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Every Day in His Presence

Dr. Charles Stanley

June 12,2016

Aggressive Listening

(The people of Berea) searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth

Acts 17:11

There are two kinds of listeners: passive and aggressive. A passive listener takes what his pastor says as truth without much more consideration. On the other hand,an aggressive listener diligently seeks to know what God has to say - and grows much more quickly in his faith because of it.

Aggressive listeners are the ones whose Bibles are open and pens are ready. In Bible study,they demonstrate an inquisitiive mind. In personal devotion,their notebooks are replete with insight into God's ways. They are always probing,searching,and comparing what they've heard with  previous instruction. And the Father blesses their attentive hearts (Matthew 7: 7-8).

So consider, are you sensitive to what GOd is saying? Do you persist in asking how the lessons you're taught apply to your own life? Do you take what you hear as truth,or do you investigate the Word,making sure the principles you've learned align with Scripture? What kind of listener are you?

Father,I want to be an aggressive listener who can identify Your truth and apply it to my life. Teach me to hear You and walk in Your ways.

amen

Entries in this blog

 

Devotion

Wisdom from Above Dr. Charles Stanley June 21, 2018 Impoverished by Desire He who loves pleasure will become a poor man Proverbs 21:17 Does today's verse mean the Lord doesn't want you ever to experience any pleasure? Absolutely not. In fact, Psalm 16:11 promises, "In Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever." Rather, Proverbs 21:17 addresses the problem of giving your life over to the pursuit of gratification rather than God. When your desires become your focus, you're going to begin making compromises in order to fulfill them and will eventually act in a way that contradicts your core beliefs. The steps toward disobedience will begin small, but they'll quickly speed up and take you in a very definite direction-which is away from the Lord. Eventually, you develop an attitude that anything goes, which results in chaos in your life and your relationships. You become increasingly susceptible to peer pressure, and your disobedience to God increases, as does your spiritual weakness and discouragement. Ultimately, you lose sight of the Father altogether, which means you lose your peace, joy and strength, and you are no longer able to handle the storms that come into your life. Friend, don't let that happen! Remember who you are in Christ. You're a child of the living God! The Spirit of God has sealed you as His beloved, and He teaches you how to live in the freedom of your salvation. Because of Christ's provision on the cross, you are not only completely victorious, but you're also a coheir with the Savior-which means you have an eternal kingdom waiting for you that is beyond imagination. You have no reason to chase after temporary pleasures and no reason to compromise. So don't! Don't do anything that could trap you on the downward slide. Rather, look up and see all that God's promised you if you'll obey Him. Lord, I confess the ways my desires have gotten hold of me. Free me, Father. Amen  

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Devotion

Wisdom from Above Dr. Charles Stanley June 12, 2018 Trustworthy Truthful lips be established forever. Proverbs 12:19 Do the people who really know you see you as a person of integrity? When they describe you, do they talk about your truthfulness and trustworthiness? Are they inclined to believe and heed what you say when they need counsel? We live in a culture that tends to obscure the facts and deny reality. People say one thing but really believe another; and it seems that everyone has his or her own version of what is right. It can be difficult to know whom to trust and whom to listen to. But the reality is that the truth does not have versions, and integrity is a major issue in the eyes of God. His desire is that we would be people who represent Him well, with honesty, transparency, dependability, and hearts set on doing what is right. He wants us to be the kind of people who speak the truth in love-not to wound, but so others can be set free and healed ( Hebrews 12:13). Friend, it is so frustrating when others won't listen to us, but often we teach them to do so by lacking integrity in our interactions with them. Is this the case for you? Do others treat you as less than trustworthy? Begin changing that today by being a person of your word, but also by being a person of God's Word. To build and maintain your integrity, submit yourself to the Lord and walk in righteousness. Don't protect yourself with dishonesty; instead, arm yourself with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Surround yourself with honorable people and learn from them. Trust the Lord in everything you do, and confess your failures. In this way, God will establish you as a person people can count on for truth and good counsel. Lord, I want to be a person of integrity. Help me to walk in Your truth so others can count on me so I can represent You well. Amen      

