DayBreaks for 2/20/19 – I AM #6: The Door

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DayBreaks for 2/20/2019: I AM #6: The Door

John 10:9 (CSBBible) – I am the gate. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture.

To understand this I AM statement, we need to understand shepherds and sheep. Earlier in chapter 10, Jesus referred to a gatekeeper. Near most villages there was a communal sheepfold that had a gate that could be locked and only the owner of that sheepfold had the key. But that’s not what Jesus is describing here.

Once out on the hillsides, there was no sheepfold like that. Instead, sheep would be herded into an enclosure most likely made of piled up rocks with a gap in the rocks at one place where a “door” was. But the door wasn’t made of wood – it was the shepherd who would lay down across the opening to prevent critters from entering or the sheep from leaving. None could cross without the awareness of the shepherd. Jesus claims that he is that shepherd, stretched out across the opening. He doesn’t rely on some sort of physical barrier to guarantee the safety of the sheep – any movement of the sheep in or out is only done with his knowledge and agreement.

But there’s another thing to note here: he says that the sheep can come in and go out. That would mean something very specific in the Hebrew language. To be able to have the ability to come in and go out indicated a life absolutely safe and at peace. That is the kind of life we have with Jesus as our gatekeeper. He watches over us, guides our steps, and seeks us out if we get lost.

PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for the life of peace we can have with you as our gatekeeper! In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

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

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DayBreaks for 11/03/14 – The Plea of a Broken Hearted King

DayBreaks for 11/03/14 – The Plea of A Broken-Hearted King

2 Samuel 24:15-17 (NLT) So the LORD sent a plague upon Israel that morning, and it lasted for three days. A total of 70,000 people died throughout the nation, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south. But as the angel was preparing to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD relented and said to the death angel, “Stop! That is enough!” At that moment the angel of the LORD was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. When David saw the angel, he said to the LORD, “I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? Let your anger fall against me and my family.”

David was at the end of his reign and life when he rashly counted the children of Israel.  While we don’t know his motive for doing so, one could assume that it was because he was proud of the size of his army and it caused him to be confident in the strength and numbers of his soldiers, not in the favor of God.

God had explicitly said that the kings should not number the people.  God was not pleased with David and gave him the choice through the prophet Gad, as to the punishment that would be meted out: three years’ famine, three months of being pursued by enemies or three days of plague.  David chose to trust in the mercy of the Lord rather than the other options so he chose the three days of plague.

The price of David’s sin was great: seventy thousand died in the plague.  David was shattered, and makes the plea: I am the one who has sinned and done wrong!  But these people are as innocent as sheep – what have they done?  Let your anger fall against me and my family.  These are the words of a broken heart, a man deeply repentant.  But here’s the thing that is easy to miss: David sees the people of Israel as innocent sheep…and he begs for their shepherd (himself, the king) to be the one who is stricken in their place.

David, of course, had no way of knowing how prophetic his words would be.  In Matthew 26:31, Jesus applied this to himself, telling his followers that on that very night the Shepherd (Jesus) would be stricken rather than the sheep (the people) being slaughtered.

Jesus asked God to let him be smitten rather than Him striking you and I.  He was willing to accept the punishment himself rather than the “sheep” having to bear it.

I wonder if I would have had the faith and courage of David if I had been in his place.

PRAYER: Thank You, Jesus, for being willing to be stricken so the “sheep” could be spared. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

DayBreaks for 10/07/14 – Shrek, the Sheep

DayBreaks for 10/07/14 – Shrek, the Sheep

A friend of mine posted this story on Facebook Monday morning and I thought it was an excellent illustration and lesson (unfortunately, I didn’t find the name of the author):

“This is Shrek the sheep. He became famous several years ago when he was found after hiding out in caves for six years. Of course, during this time his fleece grew without anyone there to shorn (shave) it. When he was finally found and shaved, his fleece weighed an amazing sixty pounds. Most sheep have a fleece weighing just under ten pounds, with the exception usually reaching fifteen pounds, maximum. For six years, Shrek carried six times the regular weight of his fleece. Simply because he was away from his shepherd.

“This reminds me of John 10 when Jesus compares Himself to a shepherd, and His followers are His sheep. Maybe it’s a stretch, but I think Shrek is much like a person who knows Jesus Christ but has wandered. If we avoid Christ’s constant refining of our character, we’re going to accumulate extra weight in this world—a weight we don’t have to bear.

