Category: thoughts by Charles Stanley

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Luke 12:11-12

When conflict occurs, the natural reaction is to blame someone else and defend yourself. But believers must respond differently. Once, I was publicly chastised for a wrong I had not committed. Thankfully, the Lord enabled me to remain calm rather than react angrily. Praying first is always the best response in a crisis. When we do, God supernaturally provides that which we can’t muster up ourselves.

•    Spiritual discernment. The Lord, who perfectly understands the source of every problem, can give us insight beyond our limited perspective. Perhaps there’s been a communication breakdown, a feeling of jealousy on the other person’s part, or a mistake we unknowingly made. The Holy Spirit can show us how to approach our accuser and see beyond hurtful words or actions.

•    A quiet spirit. Our human nature wants to react quickly so that we can defend ourselves. That’s why we must first deliberately focus our attention on the Lord and experience the inward peace He alone makes available to us (John 14:27).

•    Wisdom. Jesus told His disciples the Holy Spirit would give them wise words to say when they faced hostile authorities. He’ll do the same for you. Ask Him to put a seal on your lips until He shows you what to say and when (Psalm. 141:3).

We don’t have to react to criticism with anger and self-protection the way the world does. Instead, we are called to represent Christ in every situation by depending on Him. In responding as He directs, we bring Him glory and cause unbelievers to want to know the source of our strength.

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By Dr. Charles Stanley
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free online devotionalTherefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand ; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance ; and perseverance, proven character ; and proven character, hope ; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 (NAS)

Grace is one of God’s most amazing gifts. It provides us with everything we need to live in perfect freedom: pardon for our sins, healing for our hearts, the companionship of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit, and access to freely cultivate our relationship with Him. We work, worship, and enjoy life surrounded by His unconditional love. His grace upholds us, fills us, and sustains us.

Since we are forgiven people, the Lord responds to us not as enemies but as His dearly loved children (Romans 8:15; Ephesians 5:1). He hears our prayers, speaks to us, and acts on our behalf.

The knowledge that we live under the covering of God’s grace gives us…

  • Security about our position. No one can snatch us out of His hand    (John 10:28).
  • Boldness to live for Christ. Nothing anyone does or says can shake our confidence in who the Lord is or who we are in Him.
  • Peace for today because we can fully trust in His sovereignty. The Lord is carrying out His perfect will–and we can be sure that nothing is able to thwart His plans when we cooperate with Him.
  • Hope for the future. This life is just the beginning. One day we’ll see Jesus face to face, be perfected as the individuals He created us to be, and live with Him in our true home forever.

The Lord is committed to transforming each of us according to His special plan for our lives. Even His correction is an expression of His loving favor (Hebrews 12:10). When we falter or fail, we can rest assured that His amazing grace hems us in and always offers us redemption.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by permission
http://www.intouch.org/

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daily devotional“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:7-9)

Photography has taught me a great deal about patience. I once spent four days waiting to photograph the Matterhorn in Switzerland but inclement weather was keeping the peak totally hidden. On the last night of my stay, I went to sleep praying. Very early the next morning, I opened my eyes to see that huge white mountain glistening against the pitch black sky. I had not even realized the inexpensive hotel we’d selected had a view of the mountain!

Rather than waiting until we reach heaven to reward us, God sends many blessings to us now – particularly in response to our attitude of patience.

1. We see God at work. His way is the best way, and we become more aware of this when we observe Him working out His plan in our life.

2. We can achieve our objectives. The Lord knows the right moment to provide what we want or need. If we give up too soon or try to manipulate circumstances, we miss out on God’s best for us.

3. We have God’s favor. When we are patiently waiting for His will, then He can freely bless us. God certainly wants to pour out His love on our life.

The Lord has many rewards available to us when we abide patiently in His will. We will all face circumstances in which we are tempted to be impatient. What determines whether or not we express patience is the value we place on whoever else is involved – a brother, friend, co-worker, or God. Do you value Him enough to be patient with His timing?

Question: Where can you develop patience in your life?

by Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by permission
http://www.intouch.org/

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Let me hear Your loving kindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.Psalms 143:8

We’ve all seen some of the areas where insecurity shows up. Now we need to turn our attention to its effects.

To start, insecure people have difficulty establishing good, lasting relationships. They simply cannot see how they could add value to anyone else’s life. This is a tragic loss, because every single one of us needs deep and meaningful friendships to help us grow.

Also, men and women with insecurity are often seen as prideful or snobbish. Lack of confidence can cause them to withdraw from others, which can easily be mistaken for an act of arrogance. They can thereby give the impression that they simply don’t want to be around others.

