Happy New Year everyone!
As a poor, childless, foreign widow with no earthly power, Ruth perhaps had reason to wish her situation were different. After all, the prominent or wealthy can use their position in life to glorify God. But Ruth’s story proves those things aren’t required. Where has God placed you? Are you reluctant to shine (Matthew 5:14)?
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 20, 2020.
When Jesus called His disciples, they immediately dropped everything and followed Him (Matthew 4:18-25). Today we might think that following Christ was easier then because Jesus was physically present with them. But since we can’t see, hear, or touch Jesus, how do we follow Him today?
When Christ was about to leave this earth, He told His disciples it was to their advantage that He go away because then the Helper could come (John 16:7). He was speaking of the Holy Spirit, who would soon indwell believers (John 14:16-17). The internal presence of the third member of the Trinity is the closest guidance possible, an amazing gift from God to those first-century disciples, and to us.
Today we follow Jesus by heeding His Holy Spirit, who speaks through Scripture and brings its principles to mind. The Spirit guides us each step of the way and teaches us the truths of God. But His work goes beyond that, transforming us from the inside out and enabling us to live righteously. He helps us discern God’s will and then gives us the desire and strength to serve obediently.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 3, 2020.
When times are frightening and uncertain – whether personally, nationally, or globally – the place to find comfort and assurance is the Bible, especially the book of Psalms. Scripture helps us look at circumstances from God’s perspective. That reassures us of His love and care for us and lifts our eyes to a higher hope than anything this world can offer. We all want to find peace, and the first step is to cease striving (v. 10). Remember that the Lord is always with you, and know that His kingdom is coming.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, November 10, 2020.
Do you realize Jesus knows what it feels like to have human struggles? Our Savior understands precisely how we feel because He went through the same types of situations we do (Hebrews 4:14-16). Though our specific circumstances don’t match the Lord’s, we have much in common with what He experienced and felt. Jesus suffered exhaustion, hunger, thirst, and pain just as we do. He also knows the heartache of being lonely, misunderstood, hated, rejected, and unjustly treated.
Whatever you’re going through right now, remember that Jesus knows how you feel and sympathizes with your pain and weakness. He may not remove the anguish or change your situation, but He does promise He will always be with you-which is everything.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 7, 2020.
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.
Are you letting Christ sanctify you through your pain and trouble, or are you hanging on to disappointment, anger, and bitterness?
Afflictions and trials which are externally visible seem at odds with the good that Christ is doing within every believer. Yet we are not to lose heart, because “our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). It’s through our suffering that this transformation becomes most visible to others as they see Christ’s supernatural peace and joy displayed in us.
The key to contentment in every situation is a willingness to look below the surface of your pain and see both the good that Christ is working in you and the glory that is guaranteed to follow. The constant dying to self and even persecution were ways in which Jesus Christ‘s life was displayed in the apostles.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, August 17, 2019.
Understand that discouragement: Is something we can choose; is universal; can recur; is conquerable.
While it’s a natural response to difficult circumstances, we have the power to choose a different response. No one else is responsible for our discouragement.
If we trust in the Lord’s promises and His character, our feelings of discouragement will slowly be replaced by hope.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, August 12, 2019.