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Devotion

Wisdom from Above Dr. Charles Stanley June 9, 2018 Better understanding "Forsake your folly and live, and proceed in the way of understanding." Proverbs 9:6 Each of us faces the same challenge every day-to look beyond what we can see to what God perceives, to understand our circumstances from His viewpoint, and to faithfully choose His direction. This is one of the reasons it is so important to have a daily quiet time-because we need constant reminders of His truth. We require continual exposure to the Word and its testimony of God's character. After all, no one is wiser than the Creator of all things when it comes to knowing how you can live a successful life on this earth. No one has deeper understanding about how you can have a healthy and productive life than the God who formed your body. No one has a more profound comprehension of your potential than the Lord who molded your inmost being and caused you to be born in your particular circumstances. No one could possibly have a better plan for you than He does. After all, He created all natural resources and everything of real value on this earth-including the gifts and talents that you possess. No one has a greater stake in seeing you trained and successful than the One who bled on the cross for your redemption. Certainly, if He gave so much for you, He would lead you in the best way possible and never deny anything you truly need (Romans 8:32). Friend, each day will bring you numerous opportunities to assert God's wisdom over your own. Don't rely on your own limited knowledge. That only leads to trouble. Rather, continuously train your mind, heart, and spirit with His truth. Then you can proceed with confidence on the path of His understanding and live. Father, You are God! You know and understand all things! I choose Your wisdom above my own. May I honor You with my life. Amen  
 

Devotion

Wisdom from Above Dr. Charles Stanley June 5, 2018 Tempting The lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech Proverbs 5:3 Some people say that they don't accept Christ as their Savior because they don't want to live by a bunch of rules. They want to be free to do what they wish, whenever they like, with whomever they please, and they don't like the idea that there is a God in heaven who would prevent them from experiencing the pleasure they desire. As a believer, one may hear this and wonder, Is there something I'm missing? It seems that the whole world is enjoying things that God forbids in His Word. Friend, be careful! The enemy may be trying to get you to believe that the Lord is an unappeasable taskmaster who is keeping you from experiencing pleasure. Satan will do whatever he can to convince you to stray from the sanctified life God has called you to by telling you that you aren't going to hurt anyone. The desires of your body are natural-just meaningless fun-and the Lord is being unreasonable. However, the truth is that the Father gives you His commands to help you avoid ruining your life with something that will never really satisfy the deep needs you're trying to fill. Because whether you know it or not, those sins influence who you become in a negative way, hindering you from being the courageous, powerful witness God created you to be. Don't do that to yourself! Open your heart to the Lord and be willing to put aside what the world has taught you (Amos 5:4). Tell God that you believe His commands are for your good, and ask Him to teach you to live a godly life that honors Him. There's freedom for you if you'll trust Him, so in prayer commit yourself to Him. Lord, sin is certainly tempting. But I know Your commands protect me from destruction and are always from my good. Teach me to walk worthy of Your name. Amen  
 

Devotion

Wisdom from Above Dr. Charles Stanley May 4, 2018 What's in Your Heart? Watch over your heart with diligence, for from it flow the springs of life Proverbs 4:23 Put your head down and imagine God holding you as a loving Father embracing His beloved child. You may be surprised by the emotions you feel. Hopefully, you feel secure in His overwhelming love for you. However, it is possible that you're uncomfortable and wish to push Him away because somewhere in your heart, you don't really trust Him. You may feel a sense of conviction due to some unconfessed sin. Or you may realize that you've been running away from Him all your life, when all you really wanted was to feel safe in your heavenly Father's arms. Whatever, the case, be still and allow God to deal with whatever emotions and issues arise. Do not fear. He will teach you what to do. The Father can remove any encumbrance you have to knowing Him, and He can draw you into a deeper, more intimate relationship than you have ever known. So consider: Do you truly trust God? Are you confident that He is able to help you? Are you convinced that the Father is willing to listen to you and come to your aid? I hope you are. But if your answer to any of these questions is no, I pray that the Father will do a mighty work in your life and show you beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can place all your hope in Him. Not only is He worthy of your trust; He also loves you unconditionally and wants to show you the extraordinary life He created you for. So spend some time in prayer today and allow Him to reveal to you who He really is. Father, You know what's in my heart. Thank You for healing my wounds, forgiving my sins, and leading me to the awesome life You have for me. I love You and will trust You, Father. Amen    
 

