Tag Archives: Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley – How Do We Seek God?

 

Deuteronomy 4:21-31

We will find God when we seek Him with all our heart. That is a biblical promise we can depend on. But how do we go about seeking Him?

First, we must exhibit certain attitudes. Scripture implores us to pursue wholeheartedly, diligently, continually, confidently, and humbly. These qualities are essential for learning and spiritual growth.

Then we get into God’s Word, studying and meditating upon it with a receptive heart. We also take up the discipline of prayer, because it’s the primary way we communicate with Him, and He with us.

The next step is to consider how God is operating in our circumstances. Think back on His patterns of faithfulness to you in the past, and you’ll see glimpses of how He worked, even during times of adversity in your life. You may even be able to recognize His involvement in the lives of other believers, and that awareness can also enrich your growth.

When we seek God, we find the capacity to love and serve Him. If you’ve been feeling apathetic towards the Father, consider pursuing Him in one of the ways described above, and pray that it ignites your passion.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 27-29

 

 

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Charles Stanley – When We Seek God

 

2 Chronicles 34:1-33

Take a moment to clear your mind, and breathe. Now ask yourself this question with the intention of being completely honest: What am I seeking most in life?

The majority of people in the world are seeking things they will never be able to keep once this lifetime is over. However, true fulfillment comes only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and that is eternal. Like Josiah in today’s passage, we too can seek that relationship with the Lord. It requires a desire to …

Find out what He is like. Examining God’s Word in depth gives us more understanding of who God is and how He relates to His creation.

Fellowship with Him intimately. Spending time alone with God reorients our heart with His, but it must be quality time—consistent, alone, quiet, and unhurried.

Follow Him more closely. The more you allow the Holy Spirit to work His Word into your heart, the more you will want to obey and please our heavenly Father.

These three things undoubtedly bring us closer to God, but we have to make the decision to pursue them. Do you want to seek God? Let us resolve to know and love Him more today, and turn to Him for help.

Bible in One Year: 1 Samuel 25-26

 

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Charles Stanley – The Rewards of Truth

 

Proverbs 2:1-9

Seeking God’s truth is like digging for gold: If we find a tiny flake, we keep scraping and shoveling until we come upon another, which may be a morsel no bigger than an apple seed. That little bit keeps us searching until we find a chunk the size of a marble, and so on. Each new nugget of God-experience is so exciting that we can’t stop excavating for more.

Just think of the advantages of this pursuit. First of all, seeking truth about the Lord naturally results in a more intimate relationship with Him. And aligning our life with these discoveries brings us confidence and the assurance that He is always guarding and guiding us.

Learning about God leads to an additional benefit: the development of spiritual discernment. This is the capacity to distinguish truth from falsehood even when the latter is presented as supportable fact. Having this type of godly insight in turn equips us for greater kingdom service, especially with regard to discipling others.

When it comes to our infinite God, there are always new and exciting treasures for us to unearth. So make it your goal to build a foundation of His truth for your life. By doing so, you will gain wisdom and discover new opportunities to serve Him.

Bible in One Year:   1 Samuel 23-24

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Lamb of God

 

John 1:19-29

From the beginning, God has dealt with sin through the shedding of blood. When mankind’s first act of disobedience was committed, the Lord Himself instituted the sacrificial system: He killed an animal and used its skin to cover Adam and Eve physically, just as its blood “covered” their sin. This was a temporary solution, however. Only the shed blood of Jesus Christ could atone for sin and permanently do away with it.

The Son of God came as the sin-bearer for the whole world— He lived a perfect life and then assumed full responsibility for all of our transgressions and guilt. Through His death on the cross, those who trust Him as Savior enjoy the freedom of full pardon and are made righteous and holy in the eyes of the Father.

This is why we call Jesus the Lamb of God. In the Old Testament, lambs were sacrificed to atone for sin. In a similar way, Jesus offered His life as the substitutionary death needed to satisfy God’s justice. As a result, our relationship with God was reconciled so we could be adopted us as His children. Because of Jesus we can stand before God and say, “Thank You for being my Father.”

Bible in One Year:   1 Samuel 21-22

 

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Charles Stanley – The Truth About Self-Love

 

Galatians 5:13-26

In many places, the Bible says, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18; Matt. 19:19; Gal. 5:14), but we often overlook the “as yourself” part. We can’t fully love God or anyone else unless we love ourselves. This means realizing that we’re a child of God, created for fellowship with Him.

