DayBreaks for 1/16/20 – Can’t Touch This

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DayBreaks for 1/16/20: Can’t Touch This

From the DayBreaks Archive, January 2010:

Chrysostom, the ancient Church Father, was a beautiful example of true Christian courage. When he stood before the Roman Emperor, he was threatened with banishment if he still remained a Christian. Chrysostom replied, “You cannot, for the world is my Father’s house; you cannot banish me.”

“But I will slay you,” said the Emperor.

“No, but you cannot,” said the noble champion of the faith again, “for my life is hid with Christ in God.”

“I will take away thy treasures.” “No, but you cannot,” was the retort; “in the first place, I have nothing you know anything about. My treasure is in heaven, and my heart is there.”

“But I will drive you away from man, and you shall have no friend left.” “No, and that you cannot,” once more said the faithful witness, “for I have a Friend in heaven from whom you shall not separate me. I defy you; there is nothing you can do to hurt me.”

How does an ordinary human get such courage?  It surely doesn’t come from our human nature.  It comes from the Spirit of boldness that we have as part of the indwelling of the Spirit…the very Spirit that was in Christ Jesus.  There has never been a braver, more courageous and fearless man than Jesus. 

What we have is secured, not by the power of Rome or the United States, it is not kept by a refrigerator or a preservative additive, it is kept by the power of the Almighty God.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – ESV, 1 Peter 1:3-5

PRAYER: Give us courage to live in the power of Your Spirit and to be fearless like Jesus!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

DayBreaks for 11/14/19 – It Is Here

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DayBreaks for 11/14/19: It Is Here

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2009:

All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you. – John 16:1-4 (NIV)

Jesus often couched his messages and teaching in riddles or parables that were designed to be understood only by those who had open hearts and eyes.  In what is surely a sad commentary on human nature, not even those who were the closest to Him often grasped what He meant.  But in this passage from John 16, Jesus spoke in point blank terms.  There was no mistaking His message to those who followed Him: “…a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.” 

We have lived in religious freedom in the United States of America for about 235 years.  What a blessing!  I fear that we’ve come to a point in our country where we no longer experience much religious freedom.  Of course, I’m speaking in relative terms – we have far greater religious freedom than in China where churches are forced underground, or in Muslim countries or even in countries where Buddhism or Hinduism are practices.  In such countries, lives are sacrificed – literally – on the altar of obedience to God every day.  We aren’t there yet in the United States.  I hope we never will be – but such hoping on my part may just be wishful thinking for myself and those I love.  It may be best for the kingdom of God if such persecution were to come to this land. 

Seldom does persecution arrive “full blown.”  There are usually steps and phases – the proverbial slippery slope – where small things are first lost.  Then, if no one notices or raises an alarm, the next step is taken…and the next…and the next, until finally one wakes up to find the persecutor knocking on the door.  Think it isn’t happening here?  Consider this excerpt from “Cross and Culture”, an evangelical blog written by my youngest son, Tim: “Bill McGurn has an excellent article on two “Christian Girls, Interrupted.”  The first girl, Amanda Kurowski, was ordered by a judge to attend public school because, essentially, the judge determined that the girl should be exposed to ways of thinking other than those of her religious parents.  Amanda’s parents are divorced; her mother has primary custody, but her father has been concerned about the effect of home-schooling on her “socialization.” 

“The judge determined “that Amanda is generally likeable and well liked, social and interactive with her peers, academically promising, and intellectually at or superior to grade level.”  Yet due to her “rigidity on faith,” the court concludes that Amanda “would be best served by exposure to different points of view at a time in her life when she must begin to critically evaluate multiple systems of belief and behavior and cooperation in order to select, as a young adult, which of those systems will best suit her own needs.”  In other words, the judge determines, essentially, that she must be sent to public school in order to get away from her mother’s narrow religiosity and be exposed to other worldviews.  Pretty extraordinary stuff.  As McGurn writes, “Just how extraordinary [this line of reasoning is] might best be appreciated by contemplating the opposite scenario: the reaction that would ensue were a court to order a young girl out of a public school and into an evangelical one so she might gain “exposure” to other “systems of belief.”

Religious freedom still exists in America – provided you aren’t a vocal Christian of the evangelical stripe.  Are you ready for the knock on the door?  Will your faith stand the test – or has it already been compromised? 

PRAYER: Lord, we pray for renewal and repentance in our country that we might return to You!  We pray that we would love our enemies, regardless of what they might do to us, that Your kingdom may grow.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 3/11/19 – A Most Sobering Truth

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DayBreaks for 3/11/19: A Most Sobering Truth

On Sunday we recognized, remembered and honored the persecuted church around the world. I’m sure you know the stats: more Christians were martyred in the 1900’s than in all the other centuries combined. In fact, based on one source I consulted, 65% of all Christian martyrs ever were killed between 1901-2000. At one point at the height of communism and fascism, 330,000 annually were dying. Best guesses are that presently between 100-150,000 are being martyred each year – that’s over 410 martyrs each and every day, 365 days a year.

