DayBreaks for 4/11/19 – Who Will Show Us Better Times?

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DayBreaks for 4/11/19: Who Will Show Us Better Times?

From the DayBreaks archive, April 2009:

I remember one morning shortly after the 2008 presidential election, I was listening to the radio in the garage as I was exercising.  There were people on the radio who were so excited about what Barack Obama would do for them.  Now, I’ll grant you that this isn’t a reflection on Barack Obama, but just on a few people (probably the most radical ones they could find) who were among his adoring band of adherents.  I could scarcely believe my ears when I heard this one lady say “Now I won’t have to make my house or car payments any more.”  What was she thinking?  She was thinking that the new President was somehow going to make everything better overnight and that she’d no longer have to meet her obligations – the government would take care of it all for her for the rest of her life.   When I heard her statement, I about fell off the elliptical machine!

On the day I wrote this email, the news was reporting that for the first time, they are now forecasting a global recession.  (As if we weren’t already in one!)  And, the news about GM isn’t good: they plan to shut down for 9 weeks this summer in order “to save money” – but did you know that GM is obligated to make up the difference between what the employees would normally be paid and what they will get on temporary disability?  It’s not clear how much money it will save them, but that’s not the point, either.  The jobless rate continues to climb.  The announcer on the radio also pointed out that home prices in the bay area have fallen another 12.5% from this time last year, and that the market is still stagnant and the prospects for it picking up soon aren’t good.

So, is it any wonder that some will fantasize about how someone (read “government”) will fix all our problems for us?  Let’s face it: we all would like things to be better, for the economy to be good again, for much of the discomfort and hardship to be over and gone and for the “good times” to roll.  That’s what’s so intriguing about this passage from the NLT, found in Psalm 4:6-8: “Many people will say, ‘Who will show us better times?’  Let Your face smile on us, Lord.  You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine.  In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”

What a great passage!  People all over are seeking for someone to “show us better times”, even if it means mortgaging our grandchildren’s future.  Isn’t that a bit selfish on our part?  I’d rather deal with the hard times myself than pass it off on my grandkids.  But the answer to the question is implied in the second line: “Let Your face smile on us, Lord.”  You can’t expect the President, Congress, the United Nations, the European Union/Common Market, the burgeoning economies of India or China to show us better times. 

As Christians, we need to take it to heart that we already have better times given to us by the Lord.  He has given us greater joy than those who have riches.  And at night, we can sleep deeply, drinking in the truth of the knowledge that the Lord, and only the Lord, can and will keep us safe and bring us better times – in the next life, if not in this one.

Prayer: Lord, forgive our frantic worrying about the good times.  Help us to hold firmly to the truth that you have ALREADY given us greater joy than anything that money or bumper crops could possibly afford!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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DayBreaks for 11/07/18 – The Easy Road

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DayBreaks for 11/07/18: The Easy Road

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2008:

A missionary society wrote to David Livingstone in Africa saying, “Some people would like to join you. What’s the easiest road to get to where you are?” Livingstone replied, “If they’re looking for the easiest road, tell them to stay in England. I want people who will come, even if there is no road at all!”

Isn’t it just like human nature to look for the easiest way to get somewhere? Seldom do we want to put in the hard work to blaze new trails. So we look for the easiest way. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that in some matters, but when you start talking about spiritual things, it gets really risky.

Satan specializes in “the easy way” – the path of least resistance. Think about this example: why did Jesus come to the earth? To save mankind and regain that which was lost for God’s cause, right? So how did Satan tempt Jesus in Luke 4:5-8? He offered Jesus the “easy way” to get what he wanted. After showing him all the kingdoms of the world, he offered them to Jesus if he would “…worship me, it will all be yours.” It would have been the easy way to get the “kingdoms of the world”, their “authority and splendor” – much easier than going to the cross and dying! But Jesus knew that even though it may be the easy way, it wasn’t the right way.

In the case of Dr. Livingstone, he understood the same thing that Jesus did: those who seek the easy way aren’t made out of very tough stuff. They have a tendency to quit when things get hard and the heat gets turned up in the kitchen.

God wants people who will come to Him no matter what the cost. He’s made the road available through Calvary. When there was no road in the past, he parted the Red Sea and His children walked through on dry ground.

