DayBreaks for 2/07/18 – Meditative Growling

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DayBreaks for 2/07/18: Meditative Growling

From the DayBreaks archive, February 2008:

Psalms 1:1-3 (KJV)Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Isaiah 31:4 (KJV) – For thus hath the LORD spoken unto me, Like as the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them: so shall the LORD of hosts come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof.

Meditation.  It’s a term that many Christians have come to fear and to run away from.  We associate it with images of saffron-robed figures sitting in a far-away temple, chanting while billows of incense laden clouds rise in the background.  Because New Age and others have made such use of the term “meditation”, we seem to avoid it like the plague as Christians.  And that’s too bad because it is a biblical term describing a spiritual practice in which we should be engaged!

In the verses above, in English there are two words that relate to this topic.  In the first passage, it’s translated “meditate”.  In the Isaiah passage, it’s “roaring”, or as the NIV puts it, “growls”.  In Hebrew, the word in both places is identical: hagah.  Interesting, yes?

What’s the implication?  Our meditation should be like the lion that growls or roars over its prey.  What makes a lion roar over its prey?  I’ll grant you that I don’t know what lions really think, but here’s some thoughts:

FIRST: the lion has captured the prey but is in turn captivated by it.  It is enamored with it – the lion may not have eaten for days, and it has finally got something that can satiate its hunger and give it peace.  The Word of God is that way!

SECOND: the lion is so captivated by his prey that even though others come and try to scare it away by yelling, the lion ignores them.  It stays focused on what is right in front of it, on what it has found, and it refuses to let it go in spite of distractions or hostility.  As believers, this describes how our meditation should be – it is something that we should let no one take from us in spite of how much noise they might make!

THIRD: when the lion is consuming the prey (as we should consume the word in meditation), everything about the lion is caught up in the process.  It uses its tongue, teeth, stomach, intestines, it tastes, savoring what it devours.  In short, as Eugene Peterson put it, the lion is lost in what it is doing.  Not lost in a bad sense, but a good sense.  It should be that way with Christian meditation.  Haven’t you experienced times when the Word transported you away from everyday life and lifted you up higher than you thought you’d ever be?

It’s time that we take back meditation as a Christian discipline – let us growl over the Word and let nothing distract us from that time!!!!

PRAYER: Lord, in our busy lives we seem to have lost the time to meditate and we are the poorer for it.  Let us hunger for time alone with you and not settle for anything less!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 6/30/14 – Awaiting the New Heavens and Earth

DayBreaks for 6/30/14 – Awaiting the New Heavens and Earth

Isaiah 65:25 (NLT) The wolf and the lamb will feed together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. But the snakes will eat dust. In those days no one will be hurt or destroyed on my holy mountain. I, the LORD, have spoken!

In that marvelous vision known as the “Peaceable Kingdom” (which we find in Isaiah 65), there is the image of the wolf and the lamb feeding together. Let me tell you a story about that.

Back in the days of pre-perestroika Russia … when hers was a name that made all of us tremble: the Russians brought an exhibit to the World’s Fair that was entitled “World Peace.” In it was a large cage. And in the cage were a little lamb and a Russian wolf … feeding peaceably together. As an exhibit, it was most impressive. And as the fair unfolded, it was spectacularly attended. One day, however, somebody asked the curator the obvious question: “How in the world do you do it?” To which he replied: “Oh, it’s really very simple. We replace the lamb every morning.”

Right now we do not live in the “Peaceable Kingdom”.  At least, not fully.  Nature (including human nature) is still dripping red in tooth and claw, the grass and dust of this world bathed in much spilled blood.  One can scarcely open Facebook without seeing stories about pets or animals that have been hurt and rescued.  The shame and anguish if it is that they were hurt at all.

Daily the news is chock-full of stories of death, butchery (yes, even in the name of religion), torture, humiliation, dishonesty, bodily and character assassination…it’s a long, long list.  No, we do not yet live in the Peaceable Kingdom, not like we someday shall.

It frustrates me, angers me and puzzles me how some think that there is glory and honor to be found in detonating a strapped-on bomb in the middle of a peaceful crowd of men, women and children.  I do not understand those who pull men and boys, women and children, from their bed in the darkness of the night and take them outside to shoot or behead them or abuse them in the name of their god or for any other reason at all!

As Christians we should long for and expect the imminent coming of the new heavens and new earth.  We should pray fervently for it  I can only think of one good reason why we may not be eager for it to arrive: if we are living in such a way that we know is not pleasing to God and we are in need of repentance!

Let us lift our voices as one mighty request for the new heavens and new earth to arrive this day.  I love how the following verses express it – that once they have come, NO ONE will even THINK about the old heavens and earth any longer!  Whatever they held will be gone, done, wiped away from memory and their place taken with something much sweeter!

Isaiah 65:17 (NLT) Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.

2 Peter 3:11-13 (MSG) Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? 12  Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day— 13  but we’ll hardly notice. We’ll be looking the other way, ready for the promised new heavens and the promised new earth, all landscaped with righteousness.

