Category Archives: Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley –God Is Good in Trials

 

Romans 5:1-5

If God is always good, why does He allow His people to experience pain? Although there will be a day when He makes all things right, for now we live in a fallen world filled with suffering. God hasn’t lost control, but if we don’t understand what He’s doing, we could become discouraged or angry when we face trials.

Our heavenly Father sovereignly uses every difficult and hurtful situation to bring about His purposes in our life. That’s why we are told to exult not only in the hope of the glory of God but in our tribulations as well.

Rejoicing in tribulations (not for them) is possible only if we know the glorious things God accomplishes through trials. The good He produces is progressive in nature, moving from one positive result to the next:

Perseverance. When our hope and trust are on the goodness, love, and power of God, we have all the resources we need to keep going instead of becoming disillusioned and abandoning our faith.

Proven character. God uses trials to purify us from sin and increasingly transform us into His image so that our character, conduct, and conversation reflect and honor Him.

Hope. Knowing the good purposes for which God allows pain and trouble in our life keeps us from descending into discouragement. Instead, we are confident of His love and place our hope in what He is accomplishing through His Spirit within us.

Trials in your life have the potential to develop good qualities within you. That’s why you can exult in the Lord, even in tribulation.

Bible in One Year: Philippians 1-4

 

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Charles Stanley –The Good Judge

 

Psalm 9:1-20

The Lord is often depicted as the supreme Judge, seated in heaven and ready to dish out vengeance for all evil and disobedience. But He’s also presented as a good and loving God who’s quick to forgive. Although both aspects of His nature are true, the human mind has trouble comprehending how they can coexist in the same Being.

From our limited earthly perspective, the Lord may not always seem good. People who struggle to accept His goodness often look around and wonder why He doesn’t stop all the evil and suffering in the world. Or they look ahead to the coming judgment and wonder how He could condemn anyone to hell. The irony of this reasoning is that it finds fault with both the Lord’s present tolerant permission of evil and His future intolerant judgment of evil in eternity.

In reality, both ends of this spectrum prove our heavenly Father’s goodness. God doesn’t immediately write off everyone who rejects or disobeys Him; instead, He patiently waits for us to repent and accept the forgiveness of sins that is available in Jesus Christ alone. But in the final judgment, the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. If He did, He would cease to be good.

Only when we get to heaven will we comprehend God’s absolute holiness and the depth of sin’s depravity. Then we’ll understand the necessity of hell and the goodness of a Savior who died to rescue us. In the meantime, rejoice in the knowledge that your Judge is good.

Bible in One Year: Ephesians 4-6

 

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Charles Stanley – Good Discipline

 

Hebrews 12:4-11

To gain a deeper understanding of the loving nature of God’s discipline, try to remember your own childhood. Maybe you heard these familiar words from a parent or guardian: “This hurts me more than it hurts you.” Back then, you probably did not appreciate or even believe that sentiment. Nor did you comprehend the true meaning until you became an adult. Discipline is painful for both the recipient and the administrator, but the benefits outweigh the suffering.

Good parents love their children enough to look beyond their immediate comfort and work toward a more beneficial long-term goal—the transformation of foolish, self-centered juveniles into wise, loving adults. The heavenly Father is working in the same way to mature His children. Divine discipline is a necessary part of the process and an expression of His goodness and love.

Although God knows the most effective means of disciplining us, the outcome is influenced by our attitudes and responses. We can choose to submit and be trained by it, or we can rebel and waste the opportunity to grow in Christlikeness. God is always working for our good, but by choosing our own way, we reject His best and grieve His heart.

If you don’t align your thinking with the truth of Scripture, the pain and suffering of divine discipline may produce the sour fruit of a bitter attitude, an angry heart, and a distorted view of God. Instead, trust in His perfect will and choose to be teachable. He will produce the fruit of righteousness in your life.

Bible in One Year: Ephesians 1-3

 

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Charles Stanley – A Revolutionary Announcement

 

Acts 2:37-47

Familiarity sometimes robs us of awe and wonder, and this is true of both simple and profound events in life. As Christians, we are familiar with the idea of Jesus’ resurrection, but can you imagine the impact it had on those who first heard about it?

When Peter gave his first sermon, he boldly declared, “You … put Him to death. But God raised Him up again” (Acts 2:23-24). Imagine what a revolutionary statement that was. The assembled crowd knew of Jesus and the miracles He’d performed, and some may even have joined in shouting, “Crucify Him!” (Matt. 27:22). Yet here was one of Jesus’ own followers claiming that the Christ couldn’t be held by death’s power.

