Something To Consider For Today

10/7/2022Hebrews 5:12
The author of Hebrews said in effect, “I’d like to give you a steak today, but I can’t. If I gave it to you, you couldn’t chew it. If you could chew it, you couldn’t swallow it. If you could swallow it, you couldn’t digest it. You’re a little baby. So today I’m going to give you some formula. I’m going to give you some milk, but I can’t give you meat because you’re not able to digest it.” There are those who ought to be teachers, but you need somebody to teach you again the first principles. There are those who have been members of the church for their whole lives, and they’ve never taught anybody anything. They just say, “Feed me.” They want to come to church on Sunday, let the pastor give them a Bible, and burp them on the way out. God calls us to grow up into Christ so that we may pass on what we’ve received.
Adrian Rogers

Hebrews 10:19-25
Today’s passage says God is faithful to fulfill His promises. But if you’re like most Christians, you have probably felt as if He’s let you down at some point. Perhaps you found a promise in Scripture and believed the Lord would do it, but He hasn’t. The problem isn’t God’s faithfulness; more than likely, there’s a misunderstanding of His promises. So, when evaluating whether a passage applies to you, ask these questions:
1. Is it limited or does it pertain to all believers? Certain scriptural promises were given to a particular individual, while others were for the whole nation of Israel. And sometimes a promise concerned a specific event or circumstance. But God’s Word contains many that are intended for all of His followers throughout history. Always check the context.
2. Is there a condition to the promise? If so, we must meet that requirement. Otherwise, it won’t apply to us.
3. Am I asking for a need or a desire? God assures us He’ll provide whatever He considers necessary to complete His work in our life (2 Peter 1:3). But that doesn’t include everything we want.
These guidelines will help us discern which promises are ours. But we should remember that some might be fulfilled only in eternity. When that’s the case, we can look to the saints of Hebrews 11 as role models. They took God at His word—even if they didn’t see His promises fulfilled in their lifetime.
Charles Stanley

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Not only does God grant us the strength to endure, but He also rewards us for that endurance. What grace! Today, right now, we can be blessed with a sense of inner peace even in the midst of troubles that don’t seem to quit. When hardships multiply, grace abounds. When our attempts to fix our problems fail, grace keeps us standing. When we handle trials God’s way rather than through our own efforts, we receive a sense of contentment, satisfaction, patience, and even deep joy. We realize God is nurturing our character with the long view in mind.
Chuck Swindoll
10/6/2022Ephesians 4:29-32
Words are powerful. They can either tear down or build up. As we saw yesterday, harsh remarks can cause a destructive chain reaction—like the damage a lit match could do to a forest. In contrast, kind comments feel like a light summer rain that brings relief from the day’s heat. We should always be careful about what we say. Scripture clearly condemns gossip, deception, complaining, slander, angry outbursts, foul language, and vulgar joking. Yet the goal isn’t simply to avoid all bad speech; it’s to speak truth in an uplifting manner. After all, even correction can be delivered in a way that’s encouraging. Sometimes the problem is not so much what we say but how we say it. Oftentimes our tone of voice and body language convey much more than our words do. Nonverbal signals can reveal impatience, resentment, anger, malice, and bitterness—all of which tear others down. But wordless signals can instead edify by showing love, compassion, appreciation, and gratitude. In terms of godly behavior, we all fall short of perfection, but if we saturate our mind with God’s Word, He’ll transform our heart, attitudes, and speech. And when our words are gracious, others are blessed and God is glorified.
Charles Stanley

Matthew 12:35
The problem with mankind is what we received at birth. We are born into the natural world. If you have an apple and see a wormhole in that apple, don’t worry about the worm having come in through that hole. He didn’t come in through that hole; he went out through that hole. The wormhole didn’t let the worm in; it let the worm out. You say, “How did the worm get in the apple?” He was born in the blossom. The egg was laid in the blossom and that worm came out of the heart of that apple. Likewise, Jesus said all the sins that are in mankind come out of the heart.
Adrian Rogers
10/5/2022Colossians 4:2-6
At the end of his letter to the Colossians, the apostle Paul highlighted some essentials of the Christian life—devotion to prayer, an attitude of gratefulness, and wise dealings with unbelievers. And our words should always be a reflection of our Savior. Paul understood the power of gracious words. They’re not only pleasing to God but also beneficial to those who hear. In contrast, James describes the damage an uncontrolled tongue can cause. He likened it to sparks that set a forest on fire or a restless evil that can poison (James 3:5; James 3:8). Sadly, we see this truth displayed in social media, workplaces, families, and even churches. What portrait of Christ do your words paint for others? Is your conversation seasoned with grace, or do you speak thoughtlessly, harshly, or rashly? Are you quick to criticize and judge others, or do you respond with compassion for those trapped in sin? As representatives of Jesus, we must learn to speak words of grace. We do this by cultivating humility, courtesy, and kindness toward those without Christ, while at the same time offering them the gospel, which can set them free from sin and hell.
Charles Stanley
10/4/2022Isaiah 6:1-13
The Lord is often ignored, reviled, belittled, and denied, but one day every eye will see Christ clothed in majesty and power. John 12:41 says that Isaiah was given a vision of Christ’s glory, and today’s reading records the prophet’s response. On seeing the Lord seated upon a throne in all His splendor, Isaiah recognized the depths of his own sinful condition and cried out, “Woe to me, for I am ruined!” (Isa. 6:5). Peter had a similar reaction to Christ. When Jesus miraculously filled the fishing nets to overflowing, Peter fell down before Him, saying, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!” (Luke 5:8). But the religious leaders of the time responded in a very different way. When they heard Jesus’ preaching and saw His miraculous signs, they became angry and attributed His power to Satan (Luke 11:15). As believers, we are Christ’s ambassadors in the world, and there are varied responses to our presence. Some welcome the message we bring, while others react with reluctance or even outright hostility. In fact, Jesus warned us this would be the case (John 15:18), but we should never let negative reactions discourage us from faithfully sharing the gospel or living righteously.
Charles Stanley
10/3/2022Revelation 4:1-11
The scene in today’s passage gives us a glimpse of a holy God who is worthy of mankind’s worship. He’s perfectly pure in His thoughts, motives, choices, and actions, and His holiness is also revealed in His separateness from all evil and transgression. Since God cannot tolerate or ignore sin, every wrong must be punished—with the penalty paid either by the offender or by an adequate substitute. And Jesus Christ is the fully sufficient substitute who paid what every one of us owed. What’s more, He’s the only one who can reconcile sinful mankind to God. The Son of God took on human flesh and lived a sinless life. Then, as 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV) tells us, Jesus “bore our sins in his body on the cross” to pay the penalty of divine wrath. His resurrection is the proof that the sacrifice was acceptable to His heavenly Father. All who trust in Christ as their substitute are reconciled to God, but those who reject the Savior must themselves bear God’s wrath for their sin. If we’ll acknowledge our unworthiness, confess our sins, and trust in Christ and His sacrifice on our behalf, our sins will be forgiven. The Judge of all humanity declares us not guilty. What’s more, He also credits us with Christ’s righteousness. And someday we’ll join the saints in heaven praising our gracious, holy God.
Charles Stanley

