Category Archives: Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley – Wait Upon the Lord

 

Psalm 40:1-3

Patience is hard work! This is especially true when we are waiting on God, who keeps to His own timetable. But believers who trust Him to deliver can look forward to rich blessing.

A person’s willingness to be patient reveals the value of what he or she desires. No one goes wrong waiting for the Lord to send His best in His perfect timing. Of course, believers don’t receive everything they ask for. At times, God simply says no. Other times, He adjusts our desires to match His. In our humanness, we can’t possibly know all the details of a situation. So we ask for what we think we need, based on our limited information. A submissive heart accepts the Father’s gentle redirection. When the awaited object of desire comes, it may not look like what we originally requested, but it will be exactly what we need.

Another benefit is that waiting patiently on the Lord is an awesome witness. When He responds, others see the reality of God, His faithfulness, and the wisdom of our commitment. In addition, our own faith is strengthened. Fools rush to seize their prize, but wise believers know that blessing will come in God’s good time.

 

Bible in One Year: Zechariah 6-10

 

 

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Charles Stanley – God Acts on Our Behalf

 

Lamentations 3:19-26

We’re so used to a hurried world that we sometimes expect speed in our spiritual life, too. However, God “acts on behalf of those who wait for him” (Isa. 64:4 NIV). Let’s look at three reasons believers are called upon to wait.

God may be preparing us to receive His blessings. Perhaps we need new skills, maturity, or a particular spiritual insight before we’re ready for God’s plan. For example, David waited years to sit on his appointed throne. But when he did, he was stronger, wiser, and a battle-tested king.

Our Father is often teaching us to have confidence in Him. How would we learn faith if He immediately fulfilled our every request? In my own life, the Lord has often said two words: “Trust Me.” And He has never been late to meet my needs. No matter how we justify rushing ahead of God, doing so amounts to saying, “I don’t trust You.”

The Lord will sometimes withhold blessing to protect us. We may never find out why, but be assured that God carefully decides whether to place the object of our desire in our hands.

Waiting isn’t easy, but rushing ahead of the Lord can short-circuit His plan. When that happens, believers are left unsatisfied, and they often live with the consequences. Be patient while God works out details. His best is on the way.

 

Bible in One Year: Zechariah 1-5

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Ministers of Comfort

 

Psalm 72:12-14

During hard seasons or times of disaster—whether natural or man-made, national or local—we are called to show kindness. True compassion tries to understand people’s pain, but it also provides practical help. So, how we can express care and concern for others?

First, remember we have the wonderful privilege of prayer anytime, anywhere. As soon as word of a tragedy reaches you, lift up the victims, rescue workers, and others involved. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in petitioning God for protection, provision, comfort, awareness of His presence, and whatever else He deems fitting (Rom. 8:26).

Second, labor and donations of money, food, clothing, or household goods are usually high priority. So donations of time and resources are helpful (after wisely consulting trusted sources about what’s needed). You also can express compassion with words of comfort, a warm embrace, or a listening ear. Through this kind of love, the world will recognize the true Light—Jesus Christ, who brings good news, binds up the brokenhearted, and comforts all who mourn (Isa. 61:1-2).

We should notice the needs around us and reach out with Christ’s love. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal ways to pray for those around you. Your concern can have a profound impact.

 

Bible in One Year: Zephaniah 1-3, Haggai 1-2

 

 

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Charles Stanley – God Alone Deserves Worship

 

James 4:4-8

For us, jealousy isn’t attractive, but for God, it’s a holy attribute. God is unhappy when we worship anyone besides Him. Only He deserves our praise.

When reading in the Old Testament, we may not understand why people would bow before idols—surely they didn’t think that these objects were living and powerful. But we make a similar mistake, placing too high a value on money, relationships, power, and the like. Though not bad in themselves, such things can become the focus of our worship. That’s why the Father is jealous for our heart.

There are two reasons God won’t tolerate our misplaced devotion. First, He deserves the glory. And second, there is nothing better for us than His love. Praising Him above all else is actually in our own best interest. Therefore, when our heart doesn’t belong solely to Christ, He will use discipline and reminders so we will prioritize Him.

