Tag Archive | sinner

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 16  – I am the Lover of Your Soul

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 16  – I am the Lover of Your Soul

Dear God, how is it that You, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, love someone like me? How do I know that you love me for sure? I do not deserve your love. I cannot earn your love. And yet, Your Word says You love me. Why is it that You love me, Lord?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, I am the lover of your soul. I knew you and loved you long before I created you. You are mine. You belong to me. I love you with a deep, unconditional, everlasting love. My love for you will never change. I am the same yesterday, today, forever (Hebrews 13:8). I am love (1 John 4:8).

My love for you is My greatest gift to you. You cannot earn My love. It is a free gift, just like My grace. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17). My love defines who you are and whose you are. I demonstrated My love for you in this, while you were still a sinner, I sent My Son, Jesus, to lay down His life for you (Romans 5:8). I loved you then, and I will always love you. I am dependable. You can count on Me to love you into all eternity.

I love you no matter what you do. My love for you is unchanging and consistent. My love is forgiving and forgetting. My love is unfailing and wonderful. Nothing you do will increase or decrease My love for you. You are My beloved child. I love you no matter what. You do not understand the depth of my love for you because you cannot grasp it. It is so much different from any other love you know and feel.

You need not wonder whether I love you and accept you as you are, I do. You are worthy of My love because you are My child. I created you to love you, and ask that you, in turn, love Me with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). If you love Me, you will obey Me, and I will come and make My home in you (John 14:23). I will never leave you or forget about you (Joshua 1:5).

Respond to Me in love. Accept My free gift of love and grace. When you invite Jesus into your heart, I give you another indescribable gift. I send My Holy Spirit to live in your heart. I not only love you, but I live in you. Your body is My temple, My dwelling place (1 Corinthians 3:16). I love you from the inside out. You have a member of the Godhead living in you and loving you at all times. How wonderful is that? I am the lover of your soul, because your soul is My home. I have made My home in you, and I love My home. I love you, My friend. I have loved you before the beginning of time, and I will love you through all eternity. 

Prayer: 

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your good and perfect love. Help me to grasp the depth of that love as we communicate today. Lord, will you show me Your heart for me as Your child. Lord, help me to know and feel Your presence with me right now as we talk heart to heart. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God:

  • Father, describe to me what it was like to send Your one and only Son, Jesus, to die for me. (Write the thoughts that come into your mind.)

 

  • Jesus, so great is Your love for me, that You were willing to die in my place, for my sin. Please share Your heart with me about this sacrificial love. (Record any words or impressions that enter your heart.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, You are the gift of God’s love, who dwells in me. Please share with me what You want me to know today. (Jot down all thoughts and senses you experience in your mind and heart.)

 

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 Jesus, I cannot thank You enough for Your unconditional love and Your sacrificial demonstration of that love on my behalf. Thank You for making a way to be reconciled to God, the Father, and for the gift of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, so that I may communicate with all three members of the godhead any time of the day or night. This is such a spectacular gift. I so appreciate all that You have done for me and continue to do for me. I love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Joshua 1:5, I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Psalm 25:10, All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of His covenant.

Psalm 32:8, I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

Psalm 100:5, For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Psalm 86:13, For great is your love toward me; You have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.

Psalm 108:4, For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Psalm 117:12 For great is His love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord.

Psalm 118:1, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.

Psalm 136:3, Give thanks to the Lord of lords; His love endures forever.

Psalm 144:2, He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.

Song of Songs 2:4, Let Him lead me to the banquet hall, and let His banner over me be love.

Isaiah 54:10, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Mark 12:30, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

John 14:23, Jesus replied, “Anyone 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 15:13-14, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are My friends if you do what I command.”

John 16:27, “No, the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God.”

Romans 5:5, And hope does not put us to shame because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 5:8, God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Corinthians 3:16, Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

Ephesians 2:4, But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.

Ephesians 3:16-19, I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know His love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

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

James 1:17, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

1 John 3:1, See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

1 John 4:8-10, Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 John 4:19, We love because He first loved us.

Revelation 1:5-6, To Him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by His blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve His God and Father—to Him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 12 – I am Your Bridegroom

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 12 – I am Your Bridegroom

Lord of the universe, how is it that I am considered Your bride? To what do I owe this honor, this extravagant pleasure? May I be found ready when you return to rescue me, Your bride. Lord, what does it mean to be Your bride? What do you want me to know about this privilege and calling?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My sister, My bride, you have stolen My heart. My banner over you is love (Song of Songs 4:9). Since before the beginning of time, I have thought of you and loved you. I knew you before I formed you. Before you were born, I set you apart (Jeremiah 1:5). I called you by name. You are My beloved bride and I rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

 My love for you is so enormous that I was willing to lay down My life for you. A bridegroom should be willing to lay down his life for his bride. I took your place on the cross and paid the death penalty that belonged to you. I did this willingly and obediently, while you were yet a sinner (Romans 5:8). This is the full expression of My deep, unconditional, unending love for you.

