Charles Frazier Stanley (born September 25, 1932) is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the founder and president of In Touch Ministries and also served two one-year terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1984 to 1986. He has an evangelical and dispensationalist theology. Charles Frazier Stanley was born on September 25, 1932, in Dry Fork, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, just nine months before his father, Charley, died. Stanley grew up in rural Dry Fork in the outskirts of Danville. At the age of 12, Charles became a born-again Christian, and at age 14 he began his life's work in Christian ministry. Stanley received his bachelor's degree from the University of Richmond. He later obtained his Masters of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He received his Th.M. and Th.D. degrees in theology from Luther Rice Seminary in Florida (which later relocated to Lithonia, Georgia).
Charles Stanley (March-04-2021) Daily Devotional: The Solution to Jealousy
James 3:13-18 - 13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Have you ever wondered what causes envy? On the surface, it may seem like simply a reaction that occurs when we want something another person has. But it actually goes much deeper than this: The real root is resentment that God hasn’t provided for us what He has given someone else.
Jealousy arises from a heart overcome by:
• Greed. We become discontent with what God has given to us, and we want what other people have, believing that will make us happy.
• Selfishness. We compare ourselves to others, and instead of rejoicing with them, we focus on our own life and what we don’t have.
• Pride. Seeing the success of other people makes us feel inadequate, and in an attempt to build ourselves up, we belittle them and their accomplishments.
Jealousy and envy can cause great damage to relationships and spiritual health. That’s why it is important to act quickly, correcting such attitudes before they become a habit. At the first awareness of such a mindset, confess it as sin and acknowledge God’s right to bless someone else abundantly. Then express gratitude for what He has given you, and ask Him to help you rejoice with others He has blessed.
Dr. Charles Stanley Weekly Saturday sermon (March-06-2021) In Touch Ministries.
Charles Stanley (March-03-2021) Daily Devotional: The Struggle With Jealousy
1 Samuel 18:5-16 - 5 So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and prospered; and Saul set him over the men of war. And it was pleasing in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul's servants. 6 It happened as they were coming, when David returned from killing the Philistine, that the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet King Saul, with tambourines, with joy and with musical instruments. 7 The women sang as they played, and said, Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands."8 Then Saul became very angry, for this saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed thousands. Now what more can he have but the kingdom?" 9 Saul looked at David with suspicion from that day on. 10 Now it came about on the next day that an evil spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, and he raved in the midst of the house, while David was playing the harp with his hand, as usual; and a spear was in Saul's hand. 11 Saul hurled the spear for he thought, I will pin David to the wall." But David escaped from his presence twice. 12 Now Saul was afraid of David, for the LORD was with him but had departed from Saul. 13 Therefore Saul removed him from his presence and appointed him as his commander of a thousand; and he went out and came in before the people. 14 David was prospering in all his ways for the LORD was with him. 15 When Saul saw that he was prospering greatly, he dreaded him. 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, and he went out and came in before them.
Jealousy is an emotion of displeasure over someone else’s good fortune. Constantly comparing ourselves to others leads to discontent, resentment, and bitterness. If these negative emotions remain unchecked, they can poison our relationships. What’s more, they can eventually flare into suspicion, anger, and hostility.
This is what happened to King Saul. His jealousy caused him to distrust David, who had served him faithfully. Saul’s suspicious attitude led to hostility and irrational behavior—so much so that he hurled a spear at David while the young man was playing music (1 Samuel 18:10-12). Instead of being grateful for David’s loyalty and steadfast service, the king repaid him with animosity and death threats. As a result, David was eventually forced to flee and hide in the wilderness (1 Samuel 23:15-26).
15 Now David became aware that Saul had come out to seek his life while David was in the wilderness of Ziph at Horesh. 16 And Jonathan, Saul's son, arose and went to David at Horesh, and encouraged him in God. 17 Thus he said to him, Do not be afraid, because the hand of Saul my father will not find you, and you will be king over Israel and I will be next to you; and Saul my father knows that also." 18 So the two of them made a covenant before the LORD; and David stayed at Horesh while Jonathan went to his house. 19 Then Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah, saying, Is David not hiding with us in the strongholds at Horesh, on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon? 20 Now then, O king, come down according to all the desire of your soul to do so; and our part shall be to surrender him into the king's hand." 21 Saul said, May you be blessed of the LORD, for you have had compassion on me. 22 Go now, make more sure, and investigate and see his place where his haunt is, and who has seen him there; for I am told that he is very cunning. 23 So look, and learn about all the hiding places where he hides himself and return to me with certainty, and I will go with you; and if he is in the land, I will search him out among all the thousands of Judah." 24 Then they arose and went to Ziph before Saul. Now David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah to the south of Jeshimon. 25 When Saul and his men went to seek him, they told David, and he came down to the rock and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard it, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon. 26 Saul went on one side of the mountain, and David and his men on the other side of the mountain; and David was hurrying to get away from Saul, for Saul and his men were surrounding David and his men to seize them.
Jealousy is not something to be excused or rationalized. Ask the Lord to examine your heart and show you if any of these symptoms of jealousy are present in your life. If they are, confess them as sin and ask Him to uproot them from your heart. Then focus on God’s faithfulness instead of comparing yourself with others.
Charles Stanley (March-03-2021) Watch Sermon: Salvation For A Race, Nation Or Class Must Come From Within
Dr. Charles Stanley (March-02-2021) Adversity – Burden or Bridge?. No one could have anticipated how different life is today than just a few months ago. Whether it’s a global crisis or a personal one, adversity usually comes without warning and impacts us in ways we couldn’t have anticipated. This message from the classic Life Principles series helps us see “Adversity as a Burden Or Bridge.”
Charles Stanley (March-02-2021) Daily Devotional: God Acts on Our Behalf
Isaiah 64:1-4 - 1 Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence-- 2 As fire kindles the brushwood, as fire causes water to boil-- To make Your name known to Your adversaries, That the nations may tremble at Your presence! 3 When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. 4 For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
The Lord is a God of action. Even when He rested after six days of creation, it wasn’t because He was tired and needed to recuperate—His creative activity may have stopped, but He never ceased working. And throughout history He has always been intimately involved in individual lives without ever relaxing control over the universe.
Sometimes, however, it may seem He’s unconcerned about us, because our prayers aren’t answered as quickly as we expect. When that happens, we need to remember it doesn’t mean God has stopped working. He is still actively involved in our lives but often in ways that are not always visible. He orchestrates circumstances, changes people’s hearts, and protects His children from making foolish decisions that could have disastrous consequences. Waiting times are opportunities for growth in character, obedience, faith, and service.
By intentionally choosing to trust and depend on God rather than doubt Him, you are cooperating with His process of spiritual growth. He alone knows what you need and when you need it. Be encouraged, knowing that God has planned good things for those who wait (Isa. 64:4). Even if you don’t get specifically what you requested, your Father’s answer will be for your eternal good and His glory.
Charles Stanley (March-02-2021) Watch Message: Now is The Right Time to Trust God. Charles Stanley, pastor and author of "Can You Trust God?", joins Matt and Laurie Crouch on TBN's Praise. Listen in as he teaches that now is the right time to trust God—and lean on God's word for strength and courage in trying times.
Dr. Charles Stanley (March-01-2021) Living a Life That Counts. If you had to describe your impact on the people around you in one sentence, what would you say? In this message, Dr. Stanley emphasizes the importance of living according to God’s instructions and how the Lord intends for our lives to make a difference. How we live gives credibility to the message of Jesus, and God wants us to live in a manner that glorifies Him.
Charles Stanley (March-01-2021) Daily Devotional: God’s Shaping Tools
Romans 12:1-5 - 1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
God’s kindness is demonstrated by the fact that He doesn’t leave us in the condition we were in before salvation. Throughout our life, the Lord uses certain tools to shape us into the image of His Son.
God’s Word. We grow in Christ when we spend time reading the Bible, because Scripture is like food that nourishes our soul (Matt. 4:4 - But He answered and said, It is written, `MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD). Yet sadly, some Christians rely only on the Sunday dinner of the Word served up by a pastor.
Prayer. We learn to depend on the Lord by coming to Him with our needs and concerns as well as our praise and gratitude. As we regularly draw near, our intimacy and love for Him grows. Instead of seeing prayer as a duty, we’ll realize our time with the Lord has become a delight.
The Church. The body of believers is another important factor in our transformation because that’s where we learn to love one another. It’s also where we find encouragement, receive biblical instruction, and experience accountability.
Our culture has no shortage of worldly voices and pressures that fill minds and influence behavior. But when we intentionally schedule time for God, His Word, and His people, He does His transforming work in our life.
Charles Stanley (February-28-2021) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: Facing Challenges
To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
A few thousand years ago, the young shepherd David stepped forward to fight Goliath. We often speak of this story as a reminder of the young man’s bravery, even when the odds were against him. But David’s bravery—and success—came from His deep faith in God. (See 1 Samuel 17). And this faith helped him go on to become a successful warrior and king.
The Lord gave David many responsibilities during his reign, and he endured numerous trials—some due to his own sin. Through it all, the king returned to God again and again in humble dependence and repeatedly proclaimed his trust in the Lord’s faithfulness.