“When Shrek was found, a professional sheep shearer took care of Shrek’s fleece in twenty-eight minutes. Shrek’s sixty pound fleece was finally removed. All it took was coming home to his shepherd.

“I believe Christ can lift the burdens we carry, if only we stop hiding. He can shave off our ‘fleece’—that is, our self-imposed burdens brought about by wandering from our Good Shepherd.

Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30

PRAYER: Thank you for the rest and relief you give us as we struggle here in this world!  Give us the good sense to stay close to our Shepherd!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 9/23/14: Green Pastures, Still Waters

DayBreaks for 9/23/14 – Green Pastures, Still Waters

Psalm 23:2 (NKJV) – He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.

I’ve been to Israel and I can tell you, I sure didn’t see many green pastures.  Perhaps it was the wrong time of year – and the green pastures would have been higher up on the mountain ranges or perhaps we were just in the wrong places – but water seemed to be rather scarce, and precious.

The Shepherd of David’s beloved psalm knows where to find the green pastures.  He leads his sheep there…and then, he “makes” them lie down.

How do you make sheep lie down?  You sure don’t do it by yelling at them, smacking them with a staff or chasing them around until they’re so tired that they collapse.  No, those things won’t work with sheep, and chasing them can even lead to their demise.  You see, sheep are very timid and frightened creatures.  And that’s what makes this statement even more wonderful.

The shepherd knows what sheep are like.  The way to get them to lie down is to take them into a peaceful place, to even sing to them, to talk soothingly to calm their fearful little hearts.  That’s how you make sheep lie down!  Jesus makes us lie down in utter peace and stills our racing hearts.

And he doesn’t make us lie down in the middle of the desert, but he has surrounded us with sustenance.  The sheep aren’t worrying about where their next meal will come from because the shepherd has always taken care of them and they trust he will…after all, just look around!

Last night, did you “lie down” in peacefulness?  Or was your heart racing, wondering how you and your family will survive, or how you’ll do this-or-that?  Were you worrying about where the next meal will come from?  The sheep don’t manufacture the grass that surrounds them in verse two.  When talking about the shepherd in this Psalm, it is the shepherd Himself who manufactures the grass, waters it, and provides it in abundance.  All the worrying of all the sheep in the flock can’t produce a single blade of grass.

And the still waters?  Sheep are terrified of flowing water: they can’t swim well at all, especially when their wool is thick.  They need still water: this, too, the Shepherd knows.

Still water, green meadows, laying down to rest – what a wonderful Shepherd we have!

PRAYER: Oh, Jesus, let us rest in your meadow this day and forevermore may we be comforted by your Shepherd song to us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 01/29/13 – Sent by Jesus #2 – If We Turn Into Wolves

DayBreaks for 01/29/13 – Sent by Jesus, #2 – If We Turn Into Wolves

wolf_in_sheeps_clothingJohn 17:14-18 (NLT) – I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world.  15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.  16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do.  17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.

Please!  Read this slowly and carefully, and meditate on this:

“As long as we are sheep, we overcome and, though surrounded by countless wolves, we emerge victorious; but if we turn into wolves, we are overcome, for we love the shepherd’s help. He, after all, feeds the sheep not wolves, and will abandon you if you do not let him show his power in you.

“What he says is this: ‘Do not be upset that, as I send you out among the wolves, I bid you be as sheep and doves. I could have managed things quite differently and sent you, not to suffer evil nor to yield like sheep to the wolves, but to be fiercer than lions. But the way I have chosen is right. It will bring you greater praise and at the same time manifest my power”. – St. John Chrysostom

We evangelicals can learn a lot from this, I believe.  I see many Christians in their fervor and enthusiasm turning into wolves when it comes to people both inside and outside the church.  May God have mercy on us!  Jesus didn’t send us out as wolves or lions, but as sheep among carnivores.  Our job is not to rip and tear, castigate and intimidate – sheep can’t do such things.  We are, simply, by the power of what we are becoming in Christ Jesus, to win the world with lovely winsomeness.

All that is within us tells us that we need to act more like wolves in the world in order to survive.  Since when is survival to be our main goal?  Is it not to be sheep – and let the world do with us as it wills?  Isn’t that how our Master did it?  Are we not to walk in His steps?

“As long as we are sheep, we overcome…but if we turn into wolves, we are overcome.  He will feed His sheep, but not the wolves!