Devotion

Wisdom from Above Dr. Charles Stanley May 2, 2018 Your True Worth Wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy Proverbs 2:10 Often, when we struggle with disappointments or despair, we attribute our failures, painful feelings, and misfortunes to our worth. We believe that we don't deserve acceptance or anything good because something within us is inherently lacking, useless, or broken. Sadly, it may be very difficult to break out of those beliefs because they are so ingrained in our identity. But friends, if you wrestle with feelings of worthlessness, you must accept the reality that your view of yourself is not right. The only One who truly understands your potential and value is the Father, and He accepts you, promises to love you unconditionally, and enables you to do all He calls you to do. The Lord created you exactly as He wanted you (Psalm 139:13-14). And when the Savior looks at you, He sees someone worth dying for-a person He wants with Him for eternity. So to overcome feelings of hopelessness or insignificance, you must accept His assessment of your value over your own. Zephaniah 3:17 affirms, "The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy." Not only does your heavenly Father rejoice over you, but He also is committed to winning the battles for you. Therefore, when disappointments or feelings of despair arise, refuse to entertain any thought of worthlessness or inadequacy. Instead, train your eyes on your Savior and Creator. And accept who He created you to be-a vessel who shines with His glory, regardless of your circumstances. Father, set me free of feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy. Thank you for loving me, redeeming me, defending me, and equipping me to do everything You call me to.
Amen    
 

Devotion

My Daily Pursuit A.W. Tozer January 7, 2018 Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted. Isaiah 49:13 To worthily worship God as He desires to be worshiped, I must have absolute confidence in Him. I cannot sit down with any person and enjoy fellowship if I have reason to fear He is out to get me or trick me or deceive me or cheat me. My fellowship with Him must be based upon respect and confidence. I have to trust Him before I can have fellowship with Him; and so when I go to God, I have to raise my affections and confidence to God. In the presence of God, I must come without doubt and nervousness, without worry and fear that God will cheat me, deceive me or let me break down or do something wrong. I need to be so convinced about God to the point that I can go into presence of God in absolute confidence and say," Let God be true and every man a liar." Dear Father, the very thought of Thee causes my heart to leap in joyful song in praise. My heart sings of Thee in the night watch. Amen      

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Devotion

I LIFT UP MY SOUL Dr. Charles Stanley December 17, 2017 God's Guarantee Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. Have you ever known the frustration of canceled hotel reservations? Sometimes even the "guaranteed late arrival" system isn't foolproof. You hustle through two airports, fumble with bags all the way, grab a rental car, drive through unfamiliar territory, and finally make it to the hotel, only to hear the clerk say "I'm sorry, but no rooms are available". When Jesus told His disciples about His impending departure, He gave them special assurance for the future: "In My Father's house are many mansions: If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). This promise was not for the disciples only; it is for everyone who accepts Jesus as Savior and trusts Him for salvation. Your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life, and it cannot be erased (Rev. 21:27). Your reservation in heaven can never be changed, and the place Jesus is making ready is custom-made just for you. In fact, you are supposed to consider heaven your real home; earth is a mere way station. Hebrews 11:13 notes that the heroes of faith regarded themselves as " strangers and pilgrims on the earth" because they were so focused on the end of their temporary journey here. You have God's guarantee: no mansion on earth can compare to the eternal home waiting for you. Dear father, thank You for the guarantee for a place reserved for me for eternity. I'm on my way! amen

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Devotion

I LIFT UP MY
SOUL Dr. Charles Stanley October 15, 2017 Quality Time 1 Thessalonians 5:24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. Ours is a world of satellites, lasers, cell phones, and ATMs. Faxes zoom across telephone lines, and computers arrange daily schedules with supreme accuracy. Because of all these things, we have learned to demand instant results. The tendency to try to become super Christians within a very short time is grave. It is almost as if we believe that to please God, we must become "better" quickly. However, God does not work this way. Over time, our love and devotion for God will increase naturally. Spiritual growth cannot be forced. The maturation process takes time, quality time, spent with God. This is how God weeds out old, sinful habits and plants His renewing truths within our hearts and minds. He knows that to produce maximum growth there must be maximum care and nurturing. God slowly reshapes our lives until they are molded into the image of His Son. Never become discouraged by the apparently slow process of your spiritual growth. God's schedule is not ours. And if you will seek Him above everything else, you will receive all He has for you within His timing. Lord, I want a relationship with You above all else. I want to receive all that you have for me. amen

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Devotion

I LIFT UP My Soul Dr. Charles Stanley October 9, 2017 The Difficulties of Life Psalm 57:1 Be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in you; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. If God is good, why does He allow bad things to happen? This important theological question has mystified people throughout the ages. But as believers, we can be confident that God always has a purpose for allowing adversity. Spiritual cleansing. Nothing exposes sin like pain and suffering. If there is something in your life that needs His forgiveness, go to Him immediately. Ask Him to restore the sweetness of the fellowship you once shared. Companionship. God is not the author of evil, but He uses it to bring you into a closer relationship with Himself. Any sin in your life needs to be removed because it blocks the flow of God's love. Conformity. Adversity purifies your motives and strips away the dross in your life so that you reflect His love to others with an even greater brilliance. Conviction.  After Christ's death, the disciples had to hold fast to what they believed concerning God's Son. In the end, the adversity they faced led to an increased joy that came through the reality of living in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Comfort. When God becomes your only Source of comfort in times of trials, you will experience an inner peace like nothing you have felt before. Dear Lord, thank you for the supernatural purposes that You are accomplishing in me through the difficulties of life. Strip away the dross in my life so that I can reflect Your love to others with an even greater brilliance. amen    

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Devotion

I Lift Up My Soul Dr. Charles Stanley September 26, 2017 The Basics of Faith 2 Corinthians 5:7 We walk by faith, not by sight Until we discover what it means go have faith, we cannot begin to walk by faith. Faith in God is more than just believing He exists; it is living with confidence that He will fulfill all His promises and bring salvation to us. We must discover whether we have placed our faith in God or if we only are wishing His Word is true. As our faith is tested, the true spiritual state of our hearts is revealed. A situation is presented before us where we can act within our own strength, doing whatever we can to manipulate the outcome, or we can trust in God's strength, taking our hands off the problem and allowing Him to enter the scene. As we begin to walk by faith, there will be times when we stumble and fall. However, falling and getting up is part of learning how to walk. Once we get up and dust ourselves off, we take our next step with more wisdom, more strength, more faith. Walking by faith is a lifestyle, a way in which we conduct ourselves. As God molds and shapes us more into His image, He desires for us to live a life of faith, a life that relies upon Him for everything we need. Paul wrote, " For we walk by faith, not by sight.... Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him"( 2 Cor. 5:7, 9 NASB) Lord, guide me to that place where I go beyond just believing You are real but, rather, rely on Your wisdom for every detail of my life. amen

