DayBreaks for 7/19/19 – If God Could Do That

Image result for amazing

DayBreaks for 07/19/19: If God Could Do That

From the DayBreaks archives, July 2009:

What do you find amazing?  I find the speed of space flight amazing.  I find the power to hit a baseball 550 feet amazing.  I find the things people do because of love amazing.  I find some of the stupid things people do amazing.  There are lots of things that are amazing in the universe – the distances of space, the life at the bottom of the ocean.  We all like to be amazed whether by speed, power, size or the sleight of hand of a master magician.

I find it interesting that 31 times in the gospels, it describes how the people were amazed at the things that Jesus did or said.  Simply put: Jesus was amazing!  Many times their amazement was related to his miracles, and rightly so.  They should have been amazed!

But we live in a day and age that has an explanation for everything.  In this time of immediate communication and rapid travel, we seem to have lost the sense of amazement. 

I fear that perhaps we have lost our sense of amazement with God, too.  We need to try to put ourselves in the place of those standing around the blind man from John 9 – a man born blind.  We need to see him as his sight returns and he sees the world for the first time.  Put yourself in the place of the mourners surrounding the funeral bier of the son of the widow of Nain (Lk. 7:11-16).  Do you see the joy of the mother as her son sits up?  Can you hear her shriek of amazement and utter joy?  Can you see the faces of the people after they see the young man sit up and as they turn to look back at Jesus?  Can you see the crowd gathered at the tomb of Lazarus from John 11?  Can you see them shrink back when the smelly tomb is opened from fear of the stench and can you see them move forward again in amazement as they behold the wrapped form of Lazarus as he glides forward to the entry to the tomb?  Amazing!

Why does the bible tell us so many things that are amazing?  Because we need so desperately to know we have an amazing God.  You see, when your God can create by speaking, when He can command the water to become blood or the earth to open up and swallow the wicked, when He can heal the blind, the deaf and the dumb, and when He can give life to dead cells and dead bodies, we begin to say, “If God could do that…then He can deal with what I’m facing.”  “If God could heal the sick…He can heal my broken heart, body and soul.”  “If God could give sight to the blind…He can give me a vision for my life.”  “If God could give new life to the dead…He can give me a fresh start, too!”

The next time you are faced with a struggle or a situation that you can’t handle, remind yourself of the great stories of the bible and say to yourself “If God could do that, He can certainly handle this!”  Then give it to Him in faith…and get ready to be amazed!

PRAYER: You are amazing, great God!  By Your words you formed the world and the universe and all that is within it.  May your image be formed in us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 6/25/19 – What He Doesn’t Require

Image result for john the baptist

DayBreaks for 06/25/09: What He Doesn’t Require

From the DayBreaks archives, June 2009:

A friend of mine was teaching a class on John the Baptist. He had some good thoughts that can related to our everyday life and ministries…and by the way, you DO have an everyday ministry whether you are on full-time church staff or not, so don’t think that this doesn’t apply to you!

John the Baptist was an interesting character…living in the wilderness, eating locusts and honey, dressed in what today wouldn’t pass for clothes for a homeless person. He probably didn’t smell too good and probably looked like a wild man – I picture him as being wild looking with crazy hair and beard (I could be wrong!) I picture him yelling out his message in order to prepare hearts for the coming of the Promised One – no subtle gospel messages from John’s lips!

So what are the points? Well, Jesus said that no man born of woman was greater than John the Baptist (Matthew 11:11). But let’s stop and think about John for a moment. What did he do? He went about the business of being what God called him to be. The road-maker. The path-preparer. Not once in his entire life did John perform a miracle!

What is it that makes for greatness? It isn’t miracles. Miracles are not the measure of greatness, nor is the number of miracles or magnitude of miracles a sign of greatness that impresses Jesus. What impresses God is a life that is lived in accordance with its purpose – like John’s. That is fulfilling the command to be a living sacrifice.

Sometimes in your ministry (whether it is full-time church work or a ministry in the secular world), you can feel like a failure because you couldn’t pull off that “miracle” and reach that lost person for Christ, or keep that couple from divorcing, or turn that teen from self-destruction. You are not a failure because you couldn’t do a miracle. Miracles are God’s business…not yours or mine. And don’t let anyone put pressure on you to be a “miracle worker”. Sometimes we expect our church leaders to do heroic and seemingly miraculous things with their own families, with the local body and in the community. They should reach everyone for Christ, visit all the sick, and live perfect lives as role models. But that isn’t fair…and it isn’t God’s demand for anyone.

