DayBreaks for 4/16/19 – Easter and Rejection

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DayBreaks for 4/16/19: Easter and Rejection

From the DayBreaks archive, April 2009:

Can you remember how it felt the first time you were rejected?  It may have been that you weren’t “wanted” on the team.  It may have been the first time you asked out that little red-headed, freckle faced girl and she turned up her nose at you and said (loudly!): “Eewwww!  I’d never go out with you!”  Rejection hurts.  Rejection hammers at the spirit and the heart and hope.  Rejection is a killer.

The woman was from Samaria.  She knew all about rejection.  She’d been married 5 times – and she’d heard the door slammed behind her 5 times as her husband of the moment threw her out and yelled at her, “And don’t come back!”  Even her friends had rejected her – after all, it could damage one’s reputation to hang out with such a woman who seemed not to have any scruples or moral fiber.  And so, when she went to the well, she went alone, carrying her water jar on her shoulder.  It was in the blazing heat of the day – so strong was her rejection by others that she didn’t dare go in the cool of the morning when other women would go – no, they wanted nothing to do with her, no matter if her heart cried out for someone, anyone, to care. 

Only on this day, there’s a man at the well.  She wonders if she will be safe.  Could he be violent?  A bandit, or even worse, a rapist waiting to fall upon a woman alone?  She proceeds, and when she gets there, this man looks at her and in a pleasant voice, asks for water, but she still was suspicious that he might have had something else in mind.  She was partly right – for he begins to ask her questions that plumbed the depth of her lonely, aching heart that had known so much rejection.  He even knew about her past…and yet he spoke to her with a tone of respect.  And then he offered her something that could quench the burning, not in her throat, but in her soul. 

As the questioning proceeded, she must have expected more rejection once she told him about her checkered past.  But she didn’t get criticism or any kind of lecture.  Jesus hadn’t come to the well seeking perfection, but honesty.  And finally, she said that she didn’t know where to go to find God, unaware He was talking with her that very moment.  Can you imagine the smile that crept across Jesus’ face and heart as he heard those words?  Here he was, in Samaria – and he’d found a hungry, thirsty heart for God.  And, it was not just any Samaritan, it was a woman.  And who would have thought that a 5-time “loser” in marriage would be so thirsty for God?  Jesus did.  This was perhaps the most outcast and rejected person in the area. 

And then a remarkable thing happened.  Jesus said to her, “I AM the Messiah.”  He could have gone to Rome and told that to Caesar and made Caesar bow down when he heard the words.  He could have gone to Herod and told him that He was the real King.  He could have gone to the religious leaders and told them the truth and opened their eyes and made believers out of them.  But he didn’t.  He revealed himself to the most rejected, broken, outcast person of all.

But what we often miss in this story is what happens next.  The woman got up, raced off and told others.  What is significant is what she left behind.  She left behind the water jar, to be sure – Scripture says so.  This water jar is a symbol of all the burden of shame, guilt and rejection she’d felt for year after year after long, lonely year.  She left it behind and ran into the town to talk to others – something she wouldn’t have dared do before coming to the well and meeting Jesus.  Why?  Because the very One who had the most right to reject her was the One that she discovered loved her the most.

Are you feeling rejected this Easter season?  Meet Jesus at the cross.  Let the one who was despised and rejected fill you with the Living Water.  The one who wouldn’t let this woman be alone in her rejection take you in his embrace and give you the love and welcome that you are so thirsty to find.  Let your rejection be healed by his welcome!

Prayer: Hallelujah, for Jesus is the friend of sinners, unafraid to meet us in our loneliness and rejection, the One who speaks words of life into the most shattered heart!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

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DayBreaks for 3/01/19 – Unwanted

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DayBreaks for 3/01/19: Unwanted

From the DayBreaks archive February 2009:

John 1:10-11 (KJV) – He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

How, I wonder, could Jesus come to his own, God’s chosen people Israel, and they not know or recognize him?  They had been prepared by God Himself throughout thousands of years for the Messiah.  They expected him to come – but tragically, they didn’t see him as anything except a carpenter from Nazareth, a child born out of wedlock, trained in a trade by Joseph.

