Category Archives: Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley – Peace at Any Price?

 

Romans 12:17-21

Relationships are one of life’s greatest sources of joy. Yet they can also lead to some of our biggest trials. Let’s face it—we won’t be able to get along with everyone, because we live in an imperfect world. Every human being has been affected by the fall and enters this life as a sinner. Furthermore, the fact that we are Christians is itself a source of conflict: Jesus tells us the world will hate us because we are His (John 15:18-20).

Despite all these obstacles, we are to try to be at peace with all men. This means we should seek to resolve conflicts and do what we can to live in harmony. Scripture gives us the following guidelines:

These principles all run counter to human nature; therefore, the only way to successfully apply them is through the power and grace of Jesus Christ. Yet despite our best efforts, peace is not always possible. When our overtures are repeatedly rejected, ending the quest may be appropriate. Or if harmony is possible only by violating Scripture, we must refuse to compromise.

God is the only one who can change the heart of someone who refuses to be reconciled. Our responsibility is to faithfully represent Christ to that person with our words, attitudes, and behavior. The Lord’s job is to produce the fruit.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 29-34

 

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Charles Stanley – Peace With One Another

 

2 Corinthians 13:11

As Christians, we have a special relationship with each other because of our union with Jesus. You’ve probably experienced this if you’ve met a stranger with whom you sensed a bond and soon discovered that you were both Christians.

Scripture calls us to be a source of encouragement and help to our brothers and sisters in Christ, yet most of us know at least one believer with whom we have more conflict than comfort. Perhaps our personalities don’t mesh, or we have different convictions that sometimes result in arguments. The problem could also be a matter of miscommunication or misunderstanding.

Whatever our natural differences may be, we can overcome them through Jesus Christ and live in peace with one another. Instead of building walls, we can express grace to others in the following ways:

Prayer. Make it a habit to lift up the other person in prayer to the Father.

Communication. Discuss the relational issue openly and honestly. Clear up any incorrect assumptions and uncover the source of conflict. Be willing to share concerns and listen to the other point of view.

Counsel. To work though the conflict, it may sometimes be necessary to enlist the aid of a godly counselor.

Restoration. Once the root issue is resolved and harmony is restored, both parties should agree to address new conflicts promptly as they arise.

God calls us to live in peace, and He has provided everything we need to obey Him. When we allow His indwelling Holy Spirit to control us, His goodness and grace will flow through us to others, creating harmony.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 23-28

 

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Charles Stanley – Secure Hope

 

Psalm 42:1-11

God wants His children to have desires and expectations that are motivating as well as enriching. However, some disappointment is inevitable in this fallen world. So how can we determine where to place our hope—and the way to respond if it is not fulfilled?

Hope is secure when it is aligned with the Lord’s desires, which are revealed in Scripture. However, many of our expectations are based on wishes or feelings. We long for job promotions, good health, or quick solutions to our problems. Though these are things we want, we have no absolute promise from the Lord that they’re part of His will for us.

Disappointment with God can occur whenever our expectations do not coincide with His plan. Even when hope is based on a scriptural promise, the Lord may not fulfill it in the way or the time that we expect. We should remember that though God may appear inactive, He is moving beneath the surface, preparing us for the future.

The key to contentment and joy lies in placing all our personal hopes under the umbrella of our ultimate hope in the Lord. God is sovereign and good. He always wants what is best for us and never makes a mistake. His ways are higher than ours and, in many ways, beyond human understanding.

From a limited and fallen perspective, we may be like a 5-year-old who wants candy at every meal. Sometimes God has to dash our hopes in order to give us what He knows is best. Ask Him to clarify and direct your desires to coincide with His way. Then rest in His goodness and keep your hope in Him.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 19-22

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Ignoring the Conscience

 

1 Timothy 1:18-19; 1 Timothy 4:1-2

Are you making certain choices today that your conscience would not have allowed in the past? If so, you may have become desensitized. That is a dangerous place to be.

As we discussed yesterday, God gave us an internal sense of right and wrong to use along with the Holy Spirit’s guidance when making daily choices. The conscience serves as an “alarm system,” intervening when a Christian is about to take part in ungodly behavior. In that way, it offers protection. But sin can throw off the system’s sensitivity.

The insidious process begins if we choose to disobey and then refuse to deal with our rebellion. The conscience warns us repeatedly, but it will eventually become silenced and ineffective if we persist in ignoring the distress signal. When that happens, there are no longer any signals from the heart to point us back toward godliness—in other words, the conscience has become seared.

