DayBreaks for 08/22/13: Serving God’s Purpose

DayBreaks for 08/22/13 – Serving God’s Purpose

From the DayBreaks archive, 8/22/2003:

Acts 13:36 – “For when David had served God’s own purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep.

The story of King David is a wonderful and inspiring story.  It is the stuff of Hollywood – only better – for it is the stuff of Heaven!  From a humble shepherd boy to the greatest king of God’s children, from fighting animals to fighting giants – David is the stuff of legend. 

He wasn’t perfect – but he was humble.  He wasn’t beyond falling to temptation – but he wasn’t beyond admitting his failures and seeking forgiveness.  And through it all, he was a man after God’s own heart.

The verse from Acts 13 is short and sweet – and poignant.  I love the way the bible speaks of death as simply “falling asleep”.  That’s what Jesus said about Lazarus, and about the little girl who he raised from the dead.  In fact, we’re told that not all believers will be “asleep” when Christ returns – i.e., we won’t all be dead, but there will be faithful found on earth when he comes back.  And those who are asleep will awaken to eternal life.

But that’s not what caught my attention in this passage.  Rather, it was that David did something that we all should be striving to do: to serve God’s purpose in our own generation.  Through all the ups and downs of his life, David kept finding his way back to God, to His calling for his life, and he kept getting back on track each time he fell.  And in so doing, he served God’s purpose. 

You and I can do the same in our generation.  Does your heart burn to serve God’s purpose?  One thing to note: you can’t serve His purpose if you’re already asleep.  Now is the time for effort, for energy, for doing what needs to be done.  The time for sleep comes once we’ve served (past tense) His purpose for our generation.  And not one minute sooner.

PRAYER: Let us serve Your purpose all the days of our lives in order to fall asleep and awaken in Your Presence!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 02/09/12 – Remember the Task

DayBreaks for 02/09/12 – Remember the Task

Stay focused on the main task...

 So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. – Colossians 1:28

Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies. – Psalm 107:2

Charles R. Swindoll, in his book Dropping Your Guard tells of Flight 401 bound for Miami from New York City with a load of holiday passengers. As the huge aircraft approached the Miami Airport for its landing, a light that indicates proper deployment of the landing gear failed to come on. The plane flew in a large, looping circle over the swamps of the Everglades while the cockpit crew checked out the light failure. Their question was this, had the landing gear actually not deployed or was it just the light bulb that was defective?

To begin with, the flight engineer fiddled with the bulb. He tried to remove it, but it wouldn’t budge. Another member of the crew tried to help out…and then another. By and by, if you can believe it, all eyes were on the little light bulb that refused to be dislodged from its socket. No one noticed that the plane was losing altitude. Finally, it dropped right into a swamp. Many died in that plane crash. While an experienced crew of high-priced and seasoned pilots messed around with a seventy-five-cent light bulb, an entire airplane and many of its passengers were lost. The crew momentarily forgot the most basic of all rules of the air — “Don’t forget to fly the airplane!”

There are many, I’m sure, who have watched movies of someone on an airplane who did a heroic job of piloting the airplane after the pilot got sick or injured, directing the aircraft to a safe landing.  I’ve thought about it when I’ve been on an airplane.  Could I do it?  Well, my qualifications are somewhat suspect in spite of the fact that I used to play a computer game where I flew an F-16 somewhat successfully.

As we maneuver through our daily lives there are many distractions.  Some require attention, some don’t.  We often don’t distinguish well between those two poles.  But in our distraction, we lose sight of the realities around us.  The result is much like that of Flight 401: we crash and burn.

This is a day that will be filled with challenges because every day is that way.  There is no avoiding it.  There will be forms to fill out, calls to make, tasks to perform.  In all those activities (which can be frantic at times) we can lose sight of the primary task: to love God above all, and to love others as we love ourselves.  In the rush of “things I must do today” we forget that it is the people around us who are the main thing and we have the means given to us by God, to see that they land safely at the eternal city!

PRAYER: Keep us from majoring in minors, of getting so caught up in life’s activities that we forget why You have given life to us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 07/21/11 – Our Task

DayBreaks for 07/21/11 – Our Task

Our task is not to judge...

For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. – Ecclesiastes 12:14

One of the most perplexing (and troubling) parables of all is that of the wheat and the tares in Matthew 13.  You may recall it: how the wheat grows up and in the middle of the wheat are tares – plants that when they start out look very much like wheat, but which only later is their true nature – that of weeds – is obvious.  There is discussion about whether or not the tares should be pulled up.  Jesus gives a surprising answer: “No, just leave the tares there.  They’ll get sorted out at harvest time.”

Eugene Winkler, in The Ohio Two-Car Collision Theory, wrote the following in a reflection on this parable:

“A biographer of the Duke of Windsor, Alistair Cooke, remarks, “The Duke was at his best when the going was good.” Aren’t we all? Is that true of your faith? We believe in God when things are going well, but give us a few problems, a disappointment or two, and we begin to doubt.

“But the parable is saying to us: God is in charge of the harvest, hang in there, because things will work out in God’s way and in God’s time. Our faith cannot depend just on the good times and good health.

“It just may be that our theology is like that of Woody Allen, who accuses God of being an underachiever. He writes, “I would believe, if only God would give me a clear sign — like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank.”

”Jesus says that the signs are not always clear, especially in the beginning. It is finally not for us to determine God’s will. It is, however, our task to do the right thing as we know it — given our limited perceptions. Jesus himself is the Good News: even the agony of the deception, denial and betrayal of some of his best friends, the wondering if God had forsaken him, and the humiliation of the cross did not keep him from saying finally, “Unto thee I commit my life.”

We may want – even itch – at times to rip up a few “weeds” (people) who we suspect have done us wrong.  But this parable says not to do it.  That’s God’s job.  He will tend to it in judgment.  He will recognize every would-be “wheat” for what it truly is…and he will never make a mistake in judgment.  There will be no tares that sneak their way through the pearly gates.  God will rectify all.

So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age. 41 “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks, and those who commit lawlessness, 42 and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 “Then THE RIGHTEOUS WILL SHINE FORTH AS THE SUN in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. – Matthew 13:40-43

PRAYER: We are quick to judge ourselves as wheat, Lord, when there are still tares in our lives, too.  Let us bear fruit of righteousness and godliness so that we will not be disappointed!  Help us bear patiently with the tares that hinder the harvest of the Kingdom, knowing that it is Your job to sort through all the hidden and unseen things of the heart.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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