God calls us to abide in this kind of relationship with Him. In seasons of trial or abundance—and we’ll likely experience both, even simultaneously—we can cling to Him and trust that He is the source of all courage, perseverance, and abiding joy.
THINK ABOUT IT
• What do you do when you’re facing a challenge? How does your relationship with God factor into the choices you make?
• Does your faith in Christ help you to feel courageous when facing something new, challenging, uncomfortable, or intimidating? Why or why not?
Charles Stanley (February-27-2021) Daily Devotional: Resurrection: Our New Body
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 - 13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.
Scripture uses beautiful imagery to describe the return of Christ. Today’s passage, for example, says at the Lord’s shout and the sounding of a trumpet, the “dead in Christ” will emerge from their resting places and soar into the sky (1 Thessalonians 4:16). Close behind them will be believers who haven’t yet departed this life. They’ll be changed as they are “caught up ... to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:17).
Earthly flesh and bones age, lose vitality, and succumb to sin. So God promised that the body of every believer would be transformed into a glorious one like Christ’s after His resurrection. In heaven, we will no longer have to deal with temptations or limitations of our present time-bound existence. Perhaps we won’t even be restricted by space, since John 20:19 (So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, Peace be with you.") indicates that the resurrected Jesus didn’t bother with doors! Our new bodies will be suited for the environment where we are to dwell forever—an ageless eternity in which all of our needs are perfectly met.
Each believer will still be him- or herself. Friends and family long separated will recognize one another; our personalities will be unchanged, except that we’ll be sinless. And from then on, we will each be who God intends for us to be.
Charles Stanley (February-26-2021) Daily Devotional: The Good News About Death
1 Corinthians 15:50-58 - 50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
The Bible teaches that death is only the beginning for believers. God has prepared an eternal home for us, and the condition for entry is clear: Believe that Jesus died for your sins, and receive His forgiveness. Some people consider this narrow-minded and unfair. But God set up that condition for a reason.
Way back in the garden of Eden, the Lord established a rule to protect His creation: Do not disobey Me. Sin was such a serious matter in His eyes that He determined it deserved the death penalty. Yet ever since Adam and Eve’s transgression, we’ve been bound to slip up because we’re flawed human beings. And God knew that. So, to save us from the consequence of sin, He sent His Son to die in our place. Jesus fulfilled the law while taking our punishment. And three days later He rose again.
God promised in His Word that those who receive Jesus as Savior share in His resurrection. When a believer dies, the heavenly gates open, and he or she has the same triumph over death that Jesus did. In other words, when we leave this world, we do not simply disappear. We continue to worship the Lord in heaven.
Charles Stanley (February-25-2021) Daily Devotional: Faith: A Fixed Focus
Genesis 39:1-20 - 1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an Egyptian officer of Pharaoh, the captain of the bodyguard, bought him from the Ishmaelites, who had taken him down there. 2 The LORD was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. 3 Now his master saw that the LORD was with him and how the LORD caused all that he did to prosper in his hand. 4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge. 5 It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the LORD blessed the Egyptian's house on account of Joseph; thus the LORD'S blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field. 6 So he left everything he owned in Joseph's charge; and with him there he did not concern himself with anything except the food which he ate. Now Joseph was handsome in form and appearance. 7 It came about after these events that his master's wife looked with desire at Joseph, and she said, Lie with me." 8 But he refused and said to his master's wife, Behold, with me here, my master does not concern himself with anything in the house, and he has put all that he owns in my charge. 9 There is no one greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and sin against God?" 10 As she spoke to Joseph day after day, he did not listen to her to lie beside her or be with her. 11 Now it happened one day that he went into the house to do his work, and none of the men of the household was there inside. 12 She caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me!" And he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside. 13 When she saw that he had left his garment in her hand and had fled outside, 14 she called to the men of her household and said to them, See, he has brought in a Hebrew to us to make sport of us; he came in to me to lie with me, and I screamed. 15 When he heard that I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled and went outside." 16 So she left his garment beside her until his master came home. 17 Then she spoke to him with these words, The Hebrew slave, whom you brought to us, came in to me to make sport of me; 18 and as I raised my voice and screamed, he left his garment beside me and fled outside." 19 Now when his master heard the words of his wife, which she spoke to him, saying, This is what your slave did to me," his anger burned. 20 So Joseph's master took him and put him into the jail, the place where the king's prisoners were confined; and he was there in the jail.
Abiding in God’s will requires a steady, trust-filled focus upon Him. The life of Joseph is a good example.
Joseph’s brothers hated him so much that they sold him to a caravan on its way to Egypt. There, he became the slave of Potiphar, captain of Pharaoh’s guard. Despite all of his misfortune, Joseph performed his duties with excellence and as a result was promoted to oversee Potiphar’s household. Throughout it all, Joseph kept his gaze centered on the Lord.
Focus helps us choose godliness over temptation. Potiphar’s wife attempted to seduce Joseph, but he rejected her advances. When he refused to sin against God (Gen. 39:9), she falsely accused him, and her lies were believed. Ignoring Joseph’s record of hard work and faithful service, Potiphar imprisoned him. Had we been in Joseph’s place, we might at this point be asking our heavenly Father why this happened. However, Joseph endured and continued believing God had neither abandoned him nor lost control of the situation.
In stressful times, we discover how much we really trust the Lord. If doubt about His promises takes root in our thinking, it can lead us off His chosen path. But with steady belief, we can recognize God’s presence and persevere wherever we are.
Charles Stanley (February-24-2021) Daily Devotional: Trust God in Troubling Times.
Psalm 46 - 1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; 3 Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High. 5 God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns. 6 The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. 7 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah. 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, Who has wrought desolations in the earth. 9 He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots with fire. 10 Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.
If you listen to the news, no doubt you’ve heard scary stories of political upheaval, global threats, and natural or man-made catastrophes. Although people around you may be fearful and stressed, there is no reason a child of God should feel this way. For Christians, the Lord is a refuge and very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).
While today’s passage describes a variety of disasters, the writer’s intention was certainly not to cause fear. Rather, these words are a reminder of our Father’s supremacy over everything that happens, His protection of His people, and the ultimate victory that results in His kingdom’s rule on earth. In light of this, we are told to let go of worry and efforts to protect ourselves—and instead trust Him. Our comfort and security are found not in frantically running around, trying to make sure we are safe, but in knowing God. Whatever trouble we experience, He is sufficient to help us through it.
The key to courageously facing the future is confidence in the Lord. He’s your shelter, strength, and help in trouble. To increase your trust in Him, read through the psalms, looking for words and phrases that affirm His protection, steadfastness, and care.
Charles Stanley Weekly Saturday sermon: The Narrow Path To Personal Peace (February-27-2021) In Touch Ministries. Wars, riots, domestic violence, and international conflicts—it’s clear that the world is not at peace. But our internal worlds don't have to mirror this external chaos. In this message, Dr. Stanley speaks of Jesus Christ as the Prince of Peace and explains how we can find inner contentment and true rest through a personal relationship with Him. Don't let things like anger, lust, or bitterness steal your peace. Learn how to trust God and let Him calm your soul with His soothing presence.
Charles Stanley (February-23-2021) Daily Devotional: Passionate Obedience
Acts 5:17-42 - 17 But the high priest rose up, along with all his associates (that is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18 They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, 20 Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life." 21 Upon hearing this, they entered into the temple about daybreak and began to teach. Now when the high priest and his associates came, they called the Council together, even all the Senate of the sons of Israel, and sent orders to the prison house for them to be brought. 22 But the officers who came did not find them in the prison; and they returned and reported back, 23 saying, We found the prison house locked quite securely and the guards standing at the doors; but when we had opened up, we found no one inside." 24 Now when the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them as to what would come of this. 25 But someone came and reported to them, The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people!" 26 Then the captain went along with the officers and proceeded to bring them back without violence (for they were afraid of the people, that they might be stoned). 27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man's blood upon us." 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, We must obey God rather than men. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." 33 But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and intended to kill them. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time. 35 And he said to them, Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown; 39 but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God." 40 They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41 So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
Yesterday, we studied passionate obedience and how it develops over time. The apostles reached the pinnacle of submission. Without being compelled by fear or the hope of reward, they faced shame, pain, and death. Why? Because they loved Christ too much to stay quiet.
People who receive salvation and then sit back, content that they’ll go to heaven when they die, have missed the point. Salvation isn’t just about heaven; it also allows us to be used for God’s glory here on earth. He lives through us, expressing His life-changing truth so that we can impact others. The only hindrance is the restriction we set on our own usefulness.
Limitations and passionate obedience can’t coexist. Life might seem easier if we choose when to obey God, but that type of existence won’t ever prove totally satisfying. Instead, we will tend to wonder why the Lord doesn’t use us or bless us more.
Passionate obedience begins with commitment. Our dedication may at first be based on the promised reward, which is acceptable because blessing is part of obedience. But as we mature, we’re likely to experience increasingly difficult challenges relative to our submission. And then our devotion also grows until we, too, can rejoice when we suffer for Jesus’ name.
Charles Stanley (February-22-2021) Daily Devotional: A Passion to Obey
Romans 6:16-23 - 16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
A passion to obey God doesn’t come naturally. Salvation may spark love and a desire to please Him, but a passionate fire is built slowly from the timbers of spiritual knowledge, faith, and devotion.