What’s more, insecurity frequently leads to indecisiveness and fear. People can be so consumed with self-doubt that they can’t make any decision at all. They wonder, What if I make a mistake? Well, so what if they do? Making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn how to do something correctly. Don’t be afraid to try. Even if you don’t succeed, you can at least rest in the fact that you did your best.

After a while, insecure people typically get angry. When they go so long feeling so poorly about themselves, they start to resent the success and happiness of others.

Can you see how something as subtle as a lack of confidence can have a debilitating effect on one’s life? Don’t allow such devastation to affect your relationships. Pray for the ability to recognize areas of self-doubt. And then start to take control today by asking the Lord to heal your insecurities.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
Used by permission
http://www.intouch.org/

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2014/08/17/cs_the-results-of-insecurity/

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by Dr. Charles Stanley

Read: Joshua 6:1-5

One of my favorite songs is “Trust and Obey” because it sums up God’s purpose for our lives. When we practice these two commands, a beautiful cycle begins. Trusting the Lord makes obedience easier, and obedience produces ever-increasing trust. Can you recall facing a challenge that was difficult or perplexing? If so, you know how important these two commands are.

When the Lord calls you to a task that seems unreasonable, you have two options. You can obey Him even though you don’t understand what will happen, or you can become fearful and attempt to find a way out. Joshua chose the first option. Because he trusted the Lord, he disregarded all his military experience and adopted God’s bizarre battle plan. Over the years, he had learned that the Lord is trustworthy.

The way we respond to God’s challenging assignments reveals our level of commitment. We may feel as if we’re right in step with Him–until He proposes a change of direction. That’s when our resistance kicks in, and with it, the realization we aren’t as close to Him as we thought. At that point, our decision determines whether the Lord will be able to use us as He desires. Because Joshua never lost his commitment, he continued to serve the Lord for the remainder of his life.

At times obedience is a struggle, as your mind runs through all the reasons God’s path is illogical. Fear dominates and your will battles to comply when everything within is screaming to run the other way. But obedience is always the best choice, because the Lord is trustworthy and wise.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2013/10/12/cs_trust-and-obey/

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by Dr. Charles Stanley
Christian meditationsDo 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.Isaiah 41:10

Read: Isaiah 41:8-13

These days, there are plenty of reasons to fear. Our world seems to be in a continuous state of war and crisis. The jobs market is dismal, natural disasters wreak havoc, and stories of crime dominate the headlines. As Christians, we know that fear should have no place in our lives, but how can we ignore what’s going on around us?

Basically, there are two paths you can walk: faith or fear. It’s impossible to simultaneously trust God and not trust God. Another way of saying this is that you cannot both obey and disobey Him–partial obedience is disobedience. So, which road are you traveling?

Some people who read the Bible and believe in God nevertheless choose to live with fear. Seeing others experience hardship, they start wondering if it could happen to them: Someone at my office lost his job; will I be next? Someone died in an accident–I could die too. But this kind of “logic” places your circumstances above your relationship to God.

If Satan can get you to think like this, he has won the battle for your mind. But when you focus on God rather than your circumstances, whatever the situation is, you win.  The Bible tells us, “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2013/09/01/cs_choosing-faith-over-fear/

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by Dr. Charles Stanley

But as God is faithful, our word to you was not Yes and No.  For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes.  For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” 2 Corinthians 1:18-22

The Christian life rests on a foundation of God’s promises for today and for the future. We can trust everything that our heavenly Father has said because His Word shows Him to be…

Truthful. The Lord knows what is true and speaks honestly in all matters. We can be assured of this because He is holy; there is no sin in Him. He is also omniscient and understands everything (Hebrews 4:12-13). His promises are based on His infinite knowledge and truthfulness.

Faithful. Scripture compares the Lord to a shepherd who “gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart” (Isaiah 40:11 NIV). What He has planned for us, He will bring to fruition (Romans 8:28). Our heavenly Father does not waver in His intentions or will.

Loving. God’s love for us was demonstrated at the cross. He sent His Son Jesus to die by crucifixion and thereby take the punishment for our sins. The Savior experienced God’s wrath against iniquity so we might know only His love. This is the ultimate proof of His devotion to us.

All-powerful. Divine power created the world and raised the Savior back to life, so we know God has the ability to carry out all His plans. Our omnipotent Father can keep every one of His promises.

A promise is valuable only if the one making it has trustworthy character and the ability to carry through. Our heavenly Father is truthful, faithful, loving, and all-powerful. We can base our entire life on His promises, secure in the knowledge that He will do just as He has said.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2013/04/23/cs_the-promises-of-god/
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by Dr. Charles Stanley

Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.” Psalm 25:12

How can you be sure you’re making the right decision? Sometimes it may seem as if God plays hide and seek when we’re trying to know His will, but that’s not the way He operates. He wants to give us clear direction. The real question is, What do you need to do to hear His voice?

