If we’re seeking approval for our efforts, we’re going to be consistently disappointed when it doesn’t come. But since the Lord never overlooks our service, we can persevere, knowing He’s the one who will someday reward us.
Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, February 2, 2018.
Jesus: Our Source of Peace
Before we knew Jesus Christ, our life was full of godlessness and wickedness – we had self-seeking ways and stubborn, unrepentant hearts (Romans 1:18; 2:5, 8). Like our strife-filled world, we clamored for peace and tried to find it, but our efforts failed.
When we came to faith in the Savior, all of that changed. We were rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into Christ’s kingdom (Colossians 1:13). Every one of our sins – past, present, and future – was forgiven. Divine justice was satisfied by Christ’s sacrifice, and God’s wrath upon us (because of sin) was removed. We became a new creation, washed clean by Jesus’ blood (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Now that sin’s power over us has been broken, we can become members of God’s family rather than His enemies (Romans 5:10). He sent His Holy Spirit to be our personal guide in this new life, helping each of us experience Christ’s peace (8:6). We also can look forward to an eternity spent in heaven, where righteousness, tranquility, and joy abound (14:17).
The story of the Prodigal Son’s return is a picture of our reconciliation with the Lord (Luke 15:11-32). The young man had chosen to leave his father, living instead to please himself. Repentant, the son eventually returned home; his father joyfully greeted and forgave him, and there was harmony between them. God has done all this for us.
Our unity with the heavenly Father came at a great price – the sacrifice of His only Son.
Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, November 30, 2017.
The Christian’s real home is where Christ lives. This gives us a different perspective on our lives here on earth. To let heaven fill your thoughts means to look at life from God’s perspective. This is the antidote to materialism; we gain the proper perspective on material goods when we take God’s view of them. The more we see the life around us as God sees it, the more we live in harmony with Him. We must not become too attached to what is only temporary.
Commentary from the One Year NIV devotional New Testament, July 22. Tyndale House Publishers. 2003.
God hates gossip. He wants our speech to be pleasing to Him-and He certainly does not consider idle talk or mean-spirited words pleasant (Col. 3:8). Sadly, gossip is practiced so freely that even some believers participate and try to justify their chatter. But hearsay has no place in a Christian’s life.
Romans 1 contains one of the Bible’s lists of sins. The book’s author-the apostle Paul-is reminding believers that God has revealed Himself to all mankind. Those who reject Him and chase after idols are turned over to their evil worship and the immoral practices that go with serving self (vv. 24-25). Gossip appears in the middle of the list; God despises it because malicious talk destroys lives whether the stories are true or false. The person who is targeted by the rumor often loses the respect of those who listen to it. Hurt feelings may not be the only negative effect; a job or relationship could be lost as well.
Those spreading tales also face destructive consequences. People who refuse to control the tongue reveal evil motives or, at the very least, a lack of discipline. As a result, believers and unbelievers alike will often avoid such untrustworthy individuals. For a Christian who spreads rumors, there’s potential for even worse damage. Not only can the credibility of one’s witness be compromised, but fellowship with the Lord might also be harmed-animosity toward another person and intimacy with God can’t coexist in the same heart.
Gossip achieves no good in anyone’s life, which is why the Lord warns against it. Instead, our words should build up, comfort, and encourage others.
Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, May 8, 2017.