A widow had children who left her one by one to go to the “new country” (as she called it.)  As they made their tearful farewells, she heard each of them promise her that they’d save money and that they would send for her “very soon.”  Time passed; the children married and had children of their own, but no mention ever came in a letter suggesting they were ready to send for their aging mother.  She deeply longed to see them, but thinking they lacked the means to bring her to the “new country”, she scrimped and saved up enough money to afford on her own to pay them a surprise visit.  She anticipated a joyful reunion with her children and she longed to see them and to meet her grandchildren. Upon arriving her reception was the reverse of what she had hoped and longed for.  Her children had indeed prospered, but seemed annoyed at the surprise visit, and they belittled her old-fashioned clothing and way of speaking.  They had no room for her in their hearts.  The disappointed woman returned home and took up residence in a home for the elderly, where she proved to be a blessing to all about her, pouring out the vast flood of love that her own children had rejected.  She wasn’t bitter.  “It seems to me that I knew what our Lord suffered,” she told a friend, “when He came to His own dear people and they gave Him the cold shoulder.  Just think!  He came unto His own and His own received Him not!  I can understand how that wounded His loving heart.”

Perhaps the Jews failure wasn’t so much that they didn’t recognize Jesus, but that they had no room left in their hearts for this lover of their souls. 

I think we’d best not be too hard on the Jews, however.  How many times have I not found room in my heart for Him when He comes calling?  How many times have I been ashamed or afraid to let people know where I stand, and Who I stand with? 

Jesus loves us.  He came to be with us.  Will we send Him back home alone – and unwanted?

Prayer: Jesus, don’t give up on us!  Keep knocking at the doorway to our hearts.  Transform our hard hearts into hearts that rejoice to see You when You arrive!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

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

 

DayBreaks for 7/23/18 – Anathema to the World

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DayBreaks for 7/23/18: Anathema to the World

NOTE: Galen is on vacation this week and may be unable to respond to emails. 

From the DayBreaks archive, July 2008:

At our church leadership meeting this past Sunday, we were discussing ways that we could become even more involved with our community.  It just so happens that on Friday summer nights in Cloverdale, that there are two things that are designed to attract people from the community (and others!) to get together.  First is “Friday Night Live” – a series of musical guests that are brought into town by the Cloverdale Arts Alliance – that put on a free concert in the city plaza for all who want to come and listen.  Some of the acts are great – others just don’t do much for me at all.  The second activity (located right next to the plaza) is a Friday night farmer’s market where one can examine and buy crafts, vegetables, fruits and other locally grown produce. 

The suggestion came up that perhaps we could have a “booth” or some kind of outreach presence at the Friday night farmer’s market.  We were quickly informed that the farmer’s market “constitution” prohibits non-profits that are religious or political in nature from having an official presence.  (We do live in one of the least churched counties in the United States!)

When I heard that, I couldn’t help it – I had a swirl of emotions run through me.  I snickered, and thought, “Yep, that’s just the way it is here!” while shaking my head.  Then, I got angry and frustrated that we aren’t permitted by their rules to be there.  I thought, “I’ll bet we could get some Christian legal defense fund to sue for discrimination.  After all, if they’ll let non-religious non-profits be present (like 4H and FFA), they can’t keep us out!”  (Then I thought, yeah, but that probably wouldn’t set a very loving example for the community. Strange, isn’t it? 

Finally, I thought, “This world sure hates Jesus and the truth he brought to it.”  The world has always hated Jesus.  Even when he was a baby, the worldly king was trying to kill him – even though Jesus had not yet spoken a single word.  In God in the Flesh, Don Everts had a similar thought: “Jesus has always been a stumbling block.  Even his name grates on worldly human ears.  Remember the assembly gathered against Peter and John in Acts 4?  Their one request: just stop speaking to people in this name!  There’s something about Jesus, even his name, that is anathema to this world.”

The apostle John had experienced this first hand.  And he came to a conclusion that was as true in his day as it is in ours: (1 John 5:19, NIV) – We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

Why does the world hate to hear Jesus’ words, or even to hear about him?  Because it is under the control of the evil one.  But, as John noted, “we know that we are children of God…”  Even though the world doesn’t know it, it is still true: we know we are children of God because of the testimony of the Spirit to the truth Jesus spoke.  But we’d better not expect the world to know it or recognize it or we’ll be sorely disappointed.  That is, I suppose, the way it must be.  The good news is that it is not just we ourselves, but God who knows who His children are – and God never forgets. 

If Jesus was anathema to the world, we couldn’t be in better company!

PRAYER:  Lord, sometimes I get angry and bitter at how we as Your children are treated in this world, and I feel like I sometimes want to lash out in response.  Help us to remember that we are Your children – and to act like it.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 12/08/14 – An Everlasting Love

DayBreaks for 12/08/14 – An Everlasting Love

Few, indeed, are those who first fell in love and never were stung by the pain of rejection.  Sure, from time to time there are stories about someone who stayed with their “first love” throughout their life.  But even they, at some point, will be pierced by the thorns on the rose when the loved one dies.

Children fall in love with parents, kittens and puppies.  Even the goldfish dies and the heart is broken.  And we learn far too early in life that everything we love is sooner or later lost to us.  Yet we repeat the pattern over and over lest we turn as cold as stone ourselves.

