DayBreaks for 2/25/19 – I AM #9: Living Water

Image result for living water

DayBreaks for 2/25/2019: I AM #9: The Living Water

John 7:37-38 (ESV) – On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

While Jesus doesn’t explicitly use the “I AM” phrase here, his claim is equally strong: he is the source of living water. What was living water? It was moving water – safe to sustain life – as opposed to stagnant water such as that in the Dead Sea.

Jesus makes this statement during the feast of tabernacles which the people referred to as “the season of our gladness,” for it marked the completion of the harvest. Josephus called it “the holiest and the greatest festival among the Jews”. It wasn’t just for the rich; it was for everyone – the rich, the poor, the stranger, the widow and servants – all were to share in the universal joy.
During this festival, a priest took a golden pitcher which held about two pints of water and went down to the Pool of Siloam where it was filled. He carried it back through the Water Gate while the people recited Isa 12:3: With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. The water was taken to the Temple altar and poured out as an offering to God. As that was taking place, the Hallel—that is, Ps 113-118—was sung to the accompaniment of flutes by the Levite choir. When they came to the words, “O give thanks to the Lord” and again to the words, “O work now then salvation”, and finally to the closing words, “O give thanks to the Lord”, the worshippers shouted and waved their palms towards the altar. The whole ceremony was a vivid thanksgiving for God’s good gift of water, an acted prayer for rain, and a memory of the water which sprang from the rock when they travelled through the wilderness. On the last day the ceremony was doubly impressive for they marched seven times round the altar in memory of the sevenfold circuit round the walls of Jericho, whereby the wails fell down and the city was taken.

Against this background and perhaps at that very moment, Jesus’ voice rang out: If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink.” It is as if Jesus said: “You are thanking and glorifying God for the water which quenches the thirst of your bodies. Come to me if you want water which will quench the thirst of your soul.” He was using that dramatic moment to turn men’s thoughts to the thirst for God and the eternal things.

The concept behind “living water” is water that is moving, flowing. Such water is safe to drink as opposed to stagnant water such as was found in the Dead Sea. It would be cooler and more refreshing – it was the kind of water that could sustain life.

Jesus’ claim is that he is able to provide us with the refreshing, safe water we long for and more – that we will become channels for that water to flow out to others. But like the Dead Sea, we can’t be channels of blessing unless we stop just taking in water – we must let it flow through us as the water from the Jordan flows through the sea of Galilee. Let it flow through you today!

PRAYER: Lord, our spirits are thirsty until we drink deeply of you! Let us let your water flow through us to the parched spiritual desert in which we live. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

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

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 1/17/19 – There Is No Other Stream

Image result for Aslan by the stream

DayBreaks for 01/17/2019: There Is No Other Stream

There’s a story in The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis about a girl named Jill Pole, and Aslan, the great Christ-figure lion in the story.  Jill has grown thirsty in the forest, and she hears the sound of the stream in the distance.  Her thirst drives her to find the stream so she can drink.  She knows that a great lion is afoot, so she’s cautious.  Finally, she sees the stream, but is terrified by what she sees.  Her thirst is like a fire, but sitting by the stream of water is Aslan, the huge lion, very much alive, though sitting very still.  She waits until she’s nearly crazed from thirst, hoping he’ll go away, but he doesn’t budge.

Suddenly, he spoke: “If you are thirsty, you may drink.”  Jill is startled and holds back.  “Are you not thirsty?, said the Lion.

“I am dying of thirst,” said Jill.

“Then drink,” said the lion.

“May I..could I..would you mind going away while I do?” said Jill.  The Lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl.  And just as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience.  The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her near frantic.

“Will you promise not to – do anything to me, if I come?”

“I make no promise,” said the Lion.  Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.

“Do you eat girls?” she said.

“I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,” said the Lion.  It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry.  It just said it.

“I daren’t come and drink,” said Jill.

“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.

“Oh, dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer.  “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”

“There is no other stream,” said the Lion.”