James 1:22–27
“Who’s in the mirror?” the psychologists conducting the self-recognition test asked children. At eighteen months or younger, children don’t usually associate themselves with the image in the mirror. But as kids grow, they can understand they’re looking at themselves. Self-recognition is an important mark of healthy growth and maturation. It’s also important to the growth of believers in Jesus. James outlines a mirror recognition test. The mirror is “the word of truth” from God (James 1:18). When we read the Scriptures, what do we see? Do we recognize ourselves when they describe love and humility? Do we see our own actions when we read what God commands us to do? When we look into our hearts and test our actions, Scripture can help us recognize if our actions are in line with what God desires for us or if we need to seek repentance and make a change. James cautions us not to just read Scripture and turn away “and so deceive ourselves” (v. 22), forgetting what we’ve taken in. The Bible provides us with the map to live wisely according to God’s plans. As we read it, meditate on it, and digest it, we can ask Him to give us the eyes to see into our heart and the strength to make necessary changes.
Katara Patton
10/2/20221 Corinthians 6:19
How are we to be filled with the Holy Spirit? This is a command and everything that God requires of us He also teaches us how to do. Do not think of the Holy Spirit as a substance. The Holy Spirit is a person. Don’t refer to the Holy Spirit as “it.” Refer to the Holy Spirit as Him. Jesus said, “He will teach you all things” (John 14:26). You wouldn’t say of a person, “It wore a maroon tie.” You’d say, “He did.” Don’t depersonalize the Holy Spirit. Don’t think of being filled with the Spirit as if you are a vessel and the Holy Spirit is a liquid, or as if you are a battery and the Holy Spirit an electrical charge. No, the Spirit is a Person, and you are a temple.
Adrian Rogers
10/1/2022Acts 17:16-34
When Paul arrived in Athens, he found religious people seeking to please their various gods. To make sure all their bases were covered, there was even an altar inscribed to an unknown god. The Athenian religious culture may seem totally foreign to us, but today many people are likewise seeking to please false gods. Some who claim to follow the true God are actually worshipping an image of their own making. That’s why every Christian must answer three questions correctly.
1. Who is the one true God? He is the Creator who made the world as well as everything in it—including you and me. In fact, He keeps us alive and has determined where and when each of us will live.
2. How can we appease Him? There’s nothing we can do to make ourselves right with a holy God, because everything mankind does is tainted by sin.
3. What has God done to help us? In His Word, God has instructed us all to repent and believe in His Son, who paid the penalty for our sin and was raised from the dead.
How did you do? Do your answers confirm that you’re worshiping the one true God? If not, seek Him right now.
Charles Stanley

Put simply, we are God’s personal project. He is committed to the task of working in us, developing us, rearranging, firming up, and deepening us so that the character traits of His Son—called here “the image”—begin to take shape. The emerging of the Son’s image in us is of primary importance to the Father. In fact, it is impossible to thwart His commitment to the project. His work goes on even though we scream and squirm, doubt and debate, run and shun. There’s no denying it, the tools He uses hurt, but it all “works together for good.”
Chuck Swindoll
9/30/2022Psalm 1:1-3
The value we place on something determines how we treat it. For example, you probably wouldn’t give much thought to an old shoebox. But if someone put $10,000 inside it, you’d protect it. Similarly, once we realize the worth of Scripture, we no longer read merely out of obligation. Here are six things God tells us about how to read His “instruction manual for life.”
1. Turn to it daily with eager expectation for what the Lord will reveal.
2. Meditate upon the Word to more fully absorb its meaning and implications.
3. Study God’s truth. There are a variety of ways to do this. For example, using a concordance or search engine, follow a specific word through the Old and New Testaments.
4. Believe what the Lord says.
5. Obey. In other words, apply what you read to your life situation.
6. Share what you learn. This will encourage others while strengthening you and sinking the lesson deep in your heart.
The Bible is living truth that protects and guides, pierces and encourages. From it, we learn how to be saved. When we grasp Scripture’s value, our interaction with God’s Word will prove its worth.
Charles Stanley

Psalm 119:71
In today’s Scripture, David said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.” Have you ever said that? Oh, God thank You for this sickness. Thank You for this suffering. Thank You for this adversity. Thank You for this problem. Thank You for this heartache. Thank You for this thing I’m going through. It takes a lot of faith to say it is good for me that I have been afflicted. And David said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes.” Did you know that affliction is sometimes the best teacher? We never see as clearly as when we see through eyes that have been washed through tears. When we get on our backs, it’s then that we begin to look up into the face of God. A sick bed can often teach more than a sermon.
Adrian Rogers
9/29/2022Isaiah 55:9-11
Step into almost any bookstore, and you can find a volume on pretty much any topic you have in mind. Want new direction for your life? Are your children disobeying? Are you hoping to live in a healthier way? There are books that were written to help, but do the authors have trustworthy credentials? There is a place to find accurate information and true guidance: The Bible will bless and benefit everyone who reads and applies its wisdom. Here’s what Scripture’s Author—“the God of truth” (Isaiah 65:16)—says about His own Word:
The Bible gives direction for life (Psalm 119:105). God uses His Word to lead us, no matter what our circumstances may be.
Scripture strengthens us in grief or difficulty (Psalm 119:28; Psalm 119:116). By spending time processing what God says, we’re reminded that He loves us, cares about our situation, and can handle whatever we’re facing.
God’s Word helps us understand our inner motivations (Hebrews 4:12). Scripture acts like a mirror that lets us see ourselves as we truly are.
The Bible is the very mind of God put into words so that we can know Him more fully. To what extent do you depend upon this amazing Book as your foundation for life?
Charles Stanley
9/28/2022John 15:1-5
Yesterday I shared with you about a time when the Lord reminded me that I am not the vine—He is. For years I had tried to accomplish by myself what Jesus wanted to achieve through me. My desire was to impress God and earn His approval. His goal, on the other hand, was for me simply to abide. The Holy Spirit’s job is to live the life of Christ through us. This is known by a variety of names, including the exchanged life, the Spirit-filled life, and the abiding life. All of these describe the joyful existence Paul spoke of in Galatians 2:20: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God.” Seen from the outside, a branch does not appear to be doing anything. But that doesn’t mean that the abiding life is passive. Jesus was the perfect example of a Spirit-filled life, and He certainly didn’t sit around! He worked hard out of a reservoir of divine energy (John 8:28). All of Christ’s wisdom, knowledge, and courage was drawn from God through the Holy Spirit. Christians bear fruit through surrender. We “take root” in the Lord by meditating on His Word, praying, and serving. We reserve nothing for ourselves to control but fully rely upon Him. That’s not passive living; it’s an abiding life.
Charles Stanley
9/27/20221 John 2:3-6
There was a time when I was so disheartened that I wondered whether to remain in the ministry. How could I tell people that Jesus would give them peace and joy when I didn’t feel it myself? God let me stew in my anxiety until I was fully committed to finding out if His Word was true or not. I found my answer in a biography of missionary Hudson Taylor. For a long time he, too, felt that his efforts fell short of the Lord’s expectations. But Taylor realized God wanted believers to trust Him fully and rest on His promises. As a child, I was taught that a person got saved and then went to work for God. You did the best you could to think, speak, and act in a wise, godly manner. When your best wasn’t good enough, well, you tried harder. Such an impossible expectation was wearing me out. This idea of letting Jesus Christ work through me sounded both biblical and liberating. A grape branch doesn’t bear fruit because of its determined efforts to get sunshine; rather, it simply abides in the vine, and fruit appears. The vine does all the work. In the same way, believers are to be in union with their Savior so that spiritual fruit can grow in their life.
Charles Stanley
9/26/2022Isaiah 61:10-11
The word delight means “to gain great pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness.” Isn’t that the kind of relationship you want with the Lord—one in which both you and He enjoy each other’s presence? Well, God also wants that kind of connection, and our part in helping it develop is through commitment, trust, and patience. 
First, a believer must commit his or her ways to God. This means we invite Him to examine our desires and plans and alter whatever does not fit His purpose or plan for our life. 
Second, a believer must trust God. Who is more worthy of our faith than the Father, who gave Jesus Christ to save undeserving sinners? The One who would not spare His only Son will certainly provide all that His children need (Romans 8:32). 
Third, a believer must rest in God. When we fret, we’re neither committing ourselves to the Lord nor trusting in Him. Waiting on God is rarely easy, but He alone knows when circumstances and timing are aligned with His will. 
Enjoying our relationship with the Lord requires effort, but it is a labor of love—because we were made to find joy in God’s presence. The greatest pleasure we can experience is to walk hand in hand with our Father.
Charles Stanley