This situation is akin to removing all traffic lights from a busy intersection: it is a recipe for disaster. If you are at this place, get on your knees and repent, immersing yourself in God’s Word and bathing your life in prayer. Pursue accountability and fellowship with other believers. A healthy conscience is worth the effort.

Are your internal signals in good working order, or have they been stifled? Don’t delay. Scripture warns us that we have a real enemy who desires to lure us away from godliness and into destruction. God uses a clear conscience to guide, protect, and lead us into His light and peace.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 15-18

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Charles Stanley – A Clear Conscience

 

Acts 24:10-16

When facing hard decisions, do you pay attention to your conscience? And is it necessarily wise to trust this inner voice?

God gave everyone an internal sense of right and wrong. In fact, reflecting His truth inwardly is one way that He reveals Himself to mankind. The conscience is a divine alarm system that warns us of oncoming danger or consequences. Its primary purpose is protection and guidance.

The problem, however, is that sin warps perception and can lead us astray. So it’s important to understand the difference between following your heart and allowing a clear conscience to help with decisions. To make a determination, ask, What is the greatest influence on my morality? If the world’s system of what is acceptable has infiltrated your heart, then your conscience cannot be trusted. But if you have allowed God’s Word to permeate and transform your thinking (Rom. 12:2), that inner voice is likely trustworthy.

The Holy Spirit, along with a divinely informed conscience, guides believers. In order to keep that internal guidance system healthy, we should continually meditate on Scripture. The Ten Commandments are a solid basis for morality, and we are wise to internalize them—especially the two Jesus highlighted: to love God above all else and to love others (Matt. 22:36-40).

What would you say has the greatest impact on your belief system? Is it the truth of Scripture? Or do the world’s standards of right and wrong infect your heart? Almighty God knows what is best for you, His child—and He provided a conscience to guide you toward wise decisions.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 8-14

 

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Charles Stanley – No Longer I, But Christ

 

Galatians 2:20

Hudson Taylor was a missionary in China during the mid-1800s. At one point, he felt overwhelmed with financial concerns, the responsibilities of running a mission, and the ever-increasing pile of mail awaiting his attention. All the letters he wrote to friends and family were filled with defeat and discouragement.

Seeing his need, a missionary friend wrote back to him, asking, “Hudson, when you think about Jesus, does He have a furrowed brow? Is He worried and anxious because He doesn’t know what’s going to happen next or if there will be enough money?” Then he added, “When your life becomes Jesus’ life, there’s no need to worry, because it will no longer be Hudson who bears the burdens but Jesus, and He’ll never be swamped by problems.”

God changed Hudson Taylor in that moment. His circumstances were the same; in fact, the problems became greater, but there was a difference in Taylor’s response. Whereas before he was fretting and wrestling, now he was resting in the Lord and trusting with a calm, quiet, and peaceful spirit. Those who knew him could discern the dramatic change.

Sometimes we think that being crucified with Christ is all about what we give up—practicing self-denial and saying no to sin, temptations, and worldly pleasures. But it also includes living in the power of His resurrected life. Jesus Christ makes His abode in us, empowering us to overcome sin and live righteously. But He also carries our burdens and encourages our spirits to trust Him. Just as we are saved by faith, so also we live by faith, trusting the Lord day by day with all our needs and concerns.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 1-7

 

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Charles Stanley –Responding to Disappointment

 

Matthew 1:18-25

To find examples of wise, godly reactions to disappointment, you’re more likely to turn to Psalms than to Matthew. But the very first chapter in the New Testament tells the story of an upright man’s reaction to painful and disheartening news.

Joseph—Jesus’ earthly father—was a righteous person. A godly man wants a wife who shares his desire to honor and obey the Lord, and Scripture indicates that Mary was exactly that sort of woman (Luke 1:45-55). So imagine how stunned Joseph must have been when Mary returned from a long visit with her relative Elizabeth and told him that she was pregnant. Moreover, she was claiming no man had touched her.

No matter how Joseph looked at the situation, it appeared grim. And yet Matthew 1:20 says that he “considered”—in other words, he sought a wise, righteous response. God entered Joseph’s life in a dramatic way to confirm Mary’s story and put a stop to his plans for a quiet annulment.

The Lord turned Joseph’s mourning into great purpose. Mary had told the truth—strange and startling though it was. The couple would bear the intense public censure of a too-soon pregnancy, but Joseph stopped thinking about what others would say. God had sacred work for him: to raise the Messiah, alongside a faithful woman.