I’ve been thirsty before – what I considered (at the time) as desperately thirsty, although I’m sure it was nothing compared to what some have endured.  I like this story from The Silver Chair because it describes the decision that we must all make: the God of Scripture is a wild, untamed God who has crushed empires literally overnight.  He is a God who does as He pleases, for the reasons that suit His purposes, for His glory – and not for ours.  He is a God who makes no excuses (and because He is God and Sovereign) and who needs no excuses to be made for Him or offered up for Him.  He simply is God – God Almighty and no one can thwart Him in anything He decides to do.  He is alternately terrifying and the tender One who holds little children on His lap and blesses them.  He is everywhere at all times and at times disturbingly silent and seemingly absent.  He is a God who is not content to have just created – but a God who chooses to insert Himself into His creation when and if it pleases Him – but who at other times is maddeningly distant.

What will happen if we come to the river to drink?  This God is frightening – just ask Jill Pole.  But there is no other stream – there is no fountain of youth and there is no other fountain of Life than that which flowed from the veins and mercy of Christ.  Come to the stream – drink – be refreshed and know that He remains God – and you are not He.

John 4:10 (NIV)Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.

John 4:13-14 (NIV)Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

PRAYER: You are high and lifted up, Lord God Almighty.  We tremble in fear of Your great power and come timidly before You where we are encouraged by Your welcome and invitation to drink – and find not death, but Life!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 8/21/17 – On Rough Water #1

DayBreaks for 8/21/17: On Rough Water #1

Matthew 14:22-27 (ESV) – Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

I’ve been blessed to go to Israel and see the Sea of Galilee. In fact, I’ve crossed it in a boat. When we were there it was pretty peaceful, but strong winds can come up from the south that are funneled into the lake and they can be fierce…and deadly. It is amazing how having been there makes a story like this come alive.

The sea is about 13 miles long and 8 miles wide. There are several other key facts that we must understand before diving into this story.

  1. We don’t know what time of day it was when Jesus put the disciples into the boat, but presumably it was still light as he’d just finished feeding the 5000. We know it was in the afternoon or evening because the feeding of the 5000 takes place late in the day. And the disciples had just witnessed that miracle.
  2. We don’t know what time of year it was so it may have been nearly dark when the disciples set out.
  3. We know that there were fishermen among those in the boat – men who had been on the lake for probably several decades with their dad’s, and now in their own boats.
  4. We don’t know how far the boat had been able to go in the storm, but they were a long way from land…certainly too far to swim in a raging storm.

So, now, somewhere between midnight and 3 a.m. (we know that because it was “the third watch”) these seasoned sailors and fishermen were desperate. The storm must have truly been fierce because it is only 8 miles wide at the widest spot and they’re still far from land. Try to imagine their weariness from fighting the storm, their growing fear for life and limb. And then, an apparition comes toward them across the water.

They believe it is a ghost, perhaps sent to collect their own souls. I don’t blame them for being terrified. I would have been, too. When is the last time you saw someone in a corporeal body walking atop the water?!

So, they cry out. I can picture them pointing as the apparition gets closer and closer. They can’t make out who it is – perhaps they were too afraid to look closely. They scream it is a ghost. And what is Jesus’ response? It says Immediately, Jesus spoke to them, “Take heart, it is I! Do not be afraid.

Yeah, right. If you read just a bit further, you’ll see they’re still not convinced about who it is, for Peter says, rather timidly, Lord, if it is you…invite me to come to you on the water.

What is important here isn’t Peter’s response, but how Jesus responded to their fear. He did so Immediately…and then he told them something that should have settled their fears: …it is I. In the Greek, what Jesus uttered were the words, “I AM”…the name of Almighty God. And he did so immediately to help quell their fears.

So, why should a name have quelled their fears? Because this is the One who made the wind and the waves. He doesn’t bow to them…they bow to Him.

But even more meaningful is what Jesus does NOT do: he doesn’t change their circumstances. Why? Good question. He could have just spoken the word or thought the thought: “Be still!” and it would have happened. He did it before and it worked.

No, I think perhaps he didn’t change the circumstances because he didn’t want them to trust in the circumstances when they change, but in Him. He wanted them to learn to trust in I AM, not in the wind dying or the waves decreasing.

