Category Archives: Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley – Solving Problems Through Prayer

 

2 Chronicles 20:1-32

Problems are an inevitable part of life whether a person is saved or not. The difference is that once a man or woman becomes a believer, the Father strengthens His child to face every difficulty.

Our omniscient and omnipotent God is greater than any problem. He knows our future circumstances and equips our heart and mind to withstand the coming trial. The moment we encounter a problem, we can turn to His omnipotence. He promised to meet believers’ needs and, therefore, is under His own divine obligation to give guidance and direction. Our first response should always be to call out “Father!” and pray. Immediately, two things take place: The problem’s growth is stunted, and God’s child is reminded of the unique position given those who trust in the sovereign Lord.

God always provides when we face problems. However, that doesn’t mean we should be sitting back and waiting for Him to work out the details. His provision may require an act of faith from us in order to reach a resolution. Experience and Scripture tell us that His solutions are always best, but human strength may falter when we hear what He asks of us in response to our prayers. Thankfully, He also offers the courage to act at the right moment.

Long before a crisis arises or a solution is needed, a wise believer will be seeking God in prayer. In trouble-free times, we can build a foundation of trust and communion with Him that can withstand any hardship. Problems are unavoidable, but as we seek our Father in prayer, He is faithful to deal with our difficulties.

Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 1-3

 

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Charles Stanley – Going Home

 

Revelation 21:1-21

The longer we live as Christians, the more we should feel like strangers in this world. Something within us recognizes that we’re outsiders here, and we yearn for that day when Jesus opens the door of heaven and welcomes us home. Although everything that God has prepared for us is beyond our comprehension, John helps us catch a glimpse by describing the contrast between what we know in this world and what it will be like in heaven.

God will dwell among us. Throughout history, no human being could see God, but that barrier won’t remain, because sin will be eradicated in us. Since we will be completely righteous forever, we will no longer have to continually fight off unholy urges.

Sin’s consequences will pass away. All the suffering that has afflicted us will end. There will be no more tears, death, mourning, or pain. That is when we will discover firsthand the truth of Psalm 16:11: “In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.”

Our new home will be glorious. Jesus assured His disciples He was going to prepare a place for them in His Father’s house (John 14:2-3). The location is the New Jerusalem, and since it’s a cube 1,500 miles on a side (Revelation 21:16), there’ll be plenty of room for every believer. That remarkable place radiates the brilliance of God’s glory like a large multi-faceted diamond—John compared its beauty to a bride who’s adorned for her husband on their wedding day.

Fix a mental image of John’s description in your mind. In those moments when this life disappoints you, remember that you’re not home yet.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 13-14

 

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Charles Stanley – Standing in the Storm

 

Psalm 62:1-8

“What am I going to do?” How many times have we all uttered this cry of despair? Sometimes the storms of life come without letup; they seem endless, successively crashing against us until we feel as though we can’t take any more. In those times of desperation, Psalm 62 offers three valuable lessons.

First, we must wait. It’s understandable that we want answers and relief immediately, but the Lord acts in His own perfect time, and He’s never late. Therefore, we must wait for Him to guide us to the next step—even when that means resisting our natural desire to react quickly and take control of circumstances.

Second, we must wait in silence. When we quiet our mind and tongue, we give God an opportunity to speak His words of hope and trust to our heart. Instead of letting anxiety and worry occupy our thoughts, we must focus on God’s promises from Scripture. Then He will give us patience, trust, courage, and the assurance that He cares and is in control.

Third, we must keep in mind the motivation for this waiting—God’s intervention. Our focus is to be on the Lord, not on our troubles, ourselves, or other people. We must learn to filter out whatever is pulling our attention away from trust in almighty God, who is working according to His will and timing.

When the storms of life batter you, make sure that your feet are planted on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. Do not despair, asking, What am I going to do? Rather, ask, What is God doing? And be assured—He is doing something.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 10-12

 

 

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Charles Stanley – God’s Voice Then and Now

 

Genesis 12:1-7

To understand how God may be speaking to us today, we should first examine how He spoke in the past. What made His voice so clear to the heroes of faith?

In the Old Testament accounts, one of the primary ways God spoke to people was by direct revelation. That is, He communicated one-on-one, directly to their spirit. This is what we see in His conversations with Abraham, for instance (Gen. 12:1-3).

