DayBreaks for 2/25/16 – Frothing and Faith

DayBreaks for 2/23/16: Frothing and Faith

The story of Jesus healing the demoniac, frothing boy in Luke 9 is an interesting one.  Jesus, Peter, John and James had just come down from the mount of Transfiguration only to be confronted by a large crowd and a man pleading with Jesus to heal his only child, a boy who was possessed.  Apparently, the other disciples of Jesus had tried to heal the boy but had been unable to do so. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if the father or the crowd was skeptical about whether or not Jesus could do anything to help.  After all, his followers had failed.  Why should it be any different with this Nazarene rabbi?  Perhaps there wasn’t anything different about him.  But the father’s love for his only child caused him to hope against hope that there was something different about Jesus, something that made him greater than his followers.

Jesus rebukes the crowd (and possibly in particular, his disciples) for their lack of faith.  His compassion for the child causes him to heal the boy and return him to his father.  The passage concludes “Everyone was amazed at God’s great power.” 

Several things to note here:

  1. In spite of his frustration with the lack of faith of the people, Jesus’ compassion dominates the situation;
  2. Jesus power is greater than the sum of all the combined efforts of his followers to deal with the problem in this young boy’s life, and His power wasn’t limited by their lack of faith;
  3. The power of God amazes all who see it, but it sometimes takes eyes that are open to see it as His power and not some “freak” of circumstance.

I’m glad that Jesus’ work in our lives isn’t limited by the lack of faith of people around us.  I am concerned, however, that I limit what I let Him do in my life by my own lack of faith.  When I am not ready and willing to step forward when He calls unless I have a “safety net” of my own concocting in place, I limit His ability to do with me what He chooses.  Not only does that affect me, but others He may bring into my life.  

The lack of faith in the crowd could have prevented them from asking for a healing for the boy.  But it didn’t stop them from asking and it didn’t stop Jesus from giving.  As “The Promise” bible version put it: So often we are ashamed of our little faith.  But how glad we are to find out that Jesus understands and puts our broken hearts and lives back together even when our faith seems gone.  What is the greatest problem facing you right now?  You answer, “I know, but my faith is gone.”  Just tell that to Jesus!  He will understand.

What is the greatest problem you face today?  Give it to Him, even with a weak faith, and watch what He does with it!

TODAY’S PRAYER:  May we respond to you in faith, but thank you, Lord, that Your mercy and grace are not dispensed to us in the same measure as we demonstrate our faith.  Make us bold, Lord, to seek great things from You that further Your kingdom.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

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DayBreaks for 9/08/15 – The Buzzard, the Bat and the Bumblebee

DayBreaks for 9/08/15: The Buzzard, the Bat and the Bumblebee

I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. – Psalm 123:1 (NIV)

Did you know that if you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

How about this: the ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

One more: A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

In many ways, you and I are like all three of the above: the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee. We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up! That’s the answer, the escape route and the solution to any problem!

PRAYER: Lord, today we will face problems of some sort – whether big or small – help us to not trust in our own wisdom and ability to make wise choices, but to turn to You for direction and answers! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 1/09/14 – Drawing Circles

DayBreaks for 01/09/14 – Drawing Circles

John 3:16 (NLT) For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

A Lutheran minister by the name of Roy Lloyd once interviewed Mother Teresa. He said that one of his questions and one of her answers stands out in his mind as “a bright sun burning in my mind.” He asked her, “What’s the biggest problem in the world today?”

Now, before we get to her answer, stop right here and think about how YOU would answer that question. What would your reply be? Would it be greed? Injustice? Terrorism? Moral decline? Prejudice? Too much tolerance? Not enough tolerance? Relativism? Post-modernism? A wrong worldview? Drugs? Violence? Oppression? Humanism?

To be sure, with all that we see and hear about that goes on around the world each day, there are hundreds of possible answers – and those answers may change from day-to-day given that day’s news.

This is what makes Mother Theresa’s answer so startling, so jolting. When asked that question, her response, without hesitation, was this: “The biggest problem in the world today is that we draw the circle of our family too small. We need to draw it larger every day.”

Do you see what she’s saying? She is saying that the problem is not so much with the world as it is with us. We need to see more people as our neighbor than we are currently do. We need to love the world as we love our dearest family. I suspect very few can honestly say that this is a kind of love which they have mastered, or even attempted. We spend most of our time drawing circles that are restrictive, not expansive. The circles we draw are more like fences to keep others out. Fences are hard to move once they are constructed. We need to not draw circles of exclusion, but of inclusion.