I don’t know about you, but when I am afraid, I want God to change my circumstances. Sometimes he does, sometimes not. What God wants me to do is to trust I AM.

PRAYER: Lord, when we are afraid we hope and pray for things to change rather than praying for more trust in You. Help us remember that I AM is the master of all and that what is really important is trusting you is and not in changing circumstances. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

DayBreaks for 10/21/16 – The Wells of Salvation

DayBreaks for 10/21/16 – The Wells of Salvation

Michael Card is a tremendous singer, composer, author and student of the Word. My wife and I have been fans of his for years and years. We were blessed this last January to go to Israel and be part of a tour group he was leading. I love his insights into Scripture, human nature and the history related to the Bible. Just earlier this week, he shared this:

“The Jewish holiday known as Sukkoth, or Tabernacles, falls on the 16th to the 23rd of October this year. That last day should be of particular interest to Christians. Of all the remarkable things Jesus said and did, it was on the last day of Tabernacles, John tells us in 7:37, that Jesus stood and shouted, If someone is thirsty, let them come to me and drink! 

“According to the Mishnah, the High Priest has just poured out a pitcher of water in front of the large crowd, quoting Isaiah 12:3, With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Mishnah, Moed, Sukkah 4:9-5:2)  So this Sunday, October 23, get your family together and read this passage. Remember that Jesus is standing in the midst of a crowd where there are men who have vowed to kill him (Jn. 7:13) He is our fearless Savior. He is the One who provides the Living Water of His Spirit.”

Do you see the symbolism? Even as the High Priest has emptied his pitcher of water, Jesus offers to be the replacement. And just as the water was poured out of the pitcher, so would the Living Water be poured out into the dead souls of men and women for their cleansing and salvation!

Jesus also is making a very explicit claim. Right after the first words: With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation, Jesus fearlessly claims to be that very well of salvation!

I hope you will remember this on Sunday…and drink deeply of the Living Water.

PRAYER: Thank You for being the Living Water that refreshes, cleanses us and leads us to salvation! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

 

DayBreaks for 6/3/16 – The Demise of the Ancient Mariner

DayBreaks for 6/03/16 – The Demise of the Ancient Mariner

From the DayBreaks archive, 2006:

A theologian by the name of John S. Dunne tells a story about a group of ancient Spanish sailors who came to South America for the first time.  The trip had been extremely difficult.  The arrived off the coast of South America and came across the entry to the Amazon River, the largest freshwater passageway in the entire world.  In fact, the entry into the mouth of the river was so large that they thought that they were still sailing in the ocean.  They had been traveling so long that they had run out of fresh water, but never expecting that they were sailing on fresh water instead of the salt water of the ocean, it never occurred to them to try to drink the water.  The result was predictable: some of the sailors died of thirst while floating upon the largest source of freshwater in the world. 

In his book, Finding God in Unexpected Places, Phillip Yancey noted that this was a fitting analogy for what is happening in our day and age.  We live in a time where information is easily accessible, where interest in spiritual things (if not Christianity) is high.  And yet, as Yancey put it: “Some people starve to death spiritually while all around them manna rots…”

While we may be quick to think that the Spanish sailors were very misguided for not trying the water, aren’t we a lot like them in many, many ways?  Even Christians seem to be starving for that which will sustain life and give it purpose and meaning, and all the while we are surrounded by Bibles – the Bread of Life.  Yet we are thirsty, looking and searching for a drink that will satisfy, and we have God’s Word everywhere.  In life, there are not silver bullets…at least, in the physical realm.  But there is a silver bullet in spiritual life – and God gave it to us in the Word.  Will we drink until we are satisfied?