Romans 8:37
I used to play football. My team would work and practice and hit and do all these things to take a bag full of zipped-up air across a pasture and over a white line on that field. It actually sounds kind of dumb when you think about it. But when you finally get that piece of pigskin over that white line, they call it a touchdown, and everybody goes bananas. That’s the goal, but there’s a group of fellows on the other side that says, “You’re not going to do that.” That’s what the game’s all about. But let’s say I have figured out a secret to victory. We need to come out on the field at about 2:00 a.m. when the other team is not there. And then we can take that ball and shove it over that white line as many times as we want. Right? Well yes, theoretically. We could do that, but why don’t people do that? Because that’s no victory. If there’s no opposition, there’s no victory. God has not called you to a life of ease, but He has called you to a life of victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks be unto God who causes us always to triumph in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Adrian Rogers
9/25/2022Galatians 6:2
If something matters to us, we are often willing to do whatever it takes to protect or care for it. Consider how parents save to send their children to college, or how a spouse sacrifices personal dreams and goals to care for an unwell partner. If we love someone, we’re willing to pay high costs and make deep sacrifices. But for believers, these things are more than the right thing to do. They are a holy calling, a way to “fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2) and love one another as Christ loved us (John 15:12). When we give sacrificially, two marvelous things happen. First, we experience the joy that comes with growing in Christlikeness—of “being transformed into [Christ’s] image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18 NIV). And second, our light shines before people who see our good works and praise our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16). God-pleasing sacrifice might not be easy, but it’s always worth the cost.
Charles Stanley

Hebrews 6:4-6
How should we understand today’s verse? Think of it this way. You go to the supermarket and back in the dairy section there’s a table out with little squares of cheese. Each little square of cheese has a toothpick. You go and pick up that cheese and taste it. If you’re a cheese hound you might say, “Hey, that is really terrific cheese. I want two pounds of it.” So, they wrap up two pounds, and you go to the checkout stand, and you’re watching as she drags that cheese over the scanner. Then you see a number come up there, and you say, “Oh wait a minute, what’s that?” She says it’s the cheese. You say, “You’ve got to be kidding. That? You expect me to pay that much money for that cheese?” She says, “Well that’s a rare cheese. That’s imported cheese. That’s very expensive cheese. I thought you wanted it?” So, you say, “Well I thought I did too, but I didn’t know what it cost. Put it back.” In this scenario, you’re an individual who has tasted the cheese. You’ve sniffed it. You know what it is. You’ve rolled it around on your tongue. You are aware of exactly what you are doing, but you say, “I will not pay that price,” and you walk out. You refuse with your eyes wide open, and that’s your privilege. The Bible is telling us here that those who do the same with the truth of the Gospel are in great danger.
Adrian Rogers
9/24/2022Luke 2:32
If we could look through mighty telescopes or listen to electronic soundings, we could hear and see the metallic stars which both Russia and America have put into space in the past years. None of these synthetic stars have brought peace to the world. But God’s star promised peace to the whole world, if man would believe and trust. Too often man’s synthetic stars bring fear and anxiety. Our gadget-filled paradise, suspended in a hell of international insecurity, certainly does not offer us the happiness of which the last century dreamed. But there is still a star in the sky. There is still a song in the air. And Jesus Christ is alive. He is with us, a living presence, to conquer despair, to impart hope, to forgive sins, and to take away our loneliness and reconcile us to God.
Billy Graham

Proverbs 15:18
I remember being severely chastised once while in a meeting at another organization. I wanted to react, but instead I turned to God, and He enabled me to remain calm and respond in a godly manner. Turning to the Lord in prayer is always the best response in a crisis. We can ask Him to provide:
Spiritual discernment. God perfectly understands the situation, and He can help us understand too. With His assistance, we can gain insight into the source of the problem and move forward toward resolution.
A quiet spirit. It’s natural to react quickly and defend ourselves. But we need to deliberately focus our attention on the Lord and experience the inner peace that He promises (John 14:27).
Wisdom. God told the disciples that the Holy Spirit would give them wise words to say when they faced hostile authorities (Luke 12:11-12). He will do the same for you. If tempted to speak hastily, ask the Spirit to seal your lips until God provides the words and the proper time to respond (Psalm 141:3). 
No matter what the situation may be, God has called us to represent Him the same way that Christ did—through dependence on our heavenly Father. Next time someone speaks critically to you, how will you respond?
Charles Stanley
9/23/2022Galatians 2:11-16
When people argue, they can say harsh words, create turmoil, and cause emotional pain. But there’s hope—our beliefs can positively influence how we respond in conflict. Consider God’s sovereignty, for example. If you believe the scriptures proclaiming God’s rule over nature (Psalm 135:6), government (Job 12:23), and mankind (Acts 17:25), then you know that nothing in heaven or on earth is hidden from Him or outside of His control. This means our heavenly Father, who has promised to protect His children, knows when people verbally attack us. Nothing can touch us apart from His permissive will. His sovereign control also gives Him the power to work pain into something beneficial (Romans 8:28). We have hope because His will cannot be thwarted, even in bad circumstances. When we believe in the Lord’s sovereign rule, our perspective on conflict changes. Instead of responding with fear, anger, or resentment, we turn to Him for guidance. Fighting is inevitable in our fallen world. When it’s our fault, we are to apologize; when others are responsible, we may have to confront them. But regardless of the circumstances, we’re called to forgive without exception—and we can because God is in control. As Christ’s ambassadors, the way we respond matters.
Charles Stanley
9/22/2022Exodus 3:1-14
When Moses learned he was to lead the Hebrew slaves out of Egyptian bondage, his initial reaction was, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh?” (Ex. 3:11). But God assured him, “I will be with you” (Ex. 3:12 NLT). The Lord’s divine presence was a key part of Moses’ equipping as a leader. And God’s response to believers today is the same. We can confidently accept the responsibility He gives us—no matter the role—because He has promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20). But Moses wondered whether the Hebrew people would listen to him. He had been away from Egypt for a long time, and his last interaction with the Israelites had been a negative one (Exodus 2:11-14). What kind of influence could he have? God responded that the only credential Moses needed to give them was that he was sent by God—the I AM (Ex. 3:14). In addition, the Lord gave Moses a helper: his brother Aaron. When the Lord gives us a task, He will bestow the spiritual authority we need to carry it out, and He will provide us with people to help. God has promised to equip us for His work. What is your response when asked to serve?
Charles Stanley

