God calls His children to live holy lives. Yet in our attempts to obey this command, we often commit to change our behavior, only to fail a few days later. The problem is that we’re starting at the wrong place. Ungodly actions flow from sinful thoughts and attitudes, like selfishness, greed, jealousy, anger, resentment, and unforgiveness. These can be changed only as our mind is renewed by the Holy Spirit. As we spend time each day in Scripture, the Spirit transforms our mind and strengthens our inner being. But when we neglect God’s Word, we leave ourselves open to the influence of the world and our “flesh,” both of which oppose godliness. Then, if we try to change our behavior without adjusting our thinking, we’ll find ourselves doing precisely what we want to avoid (Romans 7:15). Holiness, on the other hand, encompasses our entire being, which is why Jesus said we should love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength (Mark 12:30). It’s a lifelong process that requires learning God’s thoughts and adopting them as our own. Then, as the Spirit develops within us the mind of Christ, our actions will become increasingly holy.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June 9, 2022.
The Apostle Paul had a mindset that Christians are wise to emulate (1 Corinthians 11:1). It included: Humility. Pride can’t exist in the heart of a believer who truly grasps God’s mercy. A sense of obligation. Paul understood how far God’s grace had brought him. Likewise, each one of us have been forgiven much. An awareness of dependence. Paul desired more of Jesus and none of himself (Philippians 3:4-8). A spirit of absolute confidence. Even at the end of Paul’s life, he remained confident in the Lord and looked forward to his eternal reward (2 Timothy 4:6-8). Praise the Lord for all He has done, and let it motivate you to work for His kingdom. May the grace He showers on you never be in vain (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, May 26, 2022.
Paul gives 4 principles for Christian liberty in 1 Corinthians 10:23-33: 1) edification over gratification (v. 23); 2) others over self (v. 24); 3) liberty over legalism (vv. 25-27); and 4) condescension over condemnation (vv. 28-30).
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for 1 Corinthians 10:23-30.
Though it might not always feel like it, jobs are a blessing. Our work allows us to utilize God-given talents, provide for our families, and grow both personally and professionally. See 1 Corinthians 10:31. However, when we feel overlooked or sense that our contributions aren’t valued, emotions like anger or envy get in the way. What should be a source of delight and fulfillment becomes drudgery we avoid at all costs.
The trouble starts when we think of ourselves as individuals rather than as members of the community. We are here to serve and help one another, after all – not to be served (Matthew 20:20-28). That’s why God’s Word says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Putting ourselves last allows us to lay petty concerns down instead of becoming defensive. Then we can experience freedom in the truest sense of the word.
The In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 19, 2021.
It’s foolish to think that our own wisdom is sufficient to guide us. The human mind, while rational, is incapable of seeing the true nature of many situations and events. What is good may not always be best, and what is presented as truth is sometimes a lie. Pride in our own judgment hinders access to godly wisdom.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, January14, 2022.
Although we have access to God’s wisdom, it’s not something we automatically possess. Rather, it must be diligently sought. And His Word is the place to start, because spiritual discernment comes only when we know the truth and can think scripturally about every situation we encounter.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, January 14, 2022.
1 Corinthians 10:31 expresses purity of heart. We have no rights because we no longer ‘own’ ourselves when we commit everything over to the Lord. For example, I have no right to good health, though I am responsible for living prudently with regard to health. I have no right to success in life, though I am responsible for pursuing excellence in whatever work God calls me to do. I have no right to be treated with fairness and dignity, though I am responsible for treating others with fairness and dignity (Matthew 7:12; 22:39). The Lord Jesus Christ now holds the right to my life, and He exercises it with perfect love and wisdom in such a way that good or bad treatment by others will be used to make me more like Him.
Commentary from the Masterwork Bible study, Spring 2021, The Blessing of Humility by Jerry Bridges.