Saturday, May 31, 2014

Responding to Accusation

This was in my email yesterday...May 30...In Touch Daily Devotions. I thought it was a good reminder for me.

Responding to Accusation

"When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."

When conflict occurs, the natural reaction is to blame someone else and defend yourself. But believers must respond differently. Once, I was publicly chastised for a wrong I had not committed. Thankfully, the Lord enabled me to remain calm rather than react angrily. Praying first is always the best response in a crisis. When we do, God supernaturally provides that which we can't muster up ourselves.
  • Spiritual discernment. The Lord, who perfectly understands the source of every problem, can give us insight beyond our limited perspective. Perhaps there's been a communication breakdown, a feeling of jealousy on the other person's part, or a mistake we unknowingly made. The Holy Spirit can show us how to approach our accuser and see beyond hurtful words or actions.
  • A quiet spirit. Our human nature wants to react quickly so that we can defend ourselves. That's why we must first deliberately focus our attention on the Lord and experience the inward peace He alone makes available to us (John 14:27).
  • Wisdom. Jesus told His disciples the Holy Spirit would give them wise words to say when they faced hostile authorities. He'll do the same for you. Ask Him to put a seal on your lips until He shows you what to say and when (Ps. 141:3).
We don't have to react to criticism with anger and self-protection the way the world does. Instead, we are called to represent Christ in every situation by depending on Him. In responding as He directs, we bring Him glory and cause unbelievers to want to know the source of our strength.

For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit

Thursday, May 29, 2014

How to Walk Wisely

from In Touch Daily Devotional email for 5/28/14

Read | Proverbs 28:26

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
But he who walks wisely will be delivered.

According to 2 Corinthians 5:7, believers are to walk by faith. However, with so many voices clamoring for us to follow worldly paths, we often struggle to hear and apply God's wisdom. For example, it is hard to ignore our natural impulse to withhold mercy, even though the Lord says we must forgive (Eph. 4:32).
Godly wisdom is the capacity to view things as the Lord does and to respond according to biblical principles. This discernment isn't automatic. Yes, God's Holy Spirit lives inside believers to prompt them to do right. However, each individual chooses whether or not to pursue the wise way.
To walk wisely, a person must commit to remaining on the right path—that is, to determine in his or her heart, I will follow God no matter what. Pleasing the Lord and conforming to His likeness are always the right things to do.
Resolving to honor God transforms the way we make decisions. It means choosing to seek His viewpoint in a given situation instead of following instincts or impulses. And rather than relying on other people's advice, it involves a decision to search Scripture for verification of what God seems to be saying. As a result, the Spirit's quiet voice becomes easier to discern, and those worldly shouts fade.
You have a loving heavenly Father who honors the heartfelt commitment to walk according to His will. God assumes responsibility for offering His children sought-after wisdom and enabling them to keep walking on the right path (Prov. 3:5-6). Following Him is always the best decision.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wednesday's Answers to Life's Questions: How do I keep my focus on God and not on the obstacles in my life?

Numbers 14: 8-9

There are times when fear can paralyze the bravest of hearts. When we perceive a threat to our well-being or an obstacle standing between us and our goals, we often fear that the overall plan for our lives is in serious jeopardy.

In those times we need to remember the promises of God.

When the Israelite spies set out on a reconnaissance mission to assess the land of Canaan, they had no idea what they would encounter. It was a great honor to be chosen by Moses for such an assignment, and Moses selected the top leader from each of the twelve tribes for the job.

Yet all of their training and leadership experience did not prepare them for something so overwhelming. Who had ever heard of a grape cluster so huge that it had to be carried on a pole lifted by two men (Numbers 13:23)? Who could possibly be prepared for Canaanite warriors so massive they dwarfed the best of Israel's army (Numbers 13:33)? It is no wonder these spies felt a whirling mix of emotions as they headed back to their commander-in-chief to give a full report.

