30 Life Principles

30 Life Principles

by Charles F. Stanley
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Charles Stanley lays out 30 Life Principles that can help you become more like Christ every day. This is accomplished through the power of His Holy Spirit, and through your own diligence and discipline.See more details below

Overview

Charles Stanley lays out 30 Life Principles that can help you become more like Christ every day. This is accomplished through the power of His Holy Spirit, and through your own diligence and discipline.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781418531089
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
06/03/2008
Edition description:
Study Guid
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
185,633
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 4.37(d)

Read an Excerpt

30 Life Principles

Study Guide
By Charles F. Stanley

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2008 Dr. Charles F. Stanley
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4185-3108-9


Chapter One

Life Principle 1

Our intimacy with God — His highest priority for our lives — determines the impact of our lives. Genesis 1:26

Life's Questions

At the beginning of any journey, you must set out in the right direction to reach your destination. That's why this study of Life Principles starts with God's wonderful purpose for bringing you into the world. To find the life that's worth living, you must understand that you're a special, beloved person and that God has a specific, wonderful plan for you that will give you all the love, fulfillment, significance, and power that you're looking for (see Rom. 12:2).

Have you wondered what motivated God to design the universe or why He created you? It was love—pure and simple. Even before the beginning of the world, God loved you and wanted to have a close, personal relationship with you that would bring great joy, fulfillment, and power to your life (see Eph. 1:4). Therefore, Life Principle 1 is: Our intimacy with God—His highest priority for our lives—determines the impact of our lives.

What the Bible Says

Read Genesis 1. What did God create before He formed the first man (1–25)?

Why do you think God created all of these things before He made people?

Why do you think it was important to God to ensure that everything was good (4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25) before He created mankind (see James 1:17–18)?

* * *

The word good in the Old Testament also means well-pleasing, appealing, proper, pleasant to the senses, useful, profitable, or a general state of well-being and happiness. Everything good that comes to you is from God (see James 1:17).

* * *

When God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness" (26), what do you think He meant? Why would He want to create someone in His image?

What jobs did God give mankind to do (26–28)?

How do our responsibilities relate to the fact that we bear His image?

* * *

The word image in the Old Testament also means a likeness, model, semblance, or shadow. This is what you have in common with God and why you can know Him more deeply.

* * *

What It Means

Do you wonder what God's will is for your life? He created you in His image for one reason: to have a deep, intimate relationship with you. God created the world with everything that you would ever need so that you could know and love Him. That means that neither ability, beauty, intelligence, money, or anything else will ever define your life as successful in God's eyes. It all comes down to how strong your relationship is with Him.

Life Examples

Read Genesis 3. What do you suppose life was like in the garden of Eden before Adam sinned?

Why did Adam disobey God (5–6)?

In Genesis 3:10, Adam said, "I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself." Is there anything that you hide from God? Why are you afraid or ashamed to show that area of your life to God?

* * *

When Adam and Eve covered themselves, they did so with fig leaves, which produced sap that would have greatly irritated their skin and made them even more uncomfortable and miserable.

* * *

What was the punishment for Adam's sin (15–19)?

Did their lives become more or less effective after they disobeyed God?

Read John 17:1–5. Define eternal life (3).

Read 1 Corinthians 15:22. How does this verse contrast a life of separation from God with a life of intimacy with God?

Living the Principle

You were created for intimacy with God, and the difference that your relationship with God makes in your life cannot be overstated. His highest priority for you is to be involved with Him in prayer, the study of His Word, and worship and praise. Do you want to live a life that is fulfilling and significant? Do you want to make a difference in the world? Then surrender yourself completely to Jesus Christ and ask Him to open your heart to His infinite love and mercy. It's only through your fellowship and communion with God that you can truly affect other people's lives in a way that lasts eternally. Your genuine intimacy with God will become evident in every area of your life, and that will positively affect the influence that you have with every person you encounter.

How will you live out Life Principle 1 this week? Discuss ways that you can pursue a deeper relationship with God. Then spend time in prayer asking God to draw you into intimate communion with Himself and to transform your life so that you can affect the world for the sake of His kingdom.

Life Lessons to Remember

* God loves you and desires your fellowship and worship (see Deut. 6:5).

* God wants your service for Him to be effective and fruitful (see John 15:5).

* God waits for you to invite Him to bless you (see Rev. 3:20).

Chapter Two

Life Principle 2

Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him. Exodus 19:5

Life's Questions

How do you relate to God, His commands, and the challenges and temptations that confront you? The world denies that God has any authority but, as a believer, you understand the truth. As the Creator of all that exists, God has the right and the power to conform all circumstances to His will. He's also entitled to expect a certain standard of behavior from those who believe in Him.