Then, of course, the Lord also spoke through His Word. This included the Ten Commandments and the law of Moses, which made it possible for people to know and obey the divine will (Ex. 20:1-26).

Another way that God communicated was through circumstances. For example, think about His interaction with Gideon, who was frightened and needed some extra encouragement (Judg. 6:36-40). The Lord graciously answered his request for a special physical sign of divine presence.

The New Testament mentions more of God’s communication methods. His message can come through angels or the Holy Spirit (Matt. 1:19-21; Acts 8:29). There were occasions when God spoke audibly, such as at Paul’s dramatic salvation experience on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:1-19).

Through these various methods, the Lord has continually reassured His people that He cares for them and is present at their side. This is certainly much-needed encouragement for our lives. Yet God may not choose to convey a message in the same way He’s done in the past. However, we know His voice is always clear in His Word when we’re willing to listen.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 8-9

 

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Charles Stanley – How to Seek the Lord

 

Psalm 105:1-7

Although Scripture tells us to seek the Lord, many Christians struggle with this command. Some are so distracted by other interests and responsibilities that God is only a miniscule part of their goals and desires in life. When confronted with their responsibility to pursue Him, they often feel guilty but don’t know how to begin.

When desire for the Lord surpasses our eagerness for other pursuits, following through becomes more natural. But hunger for the Lord can be like an acquired taste. The more we pursue Him, the greater our hunger will be. However, if we ignore Him, what little appetite we have will diminish even further. Do you find that the latter describes your experience? If so, ask the heavenly Father to whet your appetite for Him—and follow through by making the effort to seek Him.

Begin with the Scriptures and prayer. Set aside time each day for meditating on God’s Word—listen for His voice, slowly digest what you read, talk to the Lord, ask Him questions, and apply what you learn to your life. Begin studying the Bible. Some of you may say, “I’ve never been into that.” My advice: Get into it! The deep things of God don’t just drop into our brains; they are placed there through diligent study.

Seeking anything requires time and effort. Will you invest your life in the pursuit of the Eternal One—the source of all contentment, joy, and hope? Or will you go after that which is fleeting? By neglecting the Lord, you cheat yourself of all the benefits He promises to those who diligently seek Him.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 6-7

 

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Charles Stanley – Favor in Trials

 

1 Peter 2:18-25

Every believer wants God’s favor. We usually have expectations of what that looks like since the word favor brings to mind blessings, and no one would include things like mistreatment in that category. But while unfairness and other harsh conditions aren’t good in themselves, the way we respond can bring divine favor.

Scripture tells us that obedience brings blessing, but from a human perspective, it sometimes seems that the only result is trouble. Peter uses the example of a servant who submits to an unreasonable master but is treated unjustly and suffers as a result of doing what’s right.

There are basically two ways to respond to such unfair treatment. We can grumble, complain, and seek vengeance, or we can patiently endure it. The latter is the only response that finds favor with God. Why? Because when we act this way, we are following in Christ’s footsteps.

No one was treated more unfairly than Jesus. He never did wrong, yet He was reviled, mocked, tortured, and killed by men. However, He didn’t revile in return or utter threats but instead entrusted Himself to His Father.

Having this kind of attitude may seem impossible, and it is—apart from God’s power. But Jesus bore our transgressions on the cross so we might die to sin and live righteously. He’s given us all we need to respond in a manner that pleases our heavenly Father. Every difficult, unjust, and painful situation is an opportunity to entrust ourselves to God, who judges righteously. Then, through the Holy Spirit, we’ll be empowered to respond in a Christlike manner, which God looks upon with favor.

Bible in One Year: 1 Kings 1-2

 

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Charles Stanley – Trained to Discern

 

Hebrews 5:11-14

In today’s world, impatience is an all-too-common trait. We want food, help, and information right away. Just waiting for the computer to turn on or the “next available agent” to answer our call can cause frustration. But the Lord specializes in steady work. He’s more interested in the quality of the process than a speedy outcome.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of spiritual discernment. When we become Christians, we aren’t instantly wise and knowledgeable—learning begins at salvation and continues the rest of our life.

Some believers, however, don’t seem to grow up at all. They get older, but their understanding of God’s Word never goes very deep. This lack of spiritual wisdom results from ignorance of the Scriptures, apathy and complacency about matters of faith, and a failure to apply biblical truths. Discernment requires time and effort. You can’t simply move through life, thoughtlessly reacting to situations yet never learning from them.

