DayBreaks for 4/16/17 – Easter Sunday

DayBreaks for 4/16/17: Easter Sunday

From the Holy Week devotional guide from our church:

“Running. We run for a lot of reasons…for health and exercise, for sport and leisure, for a race or competition of some kind…but sometimes we run because we’re compelled to do so. Perhaps a dog in the neighborhood starts chasing you, suddenly running isn’t so much a choice, but an instinct. Or maybe you’re a parent and you’ve experienced the feeling of instinctively running to the aid of a hurt child. In moments like those you don’t stop and consider, ‘Should I run or walk?’ You simply run. You run out of concern, you run out of fear, or perhaps more descriptively, you run out of desperation.

“This was the kind of running Mary Magdalene and the disciples were doing on that glorious Sunday morning; although, at first it wasn’t glorious to them. There was confusion. Can you imagine the questions going through their heads as they ran? ‘Did they take his body? Is this some sort of cruel trick? Could it be that he actually resurrected from the dead?’

“Spiritually speaking, we run to a lot of things, for a lot of reasons. We run to  human relationships to give us the love and security that we can ultimately only get from Christ. We run to entertainment and electronic devices to give us the rest and escape that only Christ can give as our true rest and refuge. We run to money and our job performance to give us a reputation and comfort that will never be enough.

“We’re all runners. But are we running to Jesus, the very one for whom we were created…the very one by whom we are saved?

“Most often we won’t run to Him until we recognize our ongoing desperate need for Him. We run out of desperation to Him as we recognize that He doesn’t just give truthful answers, He is truth. We run out of desperation to Him as we realize that He doesn’t just point the way, He is the Way. We run out of desperation to Him as we realize that He doesn’t just give life, He is life (Jn. 14:6)

“He is life because He defeated death. Our wildest dreams have indeed come true! Run to Him!” – Jeff Norris, director of young adults and families, Perimeter church

PRAYER: Jesus, you are the way, the truth and the life. Give me strength to run to You and to forsake the other things I run to instead of you; the things that will never love me like you do. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 4/7/17: Still Running

DayBreaks for 4/7/17: Still Running

It is hard to fathom, but next week we begin “Holy Week”. There are parts about Holy Week that I love, but parts that make me terrified and feel like a worm. It is a week that will take us from the mountain of festive palms in the hands of the cheering throngs to the mountain of Golgatha’s despair. Perhaps that is why I have such strong reactions to it, why some resist it so. I mean, do we really need the emotional rollercoaster of Holy Week? What’s so wrong with just jumping from one parade to the next and skipping all the sacrifice and death stuff? What’s wrong with simply moving on to the joy of Easter, with its white bonnets, Easter eggs, family, friends, big ham dinner, and of course the empty tomb?

I think we already at least suspect, if not know, the answer to that. For starters, an empty tomb, at face value, is a lot easier to deal with than a dying, bleeding Savior on a cross. And then to remember that the bleeding Christ is the same one who invites ME to “Take up YOUR cross and follow me.” (By the way, that’s His invitation to you, too.) We are invited not just to remember His pain and suffering, but to enter into it ourselves – spiritually, emotionally and if it comes to it, physically. So, with all the pain and suffering that comes with Holy Week, is it any wonder that the human tendency is to try and ignore the events of the week and simply move on to the Easter celebration?

But as much as we’d like to skip Holy Week we know that the only way to Easter is through the cross. We know where the parade of Palm Sunday leads and we also know that we’re part of that parade. That is to say, we know this intellectually. Our hearts are another story. Our hearts may be more in sync with the disciples and the fear and disbelief that led them to run away. We do ourselves a favor if we remember that 2000 years ago His disciples ran from Him. It would seem that 2000 years later Jesus’ disciples are still running away.

Mark 14:50 (NLT) – Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away.

PRAYER: Lord, deep in my heart I know that we are meant to walk up the hill to Calvary with you – carrying our own crosses that cannot be denied if we are to be true disciples. But Lord, we don’t want to make that walk. Forgive us, enable us, to walk in your footsteps and not run. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

 

DayBreaks for 4/03/15 – Are We Still Running?

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DayBreaks for 4/03/15: Are We Still Running?

