Dwell

Where do you dwell?

 

Not

where do you live?

 

But

where do you dwell?

 

Your mind

your spirit

your being

 

where does it dwell?

 

The importance of this

awakened me this morning

 

and I chose

where I would dwell today

 

You see,

our thoughts

can so easily be taken captive

 

by negativity

by being offended

by judgment

by hopelessness

by anger

by bitterness

 

by sin

 

Instead,

let US take our thoughts

captive

 

and make them obedient to Christ

Let us shift the focus

 

to goodness

to beauty

to gratefulness

to healing

to peace

to surrender

to hope

 

to the power

in His Name

that is ours!

 

Dwell in His courts

live in His goodness

 

Always keep coming back

to your Royal dwelling place

 

– Susie Stewart

 

 

Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

– Philippians 4:8 (NIV)

 

Let us go to His dwelling place,
    let us worship at His footstool

– Psalm 132:7 (NIV)

 

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

– Revelation 21:3 (NIV)

 

One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek Him in His temple.

– Psalm 27:4 (NIV)

 

You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.

– Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)

 

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into His most excellent harmonies.

– Philippians 4:4-9 (MSG)

 

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

– 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)

 

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.

– 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

 

 

 

 

 

Critical

If you have a critical spirit

your joy will be swept away

 

plain

and simple

 

You will spend your time thinking

about the flaws of another

 

instead of on the sweetness

and beauty

and loveliness

of life

 

and of God

 

If you find yourself

criticizing

this person

and that person

 

outwardly

or in your thoughts

 

Stop

 

Just stop

 

And send your thoughts

into the realm of joy

 

Your world is small

if all you do is think critical thoughts

of people

 

Expand your heart

to joy

and thankfulness

 

And watch those words

 

Build others up

 

You know that you don’t appreciate

someone being critical

of you

 

Find joy

in focused attention

on goodness

and Light

 

and always be

thankful

 

– Susie Stewart

 

Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, “Let me wash your face for you,” when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

– Matthew 7:2-5 (MSG)

 

For to him who has shown no mercy the judgment [will be] merciless, but mercy [full of glad confidence] exults victoriously over judgment.

– James 2:13 (AMP)

 

Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive His approval.

– Romans 14:4 (NLT)

 

Do you judge others? Is it easy for you to find fault with those around you? Then beware: Your spiritual life is in danger.

A critical attitude can hinder your walk with God and distract you from God’s purposes for your life.

We judge because of our own selfish interests. For example, we sometimes become critical when comparing ourselves to those around us. We try to find fault in others to prove that we are smarter, better looking, happier or wealthier. But these are selfish reasons. We simply want to feel better about ourselves. We also get critical when others fail to do what we ask, or do not do what we think is right. Often, it is a family member, friend or co-worker who fails to meet our expectations. Our expectations lead to a judgmental attitude.

Even our own frustrations can lead to a critical attitude. If life is not turning out the way we desire, we hide our own frustrations by finding fault with others…

Remember, it’s easy to be critical. The faults of others are often very obvious to us. During these times we need to make sure we give grace instead. Thank God for those people and ask the Lord to bless them and reveal His will to them.

It’s really quite simple: God has granted you mercy. He has paid the debt for your sins. Now, the only debt you owe is to offer His love and mercy to others, for “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13; NASB).

– CBN.com

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Higher Still

You say you don’t know why

and how He could let it happen

 

And you try to understand,

to know what He’s thinking

 

But His thoughts

are so beyond

 

And His ways

not even in range

 

So we trust that He Is

I AM

 

 

and that He took our fallen selves

and loved us still

 

He took our brokenness

and provided hope

 

He IS our Hope

and our mercy’s hand

 

He IS our Lifeline

 

And though we don’t understand

or comprehend His ways

 

We can know

He is our Answer

 

All questions are shrouded

in the glory of who He is

 

– Susie Stewart

 

How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!

– Psalm 147:5 (NLT)

 

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so My ways are higher than your ways
and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

– Isaiah 5:8,9 (NLT)

 

Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of His understanding.

– Isaiah 40:28 (NLT)

 

God stretches the northern sky over empty space
and hangs the earth on nothing.
He wraps the rain in His thick clouds,
and the clouds don’t burst with the weight.
He covers the face of the moon,
shrouding it with His clouds.
He created the horizon when He separated the waters;
He set the boundary between day and night.
The foundations of heaven tremble;
they shudder at His rebuke.
By His power the sea grew calm.
By His skill He crushed the great sea monster.
His Spirit made the heavens beautiful,
and His power pierced the gliding serpent.
These are just the beginning of all that He does,
merely a whisper of His power.
Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of His power?”

– Job 26:7-14 (NLT)

 

“Indeed, through His own gracious revelation of Himself, we can understand God in part, but we can never fully comprehend Him, or even a single one of His qualities. There will always be more of His wisdom to understand, more of His power, more of His holiness, more of His love. We will never fathom Him, and we will never tire of Him. Through all eternity, we will look upon Him and marvel at the endlessly creative, wonderfully gracious, uniquely righteous, timelessly beautiful, unsearchably glorious, infinitely loving Maker and Ruler of all.”

– Kevin Hartnett

 

When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers—
the moon and the stars you set in place—

what are mere mortals that You should think about them,
human beings that You should care for them?

Psalm 8:3,4 (NLT)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart

Your Mind

Our thoughts are just as important to God as our actions, and are known to God as clearly as our actions.

Jesus taught us in the Sermon on the Mount that God’s commands are intended not only to regulate outward conduct, but inner disposition as well.  It is not enough that we do not kill;  we must also not hate.  It is not enough that we do not commit adultery;  we must not even entertain lustful looks and thoughts.

Just as we must learn to bring the appetites of our bodies under control, so we must also learn to bring our thought lives under obedience to Jesus Christ.

The bible indicates that our thought lives ultimately determine our character.  Holiness begins in our minds and works out to our actions.  This being true, what we allow to enter our minds is critically important.

– Jerry Bridges

 

O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.

– Psalm 139:1-4(NLT)

 

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

– Colossians 3:1-3 (NIV)

 

…people judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

– 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)

 

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

– Philippians 4:8 (NLT)

 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

– Romans 12:3 (NLT)

 

…let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes

– Ephesians 4:23 (NLT)

 

So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness. God said, “I am holy; you be holy.”

– 1 Peter 1:14 9 (MSG)

 

The neglected heart will soon be a heart overrun with worldly thoughts; the neglected life will soon become a moral chaos.

– AW Tozer

 

Photo by Susie Stewart