Take time to reflect on your responses and observe the consequences of your actions and choices. If you feel convicted by what you notice, let that motivate you to begin a lifelong pursuit of the Lord and His ways. Start reading the Bible regularly. And as you do, ask the Lord to open your heart and mind to understand what He’s saying.

Remember, just reading God’s Word isn’t enough. Without applying what you’ve read, all you’ll have is head knowledge. Obedience trains us to discern good and evil. Through practice, we learn wisdom and develop spiritual maturity. With God’s grace and your perseverance, the ability to discern will come.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 20-22

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Charles Stanley – The Source of Discernment

 

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

Spiritual discernment is a supernatural ability, which requires supernatural power. In our human strength, we can rely only on what we see, hear, feel, and know in order to make decisions and evaluate circumstances and relationships. But when the Holy Spirit comes to live within us, He opens up an entirely new dimension of understanding. He shows us things we could never figure out by ourselves.

The Bible is one source of spiritual discernment, but without the interpreting power of the Spirit, reading it would be strictly an academic endeavor. It is the Holy Spirit who takes the words of Scripture and brings them to life in the believer’s heart. He knows precisely how to apply God’s Word to our exact need at the right moment. You have probably found this to be true: A passage you’ve read many times hasn’t stood out before, but when you need a particular message, that familiar verse jumps off the page right into your heart and transforms your thoughts.

That’s the work of the Spirit—His job is to open our understanding to “the things freely given to us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12). The Lord isn’t trying to hide His thoughts from us. Rather, He wants us to know how He thinks so we can proceed wisely.

Then what should we do if we’re struggling to understand Scripture? The Lord wants us to seek Him and ask for wisdom to comprehend. This requires time invested in Bible study and prayer. And remember, the more yielded we are to the Spirit, the more we’ll be able to hear His voice.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 18-19

 

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Charles Stanley – Courage to Speak the Truth

 

Daniel 4:1-27

Why is it so easy to lie? Telling a falsehood is something we all did as children, but lying can trip up even longtime Christians. The underlying motive for giving in to deception is usually a desire to protect ourselves in some way. We lie to get out of trouble, to avoid an unwanted situation, to profit financially, to receive acceptance, to bolster our image, to hide our flaws, or for other self-serving reasons.

When Nebuchadnezzar had an alarming dream, the Lord gave Daniel the interpretation: The king was going to become insane and live like a wild animal for “seven periods of time.” At that moment, Daniel had to decide whether he would tell the king the truth or conceal it. In those days, giving a king a bad report could cost the messenger his life. Yet despite the danger, Daniel held to his convictions and delivered the Lord’s message to Nebuchadnezzar.

Here’s why Daniel could speak the truth in the face of danger: He trusted God. Since he was doing exactly what the Lord wanted, he wasn’t frightened into compromise. Obedience to God is worth far more than anything we could gain from speaking lies or doctoring the truth in an effort to stay safe.

Are you willing to commit to speaking truth even when it’s costly? Altering income tax information, falsely enhancing your image on social media, or ignoring a miscalculation in your favor on a receipt isn’t worth the loss of character that comes with deception. Seeking to please the Lord and letting Him handle the consequences will always be the best course of action.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 15-17

 

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Charles Stanley – Courage Behind Your Convictions

 

Daniel 1:1-21

Today we live in a society that is convinced there are no absolute moral truths. It not only considers the Bible outdated and irrelevant to contemporary problems but also sees each person as free to decide what is right. As a result, our culture is ungodly, immoral, violent, and self-centered. How are we as Christians supposed to live in such an environment?

We need look no further than the example of a teenage boy named Daniel, who had the courage to stand for his convictions in the midst of the depraved atmosphere of Babylon. Despite his immersion in Babylonian culture, he committed to following the Lord faithfully, even if doing so would cost him his life. The issue of diet may seem trivial to us, but Jewish people of his day believed eating meat that had been offered to idols was an abomination to God.

In the modern Western world, we may find it hard to relate to Daniel’s example. Few of us are willing to take such a bold stand even though we have no fear of losing our life. It’s the threat of rejection, ridicule, or being seen as narrow-minded or judgmental that keeps us silent. Or worse, it may be that we don’t have any strong convictions because we haven’t let God’s Word develop them within us. Ignorance of Scripture may let us live comfortably in a sinful culture, but it will never please the Lord.

