Think Right . . . Live Right

Think Right ... Live Right
by Mary Southerland

Today's Truth
"Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected" (Philippians4:8, NCV).

Friend To Friend
I was absolutely pathetic as I moaned and groaned my way up the stairs. My back was killing me! I had just spent four long hours taking down Christmas decorations, packing them in boxes, hauling each box down three flights of stairs to the basement and hoisting every one of those heavy, packed-to-the-brim boxes up on shelves that are taller than I am. Do you get the painful picture?

I was working up a stellar case of self-pity when my husband came home from work and asked what I had been doing all day. "I did two loads of laundry, wrote two devotions, took care of Justus while Danna studied, answered email and then it took me four hours to take down all of the Christmas decorations," I declared in my best "poor me" voice. Dan did not seem impressed. "It really took you that long? I didn't think you had that many decorations out this year. Why didn't you wait until I got home so I could help you? " he asked. I didn't want to wait. I was not happy ... and more than a little upset with him for not being more sympathetic. But my sweet husband was not done.

"Your problem is not in your back, honey. Your problem is in your mind," he patiently explained. I could see the conversation going down the tube fast but managed to muster up just enough self-control that kept me from saying what I really wanted to say. Instead, I sweetly asked, "What do you mean?"

Sidebar: Three months ago, I was in a car wreck that caused some fierce muscle spasms in my back and resulted in several visits to the chiropractor. Two months ago I had a stomach virus that lasted a week followed by the Thanksgiving holidays during which we had our kids and grandkids for a week ... which was incredibly wonderful and deliciously chaotic. The day they left, I went to the doctor with a respiratory infection that turned into bronchitis that soon blossomed into walking pneumonia from which I am still recovering. Do you feel my pain?

"Honey, you have been so sick - not to mention being rear-ended by a car going 70 miles an hour. Why did you feel like you had to decorate the entire house in the first place?" Dan asked. I know. I could not believe it either! "It was Christmas!" I sputtered in frustration. And then I saw it. The problem really is in my mind. I had allowed wrong thinking to dictate wrong priorities.

The mind is a great battlefield. The Bible tells us that we have the mind of Christ because we have a personal relationship with Him, but we still have to allow or choose to "let" the mind of Christ be in control. Every day we are at war for the control of the mind. Who wins that war is up to us and the choices that we make.

Proverbs 23:7 tells us, "For as he thinks within himself, so he is" (NASB). In other words, what we think about powerfully influences who and what we will become. Our actions, our attitudes and habits are born in the mind, an offspring of the thought life we entertain.

We can literally change our life by changing how we think - but we cannot do it alone. God's standard and guideline for our thought life is very clear and demanding. In fact, it's completely impossible without God's power at work in our life.

"Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise; think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected" (Philippians 4:8, NCV).

We choose what we watch and read, the conversations we have and the time we spend in the Word. If the mind is not filled with good, trust me, the enemy will fill it with bad. The human mind will always set itself on something. Paul is challenging us to wisely choose that setting, taking charge of our thoughts by inviting the Holy Spirit to empower God's standard for the mind.

My husband often says, "You can't keep a bird from flying over your head but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair." Now stay with me. Impure and wrong thoughts will come but we do not have to entertain them and invite them to "come on in and stay awhile." When we choose to surrender the control of our mind to God, He will honor that choice and give us the strength and power to think right. And when we think right - we will live right.

Let's Pray
Lord, I confess to You that I often struggle with the way I think. I desperately need Your help. Please make me aware of the influences that draw my mind away from You and show me how to avoid each one. Teach me how to fix my thoughts on You and give me a hunger and thirst for Your Word. Today, I surrender the control of my mind to You, Father.

In Jesus' name,


Now It's Your Turn
The mind is the control center of your life. How have your thoughts affected your decisions or actions this week? I challenge you to fill your mind with God's Word and watch God work in your life. Read the following questions and record your answers in your journal.

What specific steps do I need to take in order to put more of God's word into my mind?

To honor God with my thought life, what changes do I need to make in the following areas?

Movies ___________________________________________


Music ____________________________________________


Magazines ________________________________________



Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106

Builder and Protector
by Bayless Conley

Psalm 127:1-2 says,

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.

These verses have been favorites of mine for a long time.

If ever I am tempted to worry about the Church, I remember that it is His house and ultimately only He can build it. My efforts, by themselves, are in vain.

He is not only the builder of the Church, He is the protector of it as well. These truths take a lot of weight off of my shoulders and help me sleep well at night. And I believe that is the way God wants it.

Too many of God's children sit up late, worrying and eating the bread of sorrows. Whether you are a pastor or a business owner or a stay-at-home mom, learn the secret of casting your cares on God.

He is the builder and protector of your life, and He knows the battles you face. Trust Him today and sleep well tonight!

Visit the Answers with Bayless Conley website for more ways to Connect with God

Reflections Of The Father's Heart
Glenn H. Jackson
January 25th 2011

+ "Reproach" in all of its forms releases [activates] the force of unrighteousness [fear, darkness and death] over the lives of those who receive it [as their reality]! Whereas, words spoken [and actions taken] from the position of an abiding Love in one's heart impart great Grace and release the force of righteousness [and all of the other forces of the Kingdom] into [over] the lives of those who will receive it [as their reality].

"reproach" - to charge with or blame for something; ungodly rebuke; the expression of disapproval; adverse or hostile criticism; unrighteous judgement;

...."Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give [impart] grace [God's favor] to those who hear it".... Ephesians 4:29 The Amplified Translatin

...."If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you - happy, fortunate, to be envied, with life-joy, and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. [Isa. 11:2.]".... 1 Peter 4:14 The Amplified Translation

1 comment:

AquaJane said...

Wasn't there a great story circulating about monsters or wolves or something? Something about the wolf of envy, greed, regret, criticism vs. the one of grace, contentment, acceptance, praise; and the one that's strongest is the one you feed the most? Sorry I can't remember the whole story, but it's so true how important our thought life is.

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