Obedience usually begins with a fear of the consequences of disobeying. That is, newer believers can at least enjoy the safety of avoiding repercussions until they develop better reasons to follow God. Thankfully, as we mature and build a scriptural foundation, fear is replaced by both recognition of God’s sovereignty and submission to His wisdom.
Over time, following the Lord becomes less about consequences for disobeying and more about blessings for obeying. Once we taste His goodness, we learn that obedience and God’s best are natural partners—good derives from following divine commands, while suffering results when we demand our own way. This irrevocable principle plays out in the Bible as well as in day-to-day life, and the more we observe it, the more we realize the Lord’s will is the wisest choice.
All the promised blessings in the world cannot make a believer follow God into some frightening places. But that’s where love for our Father comes in, as it compels us toward obedience no matter what is at stake.
Charles Stanley (February-21-2021) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: Trust in the Lord
To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
In looking back at your Christian journey so far, when did you experience the most spiritual growth? For many of us, it was during seasons of great discomfort. Jesus tells us we will encounter difficulties in the world (John 16:33 - These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world), but that doesn’t mean we should just go about our life with resignation, waiting for something awful to happen.
Instead, we should try to think of waiting as an act of endurance—something that makes us more like Christ. And yet endurance looks different for each of us. Some people may become more active in serving their community, while others need to shift their focus inward—increasing in prayer, seeking wise counsel, and more consciously creating practices of giving thanks. Whatever it is, let us be encouraged to “run ... the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Heb. 12:1-2 - 1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God).
THINK ABOUT IT
• Think about your seasons of greatest spiritual growth— or even the experience of coming to faith in Jesus. Was there a specific change or important occurrence in your life? Reflecting like this might help you identify the way God works—and perhaps see your circumstances differently, too.
Charles Stanley (February-20-2021) Daily Devotional: Bigger God, Smaller Problems
Jeremiah 32:17-22 - 17 Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, 18 who shows lovingkindness to thousands, but repays the iniquity of fathers into the bosom of their children after them, O great and mighty God. The LORD of hosts is His name; 19 great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the sons of men, giving to everyone according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds; 20 who has set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and even to this day both in Israel and among mankind; and You have made a name for Yourself, as at this day. 21 You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and with wonders, and with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm and with great terror; 22 and gave them this land, which You swore to their forefathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey.
No one enjoys illness, conflicts, or difficulties. Such stressors tend to demand attention and drain energy, narrowing our focus until our troubles become larger and all else is pushed to the side. What we need at such times is a glimpse of the greatness and majesty of the Lord. Looking at Him helps us see our problems from the proper perspective.
During the captivity, when Jeremiah was confined in the guard house and Jerusalem was about to fall into enemy hands, the Lord’s promised restoration of the land seemed far away, if not impossible. But Jeremiah turned his eyes to God. He remembered the Lord’s great power, unfailing love, assurances to Israel, and omniscience about everything taking place.
The good news is that the words of Jeremiah’s prayer to the Lord—“Nothing is too difficult for You” (Jer. 32:17)—are still true today. Although we may want our difficulties resolved immediately, what we really need is a bigger vision of God, not fewer problems. The larger and more accurate our understanding of the Lord is, the smaller our troubles will seem. Even better, our confidence in His ability to handle our trials will increase.
Charles Stanley (February-19-2021) Daily Devotional: When We Don’t Understand
Job 23 - 1 Then Job replied, 2 Even today my complaint is rebellion; His hand is heavy despite my groaning. 3 Oh that I knew where I might find Him, That I might come to His seat! 4 I would present my case before Him And fill my mouth with arguments. 5 I would learn the words which He would answer, And perceive what He would say to me. 6 Would He contend with me by the greatness of His power? No, surely He would pay attention to me. 7 There the upright would reason with Him; And I would be delivered forever from my Judge. 8 Behold, I go forward but He is not there, And backward, but I cannot perceive Him; 9 When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him. 10 But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold. 11 My foot has held fast to His path; I have kept His way and not turned aside. 12 I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. 13 But He is unique and who can turn Him? And what His soul desires, that He does. 14 For He performs what is appointed for me, And many such decrees are with Him. 15 Therefore, I would be dismayed at His presence; When I consider, I am terrified of Him. 16 It is God who has made my heart faint, And the Almighty who has dismayed me, 17 But I am not silenced by the darkness, Nor deep gloom which covers me.
Starting at a very early age, children will repeatedly ask their parents the question Why? And this desire for reasons isn’t something we outgrow. As adults, especially during dark times when we cannot figure out what the Lord is doing, we tend to think, If I could just know why, then it would be easier to bear.
In his extreme suffering, Job experienced pain and frustration at God’s silence. He longed to present his case and hear what the Lord had to say. But when God did not immediately respond, Job nevertheless clung to Him and relied upon what he knew to be true: “He knows the way I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold” (Job 23:10).
Like Job, we should channel our emotions and responses through the truth of God’s Word. Otherwise, we might be tempted to doubt our Father’s goodness and love, since they aren’t readily visible in times of hardship. But if we trust in what the Scriptures reveal about God’s character and ways, we can endure affliction faithfully, whether or not He ever explains why. After all, God never guaranteed us answers during our time on earth, but He did promise to be with us.
Charles Stanley (February-18-2021) Daily Devotional: The Power of Consistency
Daniel 6 - 1 It seemed good to Darius to appoint 120 satraps over the kingdom, that they would be in charge of the whole kingdom, 2 and over them three commissioners (of whom Daniel was one), that these satraps might be accountable to them, and that the king might not suffer loss. 3 Then this Daniel began distinguishing himself among the commissioners and satraps because he possessed an extraordinary spirit, and the king planned to appoint him over the entire kingdom. 4 Then the commissioners and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption was to be found in him. 5 Then these men said, We will not find any ground of accusation against this Daniel unless we find it against him with regard to the law of his God." 6 Then these commissioners and satraps came by agreement to the king and spoke to him as follows: King Darius, live forever! 7 All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions' den. 8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked." 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction. 10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and supplication before his God. 12 Then they approached and spoke before the king about the king's injunction, Did you not sign an injunction that any man who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, is to be cast into the lions' den?" The king replied, The statement is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked." 13 Then they answered and spoke before the king, Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the injunction which you signed, but keeps making his petition three times a day." 14 Then, as soon as the king heard this statement, he was deeply distressed and set his mind on delivering Daniel; and even until sunset he kept exerting himself to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, Recognize, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or statute which the king establishes may be changed." 16 Then the king gave orders, and Daniel was brought in and cast into the lions' den. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you." 17 A stone was brought and laid over the mouth of the den; and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the signet rings of his nobles, so that nothing would be changed in regard to Daniel. 18 Then the king went off to his palace and spent the night fasting, and no entertainment was brought before him; and his sleep fled from him. 19 Then the king arose at dawn, at the break of day, and went in haste to the lions' den. 20 When he had come near the den to Daniel, he cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?" 21 Then Daniel spoke to the king, O king, live forever! 22 My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime." 23 Then the king was very pleased and gave orders for Daniel to be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den and no injury whatever was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 The king then gave orders, and they brought those men who had maliciously accused Daniel, and they cast them, their children and their wives into the lions' den; and they had not reached the bottom of the den before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. 25 Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language who were living in all the land: May your peace abound! 26 I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, And His dominion will be forever. 27 He delivers and rescues and performs signs and wonders In heaven and on earth, Who has also delivered Daniel from the power of the lions." 28 So this Daniel enjoyed success in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
We live in a noncommittal world, where perseverance is all too rare. If a job is difficult or boring, people often think, Why not find another one? Or when a marriage becomes unhappy, many wonder, Should I be with someone else?
Sadly, this mindset is also found among believers. At the first sign of conflict, some Christians hop to another church instead of working through difficulties with their local body of believers. And when it comes to our personal walk of faith, many of us struggle to maintain a consistent quiet time with the Lord.
Daniel was a man of steadfast loyalty. Not even the awareness that he could be killed interfered with his practice of praying three times a day. Such commitment to the Lord was noted by others. Jealous officers and governors used Daniel’s consistency to trap him, but the king made a remarkable statement: “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you” (Dan. 6:16). Apparently, he believed Daniel’s devotion would be the key to the young man’s deliverance
Daniel’s victory in the lion’s den led to great influence, as it inspired the king’s decree to worship the Lord. Have you considered that the Lord was able to use him because of his unwavering obedience and worship? Imagine what God can do with you when you also commit yourself to Him.
Dr. Charles Stanley Weekly Saturday sermon: Triumphant Joy (February-20-2021) In Touch Ministries. Imprisonment plus isolation plus a death sentence equals . . . joy? Wait, that can't be right, can it? In this message, Dr. Stanley examines the apostle Paul’s triumphant joy in the face of dire circumstances. It may seem absurd, but as Christians, we’re enabled by the Holy Spirit to experience overflowing joy even when our lives only seem to be adding up to despair. Explore what it means to trade in superficial happiness for steadfast joy.
