DayBreaks for 3/19/19 – Use versus Value

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DayBreaks for 3/19/19: Use Versus Value

From the DayBreaks archive, March 2009:

Oswald Chambers devotion for February 21 had this to say: “To be surrendered to God is of more value than our personal holiness. Concern over our personal holiness causes us to focus our eyes on ourselves, and we look, out of fear of offending God…”but perfect love cast out fear…” once we are surrendered to God (I John 4:18). We should quit asking ourselves, “Am I of any use?” and accept the truth that we really are not of much use to Him. The issue is never of being of use, but of being of value to God Himself. Once we are totally surrendered to God, He will work through us all the time.”

Wow. Pretty profound. Consider:

“Concern over our personal holiness causes us to focus our eyes on ourselves…” We should pay attention to personal holiness, right? Sure. But should be worry over it? No. Why? Well, to borrow a few words from Jesus: which of us by thought or effort can make ourselves holier than God has already made us? If we have been cleansed by the blood of Christ, you just can’t get any holier than that! Yet we stare at the face in the mirror and get overwhelmed by the guilt-stricken individual that we see. When will we learn to fully trust Christ’s work for us on the cross? That the cleansing isn’t temporary or partial or incomplete, but that it is full, complete and eternal? We spend too much time looking at ourselves and our failings and not nearly enough looking at what God has done. We need to surrender our concern about our holiness to Him because He is the One who has pronounced us righteous and holy.

As to the usefulness statements: does it hurt you to know that you aren’t of use to God? Well, I mean, in a way, when you get right down to it, He doesn’t need anything that we can do for Him. He doesn’t need us to make money so He can continue to live surrounded by heaven’s luxuries, He doesn’t need us to make Him dinner, He doesn’t need us at all. He is Self-sufficient. How can you be of use to anyone who is absolute in all regards? You can’t. But as Chambers notes, there is a huge difference between being of use and being of value. Think about it: how much usefulness is there in a 3-day old baby? Not much. They can’t do anything for you. They are helpless and dependent. But now let us ask the other question: how much value does that 3-day old baby have to you? Get the point?

God doesn’t need either me…or you. But does He value you? Absolutely! He places such a high value on you that He bankrupted heaven of its greatest treasure just for you!

Prayer: Help us to trust in the completed work of Jesus and the cleansing You have given us!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

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DayBreaks for 04/25/13 – Sanctifying the Secular, #4

DayBreaks for 04/25/13 – Sanctifying the Secular, #4

Pen-PaperNOTE: I am on a missions trip/internship to Africa and will be gone until 5/25.  Please pray for God’s work to go forth mightily, for protection for myself and those with whom I will be working, and for my wife in my absence!  Thank you…I cherish your prayers!  You will be receiving DayBreaks as usual (from the archive) until I’ve returned.

#4: Be Willing to be God’s Sequel to the New Testament

The canon has been closed, yet God continues to write his glorious revelation in the center of our lives.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade wrote:  “And so the sequel to the New Testament is being written now, by action and suffering.  Saintly souls are in the succession of the prophets and the apostles, not by writing canonical books, but by continuing the history of divine purpose with their lives, whose moments are so many syllables and sentences through which it is vividly expressed.  The books the Holy Spirit is writing are living, and every soul a volume in which the Divine Author makes a true revelation of his word, explaining it to every heart, unfolding it in every moment.

“We are in an age of faith, the Holy Spirit no longer writes gospels, except in our hearts; saintly souls are the pages, suffering and action the ink.  The Holy Spirit is writing a living gospel and the pen of action, which we will only be able to read on the day of glory when, fresh from the presses of life, it will be published.

“O what a beautiful story!  What a beautiful book the Holy Spirit is now writing!  It is in the press, not a day passes when the type is not being set, the ink not applied, the pages not being printed.  But we remain in the night of faith, the paper is darker than the ink; we cannot make out the print, it is in the language of another world which we cannot understand; it is a gospel we will only be able to read in heaven.”

Calvin Miller wrote: “If we do not conceive ourselves to be noble paper, let us consider that we are at least necessary paper.  Paper must lie flat – yielded to take the ink; surrendered till it bears all the characters of God’s message to this secular world that leaves us so afraid.

“May we be worthy of Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s final counsel:

“Forgive me, divine Love, for speaking only of my shortcomings and not having yet understood what it means to let your will be done, not having allowed myself to be poured into that mould.  I have been through all your galleries and admired all your paintings, but I have not yet surrendered myself sufficiently to be worthy to receive the strokes of your brush…I will devote myself exclusively to the duty of the present moment to love you, to fulfill my obligations and to let your will be done.”