 I love you so much, I gave Myself up for you to make you holy, cleansing you by the washing with water through the word, and to present you to Myself as a radiant bride, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-26). I look forward to the great wedding of the Lamb. Make every effort to live a life of holiness and righteousness, so that when I come again, I will find you spotless, blameless, and at peace.

Continue to live in step with the Spirit, not giving in to the flesh, but growing in the grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; living as I would have you live, submitting yourself to Me.

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will I rejoice over you, My beloved. A bride prepares for days, weeks, months, even years eagerly anticipating her big wedding day, to be united to her bridegroom in holy matrimony. What are you doing in preparation for our big day? Will you be ready for Me? Will you be waiting patiently, working diligently, and eagerly watching for My return?

Yet, by My Spirit, I am already with you always, even to the end of the age. Your heart is My dwelling place. Our spirits are closely intertwined, united in love and devotion. I am your Bridegroom, and I will rejoice over you, My darling.

Prayer:

My Lord and my Master, I am so in love with You. I willingly submit myself to You as Your beloved bride. I will do my best to wait patiently for your second coming. I will work diligently at being a good witness and sharing my testimony of your goodness with those who do not yet know You as their Lord and Savior. I will eagerly watch and be ready for Your return. Thank You for giving Your life in exchange for mine. Please help me to live in step with Your Spirit, so that I may be found spotless, blameless and at peace. Putting my trust in You, gives me the confidence I need to be at peace in any and every situation. Thank You for Your love and devotion to me. May I forever be willing to return the same to You. Will You allow me to hear clearly from You again right now as we meet together in two-way conversation? In the name of Jesus, my Bridegroom, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Lord, the idea of Your being my Bridegroom, gives me a picture of a deeply intimate spiritual relationship with You. Will you describe to me what that looks like to You? What do you desire for relationship with me? (Record all the thoughts the Lord brings to your mind.)

 

  • Jesus, how do I experience an intimate relationship with a spiritual being? I can’t see you or touch you. Many times, I don’t even hear your voice. Lord, what can I do to experience you in a very real and deeper way?

 

  • Lord Jesus, what would You have me do to get ready for Your return and for the wedding of the Lamb?

 

Review the Holy Spirit’s thoughts and impressions you’ve 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:

Jesus, You are the lover of my soul. You loved me before You knew me. You loved me before You created me. You set me apart to be Your bride. I am so humbled by this identification in You. You are my Lover, my Father, my Brother, my Friend. I cannot even grasp the depth of Your love for me. Even in my sin, You loved me so much that You gave Your life for me. Thank You, Jesus, for loving me no matter what. Please forgive my shortcomings and help me live a life more pleasing to You. Soften my spirit to enable me to submit myself fully and totally to You in all areas. There is no fear in love. Your extreme love for me affords me the ability to put my complete trust in You. I have nothing to fear when I remain in You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Song of Songs 4:9-10, “You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice.”

Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…”

Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Song of Songs 2:4, Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love.

Isaiah 62:5, “As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”

See Matthew 25:1-13 the parable of the ten virgins – the point is to continually watch for Jesus second coming and remain in a perpetual state of readiness and an eager anticipation of His return should keep us living productively. – The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, page 1848, NIV).

Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

See Ephesians 5:21-33.

Ephesians 5:22, Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.

Ephesians 5:25-26, Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Revelation 19:7, Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.

Also see Revelation 21:2, 21:9, 22:17.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved.

Roadblock #3 – Pride – The Enemy of Humility

Independence, control, and comparison. Those words don’t sound prideful when spoken individually. However, when we rely on ourselves for everything and don’t depend on God for anything, He could view this independent spirit as arrogance or overconfidence. Likewise, it often feels good to be in complete control of ourselves, our lives, an event, a situation, another person, or his actions. The haughty monster of pride rears its ugly head in the condescending creature of control. And when we compare ourselves to others and always come out on top, a conceited nature triumphs over humility in our souls. Be careful—this sounds a bit like sitting in the judgment seat, and that’s not a position you want to claim for yourself. Judgment is reserved for Almighty God alone.

Pride is mentioned in Proverbs 6:16-19 as one of the seven things detestable to God. Pride manifests itself in these forms: arrogance, conceit, self-importance, egotism, vanity, haughty eyes, condescension, scorn, disrespect, snootiness, loftiness, and contemptuousness. The Lord despises proud actions and attitudes. Here are a few of the many verses that describe how God feels about pride:

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. (James 4:6)

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5)

Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar. (Psalm 138:6)

If you are not hearing God’s voice, you may want to perform a pride inventory in your spirit. Do you practice humility and selflessness, or are you responsible for behaviors that are detestable to God? The verses above assure us that God will punish the proud of heart, and He doesn’t go near individuals who are full of pride. If you hold pride in your heart, confess it and ask God’s forgiveness. Get rid of all pride, arrogance, conceit, self-importance, haughtiness, disrespect, loftiness, and condescension before you seek the Lord to listen to His voice. Treat others as more important than yourself. Assume the position of the lowly, the meek, and the servant. Don’t take it to the extreme so that you resemble a doormat, but approaching the Lord with a contrite heart, in humility, opens the door to receiving God’s words of grace, encouragement, and wisdom.

