DayBreaks for 10/12/17 – A Kingdom of Power???

DayBreaks for 10/12/17: A Kingdom of Power?

Mark 9:1 (ESV) – And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”

So, after you read the saying of Jesus in today’s verse, what do you think about the kingdom? Jesus said that there would be those present who heard his words first-hand who would not die until after the kingdom came with power.

Look around you. Does it seem to you that the kingdom has come with power? Does it seem to you that people are acting out and living according to kingdom principles and truth?

When you look at the death and destruction from recent hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, the Las Vegas massacre, the fires in northern California that are like hell itself has been released on earth…does it seem to you that the kingdom has come with power? It sure doesn’t seem so, does it?

But, if we come to that conclusion, we would have to say that Jesus was either mistaken and didn’t know what he was talking about, or he’s a liar. I’m not willing to take either of those positions.

So, how can we explain it? A couple of thoughts come to mind:

FIRST: given the inclination of the human heart to sin and depravity, how can the fact that we don’t all kill, steal, rape and otherwise do the most horrible things be explained? I think some of it is because of the influence of the Spirit at work in creation. All I really have to do is consider my own darkest impulses and the fact that I don’t give in to them somehow is a testimony to the power of the Spirit in my life (not that I’m bragging, I’m just saying that it is only because of the power of the Spirit unleashed in my own heart that I don’t do all those bad things) and I have to say there is some power at work. Imagine what you might do if not for the restraining power of faith and the Spirit at work in you.

SECOND: how many believers have there been since the founding of Christianity? The number must be in the billions, in fact, Google says that in 2010, Christianity was by far the world’s largest religion, with 2.2 billion adherents. How does that happen if not by immense power?!! Scripture is pretty clear that left to our own, we can’t even come to faith.

The kingdom has come with power: power to change individual hearts, power to lead 2.2+ billion to faith in our present age, power to restrain evil individually and culturally. Yes, there is still great evil in the world, but what would the world be like without the kingdom? I shudder to even contemplate the thought!

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for the Spirit and the power that is working in the world and in my own heart. May the power of the kingdom grow and expand in me, in my loved ones, in your church and in this world for your immense glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 1/30/17 – The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail

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DayBreaks for 1/30/17: The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail

It was just over one year ago that I took the photo shown above. We were at Cesarea Philippi in Israel. If that doesn’t ring a bell to you, it is the location where Jesus had a very famous conversation with Peter and the other apostles. Jesus had just asked them who people said he was and they replied that some thought he was one of the old prophets come back to life. But then Jesus made it more personal, asking who they thought he was. Peter’s response was breathtaking: you are the Christ, the Son of God. In response, Jesus said: Matthew 16:18 (ESV) – And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The ancients believed that the cave you see on the left in the photo was the gateway to hell. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Jesus was looking at it when he made his statement. 

As I was driving home from the airport on Saturday night, this verse was running through my mind. I’ve read this verse since I was a young boy, heard it read, read commentaries on it and heard sermons preached over it. It’s one of those great statements of Jesus that we love to hear because it encourages us, especially when things seem to heading the wrong direction.

That being said, as I ran it through my mind, a thought dawned on me about what Jesus may have really been saying. Most people read it and believe Jesus was saying that all of Satan’s minions and not even Satan himself with his great power, will be able to overthrow by force the kingdom of God. I believe that to be true. If I didn’t believe that was how things would turn out, I cannot imagine what life would be like.

But look closely at what Jesus said. He didn’t say that the armies of hell wouldn’t conquer the church. He didn’t say that at all. He said that the “gates of hell” (not the armies of hell) would be able to conquer “it” – with “it” being his church. As I pondered what that might me, it struck me that gates are not an offensive force to keep things in. They are defensive structures designed to keep things out. And that brought a new insight to me.

Could Jesus have been saying that even the gates of hell that Satan had so carefully constructed to keep mankind in a doomed, damned state, would not be strong enough to keep the kingdom/church from rescuing those whom the gates of hell were designed to keep in their bondage and damned condition? It seems to make sense especially in light of 1 Peter 3:18-20 (ESV)For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison, because they formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.  

In other words, Jesus may have been proclaiming that his church would overcome the gates of hell to reach the lost and that the gates of hell would not be strong enough to prevent it from happening.

I do not know precisely what Jesus meant, but I believe both are true: 1) Satan and his armies are puny compared to the power of the Almighty God, and; 2) until He returns for His church, it will continue to plunder the stronghold of the enemy. Both give me courage, and while the first gives me great hope, the second gives me a great challenge because I am to be part of the army that attacks the gates of the enemy to help free those held in darkness.

