Tag Archives: Charles Stanley

Charles Stanley – God’s Purpose

 

Romans 8:28-30

What is the purpose of life? Throughout human history, people have been trying to answer that question. Books have been written on the subject, and philosophers have postulated many answers. But for Christians, God’s purpose is concisely outlined in today’s passage.

Believers are called according to His purpose and are foreknown by Him. God’s foreknowledge is much more than His ability to see future events in advance. It also includes bringing to pass what He has chosen to do for those He has called. He has predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). This will be fully accomplished in the resurrection, but until then, God is progressively transforming His children right now. These are the ones He calls, justifies (declares righteous), and ultimately glorifies.

If you are a Christian, this is God’s purpose for you. That means everything He allows into your life is designed to shape you into a glorious reflection of Christ. Although you cannot fully understand how God brings about salvation and how believers are responsible to respond in faith, there is great comfort in knowing that He who began this good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Phil. 1:6).

 

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 37-39

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Made in the Image of God

 

Genesis 1:26-27

In the beginning God created Adam and Eve in His image. That likeness, however, was soon marred by sin, and the ripple effect continues in humanity to this day. The Lord was gracious, however, and didn’t wipe out the human race; instead, He set in motion a redemptive plan to rescue anyone willing to repent.

Someday all who have trusted in Jesus Christ for salvation will be fully restored to God’s image. In the meantime, the heavenly Father is molding believers into the likeness of His Son. It’s a process that will continue until we each receive our new eternal body and, like a flawless mirror, reflect a true image of our Lord. But while we remain on earth, we are called to reveal Jesus to those in our sphere of influence.

Like any parent, God the Father is pleased to see His children maturing to look more like Christ, and to that end He continually works in us. Becoming more and more like Him should be our goal as well, because nothing can compare to the joy we will have when we eventually stand before God in heaven, fully restored to resemble Him.

 

Bible in One Year: Ezekiel 34-36

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Whom Will You Serve?

 

1 Kings 18:17-40

During the days of King Ahab, Israel was pulled in two directions. Ahab had instituted Baal worship, but Elijah challenged Israel to follow God. When He pressed the people to make up their minds about whom to serve, they were speechless.

The Old Testament presents idolatry as a serious issue, but in this modern civilized world worship of idols seems archaic and irrelevant. However, we are sometimes just like the Israelites—we can’t make up our minds about whom to serve.

If something or someone has higher value and priority to us than Christ, we are trying to serve two masters, which Jesus says is impossible. We will end up loving one and hating the other (Matt. 6:24). God’s generous gifts of relationships, possessions, and meaningful work should never be cherished more than the Giver.

The way your time is used reveals your heart’s priorities. Is a part of each day devoted to God, or is every minute consumed by the demands of life? Or consider the area of dependence. Is there anyone or anything you rely on more than God? If so, it’s time to stop straddling the fence and give your life wholly to God.

 

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 15-17

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Trust and Obey

 

1 Kings 18:1-16

Faith and obedience are traveling companions heading to the same destination of pleasing and glorifying the Lord. They grow together simultaneously as they are practiced but wither if neglected. Therefore, God sometimes brings new challenges into our lives to strengthen our trust and submission to Him.

Elijah was a prophet who had proven himself faithful to the Lord. Even when he was told to appear before King Ahab who was seeking to kill him, he obeyed. Obadiah was another faithful servant of God who had rescued other prophets, but when Elijah told him to report his presence to Ahab, Obadiah feared for his life.

Fear short-circuits faith when we begin to doubt that God’s way is really best. If we allow anxiety to gain a foothold in our mind, we’ll respond by refusing to do what the Lord says. The result is a change of traveling companions. Instead of faith and obedience, we start walking with doubt and rebellion.

Great faith begins with small steps. When you follow God’s Word, an ever-increasing cycle of faith and obedience begins. Don’t let fear rob you of the blessings God has planned for your life.

 

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 12-14

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Waiting in Faith

 

Hebrews 11:6-16

When I was a young boy, my mother let me plant some seeds in her garden. Although she explained that the plants would take time to appear, when nothing happened after several days, I decided to dig them up to check for progress. I found no plants, but what’s worse, I also ruined the possibility of ever seeing any.

