Category Archives: Devotionals

A Mother’s Love

Happy Mother’s Day

Here’s a little thought for all mothers and grandmothers.

FAITH | LOVE | SOUL

images.jpg       Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.  You see being a mother is so much more than genetic makeup.  And although conceiving a child and all that it entails is truly one of God’s greatest miracles, the journey of being a mother takes much commitment, strength, and LOVE!

It is said that a mother’s love is a reflection of God’s love. A mother’s love is eternal, pure, and unconditional.  She rejoices with her child’s happiness and cries with their disappointments.

A mother’s love never fails or falters. It is deeper than the ocean’s depth and infinitely wider. She is her child’s first friend, and more importantly the most genuine. She instinctively knows when her child feels sad or burdened by struggles, without ever having to exchange a single word.

A mother is the constant and the rock on which her children stand.

When feeling…

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As Long As It Takes

As Long As It Takes                    

As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness (Ezekiel 34:12).

Scripture: Ezekiel 34:11–16

Song: “Rescue the Perishing”

We’d just finished loading the camp gear into the truck when the park ranger approached our now empty campsite. “Have you guys seen a small boy in a blue T-shirt and white shorts?” the ranger asked. “Well, he’s wandered off and his parents are worried.”

Sadly, we all shook our heads “No.” But as the ranger jogged to next campsite, he noticed the L.A. County Fireman’s sticker on my dad’s Chevy Suburban. Even before he returned to ask, Dad had tightened his boots, grabbed a flashlight, and was heading down the canyon.

They both understood the urgency. In a few hours, temperatures would drop to near freezing. In the pitch darkness and rocky terrain, the little boy’s chances of survival were slim. As Dad disappeared into the night, Mom called out, “How long will you be gone?” Dad yelled back, “As long as it takes.”

Likewise, whenever we wander away from the flock, our faithful shepherd, Jesus, will find and rescue us—no matter how long it takes.

Precious Shepherd, sometimes clouds of discouragement sweep over my soul, causing me to feel lost, isolated from the flock. Please rescue me, Lord; bring me back to the fold and into Your loving embrace. In the name of Jesus, I pray.

“As Long As It Takes” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2011 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase current printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.

 

Follow the Leader

Follow the Leader

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).

Scripture: Psalm 23
Song: “He Leadeth Me”

Stretching about 140 miles between two mountain ranges—Sylvania in the north and Owlshead in the south—lies a daunting geographical obstacle: California’s legendary Death Valley. Temperatures in this valley can range from 130 degrees in the summer to below freezing in the winter. Water from the salt flats is undrinkable, rainfall uncommon.

When you add the mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, rattlesnakes, scorpions, tarantulas—it’s easy to see how this valley earned its name. A foot traveler, facing these elements unprepared, would be in danger from the start. Obviously, a seasoned guide, a few maps, and a pathfinder compass would be helpful.

As Christians, we sometimes face daunting circumstances. These spiritual valleys contain perils and pitfalls that we cannot navigate by ourselves. Thankfully, we have an experienced guide who can lead us through these valleys unharmed. He carries the right equipment too: a shepherd’s staff and hobnailed rod. What assurance and comfort!

Dear Shepherd, thanks for guarding my soul as I venture through the valleys. Most of all, thanks for leading me safely to pastures of eternal life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Follow the Leader” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2011 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase current printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.

 

God’s Word for Today

I am the featured writer for all the Sunday devotionals in March, April, and May for God’s Word for Today, a devotional magazine put out by Gospel Publishing House.

Here’s the link in case you want to read them online: http://ag.org/top/devotional/

Or click on the magazine cover.

Be Encouraged!

Understanding Truth

Understanding Truth

Read Matthew 22:23–46

Charles was new to Full Gospel Tabernacle. He often heard people praying in different languages. He was not against it, although it annoyed him at times. Speaking with other tongues didn’t fit his doctrine. Besides, what purpose did it serve? He still prayed, right? Wasn’t that good enough?

Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).

Phil, a deacon at church, sensed his frustration. He suggested that Charles take a second look at the Scriptures concerning the Holy Spirit, then pray about it for a while. Phil even gave him a list of verses. A few weeks later, something powerful happened. Charles was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began praying in a language he had never learned. Experiencing the power of God firsthand changed Charles’ perspective on tongues.

It helps to know all the Scriptures concerning an issue, but we also need to know the power of God. The Scriptures and the Spirit of God work in harmony to confirm truth. When we leave one of them out, doctrinal errors can occur.

Prayer Suggestion: Take your Bible to prayer. Let God’s Word enlighten you while His power touches you.

Quicklook: Matthew 22:23–32

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2007 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

Order God’s Word for Today devotional guides.
Visit Gospel Publishing House.

 

How Willing?

How Willing?

Read Matthew 23:23–39

When Joshua took possession of the land of Canaan, he left the fortified city of Jerusalem under Jebusite control. It remained that way until the reign of King David. Although David had a ruling city, he saw the advantage of Jerusalem over Hebron. Leading a daring attack, David captured Jerusalem and made it his new capital. The Jewish people still refer to it as the City of David and sometimes as Zion (2 Samuel 5:7).

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37).

Jesus spoke here of all the Jews. They were special, called of God, but unwilling to come together and follow Him.

God desires to gather all His children in unity. He wants us to lay aside our differences and worship Him, to pray together, to work side by side in the harvest, to serve only Him. The call to Jerusalem echoes to the Church today—how willing are we?

Thought for Today: Only at the cross are we truly made willing.

Quicklook: Matthew 23:37–39

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2007 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

Order God’s Word for Today devotional guides.
Visit Gospel Publishing House.

Both Good and Bad

many people invited

Both Good and Bad

Read Matthew 22:1–22

“Then [the king] said to his servants . . . ‘Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests (Matthew 22:8, 9, 10).

Inviting our friends and neighbors to church is a great idea. They might appreciate the Sunday sermon and enjoy the potluck after the service. Pastors welcome these efforts, but the command from Jesus goes deeper than just giving out invitations or persuading people to try our church. We need to invite them to eternal life.

We must reach out to nonbelievers, extending the invitation to nonfriends, even to the outcasts of this world. We should gather the unrighteous as well as the righteous. Both the good and the bad are invited to God’s kingdom. Both need His free gift of salvation.

It’s all too easy to let a busy schedule distract us from the all-inclusive call of the harvest. Don’t allow that to happen.

Thought for Today: God wants heaven filled, but He needs our help getting the invitations out.

Quicklook: Matthew 22:8–14

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2007 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

Order God’s Word for Today devotional guides.
Visit Gospel Publishing House.