Compare Not

Let God tell you

who you are

 

Comparing yourself

to your brothers and sisters in Christ

 

will only make you feel superior

or inferior

 

Leave it up to God

 

Be your absolutely unique

self

and give yourself grace

 

to grow in Christ

without pride

or condemnation

 

The most important thing

 

is not

 

to be more like this person here

or that person there

 

It is to be like Christ!

 

Compare yourself with others

NOT

 

Know your Father’s delight

in created

YOU

 

– Susie Stewart

 

We’re not, understand, putting ourselves in a league with those who boast that they’re our superiors. We wouldn’t dare do that. But in all this comparing and grading and competing, they quite miss the point.

– 2 Corinthians 10:12 (MSG)

 

Am I now trying to win the favor and approval of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please someone? If I were still trying to be popular with men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.

– Galatians 1:10 (AMP)

 

But each one must carefully scrutinize his own work [examining his actions, attitudes, and behavior], and then he can have the personal satisfaction and inner joy of doing something commendable without comparing himself to another.

– Galatians 6:4 (AMP)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

 

Bear It No More

 

Heavy

burden

weight of weights

constraining

 

Shame

Guilt

Soul burdened

with wrong-doing weight

 

And I ask you,

Why do you bear it?

 

Why do you carry the shame

the guilt

the burden

of sins past?

 

It is all

nailed to the cross

 

Bear it no more

 

For Jesus carried the heavy

for you

 

He died to take your shame

 

To take away your sin

 

And you do Him an injustice

by trying to carry the weight

that He already bore

 

His sacrifice should bring you freedom

Not burden

 

You have accepted your Savior

Have you accepted grace?

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!

– Micah 7:19 (NLT)

 

So now you need to rethink everything and turn to God so your sins will be forgiven and a new day can dawn, days of refreshing times flowing from the Lord.

– Acts 3:19 (VOICE)

 

This is how much God loved the world: He gave His Son, His one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in Him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending His Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in Him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust Him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to Him.

– John 3:16-18 (MSG)

 

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Grace

God, Your grace

it is so far-reaching

 

It touches all that I have done wrong

and all that I will do wrong

 

It covers all of life

and breath

 

All is grace

 

For even my faith

is because of Your grace

 

And thankfully

it can’t be nullified

 

Even on my less than stellar days

Even when I fall on my face

 

Grace is still grace

 

If it weren’t,

it would be dependent on me

 

And it isn’t

 

Grace is not a teamwork thing

with me and You, God

 

It’s all You

 

Let me never think that Your grace

is earned by me

 

For Your grace is a gift,

never earned

 

Only gratefully received by me

 

– Susie Stewart

 

* These thoughts came from my friend Nicole Rowell in a study on Ephesians.  I just re-worded a bit.  Nicole, thank you for your insight into God’s Word and His amazing grace!

 

But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.

– Ephesians 2:4-10 (NLT)

 

And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.

– Romans 11:6 (NLT)

 

For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].

– John 1:16 (AMP)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Slow It Down

Slow it down

 

Slow down your prayer

 

Think carefully about what you are saying

 

Slow

 

Down

 

Memorized phrases

and empty words of habit

 

Don’t form deeper connection

 

Choose your words deliberately

and let them be

 

Love expressed

Worship embodied

Confession deep

Adoration clear

 

Words of meaning

 

– Susie Stewart

 

But when you talk to God, go into your room and shut the door. Then talk to your Father in secret. Your Father sees secret things and He will reward you.

And when you talk to God, do not say words that mean nothing, over and over again. People who do not believe in God do that. They think their god will hear them because they say many words.

Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

– Matthew 6:6-8 (WE)

 

Never stop praying.

– 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)

 

Eternal One: Call to Me, and I will answer you. I will tell you of great things, things beyond what you can imagine, things you could never have known.

– Jeremiah 33:3 (VOICE)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

Delight

To know that YOU

delight in me

 

Is almost too much

for me to fathom

 

Delight?

In me?

 

And I choose to believe You

and not overthink it

 

For delight is not demanding perfection

 

And You smile

at me

 

I am undone

by my Beloved

 

For I delight in You too

my Father

my Jesus

my Holy Spirit

 

My Love

 

And where there is mutual delight

there is an understanding

 

A heart-deep smile

A stirring

 

For in each of our heart’s,

 

God’s

and mine,

 

there is a special place

that only the other can fill

 

No one else

 

– Susie Stewart

 

The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in His love He will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.

– Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)

 

the Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.

– Psalm 147:11 (NIV)

 

Take delight in the Lord…

– Psalm 37:4 (NLT)

 

Then I will go to God’s altar with nothing to hide. I will go to God, my rapture; I will sing praises to You and play my strings, unloading my cares, unleashing my joys, to You, God, my God.

