Category Archives: Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley – The Truth About Self-Love

 

Galatians 5:13-26

In many places, the Bible says, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 19:19; Gal. 5:14), but we often overlook the “as yourself” part. We can’t fully love God or anyone else unless we love ourselves. This means realizing that we’re a child of God, created for fellowship with Him.

Everyone’s valuable to the Lord. But our self-worth is rooted in the fact that we have a relationship with God. We need to care for ourselves because He’s offered us salvation, given us the Holy Spirit, and developed a unique plan for our life.

Love of self is essential to God’s plan for every believer. He wants us to exercise proper care for ourselves, which helps us relate to Him. If we dislike ourselves, we may feel unworthy of God’s love and refuse to approach Him as Father. But love teaches us to see ourselves the way He sees us—as His beloved children, each with unique gifts and talents.

Whoever you are and whatever your circumstances may be, I can tell you something about yourself. God has a special plan for you. But He can’t set you on the path to achieving His goals for your life until you recognize your worth and learn to love the person He created you to be.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 17-19

 

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Charles Stanley – Our Choices in the Midst of Tragedy

 

Job 1:6-22, Job 2:1-10

Imagine what it felt like to be in Job’s shoes. Warriors, fire, and wind wiped out his fortune and killed his children. Then, his body was so covered with boils that he scratched at the inflamed skin with broken pottery. Had Job not believed in the Lord’s faithfulness, he probably would have taken his wife’s advice to just “curse God and die” (Job 2:9).

Job was brought low, and he didn’t know why—nor did he ever find out the reason. Thanks to Scripture, we are privy to the conversation between God and Satan, but the Lord didn’t share those details with Job. Left in the dark, he had to decide if his faith in God’s goodness would stand.

Job decided to trust God in the midst of tragedy (Job 42:2). He could have railed against the Lord, as his wife suggested. Or he might have followed his friends’ advice and racked his brain for some unconfessed sin. But neither of those actions would have been fruitful. Instead, Job chose to view everything as part of the divine plan, acknowledging the Lord’s right to do whatever He wanted for the glory of His name (Job 1:21).

Accepting the good that God sends our way is easy. Our challenge is to receive tragedy with a willing attitude and a teachable spirit. Chance is not part of the equation—nothing comes into our life except through the Lord’s permission.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 14-16

 

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Charles Stanley – Salvation Is From God

 

Ephesians 2:1-9

Do you ever doubt that you’re saved? Once we ask Jesus into our heart, we’re saved. He never leaves us. John 10:28 says that nothing can snatch us out of His hand, but sometimes we might still feel uncertain. Maybe we can’t remember the specific time and place of our decision to follow Him. Or perhaps we’ve messed up and sinned so badly that we wonder how He could forgive us. Let’s see what the Bible says about it.

God made us alive Together with Christ by raising Him from the dead (Eph. 2:4-5). We’re all born dead in our sins. There’s nothing we can do to make ourselves spiritually alive; our salvation is the result of God’s love and mercy. And once He makes us alive, we can never become spiritually dead again.

We’re saved by God’s grace, not by our goodness or performance. Ephesians 2:8-9 tell us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works.” We didn’t do anything to deserve or earn God’s grace, yet He still chose to save us.

Our salvation isn’t because of our goodness or works, nor is it maintained by us. We’re saved simply through faith and should recognize that as God’s gift. As a result, we enjoy the blessings of belonging to His family, and one day we will know the full reality of being seated with Jesus in heaven (Eph. 2:6).

Bible in One Year: Numbers 11-13

 

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Charles Stanley – Unconditional Surrender

 

James 4:1-10

Sometimes we’re amazed by a believer’s perseverance and confidence in God’s promises. With such people, we often sense a spiritual abundance that many of us wish we had.  So, how do we get that? By following Jesus’ example and surrendering our life to God.

We may find it hard to submit to Jesus because we like to be in charge. This has been our problem since the beginning. Adam and Eve ignored God’s warning and did what they wanted, which ended in disaster. Like them, we at times prefer to ignore God’s wisdom.

Another reason that we hold back is fear. We think, Maybe I won’t like what He chooses for me—what if He asks me to give up something or do something I don’t want to do? Or perhaps we’re wary of others’ opinions. Another possibility is that we might let selfishness and pride make us reluctant to let God lead.

But by giving control to God, we actually get to live a life where blessings overflow (John 10:10). We’ll experience His love, which satisfies like no other. Our usefulness in His service will be maximized as we operate in the Spirit’s power. And obedience also brings glory to Him as well as blessings to us.