When God directs you to do something, how do you respond? Do His commands seem too difficult or costly for you to obey? Are you facing a decision that seems overwhelming? Are you torn about whether or not to follow God's instructions? Then Life Principle 2 should help you: Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.

What the Bible Says

Read Exodus 19:1–7. What had happened to the people of Israel in Egypt? (Read Ex. 1 and Ps. 78:43–55 for a summary.)

Where were the people of Israel in this passage of Scripture (2)?

Why was it important that the Israelites had seen God's power in action (4).

* * *

The word obey in the Old Testament primarily means to listen. It can also mean to heed, agree, consent, understand, and yield to. To obey God means that you must listen for His voice and trust what He's telling you. Obeying God is absolutely essential to pleasing Him.

* * *

What was Israel's reward if the people obeyed God (5–6)?

What does it mean to you to be God's "special treasure" (5)? What especially appeals to you about the promise of His love and acceptance?

What It Means

Before Israel could take over the Promised Land, God had to teach them how to live as His people, His special possession. His commands were for their benefit and protection, so that He could establish them in the land and bless them. Their obedience was an essential part of their lives, because if they failed to observe God's laws they would face the terrible consequences of their disobedience (see Deuteronomy 28).

The same is true for you. When you choose to disobey God, what you're really saying is that you don't have confidence in Him—and you cannot have intimate fellowship with someone that you don't trust. Temptations and troubles come into your life and you worry that, if you obey God, you'll lose something that you really want. On the other hand, if you're committed to pursuing an intimate relationship with God, trusting and obeying Him in all circumstances, then you will know that you're receiving His very best for your life—which is far better than you could ever obtain on your own.

Life Examples

Read Exodus 3. What was God's command to Moses (7–10)?

What problems and consequences could come about from such a bold move by Moses (11, 13, 19; also see Ex. 4:1, 10)?

Do you think that, humanly speaking, Moses was right to be afraid with all of those obstacles? Why or why not?

What was God's specific promise to Moses (12)? How do you know that God kept His promise?

* * *

Horeb and Sinai are two names for the same mountain. Some commentators think that Horeb was the western peak and Sinai was the eastern peak. Others believe that one name was for the general mountain range, while the other signified the specific mountain. Either way, we know that God kept His promise.

* * *

Living the Principle

Exodus 19 takes place on the same mountain where God called Moses to serve Him, which means that God fulfilled His promise to His servant and to Israel. Moses obeyed God despite the consequences that confronted him. Hebrews 11:27 states, "By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible." Moses trusted God, and every problem that he faced soon paled in comparison to the mighty love, wisdom, and power of the Commander.

* * *

In Exodus 3:14, God said that His name is "I Am Who I Am." This is also translated as, "I Will Always Be Who I Have Always Been," or, "I Will Forever Be who I Am Now." God never changes. As faithful and loving as He was yesterday for Moses, He will also be today, and He will continue to be for all eternity to you (see Heb. 13:8).

* * *

So how will you live out Life Principle 2 this week? What challenge are you facing today? What is God leading you to do? Your choice in this situation will determine whether you succeed or fail; therefore, obey God and leave in His hands whatever consequence is causing you to fear. If God makes a promise to you, you can be assured that He will bring it to pass.

Spend time in prayer asking God to draw you into intimate communion with Himself, to increase your faith, and to transform your life so that you can affect the world for the sake of His kingdom.

Life Lessons to Remember

* Trust God with your life and all that concerns you (see Prov. 3:5–6).

* Wait on the Lord for an answer to your problem or situation (see Ps. 37:9).

* Meditate on God's Word and listen to the Holy Spirit (see Matt. 6:33).

* Be willing to wait or walk away when the way before you is unclear (see Ps. 27:13–14).

* Be willing to endure conflict (see Matt. 5:10–12).

* Leave the consequences to God (see Ex. 14:13–14).

Chapter Three

Life Principle 3

God's Word is an immovable anchor in times of storm. Numbers 23:19

Life's Questions

If you've made the decision to seek an intimate relationship with God and obey Him no matter what, you will undoubtedly experience seasons of difficulty and uncertainty. Your walk with God is a journey of faith, and there will be situations when your trust in Him will be tested. What will you cling to when a deluge of trouble rains on your life and everything you know to be true seems to be swept away by intense winds of adversity? What will you hold on to when the waves of doubt threaten to crash down on you? Life Principle 3 holds the answer for you: God's Word is an immovable anchor in times of storm.

What the Bible Says

Read Numbers 22:1–12. Why were King Balak and the Moabites afraid of the Israelites (2–5)?

Who was Balaam and what did the Moabites want from him (6–7)?