Where is God sending you? The road may not be easy – in fact, you can bet that it probably won’t be easy. Maybe you can’t even see a road to get there. Don’t worry – He’ll make one just for you!

Whenever you are tempted to take the easy road – think twice and make sure you know where it will lead before you start walking!

PRAYER: Lord, give us the fortitude to choose your pathway no matter how difficult rather than taking the easy route to nowhere. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 7/05/17 – Caleb and Courageous Conviction, #3

Hill country, Israel. 

DayBreaks for 7/05/17: Caleb and Courageous Conviction, #3

When I was young, I could run and run and run and seemingly never tire. So, for the most part, I ran longer races when I ran track in high school. And I was fairly good at it – though I knew it was not something I’d ever do as a living or career. Then, seemingly almost overnight, I didn’t enjoy the endurance races any longer. I don’t know why, but they just weren’t fun any longer.

Endurance is a hard quality to cultivate. As we get older, our endurance seems to get less and less physically. That is to be expected, I believe, as our bodies start to show the strains of the decades.

Caleb way a man of courageous endurance. When he approaches Joshua with his request to be given the hill country for his inheritance in the Promised Land, he was 85 years old. He was around 40 when he went into the land as a spy, and around 80 when they returned and finally entered the land. Now, at 85 he stands before Joshua and says, in Joshua 14:10-12 (NLT) – Now, as you can see, the LORD has kept me alive and well as he promised for all these forty-five years since Moses made this promise—even while Israel wandered in the wilderness. Today I am eighty-five years old. I am as strong now as I was when Moses sent me on that journey, and I can still travel and fight as well as I could then. So give me the hill country that the LORD promised me. You will remember that as scouts we found the descendants of Anak living there in great, walled towns. But if the LORD is with me, I will drive them out of the land, just as the LORD said.” That, my friends, is a man of endurance and conviction!

What can we learn from Caleb about this? Several things, I believe:

FIRST: passion for the good needn’t diminish as we get older. While for most of  us our physical strength will decline, our spiritual strength should be growing stronger day by day as we have mounting evidence of the Lord’s faithfulness. Caleb hadn’t forgotten the promise of the Lord concerning the hill country. Now, at 85, he was ready to claim that promise.

SECOND: Caleb recognizes that the victory will be won, but that it won’t be won by his own unabated strength: it will be won if the Lord is with me. I don’t for a second believe that Caleb felt that “if” was up for debate. He knew he’d drive the residents of the hill country out just as the Lord said.

THIRD: though the pathway may be long and arduous, there is a reward at the end of a life for courageous conviction. Caleb trusted in the Word of the Lord. He had seen it come true over and over and over – and had never once seen it fail. In spite of having to endure 40 years of struggle in the desert, Caleb had not forgotten the promise. He had not deserved the desert – he had not been one of the faithless 10 spies. Yet he had to endure it, then he had to survive the battles to take the majority of the promised land. Endurance must have been his middle name.

FOURTH: as time grows shorter for each of us, we need to lay hold of the things that God has promised us. For Caleb, it was the hill country. For you and I, we, too, must press on to take possession of the Promised Land that the Lord has promised us. The promises that the Father has made to us are no different than the promises He made to Moses, Joshua or Caleb. The Father that was faithful and made those promises come true is the same Father who has given you His promise. It may have been many years in the coming, but it will come. Stay strong like Caleb. There are multitudes of blessings for a life of courageous endurance – not the least of which is a place in the Promised Land.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for men and women like Caleb who show us that we need not grow faint or weary in our journey. Thank you for being faithful to your promises then and now. Let us rise up to take the hill country you have set before us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 6/13/16 – To Stand Beside the King

DayBreaks for 6/13/16 – To Stand Beside the King

There is an old story about the Greek Marathon. Muscular, conditioned runners paced nervously near the starting line for the long-distance race. The time was near. They “shook out” their muscles, inhaled deeply, and put on their “game faces.” In the midst of it all, a young stranger took his place at the starting line. His physique was awesome. Taking no notice of the other contestants, he stared straight ahead. Two prizes would be awarded the winner of the Marathon: a magnificent bouquet of flowers and the honor of standing beside the king until the conclusion of other contests. There seemed to be no question among the runners about who would win the prize. It is alleged that the stranger was offered money not to run. Someone else attempted to bribe him with property. Refusing the offers, he toed the mark and awaited the signal to run. When the signal was given, he was the first away. At the finish line, he was the first to cross, well ahead of the rest. When it was all done, someone asked the young man if he thought the flowers were worth as much as the money and property he had refused. He replied, “I did not enter the race for the flowers. I ran so that I could stand beside my king!”