Surrender is the way to abundance. Won’t you humble yourself and give it all to Jesus?

Bible in One Year: Numbers 8-10

 

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Charles Stanley – Fully Submitted

 

Philippians 2:1-11

The Bible tells us that though Jesus was “in very nature God” (Phil. 2:6 NIV), He left heaven to come to earth, where He lived in submission to His Father’s plans. Giving the Father complete control over everything He did, the Son held nothing back—not even His life, which He sacrificed on the cross for our sake.

Why did Jesus do this? Because He had perfect trust in His Father—He knew that God has sovereign control over everything and that all His decisions are good, as they are based on divine love, mercy, and justice. He was also certain that God always takes into account what is best for us, and His will is to lead His children towards repentance and growth. Jesus obeyed to bring glory to the Father’s name (John 17:4).

We are to live the same way—surrendered to God’s will. This means acknowledging that He has the right to order our life, and we are to give Him control over every aspect, including finances, family, friends, and fun.

By submitting to God, we declare our trust in Him and our willingness to accept whatever He sends us—riches or poverty, health or sickness, marriage or singleness. Full submission is how we glorify the Father, grow in Him, and receive His favor.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 6-7

 

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Charles Stanley – Fueling a Passion for Jesus

 

2 Peter 1:1-4

Studying the Bible and praying are the first steps to developing a passion for Christ. We need to understand His ways and promises before we can fall deeply in love with Him.

Like any loving relationship, intimacy with Jesus requires that we spend time with Him—worshipping and listening to Him, not just working through a list of to-dos. In order to achieve a true friendship with Him, we must talk with Christ as with a friend and listen to Him speak to us.

We should also look for evidence of the Lord’s work in everyday circumstances. He promises to give us direction and provide for us (2 Peter 1:3). If we’re on the lookout, we will see His promises in action. Sometimes a situation might seem too tragic to yield good, but if we continue to pray, study Scripture, and be patient, God will reveal His plan to us.

Consider keeping a journal to record Jesus’ work in your life—then, when your faith falters or you’re in a difficult situation, you can look back at His past faithfulness to you. A passion for Jesus doesn’t happen instantly. It’s a daily, lifelong pursuit, and we must lay aside everything that competes with our devotion to Him.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 26-27

 

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Charles Stanley – A Passion to Know Christ

 

Philippians 3:3-12

Claiming to know someone usually means we know facts about the person or simply are aware he or she exists. Unfortunately, that is how too many Christians “know” Jesus Christ—they’re aware He is the world’s Savior, who died in our place and rose again to sit at the Father’s right hand. Those are the facts, but simply collecting data won’t bring lasting satisfaction. Instead, ask, Who is this Jesus, and why did He willingly give up His life? The search for answers begins a journey to intimacy and true knowledge of Him.

By recognizing Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are blessed with redemption and a spiritual relationship. But though we have gained heaven, it is possible to miss the treasure of experiencing Christ as our Lord and friend. Few people will dig deep enough into Scripture and spend the time in prayer to claim Him as their life—as the One who makes us complete. The apostle Paul was so intimately acquainted with God that he viewed his own history and experiences as negligible when compared with knowing Jesus (Phil. 3:7).

If you want to thirst for Jesus as Paul did, Scripture and your experience with the Lord can fuel your passion. Start by opening the Word and drinking Him in.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 24-25

 

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Charles Stanley – How Comforters Are Created

 

2 Corinthians 1:1-7

When Job was suffering, he said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10). Even hardship and pain have a place in God’s plan for each believer.

During a particularly painful time in my life, I decided that I should learn something from my distress, as Job did. That allowed God to develop greater compassion in me—which helps me understand and relate to those facing similar trials.

Consider the truth in Paul’s words—that God “comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:4). Think about the kind of people you seek out when you’re hurting. You want someone who has felt your pain, right? A person who has already walked the path you’re on can understand your suffering and share wisdom. Going through what we sometimes call a “valley experience” prepares us to be a blessing and encouragement to others. But we must first accept that God has allowed this adversity in our life and then choose to learn from the situation.

God is the Lord of our life, and He has the right to use us as comforters and encouragers to those around us. As His servants, we must be willing to do His will, even when it hurts. Don’t waste your suffering! Instead, use it to bring God glory.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 21-23

 

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Charles Stanley – Why God Closes Doors

 

Jeremiah 10:21-24

A blocked opportunity can be a useful tool for teaching. God wants to mold us into His image, and He can use anything—including something we desire—to do so.

