Daily Devotional from Dr. Charles Sta...

Daily Devotional from Dr. Charles Stanley

Posted in the Tony Stewart Forum

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“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

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#1 Feb 28, 2011
Hearing the Call
Acts 6:4

God has issued some dramatic calls to service. Moses heard His voice from a burning bush (Ex. 3). Isaiah saw a vision of heaven’s throne room (Isa. 6). However, a spectacle is the exception rather than the rule. For most who follow the Lord to the mission field, His call is a persistent tug on the heart. It is a whisper in their spirit asking,“How will they know God unless someone tells them?”(Rom. 10:14).

It’s better if the Lord doesn’t have to use drama to get our attention. Consider stubborn Saul who needed a serious talking to and temporary blindness to get him on the mission field (Acts 26:13-18). I know I’d rather hear the Lord’s still small voice!

People can try to ignore the heart tug, block the ever-present question with activity, or satisfy it by giving money rather than themselves. Some outright say no. But the call persists. God’s will is set and His plan is steadfast. Though we may run, we can’t escape His call to obey (Jonah 1:1; 3:1).

The road of obedience will certainly be marked with challenges. But difficulty is part of any life—at home or abroad, in mission work or a traditional job. Thankfully, the rewards of serving are greater than any hardship. Remember that Jesus promised Peter a hundred-fold return on his investment in the kingdom (Mark 10:28-30).

Carrying the gospel is a great opportunity to serve God. What better way to thank Him for saving us and writing our name in the Book of Life than to share that experience with others. If the Lord’s still small voice is calling you, say yes and see what amazing, life-changing work He can do through you.

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“Peace be with you”

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#2 Mar 1, 2011
March 1, 2011
Obeying God
Daniel 1:1-8

The story of Daniel illustrates some key elements of obedience. We see the wise young man doing what the Lord commanded, in the right manner and timing.

Daniel knew that God’s law prohibited eating food that had been offered to idols. But he was living in captivity in Babylon—a nation that worshiped false gods—and soon faced a hard decision. King Nebuchadnezzar
had ordered that the choicest of foods be sent for Daniel’s meals after first being presented to idols. Was it better to obey the Lord and risk angering the king—or to disobey God and please the ruler?

On the surface, the question for Daniel was about unacceptable food. But the underlying issue was allegiance to God. He could have rationalized breaking the divine command by telling himself he was a servant and had no choice. Instead, Daniel resolved not to eat the royal food and sought a way through the dilemma that would honor the Lord and keep His law.

Today, many things that our world finds acceptable are outside God’s protective boundaries for His children. Some are not good for us while others do not honor Him. Our desire as Christians is to obey the Lord, but our fleshly side wants to please ourselves and others. Yet denying self and obeying God is always the right choice.

To become like Daniel, we must make a wholehearted commitment to follow the Lord and consistently apply Scripture to our decision making. Then, when challenges come, we’ll have the courage to obey God’s commands. Our Father is pleased when we choose a lifestyle of obedience like Daniel’s.

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

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#3 Mar 2, 2011
A Commitment to Obey
Daniel 1:9-21

Years ago I made a commitment to obey the Lord regardless of the cost. Like everyone else, I have made mistakes, but my determination to follow Christ has remained unchanged. When difficulties occur, such a pledge helps a person to stand firm.

We all will encounter times when there’s a direct conflict between God’s way and what is being asked of us. Perhaps the boss tells us to misrepresent the company’s product to customers. Or a friend may be pressuring us to join her in some risky behavior. Or family members may urge us to lie on their behalf. Saying no could bring loss, rejection, or even the end of a relationship. On the other hand, going along with the request could compromise our Christian witness or break God’s commands.

Daniel faced such a dilemma. He and his three friends had a clear choice—to eat food prohibited by Scripture, or to refuse and incur the king’s wrath, imprisonment, or even death. Daniel showed great courage when he proposed a different eating plan (Dan. 1:12). His words and actions demonstrated his allegiance to the Lord.