This week, notice where you spend your time and money and what dominates your thoughts. Even if your pursuits seem good on the surface, pray about what might be an idol in your life. Confess any misplaced affection, and ask the Lord for help in making Him the object of your devotion.

 

Bible in One Year: Micah 1-4

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Burden of Inadequacy

 

Deuteronomy 1:19-36

Because we’re human, we all experience feelings of inadequacy from time to time. But the real issue facing us is not whether we are sufficient for a task, but how we will respond to such a challenge.

The Israelites felt inadequate as they stood on the edge of the Promised Land. The size and strength of the enemy contrasted sharply with their own weakness and inability, and they didn’t trust the Lord’s promise. So they refused to conquer the land and as a result were made to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. How tragic that they never saw the land God wanted to give them.

Like the children of Israel, we become fearful and expect to fail. As the obstacle grows in our mind, we run from the challenge and toward safety. However, turning away from a God-given task will lead us not to security but into bondage. Faith, on the other hand, will set us on the path our Father has planned for us.

When the Lord calls you to an assignment beyond your abilities, rely on what you know about Him and His promises. You will discover that our faithful God always empowers us for the work He wants us to accomplish.

 

Bible in One Year: Obadiah 1Jonah 1-4

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Salvation Gifts

 

1 Peter 1:3-5

Gifts are an expression of love, yet sometimes we take them for granted. This is certainly true when it comes to salvation. Perhaps the reason is that we’ve forgotten how amazing this gift is and what it cost the Father and Son to give it.

As Christians, we know that salvation results in forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with a holy God, and adoption as His beloved children. But maybe we aren’t as familiar with its other benefits:

We become new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). We undergo a radical internal change. Our old self has been crucified with Christ, and we have a brand-new self, which is created in righteousness and holiness.

We are joined to the body of Christ (Rom. 12:5). Not only do we have union with the triune God, but we are also united with every other believer.

We receive an inheritance in heaven (1 Peter 1:4). Salvation transforms us from those destined for hell to those who are fellow heirs with Christ in His kingdom.

Salvation is an unfathomable treasure for which we will spend eternity praising, thanking, and worshipping God.

 

Bible in One Year: Hosea 1-5

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Need for a Sacrifice

 

Hebrews 10:1-4

Have you ever read about sacrifice in the Old Testament and wondered what it was for? The only payment for sin is death (Rom. 6:23), and the Lord graciously allowed animals to be offered as a substitute for human lives. So people regularly brought sacrifices to God as atonement. However, it was only a temporary solution and had to be repeated often.

In order for mankind to be eternally freed from the guilt of sin, God required that the once-for-all sacrifice had to be completely pure (Lev. 22:20). What’s more, it could not be an animal. After all, the guilt belonged to man; therefore, the world was in need of a perfect and sinless person to be offered.

What an impossible situation: Man was responsible to pay the price, but God alone was capable of sinlessness. The only possible solution was for Jesus Christ—who was wholly God and wholly man—to offer His life on our behalf. Unlike the blood of bulls and lambs, Christ’s blood was a fully sufficient one-time payment for all sin.

This is why we say that we’re saved by the blood of Christ. Jesus did what we could not—He set us free from our sins. Consider the immensity of the sacrifice He made on your behalf. Have you thanked Him lately?

 

Bible in One Year: Amos 1-4

 

 

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Charles Stanley – God’s Purpose

 

Romans 8:28-30

What is the purpose of life? Throughout human history, people have been trying to answer that question. Books have been written on the subject, and philosophers have postulated many answers. But for Christians, God’s purpose is concisely outlined in today’s passage.

Believers are called according to His purpose and are foreknown by Him. God’s foreknowledge is much more than His ability to see future events in advance. It also includes bringing to pass what He has chosen to do for those He has called. He has predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). This will be fully accomplished in the resurrection, but until then, God is progressively transforming His children right now. These are the ones He calls, justifies (declares righteous), and ultimately glorifies.