Closed doors prevent mistakes. Just because a path is clear doesn’t mean it’s the one God intends for us to follow. Sometimes we won’t have the information we need to make a wise decision, so He blocks the way. The Holy Spirit knows the whole road map for our life, so we should follow Him.

Closed doors redirect our walk. God won’t leave a willing servant with nothing to do. Closed doors can result in better fruit, more satisfaction, and greater glory for Him.

Closed doors test faith and build perseverance. Waiting for the Lord is hard, but it’s a means by which we can learn wisdom, patience, and trust.

Closed doors buy us time. We aren’t always as prepared as we’d like to think. God may temporarily hold shut an opportunity for service until we’re ready.

Despite the many references to closed doors in this devotion, the real message is that God opens doors for us, and they lead us in the best possible direction. His path is perfect, and if we stay on it, we will live a life of service, satisfaction, and glory for God.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 17-20

 

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Charles Stanley – Confronting Closed Doors

 

Acts 16:1-13

Closed doors can be frustrating. Paul knew exactly how that felt. On his second missionary journey, during which he had hoped to tell the good news in Asia, the apostle repeatedly found his way blocked by the Holy Spirit. It must have seemed strange that God would prevent him from sharing the gospel.

The Bible doesn’t say how long Paul and Timothy remained in Troas, but we think the apostle didn’t make a move until God showed him a new mission field (Acts 16:9-10). Paul’s actions illustrate the principle found in Proverbs 3:5-6—that God will make a straight path for those who choose to trust in Him rather than in themselves.

Christians in a period of waiting should seek God’s purpose and guidance. Ask the Lord why He has barred the way forward—perhaps the timing is wrong or we have unconfessed sin in our life. Whatever the reason, we must be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. We also want to be ready for the door that will open.

When an opportunity is blocked, remember that God has a reason. And He’s providing love and protection, even in your disappointment. The Lord is also keeping His promise to work everything for your good (Rom. 8:28). When one door has closed, another will open. Be wise and watch for it.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 14-16

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Hope for Peace

 

Romans 15:4-13

One day Christ will return and make everything right, and until that time believers are called to be His ambassadors of peace. But salvation doesn’t automatically change us into people of kindness and unity. At times we may be quick-tempered and impatient, struggling to live in harmony with others. What’s more, letting go of ingrained attitudes or habits can be difficult, even when clinging to such things causes hurt.

Thankfully, God knows this about us. That’s why He has sent His Holy Spirit to help us understand and apply Scripture, say no to temptation, and replace our priorities with Christ’s. Only He can produce spiritual fruit in us, which includes love, joy, and peace (Gal. 5:22-23). And with His help, we become peacemakers who work to bring about reconciliation between God and others (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). When our hearts are ruled by His peace, our relationships reflect His spirit of oneness (Col. 3:15).

The world may hope to find peace through man-made solutions, but you and I know the only source of lasting unity is Jesus Christ. Let’s pray that believers and nonbelievers alike witness the power of God that reconciles marriages, families, and churches.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 5-7

 

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Charles Stanley – Praying in Jesus’ Name

 

John 16:23-33

Do you remember the teaching Jesus introduced the night before His death? He told His followers, “Whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you” (John 15:16 NIV, emphasis added). Praying in the name of Christ declares our:

Association with the Savior. Our relationship with Jesus allows us to approach the Father. We used to be foreigners, but at salvation, we became God’s children through the redemptive work of the Son of God (Eph. 2:19). The Holy Spirit within us proves we belong to the Father, who listens to the requests of His family.

Access to the Father. Jesus’ death opened an immediate, unhindered path to the Father’s presence. When the Savior offered Himself as the final priestly sacrifice (Heb. 7:26-28), the temple veil that separated the Holy of Holies from man was torn in two (Mark 15:38). In that moment, access to God became available to all who believe. Through the Holy Spirit, we can talk to God directly without a human intermediary (Eph. 2:18).

Because of our Savior Jesus Christ, we can freely access our heavenly Father. Let’s give Him thanks for the remarkable privilege of prayer!

Bible in One Year: Exodus 16-18

 

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Charles Stanley – Our God of Grace

 

Ephesians 2:1-10

Grace is God’s favor and love shown to mankind. We can’t earn it or be good enough to deserve it. To truly appreciate grace, we must comprehend that our Father is …

Perfectly holy. God is without fault. When Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree, their connection with God was broken. Since all future generations inherited their sinful nature, every person is born with an inclination toward unrighteousness.

Just. As a result, God requires payment for sin. The penalty is death (Rom. 6:23), not just physically but also spiritually—through eternal separation from Him.

