Tag Archive | fruit

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

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 38 – Be Joyful

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 38

 Be Joyful

Dearest Father, You knit me together in the womb, and You know my inmost being. You know that I am not naturally a happy, joyful person. However, I do understand and believe that true joy is not a feeling, instead it is a gift from the Spirit and a confidence I experience in my relationship with You. Your joy is my inner strength (Nehemiah 8:10). My joy is made complete in a close connection and daily conversation with You. Thank You for producing the fruit of joy in my life through the gift of the Holy Spirit within me. Listening to Your voice and reading Your Word both bring me great and lasting joy.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, you may not feel joyful, however, that is exactly what you are. You experience supernatural joy through the gift of My Spirit. You possess the confidence in knowing that I am your God, I am in control, and you can place your hope and trust in Me and My promises. You have the assurance that I love you and care for you; therefore, I will work all things together for your good (Romans 8:28).

We are not speaking about the happiness that good circumstances produce, but an inner, enduring joy that supersedes the pleasures that the world offers. You may remain joyful in every situation because of your relationship with Jesus Christ who sustains you. That relationship never changes. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

I am your strength and shield. When your heart trusts in Me, it leaps for joy (Psalm 28:7). I grant you unending blessings with the joy of My presence (Psalm 21:6). My joy is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). I turn your crying into dancing and your mourning into joy (Psalm 30:11). Rejoice and be glad that My Spirit gives you unending peace and lasting joy.

My peace and joy are available to you in good times and bad through the gift of the Spirit. You may rejoice even when I don’t deliver you from your troubles, because you know that I will take care of you and provide for all your needs. It is during your trials that you grow the most. You learn to depend on Me and know that I will never leave you or forget about you (Hebrews 13:5).

Joy is also a choice. You may enjoy a positive outlook as you focus on Me rather than your sorrows and difficult circumstances. You know I will walk you through your trials. I am in control of everything. Nothing can separate you from My love (Romans 8:39). Be thankful for what I am doing in you through your challenges. When you are weak, I am your strength (2 Corinthians 12:10). Your joy will be made full. Choose Me and be joyful.

Prayer:

Dear Most Holy Father, I am joyful because of the peace, hope, faith, and confidence I have in knowing You love me and You are in control of all things. There is no one like You, Lord. There is no place I’d rather be than spending time in relationship with You. It brings me great joy to listen to Your voice and read about You in Your Word. Thank You for adopting me as Your child and allowing me to approach You with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12). Lord, magnify my joy by allowing me to clearly hear Your voice and Your words for me in this moment as we sit in conversation. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, what brings You the most joy? (Record what you hear from Him.)

 

  • Jesus, my Savior, please explain to me the joy You anticipated even in Your darkest hour as stated in Hebrews 12:2, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Write everything He brings to your mind right now.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, please sanctify me to become more like Christ and produce in me, the fruit of joy. Show me what that will require. (Journal all your thoughts and ideas.)

 

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:

Lord, in the past, I could really relate to David’s claim in Psalm 30:11-12, “You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise You forever.” I experienced that new joy as You brought me from depression to dancing, and now I cannot keep silent about Your goodness. You have done great things for me and I am filled with joy (Psalm 126:3). I see where the Spirit has produced that fruit of joy in me. I will praise you forever, O Lord, my God. My heart sings and leaps for joy, even in the difficult times, because I put my faith and trust in You to carry me through. I can experience joy in any situation. Thank You for this realization. Thank You for Your mercy and grace, peace and joy, love and provision. Thank You for building a firm foundation of joy in my life and a lasting joy in my heart for You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Nehemiah 8:10, Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

Nehemiah 12:43, And on that day they offered great sacrifices, rejoicing because God had given them great joy. The women and children also rejoiced. The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.

Psalm 21:6, Surely You have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of Your presence.

Psalm 28:7, The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise Him.

Psalm 30:11-12, 11You turned my wailing into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 12that my heart may sing Your praises and not be silent. Lord my God, I will praise You forever.

Psalm 47:1-2, 1Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. 2For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.

Psalm 51:12, Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 66:1, Shout for joy to God, all the earth!

Psalm 95:1, Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Psalm 100:1-2, 1Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs.

Psalm 126:3, The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy.

Proverbs 12:20, Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.

Isaiah 12:4-6, 4In that day you will say: “Give praise to the Lord, proclaim His name; make known among the nations what He has done, and proclaim that His name is exalted. 5Sing to the Lord, for He has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. 6Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah 51:11, Those the Lord has rescued will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isaiah 58:13-14, 13“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on My holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, 14then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land, and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Habakkuk 3:18, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Luke 6:23, “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets.”

