Tag Archives: spiritual encouragement

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!

Faithful to the Fragmented

Those who have been broken by situations and circumstances will find spiritual encouragement in this author’s post.

A Necessary Pain

Putting refurbished praise to rest, I shovel through the negative emotions, deceptive devices of the enemy, laziness, and distractions and excavate authentic praise. God desires to flow through each of us. He instructed that we are as carboniferous limestones, in that we have permeability. In a spiritual sense, God sees us porous, readily available for Him to permeate through. He is shaping and forming our spiritual selves in the shallow but exceedingly deep waters of our lives.The Author of the Universe desires to flow freely through His people. Researching geology, I was intrigued with the uses and composition of these stones. Interestingly, limestones are comprised of dead aquatic life particles, namely the shells of tiny ocean dwellers.  God already knows that our beings are teeming with dead weight; however, He has various uses for us. These amazing stones are compressed, scorched, produced, and grounded for a myriad of purposes.

“But…

View original post 402 more words

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.

Believe It Forward 

believe it forwardWe have all heard the phrase, “Pay It Forward.” Perhaps some of you have done this for someone in a grocery line or at a drive-through. But to “Believe It Forward,” now that’s something we all should do. This blogger’s post is worth reading.

You Can Save Your Marriage

I saw an interesting user name the other day, believeitforward. My first thought was wow that’s kind of a weird name to choose to be known by on social media, and I scrolled on by. My thoughts soon however returned to that odd name. Believeitforward. Believe it forward.
My mind was racing as I tried comparing believe it forward to pay it forward. Most of us are familiar with the term pay it forward. As I think of pay it forward I remember stories I have heard about someone paying for a coffee or meal for the car behind them while going through a drive through. I also vaguely remember other stories in different settings with the same concept of doing something nice for someone else with the expectation they will do something nice for yet another person.
Pay it forward. Believe it forward. Can the pay it forward concept…

View original post 664 more words

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.

Christian Book Browser – Winter/Christmas 2016

Christian Book Browser Catalog: Winter/Christmas 2016

My book, THE GREATEST MOMENT, is one of the books being featured.

tgm-holiday-ad

For more information concerning the book, to read the back cover, or find out where you can purchase a copy, click on the book icon below.

The Greatest Moment cover-2

It would make a great Christmas gift.

Available in paperback and e-book formats for Kindle, NOOK, Apple, and compatible devices.