Daniel and his friends were rewarded by God for their faith and commitment (v. 17). Despite their adverse circumstances, all four young men confidently trusted in the Lord’s sovereign care for them.

Daniel’s choice resulted in royal favor. Jesus’ obedience led to the cross and glorification. Paul’s trust in Christ resulted in hardship. When we obey, the consequences may vary, but two things are always the same: obedience glorifies our Father and pleases Him. What could be better than that?

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

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#4 Mar 3, 2011
Bring the Gospel to the World
Matthew 28:19-20

When a teacher gives an assignment, good students take it seriously. They do what’s required, give their best effort, and complete the work in a timely manner.

Before ascending to heaven, Jesus gave us a commandment—an assignment, really—but too many Christians are half-hearted about completing the task. Christ told His followers to share the good news about salvation and make disciples of all nations. Some believers do dedicate themselves to this work. But many are either too busy or too timid to commit their lives in this way.

If we are to emulate Jesus (John 13:15), then our actions and words should touch people as His did. Recipients of the Savior’s love were forever changed. As His followers, we have the Holy Spirit residing within us, which means we have access to the same power that raised Christ from the dead (Rom. 8:11)! So by sharing the gospel, providing encouragement, and offering comfort, we, too, can impact others’ lives. Jesus commanded that the good news go out to all nations. Of course, not everyone can move to another country. Some believers hear God’s call and go. Others stay, but they’re still called to touch those around them. They can also assist overseas missions by financially and prayerfully supporting kingdom efforts on foreign soil.

Our Lord was serious about telling His followers to share the gospel. Consider how you spend your time and your money. Does this indicate obedience to the most important assignment you have ever received? What changes must you make to give Jesus’ commandment top priority?
Lucy Furr

Lorain, OH

#5 Mar 3, 2011
Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had! He has kept it in business all these years!

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“thank you Lord”

Since: Sep 07

Alexandria

#6 Mar 4, 2011
I appreciate the posts by Forever Young and I think that they are timely because right now,, we need to speak out right here in America because the churches have been infiltrated by the social justice people,,who are using every means to try to turn God's people away from him.. Perfectly good Christians are being fooled. It is heartbreaking because the words used are very good,, to tell them that these are modern times and we need to be more accepting to gays and the poor ladies who need to kill their fetuses, and be more tolerant of religions that are completely against the one true God, the creator, not the destroyer.
It is a time more than ever before that if we do not get back to the King James version of the Bible, we could be pawns to satan himself.
If you want to hear the social justice people teach their minions how to fool people, there is a keynote show on free speech TV this month called "Lori Dorfman: True Spin"
watch it and remember how many times someone, a teacher, a councelor, an advisor, a boss tried to convince you to lie to mold other people's minds to do something in order to change behavior....it is amazing that they play these shows on TV for all to see... amazing.,
God help us to help our loved ones and neighbors back to his ways becasue satan has been very efficient in fooling perfectly good people into lowering their morals..
as for the food also,, right now, we have to be careful because halal food is more available in grocery stores and restaurants.. do not eat this food.. it is sacrificed to allah, aka satan...do not eat this food EVER

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#7 Mar 4, 2011
Carry the Light
Psalm 96:2-3

In the New Testament, the word light is identified with goodness and holiness. Darkness, on the other hand, is frequently associated with unrighteousness or evil.

Jesus described Himself as “the Light of the world”(John 9:5). He invited the people to put their trust in Him so that they might become sons of light (John 12:36). The apostle John called Jesus “the true Light,” who gives illumination to all (John 1:9). Our enemy Satan, who masquerades as an angel of light, has blinded the eyes of many so they do not recognize the truth of the gospel message. As a result, they fail to believe (2 Cor. 4:4).

The word light has significance for believers too. At salvation, we were transferred from the domain of darkness into the kingdom of light (Col. 1:12-13 niv). Freed from slavery to sin, we were adopted by our heavenly Father and given a future home in heaven as well as a new family now—our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are no longer in darkness; instead, we walk in the illumination of the Holy Spirit.