Hebrews 11 records examples of people who by faith waited for what God promised, even when it wasn’t visible.

  • Noah continued building an ark despite the many intervening years until the predicted flood (Heb. 11:7).
    Abraham looked forward to the land God promised, though the fulfillment did not take place during his lifetime (Heb. 11:8-10).
    • Sarai had to wait until she was well beyond childbearing age before God finally gave her the son He’d promised (Heb. 11:11-12).

If we expect God to work according to our timetable, we’re likely to face disappointment. The people mentioned in Hebrews had to wait many years; in fact, some of the promises made to them won’t be fulfilled until after Christ returns. The Lord doesn’t work like a gumball machine—we can’t cash in a promise and assume the fulfillment will pop out. Ours is a long-term walk by faith.

 

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 9-11

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Trust in the Wait

 

Psalm 33:13-22

Waiting on God stretches our trust in Him, especially when we are urgently longing for His intervention or guidance in a situation. From our earthly perspective and with our limited knowledge, it may seem as if He doesn’t care, but that is far from the truth.

God uses times of waiting to strengthen our trust in Him, and reminding ourselves of His character and abilities helps build confidence in our Father. So as you wait, remember:

The Lord has all-encompassing knowledge of every detail of your circumstances.
He has complete understanding of the motives and intentions of everyone involved in your situation.
God’s power is greater than all your efforts to solve your problems. Neither you nor anyone else can thwart His plans.
His eye is always on you during the wait, and He is your help and protection.
His lovingkindness continually rests upon you.

Whenever you’re overcome with a sense of urgency or uncertainty, remember who God is and what He has promised to do for you. Although He may not work everything out as you desire, it will be according to His perfect wisdom and for your good—and in this you can rejoice.

 

Bible in One Year: Jeremiah 6-8

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Soldiers for Christ

 

1 Timothy 6:11-16

In today’s passage, Paul tells a young pastor named Timothy, “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). But this command isn’t limited to pastors; every believer needs to be a faithful soldier of Christ. That’s because we’re all in a battle—not against people but against spiritual forces of wickedness (Eph. 6:12).

This war began when Satan and other angels rebelled against God. Then Satan tempted Eve to disobey the Lord as well. As a result of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, the earth was cursed, and the entire human race was corrupted by sin. Ever since that day, the battle for truth and righteousness has raged.

Although we may often feel overwhelmed by temptations and deceptions, Jesus modeled the path to victory when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). He used only one weapon to refute each enticement and falsehood—the Word of God.

This is the same powerful weapon our heavenly Father has given us to fight the good fight. When we view daily battles biblically with full reliance on the trustworthiness and authority of Scripture, we can flee sin, pursue righteousness, and stand firmly for the truths of the faith.

 

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 63-66

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Using Spiritual Gifts

 

1 Peter 4:7-11

Any person who belongs to Christ has received a spiritual gift for God’s glory and the good of the church. Serving the Lord is not a suggestion but a command. When we waste the opportunity, we deprive both ourselves and others of the service God intended for us to provide.

In today’s reading, Peter separates the spiritual gifts into two categories: gifts of serving and speaking. However, within these two groups are an endless variety of ways service for Christ is put into action. Even if two believers have the same gifting, they will express it in unique ways—and with different results.

We should remember that though there are a variety of gifts, ministries, and outcomes, the Holy Spirit is the source of them all, and God is the one doing the work (1 Corinthians 12:4-6). For instance, the teaching gift has a wide range of applications. It can be used by one person to instruct toddlers while someone else uses it to teach seminary students. Both uses are essential in God’s eyes and bring Him glory.

God doesn’t rank the spiritual gifts, so never think that yours isn’t important. What He desires is faithfulness in employing it.

 

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 58-62

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – The Holy Spirit’s Gifts

 

1 Corinthians 12:1-31

Look into any healthy church, and you will find believers who are actively serving the Lord as well as some who are not. But Christ’s church was never meant to resemble a sporting event with a few participants on the field and many spectators in the stands. Although some may be uninvolved because of apathy, there are many Christians who just feel inadequate. But a believer’s limitations are no excuse, because God has provided everything we need to serve successfully.

