DayBreaks for 8/10/17 – Just Goblets

DayBreaks for 8/10/17: Just Goblets

From the DayBreaks archive, 8/7/2007:

Daniel 5:23 (NIV) Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways.

Goblets.  Mere goblets.  Nothing more than metal fabrications, the skill of a craftsman who labored over them with pride in his/her workmanship.  The metal that made them was the same as any other gold or silver – the composition was identical, with perhaps slight variations for impurities.  There was nothing significant about them – except for one thing.  They had been in the temple of the Living God and were intended for use there. 

It’s an easy thing to take the things of God and make them into insignificant furnishings, places, objects, just like everything else.  But the things of God are different.  They are holy because they belong to Him, the One who is Holy. 

We are prone to see ourselves just like everyone else.  Most of us have two arms and two legs, 2 eyes, ears, feet and hands.  And we conclude that we’re just like all the other 7.442 billion or so people in the world.  But we are not.  We weren’t just “in the temple of the Lord”, but we ARE the temple of the Lord. 

This day is the day that He formed by His craftsmanship.  Will I take this day and make it like every other day, or will I seek to find the unique blessings that this day is to hold and that He wants to give to me to enjoy this day?  The tree outside my kitchen window is His tree.  The buzzard flying by the window in search of food is His buzzard.  The flowers growing in the planter box are decorated uniquely by Him and they lift their heads up to His glory. 

It is dangerous to take the things of God and make them ordinary.  It is dangerous to think we – or others – are ordinary.  When we see all things as His, we “honor the God who holds in His hand your life and all your ways.”

I really don’t take enough time daily to meditate on the beauty and the wonder of all God’s things, to see them as His, created for His delight and glory.  I can easily take things for granted and minimize them into normalness rather than seeing them as holy because they are His.  And, more than anything else, I need to see and remember and understand that as the temple of the Holy Spirit, I, too, am holy.  The ordinary has gone for the Christian.  All is now holy because of Him!

What are you doing with God’s things today?

PRAYER:  Thank You, Jesus, for the wonder of a world that holds no ordinary things because they all belong to You.  Help us to see Your creation, and especially our fellow humans, as something wonderful, precious and special because we are the work of Your hands.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

DayBreaks for 8/2/16 – Still Valuable

DayBreaks for 8/02/16 – Still Valuable

From the DayBreaks archive, August 2006:

A man once stood up in front of a large group of people and pulled a crisp $20 bill out of his pocket.  Holding it up, he asked, “Whoever would like to have this $20 bill, please raise your hand.”  Virtually every hand in the room was raised.  The speaker then took the $20 bill and crumpled it up in his hand so it was no longer crisp and like new. “Whoever would like to have this $20 bill, please raise your hand,” he said.  All the hands went up again.  Next, the speaker took the wadded up $20 bill and tossed it onto the ground beside the podium.  He proceeded to step on the bill, grinding it into the floor, before he stooped over and picked it up.  Looking at the gathering, he asked one more time, “Now, whoever would still like to have this $20 bill, please raise your hand.”  All the hands were once again raised.

What’s the point?  Well, you and I can be an awful like that $20 bill.  We start out crisp and fresh – and when we’re that way, very few would debate that the tiny human life is worth a lot.  But as we grow, we encounter life’s turbulence and we get folded and spindled and somewhat mutilated.  We don’t look as good as when we were little, there are flaws in our appearance.  Ultimately, life (either as a result of some decision we make or situations beyond our control), grinds us into the dirt of sin and degradation. 

In the story, the people in the room had no doubt about the fact that the wadded up or stomped on $20 bill was still worth $20.  It could be redeemed anywhere for a fresh $20 or for goods and services.  It had value, and the value was the same whether it was brand new, slightly wrinkled, or heavily soiled.