John 7:37-39 (NLT) – On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “If you are thirsty, come to me!  If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within. (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

PRAYER:  Lord Jesus, we are so thirsty and yet we seem to turn to everyone except You.  Help us, Jesus, to see and recognize the provision you’ve made for us to have all things that pertain to life and godliness, help us not only to drink deeply of the well of life ourselves, but to help others find it, too.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 01/01/14 – Let There Be No Doubt

DayBreaks for 01/01/14 – Let There Be No Doubt

One of the striking features of John’s gospel is how John pictures the life and ministry of Jesus. The other gospels tell us stories about Jesus so we, like the disciples, we are left to ask what seems the obvious questions, “Who is this, that wind and sea obey him? Who is this who feeds the multitude on a couple of loaves and a few fish?” But in John, there’s no doubt who Jesus is  because both John and Jesus tell us who He is! Usually Jesus did so with a statement that starts with “I am.” Put him in a situation and he will clarify who he is and what he has come to do.

If you put him in a desert surrounded by people who are chronically unsatisfied, and Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

If you put him in the midst of confused people who ask, “Who are you, Jesus? What makes you different from all the other gurus, rabbis, and religious leaders?” Jesus replies, “I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture” (10:7, 9).

If you find him at a graveside surrounded by grief-stricken people, Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live” (11:25).

On the other hand, if you put him in the middle of people who feel disconnected by life’s difficulties, Jesus says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing” (15:5).

You see, in the Gospel of John, in situation after situation, Jesus defines himself and says, “This is who I am….” In the eighth chapter, Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (8:12). His words echo the opening words of the Fourth Gospel, where the writer defines the person and work of Jesus in terms of light. “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people … The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world” (1:3-4, 9).

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.” That, my friends, is wonderful news – just the kind of news that we would hope to hear with Christmas in the rear view mirror and a New Year staring us in the face.  Let Him be the Light of your world in 2014!

Happy New Year, everyone!  “Walk in the light even as He is in the light…”

PRAYER: Thank you for not leaving us in the dark about Who You Are and thank You for the assurance that You enter this new year with us and that nothing it holds is hidden from Your sight or beyond Your control. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2014 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 must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you are led to support 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 either a one time or recurring 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 03/20/13 – A River Runs Through You

DayBreaks for 03/20/13 – A River Runs Through You               

a-river-runs-through-it-jakub-sisak(Photo by Jakub Sisak.)

John 7:38 (NIV) – Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.

It is fascinating what computer software has done to Bible study!  It certainly makes it far faster and easier (in my humble opinion), not to mention that I don’t have to have numerous paper-and-ink books open all over my desktop as I do my study.  Just a few clicks and they’re all there, in their own orderly window (my wife told me just today how messy I am when I work, so this is good news!)

One of the best things about Bible study software is that it makes it easy to determine how many times a certain word is used in Scripture (by translation if you wish), what the original root word was and what it meant, and where it is found in each instance.  For example, in the NIV, the word “camel” is found nine times.  The word “peace” is found 250 times and the word “heart” shows up a whopping 570 times!  Generally speaking, the more a word is found, the more important it is as a topic to which we need to pay attention!

Rivers are mentioned 150 times (depending on translation) in Scripture, often as a picture of spiritual life.  There is good reason for this: Israel was a desert country, so a river is a physical manifestation of grace.  A river is life.  We don’t know much about the Garden of Eden, but we do know this — a river ran through it (Genesis 2:10).

If a river flows, life flourishes.  But if that river dries up, the life in that river dies.

So it is with us and the Spirit. The first human being was just a pile of dirt until God breathed into him the “breath of life.”  (In Hebrew the word for “breath” is the same word used for spirit.)  One of the signs that you are in the flow of the Spirit is a sense of God-given vitality and joyful aliveness overflowing in you.  If that is not what you are experiencing most of the time, the river in you (the Spirit) may be drying up.  You may be “quenching” the life-giving power that comes with the Indwelling of the Spirit. 

When the Spirit flows in you, you are given power to become the person God designed.   Not only are you given that power, but you actually begin to become the person God meant for you to be.

A river flowed through the Garden of Eden.  A “river of life” is mentioned in heaven.  And the same River of Living Water flows through you!  Roll, river, roll!

PRAYER: Thank you for the life and refreshing that comes from the Spirit you have put within us as your children!  Let us drink deeply – and live!  And let us be a refreshment to others we meet!  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 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 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!