DayBreaks for 12/18/17 – Daniel…and Christmas

Image result for christmas star

DayBreaks for 12/18/17: Daniel…and Christmas

Matthew 2:1-2 (ESV) = Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.

We don’t really know who the wise men were. We don’t even know how many there were other than they were “men”, plural. The tradition of three wise men comes from the fact that three gifts are mentioned: gold, frankincense and myrrh. We don’t even know for sure where they came from, but most believe they came either from the area of ancient Babylon (modern Iraq) or Persia (modern Iran). Regardless, it was a long journey of about 1000 miles taken on foot and perhaps camel (the mode of transport for the wealthy). The words for “wise men” in Latin is magi, short for magician, sorcerer, astrologer, one who could supposedly divine events and the future by looking at the stars. They may have been of a priestly class who served the palace of their home land. We simply don’t know. But we do know they made a very, very long journey because they saw a star – and they followed it.

It could be that they were just curious at the appearance of this new star, but how many would undertake such a time consuming, arduous and dangerous journey just because of seeing a light in the sky? So why, we are left to wonder, did they do so?

We perhaps have a clue in the story of Daniel, the prophet of God who was taken into exile and who rose to greatness in the service of the Babylonian king. When Daniel interpreted the dream of the king, the king promoted him: Daniel 2:47-48 (ESV) – The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon.

Do you see it? Daniel was the head over the “wise men” of Babylon. He was their leader and most likely their instructor. Could it be that while serving in the palace of Babylon, he told the other “wise men” of the prophecies of a coming deliverer, a king, born to rule mankind and that such a birth would be heralded by a star, or that the baby would be born in a land to their west? And those wise men passed along that knowledge for 500 years until the time of Christ’s birth?

We don’t know. It is very possible, I think, but maybe that’s just because I want to believe it is true.

It caused me to wonder: if the life of the man Daniel played a role in these pagan people coming to Jesus could have such an effect over 5 centuries, what will the impact of my life be on those I interact with?

What impact are you having this Christmas on the lives of those who also need to come and worship the King?

PRAYER: God, your ways are unsearchable, yet You always accomplish your purposes. I pray, Lord, that our lives will shine the way to Jesus this Christmas, so that those near and far may come to worship Him! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 12/23/15 – L’Enchante

DayBreaks for 12/23/15: L’Enchante

“There is a beautiful story recounted every Christmas in the forests of Provence in southern France.  It’s about the shepherds who came to Bethlehem to see the child.  One brought eggs, another brought bread and cheese, the third brought wine.  And the fourth brought nothing at all.  People called him L’Enchante.  The first three shepherds chatted with Mary and Joseph, commenting on how well Mary looked, how cozy was the cave and how handsomely Joseph had appointed it, what a beautiful starlit night it was.  They congratulated the proud parents, presented them with their gifts and assured them that if they needed anything else, they had only to ask.  Finally someone asked, ‘Where is L’Enchante?’  They searched high and low, up and down, inside and out.  Finally, someone peeked through the blanket hung against the draft, into the crèche.  There, kneeling at the crib, was L’Enchante – the enchanted one.  Like a flag or a flame taking the direction of the wind, he had taken the direction of love.  Through the entire night, he stayed in adoration, whispering, ‘Jesu, Jesu, Jesu – Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.’” – Brennan Manning, The Lion and the Lamb

I wonder what I would have done had I been one of the shepherds?  Would I have scrounged up some gift out of my pack to take with me to Bethlehem?  If so, what would I have taken?  After all, what gift could a poor shepherd have that the child Jesus would need, or could use?  Certainly, they could not take anything like the gifts which the magi bore on their caravan.

But perhaps, if there is anything to the ancient story (and even if there is not), L’Enchante had something to take but thought better of it.  Perhaps L’Enchante realized that no matter what he had, there was nothing marvelous enough on this earth to lay at the feet of the baby Jesus.  And in that moment, he had grasped a great truth.  I think, perhaps, that he realized that what this baby deserved was not gifts which were so inadequate, but our wonder and our worship.  And so, L’Enchante took the only thing with him to the manger that the baby would ever want: his heart.  Hour after hour, pouring out worship, gazing in amazed and overwhelmed wonder at the Miracle that lay on the hay, too enchanted to talk about trivialities.

May we all be overwhelmed with the enchantment that Jesus brings with him.  May we all give him our wonder and love and worship.  May we avoid the trivialities that are so frivolous and meaningless and focus on the one thing that is needful – to worship the One who is our Savior.

TODAY’S PRAYER: Heavenly Father, we live in an age where it is hard for us to be amazed at anything that is good.  It seems that the evil that is present in the world is still able to amaze us when we hear about our cruelty to one another, but seldom do we fall to our knees in amazement.  Help the Christmas Truth to enchant us and capture our hearts anew this week.  May we truly worship Jesu!  In His name, Amen.

Copyright 2015 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 12/25/14 – Paltry Gifts

DayBreaks for 12/25/14 – Paltry Gifts It is Christmas morning.  For most of us, there are presents under the tree and squeals of childish delight (not always coming from the little ones!)  We give gifts to those we love and appreciate on this day.  Why?  Well, it all started long, long ago in a village far, far away… 

Matthew 2:9-11 (NLT) After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

The wise men (or magi) came to see a king.  And they did.  Only it wasn’t the kind of king that they planned to encounter.  They found a King all right, but far more.  They had prepared to meet a king.  But, as Todd Agnew asks in his song, “How do you prepare to meet the Lord?” 

They brought with them perhaps the finest gifts they could think of or afford: gold, frankincense and myrrh.  They were not paltry gifts by earthly standards, but as Todd Agnew sang, “We brought Him gold, frankincense and myrrh, when riches untold he left behind…”  No one can possibly know how true of a statement that was!  As much as Mary and Joseph must have been stunned by the extravagance of the gifts, God wasn’t.  The baby in the manger wasn’t.  To Him, the presents were mere trifles.  

What have you brought to Jesus this Christmas season?  Have you brought gold, frankincense and myrrh, or their modern day equivalent?  Perhaps you feel that you gave Him gift by attending a Christmas eve service – that maybe you did Him a favor by doing so.  You haven’t.  You didn’t.  

God never wanted the gold and other presents.  What He wanted was the hearts of the wise men and Mary and Joseph and the shepherds in the fields.  And that is what He wants from you and from me…our hearts.  The wise men apparently “got it” as they came to worship Him…to give the praise of their heart and lips to the Christ Child.  

That, my friends, is what He wants from you and me not just today, but always and forever.  To God, that is the most precious gift in the universe that we could possibly give to Jesus.  Will you give it to Him? 

Full lyrics to “God With Us” can be found here.   To listen to the song, click here. 

Merry CHRISTmas to you all! 

PRAYER: Lord, it isn’t easy to give my heart fully, as much as I would like to!  I struggle to keep a bit of it for myself and I try to appease You with substitute gifts that are paltry and trivial.  As I go through this day, this coming year and the rest of my life, help me surrender more and more of my heart to You each day! In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to 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.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations! Your support would be deeply appreciated!