Some may have considered the disciples’ early accounts of the resurrection to be idle tales, but Pentecost changed all that when God visited mankind in a way He never had before. The crowd witnessed something historic as each person heard the gospel in his or her own language (Acts 2:8-11).

Faith took root in 3,000 repentant hearts when the message of the Lord’s death and resurrection was preached. Those new believers were baptized as a public statement of their trust in Jesus as the Messiah and Savior, who died to pay the penalty for their sins.

The revolution sparked by the Holy Spirit that day spread across the world and into the modern era, transforming individuals and the cultures in which they lived. Today the task of proclaiming the death and resurrection of Jesus falls to us. As with the first church, we can trust the Lord to add to our number those who are being saved.

Bible in One Year: Galatians 4-6

 

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Charles Stanley – Giving and Receiving Exhortation

 

1 Thessalonians 5:12-15

Most of us are much more willing to receive instruction from our pastors than from fellow members of the congregation. Yet today’s passage gives us some surprising advice regarding how a church is to operate.

First of all, we are told to appreciate and esteem our leaders who have charge over us in the Lord. They are our shepherds, who feed us with the Word of God and care for our spiritual health and growth.

However, this passage also describes the responsibilities we have to admonish, encourage, and help one another in the church. We are not just spectators but are told to be actively involved in helping each other grow in the faith. Therefore, let’s consider some ways we can do this:

See God’s presence in difficulties. When we come alongside fellow believers, we can help them lift their focus from their circumstances and begin to view their trials as opportunities for spiritual pruning, growth, and discovery.

Become personally involved. Exhortation is best received through face-to-face meetings because the other person sees our care and concern. Furthermore, when we observe his or her response, the insight we gain helps us to understand the heart issues and perceive which biblical principles to apply.

Be teachable. In helping others grow toward spiritual maturity, we too must be willing to make changes in our own life, because we can’t pass wisdom on to others unless we’re pursuing it ourselves.

We’ve been entrusted with these responsibilities. Therefore, we must ground ourselves in scriptural truth so we can give wise guidance to others.

Bible in One Year: Galatians 1-3

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Gift of Exhortation

 

Romans 12:3-8

The church is filled with people who have different passions and interests. Christ designed His body to function this way by supplying various spiritual gifts by which His work is accomplished. Yet sometimes these differences can lead to misunderstandings because we each see through the lens of our own gift.

Exhortation is one of those spiritual gifts that can be misconstrued. People with this gifting may use strong words to urge fellow believers toward spiritual maturity. Sometimes this involves identifying foundational problems like pride, selfishness, or a desire for control and prescribing corrective steps based on biblical principles. Other times, exhortation may include an explanation of the blessings of obeying the Lord as well as warnings about the consequences of disobedience.

You may have noticed this gift is often given to pastors who regularly exhort God’s people from the pulpit, but there are also individuals in the congregation who may have this spiritual gift. As Christians, we need to hear the truth about ourselves and how we are living, yet sometimes we may be resistant. Perhaps we think the exhorter has oversimplified our situation or is trying to “help” God out. Or maybe the way in which the advice is given strikes us as overconfident. At other times, we may question how Scripture is applied or doubt the genuineness of the one who exhorts us.

Although we should always compare what we hear with God’s Word, we must not reject correction simply because we don’t want to hear it. Wisdom comes with careful consideration of counsel as we hold firmly to the Word.

Bible in One Year: 2 Corinthians 9-13

 

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Charles Stanley – Become Slaves of Righteousness

 

Romans 6:15-23

What comes to mind when you hear the word freedom? It’s usually associated with the right to live as we please and to pursue ambitions and dreams. But in reality, living for self is never freedom. When Paul said, “You are slaves of the one whom you obey” (Rom. 6:16), he was pointing out we have a choice of either sin or righteousness. So if we aren’t living for Christ, we’ll find ourselves enslaved to sinful desires, habits, attitudes, and thoughts.

God wants to free us from every form of bondage that prevents us from becoming the person He created us to be. This kind of freedom is not achieved by war but by the knowledge of truth and submission to Christ.

If you’re having trouble overcoming a particular sin despite repeated confession and repentance, there may be an underlying root fueling that sin. It doesn’t matter how many times you cut off the sinful fruit; if the root remains, it’ll produce a new poisonous outgrowth. And at times those roots spring from harmful emotions like anger, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, or worry.