Luke 10:21, At that time, Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what You were pleased to do.”

John 3:29, “The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is Mine, and it is now complete.”

John 15:9-11, 9“As 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, 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 complete.”

John 16:23, “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

John 17:13, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.”

Romans 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:35-39, 35Who shall separates us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 12:12, Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 9But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Galatians 5:22-23, 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.

Ephesians 3:12, In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

Philippians 1:3-6, 3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 2:1-2, 1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Philippians 4:4, Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!

Colossians 1:9-12, 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.

Hebrews 1:9, “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” (Psalm 45:6-7)

Hebrews 12:2, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

James 1:2-4, 2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

1 Peter 1:6-9, 6In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

3 John 1:4, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 36 – Self-Control

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 36

Self-Control

Father, at times my life feels so out of control. You know that one of my biggest challenges is surrendering to You, so that Your Spirit can produce in me the fruit of self-control. I confess that I am very weak and immature in this spiritual discipline in my life. I need to recognize that I can do none of this in my own power, but truly, it is a fruit produced by the power of the Holy Spirit when I acknowledge Him and submit to His power within me. It’s not what I, myself, can or cannot do. It’s what Your Holy Spirit can do through me. Help me to tap in to this power within me, at all times, especially when I feel weak and indulgent. Give me the willpower to yield to Your voice inside me that steers me away from temptation and sin.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Jesus liberated you from your sin. He has set you free from the yoke of slavery to sin (Galatians 5:1). Do not give in to the desires of the flesh and do whatever you want (Galatians 5:16-17). Live in step with the Spirit of God, and do not be in conflict with Him. Surrender your sinful nature to God, and instead, He will produce the fruit of righteousness and self-control in your spirit.

Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun (Psalm 37:4-6). Delight in Me, and though you may stumble, you will not fall. I will uphold you with My hand (Psalm 37:23-24).

When temptation and sin come knocking at your door, do not open it. Deny yourself and stay safely behind the gate of self-control. Do not allow the thief access to your life. He comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come to give you life to the full (John 10:10). Remain strong in your convictions. Have faith that I can remove all evil strongholds in your life. I will set you free from sin and bondage. I give release to the prisoners and restore sight to the spiritually blind (Isaiah 61:1-3). I bind up the broken places in your heart that cause you to crave that which will not bring you true joy and satisfaction.

Pay attention to My voice within. Claim your victory in the name of Jesus Christ, by His shed blood on the cross. He has already conquered sin on your behalf. You are a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here. Live anew and enjoy your new life of freedom. Walk in the victory of Christ by living in step with His Holy Spirit within you. Maintain your relationship with the Spirit by remaining in continual communication with Him. Do not pretend to be deaf to His voice. Listen and obey; you will receive your reward, and it will be worth so much more than the momentary indulgence and pleasure of disobedience.

Prayer:

Lord, help me be more dependent on you to produce in me the fruit of self-control. I can do none of this in my own strength and power. I have none. My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak. Strengthen me and empower me to live according to Your good, pleasing, and perfect will. I confess my sin and repent of it as I walk away from the desires of the flesh that try to hold me captive. I claim freedom in the blood of Christ and His death on the cross. He already won the victory and holds the keys to sin, death, and the grave. I am crucified in Christ. I no longer live, but Christ lives in me (Galatians 2:20). He is risen, and I am seated with Him in the heavenly realms. I am a new creation in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Lord, show me the person You see when You look at me. Share your heart with me now as we meet and talk. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Righteous Father, please help me understand the importance of submitting myself to the control and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. (Record all His words and thoughts given to you.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, teach me how to remain in step with the Spirit and renounce temptation and sin. Then, give me the strong conviction and desire to do this (Write the ideas and impressions He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, give me the ability to pay attention to Your voice, and then, obey. Open my ears to hear You, and give me the desire to be obedient. Impress on me the reason I need to submit myself to Your leading and direction. (Journal every word and thought you receive.)

 

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:

God, thank You for sharing Your heart with me now. Father, help me to not focus on myself and my power, but fully rely on You and Your power to provide me an escape when I am tempted to exercise a lack of self-control. Produce in me the fruit of self-control, so that I may display the righteousness of a life surrendered to You. Lord, I yield my heart and will to You now. I ask you to remove all ungodly pleasures and strongholds in my life. Forgive me when I am weak; when I stumble, do not let me fall. Thank You for your grace and mercy toward me. As the Holy Spirit sanctifies me, teach me to be more grace-filled and merciful toward others. I ask this in the name of Jesus, my Lord. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 37:4-6, 4Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. 5Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him and He will do this: 6He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

Isaiah 61:1-3, 1“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2to proclaim the year of the Lords’ favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Psalm 37:23-24, The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.