Matthew 26:56b (NIV) – Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

Holy Week is such a conundrum.  It drags us through the entire gamut of human emotions: from the great celebration of Palm Sunday, through conflicts in the city and temple, to a cherished feast with disciples, an agonizing night in a garden of olive trees, a contrived trial, a grisly and gruesome death – to the greatest celebration of all time as death was defeated by the Risen Christ!  All of that in just a matter of seven days!  Yet many resist this week.  Why?  Maybe it is because we don’t need that much emotional angst in our lives.  After all, what would be so wrong with just jumping from one parade to the next and skipping all the bloody whipping, crucifixion and death stuff?  Why not just get on to the good part – the joy of Easter, with its white bonnets, Easter eggs, family, friends, big ham dinner, oh, and of course – the empty tomb!

Jeffery London suggests the following: “Well, I think we know the answer to that. For starters, an empty tomb, at face value, is a lot easier to deal with than a dying, bleeding Savior on a cross. Add to that all the pain and suffering that comes with Holy Week, is it any wonder that the human tendency is to try and ignore the events of the week and simply move on to the Easter celebration? But as much as we’d like to skip Holy Week we know that the only way to Easter is through the cross. We know where the parade of Palm Sunday leads and we also know that we’re part of that parade. That is to say, we know this intellectually. Our hearts are another story. Our hearts may be more in sync with the disciples and the fear and disbelief that led them to run away. It would seem that 2000 years later Jesus’ disciples are still running away.”

You know, it was nearly 2000 years ago last night that Jesus’ disciples made their fear-filled sprint through the darkness of the olive grove in Gethsemane and went into hiding.  When I try to put myself in their sandals, I am ashamed to admit that I would probably have been among those running.  Why should I think that my faith would be stronger than that of Peter, James or John?  They’d spend three years watching him heal the sick, give sight to the blind, make the lame walk and dumb to speak.  They’d watched him raise not just one, but several people from the dead, for Pete’s sake!  And yet they ran.  They ran like scared rabbits.  I, God knows, I would have, too. 

Maundy Thursday is a reminder to me of how I would have run and left Jesus standing alone amid the throng of soldiers and others.  And I suspect I would have ran all the way to Tarshish (like Jonah).  I suspect you would have, too.

Right now the Lord is calling for disciples who won’t run, who won’t shrink back in fear into the shadows, who won’t compromise, but for those who will stand, even if it means they lose their life for His sake.  Will I be that kind of disciple?  Will you?  If you think you would have held firm, be careful, for those who think they stand will fall.  Just ask Peter and the rest of the disciples.

Ephesians 6:13 (NIV) – Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

The day of evil has come.

PRAYER: For your loneliness in the garden, I am ashamed.  For my running, I am ashamed.  For the times I still run, I am ashamed.  Have mercy, O Lord!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 4/21/14 – When You Think it’s Over, It’s Just Begun

DayBreaks for 4/21/14 – When You Think it is All Over, It’s Just Begun

Holy Week has now come and gone.  The palm fronds are gone, the Easter lilies are starting to droop, the colored eggs and crowds at church as all put away for another year.  And it would appear that for many, life goes back to normal, doesn’t it? There are those who feel they have fulfilled their annual “duty” to their spouse because they attended Easter services and it will now be another year before they once more have to darken the doorway of a church.

In just a matter of days Holy Week has taken us from festive palms to the mountain of Golgatha’s despair, to the stone-cold tomb and the glorious Son-rise.  Maybe that’s why so many fight it so hard! I mean, do we really need the emotional rollercoaster of Holy Week? What’s so wrong with just jumping from one parade to the next and skipping all the sacrifice and death stuff? What’s wrong with simply moving on to the joy of Easter, with its white bonnets, Easter eggs, family, friends, big ham dinner, and of course the empty tomb.

Well, I think that deep inside we all know the answer to that, don’t we? For starters, an empty tomb, at face value, is a lot easier to deal with than a dying, bleeding Savior on a cross. Add to that all the pain and suffering that comes with Holy Week, is it any wonder that the human tendency is to try and ignore the events of the week and simply move on to the Easter celebration? But as much as we’d like to skip Holy Week we know that the only way to Easter is through the cross. We know where the parade of Palm Sunday leads and we also know that we’re part of that parade. That is to say, we know this intellectually. Our hearts are another story. Our hearts may be more in sync with the disciples and the fear and disbelief that led them to run away. It would seem that 2000 years later Jesus’ disciples are still running away.

Because of Holy Week, how will you live differently this year?  Isn’t it time to stop running away and to take a stand?

PRAYER: Lord, there seems a sort of emotional let-down now that the pinnacle of the Christian faith has passed for another year.  Let us not forget the scenes of Holy Week, the emotions that beat hard within our chests, the awareness that if it were not for your work of this past week, we would be utterly and totally lost and without any hope…not hope AT ALL. Let us remember how your followers ran, and let us never run again to leave you standing alone! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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