PRAYER: Let us be sheep that you feed, precious Lord!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen has started work with a new ministry, Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org).  He needs to raise his own support.  DayBreaks has always been free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a one-time donation at http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Go to that link and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section and look for the link for Galen Dalrymple.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his account.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient in many ways for 32 years.  Check them out!  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.

If God has blessed you through some of the DayBreaks messages and you want to help support Galen, you’re help will be greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!

DayBreaks for 07/31/12 – God the Shepherd

DayBreaks for 07/3112 – God the Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd…” (Ps. 23:1a)

I have often thought about the metaphors that scripture uses to describe God.  There are many!  God is simply too large to be contained in one single metaphor or analogy.  In Traveling Light, Max Lucado takes a look at the 23rd Psalm and he (as usual) had some interesting insights.

When I have thought about the concept of the shepherd, my mind (as is humanly selfish) is often drawn to what that analogy means about ME.  I spent my first 8 years or so on a farm with sheep and other animals, and I can tell you that being described as a sheep is not flattering.  Sheep are stubborn.  Sheep are stupid.  Sheep are fearful.  Sheep are prone to wander off.  Sheep, to put it delicately…stink.  And their wool doesn’t lend itself to cleanliness.  Sheep aren’t much good for anything except eating, shearing, being eaten or sleeping.  Sheep need someone to lead them.  Not a bad description of us as humans, right?

But Max turned the concept around and instead of focusing on what the sheep metaphor means about us he probed on what it means about the Shepherd.  Listen to his thoughts about this analogy: “Couldn’t David have thought of a better metaphor?  Surely he could have.  After all, he outran Saul and outgunned Goliath.  Why didn’t he choose something other than sheep?

“How about: ‘The Lord is my commander-in-chief, and I am his warrior.’  There.  We like that better.  A warrior gets a uniform and a weapon, maybe even a medal.

“Or, ‘The Lord is my inspiration, and I am his singer.’  We are in God’s choir; what a flattering assignment.

“Or, ‘The Lord is my king, and I am his ambassador.’  Who wouldn’t like to be a spokesman for God?

“Everyone stops when the ambassador speaks.  Everyone listens when God’s minstrel sings.  Everyone applauds when God’s warrior passes.

“But who notices when God’s sheep show up?  Who notices when the sheep sing or speak or act?  Only one person notices.   The Shepherd.  And that is precisely David’s point.”

I don’t know about you, but I have a tendency to make too much of scripture focus on ME (the sheep) when I should be focusing on what it is saying about GOD (the Shepherd).  God, the Shepherd, is the one who notices.  No one else does.  But He is enough!!!

PRAYER: Let us be content to be Your sheep and to keep the focus on You, our Shepherd.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks 2/25/11 – The Intelligence of Sheep

DayBreaks 02/25/11 – The Intelligence of Sheep

Isaiah said it: All we like sheep have gone astray. – Isa. 53:6a  We are all “like sheep.”  That’s not a compliment in case you are wondering.

A professor of animal husbandry, Warren Gill, has been asked if sheep are dumb.  His answer was very interesting: “It depends on how you define intelligence.  A sheep has precisely the correct amount of intelligence it needs to function as a sheep.”

At first glance, that seems rather obvious – a statement that doesn’t even need to be made.  There is no sheep in this world that can function as an astronaut, a lawyer, or doctor.  Sheep just aren’t meant to do those things.  We have enough intelligence, as humans, to act like the “sheep” of His pasture are expected to act.  You have precisely the right amount of intelligence you need to function as you.

To continue with the sheep analogy, Jesus said, I know my sheep, and my sheep know me just as the Father knows me, and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. Do you see how this relates to the intelligence a sheep has?  We have enough intelligence to recognize and know the Good Shepherd and to recognize His voice.  We don’t have enough intelligence to lead the sheep.  We don’t have enough intelligence to be the shepherd.  But we do have enough to recognize Him.

Sheep, by nature, are not leaders.  Sheep are followers.  We will follow someone, something.  If there is no shepherd around, sheep will follow the sheep that is in front of them…and they will follow them right over the edge of a cliff.  Who are you following?  Are you hearing the voice of other sheep, or the voice of the Shepherd who longs to lead you into green pastures where you will be safe, cared for and loved.

PRAYER: Free us from our tendency to close our ears to the voice of the shepherd, and to follow would-be shepherds who would lead us to disaster and death.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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