DayBreaks for 11/05/19 – Job and His Complaint

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DayBreaks for 11/05/19: Job and His Complaint

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2009:

If you have been accused (especially wrongly) of something, you want to face your accusers and try to clear your name, don’t you?  This is one of the key rights we have as individuals in America.  It’s not a new idea that came up only when America was founded, it’s been around for years and years.  Witness Job’s complaint from eons past: Job 9:32 – God is not a man like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court.

Job’s friends had accused him of great and terrible sin.  To their way of thinking, there could be no other explanation for why Job was in such a pickle.  In spite of all that they’d known of Job and observed in his life, they now were convinced that he’d been secretly involved in massive deception and sin.  Who wouldn’t want to face such accusers?  But Job realizes that for them to really know the truth, God would have to be called to the witness stand.  They certainly weren’t going to take Job’s word for it – not when they suspected him of being such a sinner to start with.  (How quickly the good opinion others may have of us can deteriorate if they suspect we’re sinning!) 

So it is that Job issues his complaint about God.  If God were a human like Job (or you or me), we might be able to compel Him to come to the court so we could confront him and clear our name.  Sadly, it is a case we would lose but for the blood of Jesus – and Job knew nothing about Jesus or his future sacrifice. 

Let us not miss the irony that is so heavy in Job’s statement: what Job was longing for became reality when Jesus (God) became a man like me and was put in the court dock.  As Mike Mason wrote, “…in Jesus Christ the Almighty God has become ‘a man like me,’ and moreover a man who by standing before Pontius Pilate and the Sanhedrin has confronted every one of us in court – and yet not, as we may have expected, in His rightful capacity as Judge, but rather as the accused, the prisoner in the dock.  Through this reversal of roles He meant to show us that it is mankind who first condemned God, not the other way around, and that only by faith in Jesus can this condemnation be lifted so that we can be set free.

We “condemned” God first in the garden when mankind decided pleasure was to be preferred over obedience and we’ve been “condemning” God ever since through every act of rebellion that suggests other things are to be preferred over His will. 

So, millennia later, Job’s statement about God was resolved by Jesus’ incarnation.  Humanity put Jesus on trial then to determine if He was who He said He was.  Many concluded he was not who He claimed to be.  But others had the vision to recognize, as did the centurion who watched him die, that “Surely this man was the Son of God!” 

Here’s what may be a scary thought: as a believer, Jesus is on display through your life and actions and words.  What do people see and conclude about Him because of you?

PRAYER: Thank you for becoming a “man” like us so that we could see, hear, touch and thank you that you have made it possible for us to ask you questions through prayer!  Thank you that we do not stand in the court with you as our accuser, but as our friend, defender and Judge!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 3/22/17 – The Time Has Come

DayBreaks for 3/22/17: The Time Has Come

NOTE: Galen is traveling this week. This week’s DayBreaks will be from the May 2007 archives.

John 17:1 – After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.

“The time has come.” 

These words should haunt us, coming as they do from Jesus’ lips.  John, and the other gospels writers have taken us on an amazing journey of discovery of the Son of God.  His power has wowed us.  His love has stunned and surprised us.  His tenderness has given us hope.  And now, can’t you hear the weariness in his voice? 

How we view the arrival of something depends on what we anticipate that “something” will be like: good or bad, blessing or trouble, peace or distress.  I hate it when the appointment comes when I’m supposed to go to the dentist.  I’ve taken others to the hospital for major surgery, and the dread is palpable as we travel in the car.  We hate the moment when we are due to pile into the car for a trip to the funeral parlor for a service for a loved one who has died.  On the other hand, we rejoice when the time has come to leave for the airport to pick up your spouse or children or grandchildren whom you haven’t seen for a long time, or to go to Disneyland or for a much needed and long anticipated 3-day fishing retreat away from the noise and troubles of the world.  In either case, the anticipation can be excruciating. 

Either the sadness and dread can drive us into the ground, or the joy we anticipate gives us the butterflies in our stomachs that makes it hard to keep our feet on the ground when we walk.  In many cases, we don’t know what to expect – and the anticipation, the unknowingness involved – makes us nervous and anxious, hopeful yet not too hopeful lest we should be disappointed.
The time has come.  With Jesus, it wasn’t a question of anticipation for he knew fully what to expect.  He had known all his life – he knew why he’d come to this earth.  Every event of his life had led to this tipping point, this fulcrum.  And when the time comes, what does Jesus do?  He prays.  How did he feel about this “time” which had come?  We see mixed emotions:

FIRST: In the garden we see his human side, struggling and fearful of the great anguish and suffering that lay ahead, begging with the Father that this cup, and this time, could pass.  And who can blame him?  Think of your own most terrifying and dark moment – didn’t you cry out for it to pass?  Didn’t you cry out for God to take it away?  Jesus was as human as we are.  He had all the same feelings as we do.  His nerves fired pain impulses just every bit as exquisitely and perfectly as those of any other human being.  He made no exceptions for himself when it came to being able to identify with us in our humanity, he permitted himself no indulgences or luxuries to bypass human suffering.

