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Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 60 – Spiritual Growth

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 60

Spiritual Growth

Heavenly Father, you have saved me and called me to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Teach me the best ways to mature in You, grow in my faith, and bear much fruit for Your glory. I am wholly Yours. Transform me into the image of Your Son, Jesus Christ, so I may live a life that pleases You.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My faithful child, you have already been given everything you need to become like Jesus Christ in every way. The One who saved you and gave you His spirit is able to teach you how to live a life that pleases Me. You have been given a new life in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). All things are possible through Him who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

It is up to you to tap in to that divine power in Christ Jesus. Allow Jesus to live His life in and through you. Abandon sin, and rely on the life giving power of Jesus Christ; make Him the Lord of your life. Read God’s Word and listen for His voice within you. He will guide you on an exciting journey of faith and adventure in Him. Grow and mature in your relationship with the Lord by spending time in His Word and obeying the instructions you hear from His lips. Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18). Grow in relationship with Me and become even more fruitful.

My divine power gives you everything you need for a godly life through your knowledge of Him who called you by His own glory and goodness (2 Peter 1:3). Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8).

Listen to the voice of My Spirit within. I will teach you everything you need to know to live a godly life. It’s up to you to practice what I teach you. Stay true to the quality of character modeled for you in Christ. I predestined you to be conformed to the image of My Son (Romans 8:29) and reflect My glory in ever increasing measure.

This is how you know that you live in Him and He in you: He has given you of His Spirit (1 John 4:13). Remain in Me, as I also remain in you (John 15:4). Talk to Me, listen to Me, obey Me, read My Word, pay attention to My Spirit within, and walk in the Spirit rather than the flesh. Grow in your knowledge of Me, and allow the Spirit to transform you into My likeness. All these things contribute to your spiritual growth. Remain in Me and the Spirit will produce His fruit in your character. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5). Your spiritual growth is achieved by remaining in relationship with My Spirit. Grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ and His Spirit, and you grow in Me at the same time. It pleases Me very much.

Prayer:

Almighty God, full of grace and mercy, pour out Your love on me today. Allow me to hear Your voice and see glimpses of Your heart for me. Father, show me the stagnant areas in my faith, and help me grow in the grace and knowledge of You. You are my King and the object of my affection. I submit my heart and my will to You, and ask that Your Spirit transform me into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Lord, let my life be a fragrant offering daily unto You. Speak to me now as we meet in conversation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father, in what areas has my faith lacked growth? (Record what you hear.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, what areas of my character does the Spirit need to transform to make me more like you? (Write down all the thoughts He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, how do you transform me? How do you make me more like Jesus? (Journal all the ideas He gives you.)

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Father God, I never want to remain stagnant in my faith. Help me to grow in the image of Christ through the transforming power of Your Spirit. I understand that challenges and trials may produce the most concentrated growth in my spirit. I submit myself to Your leading to transform me however you see fit. I trust that You walk with me in all circumstances and teach me Your ways. Lord, refine me and make me like gold, pure gold (Zechariah 13:9). In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Zechariah 13:9, “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on My name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”

John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Romans 8:28-30, 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. 29For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.

2 Corinthians 5:17, Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.

2 Peter 1:2-12, 2Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

2 Peter 3:18, Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 John 4:13, This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 59 – Fruit of the Spirit

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 59

Fruit of the Spirit

Lord, displaying the fruit of the Spirit seems a goal too difficult to continually attain. How do I become a fruit-bearing Christian? How do I maintain a life of fruitfulness in You? Lord, may You be known by the fruit of the Spirit displayed in me. I want to serve You and bring You glory all the days of my life. Let me be known as Your disciple by Your good fruit in me.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My sweet child, I desire a close relationship with you. When you remain continually connected to Me, My Spirit produces His good fruit in you. You cannot yield the fruit of the Spirit on your own. You must submit yourself to the purifying work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit produces choice fruit in you; it is not the result of your own doing. Be the bearer of good fruit by walking in step with the Spirit, rather than striving in the flesh. Depend on Me and be sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit within.

