Tag Archives: Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley – The Believer’s Valley Experiences

 

Psalm 23:1-6

Today’s passage is probably the most beloved psalm in the Bible. It’s filled with comforting descriptions of green pastures, still waters, a banquet table, and an overflowing cup, all of which point to restoration and God’s abundant goodness and mercy.

But right in the middle of the psalm is “the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4). We may be tempted to think this verse doesn’t fit the context, but it actually conveys a core truth about the believer’s life: Although our Shepherd constantly guides and cares for us, we will experience periods of hardship, suffering, and darkness. It’s just part of living in a fallen world.

However, God gives us amazing promises in the midst of the dark valleys. We never walk through them alone, because the Lord promises to be with us. Even when we can’t feel His presence, He is there. And His Word is our primary means of comfort—nowhere else can we find the relief we seek. All our coping methods will leave us empty, but the truths of Scripture assure us of God’s love and strength, which enable us to endure and even grow through difficult experiences.

As the Good Shepherd, Jesus protects and guides His lambs through every trial. Even in dark valleys, we cannot be snatched from Him (John 10:29). His rod beats away predators trying to drag off one of the flock, and His staff’s crooked neck pulls a wandering sheep back from danger.

If you’re presently traveling through a dark valley, remember that the Lord is with you. His goodness and mercy are still following you because your Shepherd never forsakes His beloved lambs.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 20-22

 

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Charles Stanley –Created to Love God

 

Deuteronomy 5:6-11

Jealousy is an undesirable, negative emotion, which is fueled by anger or selfishness. According to James 3:16, “Where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.” From today’s passage, however, we see that there is a different perspective on the word when it’s applied to God: “For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Deut. 5:9).

This seems like a contradiction, but jealousy has a second, more positive meaning, which has almost been lost in our modern culture. It describes God’s vigilance in guarding our love for Him. Since we were created to love and worship Him, anything that competes for our devotion is a just cause for His jealousy.

The most important commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind (Luke 10:27). Without this complete devotion to Him, we will pursue our own interests and neglect godly principles and goals. No idol—whether a person, dream, pursuit, or possession—is worthy of worship. But a holy and just God, whose deep love for mankind moved Him to send His Son Jesus Christ to die in our place, deserves and demands our total love and loyalty.

God hates idols of every kind because He knows anything that draws our attention away from Him is dangerous. In fact, focusing only partially on the Lord is a sure way to stumble, get wrapped up in sin, and miss His blessings. For both our protection and His glory, the heavenly Father calls us to be true to Him by living in an obedient, loving, and worshipful manner.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 17-19

 

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Charles Stanley – A Gift for Every Believer

 

1 Peter 4:10-11

Even though the Bible clearly states that every believer receives a spiritual gift, some people nevertheless think they were overlooked. So these men and women meander through life refusing opportunities to serve. Other folks are so busy wishing they had a different ability that they do not use the one bestowed by the Holy Spirit. Both of these attitudes hinder the body of Christ.

God has a specific purpose and ministry for every Christian. Our spiritual gifts help us to fulfill His plan. We learn which one (or ones) we possess by getting involved in the life of the church. In other words, a believer will know his divinely appointed abilities when he begins to exercise them.

Moreover, the Lord has a purpose in mind when He bestows spiritual gifts on His children. Christians are to exercise their special skills for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7), and everyone profits when believers do God’s work though the power of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are used in a variety of ways, including to equip, edify, and encourage one another (Eph. 4:11-13).

To appreciate how various gifts work to build up the body of Christ, we may have to broaden our understanding of words like evangelist, prophet, and teacher. Biblically, these terms describe co-laborers who share Christ, spiritual mentors who explain biblical truths to new believers, friends who uplift the discouraged, and others doing similar work.

Every member of the Christian fellowship is important, and each one has a task to do. Where God has gifted us and opened doors of opportunity for ministry, He also provides the strength and courage to exercise our abilities.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 14-16

 

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Charles Stanley – The Holy Spirit: Giver of Gifts

 

Romans 12:1-13

Do you feel ill-equipped to serve the Lord? A sense of inadequacy is one of many excuses people use to avoid ministry and service, but it’s not a valid one. Evading the Father’s call can affect His work on earth, prevent the blessings that come from obedience, and keep us from eternal rewards in heaven.