A new heaven and new earth…landscaped with righteousness!  Won’t that be a sight!  Right now it is just beyond our vision…but it is a promised, coming day that will last forever!

PRAYER: Come quickly, Lord Jesus, to create that new dwelling with everything is new and totally enveloped in righteousness (including us!)  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen, a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI), raises 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 putS090 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 deeplyy appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 12/31/13 – Let’s Let the Lion Loose!

DayBreaks for 12/31/13 – Let’s Let the Lion Loose

Revelation 5:5 (NLT)  But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Here we are – the last day of 2013. What a year it has been in so many respects! Of course there have been wonderful things happen this year – things that cause hope to stir in our hearts for humanity and decency, but those are not the kind of things that often make the evening news.

While there has been progress on some fronts, overall it was a troubling year from a broad perspective. There is a lot of uncertainty as we enter the new year once again. I suppose that should be neither surprising nor even alarming. It just is.

As we stand on the cusp of a new year, I can’t help but wonder what this next year would be like if all believers, regardless of creed or denomination, were to commit to live all out for Christ this coming year. What would that look like? How could it change your own life, your family, your community, the country and world? Only God knows that, but one thing is clear from Scripture: when His people commit to truly live for Him, He does amazing things that blow us away!

The problem is that we’ve taken the Lion and put Him conveniently into a cage with parameters and limitations as to how far we’re willing to let Him prowl in our life. That’s what made this quote from Dorothy Sayers all the more intriguing to me: “The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore—on the contrary, they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him “meek and mild,” and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies.”

I’m under no delusion that I’ll be able to always let Him out of the cage I’ve constructed for Him (and we have all constructed a cage for Him!), but as I go into this new year, I want to put the key in the lock and let Him out more in my life and my corner of the world. Will you join me in that commitment? To free the Lion to do the things that only He can do if we will just let Him out?

Listen to the roar – and let the earth tremble!

PRAYER: Jesus, be freed in all Your power in my life this year! I know I shall fail from time to time, but I truly want to set You free from the limits that I’ve put on You as to what I’m willing for You to do in my life and through my life. I pray that you will stir others to join and to set You free in their own lives, too! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2003, 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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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 02/11/13 – An Incomplete Christ

DayBreaks for 02/11/13 – An Incomplete Christ

NOTE: Galen is out of the country this week.   From the DayBreaks archive, 2002:

incompleteActs 2:1-3 describes one of the most important days in the history of the world, the day when the Spirit was given to the apostles as Jesus promised: “1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”  The text goes on to describe the miraculous effects of the Spirit as a result of His arrival upon the scene.  Yet there is a very troubling passage later in the same book that we would be remiss to overlook (Acts 19:1-2): “1 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’  They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’” 

The people that Paul was talking to in Ephesus were believers…the inspired word of God calls them disciples, and he clearly means disciples of Jesus Christ.  They believed…yet the question is, what did they believe in?  They clearly believed in Jesus Christ, but didn’t even know that there was a Holy Spirit! 

I can’t help but believe that these disciples in Ephesus were living a very crippled spiritual life because they had an incomplete view of Christ.  If God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit are one, how could you not know that all exist?  Yet it seems to be the case in Ephesus, and Paul went on to rectify their lack of understanding and move them past their crippledness.

What’s the point?  There is a danger in believing in an “incomplete” Christ.  What would it mean to believe in an incomplete Christ?  It would mean accepting him only as the lamb, not as the lion.  It would mean wanting to hear only the words of Christ that comfort us and offer us hope, and not the words that wound us and reveal our sinful, wretchedness so we can be healed.  It might mean something like Calvin Miller wrote in Into the Depths of God, when he said: “I am convinced that most people don’t really know how to articulate what they want out of church.  In short, they want Jesus, but the Apollos tale in Acts proves the danger of an incomplete Christ.  They want his Spirit to permeate their lives, but they don’t know him as the wind and fire.”  (Or might I suggest, that perhaps they, and we, don’t WANT to know him as the merciless wind and the consuming fire.)  I believe we all have a bit of a tendency to want to make Jesus too much to be what we want him to be and to deny all that he really is.  When we understand him the way he really is, he makes huge demands on us – you can’t love your family more than you love him, you must deny yourself and take up a cross, you must lose your life to find it, you must be willing to die for someone you’ve never even seen (of course, in all these things, he has done them all first)! 

Jesus isn’t just “Come to me all who are thirsty and I will give you drink…”, nor just the friendly looking man who sits in the middle of a green field and says, “Let the kids all come to me!” while his face crinkles with laughter. 

We do Jesus a great disgrace to not recognize and come to know all of him.  We do ourselves and the world a great disservice when we diminish him and his demands into pablum.

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER:  Jesus, your demands are not small and they frighten us in their size and sweep!  But we believe you alone are God, you alone are the One who lives forever and ever.  May we worship you in your fullness.  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!