Tag Archives: Charles Stanley

In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – On the Bottom Looking Up

Trusting in God’s power and grace makes it possible to break the cycle of despair.

1 Samuel 30:1-20

Most of us know how it feels to be at rock bottom. Despair is a horrible condition because it continually feeds on discouragement, hopelessness, and failure. And the longer one dwells on these things, the greater despair grows. The only way out is to break free from this vicious cycle of darkness. We do this by . . .

• Repenting of anything that has caused us to doubt the Lord. If we’re in despair, then something has overshadowed God in our life, and that barrier must be removed—the sooner, the better. 

• Recalling the Lord’s omnipotence. Since He had the power to save you from sin, He certainly also has the ability to overcome your despair. 

• Remembering that nothing in our life happens by chance. God works all things according to His sovereign plan, for the good of those who love Him, and for His glory (Rom. 8:28). 

Despair stands in conflict with the abundant life the Lord has promised. If you’re feeling down and out, ask Him to lift you back up today. You’ll never automatically fall out of despair. But with God’s help, you can change your mindset and see your situation through the lens of His Word.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 16-18

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Building Lasting Friendships

Strong, godly friendships like Jonathan and David’s are a blessing from the Lord.

1 Samuel 18:1-4

How many friends do you have? And I don’t mean the people you connect with on social media—I’m talking about the few who really know you and stick with you through thick and thin. Such mutual friendships are rare today. 

What does it take to develop this kind of relationship? There could be no finer example than the friendship between David and Jonathan, and three qualities stand out. 

1. The relationship was characterized by mutual respect. This often gets lost in today’s world, but the reality is that we can maintain a genuine friendship only with someone for whom we have high regard. 

2. David and Jonathan felt strong love for one another. Even though they weren’t related, these two friends shared a relationship as deep and loyal as a brotherhood. 

3. Their commitment to each other was genuine. These were no fair-weather friends. Their bond withstood even the attempts by King Saul to kill David. (See 1 Sam. 23:15-18.) Jonathan refused to let anything—not even his own father’s jealous fury—come between him and his friend. 

Think about your best friend. Is the relationship characterized by these qualities? If so, recognize that you have been given a blessing from the Lord. Praise Him for the gift of your friend. 

Bible in One Year: Exodus 13-15 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – A Reason for Confidence

Negativity doesn’t fit who we are as God’s children—we should have confidence in our almighty Lord.

Proverbs 3:21-26

Negativity affects us in both spiritual and physical ways. Even simply spending time with a pessimistic individual can take a toll. On the other hand, positivity—especially that related to confidence in the Lord—enables us to live as our Father desires.  

As God’s children, we have every reason to live with assurance. His very presence is permanently within us, and He has granted us His peace, which passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7). In addition, He promises to provide for our needs and empower us to obey and serve Him. 

Sometimes, however, we have trouble accepting and living in these spiritual blessings. When that’s the case, we should purposefully take steps to develop confidence in our all-powerful God. This begins with meditating on His Word and drawing near to Him in prayer. As we grow in our understanding of the Lord and His promises, our faith is strengthened and confidence in Him increases.  

The world is full of distrust, fear, and uncertainty. Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by negative messages that take your eyes off Christ. Focus on the truth of Scripture and put your confidence in almighty God. Facing each day with His strength will drive away doubt and anxiety.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 10-12 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Relying on Christ

Instead of focusing on our self-esteem, let’s rely on Jesus in our inadequacy.

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Our world emphatically proclaims the importance of self-esteem, which is a favorable impression of oneself. It’s not unusual to hear that an individual who values himself will accomplish much. Yet Scripture warns us not to think too highly of ourselves (Rom. 12:3). We should have far greater confidence in Christ than in ourselves.

Despite his impressive credentials (Phil. 3:4-5), Paul knew he was inadequate to complete the ministry God gave him. In fact, today’s passage says that when preaching the gospel to the Corinthians, he came in fear and trembling (1 Cor. 2:3). His message wasn’t delivered with self-confidence but in complete reliance upon the Spirit. And that’s exactly how we should live as well. 

When we rely on God’s power instead of our own abilities, He produces supernatural boldness in us. Even in the midst of difficulty, we can live with confidence because the indwelling Spirit of the living God enables us to follow Him. He directs and strengthens us in every situation as we humble ourselves in dependence upon Him.

Are you facing situations that make you feel inadequate? Instead of shrinking back, consider them as opportunities to put your confidence in the Lord. You can trust the One who is your Creator, Redeemer, and Friend. 

Bible in One Year: Exodus 7-9 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Lay Aside Old Ways

The reason some Christians don’t feel the Lord’s peace and joy is that they are still living in their old worldly ways.

Ephesians 4:17-24

It seems that in a world of prosperity and abundance, there would be great contentment, yet the opposite is true. Why are so many people unhappy, anxious, and unsettled?

The main reason is that most of the world doesn’t know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, so they can’t have His peace and joy. But there are also Christians who are discontent because they’re wearing old “clothes” from their past. These garments might be emotions and attitudes left over from childhood, or it may be that these believers are trying to hold on to behaviors from their life before Christ. 

The solution is to change into the new clothes that Jesus secured for us (Isa. 61:10). We are to lay aside old habits and thought patterns the way we would a filthy garment. This means we’re no longer to remind ourselves about the wrongs done to us by others. Nor are we to cherish sinful habits, continue worldly practices, or think the way we formerly did. 

As new creations in Christ, we have no business wearing the dirty clothes of the flesh. Instead, we are to exercise our renewed mind and put on the new garments given to us by God. We will be satisfied only when we let go of the old and put on the new. 

Bible in One Year: Exodus 4-6 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Acquiring Spiritual Discernment

We must know the truth of Scripture so the Holy Spirit can help us discern how it applies to our life.

1 Corinthians 2:6-16

With so much deception in the world, every believer needs spiritual discernment. Although we have access to God’s wisdom, it’s not something we automatically possess. Rather, it must be diligently sought. And His Word is the place to start, because spiritual discernment comes only when we know the truth and can think scripturally about every situation we encounter. 

It’s foolish to think that our own wisdom is sufficient to guide us. The human mind, while rational, is incapable of seeing the true nature of many situations and events. What is good may not always be best, and what is presented as truth is sometimes a lie. Pride in our own judgment hinders access to godly wisdom. 

In contrast, regularly partaking of God’s Word develops our insight. As the Holy Spirit of truth illuminates our mind and interprets the Scriptures, we increasingly see life from God’s perspective. Through the Spirit and the Word, we have a direct link to the very mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). From Genesis to Revelation, God is revealing His thoughts, principles, and wisdom so we can live accordingly in any situation. 

Bible in One Year: Genesis 46-48 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Discovering Life’s Purpose

Sanctification, stewardship, and service are three aspects of God’s purpose for each believer’s life.

Ephesians 2:8-10

What is my purpose in life? Many people today are asking that question, but only those who have trusted Christ as Savior and Lord can ever discover the true answer. Today’s passage tells us that our salvation is an act of God, and now we’re His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to accomplish what He has prepared for us to do. That is our purpose in life, and it has three components. 

1. Sanctification is simply ongoing growth in holiness. As we cooperate with the Holy Spirit’s work in our life, He transforms our character to be more like the Lord’s and renews our mind with scriptural truth.

2. Stewardship is faithful management of the time, talents, spiritual gifts, and treasures God has given us. They are to be used according to His priorities and direction, not for our own self-advancement. 

3. Service includes things like stimulating spiritual growth, meeting physical needs, and encouraging one another through Scripture. We serve the Lord by ministering to others.

All this is your purpose in life. But remember, this is not about self-effort; it’s God at work in you. Your part is to avail yourself of all the means He uses to accomplish His goals—His Word, His Spirit, and His church. 

Bible in One Year: Genesis 42-45

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – God’s Plan for Our Life

We may wonder what God’s plan is for our life, but we can be certain it includes our spiritual development.

1 Peter 2:1-12

Many Christians today want to find God’s plan for their life but, sadly, often overlook the one place it’s revealed—the Bible. His overall goal for each of us is that we would bring Him glory, and He uses both His Spirit and Word to accomplish this. 

Today we’re going to focus on three ways we glorify God. 

1. With our behavior. Righteous living stands out in stark contrast to lifestyles of the world around us. Godliness shines like a light pointing others to Christ and bringing glory to the Father.

2. With our character. God’s purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son. As the Spirit’s fruit is produced in us, we display Christ’s likeness in our attitudes and responses to people and situations.

3. With our obedience. Scripture reveals what God has commanded and how He wants us to live. When we do what He says, we glorify Him.

We usually focus on finding God’s plan for our life with regard to circumstances, relationships, and other practical matters. But the Lord’s priority is our spiritual development. When we obey what His Word reveals to be His will, He’ll sovereignly direct our path in every other matter. 