Charles Stanley (February-17-2021) Daily Devotional: The Influence of Our Convictions
Daniel 1 - 1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god. 3 Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, 4 youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king's court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. 5 The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king's choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king's personal service. 6 Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. 7 Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah Shadrach, to Mishael Meshach and to Azariah Abed-nego. 8 But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king." 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king's choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see." 14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king's choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables. 17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams. 18 Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king's personal service. 20 As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.
Although our circles of influence vary in size, we all have the power to affect people at home, in church, or in the world. The fact is, our life is always on display, whether we’re aware of it or not.
Daniel didn’t set out to impress others, but his convictions had an effect on everyone who came in contact with him— from lowly servants to kings of empires. He clung to the truth of the Scriptures. When he was taken to Babylon’s royal court, he “made up his mind” not to defile himself with the king’s food (Dan. 1:8), because he knew that eating meat offered to idols was forbidden by the Mosaic law.
The important thing to notice is that Daniel’s convictions, not his environment, determined his behavior. One can always find some reason to give in, but being sure of our beliefs ahead of time can help us stand firm in obedience to God. Although the world may mock our values, people actually lose respect for us when we waffle and yield to temptation. What’s worse, our witness for Christ is damaged.
Conviction about God’s truth is like an anchor holding you steady in the waves of temptation and the winds of opinion. Don’t underestimate your obedience to the Lord—it can powerfully influence others.
Charles Stanley (February-16-2021) Daily Devotional: The Fruitful Giver
2 Corinthians 9:6-15 - 6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9 as it is written, HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER." 10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, 14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Have you ever had the chance to visit Israel? There is a stark contrast between the Jordan River and the Dead Sea. The banks of the Jordan are surrounded by trees and greenery, but very little grows in the vicinity of the Dead Sea because there’s no outlet—water can only evaporate. This process leaves salt minerals behind and makes the water so salty that it’s unfit to nourish the land, which is dry and barren.
Christians are to be like rivers, not stagnant lakes. The blessings God gives us are to be shared instead of hoarded. This applies to every area of life, including our financial resources. As God’s provision flows in to bless us, He wants us to extend the blessing to those who are in need. The result is a fruitful life centered on glorifying the Lord and building His kingdom.
We never have to fear that we will run out of resources, because the Lord promises to take care of us (Matt. 6:31-33 - 31 Do not worry then, saying, `What will we eat?' or `What will we drink?' or `What will we wear for clothing?' 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you). Believers can trust Him to provide both the means to live and enough extra so we can be generous with others. Best of all, God will increase our righteousness and use us to supply the needs of fellow believers, who will thank and glorify God because of our obedience (2 Corinthians 9:10-13).
Charles Stanley (February-15-2021) Daily Devotional: God’s Guidance for Finances
Malachi 3:7-12 - 7 From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts. But you say, `How shall we return?' 8 Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, `How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. 11 Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes, " says the LORD of hosts. 12 All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land," says the LORD of hosts.
When God created the heavens and earth, He carried out His plan with purpose. Nothing was haphazard, late, or uncertain. The same could be said regarding His plans for each of His children. Every aspect of our life, including our finances, is under His watchful eye and providential care. But despite His perfect record of faithfulness, money is one of the most difficult things for us to entrust to Him. We foolishly think that we can do a better job of handling our money than the omniscient, all-powerful God.
In Malachi’s time, the Jews had stopped trusting the Lord. One indication of the people’s distrust was their failure to give the tithes required by biblical law. God accused them of robbing Him, and they were suffering financial hardship as a result.
Sometimes Christians find that believing the Lord for salvation is easy, and yet they doubt He’ll keep His promise when it comes to money. Our willingness to give God the first portion of our income or resources is a test of our trust in Him. And the truth is, we can fully rely on Him because He promises to meet all of our needs (Phil. 4:19 - And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus). Take a step of obedience today, and discover how faithful God is.
Charles Stanley (February-14-2021) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: Turning to God in Times of Frustration
To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
In the book of Hebrews, we find encouragement for God’s people to persevere and draw near to Him. (See Heb. 10:19-22 - 19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water) When facing all kinds of difficulties, many of us have a tendency to power through in our own strength. But the reality is, that’s never effective—at least not for long. Instead, God wants us to come closer to Him.
All too often, our frustrations about life impact our ability to submit to God and be intimately connected with Him. Trusting our Father requires humility—we must remember He alone knows all. But we also need to keep in mind that He loves us more than anyone can grasp.
When we stay focused on Jesus, we can take comfort in knowing He’ll lead us through the hard places (Isa. 41:10-13 - 10 Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.' 11 Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. 12 You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent. 13 For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, `Do not fear, I will help you). As you continue walking with Him, trust that He already knows what will happen in your life—and that regardless of what lies ahead, He will never leave you.
THINK ABOUT IT
• This week, set aside a few minutes of extra prayer time to ask God to reveal His care for you—especially any situations or relationships where you’ve possibly overlooked His presence. You may be surprised just how active He is in your daily life.
Dr. Charles Stanley (February-13-2021) When All Hope Is Gone . Hope is a word of optimism, and it defines what we are living for. In His encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus transforms her situation into a life of great value and hope. There is no such thing as "beyond repair" for God. He has a purpose for us all, and there is a reason why we are here.
Charles Stanley (February-13-2021) Daily Devotional: Our Amazing Bible
Psalm 119:97-104 - 97 O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, For they are ever mine. 99 I have more insight than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the aged, Because I have observed Your precepts. 101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word. 102 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, For You Yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 From Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I hate every false way.
We often take our Bibles for granted. But have you ever considered how astounding it is that the God of the universe cared enough about humanity to give us His written Word so we could know Him? The Scriptures record God’s thoughts, words, desires, and purposes as well as His interventions in human history. The climax of His revelation is encompassed in the coming of His Son as our Savior, His plan of redemption, and Christ’s future return as King of Kings.
Amazingly, the Scriptures were compiled from the writings of more than three dozen people, recorded over period of about 1,400 years! Each book of the Bible reflects its human author’s personality, background, and vocabulary, yet every word was inspired as God Himself spoke through each writer (2 Peter 1:20-21 - 20 But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God). What’s more, though written by multiple hands over multiple centuries, Scripture is a cohesive compilation: Its message is consistent in truth, purpose, and prophecy.
Without God’s Word, we would know very little about Him and nothing about redemption. So never take your Bible for granted. Each time you open it, you are hearing God’s voice speaking directly to you. Take advantage of this privilege and read it regularly.
Dr. Charles Stanley (February-12-2021) A Comforting Message in Fearful Times. Dr. Stanley pulls from the Word of God to strengthen and encourage us so that we can learn to trust God during these trying times.
Charles Stanley (February-12-2021) Daily Devotional: Accepting God’s Solution
2 Chronicles 20:14-25 - 14 Then in the midst of the assembly the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, the Levite of the sons of Asaph;15 and he said, Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the LORD to you, `Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God's.16 Tomorrow go down against them. Behold, they will come up by the ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the valley in front of the wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the LORD on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the LORD is with you." 18 Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem fell down before the LORD, worshiping the LORD. 19 The Levites, from the sons of the Kohathites and of the sons of the Korahites, stood up to praise the LORD God of Israel, with a very loud voice. 20 They rose early in the morning and went out to the wilderness of Tekoa; and when they went out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Listen to me, O Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, put your trust in the LORD your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed." 21 When he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the LORD and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, Give thanks to the LORD, for His lovingkindness is everlasting." 22 When they began singing and praising, the LORD set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. 23 For the sons of Ammon and Moab rose up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir destroying them completely; and when they had finished with the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another. 24 When Judah came to the lookout of the wilderness, they looked toward the multitude, and behold, they were corpses lying on the ground, and no one had escaped. 25 When Jehoshaphat and his people came to take their spoil, they found much among them, including goods, garments and valuable things which they took for themselves, more than they could carry. And they were three days taking the spoil because there was so much.
When we pray about a matter that is very important to us, it’s easy to begin telling the Lord how to answer our request. We’ve all done this, haven’t we? We start out asking God for help, but as our emotions enter in, we become more passionate about explaining what we want Him to do about it.
God promises to answer prayer (Mark 11:24 - Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you), but sometimes His answers don’t satisfy us. Oftentimes we want relief from pain and difficulty rather than an extra measure of grace to endure in a manner that glorifies God.
King Jehoshaphat may have expected the Lord to answer his prayer by giving the army supernatural strength to win the battle, but God’s solution was entirely unexpected. His method was to send the choir out singing praises. Then God took care of the enemy without any help from Judah’s soldiers.
Instead of dictating a solution, Jehoshaphat trusted God to answer the prayer as He saw fit. And we should do likewise. Prayer is an opportunity to bring our concerns to the Lord and trust that He will answer in a way that brings glory to Him, not to us.
Ask Dr. Stanley (February-11-2021) What did Jesus mean by "greater works than these"? In John 14:12 Jesus says, "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father." Dr. Stanley explains this verse.
