of news that we would hope to hear with Christmas in the rear view mirror and a New Year staring us in the face.  Let Him be the Light of your world in 2014!

Happy New Year, everyone!  “Walk in the light even as He is in the light…”

PRAYER: Thank you for not leaving us in the dark about Who You Are and thank You for the assurance that You enter this new year with us and that nothing it holds is hidden from Your sight or beyond Your control. 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 must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you are led to support 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 either a one time or recurring 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 03/21/13 – Waking Up and Seeing

DayBreaks for 03/21/13 – Waking Up and Seeing            

4764316381_880085e567_zToday I’m sharing a story written in a blog by domesticdiva, MD, a doctor who blogs on WordPress about things she’s seen and learned in her time as a physician.  I think you’ll be touched by this story:

“I was on a consult month at the time, and every day we would round on a particularly sick patient in the ICU (intensive care unit). He was a relatively healthy middle-aged man until a few months before, and then all of a sudden he got more and more sick until he was eventually having muscle spasms so bad that he actually fractured some of his vertebrae into his spinal cord (you need to have REALLY strong spasms in order for this to occur). To protect his body (and skeleton) from any further damage and possibly permanent paralysis, the man was intubated, sedated, and medically paralyzed.

By the time I finally met this patient, he had already been sedated and paralyzed for a few weeks. They had tried lifting the paralytic drugs once, only to have him quickly begin spasming again with concerns for additional fractures. Through it all, his wife was by his side.

“She was a shorter woman, hair pulled back in a ponytail, who sat in his ICU room in a chair wearing his big hunting t-shirts and the exhausted look of a family member with a sick loved one. To be honest, she was the sort of woman who blended into the surroundings, the woman you’d sit next to on the bus or plane and not remember any real features.

“Towards the end of the month, we again decided to lift the man’s medication to see if he could wake up and not spasm. The process starts the night before, with the hopes of enough of the drugs to be out of someone’s system by the next morning to see if they’re okay, and if not the medication can quickly be restarted (which had already happened before).

“That morning, I was getting a cup of coffee before rounds when I had a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and a beautiful woman was standing there. I had no idea who it was until she began speaking.

It was our patient’s wife. “I just wanted to thank you for all of your help. I hope he’s able to wake up today. Just in case, I wanted to look pretty just for him. Even if he only sees me for just a second, I hope he’ll have something to see in his dreams.”

“Our patient woke up that day. While he couldn’t move much since some of the paralytics were still preventing that, he was able to do one thing.

“Right after he opened his eyes, he saw his wife and kissed her.

“There was not a dry eye in his ICU room, especially not mine.”

Galen’s Thoughts: the day will come for God’s children when we awake from what will have seemed more like a nightmare than a coma, and we will see the One who loved us from all eternity, all through our lives, who sat by our bedside when we were sick and who held us together and bound us up when we were broken.  I know that Isaiah said that there was nothing in his appearance that would attract people to him, but that was when he was in the Incarnation.  When we see him, however, he will be in his full heavenly glory.  What a sight it will be to behold him and to see his smile as he welcomes us to life!

1 John 3:2 (NIV) – Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

PRAYER: When we wake from our “sleep”, to see you face to face, Jesus, will be enough for us!  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 linke: 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 01/18/13 – What Peter Knew

DayBreaks for 01/18/13 – What Peter Knew

NOTE: As I’ve just recently started a new job/ministry and I’ve got lots to learn.  That’s why you’re seeing so many “re-posts” of DayBreaks.  I hope to get back to writing some new ones soon!  Thanks for your understanding! – Galen

Beliefnet Peter

From the DayBreaks archive dated 01/06/03:

John 21:15-17 – “15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”  16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”  17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.