Again, the woman who “intruded” into the Pharisee’s house apparently had one thing on her mind. She wanted to stand beside her king.

We might do things for a wide variety of motivations, some good, some bad. Some confess faith in Christ because it is expected of them. Some may do it more as a social engagement. Those who do so will not last in the race to the finish. We need a motivation that will stand the tests of life. Can you imagine what it would be like some day to stand beside Jesus?

Run the race so you can stand beside your King!

PRAYER: Jesus, we long to finish the race and stand beside our King. Help us to persevere, run well and may we one day stand in your presence! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 11/11/13 – The Reward for Faithfulness

DayBreaks for 11/11/13 – The Reward for Faithfulness

Exodus 20:6 (NLT)  But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.

Has it ever seemed to you that God isn’t noticing what you’ve been up to?  I don’t mean the sins – we all seem to have a pretty good notion that God is seeing those, don’t we!  I am talking about the good things that you’ve been doing.  Sometimes it seems as if that faithfulness is not being noticed, let alone rewarded.

That’s how it was with Zechariah and Elizabeth, I suspect.  Zechariah was a priest, a Levite.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, are described in Luke 1 as “upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.”  Then comes the kicker: “But they had no children because Elizabeth was barren and they were both well along in years.”

I am sure that this first century Jewish couple didn’t start out their marriage hoping to be childless.  By this time in their lives, they probably expected that not only would they have had their own children, but that their grandchildren and possibly great-grandchildren would be happily playing on the living room floor.  But, it hadn’t happened.

I can’t help but wonder if perhaps they felt that God hadn’t noticed the faithful service of Zechariah, or the piety and purity of Elizabeth.  Perhaps He’d not noticed their faithfulness at giving their tithes, at observing the Sabbath and feast days.  After all, aren’t the righteous supposed to enjoy God’s blessing?  But Elizabeth was barren – something that bore a stigma – that you’d done something terribly sinful to not have a child.

Can you identify?  Perhaps you’ve taught Sunday school for years, but you, too, are barren.  Or you’ve been an elder or deacon for years and years but your child has now turned against God and rebelled against your teaching and example.  Or your spouse has had an affair (or you have), and your marriage is on the rocks.  A death-sentence diagnosis may have been given to you or one you love…and you’re wondering “Well, God,  how about it?  How about that blessing that is to come to the ones You love?”

The story of Zechariah and Elizabeth may give us a clue: first came the long, bitter years of disappointment when every month there was no child.  Then comes the big announcement: but the timing wasn’t what Zechariah/Elizabeth would have chosen for themselves.  At their age, it would be a question of whether they would need more diapers than the baby boy the angel promised them.  That is usually the sequence: obedience, disappointment, timing.

The sermon today speaks to this nagging feeling that God isn’t rewarding our obedience.  Based on today’s verse (above), I am reminded that God may reward my grandchildren and great-grandchildren for my faithfulness today.  I may never see that blessing, but would I rather that God withheld it from my grandchildren or great-grandchildren just so I could see it today myself?  God forbid!!! Never in a million years would I wish such a thing!  I doubt that Zechariah and Elizabeth lived long enough to hear their son, John the Baptist, preach a single sermon, or to see the hearts of the nation turned back to God because of his work.  But it was a reward for their faithfulness, was it not?

Discouraged that God’s not noticing you and your labors for Him?  Don’t be.  It is all a matter of timing and the reward will appear…perhaps even for a thousand generations! 

PRAYER: Jesus, that you that you are faithful to reward obedience!  Grant us the grace to be contented to believe and trust in Your promise, even if we never see that reward in our lifetime!  We ask You to bless and reward our descendants to the thousandth generation according to You promise! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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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 donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 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.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 06/13/13 – To Stand by the King

DayBreaks for 06/13/13 – To Stand by the King

praise1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NLT) – Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 25  All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  26  So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing.  27  I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

There is an old story about the Greek Marathon. Muscular, conditioned runners paced nervously near the starting line for the long-distance race. The time was near. They “shook out” their muscles, inhaled deeply, and put on their “game faces.” In the midst of it all, a young stranger took his place at the starting line. His physique was awesome. Taking no notice of the other contestants, he stared straight ahead. Two prizes would be awarded the winner of the Marathon: a magnificent bouquet of flowers and the honor of standing beside the king until the conclusion of other contests. There seemed to be no question among the runners about who would win the prize.