Now we are “children of light”(Eph. 5:8), and our calling is to carry the truth about salvation and eternal life to an unbelieving world. Jesus has commissioned us to share the gospel message and to live it out in our daily life.

The apostle Paul understood what it meant to carry the light of the gospel to others. He dedicated himself to sharing the good news with those who did not believe and to nurturing the faith of other Christians. Like Paul, we are called to be light bearers to those around us.

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#8 Mar 5, 2011
The Moments that Sustain Us
Psalm 145:1-5

When life falls apart, how do you cope? All of us face circumstances that challenge our peace—and some of these situations are very painful and prolonged. Unless we have purposeful focus, joy fades and hope seems unattainable.

King David experienced extreme hardships, including the profound grief of losing a child and a best friend. And King Saul, for selfish reasons, pursued him in an attempt to take his life. Later, David’s own son led a rebellion against him. As drastic as these trials are, they were just four of the many difficulties he endured. Yet even in times of deep suffering, David found hope and peace in God.

How was his soul sustained when others in similar situations would have drowned in despair? David knew how to meditate. He focused his mind and spirit on God—His character, ways, and will—in order to know the Lord better and to obey Him.

We should be following David’s example. Our role during difficulty is to set our eyes on our heavenly Father and meditate on His Word. The Psalms document the depth and passion for which the shepherd and soon-to-be king delighted himself in God. By continually pondering the attributes and ways of the Lord, he found solace in the midst of turmoil.

What subjects consume your thoughts during the day? Do you have time set aside to dwell solely on the Lord? Perhaps you can remind yourself periodically to bring your attention back to your Creator—one way is to read several of the Psalms and notice how the author refocuses on the almighty God.

“thank you Lord”

Since: Sep 07

Alexandria

#9 Mar 5, 2011
thank you Forever Young.
I myself look at God's creation the Dog to feel God's love whenever I am stressed.
I am glad that you share scripture with us here.

Since: Feb 10

Location hidden

#10 Mar 6, 2011
nucklehead wrote:
thank you Forever Young.
I myself look at God's creation the Dog to feel God's love whenever I am stressed.
I am glad that you share scripture with us here.
the LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall i fear?
Psalm 27:1

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#11 Mar 7, 2011
Living Above Circumstances
Philippians 1:12-18

While under house arrest, Paul wrote his letter to the Philippians. The apostle could receive visitors but couldn’t travel. Despite living in a home, Paul was more than likely chained to a Roman soldier 24 hours a day. Moreover, because he knew that a trial was years away, these were his living conditions for the foreseeable future—perhaps for the rest of his life.

Under such circumstances, Paul might have been tempted to cry out to heaven for release. After all, God had called him to preach, to disciple believers, and to reach the Gentiles. But he was stuck in Rome, unable to plant new churches or visit those whom he was nurturing by letter. Beside being unjust, the imprisonment was keeping him from important work. Surely, if anyone had a right to gripe, it was Paul, who’d endured persecution, shipwreck, and beatings for the gospel. Yet he never once complained. His letter to the church at Philippi is filled with rejoicing, as focusing on God let him live above his circumstances (Phil. 4:8).

The more we talk and complain about a situation, the worse it looks, until the problem looms larger in our mind than our faith does. Conversely, carrying challenges straight to God keeps matters in perspective. The Lord is bigger than any hardship. On His strength, we rise above the difficulty.

Problems can look so big and unwieldy that they distort our perspective. God invites us to live above our circumstances by fastening our eyes upon Him. The trials of this life shrink when compared to our loving, powerful Lord, who exercises His might in defense of His people.
hello ruttro

Mooresville, NC

#12 Mar 7, 2011
A lot of posters play the race card. And there are many posters who play the religion card. To sarcastically say "God is so proud" or "that's so Christian of you" is to appear not to know the Bible.
It is not your good deeds that get you into heaven. It is not your bad deeds that keep you out of heaven. We are all sinners, condemned to death for our sins. None of us could ever do enough good deeds or be holy enough to earn our way into heaven.
Christ paid the price for us. Salvation comes NOT from good deeds, but by faith in Him who suffered and died for us.
EphesiansTwoEigh tAndNine

