Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. Romans 15:2.
I can do all things through Christ
Consider God’s divine viewpoint when you have a need. Our problem is not that the Lord won’t provide for us, but that we so often fail to understand what our deepest needs are. God sees from an unlimited perspective and works for our eternal good, providing for us according to His good purposes from the limitless supply of “His riches in glory” (Philippians 4:19). Instead of pleading with God to take away a difficulty, ask Him for strength and a new perspective. Although he may not always deliver you from trials, you can count on Him to help you learn contentment, no matter what your external needs may be.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June 23, 2019.
The fellowship of believers
Some Christians try to function independently because that’s easier than living in humility, gentleness, and patience with fellow believers. But we need each other. The fellowship of believers is an important part of God’s design for our spiritual growth.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June 15, 2019.
Where is your focus?
In Ecclesiastes chapter 1, we read about a disheartened Solomon bemoaning how meaningless his existence had become. What Solomon didn’t realize is that our focus determines our level of satisfaction. Those who stay young in spirit continually look for evidence of the Almighty – ways that He’s working, providing, loving, and guiding. Without this perspective, the pain and problems of life take center stage, which can then lead to discouragement and grumbling. These are burdens that believers are not meant to bear.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, April 7, 2022.
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.
Freedom in Forgetting Self
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.
When you look at your paycheck, do you think of it as your hard-earned money? It’s tempting to view money as a result of our own efforts, but this perspective encourages us to act as if all our resources belong to us instead of to God. The truth is that God is the one who enables you to profit from your labors.
Thinking we have control over our assets gives the illusion of safety, but our sense of security quickly evaporates with the loss of a job or a bout with serious illness. True security is found only in the Lord, who knows all things – not in our monetary stockpiles or marketable skills. Knowing that God is in charge of our resources, whether we have much or little, should give us peace of mind because He is our provider and protector.
Recognizing that the Lord is in control of our material wealth helps with two things: It frees us from the discontentment of greed and allows us to be generous, because we never have to fear that we won’t have enough. He promises to supply enough for our needs as well as enough to share with others (2 Corinthians 9:8-10).
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June 4, 2021.
Ceasing to be light
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.