The Keys to Success

Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org

Weekend, June 23, 2012 & June 24, 2012

The Keys to Success

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Have you ever felt discouraged about trying to live the Christian life? If your efforts to make a difference in the world seem fruitless, a principle about following Christ could change your outlook.

The Lord served others in love, and His actions had tremendous impact in the world. How was He so effective? Scripture tells us that Jesus did not speak or act on His own initiative but, rather, depended upon His Father abiding in Him to do the work (John 14:10). And we are to follow His example.

Yet we often attempt to serve out of our own abilities, intelligence, and reasoning power. Even though we may pour great effort and long hours into ministry, these alone won’t produce fruitfulness, because we’e not ministering as the Lord intended.

True service is commissioned, empowered, and blessed by God alone. It may be our hands that are working, but our Father is the One at work. And the glory belongs to Him, not us.

What comfort this should give us! The Lord is not looking for people who are extremely talented. He will use all who are willing to let His Spirit work through them. And we can be confident that He will provide all we need in order to do whatever He asks.

Who among us can serve the living God? Truthfully, no one can. Genuine service occurs only when we allow the Almighty to pour Himself through us; we are mere vessels. Even if the impact is not obvious to us, we know that God has achieved His purpose. And above all, He is glorified.

1 Thessalonians 5 (NASB)

The Day of the Lord

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “ Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Christian Conduct

12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another. 14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people. 16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances. 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.

25 Brethren, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brethren with a holy kiss. 27 I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

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