Tag Archives: devotional writers

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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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!

Of Course He Can

 

blind eyes healedOf Course He Can

Read Matthew 21:12–27

Bev slipped in during the worship service and sat quietly in her pew. She enjoyed attending Calvary Temple in Portland, Oregon. She loved the joyful worship and hardly missed a Sunday. During the final song, she stood and raised her hands, but inside, her heart was crying.

She had trouble concentrating on the pastor’s sermon. Thoughts about Monday’s appointment preoccupied her mind. When the altar call came, she wiped away the tears and went forward. Little did anyone know she was going blind.

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them (Matthew 21:14).

I can see nowNext week, Bev came early to church, with two sets of test results tucked into her Bible. After the service, she told Pastor Chuck about her failing eyesight, then handed him both reports. He almost fell over. Bev’s updated diagnosis: 20/20 vision, corrective lenses no longer needed, eye surgery unnecessary. Although the eye doctor was pleased, he had no explanation for her sudden improvement in vision.

Challenge for Today: God still heals at the church altar—go forward and believe.

Quicklook:  Matthew 21:12–17

—Charles Earl Harrel (Pastor Chuck)

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.

Looking for Volunteers

biblical-famineLooking for Volunteers

Read Genesis 42:1 through 44:34

When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” (Genesis 42:1).

Crops withered away that year, just as Joseph predicted. The early and latter rains did not fall. The famine spread slowly at first, but soon all of Egypt was affected. Then it moved into the surrounding lands. Even Canaan, the land of promise, was not exempt.

Every year the famine grew worse. Families starved, livestock perished, and there was no end in sight. Then came the word: Egypt had grain. However, when Jacob told his sons the good news, they had this odd response. They just looked at each other as if to say, “Not me.”

The journey involved risk, and some travelers didn’t return home. Moreover, the Pharaohs weren’t known for their generosity to foreigners, and they hated shepherds like them. The brothers stared at each other, hoping someone else would volunteer.

Sometimes we hesitate to respond to needs at church, yet pastors are starving for willing servants. Before saying no, ask God how you can help.

Thought for Today: Whatever the need, everyone can help in some way.

Quicklook: Genesis 42:1–13

—Charles Earl Harrel

Daily Prayer Emphasis: Unity in the Church

God’s Word for Today © 2006 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

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