Bible in One Year: Genesis 39-41 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Bringing Our Needs to the Father

If we pray like Jesus, we’ll prioritize God’s desires over our own.

Matthew 6:9-15

The first half of the Lord’s prayer focuses on God, but in the second part, Jesus addresses our need for daily provision, forgiveness, and protection. Notice His words remain centered on the Father, who provides all three. 

Give us this day our daily bread. The Lord is the source of everything we need—physical, material, emotional, and spiritual (Phil. 4:19).  By asking Him to provide our basic necessities, we’re acknowledging our complete dependence upon Him and trusting in His sufficient provision for each day. 

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. This part of the prayer is meant to ensure that everything is right not only between us and our Father but also between us and other people. Since God forgave our sins, it is His will that we also forgive others. 

Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Our prayer is for the Lord to protect us from falling into temptation, and we instead honor Him by living righteously.

This entire prayer is focused on our heavenly Father. It teaches us to worship, submit, and depend fully on Him for needs of any kind. 

Bible in One Year: Genesis 36-38 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – A Pattern for Prayer

Jesus teaches what to focus on in our prayers and encourages us to approach God with a humble heart.

Matthew 6:5-10

Are your conversations with God primarily a checklist of needs? Petitions are certainly appropriate, but prayer is also a time to focus on the Lord in love and worship. When praying to our Father in heaven, we should ponder three things that today’s passage indicates are important to Him: His name, His kingdom, and His will (Matt. 6:9-10). 

Hallowed be Your name. While the goal is to honor and exalt God, our prayers can easily become self-centered. This can be an issue in public prayer if we try to exalt ourselves in the eyes of others. But it can also happen privately when we focus only on what we want God to 

do. 

Your kingdom come. Praying for God’s coming kingdom means setting our hope on Christ’s future reign while submitting to His rule over our life now.

Your will be done. No matter how much we want the Lord to answer our prayers the way we desire, every petition must be readily submitted to God’s will. It is a way of acknowledging that His way is always best. 

The next time you pray, make a point of pondering the Lord’s greatness, exalting Him, and humbly submitting your will to His. 

Bible in One Year: Genesis 32-35

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – The Landmine of Fear

Though some apprehension is healthy, fear shouldn’t be a way of life for the Christian.

Isaiah 41:8-10

Since our world has many dangers, we have legitimate reasons to be afraid. But Christians shouldn’t live in trepidation as a way of life, because God’s awesome promises allow us to be at peace in every circumstance. 

For our protection, God has instilled some natural apprehensions in us, like a fear of snakes or deep water. He also gave us a warning system so that we could react quickly to danger. For instance, if a car speeds toward us, an instantaneous reaction of alarm could save our life. 

But a constant, all-consuming dread is unhealthy. Most of our fears relate to dangers that might occur, threatening the welfare of loved ones, financial stability, or future security. Our attention is then centered on these concerns rather than on the One who promises to hold us in His hand (Isa. 41:10). As anxiety grows, trust in the Lord weakens, and we become consumed with worry. 

Instead of going down this route, ground yourself in Scripture, and don’t allow apprehension to blind you to God’s promises. Believe what He has said in 2 Thessalonians 3:16, and ask “the Lord of peace” to “continually grant you peace in every circumstance.”

Bible in One Year: Genesis 24-25 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – A Living Hope

We who believe in Jesus no longer have to live as sinners; now we should live as children of God.

1 Peter 1:3-5

Did you know the city of Corinth was known for its ungodliness? The believers there had once been no different from nonbelievers—filled with sexual immorality, greed, envy, wickedness, deceit, and malice. But now they were new creations, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and adopted into God’s family. The “Corinthian lifestyle” no longer fit who they had become in Christ. 

Paul reminded the believers of that city not to be influenced by their culture or old patterns of thinking (1 Cor. 6:9-11). The apostle was not warning them that they might miss out on the kingdom. Instead, he was encouraging them to abandon old ways and bring their behavior in line with who they really were—children of God. 

We, too, should know that salvation is permanent and faith ought to have a positive effect on our conduct. Our Savior willingly paid the penalty for our sin, satisfying divine justice and the Law’s demands (Rom. 3:25-26). No one can undo what God has accomplished in saving us—namely, pardoning our sins, giving us a new nature, and adopting us into His family. Knowing what His wonderful grace has accomplished should motivate us to live in our new identity as His children, reflecting His light in the world. 

Bible in One Year: Genesis 20-23 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Our Source of Hope

Because Jesus paid the price for our sins, we can have hope for the future.

