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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 47 – Listen to God

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 47

Listen to God

Hello, Lord, are You there? Your Word says that You are with me always (Matthew 28:20); You will never leave me or forget about me (Joshua 1:5). Do you speak to Me often? Sometimes I try to be still and listen to You, but I cannot hear Your voice. I don’t really know what it sounds like or I’m not sure whether it’s Your thoughts or mine. How do I know the difference? Please help me be still enough to listen and give me the discernment to know Your voice when You speak to me.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My beloved one, I am always right here waiting to listen to you and talk to you. Will you do the same for Me? I desire intimate relationship and personal conversation with you daily. I want to listen to your requests and impart My wisdom and instructions for your life. I am your Shepherd, and you are My sheep. My sheep know My voice and follow Me (John 10:27).

You will know and recognize My voice by spending time with Me in My Word. Whenever you read My Word, you are hearing directly from Me. The Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see what I want you to understand when you spend time in the Scripture. You will hear Me speak to you through My Word. However, I love to communicate with you in prayer also. When you pray, go into the secret place, where you and I meet alone. Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). When you quiet your heart and mind enough, and give Me your undivided attention, you will hear My inaudible voice in your thoughts. It is soft as a whisper, yet powerful and majestic (Psalm 29:4).

When you spend time in My Word, getting to know My character better, you will better know what to expect when you hear Me in your thoughts. I am loving and compassionate; I will encourage you with My love and envelope you with My kindness. I am wise and discerning; I will instruct you with My wisdom. I am your Advocate; I will guide you and support you with My knowledge. I am your Counselor; I will advise you in all your circumstances. I am your Father; I will delight in you and bestow your identity as My child. I am the Prince of Peace; I will fill you with the confidence of knowing I am in control.

When you hear My voice, the message will always align with My Word in Scripture. My voice will always be consistent with My character. It will bring you a feeling of peace unless I am convicting you of a sin. My words will never be harsh, accusing, condemning, or confusing like Satan’s voice. My words in your thoughts will be sincere, clear, truthful, motivating, comforting, and uplifting. I may instruct you to do something challenging, but I will always equip you to carry it out. I will never ask you to do anything that does not agree with My Word in the Bible. I will not lie to you, manipulate you, deceive you, or shame you. Those actions identify your enemy, the devil. The more time you spend in conversation with Me, the better you will be able to identify and discern My voice in your thoughts, from your own thoughts and Satan’s.

Above all, I just want to spend time with you, however that works best: in My Word, in personal conversation, or shoulder to shoulder walking through the journey of your life. I love you, My friend, and I want what is best for you. It is best that you remain in relationship with Me by reading My Word, talking to Me in prayer, listening to Me and hearing My voice, loving Me with your obedience, and praising Me whenever possible. I look forward to our next conversation. When shall we meet again?

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I so long to hear You speak more regularly, and to know for sure it’s Your voice I hear. Teach me more about Your character so that I may be confident in discerning Your voice from the other thoughts in my head. Lord, please speak to me now and let me know what needs to change in my life in order for me to hear Your voice in my thoughts more consistently. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, help me to quiet my mind and heart enough to hear You speak. What do You want me to know at this time? (Record every word or thought you have.)

 

  • Jesus, my Friend, will You share what You want me to know about listening to Your voice? How do I discern between Your voice and my own thoughts? (Write down what He says to you now.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, teach me to be more in tune with Your whispers and how You speak to me all day long. What do I need to do to hear You speaking to me and guiding me? (Journal all ideas and thoughts that pop into your mind.)

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:

Dear Lord, thank You for speaking Your heart and pouring Your thoughts into my mind whenever I meet with You. Thank You for making Yourself available to meet with me any time and anywhere. Lord, I so appreciate that Your desire is for greater intimacy with me. Give me the same desire and expand my time, so that I may accomplish the goal of putting You first in my life, and listening to You daily. Thank You for Your loving kindness and forbearance. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 29:4, The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic.

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 46:10, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Proverbs 3:5-6, 5Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Matthew 28:19-20, 19“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. 20And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 4:23, “If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”

John 10:2-4, 2“The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.”

