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We may think our thoughts belong to us alone. God says, "no way!" He knows every thought that comes into our mind. Thoughts which can build up or tear down, not only others but ourselves as well. It seems to me, He is most concerned about what we do with our thoughts.
Taking it or Leaving It
God's Word is not only the Lamp that guides us in and through the world, it is a Lamp within our own spirit! The God of the universe not only sees what is within, He cares about what is within! When we fail to see ourselves with His "inward light" vision, we can miss out on the Lamp which guides our path as well!
"The lamp of the LORD searches the spirit of a man, it searches out his inmost being." Proverbs 20:27
Our lives will be molded by what we think about God, others and so very importantly and understated, about ourselves. What we do with the thoughts implanted by others as well as the conversations we have with "self," can lead us in many directions. We certainly want to watch that praise does not build us up into a sense of "pride in self," forgetting to give glory to the One giving us the opportunities, talents and the enabling it takes to succeed. On the other hand, we must not take to heart the tearing down of "confidence in self." We may need to negate many of these thoughts in order to live a life of faith in Him. What we allow our minds to focus on may lead us either into a glorious plan God has for our life, or on a very long and difficult journey God did not intend for us to take.
"May the Lord fill your hearts with God's love. May Christ give you the strength to go on." 2 Thessalonians 3:5
I chose this verse because, for me personally, it really does take the love and strength only God can supply to "go on." Telling myself I am worthy of His time, patience, and unconditional love, sometimes just does not "compute." Even feeling that I am worthy to serve Him can be a stretch! I see myself in my "sinful" condition ever day. I fail to remember, it is who I am "in Christ," that is of the greatest concern to God. Jesus died on a cruel cross, regarding me as worthy in His sacrifice. It is when I trust and rely on that truth, He can use me in His plan for my life. When I get down on myself, IN FAITH, He... lifts me up with a fresh dose of the "JOY of my salvation!"
"But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life...Jude 1:20-21
This Doxology (below) from the book of Jude seems to "ring out" the need we have in keeping ourselves in God's love, and being built up in holy faith and prayer.
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen" Jude 1:24
Jesus presents all who belong to Him, to God the Father "without fault and with great joy!" In His saving grace lies our confidence and self worth. It is only through the worth of God's Son, Christ Jesus we become worthy. Selah (pause and just think about that!)
A Prayer to Share:
When thoughts come into my mind that go against Your ways or would send me in a wrong direction, I ask Your Spirit to do whatever it takes to get me into right thinking. I am so thankful for Your corrections of me as well as the gentle nudges of guidance I receive from Your Holy Spirit. Amen