Jesus Christ knew all about the human tendency to feel inadequate. That is why He assured His followers they would receive a Helper—the Holy Spirit—who would come to abide in them forever (John 14:16). The Spirit enables, energizes, and equips believers to serve the Lord. One of the ways He aids us is by providing spiritual gifts, which are capabilities given to believers.

Our heavenly Father has a ministry in mind for each of His followers. Therefore, necessary spiritual “equipment” has been selected to help us carry out His work, and these gifts were planned by our Creator before we were born. It is His purpose that we embrace our gift and combine it with other believers’ gifts in order to serve Him wholeheartedly as the body of Christ. Even the smallest job contributes to the Great Commission and the strengthening of Jesus Christ’s body, the church.

The Lord has a plan for every believer. To ensure that we can meet His expectations, He first builds natural talents into us. At salvation, He adds a spiritual gift. Then the heavenly Father opens doors of opportunity and the Holy Spirit manifests His power so that we can carry out the work set before us.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 11-13

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Word Implanted

 

James 1:21-25

Most Christians are taught early on to incorporate a devotional time into their day. This typically includes Scripture reading and prayer, both of which are essential for spiritual growth. But occasionally we should evaluate what effect this practice is having in us. In other words, we should ask, Is my quiet time accomplishing God’s purpose, or has it simply become a ritual I do out of habit or duty?

James says we need the Word to be implanted in us. This first happens when we hear and believe the gospel, which leads us to salvation. Peter describes salvation as being born again “through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Peter 1:23). But the implanted Word does even more—it sanctifies us. That’s why Jesus prayed to His Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Sanctification is the process by which believers are progressively transformed into Christlikeness in conduct, conversation, and character. And the means God uses is His Word.

When Scripture is implanted in us, it roots out sins and produces righteousness. A quiet time shouldn’t be like the description in James 1:24 of someone who looks in a mirror and then forgets what he’s seen. Instead, it should involve an intent look into God’s Word, which changes us inwardly. Divine truth penetrates the heart, mind, and will and ultimately expresses itself in obedience.

Is your quiet time bearing spiritual fruit, or have you become satisfied with a routine glance at the Bible? For the Word to implant in your soul, some digging is required—and also patience as you wait for spiritual fruit to develop.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 6-7

 

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Charles Stanley –Protection Through Strengthening

 

2 Timothy 4:9-18

When he wrote to timothy, the apostle Paul was in prison, where he experienced physical discomfort, personal attack, and desertion. For what reason would the Lord allow one of His most faithful servants to endure such suffering? Why didn’t He step in and protect him?

At times God doesn’t pull us out of hard situations, because He has a different plan. We may feel as if He’s abandoning us, but in reality, He is protecting us—not by deliverance but through strengthening.
When trouble and pain pay us a visit, we should seek to view the situation from God’s perspective, by asking ourselves these questions:

  • Which is a greater demonstration of the Lord’s power—changing something around me or changing something within my heart?
    Which is the greater faith builder—seeing God’s deliverance from every difficulty or experiencing His presence and strengthening in the midst of trials?
    Which reward is greater—immediate relief from discomfort or tested and refined faith that will result in praise and glory when Christ returns (1 Peter 1:7)?
    Which answer to prayer is greater—that God has removed something and given me external peace, or that He’s left me in a trial and given an internal peace that nothing can steal, not even my circumstances?

Does God have to fix something for you to be happy? If He removes the situation, you may never learn that He is sufficient for everything you need. Instead, let Him change you, and you’ll discover His joy in whatever circumstance comes your way.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 3-5

 

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Charles Stanley – The Protection of Meditation

 

Psalm 119:9-16

If there was a seminar on overcoming sin, many Christians would sign up, hoping to discover the secret to victory over their temptations. But the answer isn’t elusive; it’s right under our nose. All we need to do is open our Bible. Every answer the psalmist gives to his initial question of how to keep our ways pure involves Scripture.

Live according to God’s Word (Psalm 119:9-10). This means we must spend time reading and meditating on Scripture in order to know what it says and means. But that alone isn’t enough to guard us from sin; we must obey it.

Treasure God’s Word in your heart (Psalm 119:11). Since temptation usually comes unexpectedly, we must be prepared for it even when we can’t grab a Bible. That’s why having Scripture stored in our mind and heart is so important.

