God is the ultimate giver, and in gratitude, we’re to imitate Him. Becoming a generous person begins with biblical thinking. Instead of focusing on how much we can keep, it’s better to think in terms of how much we can give away and share with others and the church. God has promised to supply our needs (Philippians 4:19) but often lavishes far more than the basics. And He delights to see His children joyfully sharing what He has given (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). As He provides us with material wealth and possessions, we become channels through whom He blesses others and carries out His work on earth.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June 7 and 8, 2022.
Jesus taught many things about prayer and its central role in a believer’s life. He also promised that our petitions will be answered when we meet certain requirements.
One condition is mentioned in John 14:14: After receiving Christ as our personal Savior, we have the right to present requests in Jesus’ name, which means praying something that the Lord Himself might pray. To exercise this privilege, we must come to the Father, depending not on our own good works or character but on the merits of Christ alone. Jesus’ atoning death on the cross is the only basis for approaching God and being assured of receiving an answer to our petitions.
A second requirement is separation from all known sin. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” This refers to ungodly behaviors and thought patterns that we know are wrong but refuse to give up. Remember, God looks at our heart attitude. If we struggle against our sinful ways, grieve over them, and ask for forgiveness, He will hear our cries and respond. But when He sees a hard heart, He is not obligated to listen.
Next time you pray, start with words of praise to God for His sacrificial love and gratitude to Jesus for dying in your place (1 John 4:10). Express that you understand why your prayers are heard – because you have a relationship with the Father through Christ, and not because of anything you have done. Confess all known sin and ask for forgiveness. Then present your requests to God with anticipation, and trust His answers.
(More on Friday this week.)
Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, December 14, 2017.