DayBreaks for 5/15/19 – It Is Always Morning

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DayBreaks for 5/15/19: It Is Always Morning

From the DayBreaks archive, May 2009, Michael Card’s email devotion, Devotions From the Studio:

I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star. – Revelation 22:16

“In astronomy, the morning star is not a star at all, but actually the planet Venus. For a portion of the year, Venus appears early in the morning, just before sunrise, only to be overcome by the light of the sun as it moves behind our star in its orbit. During this time, it is referred to as the “morning star.” Later, it can be seen just before sunset, going down early in the evening, hence the term “evening star.” Venus is unmistakable, the third brightest object in the sky. Only the sun and moon outshine it.

“It is always darkest before the dawn,” Thomas Fuller wrote in 1650. Nothing could be truer. While Venus is known as both the evening and the morning star, in Scripture the term “morning star” is the only one used in reference to Jesus. This is because it is in the morning that we most need light. Despite the growing light of dawn, many times mornings can be the darkest time of the day. Sometimes it is not easy to find the courage to embrace all that lies before us in the new day. So many worries and fears can assail us in these early morning hours. We can find ourselves living in dread of the hours before us. To face the new day with joy requires a courage that must come from outside ourselves.

“If this is a dark morning for you, if you feel in need of light in your life, begin with this passage from the prophet. It represents a small flickering flame: I see Him, but not now, I behold Him, but not near – A Star shall rise out of Jacob.  – Numbers 24:17

“Then listen to the simple words of the Morning Star, the true Light Bearer, and allow them to transform the darkness into a new morning for you: I am the Light of the World.  He who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of Life.”  – John 8:12

Galen’s Thought: Even though Venus is referred to as both the “morning star” and the “evening star”, Jesus is never referred to by both terms.  With Jesus it is always about the dawning and presence of Light, not the setting or disappearing of the light, hence, “the bright and morning star” and never the “evening star”.  What this says about Jesus is significant, and only goes to back up His self-proclamation, “I am the Light of the World.” 

May your day be filled with His Light this day and always!

Prayer: Thank You for the Light that is Jesus, the Bright and Morning Star, who shines in the heavens without parallel!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 09/14/18 – A Shaken Soul

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DayBreaks for 9/14/18: A Shaken Soul

From the DayBreaks archive, September 2008:

From Michael Card, From the Studio:

(Peter) went in and found that many had assembled; and he said to them, “You yourselves know that it is unlawful for a Jew to associate with or to visit a Gentile; but God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.”  Acts 10: 27-28 NRSV

“Jesus can make anyone clean, even the last person on earth Peter would expect to be clean: a Roman soldier, [possibly] one of the very ones who had crucified Jesus.  What an earthquake in Peter’s soul!  It was direct assault on his most basic beliefs.  But Jesus had come to shatter and redefine everything.  Certainly it is a shattered Simon who makes his way, for the first time in his life, into a Gentile dwelling.  He will find there men and women like himself who want nothing less than to eat the true bread of heaven.  People who, though they live in darkness, have nonetheless seen a great Light!

“The crowd Peter would have crossed the street to avoid, would have denied meal fellowship with, seems now bathed in a new light.  He sees bright eyes and hungry faces. He looks out at men and women, boys and girls who will suffer every bit as much as he will in the years to come for their allegiance to Jesus. He looks out on brothers and sisters.”

Galen’s Thoughts: how would you and I have reacted if we had the chance to preach the gospel to the crucifixion detail that crucified Christ?  How would you and I have reacted if invited to preach to the high priest and scribes who had Him arrested, beaten, spit on and condemned?  Would we have done it, or would we have pulled back in revulsion?

Each one of us knows someone that we just find, well…repulsive.  Someone who has done something so heinous either to ourselves or to someone we loved, that we can’t even stand the thought of being near them.  Would you share the gospel with them?  If not, why not?  Do you believe that’s how Jesus would have acted?

Let us remember that we’re not called to go into all the world and preach the gospel only to those who are fine, upstanding citizens and likeable folk.  For the most part, those people didn’t listen to Jesus (in fact, it was the upstanding citizens of Judea who had him arrested and put to death).  The repulsive – those with leprosy, the lame and mute (who everyone believed were sinners or they wouldn’t have had those ailments – even the dead and the sick of many stripes and colors, were the ones who listened to Jesus and responded to him.  If we want to fulfill the great commission, we must carry the gospel to everyone – everyone – even the Hitler’s, bin Laden’s, Pol Pot’s and mass murdering rapists.  That’s our job.  How they respond is their choice.  God won’t ask us if we convinced them – but will ask only if we “went” in obedience to the command. 

PRAYER: Keep us from prejudice and pride that might lead us to not share the good news with those who are most eager to receive it.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 7/18/17 – Seven Endless Miles

DayBreaks for 7/18/17: Seven Endless Miles

Luke 24:13-15 (NLT) – That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them.

Michael Card (singer, songwriter, author and theologian) wrote and sings a song called Seven Endless Miles. (You can listen to it here.) It describes the walk of the dismayed, disappointed disciples on the road between Jerusalem and Emmaus – and the surprise guest who eventually joined them on the road.

As they began their walk, just the two of them were there. Seven miles lay ahead of them and it would probably take at least 2-3 hours to walk that distance. There was much to discuss for much that was very troubling had happened. You can talk about a lot in 2-3 hours if your heart is in it. I’m not sure how much their heart was into the conversation other than to reiterate their disappointment and sadness.