John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

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

Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Galatians 5:1, It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Galatians 5:16-17, 16So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17The 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 5:22-23, 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.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 28 – Remain in Me

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 28

Remain in Me

Lord, please show me what it means to remain in You. How do I accomplish this? What practices do I need to put in place to reach this goal?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, My top priority for you is that you stay in relationship with Me. How is this best accomplished? First and foremost, maintain a regular, daily practice of meeting with Me alone in the secret place. The secret place is merely an area in your heart that you reserve for Me exclusively. It may also involve a physical location that you deem our special meeting spot away from noise and distractions, but more accurately, it’s a place in your heart reserved for Me alone—entirely devoted to Me and no one else—a private place. What’s done in secret will be rewarded (Matthew 6:18).

Secondly, remain in My Word. When you linger in My Word, reading it and meditating on it, you will almost always experience Me. My Spirit within you will guide you to Scripture and make it come alive with meaning for you personally, both for your life in general, and for specific circumstances you are going through at any given time. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you (John 15:7). Hanging out in My Word, saturating your mind with it, is very pleasing to Me. It is a sweet aroma that reaches deep into the middle of My heart. Your efforts will be rewarded as you make your requests known to Me.

Remain in Me and bear much fruit. I am the vine; you are the branch. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing (John 15:5). The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). You are known by your fruit. I, also, am known by your fruit. When you remain in Me and bear My fruit, others are drawn to Me through you. Fruit ripened on the vine has the choicest appearance and the sweetest flavor. Remain in the vine.

Remain in communication with Me through listening prayer. When you pray, go into your inner room where you will be alone with Me (Matthew 6:5-6). I will hear your requests and answer them. Be sure to listen as much as you speak. Leave room in the conversation for Me. I have so many things to tell you. Things you do not yet know, great and unsearchable things (Jeremiah 33:3). You belong to Me, you can hear what I say (John 8:47). You are My sheep, listen to My voice and follow me (John 10:27). Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Listen continually. This is My will for you.

Remain in step with the Spirit by laying down your own passions and desires, and living out Mine (Galatians 5:24-25). Walk by My Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16). Be led by the Spirit and remain blameless. Be obedient to My commands, allowing the Spirit’s power to enable you to do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

Remain in obedience to Me. Remain in My love by keeping My commands. My greatest commands are these: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor you love yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). Love each other as I have loved you, by laying down your life for your friends (John 15:12-13). When you keep My commands, I know you love Me, and I will show Myself to you and make My home in you (John 14:20-23). I love you, My child. You are My dwelling place. Keep your heart engaged with Mine.

Prayer:

Thank You, Lord, for Your generous Spirit. You have shown me today how to be more engaged with You. I know You are with me always, but I do not always remember that fact. Please forgive me when I forget You. I know You never forget me. Help me to remain in You more completely by practicing all the steps You communicated to me above. And now I long to hear more messages from Your heart as I enter my inner room, the secret place, to connect with You in a more personal way. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Abba Father, help me see you and feel your presence during this time of conversation. Lord, speak Your heart to me right now and tell me the great, unsearchable things, I do not yet know. (Write down every word or thought that enters your mind.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, please allow me to know and feel Your presence daily in my heart. Let me know how You would like to best engage with me. What shall I do to be more obedient and responsive to Your voice? (Record every thought making it obedient to Christ.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, come and have Your way in me right now. Lead me, guide me, comfort me. Whatever I need to hear from You, Lord, please share it with me now. (Journal all your thoughts to Him and from Him.)

 

Review the Holy Spirit’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:

Dear Father in Heaven, thank You for creating me. Thank You for loving me so much that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to die for me and give me new life through His resurrection. Thank You for Your gift of the Holy Spirit who makes His home in Me and walks me through life, making me more obedient to You. I worship You, Lord, and I lift my voice. O my soul—Rejoice. I honor You and give You all the glory You deserve. I give myself wholly to You, Lord. Receive my feeble attempts to be obedient to Your commands, and teach me how to love You as deeply as You love me. In Jesus’ precious name, I pray Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “…Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. And that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Jeremiah 33:2-3, “This is what the Lord says, He who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is His name: ‘Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’”

Matthew 6:5-6, “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Matthew 22:37-40, 37Jesus replied, “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Mark 9:7, Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the could: “This is My Son, whom I love. Listen to Him!”

Luke 10:39, She had a sister called Mary, who sat the Lord’s feet listening to what He said.

John 8:47, “Whoever belongs to God hears what God says…”

John 10:27, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.”

John 14:20-23, 20“On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you. 21Whoever has My commands and keeps them is the one who loves Me. The one who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them… 23Anyone who loves Me will obey My teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

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 to 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, So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

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.