Charles Stanley (February-11-2021) Daily Devotional: Our Eyes Are on God
2 Chronicles 20:1-13 - 1 Now it came about after this that the sons of Moab and the sons of Ammon, together with some of the Meunites, came to make war against Jehoshaphat. 2 Then some came and reported to Jehoshaphat, saying, A great multitude is coming against you from beyond the sea, out of Aram and behold, they are in Hazazon-tamar (that is Engedi)." 3 Jehoshaphat was afraid and turned his attention to seek the LORD, and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. 4 So Judah gathered together to seek help from the LORD; they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek the LORD. 5 Then Jehoshaphat stood in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, in the house of the LORD before the new court, 6 and he said, O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You. 7 Did You not, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever? 8 They have lived in it, and have built You a sanctuary there for Your name, saying, 9 Should evil come upon us, the sword, or judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house and before You (for Your name is in this house) and cry to You in our distress, and You will hear and deliver us. ' 10 Now behold, the sons of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir, whom You did not let Israel invade when they came out of the land of Egypt (they turned aside from them and did not destroy them), 11 see how they are rewarding us by coming to drive us out from Your possession which You have given us as an inheritance. 12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You." 13 All Judah was standing before the LORD, with their infants, their wives and their children.
How do you respond in times of crisis? If you’re like most people, it’s probable that your attention is immediately focused on the situation rather than on God. But by forgetting the Lord and relying on your own resources to solve the problem, you’ll miss the opportunity for trust in Him to grow.
If King Jehoshaphat had wrung his hands in fear instead of concentrating on God’s greatness and past provision, Jerusalem might have been captured by the invading armies. But he turned to the Lord, knowing that no problem was bigger than the God of heaven. In his prayer, Jehoshaphat magnified the Lord’s greatness, recalled His mighty works, and asked for divine protection. Trusting God with the dire situation, the king said, “Our eyes are on You” (2 Chronicles 20:12).
When you encounter trouble and distress and don’t know what to do, remember this moment in Jehoshaphat’s life, and fix your eyes on your mighty God. Read a passage of Scripture that describes His greatness, recount all the ways He has led and protected you, and ask Him to accomplish His good will in this situation. Then rest in His faithfulness, trusting Him to guide you.
Dr. Charles Stanley Weekly Saturday sermon: Love Lessons (February-13-2021) In Touch Ministries. With countless songs, books, and movies dedicated to love, you would think we actually understood what it means. But the world has warped our view of God’s most precious attribute, leaving humanity longing for the real thing. In this message, Dr. Stanley teaches us what love really is and how it affects our lives. Learn how your life can be transformed when you allow God’s love to wrap around you and flow through you to others.
Charles Stanley (February-10-2021) Daily Devotional: Our Calling in Troubled Times
John 14:26-28 - 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 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. 28 You heard that I said to you, `I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
We’ve been living in difficult times lately, and the more tumultuous life becomes, the easier it is to be self-centered. Even though the future is uncertain, we can’t afford to let ourselves be consumed with fear and anxiety regarding how we might be affected.
God wants us to get our mind off ourselves and onto Him because He is our rock and refuge in trouble. When we rely on our own limited perspective, confusion and hopelessness are the likely outcome. Instead, we must look at the greatness, promises, and purposes of our God as revealed in His Word, because divine truth is our anchor in the storms of life.
Think about how the early church responded to their turbulent time. They went forward boldly—even willing to lose their life—because they knew the gospel was the only hope for a lost world. When persecution broke out against them in Jerusalem, they scattered and took the gospel wherever they went (Acts 8:1-4 - 1 Saul was in hearty agreement with putting him to death. And on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. 2 Some devout men buried Stephen, and made loud lamentation over him. 3 But Saul began ravaging the church, entering house after house, and dragging off men and women, he would put them in prison. 4 Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word). God doesn’t want us to retreat from the world and focus on ourselves in times of crisis or instability. This is our opportunity to give hope to others through the message of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Charles Stanley (February-09-2021) Daily Devotional: Sharing Burdens in the Church
Romans 12:9-13 - 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Although pastors are called to care for the needs of people in the church, this duty is not theirs alone. And it has nothing to do with the size of the pastoral staff—the entire congregation is to be involved in caring for each other.
Every Christian is equipped to serve other believers. First, God has distributed spiritual gifts that enable His followers to minister in the particular ways He’s determined for each one. And second, you may have experienced challenges similar to those facing another believer, which specially qualifies you to empathize, encourage, and strengthen that person. As you pray for your pastor and congregation, ask the Lord how He would have you share the load and help meet people’s needs.
The church is a network of shoulders supporting the collective weight of everyone’s troubles. When you dive in and help hold a sister’s burden, a brother takes on a bit of yours. Although your contribution might feel small and go unnoticed by all but the individual who is helped, your heavenly Father sees and will reward you for following His command.
The next time you go to church, ask God to direct you to those who could use your help. When you extend the hands of Jesus, people find rest for their weary heart.
Dr. Charles Stanley (February-08-2021) Examining Our Thought Life.
Charles Stanley (February-08-2021) Daily Devotional: Bearing One Another’s Burdens
Galatians 6:1-5 - 1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5 For each one will bear his own load.
At some point, all of us struggle under the weight of a difficult situation. It might be a sin we cannot overcome, a trial that just doesn’t let up, or a need that remains unmet. However, there’s no need to struggle through it alone, because we have the support of fellow believers as we bear one another’s burdens.
There is an example of this in the book of Acts. Christians of the early church pooled their resources to help meet the material and financial needs of believers who were in poverty (Acts 4:32-35 - 32 And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales 35 and lay them at the apostles' feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need). Paul also displays this concern for others’ welfare in his various letters to growing churches. He knew it was his responsibility and privilege to strengthen them even though he was repeatedly undergoing his own hardships and afflictions.
We can’t wait until life is free from problems before reaching out to others—that day may never come. Though every one of us has his or her own needs, it’s important to remember we can do all things through Christ’s strength. And that includes sharing someone else’s burden.
When we’re willing to wade into a fellow believer’s troubles to help, that person is blessed, and we’re fulfilling the Lord’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Dr. Charles Stanley (February-07-2021) The Missing Link. Victory over your sins is not in continual confession of habitual sins but in complete surrender to God. In this sermon, Dr. Stanley reveals that total trust in Jesus is the only way to combat our transgressions. God is asking for repentance—not confession; Repentance is heartfelt sorrow in our hearts for our sins followed by a sincere commitment to forsake it and walk obediently towards Him
Charles Stanley (February-07-2021) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: You Will Be Free
To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
When Jesus preached in the temple, He said, “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36 - So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.). The people listening that day had a difficult time understanding that He was talking about Himself. But it’s no wonder Jesus’ listeners were confused. He hadn’t yet died on the cross and risen from the grave. Yet here’s the unfortunate truth: Sometimes we’re just as confused, even though we know how the story ends.
It’s easy to forget God’s promise of abundant life in Him—a life liberated by His love—and to continue making choices that enslave us to sin. And at times these choices can have longstanding effects. The good news is that God’s offer of freedom is always available to us, no matter how far we stray. We simply need to stop and turn once again in His direction. Repentance is always the path to greater freedom.
THINK ABOUT IT
• What would turning once again in Jesus’ direction look like right now in your life? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal anything that’s getting in the way of your freedom in Christ. Whatever He shows you, confess it and ask Him to help you walk in repentance.
Charles Stanley (February-06-2021) Daily Devotional: Dealing With Persecution
1 Peter 1:3-9 - 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, 7 so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.
Harsh persecution for faith isn’t something most of us have been subjected to here in the United States. Perhaps we’ve been rejected, ridiculed, or treated unfairly, but at this point in history, physical suffering, imprisonment, or death haven’t been a typical experience. However, in other places around the globe, believers are severely oppressed for their faith.
But whatever negative treatment we may encounter, the Bible consistently recommends a response of patient endurance and joy in the Lord. Jesus said anyone mistreated for His sake is actually blessed (Luke 6:22-23 - 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. 23 Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets), and Peter points out that from God’s point of view, such oppression is designed to prove our faith genuine (1 Peter 1:6-7). Whenever the church is persecuted, it is purified because those who remain are dedicated followers of Jesus.
Persecution can have a similar purifying effect on our personal life: Having comforts, pleasures, and idols of this world stripped away can drive us to the Lord for strength and grace. Then pride, self-centeredness, and self-confidence lose their grip, and in our weakness, we recognize God and His eternal inheritance as our only hope. Though oppression is certainly nothing you or I would want, we can take heart knowing that even in such extreme situations, there are blessings that lead to rejoicing in Christ.
Dr. Charles Stanley (February-05-2021) Taking Control of Our Thoughts. The Bible is full of truth about the importance of controlling our minds. In this sermon, Dr. Stanley shares Biblical truth found in Colossians 3 about how our tendencies to think as unbelievers change when we become believers. Christ gives us renewed thoughts and the Bible to guide us towards thinking like Christ—godly and positive thoughts.
Charles Stanley (February-05-2021) Daily Devotional: Made to Be Like Him
Romans 8:26-39 - 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written, FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED." 37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Lord makes known His love for mankind in so many ways. Consider, for example, His providential care and kindness to all humanity, our beautiful planet filled with creation’s wonders, and the gift of eternal life to all who trust Christ as Savior. But have you ever recognized that God also shows love by transforming believers into the image of His Son?
Genesis 1:26 (Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.") tells us that in the beginning, God created mankind in His likeness. Though that image was marred when Adam and Eve sinned, God’s purposes were not thwarted. Before He had created anything, the plan for mankind’s restoration was already in place (1 Peter 1:18-21 - 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God).