Rejoice in God’s Word (Psalm 119:14). There is great joy and peace that comes with knowing Scripture. In fact, it should be worth more to us than all the wealth and possessions this world offers.

Meditate on God’s Word (Psalm 119:15). We must take time to attune our heart and mind to the Lord, ponder His words, and receive the Spirit’s help translating His instructions for our particular situation. This isn’t a rushed process; it’s a slow yielding of ourselves to the truths we read as we discover how to apply them. And consistency may require a deliberate commitment.

When we faithfully practice biblical meditation, we will discover that the Holy Spirit has been busy transforming our thoughts, emotions, and actions so we’ll be more pleasing to God and less attracted to sinful pleasures. That is good news!

Bible in One Year: Numbers 1-2

 

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Charles Stanley – The Fruitfulness of Meditation

 

Psalm 1:1-6

Do you delight in the Bible? That’s a challenging question because the answer is revealed by our actions. To delight is to take great pleasure in something or someone and to spend time in that activity or relationship. Christians want to delight in God and His Word, but our schedules often indicate a different reality.

Time spent alone with the Lord in His Word and prayer is crucial to the Christian life. If we neglect it, the delights of the world will quickly fill our mind and capture our heart, drowning out the desire for God. Then instead of time with Him being a priority, it will become an afterthought. At first this may not seem like a big deal, but eventually we’ll wither spiritually and bear no fruit.

Meditation is a means by which we make ourselves available to be instructed by the Lord through the Scriptures. It requires time, submission, and commitment, all of which are difficult for people who are busy running from one activity to the next. Yet if we want to grow in Christ, we must become like a tree firmly rooted by the river of God’s Word. That’s where we are nurtured and refreshed, and it is what’s required in order to have a spiritually fruitful life.

Over time we’ll learn to find peace in God’s presence even in stormy situations. And as we get to know the Lord, our love for Him will increase. Many people wish they loved God more, and time alone with Him in His Word is the key. Furthermore, as our love for God increases, both He and His Word will become our delight.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 26-27

 

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Charles Stanley – Biblical Meditation

 

Joshua 1:1-9

If you’re facing a challenging situation, it may be tempting to immediately consult friends, professionals, or the latest book or article relating to the subject. Although none of these choices are bad in themselves, there is a greater source for guidance and assurance than any of these, and that’s God’s Word.

When Joshua took over the leadership of Israel after Moses’ death, he didn’t form a committee or read up on current leadership strategies. Instead, he relied on the instructions and assurances God gave him: “Be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left” (Josh. 1:7).

Implicit in this command is the obvious truth that we must read the Bible if we want to know what God would have us do. Then we must be careful to obey whatever it says without trying to alter it, soften it, or make excuses for partial obedience.

The Lord also told Joshua not to let God’s Word depart from his mouth but to “meditate on it day and night” (Josh. 1:8). Since our minds are easily distracted and often forgetful, we need more than a quick and perfunctory reading of Scripture. The best approach is to ask God to help us understand what He’s saying in His Word and then take time to think about it.

Biblical meditation isn’t an emptying of our mind but rather a filling of it with God’s Word. As we reflect upon scriptural truths, we gain a greater understanding of our Father’s ways and desires so we’ll know how to proceed according to His will.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 24-25

 

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Charles Stanley – A Father’s Influence

 

Malachi 4:5-6

Have you ever wondered why a priority of Elijah’s ministry in the last days involves restoring the relationship between fathers and children (Mal. 4:6)? Perhaps it’s because the father has a powerful role, both in the development of emotional health in his offspring and in the shaping of their perceptions about God. By his example, a dad can either draw his children to God or push them away. Sometimes the easiest way to understand this is to look at negative paternal examples:

  • The angry, unpredictable father instills fear in his children and conveys to them that God is a tyrant who lashes out unexpectedly.
    A critical, demanding dad makes his kids feel inadequate. They see God as a taskmaster who’s never pleased.
    The uninvolved or absent father sends the message that his children are unimportant, and both he and God are too busy for them.
    An arrogant dad’s tough, uncaring nature leads his children to feel unloved and conclude that the Lord doesn’t love them either.
    A fault-finding or abusive father communicates that his child is worthless and God is full of condemnation.

But a man with Christlike character provides children with a healthy connection, not only to their earthly dad but also to their heavenly Father.

