Category Archives: God’s Promises

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.

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Merry Christmas

Wishing Everyone a Merry and Blessed Christmas

Lately, I’ve been on an Immanuel journey of sorts (Matthew 1:21–23; Isaiah 7:14–16). According to Matthew, Immanuel refers to Jesus Christ. The Hebrew, עִמָּנוּאֵל‎, means God with us.

The O Come, O Come Emmanuel music video below is from Anna Hawkins’ latest album, Divine, filmed in the deserts of Israel and the streets of Jerusalem.

Anna Hawkins' Oh Come EmmanuelThis version is solemn, breathtaking, reflective.

Click on the picture to listen and enjoy.

The Difference of His Presence — Cory Lebovitz

An uplifting post by Cory Lebovitz—worth reading—and he’s right. It’s not about our skills, efforts, relationships, or previous experience. The difference maker is the reality of God’s presence among us.

One person can make all the difference. For instance, a quiet night alone at home can be a boring couple of hours trying to find something to do. However if my wife is there suddenly it is a calm and peaceful night with a person I love. Her presence makes the difference. A solo walk […]

via The Difference of His Presence — Cory Lebovitz

But YOU…O Lord

A most encouraging post—and true. Take a read.

Beholding Him Ministries

Psalm 3.3

Psalm 3
Lord, how many are my foes!
    How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
    “God will not deliver him.”
But You, Lord, are a shield around me,

    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and He answers me from His holy mountain.

It is believed that David wrote this Psalm when on the run from Absalom, his son.

He begins by sharing with the Lord that the number of enemies he is facing is many. We should certainly relate to this because there have been times that life has pressed in on us and it seems like there is trouble on every hand. The trouble becomes our focus. The enemy comes in many shapes and sizes…if it is not this, it is that or perhaps both…

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A Sign from Heaven

bakery storeA Sign from Heaven

Read Isaiah 7–1 through 12:6

homemade breadThe words caught Earl’s attention as he dashed from the plaza toward the parking lot. A sign reading “Homemade Bread” dangled in the bakery window. Smiling, he remembered how his mother’s bread disappeared within hours, while the bread from the grocery store remained in the pantry for ages. The sign reminded him that something homemade is unique because it carries the personal touch of its maker.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14).

It’s no surprise that God decided to announce a special event with His own personal touch. The sign of Immanuel—God with us—reveals the Lord’s desire for closeness. God established a unique relationship with humanity by placing Immanuel inside a person for the very first time. Jesus’ conception was nothing less than miraculous. This advent was a type and shadow of the inward, salvation experience that would set the divine pattern for all intimacy: God with us, Christ in us.

Thought for Today: The world offers many signs, but the ones from heaven carry the Master’s touch. They point the way to salvation and a closer relationship with God.

Quicklook: Isaiah 7:10–25

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2005 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

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

His Great Promises

His Great PromisesJacob's ladder

Read Genesis 34:1 through 36:43

There [Jacob] built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother (Genesis 35:7).

Jacob stumbled upon Bethel one night while fleeing from his brother Esau. Using a stone as a pillow, Jacob lay down and dreamt of angels traveling a heavenly staircase. He would always remember the great promises God have him at this place—numerous descendants, land, and God’s presence (Genesis 28).

Years later, when he prepared to face Esau once again, Jacob reminded God of His promises (Genesis 32:12). How could Jacob have descendants like “sand of the sea” if Esau, in anger, wiped them all out? God graciously answered Jacob’s prayer for protection. Later, Jacob returned to Bethel and renewed his commitment to the God who makes—and keeps—such great promises.

When challenged with a problem, whether physical, spiritual, or financial, God’s people can do no better than to plead His great promises.

Prayer Suggestion: Lord, help me to believe Your promises and receive Your blessings in my life.

Quicklook: Genesis 35:1–8

—Charles Earl Harrel

Pray that God would secure the peace of Jerusalem.

God’s Word for Today © 2008 Gospel Publishing House. Used by Permission.

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