Everyone’s valuable to the Lord. But our self-worth is rooted in the fact that we have a relationship with God. We need to care for ourselves because He’s offered us salvation, given us the Holy Spirit, and developed a unique plan for our life.

Love of self is essential to God’s plan for every believer. He wants us to exercise proper care for ourselves, which helps us relate to Him. If we dislike ourselves, we may feel unworthy of God’s love and refuse to approach Him as Father. But love teaches us to see ourselves the way He sees us—as His beloved children, each with unique gifts and talents.

Whoever you are and whatever your circumstances may be, I can tell you something about yourself. God has a special plan for you. But He can’t set you on the path to achieving His goals for your life until you recognize your worth and learn to love the person He created you to be.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 17-19

 

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Charles Stanley – Our Choices in the Midst of Tragedy

 

Job 1:6-22, Job 2:1-10

Imagine what it felt like to be in Job’s shoes. Warriors, fire, and wind wiped out his fortune and killed his children. Then, his body was so covered with boils that he scratched at the inflamed skin with broken pottery. Had Job not believed in the Lord’s faithfulness, he probably would have taken his wife’s advice to just “curse God and die” (Job 2:9).

Job was brought low, and he didn’t know why—nor did he ever find out the reason. Thanks to Scripture, we are privy to the conversation between God and Satan, but the Lord didn’t share those details with Job. Left in the dark, he had to decide if his faith in God’s goodness would stand.

Job decided to trust God in the midst of tragedy (Job 42:2). He could have railed against the Lord, as his wife suggested. Or he might have followed his friends’ advice and racked his brain for some unconfessed sin. But neither of those actions would have been fruitful. Instead, Job chose to view everything as part of the divine plan, acknowledging the Lord’s right to do whatever He wanted for the glory of His name (Job 1:21).

Accepting the good that God sends our way is easy. Our challenge is to receive tragedy with a willing attitude and a teachable spirit. Chance is not part of the equation—nothing comes into our life except through the Lord’s permission.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 14-16

 

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Charles Stanley – Salvation Is From God

 

Ephesians 2:1-9

Do you ever doubt that you’re saved? Once we ask Jesus into our heart, we’re saved. He never leaves us. John 10:28 says that nothing can snatch us out of His hand, but sometimes we might still feel uncertain. Maybe we can’t remember the specific time and place of our decision to follow Him. Or perhaps we’ve messed up and sinned so badly that we wonder how He could forgive us. Let’s see what the Bible says about it.

God made us alive Together with Christ by raising Him from the dead (Eph. 2:4-5). We’re all born dead in our sins. There’s nothing we can do to make ourselves spiritually alive; our salvation is the result of God’s love and mercy. And once He makes us alive, we can never become spiritually dead again.

We’re saved by God’s grace, not by our goodness or performance. Ephesians 2:8-9 tell us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works.” We didn’t do anything to deserve or earn God’s grace, yet He still chose to save us.

Our salvation isn’t because of our goodness or works, nor is it maintained by us. We’re saved simply through faith and should recognize that as God’s gift. As a result, we enjoy the blessings of belonging to His family, and one day we will know the full reality of being seated with Jesus in heaven (Eph. 2:6).

Bible in One Year: Numbers 11-13

 

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Charles Stanley – Unconditional Surrender

 

James 4:1-10

Sometimes we’re amazed by a believer’s perseverance and confidence in God’s promises. With such people, we often sense a spiritual abundance that many of us wish we had.  So, how do we get that? By following Jesus’ example and surrendering our life to God.

We may find it hard to submit to Jesus because we like to be in charge. This has been our problem since the beginning. Adam and Eve ignored God’s warning and did what they wanted, which ended in disaster. Like them, we at times prefer to ignore God’s wisdom.

Another reason that we hold back is fear. We think, Maybe I won’t like what He chooses for me—what if He asks me to give up something or do something I don’t want to do? Or perhaps we’re wary of others’ opinions. Another possibility is that we might let selfishness and pride make us reluctant to let God lead.

But by giving control to God, we actually get to live a life where blessings overflow (John 10:10). We’ll experience His love, which satisfies like no other. Our usefulness in His service will be maximized as we operate in the Spirit’s power. And obedience also brings glory to Him as well as blessings to us.

Surrender is the way to abundance. Won’t you humble yourself and give it all to Jesus?

