Displaying items by tag: charles stanley

Holding Fast to Our Convictions - Charles Stanley Daily Devotion (January-23-2020). Christian convictions aren't always welcome in the world, but hanging on to them is essential for the child of God.

Hebrews 10:32-39  (32 But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings,33 partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated.34 For you showed sympathy to the prisoners and accepted joyfully the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a better possession and a lasting one.35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.37 FOR YET IN A VERY LITTLE WHILE, HE WHO IS COMING WILL COME, AND WILL NOT DELAY.38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.39 But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul. )

It’s easy to hold firm to our beliefs when we’re with like-minded people in church. But if we’re among people who doubt or disagree with Christianity, we need courage to stand up for the truth of God’s Word. In these situations, we might be tempted to compromise our convictions out of fear, such as:

• Fear of Criticism. Believers standing up for God’s truth will likely get criticized by people who don’t share their beliefs.

• Fear of Rejection. If we live by our convictions or verbally share our faith, we may not be accepted by those who follow their own desires.

• Fear of Loss. Sometimes we don’t want to take a godly stand because we could lose our friends. But anyone who keeps us from obeying the Lord is not a true friend.

Sacrificing righteous standards in order to please others will keep us from the fullness of what God has planned for our life. It’s better to live for Christ and follow His commandments so we can glorify Him. As God’s people, we hold on to our convictions, no matter the consequences. Pleasing Christ is our highest priority and well worth our standing firm for Him.

 

Charles Stanley (January-22-2020) Daily Devotion: The Power of Jesus’ Name. 

Yesterday we read how praying in Jesus’ name affirms our relationship with Christ and our direct access to the Father. It also declares our ...

Authority to Petition God. Christ sits at the right hand of God, where He intercedes for us (Heb. 7:25). He says to ask for what we need and gives us authority to enter the throne room at any time and speak with the Father. Everyone who trusts in the Savior has the right to use Jesus’ name.

Agreement With God’s Purposes. In the Savior’s name, we can make requests to the Father, but we must agree with His purposes. This means aligning our prayers with His character and will, and making His work the priority—not ours. We can learn to pray in accordance with God’s plan by abiding in His Word and letting it influence our thoughts.

Assurance of an Answer. “In Jesus’ name”is also a phrase of confidence. It shows we believe that our prayers will be heard and answered.

In Jesus’ name. These three words powerfully touch the Father’s heart. Using them is a mighty prerogative we have as children of God. Let’s exercise this privilege well.

Charles Stanley (January-21-2020) Daily Devotion: Praying in Jesus’ Name.

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

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

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

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

Charles Stanley (January-20-2020) Daily Devotion: Our God of Grace. 

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

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

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

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

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

Charles Stanley (January-19-2020) Daily Devotion: Sunday Reflection: The Blessing of God’s Timing.

t’s frustrating to desire something—a solution, position, experience, relationship, or possession—but sense the Lord saying “no” or “not now.” This is especially difficult as Christians in a culture that tells us it’s possible to have anything we want, if only we’ll work harder or sacrifice more. This fundamental belief has led to all kinds of heartache, from workaholism to exploitation and dishonesty. It doesn’t matter how, the underlying message says, as long as we get what we want.

But the truth is, God never promises that we will have everything we want or always be comfortable. In fact, He never even suggests we’re entitled to any of that. Instead, what He promises is to complete the work He’s begun in us: to restore, reward, and make us the people He created us to be. Compared to that, what do any of our earthly desires matter?

Think About It
• Can you remember a time when you’ve wanted something but couldn’t have it? How did you feel? Did you behave differently as a result?

• Have you ever felt impatient with God? What could it look like to let Him work in His own timing?

Charles Stanley (January-18-2020) Daily Devotion: The Landmine of Jealousy.

Jealousy has destructive power. It’s actually a disagreement with God over something we don’t have that He has chosen to give someone else. Or, in some cases, it results from fear of being replaced in a relationship or job. To overcome this attitude, we must first acknowledge that we have a conflict with God. We should confess our wrong mindset, repent, and then turn away from it.

The next step is harder: Thank God for the person of whom you’re jealous, and express gratitude for the blessings in his or her life. Then the weight of our ill feelings will begin to lift. In addition, do something good for the other person, regardless of how you feel. We can never overcome jealousy if we think only of our feelings.

One of the most helpful things we can do is focus on what the Lord is doing in our own life. This brings us back to the path He’s chosen for us. God has our best in mind, but it may be that we’re missing His blessings because our mind is elsewhere. The more we delight ourselves in Him (Psalm 37:4), the more our desires will align with what He wants for us.

Jesus Is Lord - Charles Stanley Daily Devotion (January-17-2020). Jesus is not like other lords; under His authority, there is freedom.