Followers of Christ should seek a godly response to disappointments they face. Since the Lord always has a plan, the wisest reaction is to anticipate the good He can do and await His timing. God certainly blessed Joseph for his willingness to seek God’s kingdom first (Matt. 6:33).

Bible in One Year: Job 39-42

 

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Charles Stanley – Dealing With Disappointment

 

Habakkuk 3:17-19

After I preached a sermon on disappointment, several men and women approached me with the same reaction: “I desperately needed to hear those words.” Many people feel defeated and let down by their circumstances. But the way a person responds can make all the difference. Frustrations can be either an opportunity for spiritual growth or a destructive blow.

A right response to disappointment begins with resisting the natural tendency toward bitterness. If someone else was involved in the situation, don’t be quick to judge his or her conduct. We can’t fully understand what is going on in others’ lives or what motivates them to act as they do. Our second step should be to ask the Lord, “How am I to respond?” God can guide us to a wise and righteous reaction because He has all the facts.

Third, follow His directions, even if they aren’t what you want to do. Oftentimes the Lord’s way contradicts our own desires and the advice of friends. However, His plan is the one that will bring about growth and result in our greatest good.

And fourth, keep your focus on God and His higher purpose in your life. People are prone to dwell on their hurts and the harm that comes to them, which is what makes disappointment so destructive.

There are many methods for dealing with being let down, but pursuing the Lord’s will is the only one that satisfies. Though human plans can be derailed, nothing alters God’s purpose. No matter how deep your hurt goes, He will shepherd you through setbacks and sorrows while growing your faith.

Bible in One Year: Job 35-38

 

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Charles Stanley –The Value of Endurance

 

James 1:2-3

There are so many virtues Christians aspire to have. Who doesn’t want to be known as a loving, compassionate, or gracious person? Yet I don’t think there are very many who long to endure. This word brings up images of hardship, because endurance is often how we cope with things we don’t like, such as criticism, conflict, pain, or illness. If we could get through life without ever having to undergo difficulty, we’d rejoice.

Yet James says we are to consider it joy when we encounter trials. He’s not saying that we should be happy about the suffering we face; rather, we should rejoice in what the Lord does in our lives through hardship. All those circumstances we dread are the means God uses to bring us to spiritual maturity, and the only way to get to the good is to endure what seems bad from our perspective.

Think of an athlete who trains for a marathon. He has to hit the streets day after day in all kinds of weather, follow a strict training plan, and push through physical and mental exhaustion. If that was all he ever did, it would be drudgery with no reward, but he does it for the goal set before him.

When our goal is to grow in Christ and become who He wants us to be, we’ll find ourselves willing to endure the pain—because the outcome will be worth it. We can be sure that every situation the Lord allows in our life is intended to develop something we lack spiritually. Knowing that enables us to submit to whatever He chooses for us. And as we see our trials from God’s perspective, we can even rejoice in what He is doing.

Bible in One Year: Job 31-34

 

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Charles Stanley – Running With Endurance

 

Hebrews 12:1-3

A marathon is a taxing race. The runner must overcome muscle cramps, blisters, and the urge to quit. But each step reaffirms his commitment to keep going until he triumphantly crosses the finish line.

In many ways, this is what the Christian life is like. It’s not a fast sprint to heaven but a long, obedient marathon. There are obstacles that could cause us to stumble and burdens we need to lay aside so we can run unencumbered.

The one word that summarizes our earthly race is endurance. This term implies going through something difficult without quitting. It includes the concept of abiding under hardship with patient, sustaining perseverance. Christ hasn’t promised us an easy life. In fact, He told His disciples, “In the world you have tribulation” (John 16:33).

How can we keep going? The answer is to fix our eyes on Jesus, not on the hardships and obstacles in our life. He set the pattern for us by enduring the cross for the joy set before Him. To focus on the Lord, we must read the Scriptures. Then we’ll be able to see what He would have us do, how we’re to respond to various situations in life, which resources He’s provided to help us, and what He has promised us at the finish line.

The joy set before us includes an imperishable, undefiled inheritance reserved for us in heaven (1 Peter 1:4) and an eternal weight of glory far beyond comparison to our earthly suffering (2 Corinthians 4:17). But best of all, when we finally cross the finish line, we will enter into Christ’s presence to be with Him forever.