If you are a Christian, this is God’s purpose for you. That means everything He allows into your life is designed to shape you into a glorious reflection of Christ. Although you cannot fully understand how God brings about salvation and how believers are responsible to respond in faith, there is great comfort in knowing that He who began this good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Phil. 1:6).

 

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 37-39

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Made in the Image of God

 

Genesis 1:26-27

In the beginning God created Adam and Eve in His image. That likeness, however, was soon marred by sin, and the ripple effect continues in humanity to this day. The Lord was gracious, however, and didn’t wipe out the human race; instead, He set in motion a redemptive plan to rescue anyone willing to repent.

Someday all who have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation will be fully restored to God’s image. In the meantime, the heavenly Father is molding believers into the likeness of His Son. It’s a process that will continue until we each receive our new eternal body and, like a flawless mirror, reflect a true image of our Lord. But while we remain on earth, we are called to reveal Jesus to those in our sphere of influence.

Like any parent, God the Father is pleased to see His children maturing to look more like Christ, and to that end He continually works in us. Becoming more and more like Him should be our goal as well, because nothing can compare to the joy we will have when we eventually stand before God in heaven, fully restored to resemble Him.

 

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 34-36

 

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Charles Stanley – Whom Will You Serve?

 

1 Kings 18:17-40

During the days of King Ahab, Israel was pulled in two directions. Ahab had instituted Baal worship, but Elijah challenged Israel to follow God. When He pressed the people to make up their minds about whom to serve, they were speechless.

The Old Testament presents idolatry as a serious issue, but in this modern civilized world worship of idols seems archaic and irrelevant. However, we are sometimes just like the Israelites—we can’t make up our minds about whom to serve.

If something or someone has higher value and priority to us than Christ, we are trying to serve two masters, which Jesus says is impossible. We will end up loving one and hating the other (Matt. 6:24). God’s generous gifts of relationships, possessions, and meaningful work should never be cherished more than the Giver.

The way your time is used reveals your heart’s priorities. Is a part of each day devoted to God, or is every minute consumed by the demands of life? Or consider the area of dependence. Is there anyone or anything you rely on more than God? If so, it’s time to stop straddling the fence and give your life wholly to God.

 

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 15-17

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Trust and Obey

 

1 Kings 18:1-16

Faith and obedience are traveling companions heading to the same destination of pleasing and glorifying the Lord. They grow together simultaneously as they are practiced but wither if neglected. Therefore, God sometimes brings new challenges into our lives to strengthen our trust and submission to Him.

Elijah was a prophet who had proven himself faithful to the Lord. Even when he was told to appear before King Ahab who was seeking to kill him, he obeyed. Obadiah was another faithful servant of God who had rescued other prophets, but when Elijah told him to report his presence to Ahab, Obadiah feared for his life.

Fear short-circuits faith when we begin to doubt that God’s way is really best. If we allow anxiety to gain a foothold in our mind, we’ll respond by refusing to do what the Lord says. The result is a change of traveling companions. Instead of faith and obedience, we start walking with doubt and rebellion.

Great faith begins with small steps. When you follow God’s Word, an ever-increasing cycle of faith and obedience begins. Don’t let fear rob you of the blessings God has planned for your life.

 

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 12-14

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Waiting in Faith

 

Hebrews 11:6-16

When I was a young boy, my mother let me plant some seeds in her garden. Although she explained that the plants would take time to appear, when nothing happened after several days, I decided to dig them up to check for progress. I found no plants, but what’s worse, I also ruined the possibility of ever seeing any.

Hebrews 11 records examples of people who by faith waited for what God promised, even when it wasn’t visible.

  • Noah continued building an ark despite the many intervening years until the predicted flood (Heb. 11:7).
    Abraham looked forward to the land God promised, though the fulfillment did not take place during his lifetime (Heb. 11:8-10).
    • Sarai had to wait until she was well beyond childbearing age before God finally gave her the son He’d promised (Heb. 11:11-12).

