DayBreaks for 4/16/15 – Why, Lord?

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DayBreaks for 4/16/15: Why, Lord?

I hate Satan.  I hate what he entices people to do in this world with is lies and deceit.  I cannot wait until he is crushed forever beneath the heel of the glorified Lord.  It cannot happen soon enough.

Last week I learned that a good friend and co-worker in Africa was deeply affected by the recent massacre that took place at the college in Kenya.  This person had worked with those students on many occasions.  So, when I heard that 22 of those this person had worked with were shot and killed in that terrorist event, I was stunned.   Then, more recently, I heard from another co-worker and friend that their niece was in the attack and was “missing”…and they feared the worst.  This morning I received an email that said their worst fears had been confirmed: her remains had been identified by fingerprint.  You see, the terrorists had shot her (and others) in such a way that their faces were destroyed.   I cannot imagine the grief and pain.  I cannot imagine the anger and the desire for revenge.  And while I know that God hates what happened, I also know that Jesus said:

God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers…Mt. 5:11 (NLT)

But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! [45] In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  Mt. 5:44 (NLT)

How are we to do that, Lord?  How is that humanly possible?  Perhaps it isn’t.  Perhaps it is only the indwelling Spirit that can enable humans to live up to Jesus’ statements.

I know that I should pray for the conversion of those who have done this.  But, right now, I can’t.  All I want to think of right now is that God also said: Vengeance is Mine, I shall repay…  And I find comfort in that, even as I know that I deserve nothing more from God than do these brutal murderers…apart from His grace.

Will you pray for my friends?  And for Christ’s return?  Thank you.

PRAYER: Father, be with my friends and give them the comfort that only comes from You, and protect them, I pray, In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 07/23/12 – Where Evil Calls Home

DayBreaks for 07/23/12 – Where Evil Calls Home

This past week we witnessed via television and the media, the horror of another mass killing, this one in Aurora, CO.  Let me first say that we all should be praying for the victims and the people involved with this tragedy.  It is senseless, it is numbing, it is evil.  We may search forever in our human “wisdom” and never understand this tragedy.  As a way of thinking differently about it, perhaps, let me share this story from John Ortberg:

“Because we live in a largely therapeutic culture, evil is a slowly disappearing concept. But every once in a while we are shaken by a holocaust, a genocide, or the destruction of a World Trade Center, and we remember why we need that word. The Bible reminds us that we battle “evil in the heavenly places.”

Psychiatrist Scott Peck wrote of meeting with a depressed 15-year-old named Bobby, who was increasingly troubled after his 16-year-old brother killed himself with a .22 rifle.

“Peck tried to probe Bobby’s mind, but got nowhere. Searching for ways to establish a bond, he asked what Bobby had received from his parents for Christmas. “A gun,” Bobby said. Peck was stunned.

“What kind?”

“A .22.”

“More stunned. “How did it make you feel, getting the same kind of gun your brother killed himself with?”

“It wasn’t the same kind of gun.” Peck felt better.

“It was the same gun.”

“Bobby had been given, as a Christmas present, by his parents, the gun his brother used to kill himself.

When Peck met with the parents, what was most striking was their deliberate refusal to acknowledge any wrongdoing on their part. They would not tolerate any concern for their son, or any attempt to look at moral reality.

“Two decades later and after his conversion to Christianity, Peck wrote about this encounter: “One thing has changed in twenty years. I now know Bobby’s parents were evil. I did not know it then. I felt their evil but had no vocabulary for it. My supervisors were not able to help me name what I was facing. The name did not exist in our professional vocabulary. As scientists rather than priests, we were not supposed to think in such terms.”

“Interestingly enough, although Peck often worked with convicted prisoners, he rarely found evil there. Evil, he finally decided, is not primarily indicated simply by sinful acts. Rather, it is the refusal to tolerate one’s sense of sinfulness: “The central defect of evil is not the sin but the refusal to acknowledge it.” This definition is reflective of Jesus’ far greater severity in dealing with religious leaders than with prostitutes and tax collectors.” – John Ortberg, Fighting the Good Fight, Leadership Journal, Spring 2012

PRAYER: For the victims of evil in this world, Lord, we pray.  We lift up their families to You for comfort which we are totally unable to give.  Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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