Bible in One Year: Job 26-30

 

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Charles Stanley – The Unavoidable Appointment

 

Hebrews 9:27-28

There are many options in life, especially for those who live in a relatively free country. Where we live, whom we marry, and what kind of career we pursue—all these are very much influenced by our desires and choices. But there is one event over which we have no control, and that’s our appointment with death.

Adam and Eve, the very first human beings, actually did have a choice regarding life and death. When God gave Adam the command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, He said, “for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Gen. 2:17). But Adam and Eve did eat of the forbidden tree, and sin and death became a constant companion of the human race from that day forward. In the genealogy of mankind, as recorded in Genesis 5, one phrase repeatedly drives this point home: “and he died.”

Although we can no longer choose whether to live or die, there was one other man who could. His name was Jesus Christ. In the book of John, He said, “I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me” (John 10:17-18). Jesus, the eternal Son of God and source of all life, chose to take on human flesh in order to die on the cross as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

Because Jesus chose death, man can now have life eternal by believing in Him. Our human bodies will one day die, but if we’ve trusted in Christ’s death as the payment for our sins, we’ll be resurrected as He was and enter heaven to be with Him forever.

Bible in One Year: Job 22-25

 

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Charles Stanley – God’s Compass for the Heart and Mind

 

Proverbs 3:7-12

Yesterday we discussed the importance of depending on Scripture as our compass throughout life. Following God’s directions will change our behavior and challenge our attitudes, desires, and thought processes. He leads us to think differently about ourselves, our values, and even the difficulties facing us.

We naturally want to determine our own course in life. It seems like the only logical way to get where we want to go. But being wise in our own eyes is pride. To combat this tendency, the Lord instructs us to fear Him and turn away from evil (Prov. 3:7). This “fear” is not a horrified dread of the Father, but an attitude of respect that motivates us to obey Him for both our good and His glory.

We naturally want to keep our money for ourselves. A desire for a better lifestyle or fear of not having enough leads us to hang on to everything we get. But our compass directs us to honor God by giving Him the first part of all we have, trusting Him to provide for our needs (Prov. 3:9-10).

We naturally dislike God’s discipline. His painful reproofs seem to imply that He doesn’t care about us. But our heavenly Father says His discipline is evidence of His love and delight in us as His children (Prov. 3:11-12).

Sometimes in our desire to follow the Lord, we focus on obedient actions—doing what He says—yet miss His directions concerning our attitudes and thought patterns. To stay on God’s path for our lives, we must make course corrections not only in our behavior but also in our heart and mind.

Bible in One Year: Job 17-21

 

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Charles Stanley – A Compass for Life’s Journey

 

Proverbs 3:1-6

If you’ve ever been lost in the woods, you know the concerns, confusion, and panic such a situation causes. Now think what a difference it would have made to know that a compass was in your pocket. Spiritually speaking, we have such a compass—God’s Word. But it does no good unless we let it guide us.

At times, we may fail to follow scriptural guidance because of …

Neglect. Sometimes we are so busy walking through life that we forget to look at God’s compass to make sure we’re headed in the right direction.

Pride. We often want to determine our own destiny. Many of us prefer to plan a course of action by relying on our strength, wisdom, and abilities.

Distractions. The Lord’s path of obedience isn’t always easy. In fact, sometimes it can be extremely challenging. Satan offers other trails that promise pleasure and ease if we will just ignore the compass and follow him. Although these routes seem pleasant at first, they lead to heartbreak and discouragement.

Difficulties. Whenever obstacles appear on the trail, our natural tendency is to try and find a way around them. But by ignoring God’s compass and stepping off the path, we’ll miss the blessings He wants to give us through the rough patches—benefits such as strong faith and godly character.

Why should we wander when the Lord’s compass is available? Let Scripture be your guide on life’s journey. God promises productive days and fruitful years if you follow His path. He’ll direct each step of your way, and His peace will sustain you, even during the difficult times.

Bible in One Year: Job 13-16

 

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Charles Stanley –Worship That Glorifies God

 

Psalm 95:1-11

God created us to worship and has placed this inclination in every human heart. If people don’t worship their Creator, they’ll focus their devotion on something or someone else. That’s why there are so many religions in the world.

As Christians, we may assume that since ours is the God of the Bible, He must be pleased with our worship of Him. But that may not be the case. Hebrews 9 refers to the old covenant, in which the Lord gave very precise instructions about how to approach Him. Although we now have direct access to the Father through the Son, we must still be careful to worship Him in ways that glorify Him—whether or not they please us.