If we expect God to work according to our timetable, we’re likely to face disappointment. The people mentioned in Hebrews had to wait many years; in fact, some of the promises made to them won’t be fulfilled until after Christ returns. The Lord doesn’t work like a gumball machine—we can’t cash in a promise and assume the fulfillment will pop out. Ours is a long-term walk by faith.

 

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 9-11

 

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Charles Stanley – Trust in the Wait

 

Psalm 33:13-22

Waiting on God stretches our trust in Him, especially when we are urgently longing for His intervention or guidance in a situation. From our earthly perspective and with our limited knowledge, it may seem as if He doesn’t care, but that is far from the truth.

God uses times of waiting to strengthen our trust in Him, and reminding ourselves of His character and abilities helps build confidence in our Father. So as you wait, remember:

The Lord has all-encompassing knowledge of every detail of your circumstances.
He has complete understanding of the motives and intentions of everyone involved in your situation.
God’s power is greater than all your efforts to solve your problems. Neither you nor anyone else can thwart His plans.
His eye is always on you during the wait, and He is your help and protection.
His lovingkindness continually rests upon you.

Whenever you’re overcome with a sense of urgency or uncertainty, remember who God is and what He has promised to do for you. Although He may not work everything out as you desire, it will be according to His perfect wisdom and for your good—and in this you can rejoice.

 

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 6-8

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Soldiers for Christ

 

1 Timothy 6:11-16

In today’s passage, Paul tells a young pastor named Timothy, “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). But this command isn’t limited to pastors; every believer needs to be a faithful soldier of Christ. That’s because we’re all in a battle—not against people but against spiritual forces of wickedness (Eph. 6:12).

This war began when Satan and other angels rebelled against God. Then Satan tempted Eve to disobey the Lord as well. As a result of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, the earth was cursed, and the entire human race was corrupted by sin. Ever since that day, the battle for truth and righteousness has raged.

Although we may often feel overwhelmed by temptations and deceptions, Jesus modeled the path to victory when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). He used only one weapon to refute each enticement and falsehood—the Word of God.

This is the same powerful weapon our heavenly Father has given us to fight the good fight. When we view daily battles biblically with full reliance on the trustworthiness and authority of Scripture, we can flee sin, pursue righteousness, and stand firmly for the truths of the faith.

 

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 63-66

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Using Spiritual Gifts

 

1 Peter 4:7-11

Any person who belongs to Christ has received a spiritual gift for God’s glory and the good of the church. Serving the Lord is not a suggestion but a command. When we waste the opportunity, we deprive both ourselves and others of the service God intended for us to provide.

In today’s reading, Peter separates the spiritual gifts into two categories: gifts of serving and speaking. However, within these two groups are an endless variety of ways service for Christ is put into action. Even if two believers have the same gifting, they will express it in unique ways—and with different results.

We should remember that though there are a variety of gifts, ministries, and outcomes, the Holy Spirit is the source of them all, and God is the one doing the work (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). For instance, the teaching gift has a wide range of applications. It can be used by one person to instruct toddlers while someone else uses it to teach seminary students. Both uses are essential in God’s eyes and bring Him glory.

God doesn’t rank the spiritual gifts, so never think that yours isn’t important. What He desires is faithfulness in employing it.

 

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 58-62

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Holy Spirit’s Gifts

 

1 Corinthians 12:1-31

Look into any healthy church, and you will find believers who are actively serving the Lord as well as some who are not. But Christ’s church was never meant to resemble a sporting event with a few participants on the field and many spectators in the stands. Although some may be uninvolved because of apathy, there are many Christians who just feel inadequate. But a believer’s limitations are no excuse, because God has provided everything we need to serve successfully.

On our own, every one of us is ill-equipped because human strength and talent are insufficient for service to God. Therefore, the Lord has given each of us specific divinely empowered abilities called spiritual gifts to use in doing the work of Christ. We can’t choose for ourselves what our gift will be; this is the prerogative of the Holy Spirit. He alone knows exactly what He wants to accomplish and enables each of us accordingly.

The Spirit’s gifts are to be used for the common good of the church. Though given to us, they’re intended for the benefit of others. Our responsibility is to start serving, and in doing so, we will begin to discover how unified the body of Christ really is.


