DayBreaks for 3/06/19 – Signs and Decisions

Image result for stepping out in faith

DayBreaks for 3/06/19: Signs and Decisions

From the DayBreaks archive February 2009:

“In my experience, signs follow decisions. The way you overcome spiritual inertia and produce spiritual momentum is by making tough decisions. And the tougher the decision, the more potential momentum it will produce. The primary reason most of us don’t see God moving is simply because we aren’t moving. If you want to see God move, you need to make a move!

“I learned this lesson in dramatic fashion during the first year at National Community Church. We had been praying for a drummer to join our worship team for months, but I felt like I needed to put some feet on my faith, so I went out and bought a four-hundred-dollar drum set. It was a Field of Dreams moment: if you buy it, they will come. I bought the drum set on a Thursday. Our first drummer showed up the next Sunday. And he was good. He was actually part of the United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps.

“Rock and roll.

“I cannot promise that signs will follow your faith in three minutes or three hours or three days. But when you take a step of faith, signs will follow. God will sanctify your expectations, and you will begin to live your life with holy anticipation. You won’t be able to wait to see what God is going to do next.” – Matt Batterson, Wild Goose Chase, 2008

Abraham had to pack his bags and family before he took the first step.  Noah worked for years before the first drop of rain fell.  Moses had to stretch out his hand before the Red Sea parted.  The high priests had to put their foot in the flowing Jordan before God stopped the water.  Elijah had to pray, build altars, douse them with water…before fire fell from the sky.  The apostles had to go in faith that Jesus would be with them when they went out into a hostile world. 

What step of faith is God asking you to take for Him?  Have you decided to do it…but have yet to take the first step?  Why are you waiting?

Prayer: Give us courage, Lord, to act in faith…trusting that You will be with us and bring about Your desired result!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

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


DayBreaks for 08/13/12 – The Significance of Signs

DayBreaks for 08/13/12 – The Significance of Signs

Matthew 16:2-3 – “2 He replied, “When evening comes, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,’ 3 and in the morning, ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

The common attribute of so many lives in the Bible is the ability to see signs.  The simple word ‘sign’ gives us the word ‘significance’ and that is the quest I speak of, the discerning of significance in daily experience.  Among the few expressions of exasperation we hear from our Lord are those in which he expresses regret at the inability of some to see signs of God’s activity in the things happening around them.

“…in journeying from Ur to Canaan Abraham knew himself as not merely moving from one context to another for his business enterprises.  He answered a call that had consequence and meaning.  For Noah the rising waters of his disintegrating world were not merely the result of ecological imbalance.  He was aware that he had been called toward a future made possible only if men and women acted faithfully in apocalypse.  To Jacob, as to many in the Bible, a dream was not merely a manifestation of overtiredness or hypertension.  It was a message from heaven to earth, an angel of warning or encouragement or affirmation.  For Moses a burning bush called for a turning aside.  Bushes burn almost routinely for us all, yet it is our capacity to see faces in the flames and voices in the fire that makes the moment more than routine and therefore pregnant with possibility.  For a fleeing people, survival in the mud flats and tidal reaches of a great river delta was more than a convenient environmental happenstance.  It became a never-to-be-forgotten sign of a destiny given them by God.  For Wise Men, a star was more than an item of astronomical data.  It became a sign of birth and change and a new age.  For Jesus, coins and sheep and fishes and weddings, seeds, a door, a tree, a widow, a conversation, a loaf of bread, a glass of wine, a candle, a presuming guest at a dinner party, a vial of ointment, even his own death; all were more than object, incident, event, experience.  All were made into signs and parables and insights so vivid that for two millennia they became the outriders of a kingdom, the symbols enabling us to express the inexpressible, lights that guide us in our fearful voyaging across the terrible crystal seas of mystery that, as John tells us, lie between our earthbound humanity and the throne of God.