Titus 2:11-14

Some people believe ethical behavior and moral character will get them to heaven. Others think a self-improvement plan is the way to get there. And sadly, there are those who assume they’ll be barred because of their past mistakes. 

The truth is that character and deeds do not determine our eternal state. Rather, the barrier between us and holy God is our sinful nature. Adam and Eve’s sin caused all mankind to begin life spiritually dead and under a sentence of judgment (Rom. 5:12). No amount of good works or moral behavior can change our unholy nature—nor do bad choices make our nature worse. 

Without direct help from the Lord, the entrance to heaven would be closed to everyone, and we’d all face an eternity of separation from God. But the Father had a plan so we could live with Him forever: He sent His Son Jesus to take our sins upon Himself and receive the punishment we deserved. What we were helpless to do, Christ accomplished for us. Through faith in Him, we receive a brand-new nature and get to live in God’s presence forever. 

We don’t have to worry about earning our place in heaven. Because of Jesus, we can be confident of our future there, which gives our life on earth hope and meaning. 

Bible in One Year: Genesis 16-19 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – The Body of Christ

The body of Christ—also known as the church—is made up of all who believe in Jesus.

Ephesians 4:11-16

As we saw yesterday, the body of Christ is made up of all people who worship Him, no matter where they are. The head of this body of believers is Jesus Christ, whom Paul described as “the beginning, the first-born from the dead” (Col. 1:18). 

At salvation, you become a part of the body—regardless of what the membership rules may be at your local church. Therefore, if you’re a believer, you are a breathing and active part of Christ, who is at work on earth through His followers. The church acts as Jesus’ feet to carry the gospel message, His hands to care for those in need of love, and His arms to uphold the weak. 

But being Jesus to the world isn’t easy—it means making sacrifices, accepting ridicule, and loving our enemies (Heb. 13:16Matt. 5:44). God may have called us to spread the gospel, but that doesn’t mean people will necessarily like what we have to say. Regardless, we’re to carry out the work of God, even when doing so is uncomfortable. 

The gospel is spread through the strength and wisdom of Jesus Christ. And for this task, He has also chosen to use the body of believers united by His Spirit’s indwelling presence. What an honor to be used to reach the world for our Savior. 

Bible in One Year: Genesis 12-15 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – The Church

The church may be separated into denominations, but there are three things that unify the whole body of Christ.

Ephesians 1:18-23

The church is one body, made of all believers in heaven and on earth. There are many denominations and approaches to theology, but Christians are united by a common message, mission, and motive. 

Message. There are three parts of the church’s primary belief. First, man is sinful and unable to alleviate the penalty of sin. Next, Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay our debt, was buried, rose again, and ascended to heaven. Third, everyone will someday stand before God and give an account for his or her life. At that time believers will take responsibility for what they did with the truth they knew, but unbelievers will answer for their rejection of Jesus Christ. 

Mission. The church is also united by its goal to spread the gospel around the world and teach new believers how to grow in faith (Matt. 28:19). We do this by telling others about the experiences we’ve had with God and His Word. 

Motive. The church’s motive is to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and to glorify God the Father. This should be the driving force behind everything a body of believers sets out to do.

Church is not a place where we go to hide from the world—our mission is to spread the gospel to glorify God. There will be varying levels of opposition and persecution, but we stand together as one body and persevere.

Bible in One Year: Genesis 8-11 

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Finding Favor With God

The acts of man will never earn God’s favor, but He is pleased when we obey His commands with pure intentions.

Hebrews 11:1-40

There are people who work hard in an attempt to earn the favor of employers, parents, friends, and even God. The truth, however, is that divine approval cannot be earned. There’s only one way to acquire it, which Hebrews 11:6 states clearly: “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (NIV). Like the saints commended in today’s passage for their faith, Christians today don’t have to strive for God’s favor. That’s because in Christ, we have been lavished with divine grace (Eph. 1:8). 

Yet we sometimes tend to overlook the most basic examples of the Lord’s kindness to us: He provides for our needs, puts limits on suffering, answers prayers, encourages us in our trials, and offers His strength in our weakness. In fact, every good thing that comes our way is from His hand (James 1:17).

God’s goodness is stored up for those who fear Him and take refuge in Him (Psalm 31:19). But even though His favor isn’t something that can be earned, we still have a responsibility to live in a manner He finds pleasing. As was true for the role models of faith in Hebrews 11, God’s grace should motivate us to be righteous and blameless in our walk with Him. 