Sometimes we find ourselves out of money, out of strength, out of ideas, or out of opportunities. But the Christian is never out of everything, for we always have God. And with God, we have everything. That fact alone is enough to motivate us to worship Him and wait for His answers. That’s what King Jehoshaphat of Judah did when his nation was surrounded by three neighboring nations’ armies. Judah was far outnumbered. Jehoshaphat prayed a lengthy prayer of praise, concluding with these words: “Nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12). All they had was God, so a prophet directed the king to set out for battle, praising and worshiping the Lord as they went. And God routed the enemy armies and delivered Judah. God was all they had, and in the middle of worshiping Him, they were delivered. If you are at the end of your resources today, if you don’t know what to do, put your eyes on God in praise and worship and wait for His deliverance.
David Jeremiah
9/21/2022Luke 22:31–32
Have you ever experienced a situation that seemed impossible to endure? Years later, did you realize how that trial prepared you for things to come? The Scriptures tell us that the Lord sometimes allows us to be “sifted” for greater service. In other words, He may give Satan permission to affect an area of our life and thereby transform us into stronger witnesses for Him. In today’s passage, Jesus explains this process to Peter: “Satan has demanded to sift you men like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith will not fail; and you, when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Jesus knew what was coming—His death, resurrection, and ascension—and He expected Peter to lead the disciples and accomplish great things for the kingdom. But Peter wasn’t ready. So the Lord allowed Satan to “sift” Peter. In so doing, God separated the “wheat” from the “chaff”—the righteous areas of Peter’s life from the ungodly areas. Ultimately, the disciple grew from the experience and played a key role in spreading the gospel. Had God not allowed this sifting, Peter wouldn’t have been prepared for the events to come. Ask God to bring into focus similar ways that He’s used difficulties for your ultimate good.
Charles Stanley
9/20/2022Hebrews 10:14
I want to give you a challenge. Find anywhere in the Bible where anybody was ever saved twice. You can’t do it. Do you know why? It’s impossible to be saved twice. Nowhere in the Bible will you ever find someone who was saved twice. Some people believe you can get saved and lose your salvation. They believe you must be born again and again and again and again. They believe you keep on getting saved. But as today’s verse reminds us: by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Did you know for you to be saved twice Jesus would have to die twice? When you were saved, you received a ticket marked good for one salvation. You are perfected forever. Jesus is never going back to that cross. He’s never going to die again. By one offering we’re perfected forever.
Adrian Rogers
9/19/2022James 5:13-18
Prayer is the heartbeat of the believer’s walk with God, and He commands us to pray about everything (Philippians 4:6). But we sometimes wonder what kind of influence our conversations with the Lord really have, and we find ourselves asking the following two questions: If God controls all things, why does He want us to pray? He’s self-sufficient and needs no help to accomplish His purposes, so what could any of us possibly contribute? Would God’s plans fail if we chose not to pray? The Lord isn’t subservient to us. His plans are contingent only upon Himself. He works all things according to the counsel of His will, not necessarily on the basis of our prayers. These truths reveal the Lord’s grace toward believers. He doesn’t need us, yet He’s chosen to include us in His eternal purposes by letting us participate in His work through prayer. Though we may not understand the influence our prayers have, we know God chooses to use them in achieving His purposes. So keep praying. Being consistent in prayer helps maintain a sense of humble dependence upon the Lord. And answered prayer produces increasing trust in Him, along with greater gratitude for His sovereign care and protection.
Charles Stanley

John 10:28

In 1937, the Golden Gate bridge was built. I can remember very vividly the first time I saw that monumental structure as they began to build. At that time, it was the world’s longest suspension bridge. But as they worked, they built it high above those swirling, perilous waters. Many of the workers were afraid that they might fall—and it seemed like the very fear of falling caused them to fall. At first, they failed to build a safety net when they were building the bridge and 23 fell from the first section of the bridge. On the next section of the bridge, they spent $100,000 to build a safety net. Back in that time, that was a monumental sum, but they felt it was worth it. After they built the safety net, only 10 fell. But all 10 that fell were caught and were safe; lives were not lost. With the safety net there, the work went 25 percent faster. The people could concentrate on their work because they knew that beneath them was a safety net. So it is with the child of God! When we know our future is secure, we can concentrate on God’s work in the present.
Adrian Rogers
9/18/2022Matthew 18:21–22
No one likes to be at odds with a friend or loved one. But thankfully, the gift of forgiveness is always available to us. And it’s one we must learn to both give and receive repeatedly on the long road of sanctification. In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus how many times he must forgive a brother’s failings, and the disciple’s estimate falls dramatically short: Up to seven times, he suggests. Jesus’ answer is shocking in its extravagance: He tells Peter that he must forgive “up to seventy times seven” (KJV). What the Lord means is that forgiveness has no limits. In the Christian life, our goal is to become like Christ in every way, and our attitude toward releasing others from their wrongs is no exception. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind,” but we are also called to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). Forgiveness is one of the most powerful ways we demonstrate that love.
Charles Stanley

Matthew 24:35
The Bible is not the book of the month. It is the book of the ages. No book has ever faced as much opposition as the Bible. Men have laughed at it, scorned it, ridiculed it, made laws against it, and burned it. There was a time in Scottish history when it was a crime punishable by death to own a Bible. Many a time a man has preached a funeral for the Bible, declaring it dead. Ironically, the corpse has outlived the pallbearers. People die, but the Bible has survived, and it is applicable. It is always up to date. A man of God, a woman of God, a child of God can open this book and know more today of what’s going on in the world than everyone in the Pentagon and the White House put together. The Word of God is timeless, and it is true.
Adrian Rogers
9/17/2022Daniel 6:1-28
Daniel’s integrity and godliness were well established over a lifetime of frequent challenges to his faith. Since his teen years, he faithfully lived out his commitment to the Lord. And when he was an old man, he was thrown into a den of lions because of his refusal to compromise. In this way, God displayed His power and faithfulness to His servants while also using Daniel as a witness to a pagan king. Is your unwavering devotion to Christ a witness to others? Too many Christians have a commitment of convenience. They’ll stay faithful as long as it’s safe and doesn’t involve risk, rejection, or criticism. Instead of standing alone in the face of challenge or temptation, they cave to pressure. What kind of witness is that? Who will want to follow our God if we ourselves won’t follow Him? Remember, the way we respond either draws others to Jesus or pushes them away.  If you desire to be like Daniel, practice your commitment to Christ both privately and publicly. The time you spend alone with God in His Word will transform your character and strengthen your resolve to stand for truth in an unbelieving world.
9/16/2022Genesis 22:1-18
Abraham began walking with the Lord many years before he was asked to offer Isaac on the altar. His first step had been to leave his home and relatives and travel to the land that God would show him. But now he was being told to give up Isaac, who was the son of promise: Through Isaac, the Lord had promised to bring forth a great nation and bless the entire world.  Abraham’s obedience in this crucial test was based on his faith in God. He believed that the Lord would keep His promise to give him descendants through Isaac, even if it required raising the boy from the dead. That’s why Abraham confidently declared to his servants that he and his son would return to them after worshipping. He knew the Lord was faithful. If you’re going through a time of testing, God is seeking to increase your trust in Him. He wants to prove to you that He’s faithful to fulfill His promises. This challenge is designed to help you grow in faith, obedience, and spiritual maturity. The testing may be painful, but the Lord will wrap you in His love and carry you to victory.
Charles Stanley