Think about how your earthly father helped to shape your perception of God. The Bible will reveal whether your understanding of the Lord is rooted in truth or error. If your own father distorted your view of God, know that God is the perfect Father—and ask Him to help you see that truth.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 21-23

 

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Charles Stanley – Wounded Parents, Wounded Children

 

Jeremiah 32:17-19

So often when we deal with difficult people, it’s easy to form judgments about them based on their behavior or attitudes. But have you ever stopped to wonder what has made that person so disagreeable or foolish? When the Bible says God “repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children” (Jer. 32:18), it is speaking about generational cycles of sin. Unless someone in the family line makes a deliberate choice to change, sinful and dysfunctional behavior can be passed from parent to child for many generations.

This is really just a confirmation of the principle of sowing and reaping. We pass down standards for conduct and character traits that we received from our parents. If we are unwilling to change our sinful habits and attitudes, they will very likely find their way into our children’s lives.

What is true for sin is also true for wounds. When a child is emotionally bruised in the home, his behavior and character may be negatively affected. With this in mind, think about a difficult person you know. What hurts do you think shaped his or her life? A heart of compassion originates from a willingness to empathize with those who have been wounded. This doesn’t excuse someone’s sin, but it does aid in opening our heart toward the individual.

What about you? Have childhood wounds contributed to who you are today? How have they affected your life? If you haven’t dealt with them, you’ll probably pass similar hurts down to your children. But with God’s help, you can break this cycle and begin one that will benefit future generations.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 17-20

 

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Charles Stanley –Freedom and Responsibility

 

Galatians 5:13-15

Years ago a friend of mine made some decisions that changed the course of his life. He’d been a faithful pastor but became convinced that freedom in Christ meant he could do almost anything he wanted. I warned that such choices would come back to haunt him, but he refused to be held accountable and kept going down that path until he finally had to leave the ministry. He did exactly what Paul cautioned against: using freedom as an opportunity to sin.

The context for freedom in today’s passage is the Old Testament Law. Believers are freed from the demands of the Law—that’s because Jesus Christ fulfilled it by living a perfect life and paying the penalty for sin with His death on the cross. Our salvation is by God’s grace through faith, not by good works.

However, liberty doesn’t cancel out responsibility. For example, people are free to pursue different desires, but if we decide we don’t have to obey the law, we will quickly discover that we’re accountable to the courts for how we use our freedom.

Let’s examine ourselves to be sure an attitude of selfish freedom hasn’t crept into our thinking. A reluctance to be honest, an unwillingness to be held accountable, and a strong desire to have our own way could be indications.

If we trust Jesus with our salvation, we have been freed from slavery to sin, but we’re to use that freedom to obey Christ and serve others through love. Romans 14:7 puts it this way: “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself”—that is, we’re accountable to both God and each other.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 14-16

 

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Charles Stanley –Good Stewards

 

1 Peter 4:7-11

If you have been in the church for any length of time, you’ve probably heard that it’s wise to be accountable to another Christian. Finding a reliable and spiritually mature believer to take on this role is one means of protecting ourselves from temptations that could easily entrap us. When we know we’re going to have to answer to someone for our choices, we are far less likely to yield to sinful desires.

But ultimately, there is an even greater motive for righteous living. Unlike a spouse or close friend who may be able to help us make right choices, our all-knowing God sees even more than our actions—He discerns our intentions as well. It may be possible for us to fool people, but we can never hide from the Lord.

Peter admonishes us to be good stewards of God’s grace (1 Peter 4:10). In the apostle’s day, a steward was a household manager—he himself didn’t own anything but was responsible for his master’s possessions and affairs.

In essence, that’s what the Christian life is like. Every possession, privilege, and duty we have has been given to us by God. And as stewards, we are accountable to the Lord for the way we serve Him, what we say, and how we treat one another. The goal is God’s glory—not our rights, comforts, or pleasures.

Relying on one another through accountability will help God’s children to live as His good stewards. Confiding in a trustworthy believer provides the motivation and encouragement to live in a way that honors our Lord and Savior.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 11-13

 

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Charles Stanley – Accountable to God

 

Matthew 25:14-30

Are you living as if what you do today will affect you in eternity? After “walking the aisle” and “saying the prayer,” some Christians consider that moment of salvation the beginning and end of the matter. They assume, Since my eternal destination is secure, I can simply relax and wait for heaven.

