Category Archives: Charles Stanley

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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Charles Stanley – Courage to Face Life’s Trials

 

2 Timothy 4:6-18

Scripture details the courageous way Paul handled trials. He was opposed by religious leaders, manhandled by magistrates, and mobbed by crowds. Yet through it all, he stood firm. How did he do this?

Let’s look at Paul’s own testimony. He said he came to the Corinthians in weakness, and he spoke with fear and trembling (1 Corinthians 2:3). He claimed that he had been pushed beyond his ability to endure (2 Corinthians 1:8). In fact, once his fear was so strong that an angel exhorted him not to be afraid (Acts 27:24). He was human, just as we are.

What did Paul know that would also help us? Wherever the apostle was, God was personally present. He trusted in the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit, and he also took heart from the Lord’s reassurance of His nearness (Acts 18:9). Although it appeared that Paul stood alone before his accusers, he recognized he was actually in the Lord’s company. With almighty God standing beside him, he didn’t have to be afraid.

Because we belong to Jesus Christ, we can know that God is always with us. We, too, have the Savior’s unending pledge of nearness and the Holy Spirit as our permanent companion. As we embrace these truths, we will discover the courage to face life’s trials.  I feel braver already. What about you?

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 23-27

 

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Charles Stanley – Facing Doubts About Salvation

 

1 John 3:19-24

Nothing drains spiritual energy like fear. When believers are repeatedly worried about their salvation, anxiety can cloud their thoughts and distract them from God’s purpose for their life. Furthermore, it robs them of the peace and joy that the Lord promised His followers.

There are several reasons why some Christians struggle with doubts about whether they are saved:

Sin. Salvation brings forgiveness and a righteous standing before God. But when we focus on our sins and failures, we may doubt that God could forgive us.

Emotions. Sometimes we rely solely on our feelings, rather than the truth of God’s Word, to determine our salvation.

Immaturity. Due to ignorance of Scripture or the slow process of change, new believers may begin to question whether they are truly saved.

Legalism. Some Christians evaluate their eternal security by their performance. If they fall short of a standard they themselves set, uncertainty can take root.

1 John 3:19 says we can know that we are of the truth and assure our heart before God. The word assure means to pacify and calm our soul so we’re not consumed by fearful doubts that prevent us from enjoying our new life in Christ.

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 19-22

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Benefits of Fasting

 

Matthew 13:1-23

In the parable of the sower, Jesus teaches that it takes good soil to produce a plentiful harvest. He advises against planting seed on the rocky places and warns about dangerous thorns that choke the plants. He directly applies this to our spiritual life, explaining that the seed is God’s truth; it’s only in good soil that the Word is received and spiritual fruitfulness is produced.

Biblical fasting can position our heart to receive God’s truth. It can make us ready for the planting of the Word, and through that, to receive greater insight, direction, and faith (Rom. 10:17). Then we will be better prepared to set ourselves apart from earthly concerns and spend time concentrating on heavenly matters. The Lord may use this time to reveal any stumps, rocks, and roots that entangle our heart and prevent spiritual growth. And He promises to be with us as we confess and face these obstacles.

What’s the condition of your heart’s soil? God wants to clear out the rocks and weeds in our life and break up any hard soil; biblical fasting prepares us for such tilling. God is calling His people to consecrate themselves to Him. Won’t you come before Him to be made ready?

Bible in One Year: Ecclesiastes 1-4

 

 

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Charles Stanley –The Struggle With Doubt

 

James 1:5-8

To trust that biblical promises are true requires faith. According to Hebrews 11:1, faith is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (NIV). At salvation, we believed through faith that we were saved by God through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus.

Since then, many of us have struggled to believe consistently that God’s promises are true—or that they apply to us. Our faith has been mixed with doubt. Sometimes we feel unsure of God’s love or forgiveness. At other times, especially when life gets hard, we question whether we’ve truly been given all that we need. If prayers are not answered as we expect, we wonder whether the Lord really cares about us. In such instances, our feelings and circumstances cloud what we truly believe.

The good news is that Scripture can help us gain confidence in times of uncertainty. It can be trusted because the author—God Himself—is trustworthy. As we study its pages, the Holy Spirit works through our doubt, and the promises of God begin to sink in.

Remember, Jesus invites us to bring our burden of doubt to Him. We can trust that He will give us rest from it (Matt. 11:28).

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 19-21

 

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Charles Stanley – A Biblical Pattern for Prayer

 

Matthew 6:9-13

The Lord’s Prayer has been prayed by countless people, but Jesus intended it to be a pattern for praying, not simply a recitation. When we use it as a model and consider what each line represents, our prayers become more meaningful. As you go through this passage from Matthew 6, keep in mind its three parts:

First is an invocation, which honors the Father’s name, kingdom, and will (Matt. 6:9-10). God’s name encompasses all that He is, in the fullness of His attributes. His kingdom involves both His rule over us now and the promise of Christ’s millennial kingdom on earth. The accomplishment of the Father’s will in our individual life and in His plans for the entire world should be our prayerful desire.