In a way, with Jesus’ baptism, he was doing this: in his baptism he included us in his righteousness, identified with us in our humanity and our need to be cleansed, and our need to be made pure. Through this act, and through his live and love, he was drawing the circle of god’s family larger and he now invites us to do the same.

PRAYER: It is so easy for us, Lord, to blame the world for all that is wrong when the problem lies within us for having failed to love others enough to draw them into your family. Fill our hearts with the love You have for the world. Create in us the same desire you have to see all people from every nation, tribe and tongue, come into your family! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen serves as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to support Galen in his ministry, you can donate (one-time or recurring) 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 a link 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 11/28/13 – Moving Thanksgiving Mountains

DayBreaks for 11/28/13 – Moving Thanksgiving Mountains

Luke 10:41-42 (NLT) But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42  There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

An ancient Chinese parable tells of an old man Tan Chang who had a small farm overshadowed by a towering mountain, sending chill into the bones and shadow over the farm. One day he got the notion to get rid of the mountain. With the help of his wife and sons, he began to hack at the rock around the base of the mighty mountain. A neighbor walked by and scoffed, “You will never finish the job, old man! There are not enough days in the year for you to do this.”

But Tan replied confidently, “I am not as foolish as you think, my friend. I may be old and feeble, but after I am gone, my sons will continue to peck away at the mountain. Then their sons and their sons’ sons will do the same. Since the mountain cannot grow, someday it will be level with the ground, and the sun will shine upon our land.”

Today is Thanksgiving 2013.  Perhaps instead of heading into Thanksgiving with joy and gratitude, your life is being overshadowed with some mighty mountain of fear, doubt, despair, anxiety or heartbreak.  As humans, it is a condition to which we are prone!  We are so small and tiny compared to the problems of the world and the problems of our own hearts and souls.  It is easy to let our gratitude be overshadowed with worry, for our Thanksgiving to become a mere ritual than an actual practice on this day. 

The reality of life is that many of the problems that confront us on every side cannot be eliminated instantly.  They can be moved one shard at a time, one day at a time. Jesus, in Matthew 6:25-34 shared this wisdom with us: “So do not be anxious about tomorrow, tomorrow will be anxious for itself.”

Just for this day, set your mountain aside.  Don’t be anxious about it.  Today – be thankful.  Lift your voice and heart to Jesus with praise for what is good in your life.  Thank him for those things.  Entrust tomorrow’s outcomes to Him and for today, revel in His goodness to you. 

A blessed Thanksgiving to you all!

PRAYER: For all who face this day with fear and hurt, surrounded and immersed in problems and anxiety, we pray that they will set their mountain aside and celebrate Your goodness and let a spirit of thanksgiving overflow as we pause to consider all the good that is in our lives because of Your goodness! 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 make either a one-time or recurring (monthly) donation for his support.  If you have any questions, call 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 and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 04/13/11 – Mountains He Has Moved

DayBreaks for 04/13/11 – Mountains He Has Moved

Matthew 17:20 – “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.

 

There is no such thing as a "mountain" that God can't move.

I remember as a child that I took this verse literally.  I tried to picture believing enough that I could literally move a mountain.  I even wandered out into the Iowa barnyard and would look at a distant slope and tell it to move.  It never did.  Now that I’m older, I realize that it wasn’t a literal mountain that Jesus had in mind when he made this statement (of course, Jesus could literally move mountains or enable us to do so if he chose to do so!)  To put the verse in context, the disciples had just failed to cast a demon out of a boy.  The problem was a spiritual problem – it was a spiritual mountain that needed to be moved – not a literal mountain.  And the spiritual problem in this particular case was disbelief, or more accurately, a lack of belief.

 

In his book, The Gift for All People, Max Lucado described some of the mountains that God has moved for all of those who are His children: “God wants you to be free of yesterday’s guilt.  He wants you free of today’s fears.  He wants you free of tomorrow’s grave.  Sin, fear and death.  These are the mountains he has moved by the power of the cross.  These are the prayers he will answer through the gift of his love.”

Many times we talk about people walking around as if they “had the weight of the world on their shoulders”.  Mountains are heavy – guilt can be a crushing burden.  Fear can immobilize us beneath its weight.  And the fear of dying can cause us to never really live.  The cross forever abolished all three of those mountains by removing our guilt, overcoming our fear and ensuring us of life unending.

God is waiting today to remove these mountains from you.  Are you weighed down?  Let Him fill your life with the lightness of His being, the joy of being His child and the confident assurance of life everlasting!

PRAYER: Father, we look at our problems and see them as mountains.  Teach us to look at You and we will see how small our “mountains” really are when compared to Your power and greatness!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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