Romans 14:7-12 (7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD." 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. )

In the New Testament, Lord is a commonly used title for Jesus Christ. Although it is rare to hear this term used in our daily life, there’s a similar word with which we are all quite familiar: boss. That’s basically what Lord means—one possessing authority. In the Word of God, Jesus is described as the head of the church, the ruler over all creation, and the Lord of Lords and King of Kings (Col. 1:15-18  15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.; 

Revelation 17:14 14 These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful).

Christ’s reign covers everything that happens in heaven and on the earth. No one—not even someone who denies His existence—is free of His rule or outside His authority. Although Satan tries to convince us that freedom is found in doing what we want, the only way to be truly free is through submission to Jesus Christ.

Have you submitted to His rule over your life? Jesus’ authority might cause anger or fear in those who haven’t yielded to Him. But we who have trusted in His goodness, surrendered to His authority, and experienced His lovingkindness take great comfort in knowing Him as the Lord of our life.

Charles Stanley (January-16-2020) Daily Devotion: Obeying God.

Peter was a professional fisherman. He knew how to gauge weather conditions, where to cast nets for the likeliest haul, and when to end an unproductive session. Because of his expertise, he may have silently questioned Jesus’ instructions, which we read about in yesterday’s devotion—Peter may have thought, Why let down the nets when we’ve caught nothing all night?

Sometimes Jesus asks us to do something that seems unreasonable. It might involve leaving a job or ministry, taking on more responsibility when life already feels overloaded, or accepting an assignment that seems better suited for someone with a different skill set. Yet, because of the One who asks, it’s the right thing to do.

Scripture talks about many people who faced such a choice. Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac (Gen. 22:2). Noah was told to build an ark on dry land because a flood was coming (Gen. 6:14). Joshua was given a military strategy of marching around Jericho instead of attacking it (Josh. 6:2-5). Gideon, who was young and unsure, was told to send most of his warriors home before battle (Judg. 7:2-3). They all obeyed and then experienced God’s power.

Don’t let human logic dictate whether you follow the Lord. Trust in Him as Peter and these other faithful believers did.

The Joy of Obedience - Charles Stanley Daily Devotion (January-15-2020). Obeying God may not always seem logical but is always worth it.

Luke 5:1-11 ( 1 Now it happened that while the crowd was pressing around Him and listening to the word of God, He was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2 and He saw two boats lying at the edge of the lake; but the fishermen had gotten out of them and were washing their nets. 3 And He got into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little way from the land. And He sat down and began teaching the people from the boat. 4 When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." 5 Simon answered and said, Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets." 6 When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; 7 so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw that, he fell down at Jesus' feet, saying, Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!" 9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, Do not fear, from now on you will be catching men." 11 When they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed Him. )

We read in Luke 5 that Peter had spent his night as he usually did—fishing—but didn’t catch anything. He was surely tired, frustrated, and ready to go home. However, Jesus asked to borrow his boat in order to preach to the crowd. Peter knew there were other boats around, but Jesus asked for his.

When Jesus finished speaking to the crowd, He told Peter to spread the nets again. The fisherman replied, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say” (Luke 5:5). Peter’s obedience led to nets that overflowed with fish. By saying yes to the Lord’s plan, he experienced both material and spiritual blessings. The benefits far outweighed any effort or inconvenience.

God’s requests can come at inopportune moments or when we least expect them. We may be tempted to let someone else respond, thinking that it won’t matter who answers His call. But God’s plans are always for our spiritual good (Jer. 29:11 11 For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, `plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.). Obeying God—even in the areas where we feel knowledgeable and skilled enough to handle matters ourselves—is essential to enjoying His rewards and extending them to others. What is Jesus asking of you? 

Charles Stanley (January-14-2020) Daily Devotion: The Benefit of Discernment.

Have you ever listened to a radio station only to hear soft static over the music? If you adjust the tuning, you can usually get clear reception. The Christian life works much the same way. We sometimes make decisions and then experience a vague yet nagging sense that all isn’t well. I call this “spiritual static.”

Most Christians aren’t surprised that God wants them to know the difference between truth and error. However, many have not considered that He also equips us to choose between what is good and what is best. Satan at times reveals something that appears good to us just before God sends His best. Too often, we jump at the former and miss the latter. But those believers who cultivate spiritual discernment recognize the Holy Spirit’s warning to wait—such “static” says an opportunity might look excellent, but it’s not right.

Prayerful, grounded believers will let the good opportunity pass so they can wait on the best. They will pray and trust until their heart receives God’s assurance. Life is full of uncertainty and doubt, but our relationship with Jesus doesn’t need to be. He offers spiritual discernment to all who seek His will.

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