30 Life Principles Bible Study: An Action Plan for Living the Principles Each Day

30 Life Principles Bible Study: An Action Plan for Living the Principles Each Day

by Charles Stanley

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Overview

30 Life Principles Bible Study: An Action Plan for Living the Principles Each Day by Charles Stanley

God has given you hundreds of principles in His Word to help you become everything that He designed you to be. He has provided these truths to guide you, comfort you, encourage you, and teach you how to be triumphant in Christ. These principles have never failed and will never disappoint, and God has promised that He will bless your obedience as you follow His commands.

During his many years of ministry, Dr. Charles Stanley has faithfully highlighted the 30 Life Principles that have guided him and helped him to grow in his knowledge, service, and love of God. In this Bible study, you will explore each of these principles in depth and learn how to make them a part of your everyday life. As you do, you will find yourself growing in your relationship with Christ and on the road to the future God has planned for you.

This guide has been designed as a ninety-day Bible study for putting the 30 Life Principles into action and is ideal for personal devotions or for study in a group setting.

Each Lesson Includes:

  • Three daily in-depth Bible studies to help you explore the principles in Scripture
  • An action step to help you apply the principle in your day-to-day life
  • Summary points to help you remember the key takeaways from each lesson
  • Additional insights, reflections, and notes on each of the 30 Life Principles

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310082521
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 11/15/2016
Edition description: Enlarged
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 100,942
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dr. Charles Stanley is the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atlanta, where he has served for more than 40 years. He is a New York Times bestselling author who has written more than 60 books, including the bestselling devotional Every Day in His Presence. Dr. Stanley is the founder of In Touch Ministries. The In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley program is transmitted throughout the world on more than 1,200 radio outlets and 130 television stations/networks, and in language projects in more than 50 languages. The award-winning In Touch devotional magazine is printed in four languages with more than 12 million copies each year. Dr. Stanley’s goal is best represented by Acts 20:24: “Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about God's mighty kindness and love.” This is because, as he says, “It is the Word of God and the work of God that changes people’s lives.”

Read an Excerpt

30 Life Principles Bible Study

An Action Plan for Living the Principles Each Day


By Charles F. Stanley

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2016 Charles F. Stanley
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-08253-8



CHAPTER 1

LIFE PRINCIPLE 1


Your Intimacy with God — His Highest Priority for Your Life — Determines the Impact of Your Life

Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness."

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 is why this Bible study begins with God's wonderful purpose for bringing you into this world. To find the life that's worth living — one that makes a real difference in this world — you first must understand that you're a special, beloved person. What's more, God has a unique and wonderful plan for you that will give you all the love, satisfaction, fulfillment, and significance you're looking for in life.

True success in God's eyes is not measured in terms of wealth, accomplishments, or popularity. Some of the richest, most talented, and best-known people in the world have little or no real impact on the world around them. On the other hand, countless people who are "average" by cultural standards — regardless of their unique limitations — make an enormous impact on the world simply by serving in the place that God has called them to serve. It is people's relationship and obedience to God that determine their impact.

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 Ephesians 1:4). Therefore, Life Principle 1 is this: Your intimacy with God — His highest priority for your life — determines the impact of your life.


Day 1: Made In God's Image

When God created you, He made you like Himself. Why? So you would have the capacity for fellowship with Him. Without that commonality, you would have no way to comprehend Him on a personal level. However, because you have this commonality, you can recognize His perfections. You can appreciate His limitless love, mercy, grace, wisdom, and power because of the (extremely) limited versions of those attributes you see in yourself. Worship, of course, is the only sensible reaction to God when faced with this realization.

The world tends to sum up a person's impact based on the fame and fortune that he or she possesses. But God sums up a person's impact in terms of relationship, character, and obedience to Him. God wants you to succeed first and foremost in your relationship with Him, then in your relationships with others, and finally in your vocations and ministries. His highest priority and purpose for your life is intimacy with Him. Therefore, the depth of your relationship with Him will determine the impact of your life in this world.

Thanks to God's design, this relationship simultaneously fills your deepest personal needs — especially the need to know that you are loved. Each one of us has to feel certain, deep down in our hearts, that someone cares for us and has our best interests at heart. When your relationship with God is strong, you experience His love with a passionate intensity too deep for words. So it is that God created you with fellowship in mind — with Himself and others. But you cannot fully love others until you have yourself experienced the love of God.

1. Read Genesis 1. God is spirit. He is eternal, all-powerful, and all-knowing. He exists out of time, and the laws of physics don't apply to Him. He is sovereign, answers to no one, and can't be defeated. In what ways, then, are you created in His image (26)? Where is the resemblance?

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2. What impact does the fact you were created in God's image have on your dominion over the animal world (26)?

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3. What impact does the fact you were created in God's image have on your relationship with other people?

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4. Is it possible to catch a "glimpse of God" in other people? Explain.

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5. After the first five days of creation, God declared His work to be "good" (4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25). After the sixth day — the day He created humankind in His own image — He declared His work to be "very good" (31). Why do you think He said this?

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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.


Day 2: A Willing Surrender

You experience God's love when you willingly surrender to His call to be your Savior, Lord, and Friend. Surrender is a loaded word. In military terms, it means that all is lost. In spiritual terms, however, it means that all is gained. To surrender to God is to let go of the steering wheel of your life and leave the driving to the One who not only designed the car but also plotted the course. To surrender control to God is to gain confidence and faith.

There are at least three reasons why God seeks your surrender. First, He loves you and desires your fellowship and worship. As long as you hold something back from God, you cannot know Him completely or fully experience His love. However, when you surrender all that you are to Him, you get all of Him.

Second, He wants your service to be effective and fruitful. Regardless of your particular situation or the limitations you might have, the more you love Jesus and serve Him in the place He has called you to serve, the more effective that service will be. The closer you draw to God, the more impact your life will have. The more energetically you nurture your relationship with the Lord, the greater the positive mark you will leave behind.

Third, He waits for the freedom to bless you. God is omnipotent, but He will not violate His own principles. He draws you to Himself so you can experience His love and forgiveness. He asks for your willing surrender so He can give you the best blessings He has to offer.

6. Read Psalm 37. Why does the prosperity of evildoers make it difficult for people to surrender to God (1)?

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7. What is the connection between surrendering to God and leaving justice and vengeance to Him (6)?

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8. What is the connection between surrendering to God and waiting patiently for Him (7)?

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9. What does it say about God that He waits for you to surrender instead of forcing you to submit to His will?

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10. What does it say that we sometimes choose to wait to surrender until circumstances escalate beyond our control?

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The word good in the Old Testament also means well-pleasing, 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).


Day 3: Resistance Is Foolish

If God loves you more than anyone else ever could — and if He knows better than anyone else what will bring you ultimate joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment — why would anyone resist surrendering to Him? Why would anyone refuse to give himself or herself completely to Him and enjoy the blessings He has in store for His faithful followers?

Pride is one of the most obvious explanations. Many people flatter themselves into thinking they know better than God and can handle their lives better than He can. So they keep Him at a distance. Others choose not to surrender because they fear what God will do (or not do) for them. They think if they give Him control, He'll make them do exactly what will make them most miserable. Still others refuse to surrender because they believe Satan's lies, which tell them God is judgmental and only seeks to punish them for their mistakes.

All of this is completely false! God always has your best interests in mind. He will refuse you no good thing when you gladly submit to His will (see Romans 8:32). He has said, "I know the thoughts that I think toward you ... thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11). Given this, it only makes sense to surrender to God. And when you do, you grow close to Him and begin to make an impact on this world.

11. Read Jonah 1. How did Jonah respond to God's call to go to Nineveh (3)? How might his story have unfolded if he had submitted to God's will from the start?

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12. Jonah's resistance was rather blatant. He booked a journey in a different direction from the one God told him to take (1:3) — and faced the consequences for his actions (15). What are some of the subtle ways today that people resist surrendering to God?

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13. If Jonah's story proves anything, it's that God ultimately accomplishes His will — whether you like it or not. You can learn that the hard way, as Jonah did, or the easy way. How would you convince a skeptical friend that the easy way is better?

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14. Read Jonah 3. What is the future to which you can look forward if you submit to God's will? What are some examples of the impact you might have on the world around you?

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15. Read Jonah 4:1-2. What was Jonah's reason for refusing to surrender to God? In what ways have you refused to follow God because of a lack of compassion for others?

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Throughout modern times, the story of Jonah often has been ridiculed as myth, but the Hebrew people accepted it as historical. Jesus Christ Himself also vouched for the truth of the book and the remarkable story it relates (see Matthew 12:39-41).


Living the Principle

How will you live out Life Principle 1 this week? Remember, you were created for intimacy with God. The impact that your relationship with Him 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. So, if you want to lead a life that is fulfilling, significant, and makes a difference, the secret is to surrender yourself completely to Christ and open your heart to His love and mercy.

It's only through your fellowship and communion with God that you will be able to truly affect other people's lives in a way that lasts eternally. It's only through your connection with Him that you will be able to leave a lasting spiritual legacy for your children, grandchildren, and the generations that come after you. As you spend time with God and get to know Him intimately, it will become evident in every area of your life — and this will positively affect the life of every person you encounter.

So, with this in mind, ask yourself some difficult questions this week. Begin by asking yourself what impact, if any, you are having on the world around you. If you find that you are having little impact, or that your life seems to lack meaning, consider your relationship with God. Would you describe it as strong and vibrant? Are you letting other things get in the way of your time with Him and study of His Word? If so, what can you eliminate so that your intimacy with God will grow? What other steps can you take to restore the intimacy? Spend time in prayer, asking God to draw you into communion with Himself and transform your life.


Life Lessons to Re member

* God loves you and desires your fellowship and worship (see Deuteronomy 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 Revelation 3:20).


You can never know the mind of God fully because you are a finite creature and He is infinite, but you can grow in your understanding about who God is, how He operates in your world, and why He does things He does. You can grow in your understanding by reading more of God's Word, gaining more maturity in Christ Jesus, and learning how to read the Bible with spiritual understanding. "The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you" (John 14:26).


Notes and Prayer Requests

Use this space to write any key points, questions, or prayer requests from this week's study.

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(Continues...)

Excerpted from 30 Life Principles Bible Study by Charles F. Stanley. Copyright © 2016 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.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction, v,
Your Intimacy with God Determines the Impact of Your Life, 1,
Obey God and Leave All the Consequences to Him, 9,
God's Word Is an Immovable Anchor in Times of Storm, 17,
The Awareness of God's Presence Energizes You for Your Work, 25,
God Does Not Require You to Understand His Will, Just Obey It, 33,
You Reap What You Sow, More Than You Sow, and Later Than You Sow, 41,
Dark Moments Last So Long as Necessary for God to Accomplish His Purpose, 49,
Fight All Your Battles on Your Knees and You Win Every Time, 57,
Trusting God Means Looking Beyond What You Can See to What God Sees, 65,
If Necessary, God Will Move Heaven and Earth to Show You His Will, 73,
God Assumes Full Responsibility for Your Needs When You Obey Him, 81,
Peace with God Is the Fruit of Oneness with God, 89,
Listening to God Is Essential to Walking with God, 97,
God Acts on Behalf of Those Who Wait for Him, 105,
Brokenness Is God's Requirement for Maximum Usefulness, 113,
Whatever You Acquire Outside of God's Will Eventually Turns to Ashes, 121,
You Stand Tallest and Strongest on Your Knees, 129,
As a Child of a Sovereign God, You Are Never a Victim of Your Circumstances, 137,
Anything You Hold Too Tightly, You Will Lose, 145,
Disappointments Are Inevitable; Discouragement Is a Choice, 153,
Obedience Always Brings Blessing, 161,
To Walk in the Spirit Is to Obey the Initial Promptings of the Spirit, 169,
You Can Never Outgive God, 177,
To Live the Christian Life Is to Allow Jesus to Live His Life in and Through You, 185,
God Blesses You So That You Might Bless Others, 193,
Adversity Is a Bridge to a Deeper Relationship with God, 201,
Prayer Is Life's Greatest Time-Saver, 209,
No Christian Has Ever Been Called to "Go It Alone" in His or Her Walk of Faith, 217,
You Learn More in Your Valley Experiences Than on Your Mountaintops, 225,
An Eager Anticipation of the Lord's Return Keeps You Living Productively, 233,
Leader's Guide, 241,

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