It is alleged that the stranger was offered money not to run. Someone else attempted to bribe him with property. Refusing the offers, he toed the mark and awaited the signal to run. When the signal was given, he was the first away. At the finish line, he was the first to cross, well ahead of the rest. When it was all done, someone asked the young man if he thought the flowers were worth as much as the money and property he had refused. He replied, “I did not enter the race for the flowers. I ran so that I could stand beside my king!”

Why are you attempting to live the Christian life?  Is it so you can have a “mansion” in heaven? (How I hate the lyrics to that old song, “A Mansion Over the Hilltop”!  Talk about a materialistic view of Christianity!)  Or is it so you can with the “eternal prize”…which won’t be the mansion, but rather the privilege of living in His Presence for all eternity?  He is, as Scripture says in Gen. 15:1, that He is the “very great reward” – nothing else can begin to compare.

The Greeks prized the bouquet of flowers…but it was just a bouquet of flowers destined to die and fade.  God doesn’t do either…and He never will. 

One more rather scary thought from the last verse: if the apostle Paul was afraid of possibly being disqualified from the prize, what should I think of my chances?  Of course, let us take comfort in knowing it isn’t our righteousness, but His that matters…and that, in and of itself, is a more than sufficient.  Let us live discerning lives, regardless! 

PRAYER:  Lord, we long for You, the very great reward!  Let us run the race for the right reasons!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 04/12/12 – All That’s Coming to Us

DayBreaks for 04/12/12 – All That’s Coming to Us

 

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 04/16/02:

“All I want is my fair share.”

How many times during your life have you heard someone say that?  Or, more significantly, how many times in your life have you said it?  We all what “our fair share”, don’t we?  It starts out when we are little children and we notice for the first time that mom or dad gave brother or sister a larger piece of cake, a bigger candy bar, or a fuller bowl of ice cream than we got.  And immediately, our instincts kick into full gear and we feel slighted, cheated, that the world has suddenly become a very unfair place!

Hello!  Welcome to reality!  The world IS a very unfair place…to Christians and to un-Christians alike.  In a strange way, curiosity starts this entire process.  We begin to wonder if someone is getting more of life’s good things than we are.  And it is pride that drives this curiosity.  It is nothing new to the twenty-first century, and this kind of thinking even existed in the days of the New Testament (in fact, we can even see it in operation with Adam and Eve wondering if they were getting all that they could or should be getting in the garden).

Calvin Miller, in The Unchained Soul, suggests: “This curiosity has us all wondering if we shall get ‘all that’s coming to us’.  We do this in front of the Savior.  Peter, after learning that he will be martyred, asks Christ as he points to John, ‘But Lord, what about this man?’  (John 21:21)  Spiritual one-upmanship reigned in his life!  Competition was his insatiable curiosity.  Peter wanted to be sure he got God’s best deal…Cain’s competition with Abel began in curiosity but ended in incrimination and murder.  It was Cain’s curiosity that kept asking, ‘How come Abel gets all the good deals in life?’  Curiosity not only killed the cat, it was the beginning of humanity’s competitive spirit.  It teaches us first to compete and later to hate…Our duty is to serve God and not be overtaken by undue concerns about others.”

What is amazing to me about all this is that we believe we are in a position to judge whether or not God is giving us the best deal!  We presume, by our judgment that others are getting more than we are, that we understand things better than God.  And we get upset, and like little children, stomp our feet on the floor and start to whine to God about “All I want is what’s coming to me!”

Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want what is coming to me.  I want what God is willing to give to me.  If He gave me what was coming to me, I’d spend eternity in hell, because as a sinner, that’s what should be coming to me!  But, praise God, because of His amazing mercy, God gives me much more than my fair share – He is building a mansion for me in heaven, he is going to take away all my tears, all my suffering, all my sadness.

I hope I never again feel as if I’m not getting my fair share.  What this world has to offer shouldn’t even be of interest to me.  My values and my treasure are to be in a far better place!

PRAYER: Thank You Almighty God, for Your unbelievably wonderful grace!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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