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Devotion

I Lift Up My Soul Dr. Charles Stanley Sept. 17, 2017 Simply Be Still Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! " Don't just stand there! Do something!" This is a familiar call to action in our modern world. However, there is something inherently dangerous when we try to force this way of thinking into our spiritual lives. Too often, whether we voice the belief or not, we act as though God needs our help. We wrestle with God for some degree of control over the events in our lives. In effect, we make a proud stand and proclaim, " Okay, God. I think this is what You want to happen, so I'm going to work and work and work and make it come about." Somewhere in the back of our minds, we hear the time-honored counsel, "God helps those who help themselves." In fact, the vast majority of Christians believe that this word of advice is in the Bible. It is not. Actually, this statement is 100 percent contrary to the Word of God, which instead tells us to be still. The Father knows that we cannot help ourselves. That is the very reason He sent His Son to die-because we were utterly helpless to improve our sinful condition (Rom.5:8). While we seek to do God's will, we must not forget His fundamental call to stillness before Him. When we are still and quiet in His presence, we put ourselves in the most teachable position possible. Are you too busy trying to keep up with God? Lay down your efforts and simply be still. What you discover in the stillness may revolutionize your call to Christian service. Lord, I cease from my own efforts. I wait in stillness before you. amen

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Devotion

I Lift Up My SOUL Dr. Charles Stanley August 5, 2017 A New Beginning John 4: 28-29 The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" There is nothing more hope-filled than being given a new beginning, especially after we have suffered defeat. This is what God gives to those who seek His forgiveness. He provides a chance to begin again. While it is true that there are consequences to sin, God will never condemn us for our bad choices (Rom. 8:1). Nor will He leave us in the mess that our sin or doubt has created. The key to living above your circumstances is realizing that God has a plan for your life even when you make a mistake. He never stops loving you, and He will never give up on you. He may not change the results of a poor decision, but He certainly knows how to take a bad circumstance and bring good out of it. Jesus made a point of meeting with the woman at the well. From a human perspective, her life was filled with failures. Jesus, however, only saw potential. Even though the woman had been married several times, Jesus did not hesitate to express His love for her. While God's love for us is unconditional, it is not without responsibility. Love like this demands our complete devotion. Jesus came so that this woman-and each of us-might know and experience the eternal love of God. We are transformed when we draw near to God's amazing love. Oh, Father, Your love is so deep that I cannot comprehend it, yet I know that it is that love that is transforming me. Thank You amen    

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Devotion

I Lift Up My Soul Dr. Charles Stanley July 3, 2017 The Sifting Process 2 Corinthians 12:10 I take pleasure in infirmities, in needs, in persecution, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.   God has a plan for your life. However, it doesn't snap into place overnight. It takes a lifetime to achieve all He has planned for you. He prepares you for service by giving you spiritual gifts and natural talents, and by allowing you to face many difficulties. He uses the difficulties to sift away the impurities in your life. The difficulties also sand and polish the rough edges of your life until they are smoothed. In the end, you become a reflection of His glory. When God begins His process of sifting in your life, you may feel as though your entire life is being shaken. Don't worry. He is positioning you for a great blessing. Another indication of the sifting process of God comes when you sense His silence. He is testing to see whether you will trust Him even though He is not making Himself known to you through material blessings. One of the hardest forms of sifting comes through suffering, whether physical, mental, or emotional. Amy Carmichael, a devoted servant of God, spent the last years of her life confined to her bed. God allowed her to be tested beyond what seemed bearable, especially for one who loved being in contact with others. Most of us will never face that kind of trial. However, the life of Christ burned brilliantly within her. Today her books, written during her time of suffering, are testimonies of God's faithfulness and glory. Master, help me to realize that You work in silence, suffering, and times of shaking to accomplish Your purposes in my life. Use these difficult circumstances to prepare me for the future You have planned. amen

