DayBreaks for 3/31/18 – Saturday, the Glorious Silence

Image result for garden tomb

DayBreaks for 3/30/18: Saturday – the Glorious Silence

From the Perimeter holy week devotion guide, by Caleb Click:

1 Corinthians 15:3-5 (ESV) – For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

“Buried.” In our Easter celebrations, the death and resurrection of Jesus receive most of our attention and with good reason. The heart and soul of the Christian faith rests on those realities. But here, in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul says that it was of first importance not only that Jesus died and rose, but that he was buried. Christians across the centuries have echoed those words of Paul in the Apostle’s Creet, saying with one voice, …he was crucified, died, and was buried. Sitting at the very center of it all is this reality often confessed but rarely considered: that Jesus’ body joined bullions before him in a tomb, that he entered the grave and for three days remained inside, closed off from the world of the living. But why? Why does this matter?

But this mystery doesn’t stop there. It sweeps us up with it. Romans 6:4 says: We were buried with him by baptism into his death.  Colossians 2:12 announces that we who are in Christ have been buried with him in baptism.  In the gospel story, Saturday’s mourning has as much importance to us as Friday evening’s despair and Sunday morning’s joy. Again, the question: why?

I think the answer is this: burial is a goodbye. It’s recognition that the life of the one we loved is gone and what remains in their place is only silence That the words they once spoke live on only in our recollection. That their touch exists only in memory. That the person with all their vitality and power is gone. Saturday morning is the disciples’ coming to terms with a Jesus they think is no more.

And here is why that matters, why it’s such gloriously good news. Jesus wasn’t simply a man who died; he was the spotless lamb upon whom our sins were laid (John 1:29). The disciples mourned on Saturday, but they didn’t realize that it wasn’t Jesus who was no more; it was our sin. It was everything we once were. When he rose Sunday morning and left the tomb, our sins stayed inside. Buried. Silenced. A memory and recollection stripped of its power. We don’t continue in sin because we were buried with Jesus and, while we have been raised, the old man still lies buried in that tomb, never to leave again (Romans 6). We don’t fall captive to the lie of thi world that our hope is in our performance, because the body of flesh was cut away and cast into a tomb from which it will never escape, and we now stand in the resurrection life of Jesus Christ (Colossians 3).

TODAY’S PRAYER: Father, we recognize that the burial of Jesus was a goodbye. A goodbye to our sin and its condemnation. To the person we were before Christ. To the life we once lived and the power the flesh once had over us. Thank you that the glorious good news of a silence does not leave us in pain as the disciples first thought, but one that truly makes us free. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 11/02/15 – You Cannot Want Wrong Things Any More

DayBreaks for 11/02/15: You Cannot Want Wrong Things Any More

Col. 2:20 (NLT) – You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the evil powers of this world.

Rom. 6:2-4 (NLT) – Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? 3 Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Christ Jesus, we died with him? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

How easy it is to read Romans 6:2-4.  How hard it is to live it. 

The struggle to overcome sin is alive and well in my life, and I’d be willing to bet that it is in your life, too.  Maybe it isn’t – maybe I’m only saying that to make myself feel better – you know, “Misery loves company.”  But, if any of you write to me and tell me that you don’t sin anymore, I’ll be highly suspicious of you from that point onward. 

Entire sermon series could be preached about this passage alone from Romans.  How have we died to sin?  In what way?  What does it mean that we’re dead to it?  If we have died (past tense) to it, why is it still so alive in my heart?  Have I done something wrong?  Has my acceptance of Christ been incomplete in some way that is keeping the old man alive with its sinful nature?  See what I mean…?

There is a scene in C.S. Lewis’ The Silver Chair where Aslan and the children find Caspian lying dead in a stream on the Mountain.  Aslan’s blood (a single drop) is enough to bring Caspian back to life, and when he comes back to life as a young man again, he finds that he has arrived at the place that his heart most longed for when he was alive before.  He asks Aslan a simple, yet honest question: would it be okay for him to have a peek of Jill and Eustice’s world?  Aslan replies, “You cannot want wrong things any more, now that you have died, my son.”

Oh, how I wish that were true of me and my walk with Christ!  I wish that I never wanted wrong things again!  But I do.  And sometimes, I fear that I always will.  But there is where the statement of Aslan (the Christ-figure in Lewis’ books) really comforts me: once I have died (in every way possible) I will someday no longer desire bad and evil things.  I can’t imagine it fully now, but I can say “What a day that’ll be!”