1 John 5:12 reads “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.” I’ve heard it said that if you cannot name the time and the place you were saved, you’re not saved. Have you ever heard that? There’s just one thing wrong with that—it’s not in the Bible. The Bible never tells you to look back to past experiences for proof of your salvation. It does not say, “He who believed has eternal life.” It says, “He who believes.” It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past. If you’re not believing on Jesus today, you’re not saved. And if you are believing on Jesus today, you did believe on Jesus in the past. It’s impossible to presently believe on Him without having believed on Him in the past. Indeed, there was a time. Indeed, there was a place. But, if you’re not believing on Jesus now, whatever you call the past time and the place, there’s something wrong with it. The big question is: are you believing Jesus now? If you have the time and the place, wonderful. But if you don’t, that doesn’t mean you’re not saved. If you’re trusting Jesus right now, you are saved.
Adrian Rogers
9/15/2022The apostle Paul wrote extensively about the character and conduct of believers. He urged Christians to live in a manner worthy of their calling (Ephesians 4:1) and to be “imitators of God” (Ephesians 5:1). His letters to the churches all include an explanation of what it means to live a godly life. One important goal is to eliminate sinful habits and behaviors and instead take on those that are acceptable to God. The acts of the “flesh” are no longer to be a part of us. We now have a new nature and should conduct ourselves accordingly. So let’s look again at the Galatians 5 passages that we read a couple of days ago. In verses 19-21, Paul lists specific behaviors that have to cease, and among them are those fueled by anger—hostilities, strife, outbursts of anger, and dissensions. These ungodly attitudes and actions are to be replaced by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). If we’re full of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, we won’t be hot-tempered. Instead of speaking rashly, we’ll interact with others with the wisdom of Christ. We all struggle with some form of ungodly behavior, but we don’t have to continue in it. Change is possible because Christ has broken sin’s power over us, and His Spirit works continually to transform us.
Charles Stanley
9/14/2022I believe the Bible is the Word of God because of its scientific accuracy. The skeptic, the atheist, or the unbeliever will say, “Well, of course, the Bible has scientific errors in it.” But before you say that, make certain that you know two things. Number one, you must know science. And number two, you must know the Bible. Many consider the Bible an old-fashioned book. They claim it’s not a book of science, it’s a book of religion. That is true. It is not a scientific textbook. It is not written to teach us science. It is written to teach us God. It has well been said, “The Bible was not given to tell us how the heavens go, but how to go to Heaven.” But the God of creation and the God of salvation are the same God. Science doesn’t take God by surprise. And you don’t have to check your brains at the door to believe the Bible is the Word of God.
Adrian Rogers

Anger is a powerful emotion that often causes great damage. It fuels inner resentment and bitterness, shuts down communication, and breaks relationships. If unchecked, it boils over into explosive rage that hurts not only the intended target but others as well. While we often try to justify our anger, seldom can it be classified as righteous. We’re rarely offended for God’s honor. Our motives are usually born of self-defense, thwarted desires, or outrage over perceived wrongs against us. James wrote that our anger does not bring about God’s righteousness in our life. The book of Proverbs gives God’s perspective on the subject. Quick-tempered people act foolishly (Proverbs 14:17), stir up strife, and abound in wrongdoing (Proverbs 29:22). There are also warnings not to associate with such individuals so we won’t learn their ways (Proverbs 22:24-25). In contrast, those who are slow to anger have great understanding (Proverbs 14:29) and demonstrate wisdom by holding their temper (Proverbs 29:11). Jesus paid our sin debt with His life in order to set us free from sin, and that includes uncontrolled anger. If God has convicted you of unrighteous anger, confess it as sin and ask Him to reproduce Christ’s character in you.
Charles Stanley
9/13/2022Galatians 6 teaches “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. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith”. This passage contains an important scriptural truth: Our actions and words have consequences. Or put another way, we get back what we put in. And this is especially obvious in our relationships. Earlier in Galatians, Paul explained that there’s a battle between a believer’s new nature, which is ruled by the Spirit, and the “flesh,” which is ruled by the sin patterns that linger in us. Then he listed some of the deeds of the flesh, many of which are relational: strife, jealousy, anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy (Galatians 5:20-21). In contrast, Paul tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Which one of these lists more accurately reflects how you treat others? Admittedly, there are some people who are difficult to love, yet sowing the fruit of the Spirit in those relationships will reap a forgiving heart, godly character, and faithful obedience in us. But sowing to the flesh has a corrupting influence in our life. Before you interact with anyone, ask yourself what kind of harvest you’d like. You’ll never go wrong by letting the Spirit guide you.
Billy Graham

God often delivers His best gifts to us in unexpected ways . . . with surprises inside the wrappings. Through apparent contradictions. Somewhat like the therapy He used when Elijah was so low, so terribly disillusioned. How did the Lord minister to him? By an earthquake? In a whirlwind? Through a scorching fire? You’d expect all the above since Elijah was such a passionate, hard-charging prophet. But no. The story from 1 Kings 19 makes it clear that Jehovah was not in the earthquake or the wind or the fire. Too obvious. Too predictable. That’s not the Sovereign’s style. After all the hullabaloo died down, there came “a gentle blowing” and shortly thereafter, ever so softly, “a voice” came to him (vv. 12–13) with words of reassurance and affirmation. Not, “You oughta be ashamed of yourself!” Or “What’s a man of your stature doing in a crummy place like this?” None of that. No blame, no shame, no sermon, no name-calling, no blistering rebuke. In contradiction to the popular idea of confrontation (and surely surprising to Elijah himself), the Lord encouraged His friend to go on from there. He gave him a plan to follow, a promise to remember, and a traveling companion to help him make it through the night.
Charles Stanley
9/12/2022In Matthew 5:5 Jesus said that “Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.”. In His characteristic way Jesus was saying something quite shocking and revolutionary to His listener with these words, “Happy are the meek.” He was saying something quite the opposite of our modern concept of the way to happiness. We say, “Happy are the clever, for they shall inherit the admiration of their friends”; “Happy are the aggressive, for they shall inherit a career”; “Happy are the rich, for they shall inherit a world of friends and a house full of modern gadgets.” Jesus did not say, “Be meek and you shall inherit the earth.” He, more than anyone else, knew that meekness was a gift of God, a result of rebirth. Jesus was not issuing a command in this Beatitude nor saying, “You ought to be meek, that is the way to live.” No! He was saying that if we want to find the secret of happiness, that if we want to enjoy living, then “meekness” is a basic key.
Billy Graham
9/11/2022The Holy Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:9 that God is the one who invited you into this wonderful friendship with his Son, Christ our Lord. The question remains, “How can God be just—that is, true to Himself in nature and true to Himself in holiness—and yet justify the sinner?” Because each man had to bear his own sins, all mankind was excluded from helping, since each was contaminated with the same disease. The only solution was for an innocent party to volunteer to die physically and spiritually as a substitution before God. This innocent party would have to take man’s judgment, penalty, and death. But where was such an individual? Certainly, there was none on earth. There was only one possibility. God’s own Son was the only personality in the universe who had the capacity to bear in His own body the sins of the world. Only God’s Son was infinite and thus able to die for all.
Billy Graham

The Swiss Army knife is a remarkable invention. Small and compact, it contains blades and screwdrivers as well as a corkscrew, can opener, saw, and scissors—every tool a person might need to get through the day. But no such claim can be made about human beings. None of us are designed to meet all the needs of another individual, and it isn’t fair to expect one person to fulfill that kind of role. In order to thrive, we must have multiple relationships. What’s important for us to recognize is that even the strongest bonds will prove insufficient unless we nurture a still greater one—the relationship we have with our Creator, who loves us beyond anything our mortal minds can grasp. (See Deuteronomy 7:9; Ephesians 2:4-5; 1 John 4:16.) All of the people we share life with teach us something about God’s love, but they can never be an adequate substitute for Him and His perfect affection. Think About It. Is there a person you expect too much of? Or does someone demand too much of you? Ask the Lord to help you see your relationships through His eyes—and to give you the strength to make necessary changes.
Charles Stanley
9/10/2022The Bible says in Revelation 2:10 “Be thou faithful unto death”. In our day much of the world believes little or nothing. People are broad but shallow. Agnosticism, anxiety, emptiness, meaninglessness, have gripped much of the world—and even the church. Our youth are desperately searching for a purpose and a meaning in their lives. They are searching for fulfillment which they are not finding in sex and drugs. By contrast, our Pilgrim forebears stand as shining examples of men who were narrow but deep, certain of what they believed, unswerving in their loyalty, and passionately dedicated to the God they trusted, and for whom they would willingly have died. I say to you, more than 350 years after the Pilgrim Fathers landed in the New World: Dream great dreams, embrace great principles, renew your hope, but above all, like them, believe in the Christ who alone can give total meaning and an ultimate goal to your life. “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”
Billy Graham
9/9/2022A testimony is an account of what a person has seen or experienced. For us as Christians, it’s a declaration of who Jesus Christ is and what He’s done in our life. The authenticity of our testimony is displayed in three ways.