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Devotion

I Lift Up My Soul Dr. Charles F. Stanley June 20, 2017 Well Equipped for Victory Romans 13:14 Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provisions for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. In the lifelong struggle with temptation and natural desire, believers are told to "put on" the Lord Jesus Christ. this becomes a daily activity by which you decide who is going to live your life for you today. Are you going to live in the flesh, or is Jesus going to have the privilege of living His life through you? People have different terms for the "flesh," but simply put, it is the natural part of each person that desires to operate in opposition to God. It usually manifests itself by challenging the restrictions that the Lord set for mankind's good. Once we are saved, we fluctuate between two mind-sets-that of the Spirit leading toward God and that is the flesh leading away from Him. While we will always retain old fleshy patterns of thinking, we do not have to succumb to living by them, because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. But since our two ways of thinking are in opposition to each other, conflict and warfare naturally result. We are in a real battle, which requires real weapons. The Lord has given us the helmet of salvation so that we will not surrender our minds to ungodly thinking. The breastplate of righteousness protects our emotions from giving way to natural desires. We also put on the belt of truth, which enables us to walk in keeping with godly principles rather than according to the flesh. And the Lord has provided a true shield of faith for us because there are actual darts of doubt. In other words, we are at war, but we are well equipped for it. God always leads us in triumph. Thank you, Lord, that You always lead me in triumph. Thank you for the weapons of spiritual warfare that assure my victory.

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Devotion

I Lift Up My Soul Dr. Charles Stanley April 22, 2017 Close to the Father's Heart Psalm 145:18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. The believer who lives close to the Father's heart is free to express his feelings to Him. You do not have to be uptight with God. He knew every derail of your life the moment He created you. When you were saved, the Lord Jesus Christ understood all of your past failures and hang-ups and your future struggles. Because you are now His child for all eternity, you can be completely honest with Him. You can pour out your hurts, your anger, and your disappointments, your secrets, and your dreams to the Lord. He will never reject you (Heb. 13:5). You can never turn away His steadfast love. There will be times when you do not understand what God is up to in your life. God's presence may seem distant. Because you have God's assurance of His presence and because of His unceasing activity on your behalf, you can still cling to Him and worship Him in the knowledge of His love for you. Refuse the advances of competing lovers-money,fame, power-and deny doubt and unbelief. Have you the kind of intimacy with God so that the Father is your most adored Friend? Does your unswerving allegiance belong to Him? If not, confess your need for such a relationship, let Him gather you into His waiting arms, and worship Him. Father, let me learn to worship You even when Your presence seem distant. Help me deny doubt and unbelief and refuse the advances of money,fame, and power. Amen

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Devotion

I LIFT UP MY SOUL Dr. Charles Stanley Ready to Receive 1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all of your care upon Him, for He cares for you. Your morning begins with a problem. You turn on the shower but no water comes out. In frustration, you pick up the phone to call the repairman. However, when you dial the number, no one answers the phone. Now you have reached your breaking point. But your anger is justified, isn't it? After all, you need a solution to your problem, and you need it right now. In our fast-paced world, we have become accustomed to receiving messages, money, packages, and answers almost instantaneously. This may be why it is difficult for so many Christians to wait upon the Lord. When we lift our prayers to Him. we oftentimes treat God like the faucet repairman-He should be ready and waiting to fix our problems in a moments notice. Though God is always with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16). He answers our prayers in a time frame determined by His divine will and plan for our lives (1 Peter 5:6-7). Why does He do this? It is not to make our lives more difficult. Instead it is to encourage us to trust Him and to rely up Him completely. God is faithful to answer our prayers, but His answers come when we are truly ready to receive them. When you feel anxious about an unanswered prayer, don't give up or get angry. Rather, seek God with a patient heart, and trust His timing.   Lord, I am finite and impatient. I am used to instant responses. Help me to wait on You, and in the waiting, understand that You operate outside our time frame. amen  