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

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 43 – A Stay-In Order: Stay in Me

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 43

A Stay-In Order: Stay in Me

Lord, with this COVID-19 pandemic, our state has issued a stay-in, stay-safe order. It keeps getting extended due to a daily increase in reported cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Lord, I will give You thanks in the middle of this difficulty, because it has given me more time to spend with You. What a huge gift it has been to rekindle the romance of an intimate relationship with You, my Bridegroom. Lord, what is on Your heart for me to learn and accomplish during this gift of extra time that You have given me?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My darling, My bride, My heart for you is to do exactly as you have been doing since this stay-in order was established: Stay in Me. What does that mean? Return to Me. Seek Me. Come near to Me. Remain in Me. Hope in Me. Trust in Me. Pray to Me. Believe in Me. Have faith in Me. Talk to Me. Ask Me. Tell Me. Listen to Me. Know all of Me. Love Me. Obey Me. Acknowledge Me. Acclaim Me. Witness for Me. Share Me.

Remain faithful to Me, for I am your husband. I have betrothed you to Me (Hosea 2:19-20). Stay in relationship with Me. Do not lust after other lovers. Do not put your trust in other gods. Do not turn to other pleasures instead of Me. Do not wander from the sheepfold. Do not get lost in obscurity. Do not become independent of Me; but be even more dependent on Me. Stay in Me. I am the Lord, and I love you more than you will ever comprehend. I pray that you will be able to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for you, that you may know this love that surpasses knowledge and be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:18-19).

I am your Bridegroom. Your greatest joy comes from knowing Me personally and intimately. Know who I am. Know My ways. Know My promises. Know My Word. Stay in relationship with Me. Fear Me in awe and reverence, walk in obedience to Me, love Me, and serve Me with all your heart and all your soul (Deuteronomy 10:12). Put Me ahead of everything else in your life. I want to be first; I am a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24). I am protective of our time together and our relationship.

I desire to stay in daily communication with you. Meet Me in the secret place and pursue Me with all your heart. Speak to Me and listen to Me. Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3). I want what is best for you. No human mind has conceived what I have prepared for those who love Me (1 Corinthians 2:9). My plans are to prosper you and give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). I will do immeasurably more than all you ask or imagine, according to My power that is at work within you (Ephesians 3:20). I have given you My gift of the Holy Spirit who stays in you; please honor that gift by staying in Me; stay in and stay safe. I care about you, My friend.

Prayer:

My faithful Bridegroom, I love You with all my heart. I will seek You in the morning and wait expectantly to hear Your voice (Psalm 5:3). I, too, desire to communicate with You in a more intimate way. I cherish the time we spend together each morning, and I will be more diligent to remember to speak with You throughout the day. You are my life coach, my daily bread, my living water, my champion, and my friend. I will depend on You to meet all my needs. Lord, please speak to me now in a more personal way, so that I know deeper places of Your heart. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, I will stay in Please show me the best way to accomplish that in my life and current situation. (Record every thought that enters your mind.)

 

  • Jesus Christ, please reveal Your heart for my relationship with You. What do You desire, and what does it look like for me? (Write down all words and ideas He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, thank You for staying in me; help me to stay in How do I walk in step with You and remain in constant communication with You? You know me the best. How is this best accomplished in my life? (Journal every impression, every thought, every idea the Holy Spirit prompts you with right 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:

Merciful Father, thank You for Your desire for a greater intimacy with me. It is difficult to comprehend the depth of Your love for me, Your child. I am in awe of Your character and Your ways. I am so blessed by You, and I pray I may be that kind of blessing to others on Your behalf. Lord, thank You for Your great love and grace. Please stay in me and let me experience all the fullness of Your heart. Thank You for the abundant life in Your Spirit. In the name of Jesus, my Lord, I pray.Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 4:23-24, 23Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that He made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. 24For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Deuteronomy 10:12, And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Psalm 5:3, In the morning, Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait expectantly.