SECOND: In Hebrews 12:2, and here, we see something about how the Divine side of Jesus dealt with this time.  He was God – every bit as much God as he was human.  As God, he could see the future outcome of events and happenings, and he could foresee the joy at the end of this “time” which had come.  And that joy was your face and my face.  It was being able to see us eternally before the throne of God in heaven in His Presence, and knowing that it was because of this “time which has come” that it would be made possible.  That joy, of seeing his brothers and sisters redeemed from the pit of hell and cleansed from the stench of sin, that gave Christ the power to move into this time which has come, and pray, Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may glorify You.

The time has come…what does that mean for you and I?  It means the time has come for us to be done with our past lives of sin and rebellion, to put our faithlessness and infidelity to God in the past.  The time has come for us to walk by faith, not by sight.  The time has come for us to take up our cross and follow him.  The time has come for the church to rise up in the power of the Spirit and speak truth into the world once again.  And ultimately, the time will come for us to face our own death and destiny.  Jesus had prepared himself along the way for the moment when his time would come.  Have you?

PRAYER: For Jesus’ resolve in the hour of his trial, Father, we are eternally grateful.  For strength for our own time which has come, we beseech Thee.  For the courage to speak truth into the world and the lives of those around us, we plead.  For Your mercies, which are new every morning, we give You praise.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2017 by Galen Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 3/11/16 – Vision Correction

DayBreaks for 3/11/16: Vision Correction

NOTE: Galen will be traveling for the next 10 days or so. You will be receiving messages from the DayBreaks archive during that time!  From the DayBreaks archive, 2006:

As of 3/9, a friend of mine just had his eyes operated on so that he will no longer have to wear glasses.  I’m so very happy for him – it seems to have been very successful so far!  Why did he do it?  He wanted better vision.  Maybe we all need better vision…

Psalm 57:1-3 (NLT) –  Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge.  I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.  I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills [his purpose] for me. He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me; Selah.  God sends his love and his faithfulness.

This Psalm was written by David when he was hiding in the cave from Saul.  We may think of David as having a fairly idyllic life – a shepherd, a national hero, a king – the most beloved of all the Israelite kings.  I suppose we like to idealize heroes.  But David had a hard, difficult life – perhaps more difficulty than green pastures in sum total. 

I see two distinctly different thoughts in this passage.  First of all, we can all identify with the human emotions that David was feeling.  In verse 4 he claims to be surrounded by men (David calls them beasts in the first part of verse 4) with sharp teeth and arrows, just waiting to devour him.  Certainly our problems can be seen that way, if not our enemies, too.  And so it was for David – quite literally his enemies were waiting to cut him up and tear him apart – and his main enemy at that moment was the king of Israel!  Taking refuge in the shadow of God’s wings is a beautiful picture.  It reminds me of how the mother hens would take their little chicks under their wings at the first approach of danger.  That’s an image from my childhood on the farm that I’ll never forget.  Verse 2 reminds us that God’s purposes for our lives will be fulfilled, not by us, but by the One who has purposed for us.  This is a tremendous relief from responsibility in a way, since we control nothing and could not make His purposes work out for us even if we knew in advance what they were.  We’d make too many wrong choices along the way, have to many distorted and erroneous perceptions of what His purpose is for us.  So if it depended on us to fulfill God’s purposes for us, well, we’d be a sorry lot, indeed. 

The second view of this passage is to see it in a Messianic light:

  1. Christ, in the garden and on the Cross, sought refuge for his soul in His Father, pleading for mercy to allow the cup of sorrow to pass and the cup of God’s wrath that was poured out on Christ against our sin to be lifted from his shoulders if possible.
  2. He takes refuge in the shadow of God’s wings until the disaster has passed. What was the disaster? From one perspective, it could be the death of the Sinless for the sinful, the death of God for man.  (From a human perspective, however, it was anything but a disaster – it would have been a disaster for us if it hadn’t happened!)  We are told that darkness covered the face of the earth during the time that Christ was on the cross – could that have been the shadow of God’s wings passing over the scene of the mutiny against Love that was happening on the cross?  Once Jesus died, there is no indication that the darkness continued – once the “disaster has passed.” 
  3. He certainly cried out to God, and God fulfilled His purpose for the Incarnation upon the cross. Yet his cry was, “Where are You? Why have You forsaken me?!”  And in that very forsakenness, God had indeed fulfilled His purpose in Christ, in the Incarnation, for the separation was required due to the sin that Christ had become (2 Cor. 5:21).
  4. How did God send from heaven and save Christ? Through his death and his Spirit being committed into the hands of the Father. In so doing, by his relatively quick death (crucifixion could sometimes take days to snuff out a life), those who pursued Christ and fastened him to the cross were rebuked – they were deprived of prolonging the torturous scene and of tormenting Jesus even more, of taunting God Himself with their evil gloating and celebrations. 
  5. God sent his Love in the person of Christ and in the faithfulness of His promises being fulfilled – promises made to Adam/Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, the prophets, i.e., to all mankind. And certainly, He sent His love to gather up the spirit of Jesus that was so recently committed into His care.