Bible in One Year: Numbers 8-10

 

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Charles Stanley – Fully Submitted

 

Philippians 2:1-11

The Bible tells us that though Jesus was “in very nature God” (Phil. 2:6 NIV), He left heaven to come to earth, where He lived in submission to His Father’s plans. Giving the Father complete control over everything He did, the Son held nothing back—not even His life, which He sacrificed on the cross for our sake.

Why did Jesus do this? Because He had perfect trust in His Father—He knew that God has sovereign control over everything and that all His decisions are good, as they are based on divine love, mercy, and justice. He was also certain that God always takes into account what is best for us, and His will is to lead His children towards repentance and growth. Jesus obeyed to bring glory to the Father’s name (John 17:4).

We are to live the same way—surrendered to God’s will. This means acknowledging that He has the right to order our life, and we are to give Him control over every aspect, including finances, family, friends, and fun.

By submitting to God, we declare our trust in Him and our willingness to accept whatever He sends us—riches or poverty, health or sickness, marriage or singleness. Full submission is how we glorify the Father, grow in Him, and receive His favor.

Bible in One Year: Numbers 6-7

 

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Charles Stanley – Fueling a Passion for Jesus

 

2 Peter 1:1-4

Studying the Bible and praying are the first steps to developing a passion for Christ. We need to understand His ways and promises before we can fall deeply in love with Him.

Like any loving relationship, intimacy with Jesus requires that we spend time with Him—worshipping and listening to Him, not just working through a list of to-dos. In order to achieve a true friendship with Him, we must talk with Christ as with a friend and listen to Him speak to us.

We should also look for evidence of the Lord’s work in everyday circumstances. He promises to give us direction and provide for us (2 Peter 1:3). If we’re on the lookout, we will see His promises in action. Sometimes a situation might seem too tragic to yield good, but if we continue to pray, study Scripture, and be patient, God will reveal His plan to us.

Consider keeping a journal to record Jesus’ work in your life—then, when your faith falters or you’re in a difficult situation, you can look back at His past faithfulness to you. A passion for Jesus doesn’t happen instantly. It’s a daily, lifelong pursuit, and we must lay aside everything that competes with our devotion to Him.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 26-27

 

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Charles Stanley – A Passion to Know Christ

 

Philippians 3:3-12

Claiming to know someone usually means we know facts about the person or simply are aware he or she exists. Unfortunately, that is how too many Christians “know” Jesus Christ—they’re aware He is the world’s Savior, who died in our place and rose again to sit at the Father’s right hand. Those are the facts, but simply collecting data won’t bring lasting satisfaction. Instead, ask, Who is this Jesus, and why did He willingly give up His life? The search for answers begins a journey to intimacy and true knowledge of Him.

By recognizing Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are blessed with redemption and a spiritual relationship. But though we have gained heaven, it is possible to miss the treasure of experiencing Christ as our Lord and friend. Few people will dig deep enough into Scripture and spend the time in prayer to claim Him as their life—as the One who makes us complete. The apostle Paul was so intimately acquainted with God that he viewed his own history and experiences as negligible when compared with knowing Jesus (Phil. 3:7).

If you want to thirst for Jesus as Paul did, Scripture and your experience with the Lord can fuel your passion. Start by opening the Word and drinking Him in.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 24-25

 

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Charles Stanley – How Comforters Are Created

 

2 Corinthians 1:1-7

When Job was suffering, he said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10). Even hardship and pain have a place in God’s plan for each believer.

During a particularly painful time in my life, I decided that I should learn something from my distress, as Job did. That allowed God to develop greater compassion in me—which helps me understand and relate to those facing similar trials.

Consider the truth in Paul’s words—that God “comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction” (2 Corinthians 1:4). Think about the kind of people you seek out when you’re hurting. You want someone who has felt your pain, right? A person who has already walked the path you’re on can understand your suffering and share wisdom. Going through what we sometimes call a “valley experience” prepares us to be a blessing and encouragement to others. But we must first accept that God has allowed this adversity in our life and then choose to learn from the situation.

God is the Lord of our life, and He has the right to use us as comforters and encouragers to those around us. As His servants, we must be willing to do His will, even when it hurts. Don’t waste your suffering! Instead, use it to bring God glory.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 21-23

 

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Charles Stanley – Why God Closes Doors

 

Jeremiah 10:21-24

A blocked opportunity can be a useful tool for teaching. God wants to mold us into His image, and He can use anything—including something we desire—to do so.

Closed doors prevent mistakes. Just because a path is clear doesn’t mean it’s the one God intends for us to follow. Sometimes we won’t have the information we need to make a wise decision, so He blocks the way. The Holy Spirit knows the whole road map for our life, so we should follow Him.

Closed doors redirect our walk. God won’t leave a willing servant with nothing to do. Closed doors can result in better fruit, more satisfaction, and greater glory for Him.

Closed doors test faith and build perseverance. Waiting for the Lord is hard, but it’s a means by which we can learn wisdom, patience, and trust.

Closed doors buy us time. We aren’t always as prepared as we’d like to think. God may temporarily hold shut an opportunity for service until we’re ready.

Despite the many references to closed doors in this devotion, the real message is that God opens doors for us, and they lead us in the best possible direction. His path is perfect, and if we stay on it, we will live a life of service, satisfaction, and glory for God.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 17-20

 

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Charles Stanley – Confronting Closed Doors

 

Acts 16:1-13

Closed doors can be frustrating. Paul knew exactly how that felt. On his second missionary journey, during which he had hoped to tell the good news in Asia, the apostle repeatedly found his way blocked by the Holy Spirit. It must have seemed strange that God would prevent him from sharing the gospel.

The Bible doesn’t say how long Paul and Timothy remained in Troas, but we think the apostle didn’t make a move until God showed him a new mission field (Acts 16:9-10). Paul’s actions illustrate the principle found in Proverbs 3:5-6—that God will make a straight path for those who choose to trust in Him rather than in themselves.

Christians in a period of waiting should seek God’s purpose and guidance. Ask the Lord why He has barred the way forward—perhaps the timing is wrong or we have unconfessed sin in our life. Whatever the reason, we must be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. We also want to be ready for the door that will open.

When an opportunity is blocked, remember that God has a reason. And He’s providing love and protection, even in your disappointment. The Lord is also keeping His promise to work everything for your good (Rom. 8:28). When one door has closed, another will open. Be wise and watch for it.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 14-16

 

 

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Charles Stanley – The Hope for Peace

 

Romans 15:4-13

One day Christ will return and make everything right, and until that time believers are called to be His ambassadors of peace. But salvation doesn’t automatically change us into people of kindness and unity. At times we may be quick-tempered and impatient, struggling to live in harmony with others. What’s more, letting go of ingrained attitudes or habits can be difficult, even when clinging to such things causes hurt.

Thankfully, God knows this about us. That’s why He has sent His Holy Spirit to help us understand and apply Scripture, say no to temptation, and replace our priorities with Christ’s. Only He can produce spiritual fruit in us, which includes love, joy, and peace (Gal. 5:22-23). And with His help, we become peacemakers who work to bring about reconciliation between God and others (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). When our hearts are ruled by His peace, our relationships reflect His spirit of oneness (Col. 3:15).

The world may hope to find peace through man-made solutions, but you and I know the only source of lasting unity is Jesus Christ. Let’s pray that believers and nonbelievers alike witness the power of God that reconciles marriages, families, and churches.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 5-7

 

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Charles Stanley – Praying in Jesus’ Name

 

John 16:23-33

Do you remember the teaching Jesus introduced the night before His death? He told His followers, “Whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you” (John 15:16 NIV, emphasis added). Praying in the name of Christ declares our:

Association with the Savior. Our relationship with Jesus allows us to approach the Father. We used to be foreigners, but at salvation, we became God’s children through the redemptive work of the Son of God (Eph. 2:19). The Holy Spirit within us proves we belong to the Father, who listens to the requests of His family.

Access to the Father. Jesus’ death opened an immediate, unhindered path to the Father’s presence. When the Savior offered Himself as the final priestly sacrifice (Heb. 7:26-28), the temple veil that separated the Holy of Holies from man was torn in two (Mark 15:38). In that moment, access to God became available to all who believe. Through the Holy Spirit, we can talk to God directly without a human intermediary (Eph. 2:18).

Because of our Savior Jesus Christ, we can freely access our heavenly Father. Let’s give Him thanks for the remarkable privilege of prayer!

Bible in One Year: Exodus 16-18

 

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Charles Stanley – Our God of Grace

 

Ephesians 2:1-10

Grace is God’s favor and love shown to mankind. We can’t earn it or be good enough to deserve it. To truly appreciate grace, we must comprehend that our Father is …

Perfectly holy. God is without fault. When Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit from the forbidden tree, their connection with God was broken. Since all future generations inherited their sinful nature, every person is born with an inclination toward unrighteousness.