1. Character. Starting at salvation, the Spirit begins the process of conforming us to Christ’s image. Then our thinking should align more and more with Scripture. As that happens, sinful attitudes will be replaced by godly ones, and our heart will desire to obey the Lord. If the internal change is genuine, it will be manifested externally.

2. Conduct. The way we act should confirm who we are in Christ. If we follow God’s instructions only occasionally but ignore Him the rest of the time, our testimony will be hypocritical. But a truly transformed life will be marked by obedience.

3. Conversation. We speak out of whatever fills our heart (Matthew 12:34). A transformed heart should overflow with gracious words and be quick to tell others about the Savior, who rescues us from sin and condemnation.

When our character, conduct, and conversation match who we are in Christ, we’ll have a testimony that encourages fellow Christians and draws unbelievers to the Savior.
Charles Stanley
9/8/2022The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 that “God loveth a cheerful giver”. The greatest blessing of giving is not on the financial side of the ledger but on the spiritual side. You receive a sense of being honest with God. You receive a consciousness that you are in partnership with God—that you are doing something constructive—that you are working with Him to reach the world for Jesus Christ. You are also enabled to hold on to this world’s goods loosely because the eternal values are always in view. How do you give? Is it liberally and cheerfully? Or is it sparingly and grudgingly? If you have been giving God the leftovers of your substance and your life, you have been missing the true joy and blessing of Christian giving and living.
Billy Graham
9/7/2022Are you seeking to know and understand the Lord? Even though He’s beyond human comprehension in many ways, God has revealed much of Himself in His Word. And as we search for Him in Scripture, we’ll grow in our understanding of His nature. But this isn’t merely an academic pursuit. Knowing God practically impacts every area of life. For one thing, knowledge of God influences our prayers. Instead of asking for whatever we want, we’ll seek to ask according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). And we won’t limit our requests in size or scope because we’ll realize that nothing is impossible with God. The way we view the Lord also affects how we think, behave, and relate to other people. Knowing Him intimately transforms our natural tendency toward doubt and sin. Then we desire to walk obediently before Him, with a pure heart. Instead of loving the world, we seek to please Him by loving His people unselfishly and resisting sinful lusts. Paul thought knowing the Lord was so important that he made it the primary pursuit of his life (Philippians 3:8-10). Could that be said of you? Self-reformation soon fails, but knowledge of God renews you from the inside out.
Charles Stanley
9/6/2022Suppose you’re faced with the most tragic situation you could possibly envision. For some of you, this requires little or no imagination because you are presently in the middle of the toughest trial of your life. Here’s what it looked like for the disciples: Their hopes and dreams were shattered when Jesus broke the news of His imminent departure. Life as they’d known it was coming to an end. Yet Jesus assured them that He was leaving His peace with them. This was His will for them, and it’s still what He desires for us today. The key to experiencing the peace of Christ is to believe in Him (John 14:1). But in addition to believing in Him, we must also trust what He says. God always works for our good, even in hardship. Trusting His motive and purpose is the basis for our peace. Life is an obstacle course with trouble lurking around every corner. It’s not a matter of whether storms and trials will come, but when. Yet we don’t have to live in fear and anxiety, because it’s God’s will that we take hold of His peace by trusting Him.
Charles Stanley

A harnessed horse contributes much more to life than a wild donkey. Energy out of control is dangerous; energy under control is powerful. God does not discipline us to subdue us, but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness. In His wisdom He knows that an uncontrolled life is an unhappy life, so He puts reins on our wayward souls that they may be directed into the “paths of righteousness.” That is what God seeks to do with us; to tame us, to bring us under proper control, to redirect our energies. He does in the spiritual realm what science does in the physical realm. Science takes a Niagara River with its violent turbulence and transforms it into electrical energy to illuminate a million homes and to turn the productive wheels of industry.
Billy Graham
9/5/2022Romans 8:28 says “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” If we are alive and breathing, God is not finished with us yet. He has a plan for good for each of us. However, His “good” and our “good” sometimes look like two very different things. When we picture “good,” our minds conjure up sunny skies, carefree days, cars that never break down, jobs without difficult co-workers, children that never go astray, health, wealth, puppies, and rainbows. When Paul spoke those words, “good” in that statement means God-like. To rephrase it: God is working in the life of the believer to make us more like Him. And sometimes, that takes strong medicine!
John Hagee

Most of us want peace in our heart, our relationships, and the world. But the most important area of peace is with God. Without it, we’re doomed. When Adam and Eve sinned, a barrier was erected between humanity and the Creator. The harmony that had previously existed between God and man was destroyed, and only God could restore it. The cost of reconciliation was the horrific death of God’s Son as He hung on the cross, bearing the weight of mankind’s sin. That day Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for our transgressions. At the moment of His death, the massive temple veil dividing the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies was torn in two from top to bottom, signifying that reconciliation had been accomplished. Now peace with God was possible. Though an instrument of brutality and death, the cross will stand forever as a symbol of peace. But peace with God is given only to those who through faith receive Jesus as their Savior (John 1:12-13). What greater peace could there be than the certainty of perfect harmony with God? Have you received this gift?
Charles Stanley
9/4/2022Relationships are among God’s greatest blessings in life. He made us to need and flourish with one another, and the people He surrounds us with are meant to walk alongside us in both good times and bad. (See Romans 12:15.) But these bonds don’t magically happen—they’re built over time. For that to happen, we must clearly articulate our needs and also willingly listen to the desires of those we care about. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus calls us to love others as we love ourselves (Mark 12:31), but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have the same wants and needs we do. For instance, perhaps you feel cherished when someone gives you a thoughtful gift. But if someone important to you finds gift giving difficult and avoids it, you might feel unappreciated. Or perhaps a friend feels most loved through deep conversation. If that’s not in your wheelhouse, some work will be required. It may not be easy, but doing the work to love well always leads to blessing.
Charles Stanley
9/3/2022God from the beginning chose you for salvation. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 says that salvation is the act by which God saves us from sin, death, and hell. If you aren’t sure you’ve passed this mile marker in your life, sincerely pray now, asking the Lord to forgive your sins. Tell Him you believe Jesus died for you and rose again. Give Him your whole life from this day. With your mouth, make confession unto salvation. It’s a small prayer, but it’s a big moment! Your salvation depends on what Christ has done for you, not on what you can do for Him.
Billy Graham