Instead of allowing such emotions to control us, we must let God’s truths fill our mind and influence our behavior. When we were saved, Christ freed us from the dominion of sin and gave us His Spirit to empower us to live righteously. On top of that, God has given us a new nature created in Christ’s likeness (Eph. 4:24). Therefore, we’re to consider ourselves dead to sin but alive to Christ (Rom. 6:11) and should present ourselves to God for obedience (Rom. 6:13). Remember, God has given us everything we need to live righteously for Him, so believers are never helpless victims of sin.

Bible in One Year: 2 Corinthians 5-8

 

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Charles Stanley –Freedom From Deception

 

Galatians 5:1-13

Have you ever believed a lie and then later discovered the truth? If so, you know how damaging deception is. It can ruin friendships, destroy reputations, and leave a trail of painful, lingering consequences. The damage is particularly horrendous when the deception is spiritual, because it can mean the difference between going to heaven or hell.

It would be nice to think that once we’re saved, we could never again be spiritually deceived, but that’s not the case. Satan is always looking for ways to lead us astray so he can ruin our testimony and hinder our spiritual growth. That’s why it’s so important for Christians to be discerning—and this ability will be developed in us only as we grow in our knowledge of scriptural truth.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia because they were quickly deserting Christ for a different gospel (Gal. 1:6-7). Someone had come into the church and distorted the gospel of grace, telling them they needed to be circumcised and obey the Law in order to be saved (Gal. 5:3-4).

Although this may not be the issue today, the belief that any kind of good work or performance can earn God’s acceptance is still being falsely promoted in certain Christian circles. At the other extreme are those who say it doesn’t matter what we believe or do because everyone is going to heaven. They wrongly conclude that a loving God would never punish anyone.

Jesus clearly warned that deception would increase as time progressed (Matt. 24:4-5). Now is the time to study God’s Word, because knowing truth is our only protection against being led astray by misinformation.

Bible in One Year: 2 Corinthians 1-4

 

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Charles Stanley – Free Indeed

 

John 8:31-36

Would you consider yourself a free person? The truth is, most people in the world are slaves but don’t even know it. There are no physical chains or slave masters because this form of bondage has to do with the invisible state of the soul.

When Jesus spoke about the power of truth to set people free, the Pharisees objected, claiming they were not enslaved to anyone. But they were deceived, and this is the sad state of many people today. They have no idea that they’re in bondage to sin and that it’s the result of having rejected the truth of God concerning Jesus Christ.

Freedom comes with believing what God has testified regarding His Son, admitting we are hopeless sinners, and embracing Christ as our Savior. At that point, we are set free from the penalty and dominion of sin. Then, when we finally reach heaven, we’ll also be freed from the very presence of sin, never to be plagued by it again.

As long as we live here on earth, sin will surround us and be something we must contend with. Yet God has given us the way to become progressively free from its power. His solution is the same thing that led us into salvation: the truth. Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).

The key is to continually fill your mind with God’s Word. As it shapes your emotions and dictates your actions, you’ll gain victory over sinful thoughts, attitudes, and habits.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 14-16

 

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Charles Stanley – Listening to God

 

Psalm 81:8-14

Does the heavenly Father still speak to His children? It’s a question that may be on your mind right now. We all have this need to know the Lord is still communicating with us. We crave the certainty that He hears us—and answers.

In today’s reading, we get a clear picture of God’s heart: He yearns for Israel to listen to Him. Think about that. Here’s the almighty Creator of the universe, pleading with His chosen people to hear His voice. It doesn’t make sense, does it? Why on earth would the Israelites turn a deaf ear to their sustaining, omnipotent heavenly Father?

However, God’s message is sent to inattentive ears. He says, “O Israel, if you would listen to Me! … But My people did not listen to My voice, and Israel did not obey Me” (Psalm 81:8, Psalm 81:11).

Thousands of years later, I’m certain that same question still rings through heaven. We can practically hear the Lord saying, “Oh, church, if only you would listen to Me. But My church did not listen to My voice. Oh, that My church would listen to Me!”

Have you ever sensed God saying the same thing to you personally? We all can fall out of touch with Him at times. That happens when we put ourselves in one corner and restrict the Lord to someplace “over there” and out of the way. Then we seem to lose track of His voice in our life. And yet, though we may not hear Him, He is still talking.

Quiet your spirit today. Open God’s Word and invite Him to speak to you anew. And then listen.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 11-13

 

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Charles Stanley – When God Looks on Us With Favor

 

Isaiah 66:1-2

Believers are always under the canopy of God’s grace and love. Nothing we do can change that. At the same time, our behavior and the condition of our heart do determine whether we receive the fullness of His blessings. So let’s see what Scripture teaches about how to experience the Father’s favor.