If we want to worship God in truth, we must avoid the following pitfalls:

Inaccurate Knowledge of God. If we’ve fashioned God according to our desires, then our worship is worthless. This is why it is so important to know the Lord as He has revealed Himself in His Word.

Lip Service. When our hearts are far from God, we may go through the routines of worship without meaning anything we say or sing.

Wrong Focus. If we come to church simply to have a satisfying emotional experience, we’ve missed the point. Worship is about honoring, reverencing, and adoring God with our whole being—mind, will, and heart.

Psalm 95 is a wonderful song of praise. But the writer included a warning not to be like the Israelites in the wilderness, who erred in their hearts and didn’t know God’s ways (Psalm 95:10). Instead, let’s make it our ambition to know God so we can glorify Him in our worship.

Bible in One Year: Job 9-12

 

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Charles Stanley – Whole Life Worship

 

Romans 11:33-36; Romans 12:1-8

For many Christians, the word worship is synonymous with the songs we sing in church services. This is often implied when those who lead music announce to the congregation, “Let’s stand and worship.” Singing praises to God is but one aspect of what the word means—it includes much more and is not limited to Sunday morning in a church building.

When the Samaritan woman spoke to Jesus about this, He told her a time would come when the place wouldn’t be important. In that day, worship would be done in spirit and in truth (John 4:20-24), as an integral part of everything in our daily life.

Let’s consider ways we worship God:

With our words (Rom. 11:33-36). Right after finishing a thorough explanation of doctrine to the church in Rome, Paul broke out in praise to the Lord. As our minds are filled with God’s truths, our worship will likewise overflow in prayer and songs of adoration, praise, and reverence.

With surrendered lives (Rom. 12:1-2). Instead of worshipping with animal sacrifices, we offer ourselves to the Lord through holy, obedient living. This is possible because God’s truth renews our mind, thereby transforming our life.

With service to others (Rom. 12:3-8). Everything we do can be an act of worship when it is done as unto the Lord. By His grace, He has even given us spiritual gifts that enable us to serve one another.

Think about your choices, actions, and words throughout the day—both to God and to others. How can they be transformed into worship?

Bible in One Year: Job 5-8

 

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Charles Stanley – The Main Function of the Church

 

Acts 2:37-47

If someone asked what the primary purpose of the church is, how would you answer? There are many opinions regarding this issue—and since all the activities of the church are vital, it’s a challenge to be definitive about which one is most important. To help us find an answer, let’s see what Scripture says about the first church in Jerusalem, which was born on Pentecost.

Today’s passage describes what happened after Peter gave his first sermon: Many of the Jews believed in Jesus, and the church grew from 120 to around 3,000 people (Acts 1:15; Acts 2:41). From this, we can conclude that preaching about Jesus is an essential activity of the church. But is it the most important?

Next, we see that Christians would come together and focus on the apostles’ teaching, fellowship, the Lord’s Supper, and prayer. In addition, they met in homes to partake of meals and also shared materially with fellow believers who were in need. These things certainly make a faith community desirable, but there were still other vital activities taking place in the first church.

Love and generosity for one another witnessed powerfully to observers, as did faith and praise of God. Acts 2:47 says the Lord kept adding to the number of believers, so we can say this church had a powerful evangelistic ministry. Then, is that supposed to be the primary focus of the church?

The answer is that all of these things together can be summed up as worship of God and His Son Jesus Christ. And worship is the primary function of the church—as long as these elements are done according to God’s Word and with the purpose of glorifying Him.

Bible in One Year: Job 1-4

 

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Charles Stanley – Effective Witnesses

 

Philippians 2:12-16

Some of the most effective witnesses are those who have gone through painful, trying circumstances. Consider how the gospel has spread in parts of the world that are poor, oppressed, and troubled. Or think of your response to the triumphant stories of former criminals, people who have suffered abuse, and religious prisoners. God’s power is manifest in man’s weakest moments.

Whether believers develop into stronger witnesses as a result of difficulties depends on their response to crisis. Many people make the mistake of focusing on the will of man instead of God’s sovereignty. Then they find it impossible to believe that God will bring positive results from their pain.

Those who rise above their circumstances understand that God uses every experience for good. (See Gen. 50:20.) To trust that principle, we must realize that any situation we face is under the authority of a kind, loving Father. Paul’s time in prison yielded better and more abundant fruit than he could have produced any other way (Phil. 1:13). He spread the gospel to Roman guards because he was chained to one after another every day for years. As we turn our attention to Christ, He reveals opportunities for impacting people with the gospel. These are often chances we wouldn’t have had apart from trying circumstances.