Merciful. God doesn’t treat us as we deserve but extends His grace through the Savior. Jesus lived a perfect life and fulfilled the Law. He alone qualified as the One who could satisfy divine justice. He took our place, bore our sins, and experienced God’s wrath—all so we could be reconciled to the Father.

God made this provision for our salvation while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). Have you acknowledged your sinful state and received His forgiveness through faith in Jesus? Take time to express thankfulness for His grace.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 13-15

 

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Charles Stanley – Religious but Lost

 

John 3:1-6

Nicodemus would probably be welcome at any church today. He seems an ideal member—principled, knowledgeable, and courteous. And as a Pharisee, he followed strict Jewish rules, which certainly made him religious. However, Nicodemus had serious drawbacks: He was blind to the truth and spiritually lost. In other words, he didn’t have a relationship with Jesus.

When Nicodemus came to see the Lord in John 3, Jesus explained to him that no amount of goodness could erase or change a person’s nature. Instead, everyone who desires to serve God must be born again. Jesus promised that if Nicodemus trusted Him as Savior, then he would enter into a brand-new life. His old flesh nature would be replaced so that he could have a real relationship with God—instead of appearing to be a religious man, Nicodemus would be a true believer.

No one gets into heaven because of good works and kind behavior. At the end of our earthly life when we stand before God, only our relationship with Him will matter. We will want to show Him that in place of our old sinful nature, we now have the living Spirit we received when Jesus Christ came into our life.

Bible in One Year: Genesis 4-7

 

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Charles Stanley – Christmas Giving

 

Matthew 2:1-12

Why do we give gifts at Christmas? When we were children, presents were the highlight of the season, and for some of us, the joy of giving and receiving gifts has not waned. Some people wonder what all this has to do with the celebration of Christ’s birth. But there is a connection—although nothing came wrapped in paper, the occasion was marked by extravagant generosity.

God gave His only begotten Son. This was greatest gift ever given, because His precious Son was the only one who could die as a sacrifice for our sins.

Mary gave her body and reputation. When the angel told her she would bear the Son of God, Mary responded, “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Although this was a glorious privilege, it also included the loss of her reputation. Her engagement to Joseph was as binding as marriage, and to be found pregnant before the actual ceremony would have been scandalous in the people’s eyes.

The shepherds gave a testimony. After hearing the birth announcement from the angel and seeing the newborn Messiah, they couldn’t keep the news to themselves. They told everyone what they had heard and seen (Luke 2:17-20).

The magi gave gifts and worship. Having traveled a long distance to find this new King of the Jews, they fell to the ground in worship and offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matt. 2:11).

Although materialism and commercialism have hijacked the tradition of gift giving to some degree, we must also remember the true generosity that is at the heart of Christmas.

Bible in One Year: 1 Peter 1-5

 

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Charles Stanley – The God Who Chooses Us

 

Ephesians 1:3-12

There’s nothing more humbling than salvation. We might like to think we did something that made our heavenly Father look down and say, “Now, there’s a person worth saving,” but this simply is not the case. We had absolutely nothing to offer God except our sin. And what’s more, today’s passage tells us that “He chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). How could we possibly take any credit for something that happened before we were born?

God chose us, not when we were saved but before we had done anything noteworthy—in fact, long before we even came into existence. Our part was simply to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, the offer of forgiveness by the Son, and the love of our heavenly Father. That should remove any sense of pride about how we were saved.

What’s even more amazing about our salvation is its permanency: Choosing us to be holy and blameless before Him forever, God predestined us to become His adopted children and heirs of His kingdom (Eph. 1:4-5; Eph. 1:11). Our future in heaven is not only free from the penalty and power of sin but also free from sin’s very existence. Never again will we succumb to unrighteous desires or even battle temptation.

In light of this loving rescue plan, we marvel at the fact that God knew us before we were born and chose to save us. My friend, we should fall on our face before Jesus Christ in humble adoration, praise, and gratitude for His great love and mercy.

Bible in One Year: Hebrews 10-11

 

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Charles Stanley – The God Who Rescues Us

 

Romans 3:10-28

When we tell people that God wants to save them, they may immediately wonder why rescue is necessary. In their mind, they are in no immediate danger and therefore have no need of a Savior. Before a person can appreciate the good news, he or she has to understand the bad news.

Every one of us is in need of rescue because we are all sinful and worthy of God’s eternal condemnation and punishment. No matter how hard we try, “there is none who does good, there is not even one” (Rom. 3:12). This means that we lack the ability to make ourselves acceptable to God. In other words, we’re eternally doomed unless God Himself intervenes on our behalf. And that is exactly what He did.