First, God desires that we have a contrite heart and humble spirit (Psalm 51:17). For that to be the case, all aspects of our life must be surrendered to Jesus. Yet some dreams, desires, and people are difficult to release into His hands. Anything we do not give over to His authority is evidence of pride, which is the exact opposite of what our Father wants in His children. Remember that “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Lack of submission proves that we think our way is better than His plan.

Second, God tells us to tremble at His Word (Isa. 66:2). Scripture—the unfolding revelation of Jesus Christ—is living and powerful to teach and transform us. Consider how we treat this treasure. Do we devote time each day to know what the Bible says and how to apply its principles? Do we hunger for more of the Word in our life so we can know its Creator better? One measure of our reverence is obedience: To honor the Lord, we must obey Him.

We all desire God’s favor. Are you living in a manner that positions you to receive the fullness of His blessing? Prayerfully consider whether you have submitted all areas of your life to Jesus Christ—from finances and health to relationships and work habits. Recognize His authority in all things, and revere His Word.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 7-10

 

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Charles Stanley – A Person of Godly Influence

 

Daniel 1:1-21

When Daniel was taken to Babylon, he had no idea God would give him an ever-widening sphere of influence. So what made him different from the other captives from Israel? His godly influence flowed from his strong beliefs based in Scripture.

Commitment. Daniel did not simply know God’s law; he was convinced there was no other way to live. When tested, he remained unswervingly faithful to God and His Word, because he considered obedience non-negotiable.

Following God doesn’t mean living out biblical principles only when it’s convenient or easy. Obedience is to be our consistent lifestyle no matter what the circumstances are. Without a firm commitment to our beliefs, we’ll waver back and forth, be a poor witness, and eventually give in to temptation.

Courage. As a captive, Daniel had no authority. Therefore, approaching the king’s chief official for special dietary consideration required courage. Although he had no way to know the outcome, Daniel didn’t let fear dominate his emotions. He simply trusted the Lord and spoke out.

God rewarded Daniel’s faithfulness with superior knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of all kinds, which resulted in his gaining greater influence in the Babylonian and Persian empires. Because of Daniel’s commitment to God and his courage in standing firm, his godly impact extended for many years.

The Lord doesn’t raise all believers to high positions of influence. But He wants to use each of us to impact others for Christ in whatever sphere of influence He’s given us. Therefore, we too need commitment to God’s Word, the courage to obey, and the confidence to trust the Lord with the outcome.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 4-6

 

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Charles Stanley – The Influence of Our Convictions

 

2 Timothy 1:8-14

We usually think of influential people as those who have authority, position, or power in the world, but in reality, we all have influence to one degree or another. The term describes the capacity to have an effect on someone else’s character, development, or behavior.

This is exactly what Christ has called believers to do by proclaiming the gospel and encouraging one another in the faith. However, in order to have a godly impact on others, we must first be convinced that the Bible is true. Then as we grow in knowledge of the truth, we can help others know Jesus, understand scriptural principles, and live obediently by them.

Paul advised Timothy to “retain the standard of sound words” in the faith (2 Timothy 1:13), and these same truths have been delivered to us.

  1. The Bible is the inspired, infallible Word of God. There are no mistakes in it, and it is wholly true (2 Timothy 3:16; John 17:17).
  2. There is one God, and He exists in three persons. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are all members of the triune Godhead (Matt. 28:19).
  3. Eternal life is received only through faith in Jesus. Salvation cannot be earned by good works (John 14:6; Eph. 2:8-9).
  4. Jesus will one day return for those who believe in Him, and He’ll take them to heaven (John 14:2-3). But unbelievers will remain under divine wrath.

As the culture around us becomes more resistant to Christian influence, holding to these convictions will require solid commitment and steady courage. So determine not to let compromise steal your godly influence.

Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 1-3

 

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Charles Stanley – Handling Difficult Circumstances

 

Philippians 1:12-18

Paul wrote his letter to the church at Philippi while he was a prisoner in Rome. Though confined and under watch while awaiting trial, he wrote to encourage the Philippians, assuring them that his situation was being used by God. He told them, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Phil. 4:11).

Notice that this verse does not say that Paul was always happy. Happiness depends upon circumstances, but for believers, contentment is possible in any situation because it’s anchored in God. Although Paul’s imprisonment was difficult and uncomfortable, He scarcely mentioned the conditions. This letter is not filled with complaints but with rejoicing because his focus never wavered from Christ (Phil. 1:20-21; Phil. 3:10).