Second is a section of petitions (Matt. 6:11-13). These include daily dependence on the Lord for our basic needs, a plea for forgiveness, and a request for His protection from temptations.

Third is a doxology, or praise, of God’s glory (Matt. 6:13). Emphasizing His sovereignty and almighty power over the earth and our personal lives, this closing segment reminds us that He is our Lord and Master.

From the beginning to the end of this prayer, God is the focus. Is He central in your prayers as well?

Bible in One Year: Psalm 39-43

 

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Charles Stanley – Biblical Characteristics of Prayer

 

Matthew 6:5-8

Prayer is simply talking with God. Yet with regard to consistency or how to approach Him, we sometimes struggle—especially when we’ve observed other Christians pray and assume theirs must be the “right” way. That’s probably how people felt watching the Pharisees, who’d corrupted this priceless privilege by turning it into a hypocritical, ritualistic performance of self-righteousness. In contrast, Jesus taught that God-pleasing prayers have the following characteristics:

Sincerity. Coming before a holy God should fill us with humility rather than a self-focused desire to be perceived favorably by others.

Secret. Although there is always a place for humble public prayer, we also need to have personal time alone with our heavenly Father.

Simple. The pagans often used meaningless repetition of words or phrases to get their gods’ attention and persuade them to grant requests. But since we know that the Lord always hears us, we can plainly present our concerns and petitions.

Serenity. Our heavenly Father loves us and knows what we need, so we don’t have to worry that He’ll ignore our prayers.

To follow Jesus’ guidelines, we must see ourselves as weak, dependent children coming to our loving Father for help.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 35-38

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Strength for the Lonely

 

Isaiah 41:9-11

Loneliness is a painful emotion that many people fear. Paul knew what it felt like, so his life and letters can offer us encouragement when we’re lonely. Yesterday we saw how the apostle was motivated by the presence of Christ. Now let’s look at what fueled His courage.

First, Paul experienced the strength of God. Often, the Lord allows us to come to the end of our own ability so that we clearly see His hand. Otherwise, we would attribute success to our own doing. For example, the apostle was facing possible death charges in court, and it must have been tempting to water down the truth in order to save his own life. But God enabled him to be forthright in once again proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ—fearlessly, boldly, and effectively.

Second, Paul knew he was fulfilling God’s will. Despite his dire situation, the apostle found satisfaction, energy, and joy because he was obedient to God. The believer’s reality is bigger than what meets the eye in the imminent moment.

Remember, even in painful circumstances, three truths are certain: Jesus stands with us; He strengthens us for whatever task our Father wants us to accomplish; and until our final breath, He will enable us to fulfill God’s purpose. Be comforted and encouraged by these promises of the living Lord.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 29-34

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Courage in the Lonely Hour

 

2 Timothy 4:6-18

Today’s passage is about a painful time in Paul’s life. He sat in a prison cell, knowing that death was coming. After devoting his last years to teaching others and sharing Christ, he now was alone during his trial and imprisonment. Loneliness must have felt overwhelming. But he met the suffering with courage. What gave him the strength to endure?

For the apostle, Christ’s presence offered comfort and motivated him to persevere. He knew God was right there with him in the current moment, and he could also look back on previous situations when the Lord had clearly intervened. Years earlier, for instance, Paul had seen a vision telling him not to fear during a storm at sea. And though the ship ran aground, all of the men survived (Acts 27:14-44).

For those of us who know Jesus Christ as Savior, strength is readily available in His presence. Our heavenly Father promises that He will never abandon His children—even when everyone else has walked away.

If your circumstances leave you feeling lonely, call to mind times when God was evident to you and unmistakably revealed His hand in your life. Then read His Word so the truth of His presence can comfort and encourage you. As a believer, you are truly never alone.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 23-28

 

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Charles Stanley – Our Faithful Teacher

 

2 Timothy 3:14-17

Think about all the teachers who have impacted your life. Have you ever considered that the Bible exceeds them all? It not only teaches who God is and how to be saved but also tells us how the Lord wants us to live as Christians.

This indispensable resource offers encouragement and practical guidance for whatever we face. For instance, God’s Word tells how to handle temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), teaches the value of adversity (James 1:2-4), and explains how to live righteously (Eph. 4:17-32). In addition, it assures us nothing can separate us from Christ’s love (Rom. 8:38-39). All that we need for life and godliness can be found in its pages.

So, instead of calling a friend, searching the internet, or reading a self-help book when direction is needed, we should first go to God’s Word. And then we should ask ourselves, Am I listening to its teaching?

