DayBreaks for 3/09/17 – Because You Have Met Me

DayBreaks for 3/09/17: Because You Have Met Me

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2007:

Exodus 4:4-5 (NIV) – Then the LORD said to him, “Reach out your hand and take it by the tail.” So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand.  “This,” said the LORD, “is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob–has appeared to you.

The nerve of some Biblical people amazes me.  Moses, while we’re told that he was the meekest man, was very bold at times with God.  His first known encounter with God in the wilderness at the burning bush shows how stubborn we as humans can be.  All of a sudden, out of the blue, Moses is drawn to the bush and told that God wants to send him on a mission to lead Israel out of 400 years of captivity and slavery in Egypt.  God speaks of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph – and the promises He made to them and how He intends now, in the time of Moses, to fulfill those great promises.  And what does Moses do?  He hems, haws, and otherwise tries to avoid the mission.  He gives God lots of excuses (not reasons) why he’s not the right person.  Moses would learn that it didn’t pay to argue with God.  But he hasn’t learned it yet.  And so he worries that Israel will not believe that God wants to relieve them of their slavery, and he asks God for signs to give to the people that will convince them.

And so, finally God makes the statement to Moses that’s found in Exodus 4:5, after having Moses’ staff turn into a serpent: This is so that they may believe that the Lord, the God of their fathers – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob – has appeared to you.

I’d missed this for nearly 55 years now.  It wasn’t the serpent that would convince people that Moses had been sent by God.  It was really nothing more than God telling Moses that the people will know that He sent Moses because Moses has met God.  (God has appeared to him.) 

Each day as I wander through the streets of town, go into buildings or stores, pull up to the gas pump, buy a Dr. Pepper – I wonder if people can tell that I have met God?  What kind of evidence is there that I’ve met Him – and He has met with me?  And it’s not just that I’ve met Him – He lives within me in a way I don’t know if He did with Moses!  The evidence of having met the Maker is radical and life-changing.  From this encounter onward, for as long as he lived, Moses was a changed man.  He still had moments of weakness and doubt, but the people would follow him because he knew the Lord’s name…another way of saying, he knew God. 

Having met God doesn’t make us perfect, but if it hasn’t changed us – RADICALLY changed us – perhaps we’ve never met him like Moses did in the wilderness.  We don’t have to have a burning bush in our life to meet Him.  Yet, He is all around us, and in us.  We need to learn to do what Moses finally did: stop arguing and fighting with Him and let Him have His way in us, to use us for His glorious purposes (which will, by the way, work to our benefit!) and to let others know we have met God and been sent by Him.

PRAYER: Sometimes, Father, much to our great embarrassment, we hide the fact that we have met You.  We are too fearful, weak-kneed and stubborn to bear witness for you.  May we truly meet You even now, may we be radically changed by that encounter, so that wherever we go, people will know you exist and that by our changed lives, they will know we have met the Living God.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 2/11/16 – What Our Conformance Means

DayBreaks for 2/11/16: What Our Conformance Means

From the DayBreaks archive, February 2006:

Romans 12:2 (NIV) – Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will

Fashionable.  “With it.”  Contemporary.  Modern.  We’ve got all kinds of names for being like the rest of the world, don’t we?  And you know what?  They all sound good, don’t they?  I mean, would you rather be called unfashionable, “Out of it,” outdated?  We would generally think that those things are not very positive or flattering.

And we so want to think of ourselves as being “with it”, or if I can use some old fashioned language, “Cool!”  We would be hurt and perhaps even feel insulted of someone said we weren’t fashionable.  That’s really too bad. 

Our society is status-driven, and conformance to what society thinks is good is often in order to gain status or prestige.  Sometimes it is to try to curry favor in such a way that we will gain some advantages in business or school or in a dating relationship.  I can’t think of a single thing in our culture that elevates the things of God over the things of man.  Why?  Because the kingdom of God is at war, at very serious odds, with the kingdom of our culture.  You see, our culture is sick.  It’s twisted, perverted and I believe it stinks in the nostrils of Almighty God. 

And yet…we still go on trying to conform to this world.  But what does that mean?  If we are trying to conform to a sick culture, we are inviting sickness into our very souls, we are choosing sickness instead of the health that God wants to give us. 

What will you choose today?  His healing and health, or will you continue to choose sickness and embrace it to your bosom?

TODAY’S PRAYER:  Father, please change our hearts.  Give us the wisdom to see that there is a way that leads to life, and a way that leads to sickness and death.  By the power of Your Spirit, please give us the wisdom to choose life, even as Joshua challenged Israel to choose life so long ago.  Help us to care much more about how You think about us, not how the world things about us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 3/19/14 – Truly His

DayBreaks for 3/19/14 – The “Impossible” Dream

 

2 Corinthians 6:18 (NLT) – And I will be your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.

There are times when we struggle mightily to really believe the “good news”.  We’ve been taught that if something sounds too good to be true then it IS too good to be true.  For the most part, that is correct.  But there are some very noteworthy exceptions.

There are days when we desperately need to be able to look into the mirror and not just see, but fully believe, that the person staring back at us from the reflection is a child of God. If we can’t believe that, some days would be just too difficult to bear.