* * *

The Amorites were a great deal stronger than the Moabites; so when Israel took the Amorite cities so easily (see Num. 21:21-31), the people of Moab had a good reason to be afraid.

* * *

How did God respond to Balaam (12)?

Read Numbers 22:22–35. When Balaam disobeyed God, how did God get his attention (28–31)? Why do you think God used such surprising methods?

What was the Angel's specific instruction to Balaam (35)?

Read Numbers 23:16–23. Why do you think Balaam made the statement he did in Numbers 23:19?

* * *

When Balaam said that God doesn't lie, it means that God will never fail, deceive, or disappoint you. When he says that God never has to repent, it's because God never changes His mind about the promises that He's made.

* * *

How did God fulfill His promise to protect the people of Israel from their enemies (see Ex. 19:5; Num. 14:8–9; Josh. 24:9–10)?

What It Means

God shielded Israel from harm when the people didn't even know that they needed protecting. He caused other nations to be afraid of them and even went to unusual lengths to keep Israel from being cursed. God was so powerful and convincing that even the pagan prophet Balaam had to say, "I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it" (Num. 23:20).

* * *

The name Balaam means not of the people. Isn't it amazing that someone who had nothing to do with God's people could still recognize the faithfulness and power of God?

* * *

God's Word is absolutely true. You may not understand how God is going to bring about what He's promised you, but He is keeping every promise that He has ever made. He will never deceive you or disappoint you, and He will never change His mind about what He's told you.

Life Examples

Read Isaiah 55:10–11. How can this passage encourage you when your situation looks bleak?

Read Romans 15:4. What does this verse mean to you?

* * *

God's promises are essential to your spiritual welfare.

* * *

What Scripture passages or Bible stories most encourage you? Why?

Living the Principle

Do you read and meditate on the Bible every day so that the Lord can bring His Word to your mind when you need a reminder of His love and comfort? What do you do when you're experiencing a tempest of adversity and need a special message of hope from God to hold on to? When trouble strikes like a tidal wave, God's Word can be an anchor of strength, guidance, and comfort to keep you steady.

What storm are you facing today? Are you disheartened by your situation? God will never fail you, and He'll never change His mind about the promises that He's made to you. Therefore, pray. Lay your heart out to God and ask for His love and comfort. Ask Him to show you His will and lead you to His message of encouragement. Then read His wonderful Word. A good place to find assurance is the book of Psalms; or, if you are a new believer, read the Gospel of John. Use tools such as the Life Principles Bible to find where in God's Word to go for direction for your specific need. You can also ask godly friends what Scripture passages have been meaningful and inspiring to them.

How will you live out Life Principle 3 this week? Discuss other ways that you can keep God's Word as your anchor during difficult times. Also, talk about ways the Bible has encouraged you and kept your focus on God in the past. Then spend time in prayer asking God to draw you into intimate communion with Himself and to transform your life so that you can affect the world for the sake of His kingdom.

Life Lessons to Remember

* Consider God's promises your spiritual anchors (see Heb. 6:18–20).

* God always keeps the promises that He makes (see Josh. 21:45).

* Be willing to patiently wait for God to fulfill His promises (see Hab. 2:2–3).

Chapter Four

Life Principle 4

The awareness of God's presence energizes us for our work. Deuteronomy 20:1

Life's Questions

Ecclesiastes 2:24 teaches, "Nothing is better for a man than that ... his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God." This may be a challenging verse for you, especially if you don't have a very fulfilling profession. Maybe you're a caregiver to your children, spouse, or aging parents and you do an immense amount of work that is sometimes thankless and exhausting. Even if you really like your job, you may not always find it enjoyable, because every occupation brings difficulties and frustrations with it.

How do you feel about the work that you do? Is it your dream job or just something that you do to pay the bills? Whatever your situation may be, God expects you to do your best at whatever you do. Whether it's people, politics, or other kinds of problems that are causing you distress, you may wonder how you can stay motivated and honor God in your labors. Life Principle 4 gives you this encouragement: The awareness of God's presence energizes us for our work.

What the Bible Says

Read Deuteronomy 20:1–4. What kind of assignment did God guarantee that Israel would face (1)?

Why might the people of Israel be terrified and discouraged (1)?

What did God promise that He would do for them (4)?

* * *

The word afraid in the Old Testament also means to stand in awe of, revere, or respect. Only God deserves your awe, respect, and reverence (see Deut. 3:22). He is with you and He is able to overcome anything that you'll ever face.

* * *

Read Deuteronomy 11:7–12 and review why God was giving these commands to Israel. Why was it important for the people of Israel to stay focused on God during this crucial time in the nation's history?

(Continues...)



Excerpted from 30 Life Principles by Charles F. Stanley Copyright © 2008 by Dr. Charles F. Stanley. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >