Daily Devotional

Friday, October 2

Standing Strong and Tall through Prayer

Nehemiah was a man who lived on his knees. Whenever he needed guidance, strength, provision, or protection, his first response was prayer. Because of Nehemiah’s humble dependence, God was able to use him greatly to achieve His purposes.
This principle is still true for believers today. God can use us in the most awesome fashion if we'll seek Him and make ourselves available. He has a calling for each of us and doesn't want us wasting the opportunities He provides.
To follow Nehemiah's example of dependent prayer, we must first recognize God as the sovereign Ruler of the universe (v. 5). Although He's our loving Father and loyal Friend, we must never forget that He is also our high and exalted Creator whose holiness is beyond our comprehension. Never think of the Lord as "the man upstairs" or come into His presence in a frivolous manner.
Because Nehemiah respected the awesome holiness of God, he approached Him with confession, admitting not only his sin, but his father's and Israel's as well (vv. 6-7). We cannot hide, deny, or cherish sin and expect the Lord to hear and answer our prayers. Purity of heart and the power of God are linked. We need the sensitivity to instantly recognize when we've strayed, and the willingness to deal with sin immediately.
The reason Nehemiah stood so tall and strong was not due to his natural abilities, but because he developed a relationship of dependency on the Lord through prayer. The same can be true for you. Don't rush into your day without taking time to enter God's throne room to seek His guidance.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org


Thursday, October 1


From Ordinary to Great


Acts 4:13   

Anyone who studies God's ways soon realizes they are quite different from man's. Worldly wisdom says that extraordinary people and abundant resources are needed for great tasks, yet the Lord often chooses the small and insignificant to achieve His purposes on earth.

For example, Christ selected a rather unimpressive group of men as disciples, yet after being filled with the Spirit, they "turned the world upside down." During His ministry on earth, Jesus fed thousands with a child's meager lunch, and He viewed the widow's two small coins as a greater offering than all the other generous donations (John 6:5-12; Luke 21:2-3).

God specializes in using people who aren't naturally qualified to accomplish His tasks. Moses was a verbally impaired 80-year-old shepherd who liberated a nation. After Gideon hid from the enemy, God made him a valiant warrior. David was the overlooked youngest son who killed a giant with a small stone and became Israel's greatest king.

God isn't looking for impressive people; He wants willing ones who will bow the knee in humble submission. Being weak and ordinary doesn't make you useless. Rather, it positions you for a demonstration of divine power in your life. He takes insignificant ones and delights in making them great.

Have you ever considered that your lack of ability, talent, or skill is the ideal setting for a great display of Christ's power and glory? If you are willing to submit to His leading and venture into the scary yet rewarding territory of faith and obedience, He will do great things in and through you. 

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.


Wednesday, September 30

The Value of Obedience

Proverbs 2:1-6

Despite Peter's vast fishing experience, he returned from a night's work with nothing to show for his efforts. It's quite possible that the Lord's request to let the nets down one more time struck him as unreasonable—after all, Peter and his partners were the professionals. Nevertheless, the fisherman complied, and his obedience blessed many.

Scripture demonstrates that divine plans often defy human logic. For instance, who would design a battle  strategy that involved only marching and shouting? God told Joshua to conquer Jericho that way, and doing so proved successful (Josh. 6:1-5).

Moses is another example. When he felt unsure about his leadership potential, the Lord gave reassurance in an unusual way—by telling him to throw down his walking stick. When Moses obeyed, God powerfully confirmed His choice of leader (Ex. 4:1-3).

Our Father may ask us to do something that seems illogical—perhaps to accept more responsibility when we were hoping to reduce our workload, to leave a position that He provided just recently, or to take on an assignment for which we feel ill-equipped. His plan might feel unrealistic in view of our age, stage of life, or health concerns. We must press forward in obedience, regardless of how impractical the request may appear.