PRAYER: Jesus, thank you for the assurance of the victory of your church against all the forces of darkness and evil. We pray to have the courage we need to attack the gates of the enemy to help led those in darkness into the Light that shines in the darkness and cannot be put out. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 4/26/16 – King and Country

DayBreaks for 4/26/16 – King and Country

I confess that I am baffled by the current crop of national candidates for the highest office in our land. I realize that politics is an incendiary topic and I seldom write about it. Don’t worry – I’m not really writing about it today, either, so it is safe to read on!

I find myself dismayed at the choices before us. Where have the great leaders gone to? Why and how did we get to this point in our history where we seem to have such a shortage of genuine, true leaders? I can’t know the realities in their hearts regarding their faith, but I do see signs that I find deeply disturbing about nearly every single one of our presidential candidates and I am struggling with the question of “Who will I vote for?” if so and so are the nominees.

On Sunday, one of the teachers at our church spoke on this issue as so many are wrestling with the same things I’m feeling. His message was: King and Country and focused on may passages that talk about what God has to say about living as a citizen in this world.

The preacher didn’t tell us who to vote for, but he did try to help put things into a well-informed, Biblical perspective for us. Here are some of the things he had to say:

  1. Our frustrations have grown to a fever pitch because we have placed our hope in government, not God. If we are counting on government and human leaders to deliver us, we will be disappointed 100% of the time. What we are longing for is the Garden – the way things were created to be originally;
  2. Jeremiah 29:7 describes the Israelites in Babylonian captivity and they wondered how they should live there. God’s answer, through His prophet Jeremiah, was that our role in exile should bless the place where we live and pray for it – be in it, but not part of it;
  3. He illustrated it by having two boxes on stage. One was a large box that represented the Kingdom of God, the smaller box represented America. He reminded us that it is the Kingdom of God that is the greater of the two and that our lives as Americans is not the pre-eminent thing, it is our life as Christians that encloses our life as Americans, not the other way around;
  4. The Kingdom of God demands our highest level of allegiance and all that we are to carry out our responsibilities as citizens of any earthly kingdom in light of His kingdom;
  5. The Kingdom of Jesus is not only our ultimate security, but our ONLY security.

I don’t know who will be the president-elect after November 4, 2016. Thank goodness I don’t have to know. Our fate as a nation is dependent on God and His plan, not some puny president. America is not God’s “chosen people”. That title once belonged to Israel. Now it belongs to all believers of any nation. And that’s the nation we should, and must be most concerned about!

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord for the reminder of priorities and of where our hope should rightfully rest! Let us find peace in our hearts even in the midst of this tumultuous time in our country, and help us as Your people to humble ourselves and pray so that You may heal our nation! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 8/10/15 – The Stone that Became a Mountain

DayBreaks for 8/10/15: The Stone That Became a Mountain 

There is a movie starring Hugh Grant by the name of The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down A Mountain that tells the true story of a Welsh village that took great pride in their “mountain”.  There was only one problem: when the surveyors came, they found that it actually lacked a few feet of height to truly be labeled a mountain…so it was just a hill. The villagers were incensed but came up with an ambitious idea: they would haul dirt and sod up to the top of the hill where they would pile it up until it was tall enough to be a mountain. And that is just what they did!

Daniel 2 relays the story of Daniel being given not just the meaning of the king’s dream, but also the meaning of it. The dream revolved around a series of coming kingdoms which would all be alike in some ways – except for one. In succession, Daniel lays out the Babylonian kingdom, the kingdom of the Medes and Persians, the Grecian kingdom under Alexander, the mighty Roman empire – and notes that they all will come and will go. But then he mentions another kingdom that certainly seems puny in comparison: As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces.  Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. – Daniel 2:32-35 (ESV)

This stone would be Jesus and though it begins small – with just the God/man to start with and a small handful of followers during his lifetime – Christianity has grown to fill the whole earth. It is estimated that there are 2.2 billion Christians in the world. Islam ranks second with 1.6 billion adherents. Jesus said he would build His church and hell itself couldn’t overcome it. The stone, cut out by no human hand, will shatter all worldly kingdoms. More amazingly, the stone grows to become a great mountain that fills the earth.

How does a stone become a great mountain? Only by Divine intervention, when we, who are “living stones”, are piled one upon another, one stone at a time until we become part of a great mountain, the eternal kingdom of God!

PRAYER: We praise you that you are a God who keeps His word, and that your kingdom, in spite of the odds, is great and everlasting! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen

DayBreaks for 6/18/15: Jack, the Beanstalk and Christianity

The Spread of the Gospel Map

To access the web page version, click:

DayBreaks for 6/18/15: Jack, the Beanstalk, and Christianity

If the growing seed parable seems to be about the mystery of kingdom growth, the mustard seed image is about the apparent weakness of the kingdom. The day will come when the results of the kingdom’s silent, steady growth will be impressive. Meanwhile don’t be surprised if the seeds you plant look ineffective. Don’t be surprised if the witness you have to offer gets laughed at on account of looking so puny. It’s the old “Jack and the Beanstalk” fable: Jack’s mother scorns the tiny beans he brings home from the market. They can never live off those! So in anger she hurls them out the window. Those beans were a non-starter, a mistake, a dead-end nutritionally and in every other sense. Except that, of course, they ended up sprouting into a beanstalk that went, in a way, clear up to heaven.