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

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 John 2:24-27, 24As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is what He promised us—eternal life. 26I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. 27As for you, the anointing you received from Him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as His anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in Him.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Do you feel like winter wheat?

winter wheat

winter wheat

perennial wheat grass

perennial wheat grass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When old man winter strikes with a vengeance, do you relate more to winter wheat (left) or perennial wheat grass (right)? Do you remain in a vegetative phase during the winter but produce a higher yield in the spring or summer? Or do you flourish and produce your best harvest in the harshness of winter weather?

I’m a hybrid wheat. I don’t enjoy the colder weather, so I stay inside and keep to myself. My activities and relationships may go dormant for a few months. However, this also affords me time to read, study, write and produce good content for the harvest.

It’s okay to be the winter wheat recluse, as long as you are bulking up in spiritual knowledge and rebuilding your energy to produce your best harvest when warmer weather returns.

My child, I am the Vine; you are the branch. Remain in Me and I will remain in you. Apart from Me, you can do nothing. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the Vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. If you remain in Me, and I in you, you will be even more fruitful. (See John 15:1-8)

If you are winter wheat, be sure to remain in the Vine during your dormancy. Use your alone time to bulk up in spiritual knowledge by remaining in God’s Word. Don’t let your relationship with Jesus go dormant. Spend time with Him daily in two-way conversation—talk to Him, and then leave room in the conversation for Him to speak to you.

Winter wheat generally produces a higher yield. You will too, when you remain in the Vine during the solitude of winter.

Working in You

In all my prayers for you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:4-6)

Mountain Grandeur God is Working© Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. For more information visit, www.GregOlsen.com 

My precious child, I created you for a purpose, and I have begun a good work in you. I will continue to work in you and through you until the day Christ returns. You were made in my image from day one, and now that you have been reconciled to me through Christ, the Holy Spirit dwelling in you continues to transform you into my likeness. May you be filled with the fruit of righteousness, remaining pure and blameless until the day of Christ. Whatever you do, do it to the glory of God. Let your countenance and your actions reflect my love in all situations. You are my ambassadors of love. Let the world see who lives in you. Love out loud, sharing the message of the gospel wherever life takes you. Bring others to me as they see you walking out your faith. You are my beloved one. Be my warrior, courageous and fearless, as you fight for the souls that are lost. Let the joy of Christ in your heart overflow, touching every one you meet. I have blessed you to be a blessing to others. Go and bless my world.

 

Go and Bear My Fruit

Apple-Seed“As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among the thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.” (Matthew 13:4-9)

When you share your story, you will sow my seed in many different places. Some seed will fall on the path, some on rock with shallow soil, some among thorns, and some on good soil.

It is not your job, when you share my message, to pay attention to how many lives are changed in the process. Your job is to sow the seed, my job is to bring in the harvest. Do not measure your success based upon the immediate response to your message. Some will not respond at all. Some will respond quickly, but then fall away. Others will hear the message but will be overtaken by the thorns of the world after that. Some seed will flourish, take root, and bear much fruit. But again, it is not your job to measure your work. You are not in control. Simply do your job and let me do mine. In merely telling your story, you are fulfilling my will and purpose for your life. It is no credit to you the number of souls that are saved. All glory and honor belong to me for the reaping of the harvest. Always remember your position and your role. Give me all the glory, honor, and praise for any fruit that you bear. I am the vinedresser. I have pruned you to bear fruit. Now go and bear it by spreading the seed I have given you to sow. Scatter it on all types of surfaces and I will determine the yield. I am the Lord, God. Go and bear my fruit.

Put One Foot in Front of the Other

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

Daughter of the King—You are seeing the fruits of your labor. You have been faithful to completing this task I have given you. Your obedience is appreciated. You have done your part for the moment. The next step is in my hands. Leave it to me. I am in control. I am with you. Listen to me and follow my lead. I will make things happen for you in a way that I will receive all the glory. I have chosen you for a reason. Be patient. I will act when the time is right. Keep pressing forward. Do not be overwhelmed. Put one foot in front of the other each day and make progress in the work I have for you. Your reward will be worth the wait. I am in control of all things. You are in my sight. I will not leave you alone to face the wolves of this world. They will bow down to me. Remain humble and obedient to your call. I will produce fruit ten-, fifty-, one-hundred fold. It matters not that you have a small following. You have a great God who is in your court cheering for you. Be faithful and committed to your work. The time may come when your time will go. Remain true to me and maintain your relationship with me. Do not forget who has called you to this. Tune in to me. I will let you in on my plans. My plan is to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future. Your future is secure with me.