Jeremiah 29:11-14, 11“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. 12Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Hosea 2:16, 19-20, “In that day,” declares the Lord, “you will call Me, ‘my husband’; you will no longer call Me ‘my master.’ …I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 2:9, However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love Him.

Ephesians 3:16-21, 16I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you wit power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may 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, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, 21to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 31 – Child of God

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 31

Child of God

Lord, what does it mean that I am Your child? How have I earned that awesome title? To what do I owe the amazing privilege of being a child of God?

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My child, you have not earned this privilege of being called a child of God. It was given to you when you were created by Me, and when you were reborn again by faith in My Son, Jesus Christ. I knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). I created you because I love you. I know you by name and you have found favor with me (Exodus 33:13).

Before you were born, I set you apart (Jeremiah 1:5) and called you by name (John 10:3). I have lavished My great love on you; you are My blessed child (1 John 3:1). I desire a more cherished relationship with you on a daily basis. You are My child, and I love to spend time with you alone. Will you put Me first and make Me your highest priority?

In Christ Jesus, you are My child through faith (Galatians 3:26). Your sin separated you from Me. However, I provided the way to reconciliation with Me. When you received Christ as your Savior and believed in the risen Jesus Christ as My Son, I gave you the right to become My child, adopted by Me, through faith in Christ (John 1:12-13).

For My Son, Jesus Christ, has said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in My name welcomes Me” (Matthew 18:2-5). Take on the nature of a child of God, a lowly infant who is: dependent, pure, humble, meek, inquisitive, unassuming, obedient, passionate, loving, forgiving, and merciful. Be merciful as I am merciful, love your enemies and do good to them Then your reward will be great and you will be a child of the Most High (Luke 6:35-36).

You no longer need to remain in darkness. I am the light of the world, follow Me and have the light of life! (John 8:12). Believe in the light and walk in the light as children of the light (John 12:35-36). You are the light of the world; do not hide your light or allow the enemy to extinguish it. Let your light shine before others and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).

You are a child of God, and therefore, you are led by the Spirit of God. The Spirit you received when you confessed Jesus as your Savior and Lord brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him you are given the right to cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with your spirit that you are God’s child. Now if you are His child, then you are His heir—heir of God and co-heir with Christ, if indeed you share in His sufferings in order that you may also share in His glory (Romans 8:14-17).

You are human and you disobey Me occasionally. However, because you are My child, whom I love, I discipline you when you need it, in order that you may share in My holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it (Hebrews 12:10-11). Consider yourself a legitimate child of God, when I love you enough to discipline you in the training of the Lord for a future harvest of righteousness and peace.

My blessed one, being a child of God is a privilege. It is an honor and a freedom. Along with any hardships you endure, you will also experience My favor in life, as My child. I will take care of you and provide for you. I will protect you and shield you. I will rescue you and uphold you. I am your loving Father, the Great Shepherd of His sheep. You are My little lamb that I love dearly.

Prayer:

Father in heaven, thank You so much for creating me, loving me, and adopting me as Your child. I am so blessed to be included as your little lamb in Your sheepfold. Thank You for Your favor as a child of the King. Thank You for your protection and provision. I live to bring You all the glory, honor, and praise You are due. Lord, please share more of Your passions with me right now as we sit in conversation with one another. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, will You now speak to Me personally about my privilege and role as Your child. What do You desire from me? (Record all the words and thoughts He gives you now.)

 

  • Jesus, my Savior and Lord, thank You for providing the way back to God, the Father. Thank You for the many blessings my faith in You affords me. Please tell me what my faith in You offers me as God’s heir, co-heir with You. (Write whatever pops into your mind right now as you listen to His voice.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, help me assume the lowly position as a Your child. May I desire to be led by You in everything I do and say. Teach me how to remain in step with You all throughout my days. (Journal all ideas you hear in your thoughts.)