Awful things may have happened in your life.  Your life may have been filled with pain and dirt and ugliness.  You may very well question how God could find anything in you that is of value.  Learn from the illustration – if the $20 bill still retains its value, don’t you?  Your value to God, your preciousness to Him – remains intact regardless of the things you have done or which have been done to you.  You are still worth the blood of the Lamb and all the wrinkles and dirt on your life don’t diminish your value.

God has already said He wants you to give your life to Him regardless of how ugly it has been.  Unlike the $20 bill, you also have a choice.  Will you accept that fact that He loves you and has put such a high price on your value, or will you refuse to believe that He still wants you after the life you’ve lived?

You are precious to Him!  (1 Pet. 1:19; 2:4)

PRAYER:  Thank you for your love for us that never ends and which knows no limits.  Help up to never confuse our brokenness and sinfulness with worthlessness.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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

 

DayBreaks for 9/17/15 – Image Bearers

DayBreaks for 9/17/15: Image Bearers

From the DayBreaks archive, 2005:

Genesis 1:26-27 (NLT) – Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

I must confess that when I looked in the mirror this morning, what I saw didn’t look a whole lot like how I picture God. When I got to church on Sunday, I looked at the people there (who are great, and I love them all!), but quite frankly, they didn’t look a whole lot like how I picture God, either. And when we watched the news clips from New Orleans after the recent hurricane and we saw people stealing things that weren’t related to their survival, or shooting at rescue helicopters, well, that didn’t look like God, either.

Yet, Scripture is very clear about it: we are made in the image of God. That doesn’t mean that God looks like us, nor that we resemble him just by nature of our existence. It means that we’ve got something of the image of His character on and in us. What all does it mean? That’s hard to say, but certainly it must mean that we’ve got the ability to do good, to love, to be compassionate, to serve, to sacrifice. We are thinking beings who are destined to live eternally. The Scripture says that God created man (male and female) in His image. That doesn’t mean that God is male and/or female – but rather, I think that we should understand it to mean that God is a person, not an it

John Ortberg wrote, in God Is Closer Than You Think: “Of all creation, only people are said to be bearers of the image of God. So people have the capacity to be carriers of His Presence like nothing else. We take long trips to see marvels like the Grand Canyon. Engaged couples plan far ahead so that they can honeymoon at Niagara Falls. But if our eyes could see clearly, if our hearts were working right, we would fall to the ground in amazement at the sight of a single human being. They are the miracles. They are the God-carriers.”

It’s easy to become disillusioned and disenchanted with other humans. We’re easy targets, because we’re all so horribly flawed. And if we get disillusioned enough, we give up on one another, relegating others to the garbage dump of the universe. Of course, when we do that, we forget that we belong in the garbage dump of the universe, too. It’s only because of His image in us, His Presence that lives in the Christian, that our destiny is heaven and not hell.

Who is it that you will see today that you “can’t stand”? Is there someone that you’ve “given up on”? Give them another chance – though His image in them may have been defaced severely, they were still made in His image – and by His grace, it can be recovered.

PRAYER: Jesus, let us bear more of your image with each passing hour. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 7/09/15 – Tried and Found Difficult

DayBreaks for 7/09/15: Tried and Found Difficult

It wasn’t an easy thing to put people on the moon. It takes herculean effort to reach the pinnacle of Mt. Everest.  Those are exceptional things – achievements that very few people who walk this earth have, or will, every accomplish.

Somehow, part of the glory of such things is the difficulty involved – the sheer magnitude of the effort involved and the overcoming of daunting challenges along the way. It is only when one has stepped onto the lunar soil or the peak of Everest that the sheer wonder and joy of the achievement can be fully relished. Sure, one can anticipate what it would feel like, but no one can truly imagine it. Yet, I’ve never heard of one lunar explorer or Everest conqueror say it wasn’t worth it.

When we attempt to live a life worthy of the Gospel it is because our understanding of “worth” is far different from that of the world. John the Baptist was not beheaded because he chose the easy path. John gave his life because of his commitment to what he understood to be worth the cost, much like Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his struggles with Nazism and Hitler. Being a pastor in the German Lutheran Church, Bonhoeffer was forced to choose between the worth of loyalty to God or to an insane ruler. He was executed in 1945 for the opposition he voiced to the satanic rule of Hitler.