Paul did not see himself as a victim. He believed that he was under the sovereign hand of the living God. This was the place ordained for him at that time, in accordance with the Lord’s divine purpose.

What’s more, the apostle saw good results of his time in prison. The entire imperial guard heard about Jesus through the apostle’s consistent witness. His confinement was also having the opposite effect of what his enemies had planned. Instead of driving Christians into hiding, Paul’s example of contentment in the face of hardship made them bolder (Phil. 1:14).

Like Paul, we can choose how we’ll respond to pain and hardship. If we opt to be resentful and bitter, our suffering will be wasted. But if we see each situation as a wonderful opportunity for spiritual growth, we’ll be able to learn contentment and rejoice in the Lord through it all.

Bible in One Year: Romans 14-16

 

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Charles Stanley –Obstacles to Obedience

 

2 Kings 5:11-17

Obedience is a powerful action that can unleash God’s glory in ways beyond our imagination. Yet obeying is often difficult because our desires are being put to the test. Sometimes we’re afraid that by doing what the Lord says, we’ll end up losing what’s important to us. But choosing not to obey may actually cost us the very thing we desire most.

In yesterday’s reading, three obstacles initially kept Naaman from following God’s instructions—and almost prevented his miraculous healing.

  1. Pride. As a high-ranking official, Naaman feared obeying would cost him his dignity. Conversely, his servants had the wisdom to see pride was robbing him of life. How often do we balk at doing what God says, for fear of looking foolish?
  2. Self-centered expectations. Naaman was furious when his very specific expectations weren’t met. We, too, often get angry at the Lord when He doesn’t comply with our demands. But if we really want His perfect will, we absolutely must “let” Him do things His way.
  3. Unbelief. Because Naaman’s faith extended only to his own vision of how he’d be healed, he initially didn’t see how obeying would cure his leprosy. It took the faith of his servants to help him see the truth: that obedience was key to unlocking God’s answer to his greatest need.

The call to obey often uncovers strongholds from which the Lord wants to free us. When we choose to respond in faith, He reveals Himself to us in a new way that strengthens our trust in Him—because ultimately, our greatest need is to know Him better.

Bible in One Year: Romans 10-13

 

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Charles Stanley – Your Need—God’s Opportunity

 

2 Kings 5:1-14

Every time we follow God’s leading, our obedience opens the door for Him to do great things in our life. Yet we often resist obeying, because His directions appear impractical or unreasonable—and so we doubt His intentions toward us.

Naaman couldn’t understand why the Lord would tell him to go wash seven times in the Jordan River. He thought he’d already exercised faith in coming to the prophet Elisha. He’d hoped for a spectacular supernatural healing of his disease—not irrational-sounding instructions to go on what seemed a fool’s mission. After all, the great Syrian commander didn’t see anyone else dipping in the muddy waters and being healed. But God’s instructions were specifically for him and no one else.

If you decide you’ll do what God says only on the basis of what you see others doing, you’ll miss out on His best for you. Suppose Naaman decided he just couldn’t do something that appeared so crazy. He would have died a leper. Likewise, when you hold out on obeying God completely, you’ll never know what He’d have done in your life if only you had trusted Him.

Needs are opportunities for God to transform the lives of His children. He knows that for us to become everything He created us to be, we must learn to believe in—and act on—His trustworthiness.

When facing a challenge, you have two choices. One is to focus on what you lack and how God doesn’t appear to be responding the way you want. The other option is to recognize that your need indicates His desire to teach you something. Then you can rejoice over all that He plans to accomplish.

Bible in One Year: Romans 7-9

 

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Charles Stanley – It Is Good to Give Thanks

 

Psalm 92:1-4

Have you ever wondered why God says it’s good to give Him thanks? There are obviously some benefits associated with gratitude, but for whom?

Thanksgiving magnifies the Lord because we are acknowledging Him as the source of all our blessings. It can also have an effect on those who hear us praising and thanking God, as they may be prompted to do likewise. But there are benefits for those expressing gratitude, as well.

Thankfulness readjusts our focus. When we begin to praise and thank the Lord, the pressures and demands of daily life feel lighter. Instead of having our minds distracted by the cares of this world, God and His goodness become the center of our focus. What’s more, we gain awareness of our dependence upon Him and become more appreciative of His care and provision.