 

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, Son, and Holy Spirit, thank You for Your love and the ability to hear Your voice in my thoughts. Thank You all for the work You have done in my life to bring me into a saving relationship with the Lord, an abundant life on this earth, and an eternity in heaven with You. I am truly blessed to be called a ‘Child of God,’ and I am eternally grateful for this privilege. Spirit please lead me and guide me through this life, so that I may let my light shine for others to see Your goodness and Your grace bringing all the glory to My Father in heaven. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Exodus 33:12-13, 12…You have said, “I know you by name and you have found favor with me.” 13If you are pleased with me, teach me Your ways so I may know You and continue to find favor with You…

Deuteronomy 14:1, You are the children of the Lord your God.

Psalm 139:13-14, 13For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mothers’ womb. 14I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

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

Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Matthew 5:14-16, 14“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Matthew 18:2-5, 2He called the little children to Him, and placed the child among them. 3And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoever welcomes one such child in My name welcomes Me.”

Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Mark 10:13-16, 13People were bringing little children to Jesus for Him to place His hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them.

Luke 6:35-36, 35But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Luke 18:16-17, 16But Jesus called the children to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”

John 1:12-13, 12Yet to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

John 8:12, When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 10:2-4, 2The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3The gatekeeper opens the gate for Him, and the sheep listen to His voice. He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When He has brought out all His own, He goes on ahead of them, and His sheep follow Him because they know His voice.

John 12:35-36, 35Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walk in the dark does not know where they are going. 36Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.”

Romans 8:14-17, 14For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.

Romans 9:26, and, “In the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people.’ There they will be called ‘children of the living God.’”

Galatians 3:26, So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.

Hebrews 12:7-11, 7Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as His children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9Moreoever, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

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.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Roadblock #5 – Busyness – The Enemy of Freedom

When we don’t have time for God, it’s difficult to have a meaningful conversation or relationship with Him. The busyness of life may keep you from hearing God’s voice. Satan loves to fill up our lives, even with good, godly acts of service, so that we don’t have time to listen to God’s voice. The enemy keeps us in chaos and noise so that we cannot hear the still, small voice of Jesus. Are you too busy serving in too many places, so you miss out on what He says to you? Or do you make time regularly to sit alone with the Lord, listening to His Spirit within you? He does have something to say to you.

Remember Mary and Martha? Martha opened her home to Jesus. All her preparations for His visit robbed her of spending time with her Guest of honor, while Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and eagerly listened to what He said.

But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40-41)

Are you too busy doing, doing, doing to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to what He wants to say to you? It pleased Jesus that Mary sat and listened to Him, and He didn’t take that time away from her. Everything else could wait.

I must confess, my innate tendency is to behave more like Martha than Mary. Being the die-hard people-pleaser that I am, if Jesus and His disciples came to visit my home, I might be more worried about the hospitality than the relationality. I could see myself scurrying around, cleaning, preparing a meal, and making sure my guests are well taken care of. I would be more inclined to “do” than to “be” still and listen.

Understanding my nature and God-given spiritual gift of help or service, I must force myself to be more social and relational when hosting a gathering. My efforts are usually concentrated on fulfilling the roles of maid, cook, caterer, server, dishwasher, launderer, and concierge, rather than playing the warm, welcoming, congenial hostess role. I’m afraid I would be more concerned about making sure Jesus had a clean, comfortable place to sit, a nice meal to eat, a tasty wine to drink, and crisp, clean sheets to sleep on than on honoring Him with my undivided time, listening to every word that rolled out of His mouth.

Opposites attract, however. My husband is a popular, sanguine Mary. He walks into a crowded room and immediately bursts with positive energy from being in a social atmosphere. He loves communicating with anyone and everyone. He enjoys initiating and carrying on conversations with complete strangers. A social gathering is very exciting and emotionally stimulating for him. He talks and listens to each guest who enters our home, making them feel special and welcome. My husband would shake Jesus’s hand and cheerfully sit at His feet, listening to every word He spoke. Whose behavior do you think Jesus would most appreciate? Are you a Martha or a Mary?

When Martha told Jesus to reprimand Mary for not helping her with the preparations, Jesus very clearly set Martha straight on her priorities. We have to find a balance between serving and spending time alone with Christ, listening to His voice. Is Jesus pleased with the amount of individual attention you give Him? Are you making your time with Him a priority over your other activities?

