Welcome to In Touch, the teaching ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley. One of the greatest compliments someone could give to you is to say that you lived what you believed. That's exactly what Pastor Louie Giglio said about Dr. Stanley in our previous program. Today we'll hear more of Louie's unique perspective, having grown up at First Baptist Church of Atlanta, as he continues to reflect on Dr. Stanley's life of faithfulness.
And what an amazing opportunity we have today to celebrate Charles Stanley, to honor him. And that's what is right in the family of God. And we have to get the equation right because in our economy, all the glory goes to Jesus. Not some of the glory goes to Jesus, but all the glory goes to Jesus, right?
You with me on that? All the glory goes to Jesus. And the reason all the glory goes to Jesus is because Jesus came down from heaven, God in human flesh, destroyed the works of the devil, took on our sin and shame, freed us from the wrath of God, was buried in our tomb, was raised up from the dead by the power of God Almighty to give us life and hope and a future. And therefore, now and forevermore, Jesus gets all the glory. Not 99% of the glory, he gets all the glory. So just to remind us today, if you're thinking at some part in this story, you're going to get some of the glory, Jesus is going to get all the glory because he deserves it all. But in the economy of God, God loves to honor people.
Think about that. The story of Jesus is told by the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and how do you know his name? Because God told you his name because he wanted a human being to be in the story to record the works of Jesus. And so all through the history of the church, people are honored. So it's good for us to honor people. And it's right for us to give all the glory to Jesus. And it is a great honor for me today to come and to join you in giving a lot of glory to Jesus, but in honoring Dr. Charles Stanley today because as we look at the life of Jesus through the life of Charles Stanley, we're going to want to celebrate and we're going to want to thank God and we're going to want to be inspired today to become all of what God wants us to be so that we won't leave this place today going, well, Charles Stanley was an amazing servant of God. We want to say that today, but don't we want to walk out today and say, I want to be a great servant of God. I want to serve Jesus.
I want to run the race he has for me in my life in this generation. And I just have to tell you today, I don't know if this is going to be good for you today, but it's going to be good for me today because it is so amazing to walk into this church. I was born at First Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.
I mean, not like in the building, but close, close. I was born at Georgia Baptist Hospital, which was only a few blocks away from the old First Baptist Church, Atlanta. And so I went from Georgia Baptist Hospital, the First Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, and I didn't know anything else in all my growing up years. And then God brought this amazing servant to our church named Charles Stanley. And I'm telling you as an eyewitness of what happened in those days, everything changed the moment that God brought Charles Stanley to First Baptist Church, Atlanta, and I got to see it. So I want to lift up a few things that I've learned about God and about ministry and about life from Charles Stanley today. And I want to encourage us in those because I think there's a takeaway for each one of those in our lives today.
And the first one is this. And this is something I've learned from the very first moment that Dr. Stanley came to our church in 1969 to begin leading this church. I learned, number one, that the Word of God does not return void. This Word of God will do everything God intends for it to do. And if we trust it and depend on it, if we just put it forth as it is in the power of the Holy Spirit, it will never return void. In other words, it will not come back to God without accomplishing everything God set it out to do. We see that in Isaiah chapter 55. It says, Now, I love how specific he is. He doesn't say so is your word that goes out from your mouth, but so is my word, this unchanging word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Do you know what that means? That means the number one goal of a pastor and a preacher is preach the Word of God. Let God speak to his people. Try the best you can to not get in the way of God's word doing what God has intended for God's word to do. Because when you do that, you can be assured that the Word of God is going to go forward and it is going to accomplish the specific assignment that God has given it for every single hearer's life. And that seed just went in week after week, day after day after day. Our church ended up dwindling when Dr. Stanley became the pastor from a full house on live TV to no live TV to 300 people in the center section of the sanctuary.
And I will thank God in heaven that my mom was one of the people who stayed so that this little teenage boy could see everything shrink to that. And then watch the proclamation of the word, the faithfulness of prayer and the power of God take that 300 people and literally change the world in this generation. And it is because the Word of God does not return void, but it accomplishes what God has set it out to accomplish. The second thing I wanted to mention that I learned being around Dr. Stanley as a teenager and a young person and I've learned from God now, but I saw it in his life is that God will provide for what God designs.
