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 (September-25-2021) Daily Devotional: The Consequences of Unbelief
John 3:16-21 - 16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God."
Many people think that rejecting Jesus is a choice without consequences. Although they don’t mind others following the Lord, they seem to be doing just fine without Him. However, they fail to consider both the present and eternal consequences of their unbelief.
Since God’s judgment is often seen as a future event, the urgency of salvation may be lost on people who want to enjoy the pleasures of earthly life and feel no need for a Savior. But Jesus said those who do not believe in Him have been judged already because they love darkness and don’t want their sins exposed by His light. In other words, they love their sin and are unwilling to turn from it. Living this way seems comfortable and allows them to rule their own life according to their desires.
There are also those who claim to believe in Jesus while still loving their sins and trying to hide them from His light. But attempts to have it both ways won’t work, and such people remain in darkness.
The pleasures of sin, however, are temporary (Heb. 11:25 - choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin). The wise are those who truly believe and are eager to come to the light; they want nothing more to do with a godless lifestyle. Remember, it’s never too late to come to the Lord.
Charles Stanley (September-24-2021) Daily Devotional: A Life of Integrity
Psalm 15 - 1 O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill? 2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. 3 He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the LORD; He swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
In today’s Psalm, David describes a life of integrity—it is marked by truthfulness, righteousness, and honesty. To develop and maintain this God-pleasing lifestyle, we must ...
• Formulate beliefs based on Scripture. Our need for a Savior, Christ’s death on our behalf, salvation by faith alone, and the Father’s gift of eternal life are foundational truths upon which to build our life. As we align our thinking with God’s Word, our identity and priorities should flow from these tenets.
• Submit to Christ’s lordship. Jesus commands us to deny ourselves and follow Him (Mark 8:34 - And He summoned the crowd with His disciples, and said to them, If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.). Wholehearted commitment to Him helps us choose righteousness over temptations.
• Build relationships with godly individuals. The influence of mature Christians strengthens our dedication and obedience to the Lord.
• Acknowledge our mistakes. Everyone misses the mark at times. We are to confess any known sin to God (1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.) and turn away from the wrong behavior. We must also ask for forgiveness from anyone we have wronged.
God understands our struggle to resist temptation and choose righteousness, and He has sent His Holy Spirit to help us live with integrity. Ask Him today to help you embody the values in Psalm 15.
Charles Stanley (September-23-2021) Daily Devotional: Ministers of Comfort
Psalm 72:12-14 - 12 For he will deliver the needy when he cries for help, The afflicted also, and him who has no helper. 13 He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy he will save. 14 He will rescue their life from oppression and violence, And their blood will be precious in his sight;
When you hear about a calamity, how do you respond? As believers, we should approach such situations with a selfless and compassionate attitude. True compassion not only tries to understand the pain of others but also provides practical help.
In times of disaster, remember that you and I have the privilege of touching anybody anywhere through prayer. No matter how far away victims might be, they can be comforted by God as He responds to your heartfelt cries. So as soon as word of a tragedy reaches you, start praying. Let the Holy Spirit guide you in petitioning for protection, provision, comfort, and awareness of His presence (Rom. 8:26 - 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;).
Next, remember that donations (whether money or goods) and hands-on assistance are usually high priority. It is wise to team up with dependable relief organizations and consult trusted sources about what’s needed. In local situations, you can also provide words of comfort, a warm embrace, or simply a listening ear.
We should take care to notice others’ needs and to reach out with Christ’s love. Through these actions, the world will recognize the light of Jesus, who was anointed to bring good news to the afflicted, bind up the brokenhearted, and comfort all who mourn (Isa. 61:1-2 - 1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, Because the LORD has anointed me To bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to captives And freedom to prisoners; 2 To proclaim the favorable year of the LORD And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn).
Charles Stanley (September-22-2021) Daily Devotional: Worship God Only
James 4:4-8 - 4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us"? 6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. 7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
When reading in the Old Testament, we might not understand why people would bow down before idols they had made. But we make a similar mistake, placing too high a value on things like money, relationships, appearance, and power. Though not bad in themselves, these can become objects of worship if we prioritize them above God. That’s why He is jealous for our heart.
There are two reasons the Lord doesn’t let His children’s devotion stay out of balance. First, He deserves the glory, and second, He loves us and wants the best for us. Praising God above all else is actually in our own best interest, so when our heart does not belong solely to Christ, He disciplines us. This might mean He allows challenges to remind us who is the one and only God. Hardships are not pleasant, but we can be encouraged that God is making us complete in Him.
This week, notice where you spend your time and money and what dominates your thoughts. Even if your pursuits seem good on the surface, ask the Lord to reveal whatever has become an idol in your life. Confess any misplaced affection, and ask for help in making God the object of your devotion.
Charles Stanley (September-21-2021) Daily Devotional: The Reward of Relinquishment
Genesis 22:1-18 - 1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, Abraham!" And he said, Here I am." 2 He said, Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you." 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.