We can be assisted in believing that by others – real and fictional.  I first read the book, Don Quixote, when I was in high school and I remain fascinated by it to this day. A good example of how such a transformation into becoming something beautiful is found in the story of Dulcinea, one of the principal characters in the popular Broadway musical, Man of la Mancha, based on Cervantes’ classic work, Don Quixote.  During the play, the audience learns that Don Quixote, the main character in the story, lives with many illusions, most especially his idea that he is a knight errant who battles dragons in the form of windmills.

At the end of the play as he lays dying, Don Quixote has at his side a prostitute, Aldonza, whom he has called throughout the play Dulcinea – “Sweet One” – much to the mocking delight of the local townsfolk. But Don Quixote has loved her in a way unlike anything she has ever experienced. When Quixote breathes his last, Aldonza begins to sing the song “The Impossible Dream.” As the last echoes of the song die away, someone shouts to her, “Aldonza!” But she pulls away proudly and responds, “My name is Dulcinea.” The crazy’s knight’s love had transformed her.

It was more than she could have hoped for in a thousand lifetimes.  I would imagine her feelings were much like those of the woman caught in the act of adultery when Jesus tenderly called her, “Daughter.”

Jesus calls us his brothers and sisters…the sons and daughters of the Father.  The next time that someone calls you by a derogatory name, remind yourself of what the Father calls you and be transformed by that knowing!

PRAYER: Father, Abba!!  May Your love be a certainty to us and may we see that we are truly Your children! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help Galen in his ministry work, you can donate on his behalf.  Donations (one-time or recurring) may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal 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.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with both the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 10/31/13 – What Can, and Can’t, Be Changed

DayBreaks for 10/31/13 – What Can, and Can’t, Be Changed

Luke 1:37 (MSG)  Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.

You hear all sorts of things as a pastor.  Some of them make you laugh inside that someone could actually believe or have done the things they describe.  Some break your heart at the pain their actions have brought home to roost.  Some just frustrate the heck out of you, doggone it!!! 

Here’s a case in point (and I’ve had this said to me on multiple occasions by numerous people): “I can’t change.  I’m too old (or in an alternative explanation, “too set in my ways.”)  Well, if I were given to the use of foul language, there’s a thing or two I’d say about that kind of attitude.  I won’t tell you what the first thing would be, but the second would be something like this: “What!?!? That’s not a Christian attitude at all!  Have you never read the Bible?” It is enough to make a pastor want to punch them in the nose (and that’s a very unpastor-ly thing to say!)

A famous preacher once said, “When people tell me that human nature cannot be changed, I am moved to reply that in light of my experience, human nature may well be the only thing that CAN BE CHANGED!”  

I believe that the preacher nailed it.  We can’t change the courses of the moon or the sun or stars. We cannot change or suspend the laws of physics. We cannot change the ebb and flow of the ocean.  We cannot change where we were born or where and when it is appointed unto us to die. That being true, the pages of the Bible reverberate with testimonies of the lives, purposes, events, and habits which have been changed and which can be changed.  At the top of that list is the human heart and our behavior.

Jesus didn’t come so we could and would stay the same.  He came to transform us, to renew us.  God doesn’t give us a pass when we get older.  He doesn’t give us a pass because we’re too set in our ways to change.  If anything, as we get older, we should be more and more conformed to the image of His Son, not making excuses for our failure in that regard! 

Time to stop making excuses for our bad behavior, because that’s precisely what “I can’t change!” is doing!

PRAYER: With you, all things are possible.  With you, anything situation can be changed!  Change our attitudes from defeatism to a victor’s attitude.  Change our hearts to be completely committed hearts.  We want to be done with excuses for our human weakness!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 07/09/13 – The Caterpillar and the Butterfly

DayBreaks for 07/09/13 – The Caterpillar and the Butterfly

Transformation1

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:2

When you think of it, the Christian life is neither simple nor easy.  First, we were meant to be much different than we are.  We were meant to reflect His glory as beings fully made in His image without flaw.  But we traded that away for a bite of frut. 

Second, since we have become what our Creator did not intend for us to become, we now are faced with the arduous task of trying to get back to what we should have been all along.  We can’t do it on our own.  The task is too great and the gulf to wide to be bridged by mere human action.  We have to be essentially changed from one thing into another.  In fantasy novels there are sometimes creatures that are called “shape-shifters” that can change from a horse to a bird or a frog.  As fantastic as that idea is, our challenge is infinitely greater: to change from a sin-plagued dead being to a God-reflecting person.

We must, in short, be transformed from the inside out.  What does that mean?  As Darrow L. Miller put it in his book, Discipling Nations, “Transformation means nothing less than radical change, in all spheres of life, as when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.  It is not merely a change in religious sentiments, but a radical re-orientation of a person’s life.”

Think about it: a caterpillar, who has only ever crawled and never dreamed of flying, goes to sleep one day and awakens with wings with which to soar.  That is a radical “re-orientation”!  Ours is even greater, for ours is a transformation not of one form of life to another, but from dead to living!

PRAYER:  Lord, how we long for our transformation to be complete!  We are impatient until we become all you intended for us in the beginning.  Teach us to trust in your timing and wisdom to complete the task at the perfect moment for each of us.  Transform us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen is working as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org) and is responsible for raising own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Then look for “Galen Dalrymple”.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his support.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  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.

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are also members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!