In order to rescue fallen humanity, God ordained a plan for mankind’s salvation before He even created the world. Since His attribute of justice could not be set aside, an acceptable substitute was chosen to bear the condemnation and punishment that sinners deserved. The only one qualified for this mission was His beloved Son, who took on human flesh and lived a life without sin.

The gift of forgiveness and reconciliation to God is free to all who will receive Jesus Christ and believe He made atonement on their behalf. There is no condemnation for those who take refuge in Him. But those who reject His offer of salvation will have to bear the penalty for their sins themselves.

Christ did everything that was necessary to rescue us. All we have to do is believe and entrust our life to Him by faith.

Bible in One Year: Hebrews 7-9

 

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Charles Stanley – When God Is Silent

 

John 11:1-6

When Lazarus was dying, his sisters urgently called for Jesus. Imagine how their grief must have compounded when He didn’t instantly respond to their request.

God’s silence is difficult to accept. We want Him to leap into action when we call, particularly if we are hurting or afraid. But since He promises to meet our needs, we can be sure that His silence has purpose.

Silence grabs our attention. The disciples knew that Jesus could heal, so they must have wondered why He delayed instead of rushing to His friend’s bedside. But the Lord wanted them to witness something even greater: His power over death. They had been confused by His statements about conquering death, and they needed to understand that He could fulfill His own resurrection prophecies (Mark 9:31-32). The miracle at Lazarus’ tomb was part of their preparation.

Silence teaches us to trust. Mary and Martha sent word of Lazarus’ illness because they anticipated that the Lord would heal him. But would their faith waver if that expectation was not met? Martha answered the question by stating, “I have believed that You are the Christ” (John 11:27). And sure enough, the Lord demonstrated His power with a stunning miracle: their brother’s return to life.

At times, the only thing we can hear when we pray is our own breathing. That can be frustrating and frightening. But Scripture says God is always with us, and His silence will not last forever (Job 23:8-10; Matt. 28:20). Cling to those promises as you wait for Him to answer.

Bible in One Year: Titus 1-3, Philemon 1

 

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Charles Stanley – Watching God Work

 

Ephesians 3:14-21

We have the privilege of serving a God who does abundantly more than we can imagine. Most Christians go through their daily life with no real awareness that the Lord is at work. However, He is active all the time, orchestrating circumstances, listening to the prayers of His children, and working through His followers to serve others. God is at work in the life of each believer so that He will receive glory and honor.

It is important that Christians learn to see God at work. To do that, we first need to observe how He worked in the lives of men and women in Scripture. It is also essential for us to listen for what He is saying to our heart. If we think that the Lord has never spoken to us, then either we have not been listening, or we do not really expect an answer from Him at all.

To listen and learn, we must have a right relationship with the Lord—this means confessing our sins and choosing to serve Him. We cannot see God at work if we are not prayerful people. Prayer centers our attention on Him. That focus opens us to the fact that we are loved enough to receive direction from our Father.

Frequently though, the problem is that we do not receive guidance according to our schedule. Our heavenly Father may work over long periods of time, so we must learn to practice patience. A human parent needs at least 18 years to teach a child how to function appropriately in the world. How much longer must it take God to achieve His goal of conforming us to the image of His Son?

Bible in One Year: 2 Thessalonians 1-3

 

 

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Charles Stanley – How God Works

 

2 Peter 3:9-18

God is at work everywhere. In the very first verse of the Bible, He is creating the heavens and earth. In the last verses of Revelation, He is calling people to be saved. Throughout Scripture and in the world today, the Lord is active in the lives of believers and unbelievers, although in very different ways.

We will be able to see God move in our life if we understand how He works—and He operates in both dramatic and seemingly insignificant ways. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, everyone could see by his face that he’d had a dramatic encounter with God. In contrast, Joseph entered Potiphar’s household as a slave. That may seem like an inconsequential situation in an incredible life, but it was important to God’s plan for Joseph.

In a similar way, God’s work in us always has purpose. Our life may seem routine, but God is busy every day conforming us to Christ’s likeness. He may allow circumstances we dislike, but those situations accomplish His goal. And we can see from examples like Gideon and Samson that He works differently with each person.

However God chooses to work in our life, we must trust Him. For instance, the Lord promised Abraham a son but silently waited 25 years to honor His vow. What appears slow to us is not slow to God. He is working out the perfect timing of events. Our patience to wait on Him demonstrates our trust, which is rewarded when we come ever closer to God’s goal: to become more like Jesus.

Bible in One Year: 1 Thessalonians 1-5

 

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