You can imagine the scene. Moses and Aaron (Moses' brother) gathered the people to hear the news. The spies confirmed the Promised Land was indeed everything God said it was--but they focused on what they saw as the obstacles to their taking the land, namely the giants who lived there. They gave an accurate report, but they failed to give the entire story. Only Joshua and Caleb spoke the truth.

These faithful men recounted what they had seen and then reiterated, in their own words, the promises of God that had brought them to this point: "If the LORD is pleased with us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us--a land which flows with milk and honey. Only do not rebel against the LORD; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the LORD is with us; do not fear them" (Numbers 14:8-9). Joshua and Caleb lived to see the Promised Land, but only because they focused on the goal God had laid out for them and not on the obstacles standing in the way (Numbers 14:30; 26:64-65; 32:11-12).

Pastor Stanley closes with this reminder:
The many blessings God has in store for you are just as rich! Never allow shortsighted vision--especially one focused on obstacles--to block the far-reaching plan of the Lord.

Charles Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Way to Handle Negative Relationships

I got this in my email this morning In Touch Daily Devotions and thought it was worth sharing.

Read | 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 ~ Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

In an ideal environment, all our relationships would draw us closer to the Lord. However, we live in a fallen world with sinful people, so that is not our reality. God wants us to influence those who aren't walking obediently with Him, but unless we're careful, we could easily end up following them. How are we to deal with relationships that drag us down instead of building us up?
Prayer. Your first step is to pray for the people who tend to pull you away from God. It's not your job to change them, but you can ask the Lord to work in their lives. And don't forget to ask Him to give you the wisdom and patience you need in your interactions with them.
Separation. You may have to break off a relationship if it's hindering your Christian walk. However, this should be done only after much prayer and wise counsel. Remember, some relationships are meant to be permanent, so listen carefully to what God is telling you.
Perseverance. If the negative relationship never changes and the Lord is not calling you to break off association with that person, then He wants you to persevere in the situation. In that case, your goal is to walk faithfully with your heavenly Father despite any hindrances or opposition.
If you deal with negative relationships, you should also cultivate friendships with godly people who can help you grow in your faith. Spend time in God's Word, filling your mind with truths that anchor your soul in stormy situations. Persevere in walking faithfully with Christ—you may even influence the other person.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wednesday's Answers to Life's Questions: How can I find courage in the face of stiff challenges?

 Deut. 31:1-6

Any time God requires us to face trials and tribulations 
He always provides the courage to meet the demand. 
David was a man of great courage
—not merely human courage, 
but courage rooted in the sovereignty of God. 
In 1 Samuel 17, 
we see God's supernatural strength in action 
in the life of David.

Defeat is never a viable option for the person of courage. 
As David faced Goliath, he never considered defeat an option. 
People of courage refuse to look for ways of escape. 
They set their gaze on advancement and victory. 
Never go into battle entertaining thoughts of defeat; 
you will lose every time. 
Men and women of courage 
know their success 
lies with our unshakable God.

Courageous people recall past victories and God's faithfulness. 
At times, David had faced enemies just as vicious as Goliath. 
In the moments before the battle, 
he recalled how God had strengthened him in the past 
to kill both a lion and a bear. 
David expected this same help 
to strengthen him against Goliath.

Courage is a result of having the right attitude. 
David realized he could not win in his own strength. 
He knew God had to be with him, 
or he would suffer defeat.

Courageous people look to God and trust His guidance. 
David's brother mocked him. 
Saul doubted him. 
Goliath made fun of him. 
But their negative talk did not affect David. 
Every time God calls you to follow Him, 
expect opposition, 
even from surprising sources. Û

Genuine courage is not chilled 
by inner fears of outward difficulties. 
The person of courage isn't interested in those 
who refuse to believe God. 
Take time to study God's Word 
and apply His principles to your life. 
You can always face your enemies head on 
when you stand on the promises of God's Word.