Mooresville, NC

#13 Mar 7, 2011
"For by grace you ave been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone shold boast."
RomansTen Nine

Mooresville, NC

#14 Mar 7, 2011
"that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#15 Mar 8, 2011
God's Sovereignty
Ephesians 1:11

Some people question whether the Lord is truly in control. They learn about tragedies in the world and wonder if perhaps God isn’t powerful enough to overcome all evil. Or they encounter what seems like an insurmountable obstacle in their own life and come to the conclusion, Maybe His power is limited.

My friend, we do not understand everything that happens in this life. But we know from Scripture that God has ultimate authority:“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all”(Ps. 103:19).

Consider the far-reaching implications of these words. The Lord has complete control in all the universe—He reigns over everything and everyone, and His power is greater than all other strength. The terms omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient are frequently used to describe Him. In other words, our God is all-powerful, He exists everywhere, and He is all-knowing, which means there is nothing beyond His knowledge or His ability to direct and manage.

And this limitless, unfathomable God, who is unhindered and fully in control, adopts us as His children. What an amazing thought! As we begin to grasp this truth, peace and rest will flood our souls.

If you believe God is all-powerful, is that idea simply “head knowledge,” or does it affect the way you think and feel? When you realize that nothing happens apart from His awareness, direction, and loving purpose, it becomes possible to lay down worry and fear and truly experience His peace.

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#16 Mar 9, 2011
My Assurance: God Is In Control
Jeremiah 32:17

During one of the most trying seasons of my life, I would sit by the fire with a dear friend and pour out my heart. Since this man was a good listener, he could sense when I felt discouraged, and he would remind me that God is in control. This truth became an anchor in my life; no matter how much the adversity intensified, I found solace in knowing that my heavenly Father is sovereign.

The Lord has supreme and absolute rule, control, and authority over the universe and everything in it. The Scriptures state that there is “one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all”(Eph. 4:6).

Consider the assurances that this truth provides for believers. First, if God created everything and has complete power over all, then nothing can happen apart from His direction and permission. Second, we know from the Bible that He is intimately involved in our personal lives and cares about the details of each day. Third, Romans 8:28 guarantees that He makes something beautiful for His children in every circumstance—even in situations that seem painful and wrong. If our loving Father protects us in this way, we can experience peace in the present and confidence about the future.

In painful times, how do you view God? Especially during hardships and heartbreak, it’s important to remember that He is in control. Focusing on His sovereignty will give you the confidence to carry on. Reread today’s passage, focusing on the power, love, and ability of your heavenly Father.

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#17 Mar 10, 2011
The God to Whom We Pray
Nehemiah 1:1-11

What's your view of the Lord? Do you see Him as the One who can handle all the challenges you bring before Him? Nehemiah knew God in this way. Upon hearing about Jerusalem’s destruction, he mourned, fasted, and prayed for intervention. His supplication (Neh. 1:5-11) offers a glimpse of how he viewed the Almighty.

First, the Hebrew term Yahweh refers to One who is absolute in faithfulness. Next, the title Elohim indicates infinite power and sovereignty over the universe. Finally, Adonai means “ruler over all.” Nehemiah was bringing his request before the throne with full confidence in God.

And the Lord answered his prayer in a powerful, dramatic way. As cupbearer in the palace, Nehemiah tasted food and drink first to protect King Artaxerxes from possible poisoning. For a servant in this position, to look sad was very risky (2:1), yet the terrible news disheartened him.

So the Lord worked a miracle: when the king asked what was troubling his cupbearer, Nehemiah expressed concern for the Jewish people. Instead of punishing him, Artaxerxes let him go to rebuild what had been destroyed, and even supplied the materials! God handled what seemed like an overwhelming, impossible burden for Nehemiah, and He can do the same for us.

Having the right view of the Lord will allow us to approach Him with absolute confidence. And we know that He will hear and answer our prayers (Ps. 86:7). Remember that He is absolute in faithfulness and infinite in power. Our heavenly Father is the ruler over all.