In The Silver Chair, Aslan nonetheless grants Caspian’s wish and gives him the glimpse of the place his heart had longed for.  And He will do the same for me – I will see the streets of gold and the great white throne and even the One who sits upon it.  And I shall then be content, for once we see Him, we’ll finally know how much better He is than anything our sinful hearts ever longed for, and all longing for anything but Him will cease.

TODAY’S PRAYER: Lord, how we long to see You and Your home once we are released from our human flesh!  How we are grieved by our wrong desires for the things of this world.  Help us, Lord, to be more grieved than we are about how our old desires remain strong.  Forgive us for wanting the wrong things.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 3/05/15 – No Difference

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DayBreaks for 3/05/15: No Difference    

 

NOTE: This week DayBreaks are from the archive as Galen is out of the country.  He will respond to messages after he returns. 

DALLAS – “Some people love their pets so much that one is just not enough. That’s why one woman from North Texas spent $50,000 dollars to have her kitty cloned. Julie stored Nicky the cat’s tissue in the California based Genetic Savings & Clone until the firm offered clients the chance to reproduce their pets. This month, she became the first owner of a commercially cloned feline. Dubbed Little Nicky, the cloned cat was presented to Julie earlier this month, and the proud owner couldn’t be happier. ‘I see absolutely no differences between Little Nicky and Nicky,’ Julie told the company.”

Regardless of your position on the emerging technology of cloning, this is an interesting story.  As much as we love our pets, spending that kind of money to have another version of a pet cloned is, well, ridiculous.  I don’t know if Julie has enough experience at this point in time to really know if her cat is just like Nicky or not.  At least at the time the report was printed, she felt they were identical.  And theoretically, they should be – provided everything worked perfectly.  But as we all know, things don’t work perfectly.  My guess is that as time passes, she’ll begin to discover differences between Nicky and Little Nicky. 

I have to wonder, though, how God feels about us.  The “old” us, the “old man” or “nature” as Scripture puts it, must die.  And, a new person is to be born.  But it is not supposed to be the same person as before – a cloned image.  No, we are to be much more like the caterpillar and butterfly, not a cloned cat.  What a tragedy if God, and those who know us, look at us and compare our lives before we were Christians with what we are now and said, “I see absolutely no differences between pre-Christian Galen and post-Christian Galen.”  Why would that be such a tragedy?  Several reasons:

  1. The amount that God invested to transform us was heavenly-high, and it would be a great shame if we waste such a great ransom;
  2. What we were before really isn’t very attractive or lovely – at least not it God’s eyes. Our old friends and associates may think that our former lifestyle was desirable and great and that our new lifestyle is dull and boring. But they miss the truth: the old life was not satisfying, it held no lasting joy, and it is filled with emptiness, guilt and shame. 
  3. If all we are is a clone of what we were before, it means we will die again. But when we are “reborn” through the power of the Spirit by the blood of Jesus, we “have eternal life” as John instructs us. We are not a clone – we are a brand new original, destined to live for eternity. 

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be a clone of what I was before.  How about you?

Copyright by 2005 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: I’m tired of the old me, Lord.  May the new me be fully born and alive through Your Spirit!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/23/13 – When God Put His Son in Our Arms

DayBreaks for 12/23/13 – When God Put His Son in Our Arms             

Luke 2:25-32 (NLT) – At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26  and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27  That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28  Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, 29  “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. 30  I have seen your salvation, 31  which you have prepared for all people. 32  He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

“We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, ‘Hi.’ He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

“I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

“We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled.. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.. ‘Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,’ the man said to Erik.

“My husband and I exchanged looks,  ‘What do we do?’

“Erik continued to laugh and answer, ‘Hi.’

“Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, ‘Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.’

“Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

“My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.

“We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. ‘Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,’ I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s ‘pick-me-up’ position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

“Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

“I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, ‘You take care of this baby.’

“Somehow I managed, ‘I will,’ from a throat that contained a stone.

“He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, ‘God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.’

“I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, ‘My God, my God, forgive me.’

“I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not.. I felt it was God asking, ‘Are you willing to share your son for a moment?’ when He shared His for all eternity. How did God feel when he put his baby in our arms 2000 years ago?

“The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, ‘To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'” – Author Unknown

PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for entrusting Your Son into our arms so long ago.  May He be welcome in our hearts yet today!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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