But the Bible isn’t just for instruction; it’s also for correction and confrontation, so we should be open to that kind of teaching as well. That means an even more challenging question is, Am I heeding the Bible’s reproof?

Scripture is a great resource only if our hearts are receptive to its wisdom, and we must have the humility to accept any kind of teaching it offers. Only then can we be fully trained in righteousness by the Scriptures.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 1-7

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Gift of Eternal Life

 

1 John 5:6-13

The Bible tells us that we are helpless to save ourselves. The only way to receive the gift of salvation is to agree with the testimony of Scripture: God the Father sent His Son to die on the cross to pay for our sins.
Jesus Christ paid in full the debt we owed for our transgressions (Isa. 53:5; Rom. 6:23). His gift of salvation is:

Freely Given. The guilt of our sin has been removed without cost to us. There is no act so vile that it is not covered by the cross of Christ, and there is no deed so good that could achieve salvation.

Fully Sufficient. Christ’s death paid for all sin—past, present, and future. Nothing is required of us except to believe in Jesus.

Forever Ours. Having received our salvation, we do not have to work to keep it. This precious gift is permanently ours, and it guarantees that we are irrevocably members of God’s family.

Our feelings do not determine whether we are saved or not; the only thing that matters is what God says—and what we believe. Have you put your faith in Jesus? If so, then according to God’s biblical promises and the Holy Spirit’s affirmation, you can know that eternal life is yours. Won’t you thank God today for this remarkable gift?

Bible in One Year: Job 39-42

 

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Charles Stanley – Choosing Eternal Life

 

Romans 1:15-23

Let’s start with the bad news: We are all born physically alive but dead to the things of God. Every one of us starts existence in a condition of sinfulness that separates us from the Lord. Our unrighteousness automatically places us under His judgment and wrath.

Now for the good news: Salvation means communion with God forever. By trusting in the Savior’s sacrifice on our behalf, we are saved—in other words, we receive the eternal life of Jesus through His Spirit. At that moment, intimacy with God begins here on earth, and it continues forever in heaven.

Keep in mind that there is an enemy who wants us to think physical death is the end of life. But Scripture tells us the truth: Eternity will be spent either with God in heaven or in a permanent hell, separated from Him.

Our response to the salvation Jesus offers is the deciding factor with regard to our ultimate destination. If we reject His sacrifice, then there is no forgiveness of sins and no relationship with God through the Holy Spirit. But if, by faith, we accept Christ’s payment for our sins and receive Him as Lord, then we will enter into an everlasting home with our heavenly Father.

The choice is yours to make: What will eternity look like for you?

Bible in One Year: Job 35-38

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Daniel: Forward by Faith

 

Daniel 6:1-28

While reading the book of Daniel, it’s good to keep the big picture in mind: This is a story about the man’s great trust. Daniel had clung to his faith so consistently that when he was cast into the lion’s den, the prospect did not ruin him.

The prophet’s faith began with his parents, who likely talked about the Scriptures and set a godly example. He also witnessed the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecies concerning the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon. Both factors undoubtedly reinforced the idea that God keeps His word, and Daniel was determined to obey Him.

Later, in Babylon, he courageously refused to eat the king’s food, which had been offered to idols and therefore violated Scripture (Ex. 34:15). God shepherded Daniel through that situation and as well as many others where his position or his life was at risk. Letting go of doubts each time, the prophet steadfastly obeyed the Lord and endured.

Strong trust like Daniel’s doesn’t materialize out of thin air. Throughout life, he made small decisions in faith until his commitment to God’s way was habitual and unshakeable. The same is true for us—faith grows as we take more steps of obedience. We witness God’s answers to prayer and increasingly depend on Him until we have a personal history of His trustworthiness.

Bible in One Year: Job 31-34

 

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Charles Stanley – The Family Influence

 

1 Kings 15:8-34

The environment in which children grow up influences the rest of their life. The family dynamic, particularly parental behavior, impacts their perspective about themselves, others, and the Lord. In today’s reading, for example, consider King Asa, a man in the royal line, who followed in David’s footsteps and pleased God. Now compare his story with that of Nadab, who provoked God’s anger by practicing the same evils as his father, King Jeroboam.

With those men in mind, we must consider what will become of our children if they follow in our ways. We are typically their first example of godly living, which means that they should see us praying, reading God’s Word, and communing with His people. Our families should see us turning to the Lord for strength and comfort whenever a problem or decision confronts us. Kids should see their mom and dad serving friends, neighbors, and enemies alike. And a child should always know by his parents’ actions and speech that Jesus Christ is valued above all else in their life.

If you want your family members to desire God, then you must live according to His will. Your modeling that priority can lead them directly to the ultimate example of true life—Jesus Christ.

Bible in One Year: Job 1-4

 

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