It is widely reported that the 16th-century Protestant reformer Martin Luther once said: “If I knew for sure that Jesus was coming back tomorrow, I’d plant a tree today.” Luther wasn’t trying to be cute, nor did he think that his words were contradictory. He was simply pointing out that no amount of speculation or confidence or doubt or belief about when Jesus might return should ever undermine the fulfillment of our basic ethical obligations or lead us to abandon the routine responsibilities set forth for us in Scripture. Sadly, many Christians through the centuries have taken an altogether different and unbiblical approach to this problem. Convinced that Christ was to return very, very soon, they abandoned their daily tasks and embraced a form of hyper-spirituality that served only to bring reproach on the name of Christ and disaster to their own lives.  As you think about your final days on this earth, as you reflect on the glory and majesty of the return of Christ in the heavens, as you envision the skies above set ablaze by the myriad angels who will accompany Jesus at His return, as you contemplate the destruction of His enemies and the impending inauguration of the eternal state … love one another.
9/2/2022All life is a struggle—that is the nature of things. Even within our physical bodies, doctors tell us, a conflict for supremacy is going on. The bacteria in our bloodstream are waging a constant war against alien germs. The red corpuscles fight the white corpuscles constantly in an effort to maintain life within the body. A battle is also raging in the spiritual realm. “We fight,” the Bible says, “against the rulers of the darkness of this world.” Darkness hates light. I have a dog that would rather dig up a moldy carcass to chew on than to have the finest, cleanest meal. He can’t help it—that is his nature. Men cannot help that it is their nature to respond to the lewd, the salacious, and the vile. They will have difficulty doing otherwise until they are born again. And until they are changed by the power of Christ, they will likely be at enmity against those who are associated with Christ.
Billy Graham

Too often we let our circumstances determine our attitude. If life is going smoothly, then we feel good, but when it gets hard, our mood drops. As Christians, we don’t have to live this way. Like the apostle Paul, we can learn to be content with whatever God brings or allows in our life. God allows various kinds of suffering to help us mature in faith and become more like Jesus. (See Romans 5:3-5.) In these situations, contentment is the ability to accept life as it is—not wanting anything more or different. Such acceptance is possible only if we maintain a biblical perspective and rely on God’s strength in our weakness. But if we fight against our circumstances, we’ll be miserable because we’re resisting the Lord and His purposes for us. He’s working out His perfect plan through each event in our life—even the ones we don’t like. (Of course, when hardship is due to abuse or certain other sinful situations, pastors or Christian counselors can help us discern whether self-protection is necessary.) Submission and trust are essential for contentment. As long as we try to control the situation or maneuver our way out of it, we’ll be stressed and discontent. But if we realize that whatever God allows is for our good, we’ll be able to surrender our will and desires. Then, by relying on the Lord’s wisdom and strength, we’ll discover the contentment only He can give.
Charles Stanley

Marina Noyes, a pastor’s wife in Ukraine, explained how her family dealt with the hardships that fell on their nation earlier this year. “When the trouble comes, we cry. When it gets bad, we pray. When it becomes unbearable, we sing.” The difficulties of life trigger wide-ranging emotions within us. God created us as emotional people, and He gave us personalities equipped to process the events of life. Just as Jesus wept by the tomb of His friend, we cry. But we don’t stop there. We pray. We trust. We seek out God’s comfort. We find His promises and claim them, which allows us to walk by faith. But we also sing, for the song in our heart comes from the Holy Spirit, whose fullness spurs us to render psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (Ephesians 5:18-19). The psalmist had his enemies, but his secret weapon was offering sacrifices of joy before God and singing praises to the Lord. What’s your favorite hymn or praise song? Why not sing or listen to it now?
David Jeremiah
9/1/2022What kind of life do you think brings contentment? You might assume it’s one with few problems, good health, financial security, and a loving family. But that was not the apostle Paul’s experience. His life was filled with dangers, rejection, personal attacks, beatings, and imprisonment, yet he claimed to have learned the secret of being content in every circumstance. The source of his contentedness was obviously not his situation, and that can be true for you as well. The secret that he discovered was to focus on and rejoice in the Lord. Paul knew he was spiritually rich and had been given “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). The comforts and pleasures of this life were not worthy to be compared to the eternal glory that awaited him (Romans 8:18). Contentment is hard to find and even harder to keep. There’s always something newer and better to acquire or a more appealing relationship to pursue. What’s more, the hardships of life can easily drag us down if we don’t keep our focus on the Lord. When you feel unsatisfied, remember all you have in Christ and respond according to these truths rather than your feelings.
Charles Stanley
8/31/2022Joseph’s enslavement lasted for 13 years and went from bad to worse. He lost his favored position in Potiphar’s household and went to prison when the master’s wife told lies about him. His hope for release from jail died when the king’s servant forgot his promise (Genesis 40:14; Genesis 40:23). His future looked bleak. Despite the evidence of circumstances, God was carrying out His plan to bless Joseph and his entire family. In fact, Joseph was God’s appointed person to rescue them from the coming famine. But for that to happen, he had to learn the Egyptian language and culture, develop leadership abilities, and mature spiritually. The Lord’s plan made it all possible. Joseph learned two helpful lessons. First, the Lord is a faithful companion who uses our troubles to prepare us for His work. Second, once the Lord has accomplished His purposes, the difficulty will end. At God’s chosen moment, Joseph was freed from jail, rewarded with a high-ranking appointment, and reconciled with his family. Adversity can be painful, but the Lord uses it to further His purposes and equip us to carry out His plan. What is He trying to teach you in the midst of your trials?
Charles Stanley

Scripture encourage us to pray and to keep praying. There is nothing wrong with repeatedly asking for the same thing. As long as what you are praying for is within the will of God (James 4:3; 1 John 5:14-15), keep asking until God grants your request or removes the desire from your heart. Sometimes God forces us to wait for an answer to our prayers in order to teach us patience and perseverance. Sometimes we ask for something when granting it is not yet in God’s timing for our lives. Sometimes we ask for something that is not God’s will for us, and He says “no.” Prayer is not only our presenting requests to God; it is God’s presenting His will to our hearts. Keep on asking, keep on knocking, and keep on seeking until God grants your request or convinces you that your request is not His will for you.
Author Unknown
8/30/2022One of the keys to walking through a valley is to embrace the reality of God’s presence with us. At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live permanently within us and seals us as belonging to God forever. Because of Him, we are never apart from the Lord. No circumstance, suffering, or loss can separate us from Him or His love.
Charles Stanley

None of us know how many times the Lord’s protecting hand has saved, guarded, defended, and watched over us. None of us know how busy the angels have been keeping us from harm and evil. In His love, God protects us, even in the midst of hardship. Romans 8:28 is very real: “All things work together for good.”
Jesse Mooney Jr.

Do you know what real faith is? Real faith is not receiving from God what you want; real faith is accepting from God what He gives. Learn that and you won’t get offended at God. If things don’t work out like you think they should—if you’re serving God but you end up in a dungeon—just remember that God is God. He is good, and He is in control.
Adrian Rogers

A porch light is akin to a welcome sign, reminding weary travelers that there’s a comfortable place still open where they can stop and rest. The light invites those passing by to come on in and escape from the dark, weary journey. Jesus says the lives of those who believe in Him should resemble that of a welcoming light. He told His followers, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14). As believers, we’re to illuminate a dark world. As He directs and empowers us, “others may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven”. And as we leave our lights on, they will feel welcomed to come to us to learn more about the one true Light of the World—Jesus (John 8:12). In a weary and dark world, His light always remains on. Have you left your light on? As Jesus shines through you today, others may see and begin radiating His light too.
Katara Patton
8/29/2022A long-haired blonde from a southern university seemed to be enjoying a satisfactory student career when her grades began to slip. “Life had become one long case of the blahs,” she confessed later. “I wasn’t walking around with a steady load of blues, but I wasn’t enjoying life. Small things made me blow up. I met some kids who seemed to know something I didn’t know, but I couldn’t get in on it. We went to several meetings, and one night the speaker said that we don’t earn God’s love. He takes us as we are. It was then I realized it wasn’t a matter of clocking up a certain number of hours doing good deeds. Instead, I had to make myself available. Through faith, I had to let Him take over. It came together all at once, when I accepted Christ as my personal Savior. I know that God is in me in everything I do. My life has taken on a new dimension.” Does your life have this new dimension? It can! Just begin now with Jesus Christ! When you make this beginning, it will be your first step toward realizing personal fulfillment, meaning, and joy.
Billy Graham

