DayBreaks for 2/15/17 – How Far Would He Go?

DayBreaks for 2/15/17: How Far Will He Go?

From the DayBreaks archive, 2007:

John 13:2-5 (NIV) – The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

It was the night of Passover – the holiest night of all for the Jews.  In a small room, Jesus met with his disciples, knowing that later that night he would be betrayed by Judas and his horrific ordeal would begin.  If I were in those circumstances, I’d be doing anything but sitting down to share a meal with friends.  I’d be trying to run, to hide, to find some way out – but not Jesus.  There was work to be done, and he was committed to seeing it through, but first, there were important things to pass along to his disciples.

And so it is that Jesus washes the feet of his disciples.  No one else rose to do the job that belonged to the lowest slave/servant.  So Jesus, as always, does what no one else wanted to do.

Peter, bless his heart, is humiliated when he realizes what Jesus is doing.  He realizes that this is grossly out of place, improper and that someone else (perhaps himself?) should be the one doing the washing.  Why?  Because Peter knew that Jesus was the Holy One.  Peter’s problem is that he felt that Jesus didn’t know how to act – that Jesus was doing something inappropriate and needed to be stopped.  To wash someone’s feet, you have to kneel before them, and kneeling is a symbol of the act of worship.  Throughout all the long ages of the Jewish people, it was the worshipper who kneels before the Worshipped One, but here, now, in the upper room…Peter knows it has been reversed – and in his opinion, it was wrong. 

Peter’s problem, you see, is that he thought Jesus was “acting.”  He wasn’t.  He was totally and completely sincere.  Luke 12:37 describes perhaps the most shocking scene in Scripture when it describes the feast of the Lamb in heaven: It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.

How would you have felt if you had been one of the disciples and had Jesus wash your feet?  I cannot imagine that I would have reacted any differently than Peter did – I would have wanted to stop Jesus from washing my feet.  But if I understand the passage in Luke, the day will come when Jesus will have us sit at the table and HE WILL SERVE US.  I want to cry with Peter: “Never, Lord!” 

How far Jesus was willing to go to redeem us?!?! He was willing to go as far as necessary!

PRAYER: I am humbled, Lord, that You should serve any of us – yet that is exactly what you did while here.  It is incomprehensible to think that You should wash our feet, yet you have done so – washing us not with water, but with the blood of Christ.  May we learn to serve one another in the sincere imitation of Jesus.  Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 10/19/15 – Others

DayBreaks for 10/19/05: Others  

It won’t be long now and once again we will begin to see people in uniforms in shopping malls ringing bells collecting donations for the poor. They will be are doing the work of the Salvation Army.

In 1878, when the Salvation Army was really beginning to make its mark, men and women from all over the world began to enlist. A man who had once dreamed of becoming a bishop in another denomination crossed the Atlantic from America to England to enlist in the Salvation Army instead. His name was Samuel Brengle. Brengle left a fine pastorate to join William Booth’s Army. At first General Booth accepted his services reluctantly and grudgingly. Booth said to Brengle, “You’ve been your own boss too long.” So in order to instill humility in Brengle, he made him work by cleaning the boots of other trainees.

Discouraged, Brengle said to himself, “Have I followed my own fancy across the Atlantic in order to black boots?” Then, as in a vision, he saw Jesus bending over the feet of rough, uneducated fishermen. “Lord,” he whispered, “you washed their feet; I will black their shoes.”

Samuel Brengle went on to establish the Salvation Army in America. At the time of his death, the Salvation Army was thriving in both the United States and in Canada. Just before his death Brengle sent out a short memo to all of his top leaders. This memo had one single word written on it: “Others.”

We can have many motives for the things we do. Jesus had one: that others might have life. What are the motives that drive you?

PRAYER: Father, let us put others ahead of our own selfish interests and motives! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 11/18/14 – Play Your Piccolo!

DayBreaks for 11/18/14 – Play Your Piccolo!

1 Corinthians 12:18-28 (NLT) – But our bodies have many parts, and God has put each part just where he wants it. How strange a body would be if it had only one part! Yes, there are many parts, but only one body. The eye can never say to the hand, “I don’t need you.” The head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” In fact, some parts of the body that seem weakest and least important are actually the most necessary.  And the parts we regard as less honorable are those we clothe with the greatest care. So we carefully protect those parts that should not be seen, while the more honorable parts do not require this special care. So God has put the body together such that extra honor and care are given to those parts that have less dignity. This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. Here are some of the parts God has appointed for the church: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who have the gift of leadership, those who speak in unknown languages.

Sir Michael Costa, the celebrated conductor, was holding a rehearsal. As the mighty chorus rang out, accompanied by scores of instruments, the piccolo player, a little pint-sized flute, thinking perhaps that his contribution would not be missed amid so much music, stopped playing. Suddenly, the great leader stopped and cried out, “Where is the piccolo?”

The sound of that one small instrument was necessary to the harmony, and the Master Conductor missed it when it dropped out. The point? To the Conductor there are no insignificant instruments in an orchestra. Sometimes the smallest and seemingly least important one can make the greatest contribution and even if it doesn’t seem to make that big a difference to the audience at large, THE CONDUCTOR KNOWS IT right away!

In the Church the players and the instruments are diverse – different sizes, different shapes, different notes, different roles to play. But like the piccolo player in Sir Michael’s orchestra, we often in our own sovereignty decide that our contribution is not significant. Our contribution couldn’t possibly make a difference. And so we quit playing. Stop doing that which we’ve been given to do. We drop out. But the Conductor immediately notices. From our perspective, our contribution may be small, but from His, it is crucial.

I am sure that there are some (if not all) piccolo players reading this today who have dropped out of the orchestra for whatever reason(s): pain, exhaustion, insecurity, criticism, laziness, misbehavior. Perhaps you are convinced that your contribution doesn’t mean a hill of beans in the bigger scheme of things and that you are unimportant, insignificant and perhaps even unnecessary. And that may have led you to bury your talent in the ground.

For all piccolos who won’t play, or at least aren’t playing, Jesus has something to say in Matthew 25:25-30 (NIV) – So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. “‘Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

The point: play your piccolo!  Put it to use!

PRAYER: Let us engage with vigor in Your service! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DayBreaks for 07/01/11 – The Son of Man Must Suffer

DayBreaks for 07/01/11 – The Son of Man Must Suffer

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!

The Son of Man came to serve..and suffer...and save

Luke 9:22 – “And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

Why was it so hard for people to accept Jesus in his day?  Why is it so hard today?  Perhaps the clue is in this verse.  We need to look closely at what this verse said about Jesus.  It was necessary for him to suffer many things and be rejected.  As Jurgen Moltmann put it in The Crucified God: “To suffer and be rejected are not identical.  Suffering can be celebrated and admired.  It can arouse compassion.  But to be rejected takes away the dignity from suffering and makes it dishonorable suffering.  To suffer and be rejected signify the cross.”

It is fairly easy for people to be drawn to those who suffer for a good cause.  Consider Mother Theresa as an example – she suffered in many ways through self-denial and was perhaps one of the most admired women of the 20th century.  I have never in my life heard anyone say anything negative about Mother Theresa and her single-minded devotion to serving humanity.  But how would we have felt about her if she was also rejected by virtually everyone except for a small band of 12 followers (who ran and hid when she died)?

Persecution is all about rejection.  And Jesus warned us that we would be persecuted – clearly implying that his followers would be rejected.  After all, if we are to walk in His footsteps and he was rejected – can we expect any less?  In fact, wouldn’t you think that it would be a sign of a disciple?

How eager are you to earn the acceptance of those around you?  Are you so eager for their acceptance that you hide your allegiance to Christ to avoid their rejection?

The Son of man was rejected because it was necessary in order to maintain his holiness.  If we are to be His followers, we must be ready to accept rejection as well.

Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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