Don’t get discouraged in your work for God. God doesn’t require you to do miracles. He just asks for your faithfulness. Are you giving it to Him?

Prayer: May our hope and trust lie in You and not in anything we can do.  Help us to be faithful as our reasonable sacrifice to You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

DayBreaks for 7/27/16 – Jesus and the Law of Probabilities

DayBreaks for 7/27/16 – Jesus and the Laws of Probabilities

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2006:

JESUS MORE LIKELY TO HAVE WALKED ON ICE THAN WATER

 “TALLAHASSEE, Fla., April 4 (UPI via COMTEX) — Florida State University scientists say its more likely Jesus walked on a patch of floating ice than on water, as described in the New Testament.
“Oceanography Professor Doron Nof says his research points to a rare combination of optimal water and atmospheric conditions for development of a unique, localized freezing phenomenon that Nof and his co-authors call “springs ice.”

“In what is now northern Israel, such ice could have formed on the cold freshwater surface of the Sea of Galilee — known as Lake Kinneret by modern-day Israelis — when already chilly temperatures briefly plummeted during one of the two protracted cold periods between 2,500 and 1,500 years ago.
“A frozen patch floating on the surface of the small lake would have been difficult to distinguish from the unfrozen water surrounding it.
“As natural scientists, we simply explain that unique freezing processes probably happened in that region only a handful of times during the last 12,000 years,” Nof said. “We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account.”
“The research appears in the April issue of the Journal of Paleolimnology.”
 

Galen’s Thoughts: Whew.  Aren’t you glad that you now know how Jesus did it??!?!?!  And it’s all so official sounding with a title like “The Journal of Paleolimnology”, isn’t it?

You know, they’re right, actually, if you think about it in terms of probabilities.  It is more likely, given the laws of probability, to explain the miracle of Jesus “walking on water” by saying that there was ice just below the surface that the disciples couldn’t see.  They’re right – the probabilities of people walking on top of water are, well, zero.  

But what they have failed to take into account is that Jesus wasn’t just another foot traveler – he was God.  And with God, you can throw all the probabilities and statistics out of the window.  For science to try to explain the acts of God may be amusing, but it’s also often sad and pathetic.  I love science – and the job of real science it to discover the truth – not try to explain truth away.  

While it may be more probable, from human terms, for Jesus to have walked on ice.  He didn’t.  He walked on water. And he can make us walk on water with him if he so chooses!

PRAYER: God, I’m so glad that we have such a powerful Father to whom science can’t assign limits! I look forward to the day when the whole world knows without a shadow of a doubt that you can do anything you choose to do! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 8/07/14 – Can You Believe It?

DayBreaks for 8/07/14 – Can You Believe It?

SM_MG_3979

Sea of Galilee, July 31, 2014

I have just returned from about an 8 day venture in Israel.  It was partly work, partly vacation, but it was all an incredible experience.  It was an interesting time to be there with all that was going on in Gaza, that’s for sure!

We had three days where we were very graciously provided with personal tours of many of the main Jewish and Christian historical sites in that amazing country.  Israel is a small country – smaller than New Jersey.  Yet, there is so much history – both biblical and non-biblical – in the country that you can’t really turn around without bumping into something or some place historical, and often, miraculous.

As I stood in Nazareth, Bethlehem, on the Mt. of Olives, in the Garden, inside the walls of Jerusalem, at Megiddo, at the Sea of Galilee, as I looked at Mt. Tabor and other sites, I was struck with how many miracles that God had done in such a confined space as Israel.

It is easy as a child, then later as an adult, to read the stories of God’s miraculous intervention time and time again for His people of all dispensations.  It is also easy to say we believe in them, and perhaps in our minds we somewhat picture the settings and it is almost as if we believe they happened in some fairy-tale land or setting.  But, when you stand in the place where the sun stopped moving, or where a man once walked on the water, or where a legion of demons ran into the swine and then over the cliff into the Sea of Galilee, when you stand atop the Mt. of Olives where Jesus lifted off from planet earth, you see that it wasn’t a fairy-tale land with fairy-tale people.  It was a real place in a real time and one must decide if you really believe all those incredible stories of God working miraculously or not.  And the One, Jesus, looked like everyone else at all those places where these things happened.