The Holy Spirit is continually sanctifying you; daily He transforms you into the image of Christ Jesus. Surrender your will to Him. Pay attention to His voice. Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Crucify the flesh with its passions and desires and live by the Spirit keeping in step with Him at all times (Galatians 5:23). When you do this, you will be recognized by your fruit (Matthew 12:33). Every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit (Matthew 7:17).You are a good tree when you remain rooted in Me.

Meditate on My Word day and night and you will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever you do will prosper (Psalm 1:2-3). Blessed are you when you trust in the Lord, and put your confidence in Him. You will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8).

You are known to be My disciple, when you display the fruit of the Spirit in both your words and deeds. Stay tuned in to My Spirit. When you remain in relationship with Me, you will experience My love, joy, and peace. The seed I sow in you will reap a harvest of fruitfulness in you for others to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). When you, yourself, have experienced My patience, kindness, and goodness, you can’t help but display it and share it with others. Surrender to the control of My Spirit and clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another as the Lord has forgiven you. Let your love bind all these virtues together and let peace rule in your heart (Colossians 3:12-15).

“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you. This is My command: Love each other” (John 15:16-17) Be transformed by My Spirit as you live in step with Him, and you will bear fruit that will last.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, I do want to glorify Your holy name. I ask that Your Spirit purify me and transform me into the image of Jesus Christ. I pray that I could remain in an intimate relationship with You, walking in step with the Spirit, so that I will become a good tree that produces choice fruit. Holy Spirit, I submit myself to Your transforming power, so that I will blossom. Mature those blossoms into vine-ripened fruit. Let me remain in the vine right now as we speak face to face in quiet conversation. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, please share from Your heart what I need to improve on with regard to maintaining a more cherished relationship with You. (Write whatever you hear Him say.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, You are the vine, I am the branch. How do I bear fruit that will last? What is my part in this command? (Record everything Christ says to you in your thoughts.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, help me stay in step with You. Allow me to hear Your voice clearly. What am I missing? What must I do to remain in step with You? (Journal your thoughts and the impressions He gives you now.)

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Most High God, You have laid down Your life for me. I want to honor You, by laying down the desires of the flesh, and picking up my cross daily to follow You. I submit my will to Yours and ask that You empower me to live a fruitful life when I remain in close relationship with You. As I read and meditate on Your Word, let me be like a tree planted by streams of water. Let me bear fruit in its season. I will remain in You as You remain in me. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 1:1-3, 1Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. 3That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 34:8, Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.

Proverbs 11:30, The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.

Jeremiah 17:7-8, 7“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. 8They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heart comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Matthew 7:17-20, 17“Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in to the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.”

Matthew 12:33, “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”

Luke 3:9, The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

John 15:4-17, 4“Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 5I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love. 11I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be compete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you. 17This is My command: Love each other.”

Galatians 5:16-17, 16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Galatians 5:22-26, 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Colossians 1:9-14, 9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of His holy people in the kingdom of light. 13For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 3:12-15, 12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Lay Down Your Palm Branches

Palm BranchThey took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel.” Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” (John 12:13-15)

That’s right. Your king is coming. Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion. I am here. I have come in the name of the Lord to save you and give you life. You have accepted me and will spend eternity with me. My heart is troubled for those who have rejected me and my words. For I have spoken only what the Father commanded me to say. On the last day they will stand condemned forever.

I am the light. Follow the light and walk in the light. When you believe in me, you no longer walk in the darkness. You have seen the light, and therefore, you have seen the one who sent me. Share this light with those who walk in darkness. Do not hide your light, but put it on a stand for all to see. Reflect the beauty of my glory in the light of your countenance.

O Daughter of Zion, your king is coming. Lay down your palm branches and follow me.