DayBreaks for 3/23/17 – I Have Revealed You

DayBreaks for 3/23/17: I Have Revealed You

NOTE: Galen is traveling this week. This week’s DayBreaks will be from the May 2007 archives.

John 17:6 (NIV) – I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.

“I have revealed You.” 

For millennia, people have looked up at the sky and observed the world around them and pondered what God (or the gods) were like.  At times, from external appearances, God didn’t seem to be too friendly.  Billions of unanswered questions were flung skyward, and yet God couldn’t be seen or known or understood.  Droughts, fires, storms, earthquakes, volcanoes, diseases, death suggested that perhaps God wasn’t too good, too friendly, nor was it a good idea to get too close to Him.  And who can blame them for coming to such conclusions?  Let’s be honest here: life is tough.  It’s hard.  Even today, when a Katrina or a tsunami strike, one of the first questions out of the mouths of people is: “Why did God do this?  Either he must not be a good God, or he must not be strong enough and powerful enough to prevent such things.”  Their doubts lead some to the conclusion that God is vengeful, angry with all of mankind, or that maybe at some point, like Nietzsche, they concluded in their own reasoning that God kicked the bucket at some time and that’s why these things happen. 

Honestly, these are tough questions.  What I think we should understand from the text is that Jesus came partly to correct our many wrong conceptions about God and to answer some of our questions about Him.  Notice, I didn’t say he came to answer all our questions, because God is infinite – and quite frankly, our human minds can’t any more capture all that there is to know about God than a paper cup could hold the entire contents of the Pacific Ocean.  But He showed us God…and He showed us enough of God to show us that God isn’t like what we thought He was like at all. 

What did Jesus reveal about God to us?  His nature.  We see God by seeing Jesus.  What did Jesus do when he was confronted with suffering?  NOT ONCE is it recorded that he refused to allow suffering to move him in his heart and soul – he didn’t scold those who were suffering or say that they lacked sufficient faith to be healed, he didn’t say “You’re suffering because you’re a horribly sinful person” or “Because God’s mad at you.”  In fact, when asked whose fault it was someone was handicapped, or who was to blame for a tower at Siloam falling and killing people, Jesus said it was the work of the enemy – not God.  And then Jesus proceeded to show his disciples, and us, what God is like and how He feels about such things: he healed, removing the suffering.  In every case where Jesus was personally asked for healing, he healed!  That is God’s nature – to heal all that is broken – in His time.  Did Jesus heal everyone who was sick while he was on earth?  No, he did not.  Why?  Again – that’s a topic for another time, and it’s an answer we can only speculate about – but what Scripture does make clear about God is that he will fix it all eventually, when the time is right.  And then no one will be complaining any more, or suffering.  “I have revealed you” is wonderful news.

The question that haunts me, though, isn’t about Jesus and his revealing of God.  No, it’s much more personal.  Has my life revealed Him, or obscured Him?  What does my life say about Who God is and what He is like?

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for revealing the Father to us.  Thank you for showing us that God is a GOOD God, a trustworthy God who is eternally interested in our good.  Help us, as week and sinful as we are, to emulate Jesus and reveal God to those who witness our lives each day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 8/20/15 – All That Is Hidden

DayBreaks for 8/20/15: All That is Hidden

From the DayBreaks archive, 8/20/2005:

LONDON – It’s nice to wake up from surgery to see your family gathered around you for support. For Melvyn Reed, however, it wasn’t so nice when he awoke from triple bypass surgery to find all three of his wives surrounding him.   While he was under the knife, his years as a double bigamist came to an end when the three women showed up at the same time to the hospital and realized something wasn’t right. They held a meeting in the parking lot and discovered they were all married to the same man! Reed later turned himself into police, admitting he was married to all three women, and confessed to bigamy.

I remember waking up after my bypass surgery and having the nurses and my wife present. It was a wonderful and comforting feeling to have her there, and to know that, well, I was still among the living and that the nurses were being so attentive. I can’t imagine what kind of thoughts must have gone through Mr. Reed’s mind, however, when he opened his eyes to see all 3 of his wives standing beside his bed. He may have been afraid to go back to sleep for fear that they’d unhook his medical equipment!

I’ve written many times about the passage that describes the human heart as being totally deceitful. Of all the things that can deceive us in this world, our own hearts and minds must be on the top of the heap. And there is nothing that we deceive ourselves about more completely than in thinking that our sins are hidden. Why? We take comfort in thinking that they’re hidden, and we probably take a bit of perverse pride in our ability to cover them up, too. We can hide much from the eyes of our families, friends, co-workers and fellow students, even from our pastors and spiritual mentors. The Spirit, however, sees all. May we learn from the foolishness of Melvyn Reed that we’re not nearly as clever as we think we are. All that is hidden will be made known.

Luke 12:2-3 – There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 3 What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs.

1 Cor. 3:13 – But there is going to come a time of testing at the judgment day to see what kind of work each builder has done. Everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value.

PRAYER: Let us truly understand that nothing is hidden from You, and that we are foolish to think we can “get away” with our sin! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 06/11/13 – The Secret Things

DayBreaks for 06/11/13 – The Secret Things

secretLuke 8:17 (NLT) – For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.

Jesus is concerned about our secrets.  We keep the truth from ourselves, from others and most impossibly of all, we try to keep secrets from God, who has promised that every secret thing will be made visible. 