Unfortunately, pride comes much too naturally to all of us, including me. Read about the fall of humankind in Genesis 3. From the very beginning of time, self-importance snuck into human desire. Satan tempted Eve with the idea that she could be all-knowing and wise, like God, if she ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. Deceived by the devil, Eve ate some and gave some to Adam. Pride initiated a sinful response when the evil one presented his temptation.

The need for independence and superiority continues to be the cause of some of our sin today. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” The truth of this verse rang loudly in the Garden of Eden. It still rings true thousands of years later.

Another example of haughtiness is found in Ezekiel 28, the prophecy against the king of Tyre. In verse 17, the Sovereign Lord says, “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth; I made a spectacle of you before kings.” God detested his arrogance. The king’s pride preceded his destruction.

In Proverbs 8:13, the wise Solomon says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” Fear in this case is the same reverence for the Lord that we talked about in the previous blog. When you respect the Lord, you will detest all pride and arrogance, as He does. Yet arrogance sneaks into all areas of life. Recall that pride inventory we talked about? It may be necessary to make that assessment daily, even hourly.

If pride in any form resides in your life, don’t expect to be close to God and hear from Him regularly. Psalm 138:6 says, “Though the Lord is on high, He looks upon the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar.” As another passage I’ve already quoted says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you” (James 4:6-8). God spends time with humble people who submit themselves to Him and make time for Him. God distances Himself from the self-righteous, prideful, judgmental person.

When the needle on the pride-o-meter registers anywhere on the gauge, take action immediately to dispose of all forms of pride. Humble yourself before the Lord. Submit yourself to Him and exalt Him, rather than yourself. Show the Lord how much you trust in Him for everything. Relinquish your control to the Most High. Place the desires of others ahead of your own. Do not judge any person or behavior. Assume the servant position in God’s kingdom.

Do you struggle with judging others or promoting yourself to a higher pedestal? What alerts you of your arrogance? I can tell you truly, when I do not practice the humility of a servant, I should not expect God will speak to me. No matter my standing or position in the world, I am but an unworthy sinner, forgiven and saved by God’s grace alone. I am no better than anyone else. If I do not treat others better than myself, God has no business with me, and therefore no reason to talk to me.

Anytime I have seated myself on the judgment throne with regard to another human being, God has given me an opportunity to experience the same affliction, position, or experience as the one I judged. Very soon I’ve gained a new appreciation and respect for the one I condemned because I have walked down a similar path. Becoming the object of my own pride rapidly and effectively cuts me down to size. When the roadblock of pride comes down, my reception of God’s voice dramatically improves.

The Bible provides many significant illustrations of humility. Jesus, God’s own Son, displayed the ultimate humility when He left His throne in heaven and came to earth to be the sacrificial Lamb and die for our sins. Another dramatic demonstration of Christ’s servanthood took place when He washed the feet of His disciples. We can imitate this kind of humility when we selflessly serve our own subordinates, or, better yet, those we judge. This foot washing can be accomplished literally or figuratively. Think of a way you might take an unassuming position with someone you lead, manage, or influence. Is there any type of metaphorical foot washing you could perform for him or her? Maybe picking up a towel and basin of water is what you really need.

Let’s examine some of the enemy’s deceit in our thoughts, which gives birth to overconfidence. You might believe you can take care of yourself; you know what’s best for you. Or, you might think you are in control of your own life. Is it possible that thinking you are better than someone else for any reason could be hampering your clear reception of God’s voice in your thoughts? Grab your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God’s Voice today, and begin identifying what stands in your way of hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit, who makes your heart His home.

Click here to purchase this book now.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

“United” States of America? Not!

The One and Only True God of the "United" States of America

Jesus Christ is the One and Only True God of the “United” States of America.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of UNITY among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. (emphasis mine, Romans 15:5-7)

The one star on the flag pictured here suggests UNITY–Fifty individual states that come together to form ONE nation under GOD. In a week of divided discontent and the protests of a nation against the man elected by its people to serve as the next leader of the free world, it would behoove us to consider the Scripture above.

As followers of Christ, we are called to a spirit of unity, so that with one heart and mouth we may glorify God. Therefore, we MUST ACCEPT one another, just as Christ accepted us, in order to bring praise to God.

If you find yourself wanting to protest the most recent leadership choice of the nation, should you instead channel your energy into glorifying God by accepting one another? Remember the words of Paul in Romans 8:28 & 31, “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…What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

UNITY–“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)

Since Jesus Christ graciously accepted me, a sinner, shouldn’t I imitate and obey Him by accepting others? With man (or woman), this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Paul is the perfect example of how God can use even the worst of sinners for the good of those who love Him. I think God can handle the latest election results. Yes, God can use even Donald Trump for the good of those who love God. Let this be your testimony to your friends who are eager to sign their name to a petition and march with a sign in their hands. Imitate God and encourage a spirit of unity. Accept one another in order to bring praise to God.

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

Pray for Donald Trump as he prepares to lead the Not-United States of America.