Bible in One Year: Hebrews 10-11

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – The Promise of Christ’s Return

Jesus’ triumphant return to Earth is a day that we can and should all look forward to.

Revelation 19:11-21Revelation 20:1-6

The return of Jesus Christ is a vital part of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. That’s why the event was foretold by prophets, proclaimed by angels, and taught by Jesus and the apostles. In fact, more Old Testament passages are devoted to Christ’s second coming than to His first. And in the New Testament, the Lord mentions His return more frequently than He speaks of His death. 

The second coming defeats Satan’s earthly reign and establishes Christ’s kingdom of peace and righteousness in its place. Saints from all the ages will be gathered together to reign with the Lord. And the Father wants us to be excited and hopeful about Jesus’ return, recognizing it as the culmination of His plan for the world. In order to keep our hope alive, Scripture tells us what to expect, though we don’t know the exact timing.

Are you eagerly anticipating Christ’s return, or do you seldom think about it? The apostle John warns us not to love the world or the things it contains, because they are passing away (1 John 2:15-17). Instead, we are to long for our Savior’s return and rejoice in His coming kingdom.

Bible in One Year: Hebrews 1-3

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – How God Views Unbelievers

God is loving and merciful, but it is a harsh truth that the spiritually dead will experience His wrath.

Ephesians 2:1-5

God’s Word is always true, but sometimes it comes across as confrontational when it exposes our erroneous thinking. One truth that’s often considered challenging is the way God describes the desperate state of those who are without Christ. They are …

  • Dead in their offenses and sins. Spiritual death came to all people as a result of Adam’s sin, leaving the human race under God’s condemnation (Eph. 2:1).  
  • Unable to grasp spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). Their minds are darkened, and they cannot understand the things of God. 
  • Outside of God’s family. Spiritually, there are only two families in the world: the family of God and the family of Satan (John 8:44).
  • Under God’s wrath. Unbelievers, even the ones who are kind and loving, are under judgment because of their unforgiven sins (Eph. 2:3). 

Those without Christ are in grave danger and don’t realize it. They need to hear the bad news before they can see their need for a Savior. So find a way to carefully give them these hard truths, and explain how they can be rescued: Through faith in the saving work of Jesus Christ on their behalf, they can escape God’s wrath and condemnation.  

Bible in One Year: Titus 1-3, Philemon 1

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Hunger and Thirst for God

Only a believer of God can experience full satisfaction and a yearning love for Him.

Psalm 63:1-11

David’s love for the Lord inspires us to want that same kind of relationship ourselves. But where does such passion for God come from? It’s not manufactured or created by effort or willpower, nor can we work ourselves into a genuine emotional state of yearning. Love for God comes only from Him, as a gift to those who belong to Christ (1 John 4:19).

This means the only ones who can truly hunger and thirst for God are believers. The rest of the people yearn for other things—like wealth, security, control, or prominence—which they mistakenly think will satisfy their soul. Many go through life trying to create whatever kind of personal connections they can, in hopes of fulfilling desires they don’t even understand. All too often, the result is empty relationships, excessive work, and immoral behavior. 

David knew God was the only solution to the constant yearning in his heart. As St. Augustine said, “Our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in [Him].” Are you feeling empty from trying to satisfy your soul with something other than the Lord? Come to Him with all your heart, and discover the fullness He offers. 

Bible in One Year: 2 Timothy 1-4

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In Touch Ministries; Charles Stanley – Devotion in Despair

In troubling times, turning to God’s unfailing love will be a place of refuge and escape.

Psalm 42:1-8

Where do you turn in times of trouble? For believers, the first response should be to cry out to the Lord for help. That’s exactly what we see in today’s passage. When the psalmist was in despair, his soul yearned for God. He knew that even in raging adversity, he could count on the Lord’s unfailing love being poured out on him (Psalm 42:8). It was a truth that gave him hope and the ability to praise the Lord, even in the midst of his trouble.

This is a recurring theme in the psalms, many of which begin with images of despair and hopelessness but end with affirmations of God’s unfailing love. He’s often described as a rock, a stronghold, or a refuge in times of trouble. 

When you are overwhelmed by difficulty and despair, turn to the psalms for encouragement and restoration of hope. In good times, we can easily grow distant from God, but adversity drives us to draw near Him with yearning—not just for deliverance but for intimacy with our loving Father. Then as we read about His love and faithfulness, we find hope and a sure foundation upon which to rest. 

Bible in One Year: 1 Timothy 4-6

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