I’m all to prone to take the Psalms and try to apply them to myself.  Of course, when the writer penned these words, he didn’t know anything about Christ’s coming and suffering and death, so they were very personal to the one who wrote them so long ago.  It is in hindsight (even with hindsight, our vision certainly isn’t 20/20) that we can see the applications to Jesus.  As I read such passages as this and meditate on them, I need to remember that the story of the Bible isn’t about me and my myriad of problems – it’s about HIM and what He did for us!

TODAY’S PRAYER:  We are so prone to thinking that life and death and struggles and victories are all about us, Father.  We are so consumed with our own issues that our first inclination is to think about ourselves – rather than about You and what You have and are doing.  Help us see Jesus more clearly in the Word each day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

DayBreaks for 1/5/16 – Put Me On Trial, Lord!

DayBreaks for 1/5/16: Put Me On Trial, Lord!

Galen is out of the country. While he is gone, you will be receiving DayBreaks from the DayBreaks archive from January, 2006.

Ps 26:1-3 – Declare me innocent, O LORD, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.  2 Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me.  Test my motives and affections.   3 For I am constantly aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.

I must confess that when I read the third verse of Psalm 26, I am stunned by the seeming haughty attitude of the Psalmist about his uprightness.  I can’t comprehend how someone could be so bold before the Lord about their righteousness.  It is almost the same as Job’s defense of himself to his friends.  Why is this so shocking to me?  Is it just because I’m so far from being a righteous person that I would quake with fear to utter such statements in the Presence of the Almighty, Holy God?  Or was David just having a mountain-top experience when this was written?  Could my heart withstand a true testing by the Lord of my motives AND my affections?  What would he see?  I need to remember that he constantly tests my motives and affections, not so that He knows what they are, but so that they will be revealed to me.

Perhaps the key is in the first verse: David isn’t really claiming that he is innocent – he’s asking the Lord to declare him as innocent, not because he IS innocent, but because David has acted with integrity.  This seems to indicate that David was acknowledging the deep heart’s desire to do right and to realize that this is what God was truly interested in.  The third verse and the statement about being constantly aware of God’s unfailing love is not tied grammatically to the last statement (I have lived according to your truth), but is simply a statement that perhaps allowed David to make the statements of verse 1, knowing that regardless, he was loved by God and that God loved him too much to pronounce him guilty and hopeless.

I need to apply my heart to letting God change it so that I could, possibly, someday be in such a relationship with God that I could utter such words with the kind of confidence and feeling that David does.  But it seems that it would be boastful – perhaps because I realize it would also be hypocritical of me.  I really have a hard time identifying with David’s words for I see my own heart is so “other” than David’s heart.  Perhaps this is why David was called a man after God’s own heart.  I pray that someday, I may be such a man.  Of course, the simple truth is that not one of us could ever stand before God in our own righteousness, but only in that which comes from the Light of the World.

TODAY’S PRAYER: Lord, in the deepest recesses of our souls, we do want to please You.  We want to walk in obedience and friendship with You.  But Lord, our sins are ever before us and we are clothed in the filthy rags of even our best righteous deeds.  I believe in the cleansing of the blood of Jesus in my life, but how I struggle with my motives and affections, that seem to run hither, thither and yon after every temptation.  Help us to become people of one mind and heart that is fully locked in pursuit of You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2016, all rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 11/05/13 – Satan’s Opportune Time

DayBreaks for 11/05/13 – Satan’s Opportune Time

From the DayBreaks archive, 11/03/2003:

Luke 4:13 (NIV)  – When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Sometimes we may have the very mistaken impression that Jesus’ temptations were limited to the wilderness tempting as recorded in Luke.  We couldn’t be further from the truth if that’s what we think.  Don’t you suppose that Jesus was tempted in the garden, that he was tempted at times to use his great power to put on a show for no other reason than to silence his enemies and critics?  Don’t you suppose that he was tempted on the cross – “If you are Jesus, save yourself and us!”?

