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.
Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:78-79
You too, be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect. Luke 12:40
Jesus does not give us gifts, talents, and resources merely to spend them on ourselves. He gives them to us so that we will use them to expand His kingdom and to meet the needs of others – especially fellow believers (1 Corinthians 12:4-7; Galatians 6:9-10).
Commentary from the Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, 2d ed., notes for Luke 12:48.
Spiritual blindness can lead us to offer everything to God except what He wants – a spiritual commitment of the heart.
Even after three years in Jesus’ company, the disciples couldn’t live the Christian life on their own. They had to wait for the indwelling Holy Spirit, who gave them strength, guidance, and wisdom. That has not changed – it remains true that apart from Christ’s Spirit, we cannot overcome fleshly desires and live in obedience to God’s will. But when we rely on Him instead of ourselves, He produces godly desires within us, empowers obedience, and transforms our character into Christ’s likeness.
While this may not be the most interesting photo, it does convey the point spiritually. With His Spirit we have the Lord’s power, and without it we simply have no power on our own.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, March 11, 2021.
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.
This one imperative aptly summarizes the whole gist of the ethical principles contained in the Law and the Prophets.
Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Luke 6:31 and Matthew 7:12.