When God asks us to surrender our will to His, it’s our job to trust He will show us the way (Prov. 3:5-6 - 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight). I’ve learned that, while it’s a struggle to put everything on the altar, we don’t have to understand how God will accomplish His plans. Telling God “no” because we first want to understand why amounts to getting in our own way. But when we say “yes,” He can pour out His goodness and reward our obedience.
Today’s passage shows a remarkable example of relinquishment. Abraham’s deep faith in God’s trustworthiness allowed him to obey and offer up what was most precious to him: his son Isaac. As a result, the Lord provided a substitutionary sacrifice that day and also promised Abraham countless descendants, one of whom would be Jesus Christ, the Savior of mankind.
God shouldn’t be mistaken for a parent who withholds a treat until the child complies. Rather, obedience positions us to receive what He is already trying to give us—and to accomplish what He has in mind for our life. So, when we fail to trust God enough to do what He says, we could be closing ourselves off from those good things.
What has the Lord told you to do? Have you only partially cooperated, or have you relinquished your need to understand and obeyed completely? If the Lord says to give, know that you too can trust Him to provide.
Dr. Charles Stanley Weekly Saturday sermon: Distracted from Godly Meditation (September-25-2021) In Touch Ministries. God is genuinely interested in the things that interest you. And He’s more than willing to speak to your heart about them. He longs for your times of biblical meditation and for you to listen to His clear and righteous direction for your life.
Charles Stanley (September-20-2021) Daily Devotional: The Freedom of Relinquishment
Matthew 19:16-26 - 16 And someone came to Him and said, Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?" 17 And He said to him, Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments." 18 Then he said to Him, Which ones?" And Jesus said, YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS; 19 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 20 The young man said to Him, All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?" 21 Jesus said to him, If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 22 But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. 23 And Jesus said to His disciples, Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." 25 When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, Then who can be saved?" 26 And looking at them Jesus said to them, With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
We may think we have no attachments that come between us and the Lord, but He knows our heart better than we ourselves do. One Sunday as I was about to preach a sermon along those lines, God showed me something I had prioritized too highly. Then He let me know I needed to reconsider the place it held in my thinking. So I was glad when the choir’s song took a while, because I had time to come to the place of being able to say, “Lord, if that’s what You desire, I want to commit it to You. It’s Yours right now.”
It’s difficult to be obedient if we’re holding onto something too tightly. The Lord wants our attachment to be exclusively to Him so we can shine His light in the world. You may have multitudes of things that God has blessed you with, but the moment any of it controls you, His work is stunted. When you open your hands, however, you allow the Holy Spirit’s power to flow freely through you.
Think about what captivates you, and honestly consider whether it also enslaves you. Is there anything you feel you could never give up? I challenge you to release the relationship or situation to the Lord right now so He can have your full devotion.
Charles Stanley (September-19-2021) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: Where We Belong
Think back to a time when you were passionate about pursuing something—a job, a cause, or even a relationship. Once you finally attained the object of your desire, was it everything you imagined? Or did it lose its luster over time, perhaps even becoming a problem in your life?
That’s what happens when our focus is on temporal things rather than eternal ones. It’s the reason Paul wrote, “Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1-2 - 1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth).
We may live in the world, but as Christians, we can never fully belong to it. Yet when our perspective is rightly ordered, we are free to experience with joy the good things this world has to offer. At the same time, we must be careful not to let them take God’s place in our life—that requires trusting the Holy Spirit to help us prioritize.
Think about it
• Are you holding on to something too tightly? How can you loosen your grip and keep your interests in proper perspective?
Charles Stanley (September-19-2021) Watch Sermon: A God We Can Trust. Have hard times come your way? Can you trust God while you are suffering? In "A God We Can Trust," Dr. Charles Stanley reminds you that God does care for you and has an answer for every one of your problems. From this message, learn the importance of trusting the Lord, in spite of your circumstances.
Charles Stanley (September-18-2021) Daily Devotional: The Godly Quality of Generosity
2 Corinthians 9:6-12 - 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.
As a child, I lived with my mother in a single-room home. She made just enough money for food, clothing, and rent. Most Saturdays another boy came to the door and asked, “Do y’all have anything to eat?” I’d look in the icebox and see perhaps a piece of fruit, a few eggs, a little bacon, and not much else. But my mother always found some food for that boy.
Generosity is an attitude of sharing gladly whatever we might have, regardless of wealth. In today’s passage, we see liberality is an attribute of God (2 Cor. 9:8-10 - 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). And our Father wants His children to develop a generous spirit as well.
A charitable approach to our money and material goods begins by giving ourselves to God. When we accept that He owns everything, we can hold our small share with an open hand instead of calculating what little amount we might squeeze out for charity. Christians who give sacrificially trust the Lord to supply enough to cover both their gifts and their own needs.
Only through giving do we learn that God cannot be outgiven. So begin today to cultivate a generous spirit by trusting Him to provide the resources.