I do believe those miracles…but it put faith into a new perspective for me.  When I put my hand into the Sea of Galilee, it sure didn’t feel as if it would bear the weight of a human body.  Yet, I do believe that it did.  Whether or not Christ was really born in the spot in the Church of the Nativity or not is largely irrelevant.  What is important is whether or not he was born of a virgin as the Son of God made Incarnate.  Standing inside the small, stone synagogue in Nazareth where Jesus read the scroll from Isaiah that riled up the people to the point they wanted to cast him off the cliff made the story come alive…and forced me to test whether or not I really believed God had stood inside those walls or not.

We may tend to think that faith would come easier to us if we could see all those places.  Actually, for me at any rate, it was a test of faith.  Perhaps it helps that the Jewish people I was with are so certain of all that the Bible records.  Their faith helped give me faith in some of the miracles.  I have come to the conclusion that you can’t really have faith unless what you believe is unbelievable to start with in the normal course of things.  It takes no faith when things are so believable that they’re not even called into question.  All that takes is trust.  Faith is a different animal entirely.

Can I believe 5000 ate from a boy’s lunchbox when I’ve seen the place it happened and it all looks so, well, ordinary?  Can I believe a human being can rise up into the air and disappear from view when the location looks like any other mountain top?  Can I believe that a man came walking across the water in the middle of a dark, stormy night and terrified a bunch of people in a boat when the water looks like any other body of water I’ve ever seen?

Yes.  A thousand times yes!!!!

Mark 9:24 (NLT) The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”

PRAYER: God, what mighty things You have done for Your people throughout history!  Help us to believe when reason may whisper to us that we are fools for doing so.  And help us to look for Your miracles I each day in the everyday mundane world.  Help us overcome our unbelief! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise 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 put S090 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 deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 4/29/14 – Not a Single Miracle

DayBreaks for 4/29/14 – Not a Single Miracle

Miracles.  They are the stuff of Bible stories and wonder, are they not?  There are those who dismiss them outright as being preposterous, and even some Christian theologians do so, much to my chagrin.  But, don’t we have to admit that miracles, by definition, strain the rules of the universe and nature and make us not just amazed but puzzled and wondering?  I mean, walking on water is not something that I’ve ever seen anyone demonstrate.  Calming the storm, turning water into wine..those just don’t happen…at least not usually.  I have never been witness to someone rising from the dead, or who was blind since birth being given sight by someone rubbing muddy spittle on their eyes.  Maybe you have…but me?  Not.

Miracles.  I believe in them.  I know people who desperately pray for them and expect them. Perhaps that’s why I’ve not seen them…I may not expect to.  I have faith in God’s power to do a miracle whenever and wherever it suits His purposes…and not to do them at my request.

There are those that don’t receive the miraculous answer they pray for.  Let’s face it: if God granted every request for a miraculous healing, would anyone ever have died on the face of this earth?  (There may be a few, but most who are loved and cherished have someone beg God to heal them as they lay on their sick bed or death bed.)  Does that mean that there isn’t enough faith in the requestor?  No.  Does it mean there’s not enough power in the God they pray to?  No.

Do you realize that in the entire story of David, the man after God’s own heart, that there is not even one single miracle?!  Does that mean that God was not in the story of David, or that God was uninvolved in the life of the man after His own heart?  Absolutely not.  God was at the center of every plot twist, every event and in every detail of David’s life, but He was usually silent and seemed to be hidden based on many of David’s psalms of lament and complaint.

Why?  As Eugene Peterson said in his book about David, Leap Over a Wall, the story of David is the story of everyman.  It is a story that doesn’t go outside the bounds of the ordinary, the everyday life of a perfectly flawed human being.  God didn’t do a miracle for David from the outside, but He did from the inside – patiently, steadily, and in secret.  Why not miracle we could see?  Perhaps it is because we needed to see someone just like us – alternatingly prideful yet humble, arrogant but meek, driven by passions and impulsive…a human full of flaws who was forced to come to grips with faith and life and God without miracles.  In short, it is because we needed to see that it is possible for every person to wear the description: a person after God’s own heart.