On our own, every one of us is ill-equipped because human strength and talent are insufficient for service to God. Therefore, the Lord has given each of us specific divinely empowered abilities called spiritual gifts to use in doing the work of Christ. We can’t choose for ourselves what our gift will be; this is the prerogative of the Holy Spirit. He alone knows exactly what He wants to accomplish and enables each of us accordingly.

The Spirit’s gifts are to be used for the common good of the church. Though given to us, they’re intended for the benefit of others. Our responsibility is to start serving, and in doing so, we will begin to discover how unified the body of Christ really is.


Bible in One Year:
Isaiah 54-57

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Living in God’s Favor

 

Romans 6

Once we have received the favor of God through salvation, does it matter how we behave? Today’s passage responds with an emphatic yes. After receiving God’s gracious salvation, we are not to continue acting in ways displeasing to Him. Instead we’re to walk in newness of life and consider ourselves dead to sin.

This truth is affirmed by Paul’s life. Upon his conversion, the apostle was radically changed, and he began living with single-minded devotion and obedience to Christ. After being rescued from bondage to sin and receiving the best possible Master, he’d have been foolish to return to his former state.

Divine grace frees us so that we are no longer slaves to sin—we are not just rescued from its penalty. And because our heavenly Father empowers us to know Him through Scripture, we can live in a manner that honors Him and produces lasting fruit.

How well do you know God? Pleasing Him requires learning to think the way He does, and this means His Word must be a vital part of your life. It also necessitates choosing His way over your own. Although this may seem like a costly way to live, the outcome is worth every sacrifice.


Bible in One Year:
Isaiah 50-53

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – The Blessing of God’s Peace

 

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

The Bible reveals to us who God is, and one important aspect of His character is that the Lord loves peace and wants it to fill the earth. Read Jesus’ promise in John’s gospel: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27). We also learn that the Lord is a “God of peace” (Rom. 15:33; Phil. 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Heb. 13:20), the Messiah is called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6), and there is peace in heaven (Luke 19:38).

In light of all this, when Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers” in Matthew 5:9, we can understand why: To be a peacemaker is to reflect the image of our heavenly Father—using our breath, energy, and creativity to sow peace wherever the Spirit takes us.

Think about it

  •  What words, feelings, or situations do you associate with peace? When have you experienced peace as a gift from God?

    • Read John 14:27 again. Can you think of fears or concerns that affect your ability to experience or demonstrate peace?

 

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 43-45

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – A Pattern for Servanthood

 

John 13:1-17

Jesus told His disciples, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant” (Matt. 20:26). In Bible times, the lowest servant of the house washed dusty feet. So the disciples must have been surprised when Jesus performed this humble task for them. He explained His shocking behavior by saying, “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).

Based on those words, many churches have turned foot washing into an ordinance; they believe that this act shows Christlikeness and demonstrates willingness to serve. Perhaps that’s true for some believers, but many perform the ceremony by rote. Jesus’ message to the disciples and to modern believers is not literally to wash dirty feet, but rather to serve one another with humility and love.

True servanthood is not a popular topic because many people regard it as beneath them. But God wants us to see ourselves as living sacrifices. To serve the Lord well, we must be willing do whatever He asks for whomever He asks. Our Christlikeness is evident when we love God and others so much that we willingly humble ourselves for their sake.

Jesus performed one of the lowliest tasks of His day to demonstrate His servanthood. What are you willing to do for Him?

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 31-35

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – A Courageous Life

 

Ephesians 1:18-21

When we recognize God’s presence with us, courage starts to develop in us. It grows as we draw on His strength. Without God’s power, we’ll find that hardship and stress drain us emotionally and hurt us physically, leaving us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.

After 40 years of wandering, the nation of Israel was in such a state. They should have believed the two spies who trusted in the Lord’s presence and power. But instead, allowing their weakness to hold sway, the people sided with the remaining ten spies, who claimed the Canaanite obstacles were too great (Num. 13:26-32).