God provided salvation through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. Everyone who trusts in Jesus is forgiven, spiritually reborn, and adopted into the heavenly Father’s family. The Holy Spirit enters each new believer’s life and begins the process of molding the renewed heart and mind into Christlikeness. And ultimately the transformation will be completed when we are bodily resurrected and stand before our Father in our glorified state.
But even before we reach that perfected state, God is glorified through His followers—when the likeness of His Son is revealed in our character, conversation, and conduct to those around us.
Charles Stanley (February-04-2021) Daily Devotional: Learning to Wait
Psalm 25 - 1 To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me. 3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed. 4 Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. 6 Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O LORD. 8 Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. 9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. 10 All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. 11 For Your name's sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. 12 Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.13 His soul will abide in prosperity, And his descendants will inherit the land. 14 The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant. 15 My eyes are continually toward the LORD, For He will pluck my feet out of the net. 16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted. 17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. 18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins. 19 Look upon my enemies, for they are many, And they hate me with violent hatred. 20 Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You. 21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. 22 Redeem Israel, O God, Out of all his troubles.
What are we to think when we have prayed but the Lord doesn’t answer? As creatures limited by time, we can find waiting very frustrating. However, God doesn’t perceive time as we do. He knows the end of a matter before it has even begun. His knowledge reaches from eternity past to eternity future, and nothing is hidden from His sight.
Furthermore, His compassion and lovingkindness surround those who belong to Him. He allows difficult circumstances in our life, not to destroy us but rather to build up our faith and bring us to spiritual maturity. Sometimes He withholds answers because they are not spiritually beneficial for us.
Psalm 25:9-10 teaches that waiting on the Lord requires at least three things:
1. Instead of demanding that God do things our way, we must humble ourselves so He can teach us His ways.
2. We must trust the Lord’s leadership, knowing that all His paths are established on His lovingkindness and truth.
3. We must be obedient to Him—which sometimes requires waiting and trusting.
If God seems slow in answering your prayer, realize that He hasn’t left you but is redirecting you onto His path.
Dr. Charles Stanley Weekly Saturday sermon: The Mighty Hand of God (February-06-2021) In Touch Ministries. Pharaoh was the leader of a nation, and his rebellion against God had far-reaching consequences for many people. Whether on a large scale or a smaller one, sin destroys. In this message, Dr. Stanley explores the Egyptian leader’s disobedience and talks about how important it is to identify our weaknesses and pursue genuine repentance—both as individuals and as a nation.
Charles Stanley (February-03-2021) Daily Devotional: The Grace to Wait
Psalm 62:5-8 - 5 My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God my salvation and my glory rest; The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.
Nobody in our culture likes to wait. It’s easy to become impatient for the doctor to enter the exam room, the grocery cashier to work faster, or the website to load. Patience can even be elusive in our relationship with God if He doesn’t answer our prayer requests as soon as we want.
David, the author of today’s psalm, wrote often about the need to wait on the Lord. In the original language, this word means “to rest quietly” or “to quiet oneself.” Does that describe how you wait, or do you fret and worry?
The key to waiting quietly for the Lord is to maintain your hope in Him regardless of your situation. That’s how David was able to wait for God’s ordained time to become king. Although he was anointed as king in his youth, the promise wasn’t fulfilled until he was 30 years old. In those intervening years he suffered much hardship and unfairness, but he upheld his hope in the Lord.
Are you waiting today for God to change or accomplish something in your life? If so, follow David’s example: With awareness that the Lord is your refuge and strength, trust in both His timing and provision.
Charles Stanley (February-02-2021) Daily Devotional: Rely on God’s Spirit
Galatians 3:1-5 - 1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain--if indeed it was in vain? 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
Many years ago I learned a valuable lesson from a missionary who had spent 40 years in China. I told her about a struggle I was having, and I’ve never forgotten her reply. She said, “Charles, you won’t ever be any better than you are, but the Holy Spirit who lives inside you will enable you. You can’t improve your flesh.”
Until then, I’d always thought that if I worked hard enough, I would be a better person. It was an eye-opener to realize that our heavenly Father does not want or need our self-efforts. They can neither earn us salvation nor enable us to live the Christian life. In his letter to the Galatians, the apostle Paul said basically the same thing when he wrote, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).
In our own strength, we are unable to do anything of eternal value. To become the person God wants us to be and to accomplish His will in our life, we must totally rely upon His Spirit. But it’s important to remember that dependence is not inaction. Paul described it this way: “I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Col. 1:29 - For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me). Depending fully on the Holy Spirit is how our Father wants us to serve Him.
Ask Dr. Stanley (February-01-2021) What does it mean to "take up my cross daily"? Dr. Stanley responds to a question about the way of the cross - that path of denial and self-surrender that Christ calls His followers to take.
Charles Stanley (February-01-2021) Daily Devotional: God’s Power Working in Us
2 Corinthians 3:4-18 - 4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face, fading as it was, 8 how will the ministry of the Spirit fail to be even more with glory? 9 For if the ministry of condemnation has glory, much more does the ministry of righteousness abound in glory. 10 For indeed what had glory, in this case has no glory because of the glory that surpasses it. 11 For if that which fades away was with glory, much more that which remains is in glory. 12 Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech, 13 and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away. 14 But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. 15 But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; 16 but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
It’s easy to become discouraged in the Christian life because of our struggle with sin. Even though we want to walk obediently before the Lord, we often find ourselves thinking sinful thoughts, adopting worldly attitudes, speaking rashly, and acting in ways that are anything but Christlike.
Whenever you feel defeated, remember this: As believers, we have all the power needed to live as God desires, because He has given us His Holy Spirit (John 14:17). So, although you may never achieve success as the world measures it, God’s Spirit is always working towards your spiritual success by ...
Illuminating your mind to know the truth. Then you can grow in the knowledge of God and His Word (1 Corinthians 2:12 - Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God).
Transforming your character. He produces His spiritual fruit within you, making you more like Christ (Gal. 5:22-23 - 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law).
Aligning your desires with God’s will. He works to help you yearn for the things God wants (Phil. 2:12-13 - 12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure).
Strengthening you. He enables you both to endure hardship and to serve God (2 Corinthians 3:4-6 - 4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life).
Human strength and willpower fall short, but the Lord promises to complete the good work He began in us. And He will not fail.
Charles Stanley (January-31-2021) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: The Freedom to Fly
To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
The flying trapeze is one of the most thrilling acts at the circus. With faces turned skyward, we watch with a sense of awe as fliers somersault, twist, and glide across the arena into the arms of a catcher, then return to their perch in triumph.
What we don’t see are the hours of grueling practice. Trapeze artists need to build trust with one another, if they ever want to move together with grace and beauty. It is only through mutual submission that they are free to attain something greater than they ever could alone.
Believers can experience a similar joy. Paul emphasized the importance of differences and gifts, describing us this way in 1 Corinthians 12:19-20: “If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body.” Yes, we are each uniquely designed. Yet in Christ, we discover our fullest, truest selves by working together as one, surrendering ourselves to each other in love.
Think about it
• Describe the joy that comes with being part of Christ’s body. If you haven’t experienced it, how might you pursue it?
• To what specific task in the body are you called? How can you exercise your gift more fully at church, home, or work?
Charles Stanley (January-30-2021) Daily Devotional: The Danger of Error in the Church
2 Timothy 2:16-21 - 16 But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, The Lord knows those who are His," and, Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness." 20 Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work.
Ever since the beginning of church history, believers have been in a battle for the truth. That’s why, in today’s reading, Paul admonished Timothy to be faithful—not only in preaching God’s Word but also in refuting false doctrines. Both types of instruction are necessary for the health of a local congregation. False teaching …
• Leads to further ungodliness (2 Timothy 2:16 - Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth). A false teacher’s words may sound religious, but something counterfeit can never make a person righteous. Apart from the true Word of God (John 17:17), no one can grow in holiness.
• Spreads like gangrene (2 Timothy 2:17). Once deceitful ideas infiltrate a church and are accepted by a few, contagion can ultimately make the entire congregation spiritually sick and prone to ignore the Spirit’s power.
• Overthrows the faith of some (2 Timothy 2:18-19). The church as a whole loses effectiveness when individual members turn away from Christ to embrace error.
If we’re firmly grounded in the Scriptures, we can more easily recognize and flee from seductive ideas that would lead us astray. Accurate knowledge of God’s Word is our best protection.
Charles Stanley (January-29-2021) Daily Devotional: Handling God’s Word Accurately
2 Timothy 2:14-15 - 14 Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless and leads to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
The Bible is an amazing book because it is God’s words given to mankind in written form. Yet many people misinterpret it. Instead of diligently studying Scripture to discover what God means and how He wants us to live, some people search the Bible to find passages to support their preconceived ideas or preferred lifestyles.
Today’s passage was written to a young pastor named Timothy. Of all the duties a pastor has, the central one is to present the Word of God accurately to the church. But that doesn’t mean nobody else can—knowing how to properly interpret the Bible is a skill every believer should develop. Consider the diligence of the Bereans, who were commended for examining Scripture regularly to gauge the truth of messages preached to them (Acts 17:10-11 - 10 The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so).
