DayBreaks for 12/06/18 – God and the GPS

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DayBreaks for 12/06/18: God and the GPS

From the DayBreaks archive, November 2008:

From a sermon (“Choices”) by John Ortberg:

“I can’t live Jesus’ life and Jesus knows that, but he says: You can ask me to come and live my life in you.

“I’ll give you a picture of this. Nancy and I were in a part of the country we had never been before. We were going to be driving on obscure back roads, so we got a rental car, and the guy at the counter said to me, ‘Along with this car, if you want, you can also get a GPS system.’ Have you ever used a GPS system? You plug it in and punch in your destination. A woman’s voice will tell you how to get wherever it is you are going. Well, when the guy at the counter asked if I wanted one, my immediate response was, ‘No. That is going to cost something. I don’t need that. I can find where I’m going without that.’ Anybody want to guess what my wife weighed in with? ‘Get the GPS.’ So, we got the GPS.

“Here’s the deal: You can get the box. You can have the lady in the car, but that doesn’t mean you trust her. If you trust her, what do you do? You do what she says. You go where she tells you to go. She says, ‘Turn left,’ you turn left. If she says, ‘Turn left,’ and in your heart you think, ‘But I want to turn right,’  and then you remember, ‘There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof is death.’ Okay?

“To follow Jesus means I will do what he says. I will mess up a lot. I’m going to need his power. I know that, but I form the intention. I say to him, ‘God, with your help, as best I can, I will do what you say. I will give you my life, my time, my obedience.’

“Here is the thing: If that is not your settled intent, then it is best to be honest about it. If that is not your settled intent, then whatever else you might be, you are not a follower of Jesus. An admirer, maybe. But he is looking for followers. He is looking for somebody who will say, ‘All right, God.’

“There is something else you need to know about him—something that is also true when dealing with a GPS system. At one point when we were driving in this car, I was quite sure the lady was wrong. She said to go left, and I didn’t go left. I went right, because I knew she was wrong. Then as an interesting response, she said, ‘Recalculating route. When safe to do so, execute a U-turn.’ I knew she was wrong, so I unplugged her. That’s the beauty of that little box. You can unplug her.

“I got lost as a goose. My wife enjoyed that immensely.

“So we plugged that lady back in, and you know what she said? ‘I told you so, you little idiot.’ She said, ‘You think I’m going to help you now? You rejected me. You just find your way home by yourself.’ No—she didn’t say that. She said, ‘Recalculating route. When safe to do so, execute a U-turn.’

“Now see, that’s grace. As soon as you’re ready to listen, as soon as you’re ready to surrender, God will say, ‘Here is the way home. Execute a U-turn.’ That’s repentance. ‘I’ll bring you home.’ That is grace. That’s Jesus. He is the only one with authoritative wisdom about how to live. He is the only one who brings about the possibility of forgiveness for your sin and mine. He is the only one to give any kind of realistic hope of conquering death, of life beyond the grave.

“Why would you not give your full devotion to Jesus? He does not present himself as a good, spiritual teacher to be admired from a distance. He presents himself as Master, as Lord, as the one to be followed and served and obeyed and worshiped. There is no other way. He is it.”

PRAYER: For grace and mercy we thank You, Almighty and Eternal God.  Thank You for giving us direction.  Give us the wisdom to follow it faithfully!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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DayBreaks for 9/07/18 – The Miracle of Stone Soup

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DayBreaks for 9/07/18: The Miracle of Stone Soup

I love the story of a Christian missionary hiking the high Andean trails to a remote village in Peru. He found a rock along the road, a curious geode, and put it in his backpack as a souvenir. That evening he strode into the village to a very unfriendly welcome. No one offered him a bed. No one asked him to sit by their fire. He learned that a famine had plagued the Indians for over a month. And the people were starving. Each was simply afraid to share amidst so much deprivation.

Praying to Jesus how to help them, he got an idea. Calling the Indians around a campfire he preached God’s loving care in Christ. Then he said, “I’m going to feed you by making some stone soup. Yummm! It’s tasty! I grew up on it! And you’ll like it just fine!” Then he opened his backpack and produced the rock he’d found that morning.

The Indians scoffed, “Stone soup! Why that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!”

“Trust me,” the missionary assured them. “See! I’ve brought the stone. But I’m going to need a pot to put it in.” An Indian woman quickly volunteered her pot.

“And I’ll need about two large buckets of water to boil the stone in.” A man, shaking his head, brought the water. So, in went the stone, in went the water, and over the fire the pot was suspended. Curious now, the villagers began to gather around the pot, peering into its contents. The missionary began to stir the pot and drool. “You know, stone soup sure is good with carrots!” To which an Indian said, “I’ve got six carrots!” He quickly fetched them and they were cut up into the pot. Then the missionary smelled deeply of the bubbly broth and sighed, “Some potatoes sure would add to the flavor.” From pockets and other hiding places came dozens of spuds. They were quickly added to the soup. Soon people were bringing onions, celery, and bits of meat to top off the pot of stone soup. And within the hour a community was formed around that stew pot. All ate. And all were filled and they heard the story of Jesus Christ.