Miracles?  You don’t need it.  David didn’t.  If God wants you to have a miracle, you will see it.  But just because you don’t get one doesn’t mean your faith is weak or that you don’t matter to God.  You do!  

PRAYER: Thank you, Father, for your wisdom in how you treat us and change us miraculously from within! 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 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 09/10/13 – What the Servants Knew

DayBreaks for 09/10/13 – What the Servants Knew

NOTE: Galen is on vacation this week.  DayBreaks this week are from the archives, September 2003:

John 2:1-9 –  On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”  4 “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.”  5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”  6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.   7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.  8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. 

Some time ago now, I heard a brother, Phil Claycomb, give a devotion on this passage of scripture, and he pointed out something I’d never noticed before.  You know the story about the turning of the water into wine.  Jesus tried to avoid the situation, even replying to his mother that he didn’t really want to be involved, but in typical motherly fashion, she proceeded to get him involved anyway, telling the servants to do anything he asked them to do.  So, Jesus told the servants to fill the jars with water and take them to the master of the banquet to sample the wine before it would be served.  The master was dumbfounded that the wine was the best.  But here’s the key: the master didn’t know where the wine came from, but the servants did.

Phil made the point that the master didn’t realize a miracle had taken place.  As far as he knew, it was just wine that had been bought or fermented and brought to the wedding.  But the servants knew it had just been water – and now it was excellent wine!  The servants knew a miracle had occurred.  It isn’t clear that anyone else at the wedding, except perhaps Mary and Jesus himself, knew a miracle had taken place.

Sometimes we may feel that God isn’t working.  Sometimes we don’t see the miracles that take place every day.  But those who are serving, who are truly servants, are privileged to see the miraculous hand of God at work daily. 

Seen any miracles lately?

PRAYER: We don’t much like the idea of being servants in our human hearts, Lord.  We’d rather be the master or someone other than a servant!  But we know you have called us to serve!  May we do so joyfully, and expectantly!  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 01/01/13 – God Loves Water!

DayBreaks for 01/01/13 – God Loves Water

raging torrent

Psalm 124:2-5 (NLT) – What if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us?  3 They would have swallowed us alive in their burning anger.  4 The waters would have engulfed us; a torrent would have overwhelmed us. 5 Yes, the raging waters of their fury would have overwhelmed our very lives.

The preacher on Sunday spoke on Psalm 124.  Chances are, it’s not one of your favorites, and it certainly isn’t one of the most beloved Psalms.  But it is RICH in content!

One of the points the pastor made was about how troubles are frequently pictured in Scripture as manifestations of water: floods, raging rivers, torrents that would sweep us away.  It’s easy to see why, isn’t it?  When we are in the deep water of trouble, we feel as if we will vanish beneath the waves forever.

He then went on to point out that God isn’t afraid of water.  In fact, He seems to love it!  Consider:

  1. The great flood of Genesis was under His control;
  2. The parting of the Red Sea;
  3. The crossing of the Jordan in a miraculous way;
  4. Elijah and the contest on Mt. Carmel where the offering and altar were soaked in water before God consumed them with fire;
  5. The storm on the sea that Jesus’ calmed by rebuking the waves;
  6. Another storm on the same body of water where Jesus came walking on the top of the liquid stuff.

You see, God isn’t afraid of a little (or lot!) of water, nor is he afraid of our troubles.  In fact, over and over again, God does much of his greatest work either in the midst of the raging waters of life, or in the darkness where it is hard to perceive.

As you look at the coming year, what do you see?  There is plenty of potential darkness: will the ‘fiscal cliff’ be avoided (and should it be?)  What is your work situation – is it gloomy and frightening?  What about your marriage and relationships?  Are you in legal trouble?  Financial difficulties swimming all around you?

The water may look deep, but God can touch the bottom and bring you out of the swirling flood of troubles that you may have.

Of one thing we can be absolutely sure: there will be nothing that happens this year, either in our individual lives as Christians, or our corporate existence as humanity, that will be too big or too hard for God to handle.  You see, God has already seen every single thing that will happen this year and knows precisely how to handle it.

Isn’t it great to belong to such a great God?!?!?!

PRAYER: Lord, I often am very afraid when I’m in deep water and it threatens the things I value and hold dear.  Remind us as we begin this new year that You love water…and love saving Your people from the flood that would overwhelm us if possible.  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.