“Thus scripture became for me a womb of endless signs, an admonition to seek their meanings for myself.  It was above all to me a finger pointing to the ordinary as a place of the divine dwelling, pointing to Bethlehem rather than to Rome or Athens, to a peasant girl rather than to a queen, to a child rather than an emperor.  One might add in passing that, for those who perceive, Bethlehem becomes both Rome and Athens, the peasant girl is revealed as queen, and the child becomes king.  The insignificant has assumed significance, the mundane become sign.”A Doorway in Time, Herbert O’Driscoll

In our frantic, scientific age, it is easy to miss the signs that God sets in front of us.  It is easy to explain things away on natural or scientific grounds.  And we seldom even take time to think about the things around us and how they may be attempts by God to communicate to us some message – whether through something as simple as the barking of a dog or as sublime as the birth of a baby.  The simple healing of human illness can be seen as a sign that God longs to heal us in all ways and can be taken as a guarantee of the fact that He is still involved and still cares about individuals as well as nations and galaxies.  It was with stories about the simple things of life that Jesus spun his timeless parables and told stories that still captivate the human imagination 2000 years later.

When was the last time you stopped to see beyond the surface to ascertain the deeper truth of God’s existence, His nature and His indwelling?  Slow down…take the time…and listen to His Spirit as He reveals truth to your inner person!

PRAYER: Lord, we are prone to seeking signs of Your Presence and Your will.  Let us never let the search for signs take the place of the search for Jesus, but see Him and You in the greatness that surrounds us at every moment.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 07/12/11 – The Signs of a Disciple

DayBreaks for 07/12/11 – The Signs of a Disciple

Matthew 25 contains frightening images of judgment.  It speaks of the time when Christ will come again in glory and He will separate all humanity into those who were his disciples and those who were not.  It is an interesting scenario that Jesus himself (who will do the separating) describes.  During my recent road trip, I was pondering this passage and was rather astounded at what I saw.

If you were to be put on trial, wouldn’t you find it to be a great advantage to know what the criteria for your judgment would be?  It would certainly help you prepare for your defense, wouldn’t it?  And if you knew it far enough in advance, you could change your life to comply with what you knew the judgment criteria would be.  Talk about an advantage heading into a trial!!!!

So, look closely at Matthew 25:31-46.  What you find may shock you.  Not once in that entire passage describing the judgment criteria does Jesus mention anything about frequent attendance at church, never does he mention the topic of correct doctrine or orthodoxy or practice, how generously we give, how much we pray.  He doesn’t mention memorizing Scripture, having a daily quiet time, teaching Sunday school or leading a small group.  No, those things don’t even appear in the list at all.  I suspect that if they did appear we’d feel a lot better about things because the church has majored in such things in America.

So what is there, in the criteria for judgment day?  Feeding the hungry, providing shelter, water, clothing.  Visiting those in distress and hurting alongside those suffering.  These are the things that, according to Jesus’ own words in Matthew 25, will form the criteria on judgment day.  Now how do you feel?

Don’t misunderstand my point: it is GOOD to be in regular worship, to give generously, to pray constantly, to have solid doctrine (while remaining humanly humble at our limited understanding of the things of God!), to memorize the Word, have quiet times and be involved with church service.  Those are all good things: but not the kind of things that save us, or others.

So, what does feeding others, giving water, clothing and companionship have to do with salvation?  I’m still thinking all that through, but here must be part of it: James tells us that God is love.  Jesus tells us that we are to love God above anything else, and our neighbor like ourselves…and that if we do those things, we have kept the law because all the rest of it is based on those two things.  Feeding the hungry in an effort to be saved won’t cut it (it’s an attempt to be saved by works) – but feeding them because we love them is something else entirely.  If we have that kind of love for others that we extend ourselves for them, not only are we obeying the second command, we are opening the door to spiritual discussions that can lead to their acceptance of God’s grace as they see it lived through us.  And, as an extra bonus, we will have conducted our lives in such a way that we’ll be better prepared for the judgment!

Why does Jesus look at those manner of things in judgment rather than orthodoxy and high levels of obedience?  Is it not because God is love…and the things Jesus will be looking at are measures of love and compassion?

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for showing us what the day of judgment will be like, and what matters to your heart.  Give us the courage to live so we can please you by helping those in need.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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