Believe John 6:1-14 as a miracle of Jesus in multiplying the bread and fish, if you will, or believe Jesus’ miracle in the selfish human heart causing the multitudes to share. But above all, remember this: The next time you see a need or feel inadequate, don’t look at the hillside, look in the basket. Don’t count the difficulties presented. Look at the resources possessed. Don’t measure your problems. Measure God’s power!

PRAYER: We have been too concerned about our adequacy and resources, Lord. Help us to trust in the One who has no limits and then to act in His name! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.

DayBreaks for 3/26/14 – Could Jesus Trust Me?

DayBreaks for 3/26/14 – Could Jesus Trust Me?

John 2:23-25 (NLT) – Because of the miraculous signs Jesus did in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration, many began to trust in him. 24  But Jesus didn’t trust them, because he knew human nature. 25  No one needed to tell him what mankind is really like.

What an interesting interjection by the apostle John! John, the apostle that “Jesus loved”, was probably the closest human being to Jesus during his earthly life. There was something sympatico between Jesus and John that formed a special friendship. Apparently, John knew Jesus like no other human. He appears to have been the first of the disciples to believe after the resurrection.

There are several things that are fascinating about this passage:

FIRST: people started to trust Jesus because of his miracles.  Miracles have their place and in a culture where Messiahs’s were expected (and many had come claiming to be the Messiah prior to Christ – and lost their lives for it), it was part of God’s strategy to confirm Jesus’ identity with miracles. How sad that humans needed the miracles to come to a point of trust. That tendency still hinders many from coming to Him today because He didn’t give a healing or protection that they so desperately wanted.

SECOND: “But Jesus didn’t trust them…”  Does that seem hard or unkind on the part of Jesus? We tend to think that trust should be reciprocal. Yet we don’t even do that, do we?  We are cautious about who we trust until they have proven themselves first. And humanity had, through the preceding millennia, proven to God that we were not trustworthy.  The same would prove to be true in Jesus’ case: the ones who sang his praises shouted for his crucifixion within a week!

THIRD: Could/Would Jesus trust me? Oh, how I’d like to think that Jesus could trust me!  How many of us would answer His question: “Can I trust you?” with a shouted, enthusiastic, “Yes, Lord! I won’t let you down, ever!” And in so doing, we’d be just like Peter because he said much the same thing: “I’ll never deny you, Lord!” and then he proceeded to do just that.

How many times have I betrayed him with my words, actions and thoughts? How many times have you done so?

And yet…and yet…he still calls us “friend”, brother, sister, son and daughter!

While we are untrustworthy…he is totally trustworthy…even to those who betray him!

PRAYER: We deserve neither your friendship nor your trust, Lord, for we have betrayed you over and over and over again!  Help us to become more trustworthy not just to you, but to all those around us! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 04/05/11 – What Trusting God Means

DayBreaks for 04/05/11 – What Trusting God Means

 

Do we trust him with our futures, or do we try to guide our future ourselves?

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 4/25/2001:

 

Not too long ago, a young DayBreaks reader who will be heading off to college this next fall, wrote in response to a DayBreaks that talked about trusting God.  She wrote: “…how do you learn to set aside yourself and trust God completely?  How do you stop trying to control everything and stop doing your own thing?  I know I trust God – that He has my future all planned out already – but I still find myself trying to direct my path to what I think is right or what I want.  If you ever get the chance, could you address this in a one of your DayBreaks?

She asked good questions, didn’t she?  The more, however, I read her response, the more I saw clues into the human condition we ALL share.  First of all, she said that, “I know I trust God…but I still find myself trying to direct my path to what I think is right or what I want.”  I see here a contradiction.  This, by definition, ISN’T trusting God.  That’s the fundamental core of our problem – we don’t really trust God.  We think we trust him – at least we want to believe that we trust him – but we don’t or won’t stop trying to direct our own path.  Why?  Because we don’t really trust him to direct it for us or we wouldn’t still be trying to do it ourselves.

As far as having the future all planned out – yes, in the ultimate sense he has our future in eternity planned for us.  But for the meantime, we must live in the here and now and the future that awaits us doesn’t remove from us the obligations of the present.

So, how do you stop trying to do it yourself and let God direct your path?  The same way that we learn to walk and talk – in small steps and small words – and over time we can migrate from simply standing to walking to running, from “momma” and “poppa” to forming complex sentences.  We begin with trusting him with little things and over time move on to bigger ones.  Abram took many smaller steps before the real test with Isaac.  It takes a conscious effort for us to surrender even the small things to God and entrust them to Him.  Luke 16:10-11 records these words of Jesus: “10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.  11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?

Faithfulness doesn’t start with the huge tests in life, but in the minutely small details of daily living.  God won’t give us the “true riches” until we have proven faithful in the small things.  So, to the young lady who wrote, in fact to all of us, I think that is God’s advice.  Be faithful right now, with the small things God has entrusted to you.  Don’t push for the “great” tests.  They will come in God’s timing – when He knows you are ready for them.

PRAYER: God, free us from the tyranny of asking if we’d stand the ultimate test of our faith in martyrdom and to examine how we handle the small challenges we face each day !  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

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