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Author Topic: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley  (Read 39192 times)

Offline Judy Harder

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In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
« on: July 05, 2011, 10:26:37 am »
 
 
 In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
     
July 5

Freedom in Christ

1 Corinthians 6:12-17

In his first letter to the church at Corinth, Paul tells Christians that freedom in Christ is a serious responsibility. Yes, we can eat what we want, spend our time as we please, and pursue activities we enjoy. However, as believers, we are inseparably joined to Christ’s church. This means that when we die, we are raised up to live with Him forever. And even before that time, while we live on this earth, our bodies and souls are united with Christ (1 Cor. 6:14-15).Simply put, they are not our own.

As temporary owners of these bodies, we have the responsibility to find out what is and what is not good for them. We must exercise discipline with our God-given liberties because there is no value in “freedom” that spiritually cripples believers or causes pain, shame, and guilt.

Notice the distinction that Paul makes between freedom in Christ and reckless abandon: God’s grace and forgiveness cover our sins, but that doesn’t give us permission to engage in harmful behavior. As followers of Jesus, we’re to give ourselves over to the pursuit of godly living, not to self-serving pleasures. Christians are “earthen vessels,” created by God to fulfill His purpose and bring honor and glory to Him (2 Cor. 4:7). Therefore, anything that violates the humanbody is not permissible for us.

True freedom means living without the chains of sin and destructive behavior. Jesus Christ paid a price to release you from those bonds. Therefore, do not put your body into slavery to damaging habits. Glorify God with your whole self—heart, mind, soul, and body.

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

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.
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Offline Judy Harder

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Re: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2011, 07:34:37 am »
July 6

The Holy Spirit’s Dwelling Place

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Every time the news programs report a story about vandalism at a church, believers cringe. It’s hard for us to bear the thought of anyone spray-painting graffiti on sanctuary walls or damaging the stained glass windows, let alone setting fire to a place of worship. It’s a desecration!
The church is a sacred place.

I’m saddened by the fact that many Christians don’t have the same qualms when it comes to harming the temple of the Holy Spirit—their own bodies. Some put junk into their stomachs, their veins, or their lungs. Others wear themselves down under a weight of stress or exhaustion. Some folks justify these abuses as their right: It’s my body, I can do what I want. But that isn’t true.

First Corinthians 6 says that believers are the Lord’s possession (v. 19). He has fashioned these earthen vessels to serve Him and carry out the work He’s planned for us to accomplish. God created us with a mind, body, and spirit—of the three aspects, the body is the one that allows
us to interact with our environment. People cannot reach their full potential while neglecting the proper care of their bodies. What good are education, talent, and gifts if we’re too tired or sick to complete tasks well?

Here in the world, we can do nothing apart from our physical body. Since it is the only one we’ll have in this life, we should do our best to keep it in good condition. Believers should also recognize their responsibility to treat the earthly frame like the sacred and special dwelling place that it is.

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

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 07:35:55 am »
July 7

When a Child Dies

2 Samuel 12:16-23

Understandably, people who lose a child want assurance that their little one is safe in the arms of God. The Bible is not explicit about what happens to those who are too young to make a proclamation of faith. However, the Lord’s mercy upon them becomes clear as we study His Word.

Over the years, people have created unbiblical explanations for what happens to little ones who die. There are those who argue that salvation is available to some but not to others, which is scripturally inaccurate (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9). Another more complicated theory holds that God uses His foreknowledge to determine whether a child who dies will enter heaven or hell. The idea is that He rescues those who He knows would have grown up and been saved, but He rejects the rest. What terrible uncertainty that would mean for family members left behind.

God doesn’t keep people guessing. What His Word teaches is that during the early years of life, a child does not know how to choose good from evil (Deut. 1:39; Isa. 7:16) and therefore isn’t held responsible for his moral conduct. Accordingly, when a little one departs from life, the Lord is waiting with open arms. This is the only theology that makes biblical sense, given the Father’s character, desires, and plan.

Until a child is mature enough to decide about whether to serve the Lord, he or she is safe from divine judgment. Our just and loving God does not punish children for being too young to grasp their need of a Savior. Believers join their departed little ones in heaven (2 Sam. 12:23).

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Offline Judy Harder

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Re: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 01:37:13 pm »
In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
     
July 8

The Age of Accountability

Deuteronomy 11:18-20

 I recall an interesting conversation I once had with a young first-time mom while she allowed me to hold her infant son. I commented, “It’s hard to believe that they are born with a sinful nature.” She protested, and I thought it best not to argue with her. But I would have liked to call her a couple of years later when the boy was a toddler to see if she thought any differently!