In contrast, Paul faced the Roman tribunal after enduring great hardship but was not dismayed, because God stood with him and strengthened him. Times of helplessness and weakness are in reality opportunities to receive an abundance of divine power (Phil. 4:13).

Being yielded to God’s purposes is essential for developing courage. Paul knew God had a plan for every event in his life—even the hardest ones. Instead of seeking a way out of trials, accept God’s way, and you’ll find courage welling up from within. Imagine yourself standing next to God, drawing on His strength.

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 28-30

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Courage to Face Life’s Trials

 

2 Timothy 4:6-18

Scripture details the courageous way Paul handled trials. He was opposed by religious leaders, manhandled by magistrates, and mobbed by crowds. Yet through it all, he stood firm. How did he do this?

Let’s look at Paul’s own testimony. He said he came to the Corinthians in weakness, and he spoke with fear and trembling (1 Corinthians 2:3). He claimed that he had been pushed beyond his ability to endure (2 Corinthians 1:8). In fact, once his fear was so strong that an angel exhorted him not to be afraid (Acts 27:24). He was human, just as we are.

What did Paul know that would also help us? Wherever the apostle was, God was personally present. He trusted in the guiding presence of the Holy Spirit, and he also took heart from the Lord’s reassurance of His nearness (Acts 18:9). Although it appeared that Paul stood alone before his accusers, he recognized he was actually in the Lord’s company. With almighty God standing beside him, he didn’t have to be afraid.

Because we belong to Jesus Christ, we can know that God is always with us. We, too, have the Savior’s unending pledge of nearness and the Holy Spirit as our permanent companion. As we embrace these truths, we will discover the courage to face life’s trials.  I feel braver already. What about you?

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 23-27

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Facing Doubts About Salvation

 

1 John 3:19-24

Nothing drains spiritual energy like fear. When believers are repeatedly worried about their salvation, anxiety can cloud their thoughts and distract them from God’s purpose for their life. Furthermore, it robs them of the peace and joy that the Lord promised His followers.

There are several reasons why some Christians struggle with doubts about whether they are saved:

Sin. Salvation brings forgiveness and a righteous standing before God. But when we focus on our sins and failures, we may doubt that God could forgive us.

Emotions. Sometimes we rely solely on our feelings, rather than the truth of God’s Word, to determine our salvation.

Immaturity. Due to ignorance of Scripture or the slow process of change, new believers may begin to question whether they are truly saved.

Legalism. Some Christians evaluate their eternal security by their performance. If they fall short of a standard they themselves set, uncertainty can take root.

1 John 3:19 says we can know that we are of the truth and assure our heart before God. The word assure means to pacify and calm our soul so we’re not consumed by fearful doubts that prevent us from enjoying our new life in Christ.

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 19-22

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – The Benefits of Fasting

 

Matthew 13:1-23

In the parable of the sower, Jesus teaches that it takes good soil to produce a plentiful harvest. He advises against planting seed on the rocky places and warns about dangerous thorns that choke the plants. He directly applies this to our spiritual life, explaining that the seed is God’s truth; it’s only in good soil that the Word is received and spiritual fruitfulness is produced.

Biblical fasting can position our heart to receive God’s truth. It can make us ready for the planting of the Word, and through that, to receive greater insight, direction, and faith (Rom. 10:17). Then we will be better prepared to set ourselves apart from earthly concerns and spend time concentrating on heavenly matters. The Lord may use this time to reveal any stumps, rocks, and roots that entangle our heart and prevent spiritual growth. And He promises to be with us as we confess and face these obstacles.

What’s the condition of your heart’s soil? God wants to clear out the rocks and weeds in our life and break up any hard soil; biblical fasting prepares us for such tilling. God is calling His people to consecrate themselves to Him. Won’t you come before Him to be made ready?

Bible in One Year: Ecclesiastes 1-4

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley –The Struggle With Doubt

 

James 1:5-8

To trust that biblical promises are true requires faith. According to Hebrews 11:1, faith is “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (NIV). At salvation, we believed through faith that we were saved by God through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus.