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Devotion

I Lift Up My Soul Dr. Charles Stanley Applying Truth For Victory Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me In grasping a clear picture of how we can weather the dangers that come with both victory and defeat, we must not forget to apply what we know. Understanding that God is our strength in weakness is one thing, but applying that truth in an effective way is another. The apostle Paul said he had learned the secret of contentment in any situation-Christ, the source of strength (Phil. 4:11-13). We must do more than just acknowledge God's awesome power-we need to get it into our lives. We must submit our will to His will. Asking God to give us strength to accomplish our will results in burnout. God never promises us strength for our own plans, only for His. That's why submitting to His will is the first step to seeing His power begin to permeate our lives. We must also trust Him to control our circumstances for His purposes. Once we realize that God's plans and purposes are greater than we could imagine, we also have to realize that the path He is leading us down will result in His glory. The result of relying on God's strength is that we cease to struggle against that which we cannot control. And victory is found in trusting in the Lord's strength. Heavenly Father, I trust Your strength as I face the challenges of life today. I praise You because I will walk in victory. Amen

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Devotion

I Lift Up My Soul Dr. Charles Stanley February 4, 2017 Be Like a Bird Matthew 6:14 Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. You're sitting by a tree in the middle of a meadow, taking in the pleasant country sights and sounds. Suddenly you see the bird rush past you, feathers all in fluff. He has a daily schedule under one wing and a cell phone in the other. He's looking all over the ground frantically, with his beak poking wildly at the dirt. You hear him mutter, "The bug crop better be good next February, or I'll lose my nest egg for sure!" Can you imagine such a ridiculous scene? Of course not! Bird aren't people, and they're not capable of worry or anxiety. That's why Jesus used them as an example of how you are to trust Him for your needs: "Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns; and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?"(Matt. 6:26NASB) God knows worry is a waste of precious time. You can't change your circumstances anyway. Worry is a useless activity that robs you of the peace of trusting in His provision. Jesus said, "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be add to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself" (Matt. 6:33-34NASB). When you recognize God's control over your life, you are able to let go of the need to manage things yourself. Be like one of His little birds and place yourself entirely in His care. Lord, help me let go of the need to manage things myself. I want to be like one of Your little birds. I am placing myself entirely in Your care. amen  

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Devotion

Every Day in His Presence Dr. Charles Stanley December 24, 2016 Your Prince of Peace Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests Luke 2:14 Does your heart yearn for peace? The hectic nature of Christmas sometimes inspires more weariness, conflict, loneliness, and feelings of unworthiness than the joy promised by the angels at Christ's birth. The tumult within your spirit and unfulfilled dreams may leave you longing for rest. But be assured, your Savior desires to give you genuine tranquility in the midst of all the pressures of the season (John 14:27). Friend, you will feel exhausted and overwhelmed when you believe everything depends on you. But Christ calms your soul by taking full responsibility for your needs as you obey Him. You'll find peace when you trust Him, because you're assured that the One who is best able to give you the victory in every situation will never leave or forsake you. So when you feel overwhelmed, stop and spend time with your Prince or Peace. Then rejoice in the fact that He's got everything under control (Psalm 103:19). Truly, He is always ready, willing, and able to help you (Psalm 46:1) Jesus, thank you for being my Prince of Peace and giving me true rest. You are the joy of my soul forever, amen.

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Devotion

Every Day in His Presence Dr. Charles Stanley December 8, 2016 Time And Boundaries Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time Ephesians 5:15-16 Are you afraid of saying no to people because of what they may think? If so, find freedom in this today: Jesus often set boundaries with others, denying their demands. And because He did, you can and should too. Why? Because when your life lacks firm boundaries, you become an easy target for the enemy. He fills your life with so many seemingly "good" activities that you're too busy to seek the Lord's will. Eventually you find yourself tired, unfulfilled, and lacking the peace and joy the Father promised you. This is why it's so essential for you to set wise boundaries and refuse to be drawn off course. Because if you fail to prudently manage the time God has given you, you may become disheartened and weary-missing all He's planned for you. So today, ask the Lord to reveal His path for you. He will teach you how to walk with wisdom and make the most of the opportunities He has for you. Father, bless me with wise boundaries. Show me Your will so I can always obey You and say yes to Your opportunities, amen.