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#18 Mar 11, 2011
Our Awesome God
Revelation 4:9-11

In our culture, God’s name is oftentimes mentioned with little reverence. In fact, many people actually use it as a curse. Even among those who love Him, it is far too common to use His name casually, without taking time to ponder who He is. When you say a blessing at mealtimes, for instance, do you realize that you are talking to the almighty Creator God who rules over all things?

Our view of the Lord impacts three areas of life. First, it affects our prayers. As we come to know Him better and better, our desires will start to look like His goals for us, and our petitions will align more closely with His purposes. Furthermore, as we recognize His greatness and power, we’ll become more confident that He can accomplish mighty things—and we will venture to “pray big.”

Second, our understanding of His righteousness and goodness influences our behavior. If God has these attributes, surely it is in our best interest to obey gladly. We will desire righteousness and be quick to repent of sin.

Third, our faith is impacted. Grasping that Jesus is holy, good, and powerful grows our trust in Him. Knowing our awesome God and remembering His great works will further build our confidence in Him.

Do you personally know our loving and holy heavenly Father? He invites you into an intimate relationship with Him. But, as with any good friendship, time and intentionality are necessary to understand Him and learn His ways. The more you do that, the more your prayers, behavior, and faith will be impacted.

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#19 Mar 12, 2011
Jesus Christ, the Son of God
John 20:30-31

In today’s verses, John wants us to know “that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God”(v. 31). But why is it so important that we believe He is God’s Son? The most obvious reason is because our salvation, and therefore our eternal destiny, depends upon our faith in this truth. But after salvation, Christ’s divine identity should continue to affect us.

For one thing, the Son offers a deeper understanding of the Father. Since Jesus is both God and man, He is uniquely qualified to help us in this way. As we study His life, the aspects of God’s character and ways that are difficult for our human minds to grasp come to life through Christ’s teaching and example.

He also shows us who we can become. The Lord is committed to transforming each of His followers into the likeness of His Son. Though we’ll never reach perfection or attain Christ’s divine attributes, His character can be worked out in our lives as we yield to the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our example for godly attitudes, words, and actions.

One other way Christ affects us is by inspiring our gratitude. Recognizing the sacrifice He made for us in leaving the glories of heaven to become our Savior fills us with praise and thankfulness.

Let Jesus motivate you to live in purity. Since He abides within every believer through His indwelling Holy Spirit, selfish and sinful thoughts, attitudes, words, and actions have no place in our lives. Be mindful that He is always with you, and let Him direct your choices and purify your life.

“Peace be with you”

Since: Nov 09

Location hidden

#20 Mar 14, 2011
A Man Worthy of Our Praise
Matthew 8:23-27

The men traveling with Jesus on a stormy Galilean night said something that ought to make us sit up and take notice.“What kind of a man is this ...?” If we ask ourselves that same question, we will start to see the big picture of who Jesus is instead of concentrating on the “slivers” of personality revealed by individual stories.

When the wind, which has been funneled through a narrow gorge, pushes out over the Sea of Galilee, the water becomes turbulent. Jesus and His disciples were caught in just such a dangerous storm while making their way to Gadara. Waves crashed over the deck of the wooden boat. The experienced seamen onboard were certain that death was imminent.

But Jesus was sleeping. He was resting quietly during a storm so frightening that the Greek word used to describe it is seismos—from the same root that gives us the phrase “seismic activity” for earthquakes. What kind of man is this who can sleep while the boat heaves and pitches? The answer is: the One who created the seas and knows how a storm brews and what energy causes a wave to stay in motion. That’s the kind of man: a divine Being cloaked in humanity, who rebuked the winds and sea so that they became perfectly calm.

Scripture indicates that both the air and the water were instantly stilled. Such is the power of Jesus, the Creator and Lord over the universe. Taken together, all the Bible stories about Jesus reveal the “big picture” that He is the only man worthy of glory, honor, and praise (Dan. 7:13-14).

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