Tag Archives: devotional writers

Now I See

Now I See

Read Acts 9:13–19

Karen’s contact lens crumbled between her fingertips as she tried to clean it. The lens was just too brittle. For years, Karen had put off visiting her optometrist, now she had no choice. She needed replacements. Besides, her vision was already limited, especially when driving at night. The next day the doctor prescribed new contacts and Karen could see clearly again.

Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized (Acts 9:18).

Karen did not realize how cloudy her vision had become. Saul came to a similar revelation after receiving prayer from Ananias. Not only did his eyesight return, Saul’s spiritual perception improved too. The first thing he saw was his need for water baptism.

Water baptism is an open expression of our newfound faith in Christ. If we have passed from spiritual darkness into the light, then we should demonstrate that change to others. Baptism is a good start.

Thought for Today: There are two baptisms: The Holy Spirit imparts one; the church conducts the other.

—Charles Earl Harrel

God’s Word for Today © 2010 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

P.S. Both baptisms are important.

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Whom Should You Follow?

Whom Should You Follow?

Read 1 Corinthians 1:10–17

After a two-week vacation with his family, Pastor Dave returned to the pulpit. It didn’t take long for negative reports to filter in. Some members stayed away from services because Pastor Dave was not preaching or they didn’t think his associate should perform the baptismal service during his absence.

Obviously, people have personal preferences and loyalties—there’s nothing wrong with such things—but following one person’s ministry exclusively while rejecting others can lead to divisions in the church.

What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:12, 13).

We are not saved in the name of a gifted evangelist, nor baptized in the name of our favorite pastor. Although church leaders are important, we should not center our attention upon them. Rather, we should focus on the Lord.

Challenge for Today: [Next Sunday] don’t dwell on the qualifications of the speaker, open your heart to receive from God.

—Charles Earl Harrel

Pray that God would give you a deeper understanding of the Bible.

God’s Word for Today © 2010 Gospel Publishing House. Used by permission.

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The Best Water of All

The Best Water of All

For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Revelation 7:17).

Scripture: Revelation 7:9–17

Song: “Springs of Living Water” (by John W. Peterson)

One afternoon, while hunting for a new camping spot in the Mammoth area of Central California, my father drove his truck into an alpine meadow. It was beautiful. The meadow offered the perfect place for pitching a tent, with level terrain and ponderosa pines to offer shade. However, one essential thing was missing—fresh water. After setting up our campsite, Dad hiked up the canyon to search for a mountain spring. In a few hours, he returned with a grin on his face, carrying a canteen of spring water.

With each new trip, the path to the springs became more established and easier to traverse. In a few years, others were following the trail my father had blazed. Many campers now enjoy this meadow because someone first led the way to water.

One day, Jesus will lead His sheep to a heavenly water source. Much like the tree of life in Revelation, these precious waters have eternal properties. The springs are pure, limitless, and spiritually refreshing. At the springs of living water, we will always find safety, peace, and contentment—no tears allowed.

God and Father, not only is Your Son my shepherd in this lifetime, He will shepherd me throughout all eternity. I can hardly wait to see Lord Christ in person and drink from the springs of living water. A long, satisfying drink will be worth the wait. I pray this prayer in the name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord. Amen.

“The Best Water of All” 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.

Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference 2017

Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference 2017
Red Lion Hotel on the River – Jantzen Beach
Portland, Oregon

Theme: “Filled with His Wisdom”
August 15–18, 2017 – Tuesday 2 PM through Friday 12:30 PM

Keynote Speakers: Frank Peretti and Tessa Afshar


For more information or to sign up, go to OCW Summer Conference

Hope to see you there!


Keeping Watch

                                              Keeping Watch                                                   

The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it (John 10:12).

Scripture: John 10:11–16
Song: “Jesus Loves Me”

Several years ago, I met a family who owned a small flock of sheep in the Midwest. Their flock numbered about 400. Although they were modern-day shepherds, with fenced pastures and trained sheep dogs, they still assigned family members to watch the flock during the nights.

One weekend, the family hired two men to take care of the flock while they were away on business. Instead of tending to their duties, these hirelings decided to throw a party. After a bout of drinking, they passed out and fell sound asleep.

Around midnight, three barking dogs entered the pasture. The sheep were terrified as they ran for their lives. These were not wild dogs; yet, by the time they finished, half the sheep lay dead. Some were killed in the fences trying to escape. Others died from exhaustion and fear. In the morning, the men awoke, saw the carnage, and fled the county.

Thank goodness, Jesus is not a hireling! He is the true shepherd who keeps watch over His flock. He never sleeps nor will He abandon us. We can always feel secure in Him.

Lord, I’m so glad to be in Your flock. When You came to me as Savior, You also became my faithful shepherd. How blessed I am! In You, I have salvation, protection, and a loving friend. Through Your precious name I pray. Amen.

“Keeping Watch” 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.

The Healer Still Walks

The Healer Still Walks                            

Jesus went through all the towns and villages . . . healing every disease and sickness (Matthew 9:35).

Scripture: Matthew 9:35–38
Song: “The Healer” (by Lois Irwin)

Bev arrived late for church that morning. She slipped in during the worship service and sat quietly. Bev enjoyed attending church; she loved the joyful worship and hardly missed a Sunday. During the final song, she clapped her hands in joyful rhythm. But inside, her heart cried as she thought about Monday’s doctor appointment. She was slowly going blind.

At the end of service, the minister asked everyone who was sick to stand. He told his congregation that Jesus still walked the aisles with healing in His hands. Bev rose to her feet, closed her eyes, and tried to believe for a miracle.

Next Sunday, Bev came early to church—two sets of test results were tucked into her Bible. After the service, she told the minister 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. The doctor had no explanation for her improvement.

The verse from Matthew holds true today. Jesus still walks through our land with healing hands. If you have a need, trust Him and believe.

Dearest Lord Christ, I believe You are passing by this moment. So, in simple faith, I reach out to You. My family and I need Your help, and I know Your touch will make all the difference. Praise to You, who reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

“The Healer Still Walks” 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.

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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