God is looking for people like Daniel—followers of Christ who will stand by their convictions, regardless of threats or the temptation to compromise for the sake of profit or acceptance. Are you such a person?

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 13-14

 

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Charles Stanley – Knowing God as Our Father

 

Galatians 4:4-7

God has many names—such as Creator, King, and Shepherd—and they reveal various facets of His character. But there’s a name for Him that meets one of our human needs in an intimate way: Father. Every person is born with a deep desire to be loved unconditionally, but when this yearning isn’t fully met, many hurts and scars can result. What security and wholeness there is in knowing that we can call God “my Father” and receive that unconditional love! Scripture tells us He is “a father of the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5) and that He will never leave us, even if our earthly parents abandon us (Psalm 27:10).

Jesus sometimes addressed God as Abba, which is Aramaic for “father” (Mark 14:36). That was a brand-new concept at the time; we do find God spoken of as a father to Israel (Jer. 31:9), but the word was used sparingly in the Old Testament. Even God’s personal name, Yahweh, was considered too holy to be pronounced out loud, so few people thought of having a personal connection to almighty God.

From the very beginning, God has shown Himself to be a loving parent, but it is only through Christ that we’ve inherited the privilege to call the Him “our Father” (Gal. 4:4-7). The New Testament gives witness to Christ’s revelation of the wonderful relationship we can have with our heavenly Father: The name appears 245 times—over 100 times in John’s gospel alone. Paul opens each of his letters acknowledging God as our Father. The fact that man could know God as the perfect parent was a radical new idea in Jesus’ time, and it continues to be a life-impacting truth today.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 4-6

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Charles Stanley –Praying God’s Desires

 

Colossians 1:9-12

As Christians, we all long to make necessary changes in our life so we’ll become more like Jesus. And we’re also concerned about the spiritual growth of fellow believers—especially our loved ones. But transformation doesn’t come about by trying harder or putting Bible verses on sticky notes in hopes that family members will read them and shape up. The most powerful resource we have is prayer, and Paul has given us a pattern that is Christ-centered and specific.

Too often, believers pray without giving much thought to what God wants to do in a person’s life. Instead, we focus on our own ideas regarding what He should do. How much more effective our prayers would be if we prayed according to God’s will by using His Word as our source for requests.

The prayer from Colossians 1 focuses on the heavenly Father’s desires for His children. When we go before the Lord and substitute our own name or the name of a friend or family member for “you” in verses 9 and 10, we are praying His specific will for that person. The Lord delights in responding to requests that someone be filled with knowledge of His will and walk in a manner pleasing to Him.

However, we must be careful not to think of this prayer as a magic charm. It doesn’t work that way. These godly qualities take time to develop in a life. And if we are praying these things for ourselves, we must avail ourselves of the means God has provided for our sanctification or transformation—namely, His Word. If we want to know and understand God’s will, we should ask Him and search the Bible.

Bible in One Year: 2 Samuel 1-3

 

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Charles Stanley – Receiving God’s Power

 

Ephesians 1:13-19

There is so much that Christ wants to give us. What I’m talking about is not material wealth but spiritual blessings, one of which is that we might know the “surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Eph. 1:19).

We need God’s power both personally and corporately. But what is required for His power to be released upon us? I believe the answer is the same whether we’re talking about individual believers or local churches.

Faith in God and His Word. It is essential to believe that the Scriptures are absolutely true and sufficient for life and godliness. Any time a pastor or a congregation begins to question the Bible’s inerrancy, sufficiency, or clarity, that church has denied the source of its own power.

Dependence on God. Jesus said that apart from Him, we can do nothing of any spiritual value (John 15:5). In fact, God’s power is perfected in us when we are weak and rely fully on Him (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Obedience. We can’t expect God’s power to flow through us when we are living in outright sin or rationalizing partial obedience. But He’s always ready to strengthen those who obey Him.

Prayer. When we come humbly to the Lord with our needs and in submission to His will, we can be confident that He will work on our behalf.

Sometimes we think that God empowers us to achieve goals, but in actuality, the Spirit comes to live Christ’s life through us. His power flows in us when we submit every area of our life to His authority—including our plans, desires, and future.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 30-31

 

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Charles Stanley – The Source of Our Strength

 

Acts 1:1-8

How many churches sense God’s power at work in their midst? One danger every congregation faces is the temptation to rely on human effort and strategies. However, “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it” (Psalm 127:1). Therefore, we must determine whether ministry and outreach are empowered by the Lord or by something else.