Yet, statistics only go so far. They tell neither the personal stories of those who suffer and die for their faith, nor the stories of their families. Putting a face to those who suffer is much more impactful than the numbers themselves.

On Sunday, we had some people with us from China and India who shared stories – and in the case of the brother from India – his own personal story of beatings and his struggle.

But, as harrowing as some of the stories are, what impacted me the most was this verse from 2 Timothy 3:12 (ESV) – Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…  Read that VERY CAREFULLY. It is part of inspired Scripture and is says that not just some, but ALL who desire to live a godly life will be persecuted. That brought me up short. Are you being persecuted for your faith, really? I am not. Part of that is living in America where we have some freedoms, but the verse didn’t say that only those living in countries without religious freedom would be persecuted…it says that ALL who desire to live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted.

The reason I’m not being persecuted isn’t because I live in America – but this verse tells me that it is because I don’t desire to live a godly life. All my life I more or less assumed I wasn’t persecuted because I lived in a free county. And all my life I’ve been wrong.

PRAYER: Forgive me, Lord, for wanting a persecution free life more than I desire to live a godly life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

DayBreaks for 6/03/15 – The Servant Under Attack

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DayBreaks for 6/03/15: The Servant Under Attack

Have you ever been misunderstood? Have you ever been misrepresented? Has anyone ever taken your words and motives and twisted them around and used them against you? If you live long enough in this world you are going to face that kind of a personal attack.

One preacher (I think anyone of us who has stood in the pulpit has had similary experiences) recalled an instance in another church when a certain group in that church took his preaching tapes and listened to them to find words and phrases they disagreed with. Those disagreeable sayings were brought up in a business meeting and used to attack him personally. It hurt at the time, but he concluded that it was a good lesson for him. It served to remind him that God’s servants will be attacked. It also reminded him to think more carefully about his words before saying them because he might be called on to give an account of them.

For the entire duration of his earthly ministry, Jesus was surrounded by constant controversy. Nearly everyone He met misunderstood Him and what He came to this world to do. Nearly everyone was guilty of misrepresenting His words and His works. The things He did and said in love were used to attack Him in hate!

What can we do about such things?  Can we stop people from attacking us?  No.  People will not act fairly just because we wish they would.  We can learn to watch our actions and words to minimize the opportunities we might be providing others to attack us, but in the final analysis, if they want to find something to criticize us, they will find something. 

About the only other thing I can suggest about this is to accept that it will happen, and know that you’re in the very best company (Jesus’) and know that He sees and understands.  Take comfort from His Spirit and act graciously toward all.  In the final analysis, His opinion is the only one that counts.

PRAYER: It isn’t easy, Lord, when we are attacked unfairly, and we often respond very poorly.  Help us not to strike back or seek retribution, but to act like you did when it happened to you.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 5/13/15 – The Town With No Shoes

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DayBreaks for 5/13/15: The Town With No Shoes

There is a story by Hugh Price Hughes titled, “The City of Everywhere.” In this story a man arrives in a city one cold morning. As he gets off the train, he sees that the station is like any other station except for one thing everyone is barefoot. No one wears shoes.

He notices a barefoot cab driver. “Pardon me,” he asks the driver, “I was just wondering why you don’t wear shoes. Don’t you believe in shoes?”

“Sure we do,” says the driver.

“Why don’t you wear them?” asks the man.

“Ah, that’s the question,” the driver replies. “Why don’t we wear shoes? Why don’t we?”

At the hotel it is the same. The clerk, bell boys, everybody is barefoot. In the coffee shop he notices a nice looking gentleman at a table opposite him. He says, “I notice you aren’t wearing any shoes. I wonder why? Don’t you know about shoes?”

The man replies, “Of course I know about shoes.”

“Then why don’t you wear them?” asks the stranger.

“Ah, that’s the question,” says the man. “Why don’t we? Why don’t we?”

After breakfast he walks out on the street in the snow but every person he sees is barefoot. He asks another man about it, and points out how shoes protect the feet from cold. The man says, “We know about shoes. See that building yonder? That is a shoe manufacturing plant. We are proud of that plant and every week we gather there to hear the man in charge tell about shoes and how wonderful they are.”

“Then why don’t you wear shoes?” asks the stranger.

“Ah, that’s the question,” says the man.

Dr. Robert E. Goodrich told this story in his book, What’s It All About? Then he asks, “Don’t we believe in prayer? Don’t we know what prayer could mean to our lives? . . . Of course we do; we know about prayer. Then, why don’t we pray? Ah, that’s the question. Why don’t we pray? . . . Why don’t we?”