To grasp the importance of obeying, think about children receiving instructions from parents or teachers. Careful listening is needed for the task to be done safely and properly. Some steps may seem pointless, but the rationale often becomes clear later. Always make obeying God your priority.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Tuesday, September 29

Bringing Others to Jesus
Andrew is the disciple known for bringing people to Jesus. Immediately after meeting the Lord, he introduced his brother Simon to the Messiah. Another time, when a great multitude was hungry, he found a boy with five loaves and two fishes and brought him to Jesus (John 6:8-9). When some Greeks wanted to meet Christ, Andrew and Philip made the introductions (12:20-22). This disciple never lost his enthusiasm for the Savior.
Andrew's own conversion experience motivated him to let others know about the One who'd changed his life (1:36-37). How about you--have you lost the joy of your salvation? If your Christian life has become stale and musty, it's time to remember what Christ has done for you and to ask that He restore your excitement.
In addition, Andrew longed to know the Savior and spend time with Him (vv. 38-39). The disciple's example is a good reminder that sweet fellowship with the Lord isn't supposed to end with devotional times. It should also stimulate a desire to share with others the joy we find in our relationship with Christ.
Finally, Andrew was motivated by his conviction that Jesus was the Messiah (v. 41). He'd found the answer for a lost and hurting world and wanted others to know.
When Andrew answered the call to discipleship, Jesus told him he'd be "catching men" instead of fish (Luke 5:10). Since we, too, are followers of Christ, we have this same assignment. Our styles and opportunities vary, but we're each responsible to develop a lifelong habit of bringing others to Jesus.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Monday, September 28

How to End Well
Many people think about the last years of life as an opportunity to just relax. But this does not align with God's purpose for us; He wants us to serve Him all the days of our lives.
Let's look at the apostle Paul's journey and explore what it means to finish well. He spent time pouring into others until the very end of his life. Consider the letters he wrote to Timothy from a prison cell prior to being executed. In every season of life, God calls us to serve others.
And notice how, when writing about his life, the apostle chose words descriptive of a battle. He understood the human struggle against sin as well as the challenges of pain and persecution in the trials we all face--even in doing kingdom work like preaching Christ to a fiercely resistant society.
This godly servant's life was also marked by surrender. His mindset is obvious in these words: "present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship" (Rom. 12:1). He was not afraid of Nero, nor was he struggling to stay alive. Paul trusted God to determine everything about his life, including where he would go, what he would do, and when he would die. Death did not scare him, because he knew he would dwell with Jesus forever.
God doesn't require our lives to be perfect in order to finish strong. We can live life fully and be ready to meet our Maker by surrendering, walking victoriously with Christ, and serving others. If Jesus called you home today, would you--like Paul--be confident that you lived well until the end?

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.

Sunday, September 27

The Tragedy of a Wasted Life

Death is inevitable, but at times it surprises us. Perhaps you know someone who died unexpectedly.
Today's parable is a warning about such situations. It tells of a man who acquired comfort and wealth but thought only of his time on earth. Death came without warning, and he could take nothing with him. God called him a fool for living focused on "self."
Though rich in the world's eyes, the man had no relationship with God and hadn't invested anything in Christ's kingdom. All the treasures he stored here were worthless once he died. What's worse, without Jesus, he would be separated from God forever. What a tragic waste of life.
As I think about this person's choices, two questions come to mind that are important for all of us to contemplate. First, if you were to die today, would you go to heaven? Salvation is a free gift for those who trust in Jesus as the acceptable sacrifice for our sin. He is the only way--no excuses or even sincere beliefs in other "ways" will work. And Jesus promises that when believers die, they immediately find themselves in His presence (2 Cor. 5:6).
Second, what is your life accomplishing? Are you driven by selfish purposes, storing security and wealth for yourself? Or is your motivation to further God's kingdom?
Like the man in this parable, we don't know when we will die. We do know, however, that death is inescapable. Though dying is an unpleasant topic, eternity is a long time and worthy of our attention. It's definitely a wise investment to make sure of your salvation and to invest in God's kingdom.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.





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