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.
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.
Witnessing is not a matter of persuasiveness or verbal skill. Rather, it’s an overflow of your love for Jesus Christ, along with a desire to invite people to know Him. As you allow the Holy Spirit to increasingly express His life and power through you, your joy will overflow and touch others.
The In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 11, 2021.
God defines life’s good things quite differently than we do, and they’re achieved only by seeking Him. When we make the Lord our top priority, He gives truly good things, such as intimacy with Him, satisfaction, joy, and divine help.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, November 5, 2021.
One of the purposes of prayer is to make us aware of our own dependence upon the Lord. No concern is too small to bring to Him, and nothing is too big for Him to handle. In fact, we are told to worry about nothing and to pray about everything.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, September 2021.
All too often old emotions come back when circumstances are difficult. We walk around, weighed down with concerns even though Jesus says his yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). As anxious thoughts and hopelessness take over, we not only suffer personally but also cease to be a light in the world because Christ is no longer reflected in our life. On the surface, in fact, we appear just as pressured, stressed, and fearful as those without Christ. Instead of being filled with fear, anxiety, frustration, and stress, Jesus tells us in Romans 15:13 and in other verses how we can instead be characterized by hope, joy and peace, when we are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, January 26, 2021.
We hear a lot about love in books, songs, and conversations, and we can lose sight of its spiritual dimensions. Believers must remember that God’s love is of a much higher caliber – it is the starting point of our salvation. If He had not loved us first (1 John 4:10), we’d be destined for eternal consequences rather than eternal life. Never let the world’s shallow concept of love rob you of the wonder of being a recipient of God’s divine love, which transforms us from enemies to heirs.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, January 12, 2021.