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Devotion

Every Day in His Presence Charles R. Stanley November 25, 2016 As He Is Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever. Revelation 7:12 There is absolutely nothing so wonderful as simply abiding in the presence of holy, almighty God-learning about Him and getting to know Him better. Of course, if you have no idea who His is, it will be difficult for you to be still and worship Him. But when you see Him as He really is, you won't be able to keep quiet about Him. You'll want to praise Him with everything in you. So right now, clear your mind of troubles and concerns. Imagine yourself before His immense and glorious heavenly throne. Think of His astounding beauty, His unfailing power, His magnificent wisdom, His overwhelming love. Not only do you serve the gracious and sovereign King of kings, but He has invited you to be with Him for eternity and you have constant access to His mighty throne. So thank Him. Gratefully recall all the ways He's shown you His love and provision. Worship Him and sing His praise. Know Him deeply, friend. And catch a glimpse of the joy of heaven. Lord, You are worthy, powerful, and magnificent! Help me know You in the fullness of Your glory! amen  

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Devotions

Every Day in His Presence Charles F. Stanley Choose To Worship Exalt the Lord our God and worship at His footstool Psalm 99:5 If worship is the utmost expression of who we are as believers, why does it seem so difficult to fall at God's feet and genuinely adore Him? Why is it easier to complain about life's problems rather than voice our praises? One reason is pride-we focus on ourselves rather than on our wonderful Savior. Another is sin-we insist on meeting our needs in our way instead of trusting the Lord. Yet these are the very issues that cause us to feel weak, trapped, depressed, dirty, and forsaken. But when you worship in humility, repentance, and obedience, you find a deep, abiding, and life-giving freedom. You focus on God and see His holy splendor, unlimited power, unfaltering wisdom and unfathomably deep love for you. You encounter the joy of forgiveness and realize His faithful care for all your needs. Friend, do not allow your rebellious heart to lead you away from God. Return to your heavenly Father today and worship Him in sincerity, humility, and repentance. Enter into His wonderful presence and experience the One you were created to enjoy. Lord, I confess my sins and worship You in humility and sincerity. You are God and fully worthy of all my praise, amen.

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Devotion

Every Day in His Presence Dr. Charles Stanley November 5, 2016 RELINQUISH CONTROL "The cup which the Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?" John 18:11 Admit it-the reason certain situations bother you so deeply is because you feel out of control. Life hasn't turned out the way you planned and you're desperate to regain your influence. Perhaps this was the problem for Peter. After all, how could a man brave enough to fight for Jesus in Gethsemane (John 18:10-11) suddenly become so fearful that he denied the Savior three times (v v. 25-27)? Could it be because his plans had fallen apart and he felt out of control? He could handle fighting Rome with swords. But he didn't comprehend the far greater victory Jesus' resurrection would have over sin. Had Peter understood Jesus' true purpose, certainly he wouldn't have been so fearful. Like Peter, you may want God's Will but are unsure about how He is accomplishing it-and you prefer to manage life according to your terms. But, friend, it just doesn't work that way. So let go of your fear and allow the Savior to work. He has a better plan than you can imagine. Accept that He's in control, and rest in the knowledge that He's always victorious. Jesus, Your ways are far wiser than mine. I will trust Your purposes, amen.    

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Devotion

Every Day in His Presence Dr. Charles Stanley October 28, 2016 Transformed By The Truth Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:1-2 What does it mean to be transformed by the truth? Romans 12:1-2 can be divided into three goals for us to pursue: present your body as a living sacrifice; do not be conformed to the world; be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Being a living sacrifice is how we honor God-we are to live in a way that glorifies Him. Not conforming to the world means that we refuse to live according to the faulty standards and practices of our fallen peers. Transformation of our minds signifies that we adopt a new way of thinking-replacing our selfish and distorted thought patterns with God's truth. And all together, it indicates that you are made better-gloriously changed as the Lord directs. This will be challenging, but is totally worthwhile. So be a living sacrifice and trust Him to do astounding things in you. Lord, mold my life and transform my mind so that I may become the person You created me to be, amen.  

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