How soon did Jesus join them? We don’t know. I would assume it was fairly close to Jerusalem since that’s where he’d been. And for something approaching seven miles they didn’t recognize him (Luke says that God concealed his identity from them).

Why did God conceal who Jesus was? Was it some sort of “discovery” process for Jesus to find out what people were thinking or saying? Was it to delve into the depths of human faith – or lack thereof? I don’t know. I look forward to asking Jesus some day.

But here’s what I find fascinating: for seven miles, nearly 2-3 hours, they didn’t recognize him regardless of the reason. And I wonder: how often has he walked beside me and I neither recognized him nor sensed his presence?

We might be tempted to think that such things have not happened in our life as it did for the Emmaus travelers. But I think that we’d be wrong. Sure, as far as I know Jesus hasn’t physically walked beside me – though it is possible (how’s that for a thought!) Then I realized that He has walked beside me in more corporeal form than you and I might imagine.

Have you ever walked alongside another believer? I’m sure you have. And if you have, you have walked alongside Jesus – because after all, He lives inside each one of His children. And that means He lives inside of YOU and ME. That is what really made me ponder: as I walk along with others, do they even begin to sense the Presence of Jesus when they walk astride me? If not, doesn’t that say that something is seriously wrong with my walk?

PRAYER: Jesus, I don’t want to live in such a way that your Presence is hidden from those who walk beside me!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 10/21/16 – The Wells of Salvation

DayBreaks for 10/21/16 – The Wells of Salvation

Michael Card is a tremendous singer, composer, author and student of the Word. My wife and I have been fans of his for years and years. We were blessed this last January to go to Israel and be part of a tour group he was leading. I love his insights into Scripture, human nature and the history related to the Bible. Just earlier this week, he shared this:

“The Jewish holiday known as Sukkoth, or Tabernacles, falls on the 16th to the 23rd of October this year. That last day should be of particular interest to Christians. Of all the remarkable things Jesus said and did, it was on the last day of Tabernacles, John tells us in 7:37, that Jesus stood and shouted, If someone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink! 

“According to the Mishnah, the High Priest has just poured out a pitcher of water in front of the large crowd, quoting Isaiah 12:3, With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Mishnah, Moed, Sukkah 4:9-5:2)  So this Sunday, October 23, get your family together and read this passage. Remember that Jesus is standing in the midst of a crowd where there are men who have vowed to kill him (Jn. 7:13) He is our fearless Savior. He is the One who provides the Living Water of His Spirit.”

Do you see the symbolism? Even as the High Priest has emptied his pitcher of water, Jesus offers to be the replacement. And just as the water was poured out of the pitcher, so would the Living Water be poured out into the dead souls of men and women for their cleansing and salvation!

Jesus also is making a very explicit claim. Right after the first words: With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation, Jesus fearlessly claims to be that very well of salvation!

I hope you will remember this on Sunday…and drink deeply of the Living Water.

PRAYER: Thank You for being the Living Water that refreshes, cleanses us and leads us to salvation! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

 

DayBreaks 03/11/11 – The Question From the Cross

DayBreaks for 03/11/11 – The Question From the Cross

Mark 15:34 – “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”-which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

 

"Why have you forsaken me?"

If there is a more heart-rending passage in Scripture, I don’t know what it is.  The very idea of the Son of God, His “beloved Son” being abandoned by the Father is shocking.  The idea of it is revolting.  In my entire life, I don’t believe that I ever felt abandoned by my earthly father – so it is inconceivable to me that God could have abandoned Christ.  Yet the emptiness that Jesus felt is palpable as he screams the question from the cross to the darkening sky.

 

Michael Card noted that this question from Jesus is the only expression from the cross that is recorded in all four of the gospels.  What does that say?  It says that I am not the only one who was moved by Christ’s agonized cry.  It made an impression on all who heard it.  In fact, Jesus’ words mixed two languages, which might be a sign of the extremity of his suffering.

Michael Card goes on to say: “My God, my God, why…?”  It may be the most painful question any human can ask.  Often, at its most visceral level, it is not a request for information so much as a howl of anguish.  As far as we know, it was the only time Jesus ever asked his Father, ‘Why?’

You and I know the answer: Jesus was forsaken at Golgotha because of our sin.  Now, because of the redemption Jesus purchased for us in darkness, we can live forever in God’s light.  Because of the separation he endured for us, we – who have so often turned our back on our Father – have the guarantee that He will never forsake us.”  – Michael Card, A Violent Grace

No doubt at some point in your life you have asked the same question that Jesus did: “Why, God?”  Jesus, knowing the mind of God, already knew the answer.  You and I don’t have the same luxury.  That’s where trust comes into play – that the same God that ultimately answered Jesus’ cry will someday answer my questions and yours.  Not because He is obligated to (although as the One who is responsible for us being here, He has taken on an obligation to us), but because He wants to.

You may be asking the same question now.  I can’t answer the “Why?” question that you are asking God.  Only He can answer the question.  But perhaps you can find some comfort in knowing that Jesus understands the “Why?” that is in your heart and on your lips.

PRAYER: Lord, all the “Why?” questions we face in life are greatly disturbing and we struggle to understand.  Thank you that Jesus wrestled with the same perceptions and sought answers from You.  Help us to seek the answers that trouble us at Your throne, and even if the answers aren’t granted to us, to trust in Your goodness!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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