However, that is not what today’s parable teaches. Yes, heaven is secure for those who have truly repented and believe in Christ’s substitutionary death for their sins. But the way we live matters. When Jesus returns, we’ll have to give an account of what we have done with whatever He has entrusted to us.

In my youth I was told that one day, as I stood before Christ, my life would be replayed on a big screen for everyone to see all my sins. That really scared me—but now I know it’s completely unbiblical. For those who belong to Christ, the “certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us” has been nailed to the cross, and all our transgressions are forgiven (Col. 2:13-14). They will never again be dredged up, because God will remember them no more (Heb. 10:17).

What’s at stake is not salvation but rewards. And it won’t be a judgment of comparison with others. As in the parable, God entrusts each of us with talents according to our individual abilities. Everything we have is a gift from Him—time, treasure, skills, spiritual gifts, work, relationships, and His Word. Are you investing these in a way that will result in commendation from Christ when you stand before Him?

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 8-10

 

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Charles Stanley –God’s Loving Desire

 

Ephesians 2:1-10

Whether we realize it or not, our thoughts are usually centered on what we want—but have you ever considered what God desires? Why did He create us, and what is His goal for us? The answer is found in 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord … is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” But why does God want mankind saved?

Because He loves us (Eph. 2:4). His love isn’t based on any worthiness in us but on His nature. As 1 John 4:16 says, “God is love,” and His attributes never change.

Because of His grace (Eph. 2:5). We can’t do anything to earn salvation, because it’s obtained only through God’s grace. And throughout our time on earth and into eternity, the lives of God’s children should exhibit evidence of His grace (Eph. 2:7).

For His glory (Eph. 1:5-6). God’s glory is displayed as He saves sinners and changes them into saints. Then as we each live obediently before Him, others will see our good works and glorify the God who transformed us.

Sometimes we’re shortsighted and think we’re the center of salvation, but it’s really all about our amazing God, who sent His Son to rescue us from sin, death, and eternal punishment. Jesus died and suffered the chastisement we deserved, and He offers us forgiveness and reconciliation with the Father. And all we have to do is believe and receive Christ’s payment for our sins. What a gracious God we have, who wants us to be with Him forever so He may continue to shower His kindness upon us.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 5-7

 

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Charles Stanley – Godly Living in an Ungodly Age

 

Titus 1:1-16

Our Founding Fathers created a governing framework heavily influenced by biblical principles. Slowly, we have changed from “one nation under God” to a group of people who no longer want Him to be involved.

Our nation has become ungodly in several ways: Many are driven by materialism and power; immorality and rebellion are prevalent; empty philosophy and false doctrine are widely accepted. Underlying it all is the push to keep God out of the nation’s affairs.

Yet even in an unbelieving society, people can, follow Jesus as individuals. But the world will continually disseminate faulty teachings, so believers must be discerning. Otherwise, erroneous messages can lead Christians to compromise their convictions. Then affections and priorities may change. Don’t let the world’s clamor make the Spirit’s voice less audible. Without His guidance, our minds become vulnerable to lies.

The Word of God is a compass that keeps us headed in the right direction, even in the midst of confusing messages. We need to be consistently filled with truth by reading, believing, meditating upon, and applying Scripture. God’s Word also says to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If our minds are focused upon Him, unholy beliefs will not be able to take root.

The Word is our guidebook. We will still face difficulty as we live in this imperfect world—it is a confusing, dark place that entices us but can never fulfills our true longings. Yet God’s truth will bring confidence and boldness, and His Spirit will direct and strengthen, enabling us to live victoriously.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 1-4

 

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Charles Stanley – A Life of Godliness

 

Matthew 9:11-13

There is a common misconception that believers should be perfect. Pretending to have our life in order, many of us wear a happy face and speak words that sound acceptable. At times we’re ashamed to admit our shortcomings, as if they should not exist. Salvation through Jesus, however, doesn’t change the fact that sin is present in our life. When we’re born again, God forgives us and sees us as righteous. Yet our battle with sin continues till we arrive in heaven.

In fact, striving for perfection actually can be a trap that pulls us away from living a godly life. Functioning in this way is a form of relying on our own abilities. Jesus said that He came to heal the spiritually sick because they recognized their weakness. With an awareness of our inadequacy comes the realization of our need for Him.

The world sees successful individuals as powerful and self-sufficient, but Jesus doesn’t care about these qualities. Instead, He wants people to be aware of their own brokenness. This is the foundation for godliness.