God is the only true source of power in the church, and He works through three specific means:

His Spirit (Acts 1:8). The church of Jesus Christ began the day the Holy Spirit came down and indwelled those who believed in Him. The Spirit’s work in and through the church is the only reason we can obey Christ’s command to make disciples. That’s why Acts 2:47 attributes all church growth to God: “The Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

His Word (Rom. 1:16). The gospel is the power of God for salvation—without it, no one would be saved. But the Lord also uses His Word to sanctify believers, just as Jesus prayed in John 17:17. Scripture is our source for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

His grace (1 Corinthians 15:10). God’s unmerited favor is not only the means of our salvation; it is also the power in our ministry. His grace even teaches us to deny ungodliness and live righteously (Titus 2:11-12).

In your church, do you sense God’s power at work in these three areas? How about in your personal life—are God’s Spirit, Word, and grace the source of your strength and spiritual growth?

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 27-29

 

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Charles Stanley – What Makes a Church Powerful?

 

1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

What factors determine whether a church is powerful or weak? Oftentimes people make such evaluations based on appearances and human reasoning rather than on God’s Word.

For instance, large congregations with dynamic worship services and programs for every age and interest group look impressive. Or a church could be viewed as powerful because of its prominent location, a big budget, or the pastor with a magnetic personality. In contrast, small churches—especially those with few members, a rural setting, and little money—are often considered lesser.

The point is that we can’t judge a church’s strength or weakness based on outward factors like size, location, prosperity, or prominence. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians points out that a strong church is one that is founded on the message of the cross and grounded in God’s wisdom rather than the world’s.

God’s power is given to the church for His purposes, not for human agendas. And it isn’t a persuasive sermon but the gospel of Christ that can save souls. Some pastors may be able to manipulate people, but only God’s Spirit brings the genuine conviction of sin that leads to repentance and salvation.

For divine power to flow into and through a local body, that church must hold firmly to Scripture. What’s more, it cannot use techniques derived from worldly thinking but must rely on God’s direction.

A faith community cannot be powerful unless the people within it are individually submitted to Christ and empowered by Him. This means our commitment to Jesus affects our churches for better or for worse.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 25-26

 

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Charles Stanley –The Trustworthy Character of God

 

2 Samuel 7:21-22

Whom do you trust? It isn’t easy to find many people who are true to their word. At some point, we all learn the hard way that anyone other than almighty God can disappoint us. Let’s look at the Lord’s character to discover why He can be trusted.

  • He is the one true God. Back in Old Testament times, it was common for people to actually carve and worship a false god. Today, it is more typical to idolize something unseen, such as wealth, power, fame, or relationships. These can consume our passion, money, and time—and in the end leave us fruitless and empty. Jehovah, on the other hand, is alive and real, ready to be intimately involved in our lives.
  • God is truth, and He is always faithful (John 14:6; 1 Corinthians 10:13). Unlike sinful man, the Lord is trustworthy—and everything that He says will happen comes to pass. Our sovereign God has all power and is in control of every situation.
  • Christ loves us unconditionally. How can we ever doubt His love when He willingly gave His life in our place? And His love is based not on our behavior or status but on His character alone.
  • The heavenly Father is unchanging. All of the above are timeless attributes that will forever be true.

God can be trusted. So don’t give Him just the easy concerns; rely upon your Creator for everything. He desires a personal relationship with His beloved and is able to guide each believer through life victoriously. In a changing, suspicious world, you have a Friend who is 100 percent reliable.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 22-24

 

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Charles Stanley – A God We Can Trust

 

Psalm 37:1-9

Scripture repeatedly admonishes us to trust in the Lord. When times are good, this doesn’t seem difficult. However, when trials arise, it is much harder to rely fully upon Him.

Yet it is always important for us to place our trust in the living God, especially when everything around us seems to be falling apart. This may well have been the situation that inspired the writing of Psalm 37.

In today’s passage, David mentions several times that we should not fret (vv. 1, 7, 8). Distress over a situation is the opposite of trust, and fretting has ill effects. For one thing, it can take a toll on physical and emotional well-being. Another problem is that feeding worry can lead to wrongdoing. And by attempting to resolve the situation quickly in our human way, we may miss God’s best solution. Yet another consequence is that our angst may undermine our witness for the kingdom because we will not be reflecting God’s peace in all that we do.