We aren’t free to interpret the Bible any way we want. The goal is to discover what God meant rather than to find a meaning we like. Remember, it’s our Father’s approval we are seeking—not our own or that of others. Therefore, let’s devote time to studying Scripture, use our resources to learn about context, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us to the truth.
Charles Stanley (January-28-2021) Daily Devotional: Evangelism: Every Believer’s Calling
Acts 1:1-8 - 1 The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen. 3 To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God. 4 Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, Which," He said, you heard of from Me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." 6 So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them, It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; 8 but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
One Sunday a man approached me between services to share his story. He had been addicted to drugs and was leading a hopeless life when he heard a Scripture verse in a sermon. He said that one passage led him to place his trust in Jesus Christ.
We all have a story. Oftentimes the more we surrender to God, the more we see His hand in our life. And the more we watch Him work, the more we want to share with others what He has done.
The same was true of the disciples, who gathered around Jesus before His ascension. They heard His command to spread the gospel, make disciples, and baptize people from all nations. Surely this seemed like an overwhelming task for a handful of followers, but they obeyed. Their personal experiences with Christ undoubtedly motivated them to share the good news, and they also must have gained confidence from Jesus’ promise of His presence and power.
Are you passionately telling others about Christ? One of our highest callings is to tell others about Him. As was true for the early Christians, our own experience with the Savior is the most exciting and convincing story to tell.
Dr. Charles Stanley Weekly Saturday sermon: A God-Centered Message (January-30-2021) In Touch Ministries, God equipped Moses to fulfill his purpose, and He can do the same for you. No matter what He calls you to do, He will provide, direct, strengthen, and empower you to handle every difficulty. Listen as Dr. Stanley talks about all that God will do when we're willing to obey Him. You can have the faith and confidence to say, “Here am I, send me” (Isa. 6:8).
Dr. Charles Stanley (January-27-2021) Looking Deeper Into The Will of God . God’s sovereignty over the affairs of earth is a reassuring reality. Yet it is so easy to feel baffled by the perplexities of daily living when we assume the responsibility for every decision and concern. Our heavenly Father never meant for us to bear these burdens on our own.
Charles Stanley (January-27-2021) Daily Devotional: Vision Without Boundaries
Matthew 28:16-20 - 16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Before ascending to heaven, Jesus told His followers to tell all nations about Him. However, many of us aren’t working to fulfill this Great Commission—at least not fervently and purposefully. What might be holding us back?
Sometimes self-preserving barriers, such as fear, are the reason. For instance, if evangelizing means traveling overseas, we might be concerned about safety or how family and friends will react to our decision. We also might worry about how people will respond to our message.
Another hindrance might be conditional obedience—in other words, when we respond to God’s call but with our own modifications. Instead of being willing to serve where God wants for as long as He wants, we might think, That’s too much money or That’s too much time. We end up settling for something less than what God intended and fail to fully carry out our role in the Great Commission.
There are many obstacles that can keep us from telling people the good news of the gospel. But when we’re willing to tear those barriers down, we’ll be amazed at what God can accomplish through us. Are you passionately sharing the gospel? If not, ask God to show you what stands in your way. Then pray for forgiveness, and refocus on your part in the mission Jesus gave us all.
Charles Stanley (January-26-2021) Daily Devotional: Characteristics of Christians
Romans 15:13 - Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Today’s verse from Romans 15 is Paul’s concise description of how God can transform hearts and attitudes when people trust in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Instead of being filled with fear, anxiety, frustration, and stress, they can now—empowered by the Holy Spirit—be characterized by hope, joy, and peace.
Yet all too often those old emotions come back when circumstances are difficult. We walk around, weighed down with concerns even though Jesus says His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:30 - For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."). As anxious thoughts and hopelessness take over, we not only suffer personally but also cease to be a light in the world because Christ is no longer reflected in our life. On the surface, in fact, we appear just as pressured, stressed, and fearful as those without Christ.
Although we don’t rejoice in the adversities themselves, we can find hope, joy, and peace in knowing that our difficulties aren’t in vain. God may be refining our character and melting away things that don’t reflect Christ. If we submit to whatever road the Lord has chosen for us, His Spirit will guide us and—slowly but surely—produce His fruit.
Charles Stanley (January-25-2021) Daily Devotional: The Shepherd’s Care for His Sheep
Psalm 23 - 1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
What words come to mind when you think about a valley? The first part of Psalm 23 paints a picture of green pastures and abundant waters. It’s a restful, sheltered, and restorative place where every need is met and God’s care is evident. Some valleys, however, are inhospitable passages with deep shadows and restricted views of what lies ahead. In the “valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4), travelers feel vulnerable to all sorts of dangers.
For the Christian, green pastures and dark valleys are both a part of life. There are times when God’s abundant outward blessings are obvious, and we respond in joy and gratitude. But on other occasions, we’re surrounded by darkness, loss, and pain. Obscured by shadows, the path to the future is filled with fearful uncertainties—the way seems long, with no end in sight.
However, the same Shepherd who cares for us in the green pasture also remains by our side in the dismal valley and leads us though. No circumstance can keep His goodness and lovingkindness from us. We can count on His comfort and protection throughout life’s journey—until we safely reach our Father’s house.
A Message By Dr. Charles Stanley (January-24-2021) A Life Of Dependence. It’s common to hear that God helps those who help themselves. In fact, Scripture teaches just the opposite. We are dependent on Him for everything, including the desire to reach out for His assistance. Enjoy a life of confidence in Christ. Your weakness is the starting point for His supernatural strength. Thanking You For Watching!!!
Charles Stanley (January-24-2021) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: Serve One Another
To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul says that freedom is an opportunity to serve one another through love (Gal. 5:13 - For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.). Jesus is our example of how to minister in this way: He emptied Himself and took the form of a human and a bondservant (Phil. 2:7 - but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men). And “He loved [believers] to the end” (John 13:1 - Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.), telling His disciples, “I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:27 - For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves). Jesus—who served throughout His earthly life and suffered on the cross—was the freest man who ever lived.
To love in a way that reflects the love of Christ requires submitting to His will and trusting Him to guide us. Or to put it another way, this kind of love means surrendering our entire life. But that doesn’t mean we lose freedom. In fact, the opposite is true: We’re liberated to do exactly what the Lord has called us to do—to love one another completely and without condition, just as He loves us.
Think about it
• Think about what you know of the Lord’s life on earth. How did Jesus demonstrate walking in freedom?
• How do we serve one another through love when we have our own needs to consider?
A Message By Dr. Charles Stanley (January-23-2021) A Pattern of Powerful Prayer. Even the disciples, the men who physically walked with Jesus, had to learn how to pray: “Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1). Praying with effectiveness and authority requires first humbly assuming the position of student and asking for guidance. Thanking You For Watching!!!
Charles Stanley (January-23-2021) Daily Devotional: Staying Young All Your Life
Psalm 92:12-15 - 12 The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, 15 To declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Our bodies may age, but we get old only if we choose to do so—attitude is what makes the difference. Here are some suggestions for staying young your whole life. And since I’m well over 80, you can be sure I’ve tested them all!
First, we need to keep learning. Though learning takes effort, it allows to us to remain productive and keep contributing in the world. Gaining knowledge of Scripture should be first on our list, because God’s perspective reduces our anxiety and prepares us for His plan. But we should also commit to read up on our interests, take on new projects, and learn to use technology.
Of course, the more birthdays we have, the more challenging it can be to keep up with technological advances. But we can still remain productive, which leads me to my next suggestion: Keep laboring—even if you choose to retire from your vocation. Just as certain fruit improves as trees age, years of walking with God should yield greater fruit. Whatever your age, look for service opportunities through the church and other ministries.
If God blesses you with many years, bless Him with your service. He wants to use you all of your days, so stay young at heart as long as you can.
Pastor Charles Stanley (January-22-2021) If You LIVE Like THIS, You'll DIE! Top 10 Rules . ✎ Charles Stanley's Top 10 Rules For Success: In this video we're going to learn how to improve our lives by analyzing our take on Stanley's rules for success.
Charles Stanley (January-22-2021) Daily Devotional: The Landmine of Unforgiveness
Ephesians 4:25-32 - 25 Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. 26 BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not give the devil an opportunity. 28 He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. 29 Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
It can be difficult to let go of resentment towards those who have hurt us. But that is exactly what God asks us to do—not only for their good but also for our own. Unforgiveness causes stress and unhappiness that can creep into our relationships with co-workers, friends, and family. But when we choose to forgive, we will find freedom. Here are things to do if you have noticed bitterness in your heart:
• Assume full responsibility for your unforgiving spirit. The other person may be responsible for wrongful actions toward us, but we are nonetheless responsible for the sin of harboring bitterness.
• Confess honestly. It’s appropriate to admit to God when we harbor resentment or wish for someone’s punishment. But since an unforgiving spirit will return unless we can permanently lay down our anger, this is a choice many people must make repeatedly.
• Pray for your wrongdoer. We may not feel like talking to God on behalf of someone who’s hurt us, but doing so is the way to break the hold bitterness has on us.
Even after we have done these things, resentment may still crop up in our hearts. When that happens, we can thank God that we have, in fact, forgiven. We can also refuse Satan’s invitation to rehash the past.