As G.K. Chesterton so concisely wrote: “It is not that Christianity has been tried and found wanting, but tried and found difficult.” Life has many roads to travel. However, to be a Christian, we must choose the road on which the shadow of the cross falls. It always leads to freedom, joy and celebration when the final lap of the race has been run and the goal reached. Some 2000 years later, we speak of the reigns of the Herods and Caesars with pity and disdain, but the names of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ live on as those for whom life was lived with devotion and courage.

PRAYER: Give us the confidence, Lord, that the journey we have undertaken is truly worth the cost and that in the end, we shall stand in glorious celebration! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 6/12/15 – The Sahara Forest

Image by Joel Kimmel

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DayBreaks for 6/12/15: The Sahara Forest

Sometimes it is hard to feel we have much significance. You may be small of stature and dreamed of being in the NBA and your ambitions lie shattered on a gym floor. You may have dreamed of owning your own business or leading a Fortune 500 company – and maybe even did – only to see it goes down in flames.  You may have dreamed of having children only to know the sorrow of not being able to have them.  You may have dreamed of doing great things for the Lord only to find yourself in a tiny, insignificant role in some back-water town in a back-water location.  And now, perhaps you see yourself as so small and insignificant that desperation long ago was lost in favor of something even worse – giving up. And now your life seems pointless…and you feel utterly worthless.

A small fellow, not much over 5 feet tall, applied for a job as a lumberjack in Alaska. The foreman, thinking to discourage him, gave him a large ax, set him before a tree hundreds of feet tall, and yards in diameter, and told him to chop it down. Within minutes the tree had been felled. The amazed foreman asked him where he’d learned to chop trees so powerfully. The little fellow replied, “When I worked in the Sahara forest.” “You mean, the Sahara desert.” “That was after I got there,” said the small lumberjack.

The point of the story is that size is less important than spirit, or intelligence, or courage — a point made when King David was selected at a young age: Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature … for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.

A faith that grows has heart, a heart that belongs to God. Faith grows from the inside out. You sprang from the heart of the Almighty God and you still have a place there. When you are tempted to doubt your significance, remember the cross. Remember the Divine One who came to seek you out and then died for you. Remember that He knows the number of hairs on your head and the heartbeats of your lifetime. His knowledge of you is that deep and that intimate and all-encompassing. Would He bother to know those things about you if He didn’t think you were worth it? And to top it off, He loves you with a never-ending love!

PRAYER: Don’t let us think that our value and worth, or even our significance, depends on what we have done or will do, but on Who loves us and in Whose image we are made!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

DayBreaks for 11/07/14 – Life Killing Comparisons

DayBreaks for 11/07/14 – Life Killing Comparisons

From the DayBreaks archive, 11/3/2004:

I love the story of Elijah and the priests of Baal.  When I read it, I almost want to stand up and shout “Yea, God!”  The suspense builds and builds in the story until it is palpable, and then, just when you can hardly stand it any more, down comes the fire from heaven and God and His prophet, Elijah, are vindicated!  I think it would make a great Hollywood movie! 

It would be awesome if that’s where the story ended, but it also wouldn’t be accurate.  Elijah hears that Jezebel is ticked with him, and in fact, she’s promised to do him the great honor of relieving his shoulders from the burden of carrying his head – very, very soon.  Elijah, this great and mighty man of God, full of faith…runs.  Not just a little ways, he runs.  And he’s not jogging – he’s running.  He might have beaten Lance Armstrong on a flat track! 

Why?  It may have been a couple reasons:

FIRST: his fear for his life.  Jezebel wasn’t a slouch – she was a woman to be reckoned with.  But Elijah didn’t feel up to the task.  That’s OK.  He shouldn’t have.  His problem was that he thought he needed to be up to the task rather than trusting that God would take care of puny little Jezebel. 

