DayBreaks for 10/10/11 – The Blind Men at Jericho

DayBreaks for 10/10/11 – The Blind Men at Jericho

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

From the DayBreaks Archive, 10/10/2001

Matthew 20:29-34 – “As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” 31 The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!”  32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.  33 “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.”  34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

I like these two men.  What is it that I find fascinating with this story?  I like their courage.  I like their determination to make personal contact with Jesus.  I like their refusal to be deterred from their goal.  I like their honesty – when asked by Jesus what it was that they wanted, they didn’t try to give him an answer that they may have felt he would have wanted to hear.  No, they didn’t ask to be made wise or holy.  They wanted their sight and they didn’t hesitate to ask for it!  And their determination coupled with Jesus’ compassion got results!

On the one hand, it is easy to see this story at just the surface level – two blind men finding mercy and compassion from Christ.  But there is more than just a feel-good story here.  Do you remember who Jesus was?  He was the Word of God, the Word made flesh that dwelt among us.  What this message can teach us, as Origen wrote long ago, is two-fold:

FIRST: it is necessary that our eyes be opened by the Word of God.  In the story, it was literally a word from God that opened their eyes.  But they couldn’t do it themselves.  We, too, will remain in our blindness until His Word opens our eyes and gives us new sight.  And what did these two men probably see when their eyes were opened?  Jesus!  Can you imagine what an incredible thing it would be for your first glimpse of vision to be of the Son of God?

SECOND: it is necessary for us to come out of our own Jericho.  These men had left their comfort zone and the relatively safe confines of the city.  If these men had stayed inside of the city, the wouldn’t have encountered Jesus on the roadside.  But they took the chance (intentionally or unintentionally, it doesn’t really make a difference) and they met the Lord.  When you take chances in trying to make personal contact with Jesus, you will not be disappointed.

Ask Jesus to touch your eyes today and reveal himself to you!

PRAYER: We need the courage that comes from Your Spirit to leave our comfort zones so that you can open our eyes with your Word of healing and hope!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 7/25/11 – Knowing Where It Is Safe

DayBreaks for 07/25/11 – Knowing Where It Is Safe

Palmer Chinchen, in True Religion, tells the following story:

My brothers and I had traveled to the western edge of Zimbabwe to raft the Zambezi River. We boarded our raft at the base of the Victoria Falls. Massive amounts of water spilled over the top of the giant falls and dropped almost a thousand feet; the roar was deafening. The falls are the largest in the world, more than a mile wide and three hundred feet high. Mist from the spray that fills the air like fog can be seen for fifty miles; the locals call it “Smoke That Thunders.” The water from the falls rushes down the gorge in torrents, creating the world’s largest rapids. In the United States, the highest-class rapid you are allowed to raft is a Class 5. The Zambezi’s whitewater rapids can top 7 and 8 ….

As I sat on the edge of the eight-person raft, all suited up in a tight, overstuffed jacket and a thick crash helmet, I felt like an over cautious tourist about to mount an overpowered moped in Honolulu or rent roller-blades on Huntington Beach. The Zambezi can’t be that dangerous, can it?

But then our guide [said], “When the raft flips …” There was no “If the raft flips” or “Or on the off-chance we get flipped.” But “When the raft flips.” He went on, “… stay in the rough water. You will be tempted to swim toward the stagnate water at the edge of the banks. Don’t do it. Because it is in the stagnate water that the crocs wait for you. They are large and hungry. Even when the raft flips, stay in the rough water.”

Several thoughts spring to mind from this story:

FIRST: we think we know where to go to be safe, we even have a natural instinct that smooth, quiet water is safer than raging whitewater…but our instincts are wrong and we must fight against them many times if we are to safely survive.  There are hidden dangers we can’t see when we run to self-help guru’s, secular advisors and counselors, etc., rather than the Spirit and the Word.

SECOND: it is in the calm waters from the story that people will face death.  The crocodiles won’t venture into the churning whitewater.  Stagnancy, complacency, a desire to just “go with the flow” will kill the spirit.  It is in the rough water that we pour our lives into others as Christians, because unbelievers are in life-threatening waves and they need the Life Preserver that Christ offers!

THIRD: when there is no spiritual “adventure” to our lives, we are in danger of drifting in our faith: So we must listen very carefully to the truth we have heard, or we may drift away from it. – Hebrews 2:1  The rafters had to listen carefully to the truth of the lesson of white water versus smooth water – to not do so would have been deadly.

PRAYER: We fear white waters, Lord, but help us remember that we are never there alone, you are with us in the boat and we need not fear!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 07/07/11 – Uncontrolled Risk

DayBreaks for 07/07/11 – Uncontrolled Risk

NOTE: Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11.  Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!)  Thanks for your understanding!

Uncontrolled risk...

Risk analysis and management is an important part of business.  In any project (whether home, work or school), some level of risk analysis takes place.  Can you build that new cabinet yourself?  What if you blow it big time and it looks more like a broken down saw horse?  Can you complete your course of study and get the degree/job that you want?  If you can’t, what is your risk?  (Money, time, prestige, loss of respect – all these could be part of the cost of failure.)  One of the things that I used to teach in some of our management training sessions was risk management.  We always look for ways to mitigate/minimize risk and the potentially costly result of failure.

So, we become a risk-averse culture.  We buy insurance for our vehicles and homes, insure our health, and even place a “wager” with the insurance company that we’ll die eventually, but not before they think we will.  We do our best to stash away a “stash” of money, stocks and bonds to minimize the risk we face in our later years if we should be so lucky as to be able to retire.  See what I mean?

Well, here’s a news flash for you: We can’t control anything.  Not one thing.  I’d challenge any of those who read this message to tell me one thing that you can control.  You can’t control what you will eat.  You can’t control how long you will live.  You can’t control where you live.  You can’t control your job.  You can’t control your children.  You can’t control your eternal destiny.  You can’t control your retirement.  You can’t control your spouse.  Why do I say all these things?  Because I believe it is true.  You might be stricken dead the very next second by a heart attack, electrical shock, or a piece of Mir falling from the sky and crashing into your house.  Your parents, spouse or children have a mind of their own (if you have teenagers, you know what I’m saying!)  No matter how good you are at your profession, you can’t control the economy and once solid companies with millions (or billions) of dollars of financing go down the tubes and you can’t change it.  Recently, our company president encouraged an employee meeting by saying “We all control our own lives.  Take control of your own life.”  While I know what he was trying to do, I couldn’t help but shake my head and in my heart disagree with him.  I can take certain actions, but I control nothing in the ultimate.  If God decided to take all the air way the next moment, none of us would ever again draw a breath.  If Jesus were to come back now and the “heavens and earth” melt with a great heat – who of us believes we could control our life or anything else at that moment?

So, where is our security to be found?  Only in Him.  Our security is found in His ability to control everything, and His promise that He will do just that so that things work out “OK” for us.  You see, we can’t take the risk out of things, but Jesus can.  Let Him by your risk manager.  He’ll never fail you!

Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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