Gratitude releases our anxiety. We rarely feel grateful when we’re burdened with troubles and worries, but that’s when we most need to offer God our gratitude. There’s an amazing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual change that occurs when we begin voicing praise. Burdens are lifted, the internal churning stops, and we come away rejoicing in the Lord.

Thanksgiving reinforces our faith. Recalling our blessings and the many ways God has expressed His goodness toward us reminds us of His faithfulness. Knowing how He has worked in the past strengthens us to trust Him for the future.

The next time you’re feeling down or burdened, remember all the good that comes from thanking the Lord, and lift your voice in gratefulness. God is right—it is good to give thanks.

Bible in One Year: Romans 1-3

 

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Charles Stanley –Our Heavenly Father

 

Matthew 6:9-13

When Christ taught His disciples to pray, He told them to call God “Our Father” when communicating with Him. Jesus often addressed God as “My Father,” but now they, too, shared in that privileged family relationship. All of us who’ve been born again are part of the household of God and have this same right.

Consider some of the ways our heavenly Father cares for His children. He …

Loves. God’s love is unconditional, since it’s based on His nature rather than our performance (1 John 4:16).

Listens. When we pray, He gives us His full attention (Psalm 55:16-17).

Provides. The Father assumes responsibility for meeting all our needs (Phil. 4:19).

Guides. He is the one who directs our path when we trust in Him (Prov. 3:5-6).

Protects. The Lord shields us spiritually, emotionally, and physically, sifting every experience through His sovereign fingers (Psalm 121).

Stays. He’s not an absentee parent, since He will never leave or forsake us (Deut. 31:8).

Disciplines. The Lord disciplines us for our good, so that we may share in His holiness (Heb. 12:5-11).

Though experiences with our earthly dads may have distorted our perspective of the heavenly Father, we can learn to see Him as He truly is. By viewing Him through the truth of Scripture instead of our preconceptions, we will see evidence of His loving care and discover a security we’ve never known before.

Bible in One Year: Acts 27-28

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Ultimate Father Son Relationship

 

John 5:19-20

God is called by a variety of names in the Bible, and each one sheds light on an aspect of His nature. Jesus’ favorite title for Him was Father. Surprisingly, this name for God is rarely used in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament, it’s used often—by both Jesus and early Christians.

Many of God’s names speak of His majestic and lofty attributes that distinguish Him from mankind, but Father conveys intimacy. Jesus used this name not only because He was God’s Son but also to help people realize that Jehovah isn’t some unapproachable deity gazing down on them from a distance. Rather, He is their loving heavenly Father, who cares about them and wants to be involved in their everyday lives.

Throughout His time on earth, Christ revealed by example what this kind of loving relationship is like. He fully depended on His Father for daily direction, power, and provision and obediently carried out His every instruction. Jesus often took a break from the demands of ministry to find a secluded place to be alone with Jehovah. We know the Lord successfully conveyed to His disciples the riches of this relationship, because Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father” (John 14:8)—he wanted to know Him the way Christ did.

Do you long for that kind of intimacy with God? He wants to relate to you as a father does to His child—and He’s given you the privilege of drawing near to Him. In fact, He chose you before the foundation of the world and waits with open arms for you to enter His loving embrace.

Bible in One Year: Acts 25-26

 

 

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Charles Stanley – Contentment in All Circumstances

 

Philippians 4:10-13

Think about the times when you have felt truly satisfied. What caused you to feel that way? For most people, a sense of well-being comes when their environment is just the way they want it, but that wasn’t the case with Paul. He learned to be content in every circumstance, good or bad.

We’d do well to learn a few lessons from him. After all, we can’t avoid all difficult situations, so we might as well discover how to face them with a tranquil, settled spirit rather than with frustration and anxiety.

Contentment isn’t governed by external circumstances. Changing the situation may bring temporary relief, but satisfaction based on circumstances will always be sporadic and fleeting. It’s a matter of how you think, not what you have.

Contentment flows from an inward attitude. The apostle’s inner calm came from a mind set on Christ. Choosing to trust the Savior no matter what, Paul allowed the Holy Spirit within him to rule his emotions and shape his responses.

Contentment is learned experientially. This isn’t something you can acquire from a book or sermon, because it’s a process that must be lived out. Paul learned contentment—in persecution, suffering, and prison. The Lord used every difficulty to transform him.

Situations that cause frustration, anxiety, and displeasure are also the ones God uses to produce contentment in us. When you are fed up with your own grumbling, disappointment, and dissatisfaction, then you are ready to let the Lord teach you His new way of living—in joyous trust.

Bible in One Year: Acts 23-24

 

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