It is often helpful and interesting to compare how Jesus and Paul approached the same subject in their teachings. Jesus was the plainspoken Shepherd and Teacher who used metaphors and illustrations familiar to His audience. Paul, on the other hand, was a theologian and rabbinic scholar who wrote and spoke in eloquent terms. Comparing their differences provides an expanded understanding of a topic both addressed. Take eternal security; both taught the same truth but expressed it in different ways. Jesus addressed it when describing Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10). His sheep would never perish because they are secure in His and the Father’s hand (verses 28-29)—no one could “snatch” them away. Paul, on the other hand, described a long list of more than fifteen circumstances, none of which can separate believers from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:35-39). Both Jesus and Paul taught that believers are eternally secure, using different words. When you go through challenging times, read Jesus’ and Paul’s assuring words. Then rest in the love of God in Christ.
David Jeremiah
8/28/2022Deep, honest relationships require time and effort. But as human beings, we all have physical, mental, and emotional limits that we can’t ignore. Even Jesus, who was all-powerful, took time to step away from the crowds and His disciples to recharge by connecting with the Father (Luke 5:16). When we can’t give as much to our relationships as we hoped, it might be our turn to receive. Sometimes the best thing we can do is let our family and friends help. God designed us to lean on one another as we see in the following scripture:

But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet,I have no need of you.” On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
1 Corinthians 12:18-26
8/27/2022Jesus told us to continue His work on earth—to share the good news about God’s saving grace (Matthew 28:18-20). Following this command, however, isn’t always easy—especially with people who might be different from us. It may feel easier to befriend someone who shares our values, yet Jesus told us to “make disciples of all” (Matt. 28:19, emphasis added). While some opportunities may look like a waste of time from human perspective, the truth is that we never know who may be led to Jesus through our obedience. Just look at Jesus’ life: He ate dinner with hated tax collectors (Matthew 9:10; Luke 19:5) and gently spoke His message of hope to an adulterous woman (John 4:7-27). And to anyone—disciple or Pharisee—shocked by His associations, He explained that He “did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). We are to tenderly point men and women of all nationalities and backgrounds toward our forgiving God. If Jesus were on earth today, He’d be ministering to the needy, the addicted, and the downtrodden. To be like our Savior, let’s love others and help them meet Him.
Charles Stanley
8/26/2022Life is challenging, so we can easily get distracted and allow circumstances to dictate our emotions. But if we operate that way, then when life is good, we’re happy; when times are tough, we’re frustrated; and when hardship pours in, we’re miserable. On the other hand, unwavering commitment to the Lord is a cornerstone of faith. When we are situated on that foundation, we can focus solely upon God. In order to hold on to the Lord through any trial or temptation, commit to trust and follow Him all of your days. Lay claim to His promises: The unchanging Lord and Savior is committed to caring for you in all circumstances and will never leave or forsake you.
Charles Stanley

Ah! believe me, whatever we may say about the reckless, heedless multitude of mankind, those whom God blesses, and those whom God uses, cannot fall until the day’s work is done.
Edwin Paxton Hood

I’ve spoken to some Jewish people who say, “I don’t believe in God anymore.” I say, “Why don’t you believe in God?” They say, “Because of the Holocaust. I cannot believe in a God who would allow such suffering.” I’ve seen people, when a loved one is eaten away with some malady, whether it be cancer or some other disease, say, “I just don’t want to have anything to do with God. I don’t believe in God. I can’t understand this matter of suffering.” Here’s the way the human mind begins to think: “If God is a God of love, and He loves me so much, but He doesn’t do anything to relieve this suffering, then He must not have any power.” Or “If He has the power, but He doesn’t do it, maybe He has no love.” Or maybe they ask another question: “Maybe He doesn’t have any love. Maybe He doesn’t have any power. Maybe there is no God. If there is, why do people suffer?” Well, there’s a bigger question than that. Not why does God allow humans to suffer, but why does God allow Himself to suffer? Have you ever thought about God as a God who suffers? Have you ever thought about God as One who has pain? How did those scars come into the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ? Those nail prints? That scar into His side? Because He willingly suffered in our place. The question is not “Why is there suffering,” but “Why did God take our suffering”?
Adrian Rogers
8/25/2022What a blessing to have Christian friends to encourage and support us as we serve Christ! Our loads are too heavy to carry alone, and we need someone to rejoice and to weep with us. It begins when we make ourselves available to rejoice and weep with someone needing us. Today the Lord may bring across your path someone needing your simple presence. Be there!
David Jeremiah
8/24/2022Strength is not always revealed in a dramatic display; at times, it’s demonstrated in determined endurance. Jesus could have freed Himself with one spoken word, but love kept Him there on the cross. With mankind’s eternal destiny at stake, Christ hung on until our salvation was attained.
Charles Stanley

How do we talk when around non-believers? Do we speak like the world, trying to fit in? Or do we speak graciously in ways that build up our hearers? Are our words attractive, conveying love and grace? How we speak to non-Christians is as important as what we say to them.
David Jeremiah

Romans 11:25 says this is God’s program, “until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in”. When the last Gentile gets saved, a number that only God knows, then Jesus will come back. What an opportunity for each of us today, to witness to Gentiles as well as Jews. Just think, you could lead that last Gentile to Jesus, and then Jesus would come.
Jimmy DeYoung
Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
John 20:29

Suppose you’ve saved all your life for a vacation. The time for your trip has finally come, and you’re in Hawaii. You’re in the finest hotel. You and your spouse are celebrating without a care in the world. The weather is perfect. The food is sumptuous. You’re having a wonderful time. And let’s suppose that you’ve left your children home in the care of someone else, and one of your children is in an automobile accident while you’re in Hawaii. Would you want to know about it? Would you want somebody to get on the phone and call you and mess up your vacation? Or would you say, “Don’t bother me. We’re having a wonderful time. Yes, I understand that my child has been hurt, but I don’t want to know about it.” Every parent knows the answer, right? “Yes, I want to know. Forget the vacation.”

That’s why Jesus left Heaven. He could have said, “I just don’t want to know. I just don’t care.” But He’s a God of love. And He loved us so much that He stepped out of glory. He loved us so much that He walked the dusty shores and the streets of Nazareth and the sandy beach of Galilee. He loved us so much that He carried the cross to Golgotha and died in agony and blood.

And those scars Thomas saw there in His hands say that He’s a saving God. He has paid for our sins with His own blood.
Adrian Rogers
There is a war over the Word. There are those who despise it. They simply hate God’s Word. They are against all that it stands for. Then there are those who don’t despise it, they just deny it. They say, “I don’t believe the Bible is the Word of God.” And then there are those who distort it. The Bible is put in their hands, but they twist it to their own destruction. There are those who dissect it. They come to the Bible with their measuring rod, with their scalpel, with their test tube, and they treat the Bible more like a math book than a love story. They’re ever learning, but they are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. There are others who disregard it. They say it’s not relevant. But I suppose the greatest enemy of the Word of God is found in churches. These are they who say they believe the Bible. They give lip service to the fact that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible, authentic Word of God. But they don’t study it. They don’t know it. They don’t live by it. They don’t stand on it. You’ve got to be able to say, “I know that I know that the Bible is the Word of God.” Especially in these days, when everything that is not nailed down is coming loose. The devil is pulling nails as fast as he can. But there’s really nothing he will be able to disturb you on if you can stand on this Book. God has given you the Word.
Adrian Rogers

Published by Dave Winstead

I am the Chairman Of FaithByTheWord Ministries in Burlington, NC.

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