These are not why we fall in love.  We long for a love that will be a forever-love.  We seek for it, we reach for it…yet it seems to be just outside of our grasp.

God loved Israel.  He made great, unbreakable promises to her, He called her by terms of endearment, picturing her as His bride.  And His heart was broken as Israel forsook Him time after time…breaking His heart.  And God wept over Israel.

What was God’s response to the pain of rejection?  As the Almighty and Omnipotent One, it was within not only His power, but His sovereign right, to have utterly and instantly destroyed Israel.  Instead, listen to His words: (Jer. 31:3, NLT) – Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”

“An everlasting love.”  “With unfailing love.”  Isn’t that precisely the kind of love that we all long for?  Perhaps right now you are struggling with the rejection of a beloved one, of someone who promised to love you forever but forever turned out to be measured in mere months or years.

That won’t happen with God’s love.  His love is unlike any you have ever known.  He is unending, He is eternal, He is love…Love Everlasting.  For ten trillion, billion years…God will love you.  And that is just the start of “everlasting”.  That is just the start of a love that is “unfailing”.  And that is how YOU are loved.

PRAYER: Lord, Your love is incomprehensible! How often we have left You behind in tears and rejection after rejection, yet Your love for Your people is unending. How we long to know, experience and feel that love envelop us for all eternity, because of Jesus! 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 10/2/14 – The Rejected Stone

DayBreaks for 10/02/14 – The Rejected Stone

Jesus quoted the words of the Psalmist: The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner… (Ps. 118:22) Later, Simon Peter would quote these words to the rulers and the elders in testimony concerning the good news of Christ. (Acts 4:11) Later he would cite those words again in his epistles. (I Pet. 2:7)

 

There was a legend that was well known in New Testament times that in the building of the temple of Solomon the stones were of the same size and shape. One stone arrived, however, that was different from the others. The builders took one look at it and said, “This will not do,” and sent it rolling down into the valley of Kidron below.

Years passed and the great temple was finally nearing completion, and the builders sent a message to the stone-cutters to quickly send the cornerstone so that the structure might be complete. The cutters replied that they had sent the stone years before. Then someone remembered the one stone that was different than all the rest that somehow did not seem to belong. They realized that they had thrown away the cornerstone. They hurried into the valley to retrieve it. Finally under vines and debris they recovered it and with great effort rolled it up the hill and put it in place so that the great temple would be complete. The stone that had been rejected had become the chief cornerstone.

Jesus, during his lifetime on earth, was rejected and even despised by man.  Even today there are many in this world who cast Him aside, deeming Him useless and unnecessary.  Today, however, something has changed: He who had been rejected now reigns at the right hand of the Father. And all heaven joins in the rejoicing!

PRAYER: Though most of us would like to think we would never reject You, Lord, the simple fact of the matter is that we do reject You each time we choose to dabble in sin!  We are sorry!  Forgive us, and let us turn Your rejection into rejoicing!  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 07/01/11 – The Son of Man Must Suffer

DayBreaks for 07/01/11 – The Son of Man Must Suffer

NOTE: Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11.  Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!)  Thanks for your understanding!

The Son of Man came to serve..and suffer...and save

Luke 9:22 – “And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Why was it so hard for people to accept Jesus in his day?  Why is it so hard today?  Perhaps the clue is in this verse.  We need to look closely at what this verse said about Jesus.  It was necessary for him to suffer many things and be rejected.  As Jurgen Moltmann put it in The Crucified God: “To suffer and be rejected are not identical.  Suffering can be celebrated and admired.  It can arouse compassion.  But to be rejected takes away the dignity from suffering and makes it dishonorable suffering.  To suffer and be rejected signify the cross.”

It is fairly easy for people to be drawn to those who suffer for a good cause.  Consider Mother Theresa as an example – she suffered in many ways through self-denial and was perhaps one of the most admired women of the 20th century.  I have never in my life heard anyone say anything negative about Mother Theresa and her single-minded devotion to serving humanity.  But how would we have felt about her if she was also rejected by virtually everyone except for a small band of 12 followers (who ran and hid when she died)?

Persecution is all about rejection.  And Jesus warned us that we would be persecuted – clearly implying that his followers would be rejected.  After all, if we are to walk in His footsteps and he was rejected – can we expect any less?  In fact, wouldn’t you think that it would be a sign of a disciple?

How eager are you to earn the acceptance of those around you?  Are you so eager for their acceptance that you hide your allegiance to Christ to avoid their rejection?

The Son of man was rejected because it was necessary in order to maintain his holiness.  If we are to be His followers, we must be ready to accept rejection as well.

Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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