God will provide for what God designs. And I remember watching this new church emerge from the 300 to all of a sudden 3000 in a few years, and we had to trust God in every way, spiritually and financially for what was happening in the life of First Baptist Church. And I love that one of our life versus my wife and I and one of the anchor verses of our ministry is First Thessalonians 5 24. And this is born out of, I believe, growing up around First Baptist Church and around Charles Stanley and this is what is written in First Thessalonians 5 24. It says the one who calls you is faithful.
Amen. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. Let's do an NIV translation. Some translations say the one who calls you is faithful and he will bring it to pass. In other words, whatever God starts, God finishes.
Whatever vision God births, God provides for and resources, God never gives us a God birth vision that he doesn't then provide all the necessary resource for that vision to happen. But in the middle is a little something called faith. And faith is the moment where you say God has called us and we believe God will provide. Faith is God, I believe if we step, you're going to be there. If we take a step, you're going to be there.
If we keep moving, you're going to be there. That we used to sing a hymn all the time at church called, and the chorus was stayed upon Jehovah. Hearts are fully blessed. Finding what is promised.
Anybody else? Perfect peace and rest. And I'm telling you, we would sing that hymn, Dr. Stanley, I don't know if it was one of his favorites, it might be. But I mean, we'd sing that hymn, you could just feel the intensity rising up in him of saying, I know if we just stay on Jehovah, that Jehovah is going to come through for us.
And there was a day, you have to remember, when it wasn't multinational television everywhere. It wasn't that he is the legacy of the greatest expository preacher in this generation. It was just the beginnings.
And in the beginnings, there was faith that God is going to resource what God has called us to do. We outgrew church. All of a sudden, the gatherings, the services were packed. The next one was packed. Sunday night was packed. You couldn't get people in the building.
So there's overflow everywhere. And then we can't get people in the church. And so I remember going out and on the corner of West Peachtree and Fifth Street was a Cadillac dealership, downtown. And that Cadillac dealership had gone out of business and we thought, well, we, they thought, I was a teenager, they thought we should buy that. And so we did. And in those days, Dr. Stanley believed in paying cash for what we bought.
Can you imagine what kind of seed that planted in a young kid's heart? He said, we're just going to trust God. And we're going to pay cash. We're going cash.
And how much is it? A couple million. Well, you looked around First Baptist Atlanta. It was like, okay, we're not like a rolling heavy on the millionaires here. And he said, we got God. And we prayed as a church and we trusted God as a church. And we believe God, if you're saying it, we're going to do it. And we ended up buying the Cadillac dealership and turn it into a singles ministry. We bought the Masonic Lodge across the street and reclaimed that for the kingdom of God. And it was, we need a couple million here and a couple million there and a couple million over there.
And what are we going to do? We're going to believe God that if he's sending us out to metro Atlanta and beyond, that he's going to provide the resources. And then the church just started giving. And I want you to know, I've never been since that time or before that time in anything like that season where our church said, if God is in it, we're going to get behind it.
A couple of more before we close. I learned from Dr. Stanley that you need to be bilingual. I love that he had a hobby, photography. And I love that Dr. Stanley, even though he was a great proclaimer of the gospel on Sunday, he became a world-class photographer on Thursday.
And he could go into a setting, he could be with any kind of photographers from any background, any religion, any point of view, and he could be respected among them because he was a phenomenal photographer. I remember when he built a dark room in their house in Vinings and he'd go in there and he'd come out of there. He was so fired up about one of his little prints that he'd been hanging up in there in the dark room.
And I thought, you know, how's it work? And he would tell us a little bit about it and he'd show us what he was doing and there's all kind of little solutions in there. And then he'd go off to somewhere and photograph for a few days and come home and be inspired by being out in God's creation and seeing the beauty of what God had made.
But he wanted to be as good a photographer as he was a preacher. And he could speak another language. Don't you love that? Don't you love that?
You don't want to probably speak a thousand languages because you don't have time for that. But to be able to do a few things well really, really impacted me. What are you gifted at? What are you doing right now really well that you can use to gift blessing to other people in your life? I love that he had a hobby.
Two more. I learned from him about the supernatural power of God on ordinary people. Because when he stood and walked in the power of the Spirit of God, I was convinced this is God's supernatural power on a normal human being. And I know I'm frail and that gives me hope that God's supernatural power can come through in my life as well. Galatians 2 20 and 2 21, Dr. Stanley preached these verses all the time. And the verses say this, you know them. For I'm crucified with Christ, Paul wrote in Galatians 2 20. Nevertheless, I live.
Do you know this verse? Yet not I, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.
And I knew it. I knew that if you submitted to God, if you trusted the Spirit, if you ask him to come and feel you, that he would. I knew that God could do in normal people extraordinary things.
And so I've never settled for what my weaknesses would limit me to do. I've always believed that God's strength could give me the ability to do more than I could do in and of myself. And I learned that by watching the powerful work of God in a man that I knew was my best friend's father. And before he was Charles Stanley, he was Andy's dad and Becky's dad. And he was the guy that I saw in the house tinkering with a lawnmower.
He didn't tinker with it a lot, but there was a few years back there where he actually had to tinker with the lawnmower himself. And it was a powerful thing for me to see. Lastly, and I'll close with this, I love about Dr. Stanley, proclaim the gospel until Jesus comes. And if Jesus hasn't come and I can still preach, guess what? I'm going to proclaim the word of God until Jesus comes. The way Paul wrote it in 2 Timothy, he said, I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race.
And what else did he say? I have kept the faith. That's applause worthy right there. I fought the good fight. I finished the race and I've kept the faith. And he said, and now there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.
And I love that. I want to. Don't you want to be that? Don't you want to be an enduring follower of Jesus? Don't you want to not ever get too old to be excited about the gospel?
Don't you want to go out in a blaze of glory? Don't you want to be still running hard after Jesus at the very last moment of your life? I love that our ministry is about college students, passion conferences, and we love college age young people. There are a lot of young people in our church. And I love that because I love young people. I love being around young people because honestly, when I get around a lot of the people of my age, their excitement over the gospel sort of faded about 30 years ago. Oh, yeah, I did all that when I was young. I believed in Jesus way back in time.
But you know what? Now we're kind of, you know, moving on through life. And I'm like, I want to believe in a gospel that you never get over. You wake up in the morning and go, I'm not dead because of Jesus paid a price for me.
Therefore, today's an amazing day to live for God with God in the world with God. And I don't know about you, but some of you people my age, don't you want to make these kids wonder? I love hanging around with them because I want to go, man, I'm tired. I love that. I love that. Sometimes I'm tired, too, but I don't tell them.
I don't tell them. I'm like, I'm not tired. I'm not tired. And they're like, are we? What? We're going there now? Yeah. OK.
Tomorrow? OK. You're going to do that again? Yeah. Like, come on. And they're like, I don't know.
I'm a little bit worn out by this. And I'm like, I love that. I love that. Old people don't need to capitulate to the energy of the young people because we've got every advantage on them.
Other than the fact that our joints don't work, we've got every advantage. And I want to be running at the end. And I want the generation behind us to feel loved, accepted, raised up, championed and encouraged. But I want to be tired. I want to be going, we got to keep up with you people.
We got to keep up with you people. So the church never maxes out. It never caps out. It never tops out. And the older it gets, the more passionate it gets.
It might not get louder because the older we get, the softer our voices get. I do love Jesus. I really do.
You know? But you can't cap passion. Don't grow weary in doing what is right, because in due time you will reap a harvest if you do not faint.
Keep on going. I love Charles Stanley, and I think it is the privilege of my ministry journey to have been sitting at First Baptist Church as an 11-year-old boy when he became our pastor. Because through his lens of trust and faith in the Word of God and the ways of God and the person of God, like countless people, God shaped me into a person who will never back away from believing that God can do greater things than we have seen. And I just pray favor and blessing on the work of Dr. Charles Stanley and the increasing fruit of it in this day and into heaven. Jesus will be glorified.
Charles Stanley will be honored as a result of that. Amen. Amen. Lord Jesus, thank you for such a hero of faith, a legacy of faithfulness. And I just pray today that for someone here that maybe that's the word they needed to say, I need to begin my journey with Jesus.
Because I know I'm not called to run Dr. Stanley's race, but I am called to run my race, and I want to start my race with you today, Jesus. I pray that you just touch somebody's heart as you already have today, that your purposes and plans for them are bigger than anything they can dream or imagine, that your ways for them are higher than what they can see, if they'll just look to the cross, put their hope and trust in what you have done for them, yield their life to you, and embrace your life in them, that you will take them on the first step today of a beautiful journey with you. And God, I know many other people, you've touched their hearts today in different ways, because Holy Spirit, that's what you do. And so I pray that each one of us would be willing to take the next step with you today. We just trust that you'll stir our hearts in that way, and we thank you for that in Jesus' name.
Thanks for joining us on In Touch, the teaching ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley, with today's guest speaker, Louis Giglio. Dr. Stanley's walk with Jesus on this earth has ended, but maybe yours is just beginning. If you sensed an urge to turn toward Christ, don't delay. Call out to Him in prayer, and yield your life to Him. To find out more about who Jesus is and what He came to do for you, visit intouch.org slash salvation.
And if Dr. Stanley's Bible teaching has touched your life, you can share a brief story. Post your thoughts on our commemorative page at intouch.org. That's where you can take a look at how we're celebrating his life in ministry, and listen to this radio program again. If you'd like to order a copy of Louis Giglio's complete message, Lessons from a Life of Faithfulness, stop by our online bookstore. Again, log on to intouch.org, or call 1-800-IN-TOUCH.
To write to us, address your letter to In Touch, post office box 7900, Atlanta, Georgia 30357. Waiting can feel like wasting time, but today's moment with Charles Stanley reminds us that it often takes great courage to wait on the Lord. In Lebanon, an In Touch audio Bible is played, and Kurdish believers hear Scripture for the first time in their own language.
Learn more at intouch.org slash messenger. What is it that you're waiting for? Maybe the answer is more important than the question.
Here's a moment with Charles Stanley. He says, wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage.
Yes, wait for the Lord. Why would he mix up courage and waiting upon the Lord? Because the psalmist David knew for you and me to wait upon the Lord. For us to wait upon the Lord sometimes takes courage, and sometimes it appears to be a risk to wait when it seems that everybody's saying move, move, move, do this, do that, do the other. And God says, wait, do not budge, don't move, don't do anything until I tell you to. No matter what you hear, what you see, what you feel, do not move until I tell you. And oftentimes people want you to do something that they think is good in their eyes. When God has told you, listen, when he tells you to wait, friend, don't budge under any circumstance because God has us waiting for a very specific, clear reason. Remember that he's omniscient.
We're not. He knows the past. He knows the present. He knows the future.
He knows all the things that are involved in every single decision that you and I make because he knows every single thing that's involved in every detail. When he says wait and his infinite wisdom and knowledge and understanding of the future, he knows what he has in mind. And sometimes we wait a while.
We thank God I've waited long enough. He says, no, wait. Are you going to believe what I said? Are you going to believe what you see? Are you going to believe what you feel? When God says, wait, I cannot tell you how important this is. This is one of the most difficult lessons to learn, but it is one of the most important.
Don't budge until God gives you permission to move. Learn more about the Christian's life of faith at InTouch.org. Thank you for joining us these last few days as we've reflected on the life and ministry of Dr. Charles Stanley. With our next program, we resume our decades-long habit of bringing you his teaching ministry on In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley. This program is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia, and remains on this station through the grace of God and your faithful prayers and gifts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-24 02:14:47 / 2023-04-24 02:24:19 / 10