Ephesians 6:18 (NIV) – And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

I’ve just come back from two weeks of conferences on international missions and I was with many missionaries from closed access countries.  Let me tell you, if there ever was a time to pray for the persecuted saints, it is now.  It is coming to a town near you, too, and you’d like them to pray for you.

PRAYER: Lord, teach us to pray! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 10/29/13 – Your Opportunity

DayBreaks for 10/29/13 – Your Opportunity

Luke 21:8-13 (NLT) He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them. 9  And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10  Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11  There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven. 12  “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers. 13  But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.

Whenever an earthquake hits and lives and property are destroyed, people wish for an early warning system that might spare their lives.  It might, in fact, do that – but it will not prevent the earthquake from coming.  We want signs, we want warnings.  Just read the labels on practically any product you purchase and the warnings are everywhere!

The time of great tribulation will not come without warning.  I believe that we are seeing signs everywhere as nations rage against one another, strange weather abounds, famines, disasters, plagues, insurrections, earthquakes…could it be any clearer?  These things are just as Jesus described to his followers. 

Starting with verse 12, Jesus tells his followers in no uncertain terms: you will not be immune from the rage against Godly things.  Christians will be taken to stand before the authorities and we may stand there in fear, wondering why such a thing should happen to us.  Jesus himself tells us the why in verse 13: it is so that we will be able to tell them about Jesus.  That’s the purpose of it.  Not to suffer needlessly for no worthy or valid reason.  But it is about Jesus…it is always and forever about Him and not us. 

Does that just mean we are pawns in this great game of God?  Some would say so.  That would be the case if He just manipulated us from square to square to do what He wants done, but He has done something great for us first: He has forgiven our sin and granted eternal life to all who believe in His name.  That makes it so that it is not manipulation.  We are not moved from square to square without thought or care, and we have a choice, motivated by gratitude. 

But will we choose to be moved to stand before the authorities when the time comes?  It is not IF, it is when.  It may be nearly upon us.   

PRAYER: Lord, even reading these words frightens us.  We don’t like the prospect of this kind of terror coming upon us.  In America we have lived charmed lives while brothers and sisters around the world die by the thousands and millions for refusing to recant their faith.  We have grown to believe we live in a favored land that will be somehow immune from such persecution, but our faith in that delusion is being strongly challenged these days.  We never thought we would see the things we are seeing happen in our lifetimes in our country.  We beg your forgiveness for not being the salt and light we should have been as your people.  We ask for Your strength to stand strong and take advantage of the opportunity when the time comes to tell others about You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 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 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.

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DayBreaks for 04/02/13 – ROFL, the Cross and Me

DayBreaks for 04/02/13 – ROFL,  the Cross and Me                   

parade-diamond-two-tone-cross-pendantNOTE: Today, 4/2/13, I am leaving for a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25.  Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence!  Thank you…I cherish your prayers!  You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) after today until I’ve returned.  I will most likely not have access to email until I return, so any messages will probably not be returned until I’m home, either.  Thanks for understanding!

At a recent Holy Week observance on the Yale campus, a cross was erected.  You might think that was a positive sign, but this cross, like the one on which Jesus was crucified, had a sign attached to it.  You may recall that Jesus’ cross had a message attached to it, too: “Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews”.  The cross at Yale had a different sign.  Instead of INRI (the Latin letters for Jesus-Nazareth, King-Jews), the Yale sign read: ROFL (rolling on the floor, laughing). 

The sign that was on Christ’s cross wasn’t a statement of Pilate’s faith, either.  It was the first century equivalent, one might say, of ROFL.  It wasn’t a tribute to Jesus…it was mocking him, as if the weight of the Roman empire were saying, “This is what happens to Jewish kings…stripped and brutalized and crucified!  Now isn’t he something!”

Garret Fiddler, a guest writer in the Yale Daily News, once wrote about the strange irony of the cross as a  piece of jewelry (probably the most common shape for jewelry in history).  He wrote, “Really, the cross does not belong on the Christian; the Christian belongs on the cross.

Is this not precisely what Jesus said?  Is this not the heart of his seemingly bizarre command: “Take up your cross, die to yourself, and follow me.” 

The cross should be not so much a reminder that Jesus died for me (though it is surely appropriate to think of the cross that way), but perhaps the cross of jewelry we wear should be a reminder to us that there is something in me that needs to die…and die as fast as possible.  As John Ortberg said, “The resurrection hope is the hope that lies on the other side of dying.”          

May we live, not in the hope that lies in being spared from dying, but in the hope that lies on the other side of our dying to self and rising with Jesus!

PRAYER: May we remember, Jesus, that without death there can be no resurrection.  Let us die to self that we might live in hope!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen has started working with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising 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 linke: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name 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 (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. 

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