DayBreaks for 8/18/16 – Titanic Story, #1

DayBreaks for 8/18/16 – Titanic Story, #1

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2006:

This is from a letter to the editor of August ’97 Focus on the Family recounting a story about the sinking of Titanic and a man by the name of John Harper:

“…John Harper, who was on the Titanic and traveling to Chicago to become the pastor at Moody Memorial church.  In the icy water, Harper won his last convert just before he drowned – a young Scotsman who survived.  He later told how Harper called out – while clinging to a floating spar – “Are ye saved, mon?” and quoted Acts 16.31 just in time.”

Galen’s thoughts:

I wonder how I would have spent my last few minutes before dying in the icy water of the north Atlantic.  I might have had my mind occupied with my wife and children, parents or other family and friends.  I might have cried and been pleading with God to save me from drowning.  I don’t know if I would have been focused on trying to share my faith with someone else, but when you think of it, what better time could there possibly be to share your faith when those around you are on the verge of dying?

Isn’t that the sad part?  Because it is true that people all around us are dying and they are dying in their sins.  We, through the grace and goodness of God and for no other reason, have the life raft that they all need.  We just don’t see them as drowning, dying people.  We see them as laughing, shopping, working, studying, ordinary every day people who are just going casually about their business.  But without the saving blood of Jesus Christ, they are adrift in the cold waters that will take their life for all eternity. 

Part of the problem is that they, themselves, don’t realize that they are dying.  They think that they are just fine. That they are “unsinkable” and that all is well.  How sad and tragic! 

I’m reminded by a gospel hymn that was written long ago (I don’t remember the name of the composer) as he was aboard a ship that was sinking because the lighthouse wasn’t working.  The words go as follows, and they serve as a challenge to each one of us:  “Let the lower lights be burning, send a gleam across the wave, some poor fainting, struggling seaman, you may rescue, you may save.” 

We are the lighthouse.  We are to be set upon a hill so that the light can’t be hidden.  Let your light shine and rescue those who are dying.  Is your light shining bold and brightly?  This may be the last day you will have to reach a certain person, to touch them with the love of the Lord.   Throw out the lifeline to someone today!

PRAYER:  Give us Your sense of urgency for those who are lost and dying.  Give us boldness to speak words of truth. Your Words are truth and they are life.  May we never forgive that.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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DayBreaks for 8/16/16 – Titanic Story #2

DayBreaks for 8/16/16 – Titanic Story #2

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2006:

This is from a letter to the editor of August ’97 Focus on the Family recounting another story about the aftermath of the Titanic sinking:

“The scene outside the White Star office in Liverpool beggared description.  A great crowd of relatives of those who had taken passage on that ill-fated vessel thronged the street.  On either side of the main entrance a large board had been placed.  Above one was printed in large letters, KNOWN TO BE SAVED.  The other: KNOWN TO BE LOST.

“Every now and then, a man would appear from the office bearing a large piece of cardboard on which was written the name of one of the passengers.  As he held up the name, a deathly stillness swept over the crowd; it watched to see to which of the boards he would pin the name.”

Galen’s Thoughts:

           What a tragic scene that must have been.  The heart-wrenching wait to learn of the fate of loved ones and friends!  And as each name came out of the White Star office, the crowd hushed to know whether or not the person whose name was on that card was dead or alive.

           It was just a name – but the name was connected to a real person who lived, breathed, laughed and cried.  A person who loved and was loved.  Perhaps a father, mother, husband, wife, fiance, son or daughter, brother or sister.  People are so much more than just a name on a piece of cardboard and they all have an eternal destiny to be won or lost.

           The names of the lists was so telling.  As tragic as it would be to have your loved one’s name put under the list that said “KNOWN TO BE LOST”, it will be even more tragic if their name isn’t found in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 20.11-15). 

           I’m sure that each of us has someone whom we are related to or whom we love that doesn’t know Christ.  What can you do for them?  Pray.  Pray and pray and pray.  Love them.  Speak the truth of Jesus in love to them.  Let them see the love of Jesus in you.  Avoid loud and angry controversy – demonstrate His love.  Refuse to raise your voice in either anger or frustration.  Too much is at stake to blow your witness. 

           Last week I heard a great idea: a minister in a town not far from where I live has a fishbowl in his church auditorium that contains pictures of loved ones and friends for whom the congregation is praying for salvation!  What a wonderful idea!  Once someone comes into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ, they take the picture out of the fishbowl.  Right now they aren’t doing anything with the picture, but they plan to put a fishnet up and put those pictures on the fishnet as people who have been “caught” by the Master Fisherman, who in turn makes us “fishers of men”!  Why don’t you do the same?  It’ll remind you to pray for their salvation and to be a witness to and for them.  Pray diligently that their name may be moved from the KNOWN TO BE LOST to the KNOWN TO BE SAVED!

By the way – what list is your name on?  1 John 5.13 tells us that we may KNOW that we have eternal life.  If you don’t have it, if you don’t know you have it, now’s the time to be sure – someday it’ll be too late!

PRAYER:  Lord, our unsaved friends and family weigh heavily on our hearts.  We pray today for their salvation – that they will have their names added to the book of life through their faith in Your Son, Jesus.  May we join Your invitation to become fishers of men.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

 

DayBreaks for 04/15/11 – Titanic and the Cross

DayBreaks for 04/15/11 – Titanic and the Cross

From the DayBreaks archive, 4/9/1998:

1522 people dead, frozen in frigid waters.  Not even 11 Academy Awards can make up for even one of the souls of those who were lost.  Yet the Titanic was the biggest and brassiest vessel to sail the sea.  Over 100,000 watched the launch from the shore.  She represented the new age of scientific optimism and to many was the symbol that Utopia was about to be found in the relatively new century.  The people responsible for the Titanic boasted that “even God Himself could not sink this ship.”

God doesn’t react well to such displays of human arrogance.  He didn’t in the days of Nimrod when men decided to build a tower and invade God’s sovereign territory, He didn’t react well to it in 1912, and He doesn’t today.  He is not about to share His sovereignty with the tinker-toy towers and the pathetic boats that men build.  Many in her day saw different symbols in the giant ship.   Some, indeed, claimed that she was the modern incarnation of the tower of Babel.  They saw God’s unwillingness to allow an invincible machine as a lesson to not seek salvation through technology.  Many saw the boasts of the builders and promoters as a direct challenge to the Creator of heaven and earth.

Yet, as is the case always, where human sinfulness and pride was at its greatest, God’s grace was even greater.  The examples of courage during the sinking comforted and inspired many.  With only a very few exceptions, the men aboard the Titanic willing gave up space on lifeboats so women and children could be saved, putting into practice Jesus’ own words: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”  (John 15:13)  As a result, one of Titanic’s greatest ironies is that she became a symbol of duty and faith.  The policy of ‘women and children first’ led to a 9-to-1 death ratio of men to women.

In 1996 another boat sank off the shores of Indonesia.  Like Titanic, hundreds died.  Like Titanic, there weren’t enough life boats.  But unlike Titanic, in this sinking, men were given precedence over women and children and women and children died as men saved themselves.

God’s principle is this: the groom dies for the bride, the strong suffer for the weak, and the highest expression of love is to give your life for another.  This ‘dying for another’ may be literal – or it may be dying to your own will and desire for rest and comfort to spend your life to serve someone.

Who will you die for today?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, glory to you for your grace towards us and the fact that the King died for the peasants!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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