grace

What was Jesus thinking?


What if you saw that an accident was about to happen that would involve you and the one person you care most about in this world and that it would result in the loss of life, but you see a way that you could save your loved one, however, it would mean the loss of your life. An act of sacrifice would mean that your loved one could go on living. That is what Jesus was thinking about when He went to the cross to give up His life (Luke 23:26-49). His sacrificial act was carried out on your behalf.

Finding Favor with God

There are people who work hard in an attempt to earn the favor of employers, parents, friends, and even God. The truth, however, is that divine approval cannot be earned. There’s only one way to acquire it, which Hebrews 11:6 states clearly, “Without faith is it impossible to please God” (NIV). Like the saints commended in Hebrews 11:1-40 for their faith, Christians today don’t have to strive for God’s favor. That’s because in Christ, we have been lavished with divine grace (Ephesians 1:8). Yet we sometimes tend to overlook the most basic examples of the Lord’s kindness to us: He provides for our needs, puts limits on suffering, answers prayers, encourages us in our trials, and offers His strength in our weakness. In fact, every good thing that comes our way is from His hand (James 1:17).

God’s goodness is stored up for those who fear Him and take refuge in Him (Psalm 31:19). But even though His favor isn’t something that can be earned, we still have a responsibility to live in a manner He finds pleasing. As was true for the role models of faith in Hebrews 11, God’s grace should motivate us to be righteous and blameless in our walk with Him.

The In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 20, 2021.

God’s favor


Paul urges us to continue in God’s grace because it’s the way we live in full dependence upon Him (Ephesians 3, 4; Acts 13:43). Every time the Lord meets our needs, guides our steps, forgives our sins, or comforts and strengthens us in our hardships, He’s lavishing us with divine favor. And it doesn’t end in this life. In the eternal ages to come, He will show us “the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:7). Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, October 2, 2021.

Together in the Heavenly Places


But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

By Grace You Have Been Saved


And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. Ephesians 2:1-3

How to Make a Difference

The Lord has given believers an amazing responsibility – He has called them to accomplish His work here on earth. How remarkable that God Almighty, who can do all things, invites us to participate in drawing people to Him, helping His children reach spiritual maturity, and caring for those in need. Being a servant of the Lord means we put ourselves under His authority, listen to His instructions, and carry out His commands. In our own strength, this task is impossible, but when we defer to God and rely on Him, He supplies everything we need.

The Father always equips His children. He begins by developing Christlike character within us. Then, as we cooperate with His Spirit, God transforms a self-centered heart into the heart of a servant who delights in meeting others’ needs. And the Lord also bestows the spiritual gift needed for the specific work He’s appointed each believer to do.

The invitation is issued; the strength and ability are provided. All that is needed are some willing servants to participate in the most exciting adventure on earth. Join with the Lord in His work, use your spiritual gifts, and make an impact for Christ in this world.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, November 25, 2020.