Just. As a result, God requires payment for sin. The penalty is death (Rom. 6:23), not just physically but also spiritually—through eternal separation from Him.

Merciful. God doesn’t treat us as we deserve but extends His grace through the Savior. Jesus lived a perfect life and fulfilled the Law. He alone qualified as the One who could satisfy divine justice. He took our place, bore our sins, and experienced God’s wrath—all so we could be reconciled to the Father.

God made this provision for our salvation while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). Have you acknowledged your sinful state and received His forgiveness through faith in Jesus? Take time to express thankfulness for His grace.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 13-15

 

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Charles Stanley – Religious but Lost

 

John 3:1-6

Nicodemus would probably be welcome at any church today. He seems an ideal member—principled, knowledgeable, and courteous. And as a Pharisee, he followed strict Jewish rules, which certainly made him religious. However, Nicodemus had serious drawbacks: He was blind to the truth and spiritually lost. In other words, he didn’t have a relationship with Jesus.

When Nicodemus came to see the Lord in John 3, Jesus explained to him that no amount of goodness could erase or change a person’s nature. Instead, everyone who desires to serve God must be born again. Jesus promised that if Nicodemus trusted Him as Savior, then he would enter into a brand-new life. His old flesh nature would be replaced so that he could have a real relationship with God—instead of appearing to be a religious man, Nicodemus would be a true believer.

No one gets into heaven because of good works and kind behavior. At the end of our earthly life when we stand before God, only our relationship with Him will matter. We will want to show Him that in place of our old sinful nature, we now have the living Spirit we received when Jesus Christ came into our life.

Bible in One Year: Genesis 4-7

 

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Charles Stanley – Christmas Giving

 

Matthew 2:1-12

Why do we give gifts at Christmas? When we were children, presents were the highlight of the season, and for some of us, the joy of giving and receiving gifts has not waned. Some people wonder what all this has to do with the celebration of Christ’s birth. But there is a connection—although nothing came wrapped in paper, the occasion was marked by extravagant generosity.

God gave His only begotten Son. This was greatest gift ever given, because His precious Son was the only one who could die as a sacrifice for our sins.

Mary gave her body and reputation. When the angel told her she would bear the Son of God, Mary responded, “May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Although this was a glorious privilege, it also included the loss of her reputation. Her engagement to Joseph was as binding as marriage, and to be found pregnant before the actual ceremony would have been scandalous in the people’s eyes.

The shepherds gave a testimony. After hearing the birth announcement from the angel and seeing the newborn Messiah, they couldn’t keep the news to themselves. They told everyone what they had heard and seen (Luke 2:17-20).

The magi gave gifts and worship. Having traveled a long distance to find this new King of the Jews, they fell to the ground in worship and offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matt. 2:11).

Although materialism and commercialism have hijacked the tradition of gift giving to some degree, we must also remember the true generosity that is at the heart of Christmas.

Bible in One Year: 1 Peter 1-5

 

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Charles Stanley – The God Who Chooses Us

 

Ephesians 1:3-12

There’s nothing more humbling than salvation. We might like to think we did something that made our heavenly Father look down and say, “Now, there’s a person worth saving,” but this simply is not the case. We had absolutely nothing to offer God except our sin. And what’s more, today’s passage tells us that “He chose us in [Christ] before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4). How could we possibly take any credit for something that happened before we were born?

God chose us, not when we were saved but before we had done anything noteworthy—in fact, long before we even came into existence. Our part was simply to respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, the offer of forgiveness by the Son, and the love of our heavenly Father. That should remove any sense of pride about how we were saved.

What’s even more amazing about our salvation is its permanency: Choosing us to be holy and blameless before Him forever, God predestined us to become His adopted children and heirs of His kingdom (Eph. 1:4-5; Eph. 1:11). Our future in heaven is not only free from the penalty and power of sin but also free from sin’s very existence. Never again will we succumb to unrighteous desires or even battle temptation.

In light of this loving rescue plan, we marvel at the fact that God knew us before we were born and chose to save us. My friend, we should fall on our face before Jesus Christ in humble adoration, praise, and gratitude for His great love and mercy.

Bible in One Year: Hebrews 10-11

 

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