At one point or another, all of us have felt a tug to do something that we knew was wrong. As adults and believers, we’ve learned that giving in to temptation is a sin against God. But small children do exactly as their natures dictate. Mother says, “Don’t touch,” but they reach out anyway. Little ones do not yet see the wisdom of following a parent’s rules. Boys and girls must be taught to recognize the difference between good and evil before they can make the wise choice to do right.

In the early years, a child is in a stateof innocence. He is neither righteous nor saved, but he is safe from God’s wrath—if he dies, he goes to heaven. The Bible refers to the innocent period in Deuteronomy 1:39 and again in Isaiah 7:16. The Word of God confirms that there is a period of time when children are not morally accountable for their conduct.

The age of moral responsibility differs from child to child. As little ones grow, they each develop the spiritual capacity to pursue righteousness or knowingly give in to evil. The years of innocence are the time for parents to pour into their offspring sound biblical training and lessons on obedience.

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

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.
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Today, I want to make a difference.
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Offline Judy Harder

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Re: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 09:05:26 am »
July 9/10

The Trap of Discouragement

Habakkuk 1:2

Do you feel stuck in discouragement? If so, you are not alone.

At some point everyone experiences dashed hopes. Disappointment—an emotional response to a failed expectation—is the normal initial reaction. But allowed to linger, it can turn into discouragement, which hovers like a dense cloud. When that’s the case, there is no sense of joy or contentment, no matter what you do.

The circumstances that trigger these emotions may be unavoidable, but the way we respond is a choice. We can either let sadness overwhelm our souls or face the situation with courage and bring it before the One who can help us.

Living in discouragement will divide the mind, making it hard to focus on anything besides our pain. Then as anger becomes habitual, we’ll look for someone to blame—whether God, people around us, or ourself.

Frustration that isn’t handled well may develop into depression, which in turn can estrange us from others—people do not enjoy the company of someone who’s bitter and defeated. This isolation leads to a low self-esteem. Finally, in a fog of discouragement, we can make poor decisions based on crushed emotions instead of truth. Obviously, choosing this self-destructive path is not God’s best for our lives.

Though we’ll all face disappointment from time to time, believers are not to wallow in it. Instead, God wants us to trust Him with everything—even our unmet expectations and deepest sadnesses. Remember, there is divine purpose for everything He allows to touch His children’s lives (Rom. 8:28).

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

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2009 All Rights Reserved.
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Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2011, 09:17:13 am »
July 11

Peace, Joy, and Contentment

Nehemiah 2:1-8

Discouragement can rob peace, joy, and contentment. But I have great news if you feel disheartened: You’re not stuck!

I’ve known people who appeared to be in an impossible situation. A few years later, however, they were in a terrific place, either in terms of their circumstances or their emotions. The reason? They never gave up. Instead of sulking in self-pity, they chose to believe God, step out in faith, and climb out of the emotional pit.

Nehemiah is a good example. He had every reason to feel defeated, because his people were in trouble. After receiving news that the city wall had been destroyed, this man of God acknowledged profound disappointment and grieved. Though pain flooded his soul, he didn’t allow himself to stay in that low place. Instead, Nehemiah cried out to God, seeking direction.

Sadness in the presence of royalty was punishable by death. But the Lord answered Nehemiah’s prayer with amazing power, prompting the king to notice his servant’s sad countenance and then to ask what he could do to help. This miracle led to the rebuilding of the wall and the redemption of God’s people.

The Lord can take an impossible situation—no matter what it is—and move in ways mightier than you can imagine.

Do you live in eager expectation of what the Lord will do? Or have you chosen to linger in the depths of despair? Like Nehemiah, turn your disappointment into a petition for God’s help. He can restore your hope and prevent negative emotions from gaining a stranglehold on your life.

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Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2011, 07:48:58 am »
July 12

Facing the Unknown

Hebrews 11:23-29

Tucked into Hebrews 11 is a short phrase that indicates Moses’ approach to life: “for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen” (v. 27). There was no shortage of uncertainty in Moses’ life. How could someone “slow of speech” address Pharaoh (Ex. 4:10)? How could a murderer become God’s chosen man? How would anyone lead these stiff-necked Israelites? And how would they cross the Red Sea, conquer Canaan, or survive 40 years in the desert?

Moses knew what the Lord expected of him, but he didn’t have supernatural vision into the future. So he couldn’t see the outcome of his obedient actions. The Israelite leader moved forward by faith—confident in the Lord’s power to guide, protect, and overcome. Moses derived security solely from God, who consistently kept His promises.