2 Corinthians 3:2-3: “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

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

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 has started working 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 linke: 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!

DayBreaks for 03/11/13 – Using Up the Ground

DayBreaks for 03/11/13 – Using Up the Ground              

thevinedresserandthefigtreeLuke 13:6-9 (ESV) – And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.  7 And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’  8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure.  9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.’”

Israel is not a large country. Soil was, and still is, at a premium in Israel. It was not unusual for a vineyard owner to give a little bit of his soil up for a fruit tree but the tree took up the best soil, the deepest soil, and required the most water. Three years after planting the fig tree, the owner came looking for fruit on the fig tree and found none.  A fig tree doesn’t grow fruit until three years after planting. So, the owner in this story, had given the tree “due season”, plenty of time, to bear fruit and yet there was none.  All this fig tree did was take up valuable soil and water and energy.  The owner questioned why the tree was allowed to “even use up ground.”

God had given the Israelites the choicest ground. Their land possessed everything necessary to make themselves a great nation, indeed, a light to all nations. They were strategically positioned to send the fruit of God north and south, east and west; but instead, in-fighting continued to make them a worthless fruit tree.

God has given America extremely choice ground.  The American church is the richest group of Christians to ever exist on the face of the earth – by far.  As individuals, we are all rich.  We all have been “planted” here by God, but not just for our own sake.  We’ve been planted here for His purposes…to cooperate and be a part of His plan, to be useful to Him – not to ourselves.

Everyone one of us and all of our churches will have to answer (from God’s perspective) this same question: “Why does it even use up the ground?”  What answer would you give God?  What answer would you give to anyone around you for why you exist?  What fruit are you bearing?  (If you’re not bearing fruit…go back and read the parable again.  You won’t like what you see!)

PRAYER: Lord, I don’t want to just use up ground, to occupy a position in space and time.  I want to be useful to You and for You.  I pray that all of us will be open to what You want to do with us and not our own will. 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” link at the bottom of the email.

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!

DayBreaks for 10/22/12: Even the Ugly Can Be Beautiful

DayBreaks for 10/22/12 – Even the Ugly Can Be Beautiful

I seriously doubt that there has ever been anyone who was always pleased with their appearance at all times.  Sure, when we were young, we may have had sculpted or chiseled bodies with six-pack abs and nary a wrinkle.  But even then, if we are honest, we worried about body image or stewed over doing something “dumb” that would make us look stupid to others.

When it comes to spiritual mirrors, we probably feel uglier than any glass mirror made us appear.  We speak about the deep, dark secrets we have in our souls, buried and hidden from sight for one reason and one reason only: because they are too repulsive, too ugly, too hideous (dare we say, too sinful?) to let them into the light of day where they could be seen by others.

When it comes to creatures in this world, there just aren’t many things much uglier than a cockroach.  Yuck.  Just the thought of them makes most people shiver.  Millions upon millions of dollars are eagerly handed over to extermination companies each year in the United States alone to get rid of the unsightly, filthy, ugly pests.  It’s hard to conceive of them having any redeeming use, isn’t it?  If that’s what we think, we have just been proven wrong.

“At a conference in August, researchers from North Carolina State University demonstrated their latest technological advance in aiding “first responders” to peacetime and wartime disasters: cockroaches.

Outfitting Madagascar hissing cockroaches with electronic backpacks that include antennas, batteries, cameras, and microphones, the scientists hacked the bugs’ nervous systems to steer them remotely into the tiniest of openings–a crucial step toward finding survivors of earthquakes or bomb damage in densely built-up and populated areas. Said one researcher, to ABC News, “Somewhere in the middle [of tons of rubble] your kid is crying,” and huge machines are “not very efficient” at finding him. [ABC
News, 9-13-2012, quoted by News of the Weird, October 3, 2012]

Who would have ever thought that a cockroach could appear so beautiful under the right conditions?  To a human buried under rubble, that ugly cockroach can provide proof of life to rescuers who can’t get into the small spaces between rubble.

What does this have to do with us and Christianity?  Try to remember the cockroach the next time you are down on yourself because of the ugliness of your sin.  God can make use of you.  In fact, He can only make use of you when you are broken because of the ugliness of your sin.  He then can pick you up and send you out on a search and rescue mission for the souls of others.

I am convinced that there is a greater “gap” of worth and value between God and sinful man than between man and a cockroach, but God has bridged that gap, giving dignity to even the lowliest human being through the testimony of His love.

PRAYER: Father, when we feel so ugly that we curl up in a cave and try to hide from you, remind us that it is at those times that we are penitent that you can use us!!!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 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” link at the bottom of the email.