Category Archives: Wisdom

Death Valley Gold Mine

This picture illustrates a divine truth found in Chapter 14 of my inspirational book, THE GREATEST MOMENT.

The painting is word picture about Death Valley, which is my lead-in to the chapter about hidden treasure in the Cross. Like undiscovered gold, ‘life” can be found in the most unexpected places. We normally associate Death Valley with death and loss. We often do the same with Calvary, but there are living treasures to be discovered there. Life is one of them. Aspects of life are hidden in the barrenness of Death Valley. Something similar can be said for the Cross.

As for the painting, my second, I’m learning how to blend warm and cool colors to create depth. Notice the shovel stuck into the ground, next to the pick. And no, those are not watermelons, they’re barrel cactus.

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WHEN GOD CALLS AN AUDIBLE

Now, this is really good. Worth your time to read. And it’s not long. Thank you Beth.

Beth L. Olson

Do you know what I mean when I say that sometimes God calls an audible? For those who aren’t into sports, let me explain.

john-torcasio-564037-unsplash-2.jpg

The kind of audible that I’m talking about is the kind that happens in American football. It’s a change in the offensive play called by the quarterback at the line of scrimmage. This means that the coach and players have laid out a clear plan for their play, but at the last moment, the quarterback switches it up.

When an audible is called, it would be detrimental to the outcome of the game not to go along with the change. If the players aren’t willing to be flexible, things get messy really fast.

I grew up as a missionary kid in Mexico and Guatemala. Life was one big adventure, and we never really knew what was going to happen next. We would set out in a…

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The Correct Interpretation

                          The Correct Interpretation                                 

Now a young Hebrew was there with us, a servant of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he interpreted them for us, giving each man the interpretation of his dream (Genesis 41:12).

Scripture: Genesis 41:1-13
Song: “The Solid Rock”

I had trouble sleeping that Saturday night. My spirit was troubled—something at the church maybe—I couldn’t put my finger on it. Finally, the tiredness overtook me, and I fell into a deep sleep. I usually don’t remember my dreams, but this night the dream came alive in vivid detail.

Three lions paced back and forth in the backyard of our parsonage. As they drew closer, I could hear them roaring underneath the bedroom windowsill. Then, I saw three sets of paws tearing at the screen. They were forcing their way into our house, intending to harm my family. I could not let that happen. I jarred myself awake and rushed to the window to face them down. When I got there, I saw nothing.

Unnerved, I sat down and prayed for wisdom. In reply, God gave me a sermon about three problems stalking our church. That Sunday morning, three sin issues were uncovered and dealt with. My dream and its warning proved all too real.

Most dreams are triggered by something we’ve read, seen on TV, or eaten the night before. Some dreams, however, are God-sent and inspired. I can personally attest to it.

Lord, when I read my Bible, hear a sermon, or study a daily devotional guide, I hear Your gentle voice talking to me, leading me. Praise to You, through Christ. Amen.

“The Correct Interpretation” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2012 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.

Sometimes, God uses dreams to speak to His people. But not all dreams are from Him—most are not. If you think you’ve had a spiritual one, you should first pray for discernment and then seek God’s wisdom in the matter.

DO YOU THINK IT’S EVER OK TO JUDGE?

Good question. Great answer. This post by Beth is revealing and enlightening.

Beth L. Olson

When you hear the phrase, “You are different than everyone else,” what tone do you hear it in? Is it a positive thing or a negative one?

If we never compare ourselves to each other, how will we recognize and honor the unique gift mix that each person carries?

I would like to propose the idea that comparison is not bad at all. Where we get into trouble is when we… continue reading 

Young woman by the hay roll in the field

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We Must Be Broken

Working ClayWe Must Be Broken

Read Matthew 21:28–46

“He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed” (Matthew 21:44).

Wheat must be ground before becoming bread. Grapes are pressed to make wine. With hardened clay, artisans must pound it until pliable; only then can they mold it into pottery. In each case, the breaking process is arduous but necessary.

Jesus understood the spiritual application better than anyone. If we are not broken voluntarily, by falling on the stone, then the stone will crush us on Judgment Day. Jesus Christ becomes either the cornerstone of our salvation or the divine rock of judgment (see Psalms 118:22, 23).

When we fall upon Christ, we surrender to His mercy. Brokenness ensues. This life-changing process is God’s way to make us useful. Likewise, when pottery shatters, it creates potsherds. In biblical times, these broken shards served as plates, vessels for scooping water, writing tablets, or trays for carrying hot coals. Ironically, a vessel was more useful after being broken. The same is true for us.

Thought for Today: We have two choices in this life—be broken or be crushed. Please choose the first way.

Quicklook: Matthew 21:42–44

—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.

Don’t Act That Way

You DecideDon’t Act That Way

Read Matthew 23:1–22

In biblical times, the Pharisees were devoted extremists who believed in a strict and limited interpretation of Scripture, especially when it came to the Law of Moses.

The scribes, also known as lawyers, defended the Scriptures. They taught from the Law, helped with religious duties, and served as judges in the Sanhedrin. Many of the scribes were also Pharisees. Jesus often referred to both groups as hypocrites because of their one-sided beliefs and actions.

“So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach” (Matthew 23:3).

Most societies have laws and leaders who enforce them. Their authority is necessary, their rules needful. However, certain officials, supervisors at work, even some religious leaders can become legalistic, their judgments unfair. Jesus still has the same advice: We should respect all positions of authority, even corrupt ones. Respect their positions, but do not act like them.  

Prayer Suggestion: When you encounter hypocrisy, don’t duplicate it, pray for wisdom.

Quicklook: Matthew 23:1–4

—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.