There is real debate about what the day of Judgment will be like for Christians.  On one hand we have this verse and on the other are verses that suggest God has forgiven/forgotten our sin and will not hold it against us.  I honestly don’t know what it will be like – nor does anyone else, but let me ask: how do you feel about the idea that your sins may all be revealed? Ashamed? Does it seem that it would be humiliation? And what about the promise that “The one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” (1 Pet. 2:6)

If every hidden thing is to be revealed, it seems our shame would be immense! Once again, right or wrong, Max Lucado makes an interesting point: “If the hidden is known and the secret is shown, won’t I be embarrassed beyond recovery? No, you won’t. Here is why…Shame is a child of self-centeredness. Heaven’s occupants are not self-centered, they are Christ-centered. You will be in your sinless state. The sinless don’t protect a reputation or project an image. You won’t be ashamed. You’ll be happy to let God do in heaven what He did on earth – be honored in your weaknesses. Heads bowed in shame? No. Heads bowed in worship? No doubt. By the way, won’t it feel good to have it all out in the open? No more games. No more make-believe. No more cover-ups…The result will be the first genuine community of forgiven people. Only one is worthy of the applause of heaven, and he’s the one with the pierced hands and feet.”

In When Christ Comes, by Max Lucado, Max says: “The secrets of sinners and saints alike? Yes, but – and this is essential – the sins of the saved will be revealed as forgiven sins.” What would be the purpose of revealing the sins of everyone? For the sinner – their sins must be revealed so that their judgement will be seen to be fair. For the saved – their sins will be revealed so that God’s grace will be revealed.

Time magazine carried a story about a new phone service that that people could call and pay to have someone listen to their confessions.  That line received as many as 10,000 calls per day. 

Why would someone call a confession hot line and pay to have someone hear them confess the deepest and darkest secrets in their lives?  I am not sure, but I think it probably has something to do with the human heart and how hard it is for the heart to bear up indefinitely under the weight of our hidden sin and shame.

But there is another reason that has been suggested, too: it is the one place where people could turn and know that they go to vent out their guilt and be guaranteed that no one would judge them for their evil.  There seems to be some craving in us and at some level, we know the truth does, as Jesus said, set us free – even from our own shame.

The point of revealing secrets won’t be to make sure everyone knows every salacious detail. It isn’t to shame us. Because we are all sinners – because we all have hidden sinful secrets – the focus won’t be on our sins. None of us will have anything to brag about or be prideful at all. The focus will be on His grace – not my sin! My sins will appear as nothing compared to the greatness of His grace and mercy!

PRAYER: Father, we don’t want to be ashamed, yet we are when we think of our sin being found out.  We want to believe we have kept secrets from not just others, but You.  Help us see the folly of our thinking and correct our lives!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 10/05/12 – Buried In Plain Sight

DayBreaks for 10/05/12 – Buried In Plain Sight

Sometimes no one ever really knows what lurks beneath until things get a good shake. An April earthquake in the region of the Solomon Islands shook loose a World War II torpedo boat which had rested on the ocean floor for over 60 years. The boat’s hull was intact—explosives and all. A bomb unit was deployed to detonate the torpedoes safely.

Experts believe the PT boat is just one of many pieces of military wreckage that pepper the coastline of the islands. This piece is particularly fascinating in that it’s the same variety of military craft U.S. President John F. Kennedy commanded.

Jay Waura of the National Disaster Management Office said, “We were amazed by this finding, as previously this wreckage had long been sitting under the sea and rusting in peace without anyone knowing about it.”

Luke 8:17 – For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.

There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed.  We like to believe in exceptions – and in particular that WE are the exception to the rule.  But Jesus is clear: “There is NOTHING hidden that will not be disclosed…”

Whatever things we are trying to hide from the sight of the Lord are clearly visible to Him now…and they will be made visible to all one day.  I don’t like that.  If you don’t like it either, then we should change how we live.

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that your Presence will continually remind us that all shall one day be revealed!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 09/13/11 – The Overriding Command

DayBreaks for 09/13/11 – The Overriding Command

The hidden will be made visible...

The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. – Luke 12:2

In the wake of the 2011 London riots, which included days of crazed, wild and uncontrollable looting and violence, Great Britain’s chief rabbi Jonathan Sacks decried the “moral disintegration” of the western world.  He said:

“[The rioters] are the victims of the tsunami of wishful thinking that washed across the West saying that you can have sex without the responsibility of marriage, children without the responsibility of parenthood, social order without the responsibility of citizenship, liberty without the responsibility of morality, and self-esteem without the responsibility of work and earned achievement.

“What has happened morally in the West is what has happened financially as well. Good and otherwise sensible people were persuaded that you could spend more than you earn, incur debt at unprecedented levels and consume the world’s resources without thinking about who will pay the bill and when ….

“There are large parts of Britain, Europe, and even the United States where religion is a thing of the past, and there is no counter-voice to the culture of buy it, spend it, wear it, flaunt it, because you’re worth it. The message is that morality is passé, conscience is for wimps, and the single overriding command is ‘Thou shalt not be found out.’” – Jonathan Sacks, “Reversing the Decay of London Undone,” The Wall Street Journal (8-20-11)

I sometimes wonder: would we sin nearly as often if we really believed that our sins will “find us out”, or to put it another way, if everything that we’ve hidden will be made as plain and as visible as day.  Every bank robber or criminal thinks that they’ll be able to get away with their crime.  And many don’t see what they are doing as wrong – somehow thinking that as long as they aren’t caught, that it isn’t really illegal.

With God, there is no way that what we have done will not be found out and made visible.  Think about that today when  you are tempted to do something in secret that you know is wrong, for nothing is really secret.

PRAYER: Don’t let us deceive ourselves foolishly thinking that what we do in secret will never be known or revealed!  Let us not be ashamed in the day of your glory!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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