Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday's Answers to Life's Questions: Does God consider loyalty an important trait in His people?

1 Chronicles 29:19 – "...and give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies and Your statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision.”

Our relationship with God 
is usually reflected in our relationships 
with other people. 

The more loyal we are to Him, 
the more loyal we tend to be with friends and family members. 
That’s no accident.

The Father considers loyalty an important trait. 

David thought it so important that he prayed, 
“Give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, 
Your testimonies and Your statutes” (1 Chron. 29:19). 

God wants us to remain loyal to Him, 
and He wants us to remain loyal 
to the people He puts in our lives.

Perhaps this helps explain why we find so many 
beautiful pictures of loyalty in the Bible. 

For example, Jonathan remained loyal to David, 
even at the risk of his own health and safety (1 Sam. 18:4, 19:2). 

In the New Testament, we see a bond of loyalty 
between the apostle Paul and Barnabas, 
two men who helped change the course of the world for Christ, 
even though they couldn't always agree.

But perhaps one of the most beautiful pictures of loyalty 
in Scripture 
is that of Ruth for her mother-in-law, Naomi. 

Many people have inscribed her words on bracelets and pendants 
that they carry with them everywhere: 

“Where you go, I will go, 
and where you lodge, I will lodge. 
Your people shall be my people, 
and your God, my God. 
Where you die, I will die, 
and there I will be buried. 
Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, 
if anything but death parts you and me” 
(Ruth 1:16-17).

Loyalty comes from the heart. 
It is motivated by love and 
wants the best for the other person. 
A loyal person remains steadfast. 
You never have to beg support of a loyal friend or coworker.

Loyalty also demands trust. 
It leaves no room for deception or mistrust. 
As a result, individuals loyal to one another 
relate at much deeper levels than others.

A loyal person makes for a reliable messenger. 
Disloyalty causes division, especially among Christians. 
Loyal friends defend the other person 
and refuses to listen to gossip. 
Loyalty speaks the truth. 
A loyal person has a strong sense of responsibility.

Genuine loyalty is not built around circumstances, 
environment, popularity, or convenience. 

True loyalty is built on devotion to God and love of others.

Finally, God always rewards those who remain loyal to Him 
and to the people He places in our lives. 

You can never out give God, even in loyalty.

- pg 845 -

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wednesday’s Answers to Life’s Questions: What value could there possibly be in weakness?

2 Corinthians 12:9 ~ And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

None of us can escape the pressures of life. Most of us know what it feels like to be disappointed. We know the painfulness of embarrassment, the sting of rejection, and the sorrow of failure. There will always be times when our circumstances seem to be overwhelming.

What is out of control in your life? Is there a financial need? Maybe you face a relationship crisis and are urgently praying for God’s wisdom.

Regardless of your situation, you can trust this principle: Whatever brings you to your knees in weakness carries the greatest potential for your personal success and spiritual victory.

Even though Paul could have listed many personal accomplishments, he chose to tell his audience what he saw as the key to experiencing a victorious life: accepting his weakness so that the strength of Christ might live fully in him. “I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Cor. 12:9).

We do not know the trial that Paul faced; he called it a “thorn in the flesh” (v. 7). In the Greek, the work thorn means a stake used for torturing or impaling someone—no gentle affliction! He writes that it buffeted him, indicating that the trial was either ongoing or recurring. When the apostle felt he could no longer withstand the blows, God reassured him that His grace was sufficient for anything he faced.

Strength that withstands the stresses and blows of this life comes from only one Source—the eternal, indwelling presence of God. What the world views as strong is really nothing more than weakness under wraps.

When we accept our weaknesses and the fact that we cannot handle life on our own. God goes to work. He sends encouragement and a sense of creativity, helping us to try new avenues that lead to hope and fresh beginnings.

Are you weary from trying?

Has exhaustion left its mark? 

Are you afraid others will see your weaknesses and laugh? 

Could a thorn in your life expose your deepest fear? 

Let it go. 
Release your fears to Jesus who loves you. 

Let Him strengthen you. 
Nothing compares to the freedom that waits for you 
within His loving arms. 

Nothing will ever bring more completion 
to your heart and soul 
than knowing the unconditional love of God. 

It is yours today—if you choose it.

~ pg 1179 ~

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

God Works within Us............................................{from my In Touch daily devotional}

Ephesians 3:20-21 ~ 20Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Let these words slowly sink into your understanding:
able to do far more abundantly 
beyond all that we ask or think” 
(v. 20).

What an amazing description 
of God’s ability to work within us.

Yet so often our focus is mainly on 
what we want Him to do around us: 
If He would change this situation 
or fix that problem,
 then my life would be better. 

But He invites us to think and ask bigger
He wants to change us!

The Holy Spirit has more than enough power 
to transform lives from the inside out,
but working change within 
is usually a slow process.

Spiritual fruit takes time to grow and mature.

That’s why we need patience 
and faith to believe He is working
even when we don’t see the results 
right away.

God is never in a hurry 
and will never give up on us.

The Lord has a purpose for your life, 
and He is constantly working to achieve it.

Although He has an individualized plan 
for each one of His children,
He also has an overarching goal
—to conform every believer 
to the image of His Son Jesus Christ.

In order to accomplish this,
He may have to bring us through 
some struggles and heartaches.

It might make no sense to us, 
but God knows exactly what He’s doing.
(Romans 8:28)

What would you like to see the Lord do within you?

As you read the Scriptures, 
look for qualities that God considers precious,
and ask Him to work them out in your life.

Then rely on His wonderful promise to do even more than you have asked or imagined.

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

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wednesday's Answers to Life's Questions: Why should we know the ways of God?

Psalm 25:4-5

Make me know Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;

For You I wait all the day.

In order to know someone intimately, you can’t just know what they do—you must know his character and his heart. You have to know what motivates him.

The same is true for God. Unfortunately, sometimes we know about God, but we really don’t know Him. Even more unfortunate is that we’re satisfied just knowing a few facts about Him. Yet God wants us to truly know and love Him.

Here are six reasons we should know God’s ways.

1. We should know the ways of God because they are essential in knowing Him.
Why should we learn the ways of God? Because we can get to know God’s heart by learning about His ways. Life’s greatest pleasure is knowing Him personally and intimately.

2. We should know the ways of God because He requires that we know them.
God commands us to know His ways. Deuteronomy 10:12 tells us God requires us to fear Him, walk in all His ways, and love Him. And since God requires us to know His ways, He will certainly help us to understand them. We will learn His ways one at a time as we ask Him to show us.

3. We should know the ways of God because they are the yearning of His heart.
God deeply desires our fellowship. This fact alone should motivate us to seek Him more passionately. He wants us to know Him in a deep, meaningful way.

4. We should know the ways of God because He loves us.
God offers us His way—which is the wisest way—because He’s an all-knowing God who loves us and desires the best for us. He wants each of us to realize that His way is so much better than our own, and it’s the only way we’ll be truly happy.

5. We should know the ways of God because they are the best way.
No matter what situation we face—no matter how difficult a choice it may be—we can be certain that God’s way is the best way, even if it is a difficult and painful one. God will guide us and will give us the strength and wisdom to face our circumstances in a godly manner.

6. We should know the ways of God because they are the pathway to success.
God’s way offers the true path to success. What is real success? The world’s definition involves wealth and power, but true success is godly living. When we imitate His ways, He blesses us above and beyond our imaginations.

~ pg 222 ~