It seems every night now if you turn on the nightly news you get a strong dose of Boko Haram, ISIS, Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Hamas and other politico-religioun-oriented terrorist organizations exploding bombs, beheading those who refuse to convert to their faith, kidnapping, raping, plundering…and it seems that the entire world is moving their direction.

I recently received a link to an animation that I think you may find reassuring.  Do you remember what Jesus said: how he would build his church and the gates of hell wouldn’t prevail against it?  The story of the mustard seed sure makes the kingdom seem small and weak, doesn’t it?

Don’t despair.  Be encouraged!  Jesus knew what he was talking about because he knows how this will all end!

Check out this video that shows the spread of Christianity since the time of Christ.  It also shows Islam and other world empires as they appear and disappear from the map…

http://westernconservatory.com/products/spread-gospel-map

PRAYER: Let us take heart, Lord, and be encouraged by your words of certainty about your kingdom and the end of all things!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 08/30/13 – Too Good to be True?

DayBreaks for 08/30/13 – Under-Dreaming Heaven

Luke 18:15-17 (NLT) –One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. 16  Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17  I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

Receiving the kingdom like a child is not as easy as it sounds, especially for us adults.  We’ve seen a lot of life, survived a lot of disappointment and pain and have grown skeptical of anything that sounds too good to be true.  We’ve been warned of precisely that all of our lives.  And we have fallen for it over and over again – whenever Satan whispers in our ears about how much we will enjoy the sin activity we are contemplating, we always find out afterwards that it wasn’t as good as he made it sound, in fact, it was something that made us feel slimy.

So we wonder, based upon our conditioned response and myriad warnings over the years, are the things of God the same way?  Is Jesus just trying to sucker us in by telling us we need to accept the kingdom with the blind trust and naiveté of a little child – only to find that it will be less than he built it up to be?  I think not.  Expectations are strange things, but they are powerful.  If the apostle Paul is right (1 Cor. 2:9), our expectations for an eternity with God are way off base, but in a good way!  Our expectations won’t be disappointed in the Kingdom.  We will awaken to find them far too tame and minimalistic, we will have under-dreamt the vision of heaven. 

Can we take Jesus at his word that we need to come in blind trust, openly receiving all that He has told us about His home and a life to come will all be worth it and that we won’t be disappointed?  We stake our faith on it, don’t we, each time we say no to the world and yes to Him.

PRAYER: We have grown jaded through the years and have lost the simple delight of accepting something good at face value.  Let us learn to be children again in our acceptance of your teaching!  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!

DayBreaks for 08/27/13 – The Coming of the Kingdom

DayBreaks for 08/27/13 – The Coming of the Kingdom

Luke 17:20-21 (NLT)  One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs. 21  You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you.”

Signs.  Warnings.  Visible representations of pending danger.  We see them every day when we drive the freeways or streets of our towns.  We read them on medicine bottles, see them at the gas stations, hear them on the radio and television.  We are somewhat immune to most of them because we see and hear them so often that we’ve grown numb to their message.

Some Christians today are obsessed with “the end” and when it will happen.  I can understand that.  The world’s in a rather big mess right now and on the surface it doesn’t look like it will get better.  So we want to know when God will bring this to an end.  When He will stop the pain and war and suffering and hunger and sin and death and disease.  And we today, like the Pharisees of old, ask: “When will the Kingdom of God come?”

Jesus’ words are very instructive here: the kingdom is not detectable by visible signs.  So much for the Harold Camping’s and others who try to nail down its coming.  Any time that I hear someone who claims to have it figured out I pretty much shut them off without giving them much credence.  Why?  Jesus says that the Kingdom is already here.  People can’t see it because they are looking for the wrong things.  The kingdom takes place in everyday life because it is within people who are going about their daily activities.  Earthly kingdoms come with borders, rulers, authorities, laws, armies, navies, bombers, fighter planes and the like – but the kingdom of God is a kingdom of the heart that comes with tiny, daily acts that pass unnoticed by the world, but not by God: a cup of water, a bite of food, a gift of a dress or shoes, a prayer uttered in silence, a praise lifted in the solitude of the heart, a tear shed in shared compassion and grief.  Can there be a greater or more wonderful kingdom to be a part of than this?

How is the kingdom doing in you?  Would anyone be able to detect it within us?

PRAYER: Jesus, we do long for the fullness of your Kingdom rule – when all things on heaven and earth are in full and complete compliance to Your gracious rule!  We long for the time when our own hearts, minds and actions are in harmony with only goodness.  In the meantime, may we live so that those who are seeking Your kingdom can see it present and alive in our lives. In Your 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!