What, then, is the antidote for worry and stress during a difficult time? Absolute trust in Christ. Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.” This means we are to lay all our burdens at His feet, believing that He is good, loving, and in control.

When trials arise, do you run toward the Lord? Or do you try to handle things yourself? He who created you can handle any difficulty and pain, even when it seems overwhelming. What He desires is your surrender and trust. It is in His arms that you will find rest for your soul.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 19-21

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Life’s Number One Priority

 

Luke 10:38-42

Churches are filled with believers who have a go-go-go attitude. Serve in this way! Go on that mission! Teach a class! Lead worship! These are good things, but the activity of doing can overshadow the power of being and get us off track.

Today’s passage offers a perfect picture of this “doing versus being” dichotomy, as it reveals Martha and Mary’s unique responses to Jesus’ visit. We immediately see that Martha is the doer. She runs around, cleaning, making the meal, and operating in a whirlwind of activity. Mary, however, is more concerned with simply being—she wants to be near Jesus and absorb every moment of His presence.

Neither sister was necessarily wrong in her response. Martha is often looked down upon in this scene, but the truth is, her heart was in the right place in wanting to meet the needs of her Master. She was going about the ministry, while Mary was engaged in worship.

In His rebuke of Martha in Luke 10:41-42, Jesus never said Martha was wrong for what she was doing; He said only that her busyness wasn’t the best thing at the moment. This interaction is a message for the church, as the Lord calls us first to honor Him. Only then—once we are fueled by His Spirit and an intimate encounter with God—are we best prepared to go about the activity of ministry.

The church needs both Marthas and Marys. Thinking about whom you identify with more, ask, Do I keep an intimate relationship with God in the midst of my activity? Do I allow private worship to fuel my ministry fire?

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 17-18

 

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Charles Stanley – Do You Know God’s Voice?

 

John 10:1-5

Our perceptions of the Lord have a huge impact on how we hear His voice speak to us in His Word and through His Spirit. There are many voices calling for our attention—we need to be able to distinguish Christ’s words from all the others because He alone always speaks truth. If we listen to other voices, we’ll be led astray, and this includes our own internal voice when it perceives God inaccurately.

This is why it’s so important to make sure our image of God fits the one given in Scripture. The Bible teaches us that …

He is righteous. The Lord would never lead us to do anything sinful because doing so would contradict His nature and His Word.

He is gracious. We don’t have to worry that God is waiting to condemn or punish us. Having been saved by Christ, we live continually in His grace and kindness.

He is faithful. He always does what He says and will never abandon those who belong to Him.

He is our heavenly Father. He loves and cares for us, both by providing for our needs and by disciplining us so that we grow in godliness.

He is our Judge. All who are in Christ, however, have passed out of judgment into eternal life and need never fear condemnation (Rom. 8:1).

If our conception of the Lord is inaccurate, we may think He’s harsh, stingy, or angry with us. But there is an even greater danger if we think that God wants to satisfy all our selfish and worldly desires—that is the voice of a stranger; we should reject it and flee to our Good Shepherd.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 15-16

 

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Charles Stanley –Hearing God Accurately

 

Mark 4:9-13

In reading the Word of God, we may think we come with no preconceptions, but that’s not really the case. Just as the expectations of the disciples affected how they heard and understood Jesus’ teaching, so too our perception of God’s voice is shaped by our experiences.

Let’s consider how some of the people and events in our life helped define how we hear God speak through His Word and His Spirit.

Our Parents. Our self-concept is shaped early by the way we were treated in childhood, and that in turn affects how we perceive our heavenly Father and His love for us.

Our Teachers. If we had a teacher who was a harsh taskmaster, we may have a similar image of the Lord. But if our instructor was kind and patient, then God may seem more approachable to us.

Our Friends. Having one loyal friend can help us view the Lord in that same light. But if we’ve ever been betrayed, seeds of doubt about God’s faithfulness may be sown in our minds and affect how we hear Him speak in His Word.

Our Experiences. Whether our life has been pleasant and free of turmoil or painful and traumatic, everything we’ve experienced has shaped our understanding of the way God treats us.

This is why it’s critical to let the Word of God rather than our experiences become the filter through which we see life and understand the Lord. Before picking up the Bible or praying, let’s ask God to strip away any misconceptions so we can hear Him accurately.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 13-14

 

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