DayBreaks for 12/07/18 – Bones of the Past

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DayBreaks for 12/07/18: Bones of the Past

From the DayBreaks Archive, 12/8/98:

A few years ago, a large group of Vietnam veterans met in New York to commemorate the Vietnam War and its effect on their lives. Many were still suffering emotional wounds from that conflict. A Vietnamese Buddhist monk came to the gathering and told a moving story. During the war, a young Vietnamese woman was killed, leaving behind her husband and young son. The husband, needing to provide for himself and the boy, traveled far and wide looking for odd jobs. Often he left the child with neighbors. After one long trip looking for work, the man returned to find his village demolished and his neighbors gone. Searching through the rubble, he found some small bones scattered around. He was sure that these were the remains of his son. He wrapped the bones in cloth and carried them with him everywhere he went. Many years passed, and one night the old man heard knocking on his door. He called out, “Who’s there?” “It is your son! My kidnappers set me free and I have spent many years trying to find you!” The old man yelled, “You are a fake and a cruel man. My son is dead. Leave me alone!” He would not open the door. The pounding continued for a while, but then it stopped. The young man gave up and left.

A heartbreaking story. Here was a man who obviously loved his son deeply. Yet he was too afraid to give up the bones that he’d carried for years. He never found the happiness that was knocking at his door because he was so determined to hold onto the bones of the past rather than live in the joy of the present.

Are you holding onto the bones of your past so much that you are denying yourself the joy that Jesus intends for you to have today? If so, you need to let the bones go. They are only bones and they are relics from the past that need to be discarded so you can answer the knocking at the door of your heart. Perhaps they were very precious to you – like the bones of his son to this old man in the story. I understand. God understands. But they are from the past and we must not live there or we will miss the blessings and opportunities that God has designed for today. Isaiah 43:18 contains God’s instructions for us in this matter: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:13-14

God gives us the choice: live with the bones of the past, or live in the here-and-now with the Lord of the past, present and future.

Prayer: Lord, let me find and know your joy today!  Help me forget the former things as I anticipate what is to come!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 11/19/14 – On That Day

DayBreaks for 11/19/14 – On That Day

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Today, I’m not writing anything other than this brief introduction because this photo says it far more eloquently than words ever could.  I shall let this photo and Scripture speak for themselves.

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Revelation 21:3-4 (NLT) – I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. 4  He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

PRAYER: Let us engage with vigor in Your service! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DayBreaks for 01/12/12 – Trust, the Final Word – Trust #16

DayBreaks for 01/12/12 – Trust, the Final Word, Trust #16

Trusting Him sets us free!!!

From November 2001:

This DayBreaks will conclude this series of thoughts on trust.  I don’t want to leave you with the mistaken impression that I’ve got it all together when it comes to trust.  Far, far from it.  I don’t.  But He is faithfully teaching me and has opened my eyes to the power of trust in the Christian life to free us and enable us to do things that we would never dream of even trying because we know it won’t be our doing or even our responsibility to make it happen – it is He that gives the victory and strength.

Yet, I have a dear friend with two young children whose husband is not longer in the home.  I have a dear friend whose mother is no longer able to care for herself and God doesn’t seem disposed to heal her.  I have friends at church for whom God has not provided a job for a long time, in spite of many prayers asking for a job.  I have a cousin who has a life-threatening illness – and I’ve prayed over and over for a miracle from God – thus far to no avail.  Why should these people trust Him?  Why should I?

Let me turn one more time on this topic to Brennan Manning and his work, Ruthless Trust: “Abba, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup away from me.  But let it be as you, not I, would have it.”  (Mark 14:36)  Jesus’ death on Calvary is his greatest act of trust in his Father.  Jesus plunges into the darkness of death…confident only that somehow his Abba will vindicate him…and his blessed, obstinate, importunate trust ravishes the heart of his Abba.

“To be like Christ is to be a Christian.

“Clearly, growth in trust cannot be self-initiated.  The one thing most needed cannot be self-supplied.  But there is one abundant source of trust to which we must return again and again.  It flows from the barren rock of Golgotha at the feet of the crucified Christ.  Contemplate the incomparable love of Jesus as he suffocates to death.  ‘There is no greater love than this…’ (John 15:13).  For a few minutes stay face to face with the dying Jesus and hear him whisper, ‘I’m dying…to be with you.’

“The same love yesterday on Calvary, today in our hearts, and forever in heaven.   Jesus crucified is not merely a heroic example to the church.  He is the power and wisdom of God, his love capable of transforming our cowardly, distrustful hearts into hearts strong in the trust that they are loved.  We do not have to do anything, except let our unworthy, ungrateful selves be loved as we are.  Trust happens.  You will trust him to the degree that you know you are loved by him.

“I am the resurrection.  If anyone believes in my, even though he or she dies will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.  Do you believe this?  (John 11:26)

“Ruthless trust ultimately comes down to this: faith in the person of Jesus and hope in his promise.  In spite of all disconcerting appearances, we stare down death without nervousness and anticipate resurrection solely because Jesus has said, ‘You have my word on it.’

“It doesn’t get any more ruthless. Either we believe in the resurrection and therefore trust in Jesus of Nazareth and the gospel he preached, or we do not believe in the resurrection and therefore do not trust in Jesus of Nazareth and the gospel he preached.  If Easter is not history, we must become cynics.  In other words, either we trust in the person and promise of Jesus and commit our lives to both, or we do not.

“In the century just gone by, was there a bolder witness than that of Deitrich Bonhoeffer?  On April 9, 1945, in a concentration camp in Flossenburg, Germany, having been condemned to death for conspiring in a plot to assassinate Adolph Hitler, Bonhoeffer broke loose from his two Nazi guards and went running toward the gallows, shouting, ‘O death, you are the supreme festival on the road to Christian freedom!’

“Ruthless trust is an unerring sense, way deep down, that beneath the surface agitation, boredom, and insecurity of life, it’s gonna be all right.  Ill winds may blow, more character defects may surface, sickness may visit, and friends will surely die; but a stubborn, irrefutable certainty persists that God is with us and loves us in our struggle to be faithful.  A non-rational, absolutely true intuition perdures that there is something unfathomably big in the universe, something that points to Someone who is filled with peace and power, love and undreamed of creativity – Someone who inevitably will reconcile all things in himself.

“…trust is the pre-eminent expression of love.  Thus, it may mean more to Jesus when we say, ‘I trust you,’ than when we say, ‘I love you.

“Where am I in all this?  With you, clasping hands each morning and crying out in unison, ‘Lord Jesus, I trust you; help my lack of trust.”

PRAYER: Jesus, I want to know you and love you and trust you more!  Grant me your grace to grow in trust!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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