We’re told that Jesus was tempted in every way that we experience temptation.  We should take that at face value.  But what captures my interest in verse 13 from Luke 4 is the insight into how the devil works.  He tempts us – and if he fails, he doesn’t quit.  He just withdraws again for a while, until “an opportune time”.  Here’s how it works:

  1. Satan doesn’t get discouraged if we resist – he knows that our resistance to temptation will either make us stronger, or it will weaken us due to the continuous attack and onslaught that comes our way because the old man of sin within us is still struggling to get out.  He’s hoping we’ll weaken.  And if we do, he knows it’s just a matter of time;
  2. If we successfully resist the temptation, he lies in wait for us like the lion in the tall grass, waiting until we get close enough to evil again that he can pounce on us again.  He did it with Jesus.  He waited for an opportune time – a time when Jesus would be in a position where he could be tempted again.

 What this tells me is that we have something to do with this “opportune time”.  Where we go, who we meet and talk with, what we choose to think about, what we choose to see – all of those things can contribute to making an “opportune time” for Satan.  Or, those very same things can help to deny Satan the opportune time he is waiting for if we spend the time thinking about “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable” (Phil. 4:8).

If you want to get brutally honest with yourself for just a moment and take the time to examine how you get into sin, isn’t it because you actually help Satan to create the “opportune time” by edging ever closer to the temptation that captures your interest and lust?  More often than not, our opportune times are characterized by one of these four things:

Idleness: the old saying about “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” is very true.  We are meant to work, to be busy, to grow and learn.  When we stop doing those things, we start to live in our minds and our fantasies.  And therein lies danger.

Weariness: it is not by accident that Satan tempted Jesus after he had fasted for 40 days and nights.  This would be the time of perhaps the greatest physical weakness in the life of our Savior.  When we are weary, our resistance is lowered to anything that we might normally fight against.  Just as soldiers in physical battle need rest to be able to fight their hardest, we need physical rest too in order to be able to fight the spiritual war.

Loneliness: being by ourselves is dangerous.  That’s one of the reasons that God made us into a family in the church – so that we could encourage and help one another.  Whether it is the businessman on the long road trip or the bored housewife alone at home or the student who is an outcast at school – loneliness is the breeding ground for dangerous sin.

Weakness: weakness comes from being sick or from not exercising.  Sin makes us sick, and when we’re in a weakened state, we can’t fight as strongly as we need to.  The cycle must be broken by the power of the Spirit of God.  And we must exercise our spiritual muscles so we’ll be ready when the “opportune time” comes up!

If Satan could find opportune times in the life of Christ, it’s a sure bet he’ll find them in my life.  We need to pray for one another to God to help us find the way of escape!

PRAYER: Help us to be aware of the conditions in our lives that cause Satan to find “an opportune time” to tempt us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if DayBreaks has blessed your or if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation 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 – either on a one time basis or a recurring donation.  Or, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also mail checks 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.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and is rated gold by Guidestar Exchange.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 02/06/13 – The Work of the Silversmith

DayBreaks for 02/06/13 – The Work of the Silversmith

NOTE: Galen is out of the country this week.   From the DayBreaks archive:

silver2

He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.”  (Malachi 3:3)

There was a group of women in a Bible study on the book of Malachi.  As they were studying chapter three, they came across the verse above.  This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

“One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study.  That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work.  She didn’t mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

“As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up.  He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.  The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot – then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.  She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.  The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire.  If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

“The woman was silent for a moment.  Then she asked the silversmith, how do you know when the silver is fully refined?  He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s easy – when I see my image in it.”  – Author Unknown

Galen’s Thoughts:  What wonderful insights this illustration holds for us!  Consider:

FIRST: we know that fire purifies precious metals.  We don’t like the fire, though do we?  And don’t we always feel like we’re in the very hottest part of the fire?  It may well be that, just as the silver in the hands of the silversmith, it takes the hottest flame to purify us.  When you find yourself in the fire, what is your reaction?  Is it to get out of the fire, or to be thankful for it so that God can do His purifying work?

SECOND: God is the master craftsman.  The silversmith knows how long to hold the silver in the fire to accomplish the purpose of purification and when to remove it so that what is precious isn’t destroyed. God has His eye on us every moment that He is holding us in the flame, and He has given us His promise that He only desires good for us and that He will allow nothing in our lives that is too great for us to bear.

THIRD: How does God know when we’ve been in the fire long enough?  When He can see that His image has been formed in us and He can see His own reflection when He looks at us.  This is similar to what Paul described in Galatians 4:19 where he wrote: “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you…”.

2 Corinthians 3:18 – “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: Lord, help us trust you when we go into the flame…and thank you that your eye never leaves us for even a second!  Though we fear the fire of purification, we do trust You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen has started work as a missionary with 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 donation to Medical Ambassadors on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made online 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.  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 in many ways for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are members of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

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