You are always in God’s hand. I understand that in hard times, it’s not easy to focus on His sovereign will and the good He has in store for you. But I also know that God never allows anything to touch us that He will not turn to our benefit and the good of His kingdom.

Bible in One Year: Esther 6-10

 

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Charles Stanley – Left as Witnesses

 

Acts 1:6-8

One of the biggest problems in the church today is that many Christians do not see themselves as servants of the Lord. However, it isn’t His will that we simply come to church and listen to sermons. He wants us to go out and be witnesses for Christ wherever we are or wherever He sends us.

The roles and methods by which we carry out this task will be different, but each believer has a vital role to play (1 Corinthians 12:4-20). Individually, you may feel as if your efforts have little impact, but the Lord can work wonders through a willing servant. No one is too “messed up” to be used by Him—He specializes in taking broken people and making them whole. Nor does anyone reach an age when he or she is no longer useful. You can be sure that as long as you’re still alive, the heavenly Father isn’t done with you.

The question isn’t whether or not we are adequate to be His witnesses, but whether our hearts are willing. The Lord has promised the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His purposes through our life, but if we won’t use His divine strength, then we waste opportunities for impact. Earthly responsibilities have a way of stealing our attention and limiting our obedience to the Lord. However, nothing in life is more important than doing the will of the Father.

Have duties and pleasures of this world lured you away from your responsibility to tell others about the Savior? Salvation is not just an experience to be enjoyed; it’s a gift to be shared. You don’t need a theology degree. Just tell what Jesus has done for you, and the Spirit will do the rest.

Bible in One Year: Esther 1-5

 

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Charles Stanley – Crying Out to God

 

Psalm 34:15-17

When we face a crisis, the Lord is willing and able to help. But before He will become involved and release His divine energy into our situation, He requires one thing: a righteous heart.

This, of course, is not an expectation that we live a perfect life, which our Father knows would be impossible. When a sinner turns to God for salvation, He cleanses the heart of iniquity and gives that person a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17). Yet even believers will follow old flesh patterns at times, so the Lord calls us to confess and repent when we miss the mark. Then He will “cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Thankfully, He hears us in our imperfection as long as we desire to walk in His way. The problem arises, however, when a Christian knowingly lives in sin and chooses not to turn from it—the Lord will not hear an unrepentant heart.

Today’s passage shows that the heavenly Father wants His children to cry out to Him. During trials, we tend to pray this way—with increased focus, passion, and sincerity. Hannah is a good example. Heartbroken over her barrenness, she went to the temple and beseeched the Lord with such emotion that the priest thought she was drunk! God answered her plea and opened her womb (1 Samuel 1:1-20).

When a crisis comes, cry out to our almighty God, but be sure you do so with a righteous heart. Then He will hear and answer—either fulfilling your hoped-for request or providing a different solution. Because He is omniscient, loving, and sovereign, you can fully trust that His answer is in your best interest.

Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 11-13

 

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Charles Stanley – Reasons to Pray

 

Psalm 25:1-22

What motivates you to talk with God? Throughout the Scriptures, we are commanded to pray. In fact, Jesus—the Son of God—considered prayer so essential that He regularly left the crowds to seek time alone with His Father (Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16). Any relationship requires communication if it is to grow and flourish, and that includes our relationship with God.

David was a man who knew the Lord intimately. Since he recorded many of his prayers in the psalms, we are able to catch a glimpse of his heart as he poured out his soul before the Lord. Today’s passage shows us five reasons that we, too, should come to God in prayer:

  1. Guidance (Psalm 25:4-5). If we ask, the Lord will lead and teach us.
  2. Forgiveness (Psalm 25:7; Psalm 25:11). Each day we need God’s cleansing for sin and His power to repent and turn back to Him.
  3. Decisions (Psalm 25:12). When we reverentially fear God, He instructs us in the way we should choose.
  4. Trouble (Psalm 25:16-18). When we’re overwhelmed by difficulties, no one can comfort us like the Lord.
  5. Protection (Psalm 25:19-20). God is the one who guards our soul and rescues us from the enemy’s attacks.

When we seek the Lord, He becomes our refuge. God understands our weaknesses and invites us to come to Him with all our concerns. It’s in the intimacy of prayer that we learn to know His faithfulness, compassion, and love. Then we can say, as David did, “O my God, in You I trust” (Psalm 25:2).

Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 8-10

 

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