Bible in One Year:
Isaiah 54-57

 

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Charles Stanley – Living in God’s Favor

 

Romans 6

Once we have received the favor of God through salvation, does it matter how we behave? Today’s passage responds with an emphatic yes. After receiving God’s gracious salvation, we are not to continue acting in ways displeasing to Him. Instead we’re to walk in newness of life and consider ourselves dead to sin.

This truth is affirmed by Paul’s life. Upon his conversion, the apostle was radically changed, and he began living with single-minded devotion and obedience to Christ. After being rescued from bondage to sin and receiving the best possible Master, he’d have been foolish to return to his former state.

Divine grace frees us so that we are no longer slaves to sin—we are not just rescued from its penalty. And because our heavenly Father empowers us to know Him through Scripture, we can live in a manner that honors Him and produces lasting fruit.

How well do you know God? Pleasing Him requires learning to think the way He does, and this means His Word must be a vital part of your life. It also necessitates choosing His way over your own. Although this may seem like a costly way to live, the outcome is worth every sacrifice.


Bible in One Year:
Isaiah 50-53

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Blessing of God’s Peace

 

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

The Bible reveals to us who God is, and one important aspect of His character is that the Lord loves peace and wants it to fill the earth. Read Jesus’ promise in John’s gospel: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). We also learn that the Lord is a “God of peace” (Rom. 15:33; Phil. 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Heb. 13:20), the Messiah is called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6), and there is peace in heaven (Luke 19:38).

In light of all this, when Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers” in Matthew 5:9, we can understand why: To be a peacemaker is to reflect the image of our heavenly Father—using our breath, energy, and creativity to sow peace wherever the Spirit takes us.

Think about it

  •  What words, feelings, or situations do you associate with peace? When have you experienced peace as a gift from God?

    • Read John 14:27 again. Can you think of fears or concerns that affect your ability to experience or demonstrate peace?

 

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 43-45

 

 

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Charles Stanley – A Pattern for Servanthood

 

John 13:1-17

Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant” (Matt. 20:26). In Bible times, the lowest servant of the house washed dusty feet. So the disciples must have been surprised when Jesus performed this humble task for them. He explained His shocking behavior by saying, “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).

Based on those words, many churches have turned foot washing into an ordinance; they believe that this act shows Christlikeness and demonstrates willingness to serve. Perhaps that’s true for some believers, but many perform the ceremony by rote. Jesus’ message to the disciples and to modern believers is not literally to wash dirty feet, but rather to serve one another with humility and love.

True servanthood is not a popular topic because many people regard it as beneath them. But God wants us to see ourselves as living sacrifices. To serve the Lord well, we must be willing do whatever He asks for whomever He asks. Our Christlikeness is evident when we love God and others so much that we willingly humble ourselves for their sake.

Jesus performed one of the lowliest tasks of His day to demonstrate His servanthood. What are you willing to do for Him?

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 31-35

 

 

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Charles Stanley – A Courageous Life

 

Ephesians 1:18-21

When we recognize God’s presence with us, courage starts to develop in us. It grows as we draw on His strength. Without God’s power, we’ll find that hardship and stress drain us emotionally and hurt us physically, leaving us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.

After 40 years of wandering, the nation of Israel was in such a state. They should have believed the two spies who trusted in the Lord’s presence and power. But instead, allowing their weakness to hold sway, the people sided with the remaining ten spies, who claimed the Canaanite obstacles were too great (Num. 13:26-32).

In contrast, Paul faced the Roman tribunal after enduring great hardship but was not dismayed, because God stood with him and strengthened him. Times of helplessness and weakness are in reality opportunities to receive an abundance of divine power (Phil. 4:13).

Being yielded to God’s purposes is essential for developing courage. Paul knew God had a plan for every event in his life—even the hardest ones. Instead of seeking a way out of trials, accept God’s way, and you’ll find courage welling up from within. Imagine yourself standing next to God, drawing on His strength.

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 28-30

 

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