– Psalm 43:4 (VOICE)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

No Fear

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

– John 14:27 (NIV)

 

You have a will

over your fears

 

It is possible to not

let

your heart be troubled

 

It is possible to choose

not

to be afraid

 

And God is there

to strengthen

and enable

and affirm you

 

in your not-fearing

and your resolute mind

 

Giving you what you need

as you do battle with fear

 

His Spirit will bring you

the courage you need

 

– Susie Stewart

 

When struck by fear, I let go, depending securely upon You alone.

– Psalm 56:3 (VOICE)

 

You see, God did not give us a cowardly spirit but a powerful, loving, and disciplined spirit.

– 2 Timothy 1:7 (VOICE)

 

Photo by Arik Stewart

 

 

Eye Contact

When you see someone you love

in a crowded room

 

Your eyes light up

your spirit smiles

 

You make eye contact,

and all is in black and white

 

Except for the one you love

 

I see Abiding in Christ

that way

 

In the eternity cracks

of my every day life

 

I make eye contact with God,

the One I love most

 

I can’t see Him,

but my spirit does

 

The eyes of my heart

focus on Him

 

And I may not say a word

but I know that He knows

I “see” Him

 

There are many ways I abide in Him

 

Through reading or thinking about His Words

Through calling out to Him

By listening for Him

By talking about Him

By trusting Him

and more…

 

And in those times,

I see my beloved

and He sees me

 

Across my crowded life,

that would be black and white

without Him

 

– Susie Stewart

 

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love.  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.  These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

– John 15:1-11 (ESV)

 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people…

– Ephesians 1:18 (NLT)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

Solid

I don’t want

a circumstantial faith

 

I want a solid faith

 

Up & Down

Up & Down

Down & Up

 

That wavering

is a rollercoaster

I don’t want to be on

 

Jesus, help me

keep my eyes on You

and on Your promises

 

In the storm

In the desert

In the fire

In the parties

of life

 

And let my confidence

be unshaken

 

For circumstances

don’t change who You are

 

You

are

my

Rock

 

– Susie Stewart

 

If our definition of success is solely based on outcome, we’ll live like we’re on a never-ending bungee jump.  We’re up.  We’re down.  We’re swayed by failure or buoyed by success.  We’re left hanging until someone reels us in with a word of praise.

– Suzanne Eller

 

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

– Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

 

…for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

– Proverbs 3:26 (NLT)

 

But the Master, God, has something to say to this: “Watch closely. I’m laying a foundation in Zion, a solid granite foundation, squared and true. And this is the meaning of the stone: A TRUSTING LIFE WON’T TOPPLE.

I’ll make justice the measuring stick and righteousness the plumb line for the building. A hailstorm will knock down the shantytown of lies, and a flash flood will wash out the rubble.

– Isaiah 28:16,17 (MSG)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

 

 

Entitled

We have the great privilege

of coming to God with our requests

 

We ask Him for what we want

and He chooses to answer the way He wants

 

And we get into a dangerous place

when we only see Him as good

 

When He answers the way we think He should

 

The fact is,

we either trust His sovereignty

His wisdom

and His omniscience

 

Or we don’t

 

When we meet God’s “No”

with the stomp of our foot

 

We in essence are showing a lack of trust

and a sense of entitlement

 

Santa Jesus would hand us whatever we ask for

and therein we would develop no faith

 

We would have no need of an all-knowing God,

for whenever we exercised our will of asking

 

Santa Jesus would give us

whatever we want

 

This is not what we should expect

 

May our prayers be ones of great faith

and trust

 

In our great God

who knows best

 

– Susie Stewart

 

He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him. After God made that decision of what His children should be like, He followed it up by calling people by name. After He called them by name, He set them on a solid basis with Himself. And then, after getting them established, He stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what He had begun.

– Romans 8:27-30 (MSG)

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…

– Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

 

But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.”

– Mark 5:36 (NLT)

 

They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.

– Psalm 112:7 NIV)

 

Photo by Andy Stewart

Friend

 

My responsibility to you as a friend

is not

to always be the one you need

 

It is to point you

to the One

who can come closer to you like no one else

 

My aim

as a friend

is to point you to Jesus

 

I want you

to really know Him

 

My desire

is that you hear His voice

more and more

 

That you receive godly wisdom

knowledge

and discernment

 

I long for you to know

the love

that God lavishes on you

 

And the hope

that goes beyond this life

 

What I want

even more than to be close to you

is for you to be close to God

 

And that you

know

the glory to which He has called you

 

That is what being a true friend

is all about

 

– Susie Stewart

 

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.

– Ephesians 1:15-23 (NIV)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart