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Acts of Grace

By Dr. Charles Stanley Philippians 1:12-30 Do you ever look at your circumstances and see no possible way the Lord could bring something good from them? What benefit could come from illness, unemployment, a broken family, or other difficulties? While we can’t always understand what God is doing, there is one thing we can do—trust Him to use our situation for His own glorious purposes. Although Paul’s imprisonment may have seemed like the end of his ministry opportunities, God actually used it to

By Dr. Charles StanleyHebrews 11:6-16 When I was a young boy, my mother let me plant some seeds in her garden. Although she explained that the plants would take time to appear, when nothing happened after several days, I decided to dig them up to check for progress. I found no plants, but what’s worse, I also ruined the possibility of ever seeing any. Hebrews 11 records examples of people who by faith waited for what God promised, even when it wasn’t

Romans 6 Once we have received the favor of God through salvation, does it matter how we behave? Today’s passage responds with an emphatic yes. After receiving God’s gracious salvation, we are not to continue acting in ways displeasing to Him. Instead we’re to walk in newness of life and consider ourselves dead to sin. This truth is affirmed by Paul’s life. Upon his conversion, the apostle was radically changed, and he began living with single-minded devotion and obedience to Christ. After

2 Timothy 4:6-18 Scripture details the courageous way Paul handled trials. He was opposed by religious leaders, manhandled by magistrates, and mobbed by crowds. Yet through it all, he stood firm. How did he do this? Let’s look at Paul’s own testimony. He said he came to the Corinthians in weakness, and he spoke with fear and trembling (1 Corinthians 2:3). He claimed that he had been pushed beyond his ability to endure (2 Corinthians 1:8). In fact, once his fear was

Psalm 63:1-8 In Psalm 63, David wrote, “You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You.” God wants us to seek Him and have a loving bond with Him, as David did. So, how are we to do this? Knowing Him is the first step, which takes priority above all other matters. David used the word thirst to describe his passion to know the Lord (Psalm 63:1); the apostle Paul likened his dedicated pursuit of God to

Psalm 19:7-11 On occasion, every believer faces moments of doubt. Perhaps a prayer goes unanswered, or our obedience is met with worsening circumstances. Or maybe someone’s criticism makes us question our ability to carry out God’s plan. Doubting God’s character can hinder our … Fellowship with Him. Believers live by faith, which is the only way to please God (Rom. 1:17; Heb. 11:6). Doubt undermines faith and causes insecurity. Prayer life. The impossible becomes possible for those who believe God and do not doubt

Romans 8:33-39 How would you answer if someone were to ask, “Do you feel good about yourself?” Would your thoughts be filled with self-doubt and second-guessing, or would you be able to stand tall and say, “Yes, I do”? There are many behaviors and attitudes that clearly cross boundaries—such as unforgiveness, adultery, and greed. But insecurity is different. It’s more like a slow flame burning just beneath the surface, influencing our thoughts and subtly harming us from within. This issue is harder

Exodus 32:1-14 Many believers worry that God might reject them if they sin too much, fail to read the Bible daily, or displease Him in some other way. But our salvation and trust in God is based upon His unchanging character. The false notion that God would reject a person He has saved springs from a simplistic view of His nature. We tend to attribute one emotion to God at a time–for example, we might assume He is either angry or loving.

1 Corinthians 3:10-15 A believer’s life is built on the foundation of Jesus Christ. One way to think about this is that every motive, deed, and word is a building material for our spiritual house. All that we have said and done in Jesus’ name will be incorporated into this structure, but it will also include sin, negative attitudes, and good deeds done with wrong motives. Not all if it will last, however—someday, when we stand in the Savior’s holy and

Matthew 6:5-8 Prayer is simply talking with God. Yet with regard to consistency or how to approach Him, we sometimes struggle—especially when we’ve observed other Christians pray and assume theirs must be the “right” way. That’s probably how people felt watching the Pharisees, who’d corrupted this priceless privilege by turning it into a hypocritical, ritualistic performance of self-righteousness. In contrast, Jesus taught that God-pleasing prayers have the following characteristics: Sincerity. Coming before a holy God should fill us with humility rather than

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