Displaying items by tag: charles stanley

 Charles Stanley (March-29-2020) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: Sorrow According to the Will of God.

Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians follows up on a previous letter of his (likely 1 Corinthians), in which he rebuked that congregation. In this later epistle, he writes about their feeling grieved and draws a distinction between the sorrows of the world and being “sorrowful according to the will of God” (2 Corinthians 7:9-11). Paul asks them to repent in sincerity and see what fruit that will bear.

This kind of mourning doesn’t have to be a dark, scary, or joyless experience. In fact, it can be quite the opposite—hopeful and filled with light. As we let go of temporal desires and instead pursue the good that God has for us, we get a taste of the eternal comfort He has promised.

THINK ABOUT IT
• Paul is writing about a sorrow that produces repentance. In some translations, this is written as “godly grief.” Consider the opposite—what is borne of worldly grief? How is that different from the fruit that results from a godly kind of sorrow?

• Earlier in this letter, the apostle reminds the church that we live “as sorrowful yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10). How can both things be true?

How to Handle Temptation - Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (March-28-2020). In Scripture, we have a strong defense against evil and temptation.

Ephesians 6:10-17 ( Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God)

When Satan tempted Him in the wilderness, the Lord didn’t utter anything without first saying, “It is written.” (See Matt. 4:1-25.) Jesus knew Satan could not stand under the power of God’s Word.

Ephesians 6 describes the believer’s spiritual armor—God’s provision for His children when they face pressure from the enemy. Most of the armor is defensive equipment; the sole offensive weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the Bible, and it’s our best shot in spiritual battles. However, you can’t remember to do something you don’t know, so it’s important to spend time with the heavenly Father every day, studying Scripture and committing its truths to heart.

Start “putting on” the armor of God every day. Try praying through Ephesians 6:10-17 in the morning ( Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God). And if you struggle with a particular sin, steer clear of situations that make such a temptation more likely. You may even find it helpful to have an accountability partner—someone who can be honest and with whom you will be comfortable. Steps like these help us resist Satan, who we know from Scripture will flee in the presence of God’s Word.

Coronavirus: An Interview with Dr. Charles Stanley (March-27-2020). It’s understandable to feel worried and afraid during times of crisis. In this interview, Dr. Stanley addresses how the coronavirus pandemic has brought a new focus on our need of God, and how believers should have unshakable faith in His Word and almighty provision throughout such situations. And he especially emphasizes how in uncertain times in society, we should pray more and turn to God’s Word.

Jesus’ Temptation: The Peak of Pressure - Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (March-27-2020). We can trust that Jesus understands, because He was tested in the same ways we are.

MATTHEW 4:1-11 ( 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)

The Bible states that after Jesus was baptized, He was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness in order to face temptation by the devil. But why would God direct His own Son to endure temptation?

Just prior to this experience, Jesus had participated in John’s “baptism of repentance” (Matt. 3:11-13 " 11 As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." 13 Then Jesus arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him"), even though He was sinless and didn’t need that symbolic cleansing; He chose to be baptized in order to identify with the world He came to save. Then He fasted 40 days and nights in the desert, where Satan tempted Him. God allowed this time of testing—and Jesus willingly submitted to it—so that He could also identify with the struggles and trials we all face. But while so many of us stumble and give in to temptation, He remained faultless even through the full pressure of Satan’s challenges.

We have a Savior who endured the same types of struggles we face today, and that gives credence to the fact that He understands what His children encounter. He sits at God’s right hand, where He intercedes for us. He is fully God and, at the same time, fully man, who willingly identified with us. Don’t hesitate to bring your greatest difficulties to Him—He truly understands.

Charles Stanley (March-26-2020) Daily Devotional: Recognizing God’s Handiwork.

Sometimes it’s hard to understand what God is doing in your life, but over time I’ve learned that we can identify His fingerprints in several ways:

First, the work God does is creative and powerful. He made heaven, earth, and all living creatures, and He knitted each of us in our mother’s womb. Then, through His Son Jesus, He powerfully accomplished salvation for all who trust in the Savior. What’s more, He adopted all believers into His family.