Life hasn’t gotten more certain in the millennia since Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land. Modern believers wonder about things too. Will I ever marry? Is my job safe? What happens to my kids if I get sick? How can I accomplish all I have to do? Thankfully, the source of security hasn’t changed in all that time. God is still the only certainty in this life. You can count on the one who is faithful (2 Tim.2:13), just (Ps. 89:14), and loving (Eph. 2:4).

The lesson from Moses’ life is to cling tenaciously to the Lord. Even situations that look hopeless are cupped in God’s sovereign hand. Moreover, though the way looks dark and the road seems untraveled, He walks before us. Continue forward in confidence, as seeing Him who is unseen.

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

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2011, 11:49:04 am »
In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
     
July 13

When We Cry Out to God

Psalm 57:1-3

When you face a crisis, what is your first line of defense? The natural response is to attempt to fix the problem in your own strength. God, however, gives us a different way to handle difficulty.

David was no stranger to pressure or sudden appearances of evil. When he wrote Psalm 57, he was facing many hardships—including pursuit by King Saul,who wanted to kill him (1 Sam 24). The shepherd’s response was to cry out to God and take refuge in Him until the calamity had passed.

Let’s learn from David’s example by exploring his words. Today, we will focus on the One to whom the psalmist cries.

First, David refers to God as El Elyon, or Supreme Ruler; He is the Most High with all power and wisdom, the only One who can help us in our need.

Second, the Psalm says that God is our refuge. If He is a place of shelter for our soul, then we need not fear. He hovers over us and protects us when crises arise and leave us feeling helpless.

Third, the Psalm expresses complete confidence that the Almighty can and will accomplish all things. He will do whatever is necessary to intervene on our behalf, to hold accountable those who oppose us, and to surround us with His love and truth.

During His time on earth, Jesus displayed great passion. Therefore, we can approach Him when emotions run high. If your heart is troubled, cry out to the Lord. Know that you come before the throne of Him who is a powerful protector, capable and willing to do all you need.

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

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2011, 08:17:35 am »
July 14

How to Cry Out to God

Matthew 14:29-30

The phone rings, and you answer. A sullen voice informs you of a tragedy. Your heart is so heavy that you feel as though you could die. What do you do?

Bad news, danger, and pain all cause us to look for help. As believers, we dwell with the almighty God, who is able to aid us. At those moments when we are sideswiped by life’s circumstances, we should cry out to Him.

In the Bible, crying out refers to speaking audibly with great emotion concerning an urgent need. God invites us to use this form of prayer to communicate that we desperately need His mercy.

It takes both faith and humility to share our heart’s concern aloud. Crying out, then, is a way for God’s children to express trust in the Lord’s ability and willingness to help. By calling upon Him with such urgency, we also lay down our pride and any attitude of self-sufficiency.

The Word of God assures us that our Father hears our cries and responds. In Psalm 3:4, for example, David wrote, “I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered from His holy mountain.” When we call aloud for help in Jesus’ name, we invite His power into the situation. Remember that there is strength in just speaking His name.

When we cry out to God, He may remove the problem immediately, yet we often have to wait for His perfect timing. Harsh circumstances might even be allowed to remain for His good purposes. But we can always count on His comfort and presence, which enable us to live with joy and hope.

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

 :angel:
Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!

Offline Judy Harder

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Re: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 07:59:54 am »
July 15, 2011     
 
 
 In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
     
Questions in Times of Great Disaster

read Isaiah 55:8-9

Whenever a great disaster strikes, legitimate questions spring to mind. Why does the Lord let such things happen? Couldn’t He have stopped this? Doesn’t He care?The magnitude of death and destruction caused by earthquakes, tsunamis, or floods strips away all the everyday thoughts that normally occupy our minds and causes us to seek explanations for suffering.

Often we answer our own questions based on our relationship with God. Those who know nothing of Him have no frame of reference for understanding how He works. However, believers in Christ have the Bible to guide them as they wrestle through these issues. But even then, the accuracy of one’s perspective is determined by his or her knowledge of God’s Word. Those with a limited understanding of Scripture may very well come to inaccurate conclusions.

We must guard against attempts at forcing God to act as we think He should. If He does something that won’t fit into the box we’ve designed for Him, we easily become upset, angry, or confused. The Lord will never stay within the parameters we set for Him. Since we are mortal, earth-bound, and sinful, we have a very narrow perspective and understanding of life. But our eternal, sinless, sovereign, and omniscient Creator sees and knows what we cannot perceive.

We want to be sure that our viewpoint of God’s role in natural disasters comes from the Bible, not from our own limited “boxed perspective.” Scripture tells us of the Lord’s love, faithfulness, and wisdom. Whenever we cannot understand His ways, faith in His goodness must be our foundation.
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Today, I want to make a difference.
Here I am Lord, use me!