Since then, many of us have struggled to believe consistently that God’s promises are true—or that they apply to us. Our faith has been mixed with doubt. Sometimes we feel unsure of God’s love or forgiveness. At other times, especially when life gets hard, we question whether we’ve truly been given all that we need. If prayers are not answered as we expect, we wonder whether the Lord really cares about us. In such instances, our feelings and circumstances cloud what we truly believe.

The good news is that Scripture can help us gain confidence in times of uncertainty. It can be trusted because the author—God Himself—is trustworthy. As we study its pages, the Holy Spirit works through our doubt, and the promises of God begin to sink in.

Remember, Jesus invites us to bring our burden of doubt to Him. We can trust that He will give us rest from it (Matt. 11:28).

Bible in One Year: Proverbs 19-21

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – A Biblical Pattern for Prayer

 

Matthew 6:9-13

The Lord’s Prayer has been prayed by countless people, but Jesus intended it to be a pattern for praying, not simply a recitation. When we use it as a model and consider what each line represents, our prayers become more meaningful. As you go through this passage from Matthew 6, keep in mind its three parts:

First is an invocation, which honors the Father’s name, kingdom, and will (Matt. 6:9-10). God’s name encompasses all that He is, in the fullness of His attributes. His kingdom involves both His rule over us now and the promise of Christ’s millennial kingdom on earth. The accomplishment of the Father’s will in our individual life and in His plans for the entire world should be our prayerful desire.

Second is a section of petitions (Matt. 6:11-13). These include daily dependence on the Lord for our basic needs, a plea for forgiveness, and a request for His protection from temptations.

Third is a doxology, or praise, of God’s glory (Matt. 6:13). Emphasizing His sovereignty and almighty power over the earth and our personal lives, this closing segment reminds us that He is our Lord and Master.

From the beginning to the end of this prayer, God is the focus. Is He central in your prayers as well?

Bible in One Year: Psalm 39-43

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Biblical Characteristics of Prayer

 

Matthew 6:5-8

Prayer is simply talking with God. Yet with regard to consistency or how to approach Him, we sometimes struggle—especially when we’ve observed other Christians pray and assume theirs must be the “right” way. That’s probably how people felt watching the Pharisees, who’d corrupted this priceless privilege by turning it into a hypocritical, ritualistic performance of self-righteousness. In contrast, Jesus taught that God-pleasing prayers have the following characteristics:

Sincerity. Coming before a holy God should fill us with humility rather than a self-focused desire to be perceived favorably by others.

Secret. Although there is always a place for humble public prayer, we also need to have personal time alone with our heavenly Father.

Simple. The pagans often used meaningless repetition of words or phrases to get their gods’ attention and persuade them to grant requests. But since we know that the Lord always hears us, we can plainly present our concerns and petitions.

Serenity. Our heavenly Father loves us and knows what we need, so we don’t have to worry that He’ll ignore our prayers.

To follow Jesus’ guidelines, we must see ourselves as weak, dependent children coming to our loving Father for help.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 35-38

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Charles Stanley – Strength for the Lonely

 

Isaiah 41:9-11

Loneliness is a painful emotion that many people fear. Paul knew what it felt like, so his life and letters can offer us encouragement when we’re lonely. Yesterday we saw how the apostle was motivated by the presence of Christ. Now let’s look at what fueled His courage.

First, Paul experienced the strength of God. Often, the Lord allows us to come to the end of our own ability so that we clearly see His hand. Otherwise, we would attribute success to our own doing. For example, the apostle was facing possible death charges in court, and it must have been tempting to water down the truth in order to save his own life. But God enabled him to be forthright in once again proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ—fearlessly, boldly, and effectively.

Second, Paul knew he was fulfilling God’s will. Despite his dire situation, the apostle found satisfaction, energy, and joy because he was obedient to God. The believer’s reality is bigger than what meets the eye in the imminent moment.

Remember, even in painful circumstances, three truths are certain: Jesus stands with us; He strengthens us for whatever task our Father wants us to accomplish; and until our final breath, He will enable us to fulfill God’s purpose. Be comforted and encouraged by these promises of the living Lord.

Bible in One Year: Psalm 29-34

 

 

http://www.intouch.org/