Charles Stanley (January-21-2021) Sermon: Confidence To Face The Future. To remain balanced, we need to focus on God and not ourselves. He knows our needs better than we do and promises to always meet them in good time. Based on God’s past performance, how can we not have confidence in Him to provide for us in the future? If we are doing what God wants us to do, we have no reason to be anxious about what's going on all about us. Thanking You For Watching!!!
Charles Stanley (January-21-2021) Daily Devotional: Our God Is Able
Jude 1:24-25 - 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Unfortunately, there are times when, no matter how hard we try or how talented we may be, we fail. How are we to succeed when the odds are against us? For believers in Christ Jesus, the answer is to live with the knowledge that God works despite our weaknesses.
In Genesis, Sarah doubted when the Lord prophesied the birth of her son. “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” He replied (Gen. 18:14 - Is anything too difficult for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son). Within a year, Sarah gave birth to baby Isaac. She saw that God was able.
Moses was scared when God sent him to Pharaoh to demand that the Hebrew slaves be released. “Who am I,” he asked, “that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (Ex. 3:11 - But Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?). God replied that He Himself would release Israel, which He did in a miraculous way. Moses saw that God was able.
On our own, we can accomplish nothing (John 15:5 - I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing). But with God, we have access to power beyond our comprehension (1 Chronicles 29:12 -Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone.). If you are overcome by burdens in your life, it is time to trust the only One who can carry your heavy load (Matt. 11:28-30 - Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light). Then you will see for yourself that He is able.
Dr. Charles Stanley Weekly Saturday sermon: The Promise and The Plan (January-23-2021) In Touch Ministries. We don't always understand why God works the way He does. But we can be assured that He is always in control. At such times, it’s helpful to remember that God sees the big picture. He’s always working to accomplish His purposes. In this message, Dr. Stanley outlines seven truths from Scripture to remind us that no matter what we see, we can trust God to fulfill all His promises and complete His perfect plan.
A Message By Dr. Charles Stanley (January-20-2021) Talking With The Dead. In this message, Dr. Stanley dissects that troubling passage in 1 Samuel 28 where Saul consults a medium to speak with the recently deceased prophet, Samuel. It’s a bizarre moment, but there are lessons we can glean from it. Learn how God views occult practices and why Christians should never engage in any form of witchcraft.
Charles Stanley (January-20-2021) Daily Devotional: Reinforcing Our Faith
Jude 1:20-23 - 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life. 22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting; 23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh.
Though we’ve considered some ways to identify false teachers, it’s not possible to avoid this destructive influence completely. The best defense is a foundation of faith that enables us to stand firm against the subversive pull of the world. So how can we build a stronger faith?
First, we must saturate our mind with the Word of God. Then the Holy Spirit will bring new insights and help us mature.
Second, it is wise to do as Ephesians 6:18 - (With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints) urges: “Pray at all times in the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit understands exactly what truth we’ll need and when, so continually turning to Him for guidance leads to our protection.
Third, we must abide in the love of God. Of course, believers cannot fall beyond the scope of God’s love, but we shouldn’t take His amazing grace for granted. With that in mind, guard your intimacy with Him and the time you spend in His presence.
Fourth, eagerly await the return of Jesus Christ. The thought that He could return at any moment helps us maintain an eternal perspective (1 John 3:2-3 - 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure).
Though there is no magic formula for strengthening our faith, the steps laid out in today’s passage will guide us toward God and away from the snares of the world.
Charles Stanley (January-19-2021) Daily Devotional: Living Amidst False Teachers
Jude 1:17-19 - 17 But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, 18 that they were saying to you, In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts." 19 These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit.
Unsound teaching can be a danger in our Christian walk. Let’s learn to spot those who might lead us in the wrong direction. False teachers usually ...
• Mock truth. That is, they attack or attempt to discredit the Word of God or the church. When presented in a passionate and intelligent-sounding way, anti-church sentiment can lure even the most sincere people to doubt the truth of Scripture.
• Follow unrighteous impulses. False teachers pick and choose verses to justify their sinful habits and desires. For them, the interpretation of Scripture is selective.
• Divide people. They try to appear superior to their listeners. Some claim an experience that elevates them to a “higher level,” while others profess a more advanced spirituality that no one else could ever achieve.
• Are worldly-minded. False teachers are not interested in teaching God’s Word. Instead, their focus is usually on what they can achieve, how many people will follow them, or how much they can earn through their teaching.
Spirit-led teachers recognize that humility and unity with their students is key (Phil. 2:1-4 - 1 Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, 2 make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; 4 do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others). Lets pray for discernment to distinguish true teachers from misguided ones—and for only godly instruction to influence the church
Charles Stanley (January-18-2021) Daily Devotional: Finding Strength in Weakness
Judges 161 Now Samson went to Gaza and saw a harlot there, and went in to her. 2 When it was told to the Gazites, saying, Samson has come here," they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the gate of the city. And they kept silent all night, saying, Let us wait until the morning light, then we will kill him." 3 Now Samson lay until midnight, and at midnight he arose and took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts and pulled them up along with the bars; then he put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the mountain which is opposite Hebron. 4 After this it came about that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5 The lords of the Philistines came up to her and said to her, Entice him, and see where his great strength lies and how we may overpower him that we may bind him to afflict him. Then we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver." 6 So Delilah said to Samson, Please tell me where your great strength is and how you may be bound to afflict you." 7 Samson said to her, If they bind me with seven fresh cords that have not been dried, then I will become weak and be like any other man." 8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven fresh cords that had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 9 Now she had men lying in wait in an inner room. And she said to him, The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he snapped the cords as a string of tow snaps when it touches fire. So his strength was not discovered. 10 Then Delilah said to Samson, Behold, you have deceived me and told me lies; now please tell me how you may be bound." 11 He said to her, If they bind me tightly with new ropes which have not been used, then I will become weak and be like any other man." 12 So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them and said to him, The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" For the men were lying in wait in the inner room. But he snapped the ropes from his arms like a thread. 13 Then Delilah said to Samson, Up to now you have deceived me and told me lies; tell me how you may be bound." And he said to her, If you weave the seven locks of my hair with the web [and fasten it with a pin, then I will become weak and be like any other man." 14 So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his hair and wove them into the web]. And she fastened it with the pin and said to him, The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" But he awoke from his sleep and pulled out the pin of the loom and the web. 15 Then she said to him, How can you say, `I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have deceived me these three times and have not told me where your great strength is." 16 It came about when she pressed him daily with her words and urged him, that his soul was annoyed to death. 17 So he told her all that was in his heart and said to her, A razor has never come on my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If I am shaved, then my strength will leave me and I will become weak and be like any other man." 18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all that was in his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up once more, for he has told me all that is in his heart." Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his hair. Then she began to afflict him, and his strength left him. 20 She said, The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And he awoke from his sleep and said, I will go out as at other times and shake myself free." But he did not know that the LORD had departed from him. 21 Then the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes; and they brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze chains, and he was a grinder in the prison. 22 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after it was shaved off. 23 Now the lords of the Philistines assembled to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to rejoice, for they said, Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hands." 24 When the people saw him, they praised their god, for they said, Our god has given our enemy into our hands, Even the destroyer of our country, Who has slain many of us." 25 It so happened when they were in high spirits, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may amuse us." So they called for Samson from the prison, and he entertained them. And they made him stand between the pillars. 26 Then Samson said to the boy who was holding his hand, Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, that I may lean against them." 27 Now the house was full of men and women, and all the lords of the Philistines were there. And about 3,000 men and women were on the roof looking on while Samson was amusing them. 28 Then Samson called to the LORD and said, O Lord GOD, please remember me and please strengthen me just this time, O God, that I may at once beavenged of the Philistines for my two eyes." 29 Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and braced himself against them, the one with his right hand and the other with his left. 30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines!" And he bent with all his might so that the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So the dead whom he killed at his death were more than those whom he killed in his life. 31 Then his brothers and all his father's household came down, took him, brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father. Thus he had judged Israel twenty years.
Great strength is no guarantee of protection from temptation. Although Samson had God-given power, he was defeated by a personal weakness. In the same way, we as Christians have the omnipotent Holy Spirit to enable us to live righteously. But as broken beings, we’re bound to make mistakes along the way, as Samson did.
Our best defense against temptation is reliance upon the Word and power of God. If we’ll turn to Him in our weakness—filling our mind with His truth and asking His Holy Spirit for guidance and protection—He will strengthen us to resist. But we must also be aware of our areas of vulnerability and take care to avoid situations that increase temptation.
It’s also helpful to prepare for temptation beforehand by memorizing scriptures that refute the lies Satan throws at us. When Jesus was tempted by the devil, He answered every enticement with biblical truth (Matt. 4:1-11 - 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." 4 But He answered and said, It is written, `MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'" 5 Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written, `HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU'; and `ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP, SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.'" 7 Jesus said to him, On the other hand, it is written, `YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.'" 8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me." 10 Then Jesus said to him, Go, Satan! For it is written, `YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND SERVE HIM ONLY.'" 11 Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him).
And finally, don’t forget to pray immediately when unholy desires threaten to carry you away. Ask the Lord to give you the fortitude and wisdom to walk away from temptation and turn to Him for strength.