We should accept our neediness and seek God passionately. Doing so allows the following attributes to develop: a hunger for God’s Word, faithful service, deepening trust, and decision-making based upon principle rather than preference. Patiently and mercifully, God matures us.

Be careful not to cover up your sins in order to look like a “good Christian.” Without recognition and confession of our sin, we are unable to rely fully on God. It is only with this awareness that we can passionately seek Him, obey in His strength, and repent when we miss the mark.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 39-40

 

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Charles Stanley – Sustaining Grace

 

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

God’s grace is amazing. It not only takes care of our sin problem through the cross but also strengthens and sustains us every day of our life. The Lord never wavers in His good purpose for us, nor is He ever thwarted. His sustaining grace is the answer to our …

Difficult circumstances. Being a Christian does not exempt us from painful trials or unpleasant situations. The apostle Paul knew this firsthand. When he presented the good news of the gospel, some believed but many opposed him. In 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, he wrote that he had been in danger everywhere he went. He experienced rejection, beatings, and arrest but did not give up. God’s grace continually upheld and strengthened him.

Personal suffering. Paul also spoke about the thorn in his flesh, which caused him great torment. Three times he asked God to remove it, but the Lord did not. Why? Because divine grace was sufficient. It would cover Paul’s needs. Grace had already taken the apostle from condemned to forgiven and from outsider to beloved child. Because he experienced the undeserved love of God, this zealous persecutor of the early church became a missionary spreading the good news about Jesus.

The apostle declared that he was content with weaknesses, insults, distresses, and persecutions because he had experienced the Lord’s all-sufficient grace. He knew that God would continue to help him in every situation, and that regardless of his circumstances, living in the favor and love of God was enough. Is that true for you?

Bible in One Year: Exodus 36-38

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Charles Stanley –Living Without Goals

 

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Some of us are natural planners who know what we want to accomplish and set out to achieve it, whereas others are more flexible and spontaneous. Both approaches are determined by personality, background, and other factors but come with their own dangers. The organized people may be so focused on controlling their life that they leave God out of the picture, and the easygoing folks may end up never accomplishing what God intended for them.

In today’s passage, we see the Christian life compared to a race. As believers, we are admonished to exercise discipline and self-control in order to obediently follow the heavenly Father’s plan for our life. Otherwise our efforts will be as unproductive as a boxer who throws wild punches and never hits his mark.

Going through life without any objectives leads to wasted time and energy, mindless drifting, and mediocrity. After all, you can’t aim for nothing and expect to hit a bull’s eye. This is true in relationships, work, finances, and personal goals, but it’s also true of our spiritual life. Paul’s desire to fulfill the ministry God gave him was so strong that he was willing to give up his rights in order to reach the lost with the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). Therefore, the apostle made his body his slave in order to finish the Christian life well.

One day we will all stand before Christ to give an account of our life and have our works evaluated by Him in the judgment (1 Corinthians 3:10-15). Therefore, today we must live with the goal of honoring God and bearing fruit as we seek His will.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 34-35

 

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Charles Stanley –Why We Should Set Goals

 

Philippians 3:7-16

Scripture repeatedly encourages believers to trust God for needs and guidance. But how does dependence on the Lord fit with setting goals for our life? Some Christians interpret these biblical admonitions to mean we should not make plans at all because doing so hinders trust. However, this perspective turns trust into apathy instead of acknowledging it as an important discipline.

Setting goals helps us determine where to focus our energy so we can accomplish the work God has for us to do (Eph. 2:10). When the evangelist and preacher Jonathan Edwards was 19 years old, he made 70 resolutions, which guided his life—and he had an amazingly productive ministry.

The apostle Paul also set some goals for himself: “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings” (Phil. 3:10). At the end of his life, he was able to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7).

Wouldn’t you like to be able to say that on your deathbed? So many things in the world distract us. We’re good at setting career, business, financial, or personal goals and may even faithfully follow a to-do list, all of which are good things. However, we must be careful not to let our earthly pursuits keep us from thinking seriously about setting spiritual goals.

Making plans is an essential step toward achieving anything worthwhile. So let’s be intentional about identifying what our hopes are for our spiritual life and set objectives to head in that direction. These goals are unlike any others because they have both temporal and eternal value.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 31-33

 

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