SECOND: for this possible reason, we need to look at 1 Kings 19:3-4 – Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”  I’d never noticed it before, but Elijah’s complaint wasn’t that Jezebel was hot on his trail, but that “I am no better than my ancestors.”  Elijah, you see, was comparing himself with those who had come before him.  Perhaps his goal in life was to be better than Moses.  I don’t know.  But whoever he idolized, Elijah was despairing not because of Jezebel, but because he felt like a failure when he compared himself to others he thought of more highly than himself.  

Comparison can be life-killing.  We look at others who are more beautiful, and the life seeps out of us.  We see others who have bigger bank accounts and huge retirement funds set aside – and we feel like dismal failures.  We reflect on Daniel, King David, Paul, Peter…and we shrink back into our surrender to “I’m a failure” thinking.  “Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, so I eat worms.”  How sad.  Understandable, but sad.  

Did God ever tell Elijah that he had to be greater than his ancestors?  No.  Did God love Elijah just the way he was – even when he was beating a hasty retreat from Mt. Carmel?  Certainly.  Did God expect Elijah to be or do more than he could?  No.  All God asked out of Elijah was to be faithful with what he had been given.  And that’s all He’s asking of your and me.  My little corner of God’s flock may never be a large flock.  Will that mean I’m a failure because I’m not as good as my “ancestors” in the faith – Billy Graham, Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, or others?  Absolutely not.  And God doesn’t want me comparing myself, nor you to compare yourself, to others to figure out our worth and preciousness.  We are priceless to Him for one reason, and only one reason: we are His kids. 

Let’s play. 

Copyright by 2004 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”> 

PRAYER: What a delight to know that You delight in us…just as we are and that You don’t sit around comparing us to others! 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!

DayBreaks for 7/30/14 – Focus on What Lasts

DayBreaks for 7/30/14 – Focus on What Lasts

Galen is traveling through 8/5/14…new DayBreaks will resume after he returns. 

From the DayBreaks archive, 7/29/2004:

Matthew 6:19-20 (NLT) – Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves.

What is it that gives things value?  From a worldly perspective, it is usually something that gives us comfort, makes our lives easier, or which we believe will gain in value, perhaps something that will give us a “hedge” against retirement.  Typically, we perceive something to be of value if it can do something for us.  And that is only one way, and not the best way at that, of determining value.

In Rumors of Another World, Philip Yancey made this observation about value in our modern world: “As I stand before the magazines, I notice that the values on display have something in common.  Net worth, body shape, muscle tone, beauty secrets, possessions: each of these is transitory.  I have attended my share of funerals, and not once have friends and family members eulogized about the deceased’s bank account or physical shape or surround-sound stereo system.  Instead, they speak of qualities like kindness and generosity and love for family – sometimes even stretching the truth – as if conceding that in the end only these qualities endure.”

Jesus wants us to concede, long before “the end”, that there is little value in worldly things.  His point in the sermon on the mount is that they don’t hold up.  They get gobbled up by bugs, rust and get oxidized, and they can be stolen if someone really wants to take them.  Things like faith, hope and love aren’t like that.  They endure.  They can be put into the First Bank of Heaven and they’ll be eternally secure.  Ask yourself: what kind of things bring you the greatest joy?  Isn’t it the love of a spouse, the joy of children and family, the character of your friends and their caring?  Nothing else in the world even comes close to the real deep joy and happiness that love does.

Those are the kind of things we’ll be able to enjoy for eternity.  Those are the kinds of things that precede you into heaven and God puts them in safe storage so that love, joy, peace, faith and sense of blessedness will be there for you to enjoy forever.  No rust, no bugs, no thieves.

What is your focus?  Where are you piling up riches?

PRAYER: Father, we have so many sins to confess! Help us to see you as the One who is eager to hear our confession…and to forgive!  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!