An extraordinary transaction takes place between Jesus and Peter on the Tiberian seashore.  The most plaintive words ever spoken take the form of a heart-stopping question: ‘Do you love me?’  As we lay aside our fuzzy distractions and actively listen, we hear the suffering cry of a GOD NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE.  What is going on here?  No deity of any world religion has ever condescended to inquire how we feel about that god.  The pagan gods fired thunderbolts to remind peons who was in charge.  The Rabbi in whom infinity dwells asks if we care about him.  The Jesus who died a bloody, God-forsaken death that we might live, is asking if we love him!…The vulnerability of God in permitting Himself to be affected by our response, the heartbreak of Jesus as he wept over Jerusalem for not receiving him, are utterly astounding.   Christianity consists primarily not in what we do for God but in what God does for us – the great, wondrous things that God dreamed up and achieved for us in Christ Jesus.  When God comes streaming into our lives in the power of His Word, all He asks is that we be stunned and surprised, let our mouths hang open, and begin to breathe deeply.”  – Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child

What strikes you about this passage?  Try to put yourself in Peter’s spot for just a second.  It is quite possible that this is only the second time he saw Jesus after his resurrection.  The first time was in an upper room where Jesus appeared out of nowhere and everyone was stunned.  Remember the last time before that when Peter saw Jesus?  Peter was denying him vociferously.  Now, confronted by the risen Lord on the Tiberian seashore, it is shocking to me that it is Jesus who asks the question, “Do you love me?”  If I were Peter, I think I’d have been the one asking the question: “Lord, do you love ME?”  I would have wondered if he could still love me after I’d failed him so publicly as Peter did.

But it was the Lord asking, not Peter.  Why?  Because Peter didn’t need to ask – Peter already knew that Jesus loved him, failures, warts and all.  That’s the kind of understanding that Jesus wants all his followers to have.  And so, it is the Lord who is vulnerable, asking mankind the simple, but pleading question that we all must answer: “Do you love me?”

Copyright 2003 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Thanks, Jesus, for never leaving us in the lurch wondering whether or not you love us!!  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.

DayBreaks for 12/24/12 – Comfort My People

DayBreaks for 12/24/12 – Comfort My People

MF.-Seeking-Comfort-on-Her-ShouldersIsaiah 40:1-2: “Comfort my people” says our God. “Comfort them! Encourage the people of Jerusalem. Tell them they have suffered long enough and their sins are now forgiven. I have punished them in full for all their sins.”

I used to live where it snowed. One of the strongest and most stirring of my childhood memories is to walk alone in the dark in freshly fallen snow and hear the sound of the footsteps crunching the white wonder stuff under my feet. Then, sometimes, I’d stop and listen. You can’t hear the snowfall. The world was white and quiet – not a sound except my breathing.

In one sense, these words that God spoke were fulfilled with the return of some of the exiles from Babylon about 200 years after He spoke them. But not really and truly. They foresaw the coming of the baby in the manger and the life and death he would live.

I couldn’t help but wonder if the last words of God to Jesus before he shrank down to become a human embryo weren’t along these lines: “Comfort my people! Comfort them!” That’s what this day is all about – how God reached out to His people who were distressed and like sheep had gone astray. How His great heart must have been broken to see so much pain and misery in us! And as Jesus left the courts of heaven, God gave him this one final charge and message: “Comfort my people!”

Today you can choose to reject God’s comfort and to beat yourself senseless over your failures and faults. Goodness knows, we all have enough failings – we don’t have to look very hard or very long to find them, do we? Or, you can accept His comfort.

Listen to the words of God to Jesus: “Comfort my people!” Did you hear that? Listen to His voice. It was first heard as the cry of a baby in a manger that echoed, not just within the walls of the stable, but throughout the universe and inside the heart of the Father. To some, it may have just sounded like another baby crying, but to those who really knew what was going on, they clearly heard the message from the lips of the God in the manger: “I love you! I am with you! Be comforted!”

Let Him comfort you tonight – then do your part to comfort those who need His comfort and as you do, you’ll become a little more like Him.

PRAYER: May we find comfort in Your love and welcome this day!  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” ink at the bottom of the email.