ð A courageous person applies resources at hand 
in creative ways. 
David chose five smooth stones and a slingshot 
as his weapons instead of the battle armor of Saul. 
He faced Goliath clothed in the strong faith of the living God. 
Mere man cannot penetrate nor defeat 
God-centered faith!

A person with the attitude of courage 
confronts an opponent with confidence 
that God will ultimately give him success 
if he obeys Him. 

When we face life's trials as David did, by faith, 
we become men and women of courage
—and the victory is always ours. Y

page 421
Charles Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing // Allred // Sessions at June Audio

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday's Answers to Life's Questions: Where can I look for good advice?

Proverbs 13:10

Proverbs has a lot to say about the value of wise counsel. 

Proverbs 13:10 declares, 
"Through insolence comes nothing but strife,
 but wisdom is with those who receive counsel." 

Proverbs 15:22 proclaims, 
"without consultation, plans are frustrated, 
but with many counselors they succeed." 

And Proverbs 20:15 instructs us, 
"A plan in the heart of a man is like deep water, 
but a man of understanding draws it out."

Pastor Stanley remembers: ...[I can still hear] my grandfather's words: "Charles, whatever you do in life, always obey God fully. If He tells you to run your head through a brick wall, go forward, expecting Him to make a hole." 
I have never forgotten his advice, 
and it has been a cornerstone of my personal ministry over the years. 
It reminds me that the most important counsel we can ever get 
comes from the Lord Himself.

Regardless of the situation or circumstances, 
we should always go first to God for His counsel. 
We should remember what King Jehoshaphat told Kind Ahab of Israel: "Please inquire first for the word of the LORD" (1 Kings 22:5). 
When we do so, we go to the wellspring of all wisdom, 
for we go to "the LORD of hosts, 
who has made his counsel wonderful 
and His wisdom great" (Isaiah 28:29).

God sometimes leads us to seek advice from others. 
When He does so, He wants us to examine the lifestyle 
of the person from whom we hope to receive counsel. 

If "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom" (Prov. 9:10), 
then we had better know where the person stands with the Lord. 

Consider the spiritual and moral track record 
of anyone from whom you obtain important advice or counsel, 
especially if the decision you make 
affects your entire family and future.

Page 419
Charles Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible

for more online resources follow the link below:

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wednesday's Answers to Life's Questions ~ How can I rid myself of guilt?

Matthew 5:23-24 ~ “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

Consider several key steps required to be free from guilt, all under the banner of forgiveness:

1. Admit the sin that created your guilt.

Repent of your sin to God. If you have sinned against another person, confess to that person. Remember that our society is quick to accept some sinful behaviors as normal. The Bible presents a very clear picture of what is iniquity and what isn't. If you have any doubt about whether or not you have sinned, consult Scripture. God will show you what is a violation of His Word and what isn't.

When you confess to God that you have sinned, don't try to justify what you did. Simply state your transgression. Then ask God to forgive you.

2. Make amends.

If you have wronged another person, don't try to substitute a request for forgiveness by doing kind deeds for that person. This same principle holds for your relationship with God—don't try to substitute works for genuine repentance.

In seeking to make amends for a wrong committed against another person, you may be wise to ask what he or she would consider fair payment for the hurt or injury, or you may want to offer remuneration of some type. The best repayment may be a genuine change in your life (which may involve counseling, professional help, or therapy). Ask God to give you wisdom in identifying an appropriate way for you to respond.  Also ask Him to give you the courage and the fortitude to follow through on your commitment to the offended person.

3. Accept forgiveness.

If you have sinned against God and have repented, you can be assured He has forgiven you. His Word promises He will pardon you (1 John 1:9)—and God always keeps His Word. If you have sinned against another person and he forgives you, accept his words of forgiveness at face value. Don't try to second-guess his sincerity of motives.

What happens if you confess a sin against another person and the person refuses to forgive you? That person bears the responsibility for failing to forgive; you don't. You have done what the Lord requires of you, and you stand clean before the Lord.

see page 21
Charles Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible