Dear Danae, Danita, Daniel, Danni, Danyelle Elizabeth, Danyel Ezekiel, Daniqua Grace, Danielle Tekeela, Duran, and Kywaizia:
No matter what happens in life, do not give up. No matter what happens in life, do not quit. No matter what happens in life, always be faithful to the Lord. Remember the motto of the Marines: SEMPER FIDELIS. Do not give up on your prayers to the Lord. You may have to pray for five years for something. In my case, I’ve been praying for your mother to get saved for thirty-five years. The last time I tried to verbally lead your mother to the Lord was when Danni was almost one. I audibly led her in the sinner’s prayer while holding Danni in my arms, and I am determined to pray for her salvation until the day I die or until the day she dies.
Here is the story of George Muller’s persistent prayer for the salvation of five people:
In November 1844, I began to pray for the conversion of five individuals. I prayed every day without a single intermission, whether sick or in health, on the land, on the sea, and whatever the pressure of my engagements might be. Eighteen months elapsed before the first of the five was converted. I thanked God and prayed on for the others. Five years elapsed, and then the second was converted. I thanked God for the second, and prayed on for the other three. Day by day, I continued to pray for them, and six years passed before the third was converted. I thanked God for the three, and went on praying for the other two. These two remained unconverted.
Thirty-six years later he wrote that the other two, sons of one of Mueller’s friends, were still not converted. He wrote, “But I hope in God, I pray on, and look for the answer. They are not converted yet, but they will be.” In 1897, fifty-two years after he began to pray daily, without interruption, for these two men, they were finally converted—but after he died! Mueller understood what Luke meant when he introduced a parable Jesus told about prayer, saying, “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1).
So do not give up on your prayers.
Second, do not give up on your relationship with the Lord. Don’t become backslidden on God. Don’t receive all of the good things from God that He has bestowed upon you and then quit on God after He has blessed you with so much.
Third, do not quit on your God-given goals. Notice I said, God-given goals. Make sure your goals glorify God and lift up others and not just yourself. Never, never, never quit! Never, never, never give up! Remember, LIVE A PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE — A GOD-GIVEN GOAL-DRIVEN LIFE.
Fourth, never quit on your faithfulness to the Lord. Remember Semper Fidelis — Always Faithful. If the Marines can always be faithful to their nation, to their commander, and to their fellow soldiers, you can be faithful to Christ. Even while others are not being faithful you can still be faithful.
MY LOVING CHRISTMAS DEVOTIONAL “TEXT” is I Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray without ceasing.”
Setting Goals for Fruitful Living
2 Samuel 7:18-22
In the 70s, I experienced a turning point in my walk with Christ. It started with 2 Samuel 7, which inspired me to follow in King David’s footsteps. He spent time alone with God, offering praise and thanksgiving. He would also listen as the Lord revealed truth and offered insight about the future. Because of what he learned, David was able to set goals and stay aligned with them.
Desiring that kind of solitude, I spent several days alone in a camper at Georgia’s Stone Mountain. Most of the time, I was silent, listening intently for God’s voice. I asked Him to speak to me regarding my future, and He answered. Using a journal, I recorded the goals He inspired. The things He communicated so impacted my choices and so greatly blessed me that I continued the discipline every couple of months.
Let’s discuss how to establish aims in this manner. First, come before the throne of Almighty God with a repentant heart, praise, and thanksgiving. Then, ask Him for direction in areas such as spiritual life, career, and family. In silence, wait patiently and attentively—as you read and meditate upon God’s Word, He will speak. Most often, His guidance is experienced as a prodding or conviction in the heart. When that happens, be sure to write down what you’re “hearing” so you can review it later.
In order to stay on the path God intends for our lives, we should plan times to stop, ask, and listen for guidance. The world throws confusing messages at us all day long, and we need to check our course frequently. These conversations with the Lord are vital for a thriving life of godly impact.
— Dr. Charles Stanley
Danae, Danita, Daniel, Danni, Danyelle Elizabeth, Danyel Ezekiel, Daniqua Grace, Danielle Tekeela, Duran, and Kywaizia, I am praying for you all “Without Ceasing,” and I love you very much. Please pray for me as well.
Love God and Jesus Christ first.
Love Papa second.