Clear the pathway. We have two main obstacles that hinder our discernment: sin in our life and our own strong desires about the situation. To receive the Lord’s guidance, we must repent of all known sin and make our desires secondary to His.

Exercise patience. Sometimes it takes a great deal of strength to stand still when everything within you is shouting, “Hurry! Time is running out!” But if you rush ahead of God, you may miss His will.

Persist in prayer. The Bible clearly instructs us to keep coming to the Lord with our concerns. As we continue to pray, He will gradually weed out anything confusing until we come to His conclusion about the matter.

Search the Scriptures. The Word of God has an answer for every need, and the Holy Spirit knows just how to point us in the right direction. I remember times while I was reading the Bible that a verse jumped off the page and supplied the exact answer I needed to make an important decision.

So often when we’re faced with a critical choice, all we want from the Lord is a quick answer. But He delights to meet with us in order to deepen our relationship with Him. Don’t let the urgency of your need keep you from enjoying the intimacy of His presence as you seek His will.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
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From: Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org.

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by Dr. Charles Stanley

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The LORD be magnified!”  Psalm 40:16

Though some people use the terms happiness and joy interchangeably, there is a vast
difference in their meanings.  Both cause a pleasant emotional response, but the former
relies entirely upon circumstances.  As soon as difficulty arises and pain intrudes, a person
ceases to be happy.  On the other hand, joy is a gift from God that enables believers
to find hope and peace – even when life seemingly falls apart.

At times, however, even Christians live joylessly.  Sinful behavior, of course, is one reason.
But there can be other causes, too, including regret about past failures, fear of future
mishaps, or a pattern of discontentment that’s ingrained in one’s personality.

If you are a follower of Jesus but lack gladness, take a moment to remember who Christ
is – and who you are in Him.  To begin with, you are saved eternally, and your name
is written in the lambs’ book of life.  The love of almighty God is unconditional, and His
indwelling Spirit will never abandon you. He understands everything that you face and
promises to provide for your needs.

When you stop to consider the amazing blessings that are yours in Christ, gratitude
will likely overwhelm you.  Sadness concerning circumstances may still endure, but
the joy of the Lord will carry you through even the deepest pain.

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2012/12/30/cs_maintaining-joy/

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By Dr. Charles Stanley

Hear, O My people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, if you would listen to Me! “Let there be no strange god among you; Nor shall you worship any foreign god. “I, the LORD, am your God, Who brought you up from the land of Egypt; Open your mouth wide and I will fill it. “But My people did not listen to My voice, And Israel did not obey Me. “So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their heart, To walk in their own devices. “Oh that My people would listen to Me, That Israel would walk in My ways! “I would quickly subdue their enemies And turn My hand against their adversaries. “Those who hate the LORD would pretend obedience to Him, And their time of punishment would be forever. “But I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, And with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” (Psalm 81:8-16)

Children have selective hearing, the ability to tune out an adult’s voice whenever they want. Either they are absorbed in their own activities and do not want to be disturbed, or they do not like what they are hearing so they ignore the voice. The adult is speaking, but you would never know it by the child’s response. At times we behave the same way toward our heavenly Father, don’t we?

The Lord speaks to us through the Bible today just as He always has. His Word contains the complete revelation of God and was written by His chosen people under the control of the Holy Spirit. (2 Timothy 3:16) If we are inattentive to the Bible, then we have turned away from our major source of hearing from God.

But if we open His Word, we will hear how much He loves us. God wants to fellowship with us, to express His love to us, and to receive our love in return. From Scripture, we will receive definite direction for our lives. (Jeremiah 29:11) God knows that the world, our own selfish nature, and Satan clamor for us to choose their ways over His. God wants to provide us with His wisdom so we will make right decisions. God also talks to us to give us the reassuring and comforting words we so desperately need. He sees our trials, our failures, our humiliations, and our sorrows and wants to speak words of loving truth to us. And His Holy Spirit helps us understand what He is saying.

God still speaks. The question is: Are you listening?

You can comment on this devotional online at:
https://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2012/10/04/cs_is-god-still-speaking/

************************************************************

Is God Still Speaking?” by Dr. Charles Stanley appeared in In Touch magazine,
March 2004.
Copyright. IN TOUCH MINISTRIES. P.O. Box 7900, Atlanta, GA 30357.
All rights reserved. http://www.intouch.org.
Used with permission.

Thoughts by All thoughts by Charles Stanley Thoughts by Men