DayBreaks for 10/02/17 – Between Intimacy and Fear

DayBreaks for 10/02/17: Between Intimacy and Fear

From our Sunday worship bulletin: “We live in irreverent times when people show less and less respect for positions, traditions, and institutions. At times, we even see this attitude in churches. Many have become very ‘casual’ about the things of God.

“Much of the current preaching heard in evangelical churches teaches us that God desires to have an intimate, personal relationship with us, and indeed He does (Jas. 4:8, John 15:15). We told that we can call God, ‘Abba’ (or ‘Daddy’), and rightfully so. However, there should be a balance between intimacy and awe. Right after James writes ‘Draw near to God’, he continues with ‘Cleanse your hands you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded’. While the Bible reveals God’s desire for intimacy with us, it also shows us His awesome holiness, majesty, and power. Much of what we find in Scripture is meant to create greater reverence for Him.

“A good example of the proper balance between intimacy and awe is found in the apostle John. He was one of Jesus’ closest friends, part of the ‘inner circle’ of disciples with Peter and James. Six times in his gospel, John calls himself ‘the disciple Jesus loved.’ If anyone had the right and privilege to be ‘chummy’ with Jesus, it was Joh, but in Revelation 1:10-20, when John sees Jesus in heaven in all his glory, with His eyes ‘like a flame of fire’ and His face ‘like the sun shining in full strength, he didn’t say, ‘Hey man! How’s it goin’?’John said, ‘When I saw Him, I fell at his feet as though dead’ (Rev. 1:17).  Here’s someone who knew Jesus as well as anyone ever had, and yet, he was full of reverence and awe at the sight of his risen Lord.”

So, somewhere between casual friendship and terrifying fear, between being with a close friend and the Eternal Almighty God, we are to encounter Christ. I am confident there are times we are to come to Him like a little child and crawl up and snuggle in His arms, but there are also times we need to fall on our face as did the disciple that Jesus loved more than any other. To focus solely on one or the other is to deny the truth in a dangerous way.  

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, may we know You in all Your fullness and may we know you both as Abba and as the great I Am! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 4/02/14 – The Father’s Name

DayBreaks for 4/02/14 – The Father’s Name

Deuteronomy 5:11 (NLT)  – You must not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

I can’t recall my father ever saying anything to me about needing to behave so as not to bring disgrace or shame to my family name.  Nonetheless, I grew up with a strong sense of belonging and have always been proud to be a part of the family into which I was born.  There were some famous Dalrymple’s (and some infamous ones as well!), but I always was proud to wear the name and no one had to tell me not to bring shame to my father or the name we bore. 

Just this past Sunday as we were entering the church building for the second worship service, I heard a woman coming out of the service and overheard her say, “Oh, my God!”  And she wasn’t worshiping….she was talking about something having nothing to do with God at all. It struck me how even among Christians we have lost a sense for the reverence of the Father’s name.

“In tribe-controlled areas of India, children who disrespect their families by marrying outside their castes are still, occasionally, put to death despite strong national laws. However, enlightenment is advancing, and Mr. Sidhnath Sharma recently filed a lawsuit, instead, against his caste-straying son for “destroying the family tradition” and “lowering his father’s prestige.” Sharma, a lawyer in Patna, India, is demanding that the son pay a monthly royalty of the equivalent of $163 for the son’s now-unauthorized use of the father’s name.” [The Hindu, 1-25-2014 and News of the Weird, 4/1/14]

When I read this, I thought: what if God dealt with us the same way this Indian father is dealing with his son? When we cheapen the Holy Name of God we diminish His apparent greatness before the world, do we not?  When we throw His Name around as if it was just part of an exclamation (not really having anything at all to do with Him or His worship), it becomes almost a swear word!

Can I ask you to do so something?  If you are a follower of God, save His Name.  He doesn’t need us to save Him, but save His Name for reverence and prayer and thoughtful discussion of Who He is and what He has done.  Let’s not cheapen His name for His name deserves nothing but our highest praise and respect!  If you catch yourself saying things like, “Oh, my God!….”, stop.  Break the habit.  Honor the Lord your God!  It isn’t “cute”.  It would have been considered blasphemy in earlier times.  And God doesn’t change!  If people have lost respect for the Name of God, it isn’t because He deserves it any less, but simply because we, His people, haven’t been respecting it!

PRAYER: Holy is Your name, and greatly to be praised! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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