Second, we can see God’s work through Christ-centered prayers, which narrow our focus on the Lord. When we pray actively and persistently, we can more readily identify His actions and see how to join Him.

Third, the work of God becomes clear to a yielded heart, which prepares us to listen and obey. Regularly concentrating on God’s Word will clear our mind and help us understand what the Lord is up to.

Have you been too busy or distracted to notice what God is doing? If you want to perceive His work, these things can give you a fresh perspective. Admit your lack of attention, and refocus your heart and mind on the Lord.

When We Feel Helpless - Charles Stanley (March-25-2020). When you’re facing insurmountable obstacles and all appears to be lost, there is only one direction to turn: toward God.

Charles Stanley - The Principal. Brokenness Series Part 1

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God Is at Work - Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (March-25-2020). God is always working, whether or not we can perceive the evidence.

John 5:16-23 ( 16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But He answered them, My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working." 18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. )

How do we know the Lord is at work? Sometimes we see a dramatic display like the parting of the Red Sea for the Israelites. Other times it seems God isn’t doing anything, as when Jesus delayed visiting Mary and Martha’s sick brother (John 11:3-6 So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." 4 But when Jesus heard this, He said, This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it." 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was).

Our Father has given us the Holy Spirit to help us recognize His presence and handiwork. But discerning God’s work also requires patience since the Lord operates according to His timetable, not ours. Remember, before Sarah conceived the child promised by God, Abraham had to wait until he and his wife were beyond childbearing years.

I believe you will discover that the Lord’s efforts are worth the wait. Hannah was overjoyed when she finally bore a child (1 Samuel 1:27-28 "For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.", 1 Samuel 2:1 "Then Hannah prayed and said, My heart exults in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation"). And only after being sold into slavery and unjustly imprisoned was Joseph eventually elevated to a position of authority to help his family.

Jesus told the disciples that His Father was always at work and so was He. When we recognize the ways in which God is operating, we will be encouraged and strengthened in our faith.

A Time to Wait in Prayer - Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (March-24-2020). We seek God's counsel because His wisdom is higher than ours.

Joshua 7:1-13 ( 1 But the sons of Israel acted unfaithfully in regard to the things under the ban, for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, from the tribe of Judah, took some of the things under the ban, therefore the anger of the LORD burned against the sons of Israel. 2 Now Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is near Beth-aven, east of Bethel, and said to them, Go up and spy out the land." So the men went up and spied out Ai. 3 They returned to Joshua and said to him, Do not let all the people go up; only about two or three thousand men need go up to Ai; do not make all the people toil up there, for they are few." 4 So about three thousand men from the people went up there, but they fled from the men of Ai. 5 The men of Ai struck down about thirty-six of their men, and pursued them from the gate as far as Shebarim and struck them down on the descent, so the hearts of the people melted and became as water. 6 Then Joshua tore his clothes and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of the LORD until the evening, both he and the elders of Israel; and they put dust on their heads. 7 Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, why did You ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8 O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies? 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?" 10 So the LORD said to Joshua, Rise up! Why is it that you have fallen on your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of the things under the ban and have both stolen and deceived. Moreover, they have also put them among their own things. 12 Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy the things under the ban from your midst. 13 Rise up! Consecrate the people and say, `Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, for thus the LORD, the God of Israel, has said, There are things under the ban in your midst, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you have removed the things under the ban from your midst." )

Most of us are familiar with the Israelites’ victory at the battle of Jericho, but do you know what happened after that? Joshua attempted to take the city of Ai, and 36 Israelites died in battle before their army retreated in fear. Why, Joshua wondered, would the Lord do this to them? (Josh. 7:7-9 Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, why did You ever bring this people over the Jordan, only to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been willing to dwell beyond the Jordan! 8 O Lord, what can I say since Israel has turned their back before their enemies? 9 For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land will hear of it, and they will surround us and cut off our name from the earth. And what will You do for Your great name?" )

Apparently, he was unaware of two problems. First, an Israelite disobeyed when he took forbidden plunder after Jericho fell. Second, God did not initiate the battle; Joshua had been persuaded by his own advisors. Because Joshua failed to seek heavenly counsel, he didn’t know about the Israelite’s crime until it was too late. After the wrongdoer was put to death, Joshua waited for God’s cue to take Ai. Then, and only then, was the Hebrew army successful (Josh. 8:1-25 1 Now the LORD said to Joshua, Do not fear or be dismayed. Take all the people of war with you and arise, go up to Ai; see, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. 2 You shall do to Ai and its king just as you did to Jericho and its king; you shall take only its spoil and its cattle as plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it." 3 So Joshua rose with all the people of war to go up to Ai; and Joshua chose 30,000 men, valiant warriors, and sent them out at night. 4 He commanded them, saying, See, you are going to ambush the city from behind it. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. 5 Then I and all the people who are with me will approach the city. And when they come out to meet us as at the first, we will flee before them. 6 They will come out after us until we have drawn them away from the city, for they will say, ` They are fleeing before us as at the first.' So we will flee before them. 7 And you shall rise from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the LORD your God will deliver it into your hand. 8 Then it will be when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do it according to the word of the LORD. See, I have commanded you." 9 So Joshua sent them away, and they went to the place of ambush and remained between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua spent that night among the people. 10 Now Joshua rose early in the morning and mustered the people, and he went up with the elders of Israel before the people to Ai. 11 Then all the people of war who were with him went up and drew near and arrived in front of the city, and camped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai. 12 And he took about 5,000 men and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 13 So they stationed the people, all the army that was on the north side of the city, and its rear guard on the west side of the city, and Joshua spent that night in the midst of the valley. 14 It came about when the king of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hurried and rose up early and went out to meet Israel in battle, he and all his people at the appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15 Joshua and all Israel pretended to be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16 And all the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them, and they pursued Joshua and were drawn away from the city. 17 So not a man was left in Ai or Bethel who had not gone out after Israel, and they left the city unguarded and pursued Israel. 18 Then the LORD said to Joshua, Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand." So Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19 The men in ambush rose quickly from their place, and when he had stretched out his hand, they ran and entered the city and captured it, and they quickly set the city on fire. 20 When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers. 21 When Joshua and all Israel saw that the men in ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city ascended, they turned back and slew the men of Ai. 22 The others came out from the city to encounter them, so that they were trapped in the midst of Israel, some on this side and some on that side; and they slew them until no one was left of those who survived or escaped. 23 But they took alive the king of Ai and brought him to Joshua. 24 Now when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field in the wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them were fallen by the edge of the sword until they were destroyed, then all Israel returned to Ai and struck it with the edge of the sword. 25 All who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000--all the people of Ai).

Can you see yourself making a mistake similar to Joshua’s— that is, trying to handle a situation in your own strength? It’s easier than we think when sin skews our thinking and hinders our communication with the heavenly Father. Let’s each examine our heart earnestly, confess any sin, ask God to lead us, and then wait for Him. Remember, His guidance is always better than our own.

Charles Stanley (March-23-2020) Daily Devotional: The Influence of Godly Parents.

In preparing the Israelites for the promised land, God didn’t command priests, teachers, or national leaders to train the next generation. Instead, He assigned this to parents.

This remains true today. First, we’re to train children verbally, through teachings and conversations about God and His Word. Second, we’re to influence them by our actions. When parents let Scripture guide their motives and actions, children can’t help but notice—and they learn behavior by example.

Consider how the following behaviors could influence our children:

• If they see us rely on God and believe the Bible, they’ll know He is trustworthy.
• If we’re diligent to obey Him, they’ll prioritize this attitude, too.
• If we endure difficulty, they’ll learn perseverance and patience.
• If we honor those in authority over us, children will learn respect.

If you are a parent, teacher, or other person of influence in young people’s lives, take time today to consider what they may or may not be observing in your life. I pray that your relationship with God would influence how you act and overflow into the lives of the young men and women around you.

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