Your calendar might be due for an overhaul. Free up some time daily to be with God. Cross off some of the less important activities. Write in ink, not pencil, to schedule your “God” time. Don’t let another activity “bump” your time with God or take priority over your relationship with Jesus, the Lord of your life. Perhaps you have fallen prey to some of these misconceptions:

 

#1: I don’t have time to wait for God to speak to me.

#2: All these other activities I do are more urgent than spending time with God.

#3: Investing time in godly activities equals having a relationship with Jesus.

 

Click on the link below to purchase your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak. Identify the obstacles and the lies that hinder your communication with the Holy Spirit, and then, make an effort to remove and disprove them. This book will get you started in the right direction.

Click here to Purchase the book now.

Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

Step 2 – Make the Time

Stairs to the doors of heaven. free concept

Deuteronomy 6

4The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Dt. 6:4-9, NKJV)

 

Step 2 in 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice is – Make the Time

God wants you to hear this today:

He loves you more than you know, and He wants to spend time with you. He wants you to put Him first in your life and listen to His voice daily.

The first commandment God gave us in Deuteronomy 5:7 is, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Anything that keeps you from spending time with Him is another god. Anything you put more value on than your relationship with Jesus Christ is another god.

Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

God wants to be in first place in our lives. Don’t be like me and wait until you are in dire straits to deepen your relationship with Jesus. Pursue Him now—seek Him with all your heart; and you will find Him.

James 4:8 says, “Come near to God, and He will come near to you.” God patiently waits for us to spend time with Him.

When I wanted to put God first in my life, I had to make the time for Him. Can you relate? I worked full time, raised a family, I chauffeured my children to sports and other activities, and participated in Bible studies and church ministries. I did all the right things and I followed Jesus, but still my heart suffered a hollow sense. Discontent and dissatisfaction bred my search for more. This could not be all God planned for me. I soon realized I hadn’t left any time to be alone with God and just listen to Him.

My Christian mentor, who had been listening to God speak, encouraged me to find a quiet place where I could talk to God, and then be still and listen for His voice.

First, I had to expect and believe that God would speak to me. Next, I had to make the time. So I put God first by getting up at least one-half hour earlier than my normal time every day before I went to work.

The time quickly grew into forty minutes, then sixty minutes and longer, because as I heard from God, I loved being with Him. I used this time just to “be in relationship” with Jesus Christ, talking to Him, and then, listening.

At first, when I quietly sat with the Lord, it did not go completely well. I didn’t know how to hear His voice. I got so bored in the silence that I fell asleep. So I had to figure out how to keep myself awake.

Even if you are not a morning person, meet with God for at least a few minutes at the beginning of each day to ask for His direction, and listen to what He says. You may hear something important before you start your day. Then actively listen and be aware of God’s voice at unexpected times throughout the day. The Holy Spirit speaks to us all day long; however, we get distracted and forget to listen.

If you don’t hear from God right away, don’t quit! He doesn’t stop talking to you just because you don’t hear Him the first time. Remember the story of Samuel (1 Samuel 3)? God called Samuel three times before Eli, the priest, realized it was God calling. He continues to pursue you until you hear Him. He pursued me for nearly two decades before He finally got my attention. When He did, my life quickly transformed from boring to amazing!

Satan will do everything in His power to make us so busy we don’t have time to develop our relationship with Jesus Christ. Be intentional about making time for God—not because you should, but because your life will be so much more fulfilling and peaceful when you are in tune with Him.

I invite you and encourage you to put God first in your life. Make time to meet with Him alone and build a relationship with Him by listening to His voice. You may need to let something go. If you are not currently in an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, I encourage you to set aside some of the things you are doing and make time for Him. God will take whatever time you give Him. He just wants to spend time with you and show you how much He loves you.

What are you waiting for? Carve out a small chunk of time today when you can be alone with God and begin the practice of listening to His voice. You’ll be really glad you did. If you don’t hear and recognize God’s voice right away, don’t quit! God will honor your time and efforts and enable you to hear His still, small voice within. Truly, it’s time well spent!

Book One in Hearing God's Voice Series

Book One in Hearing God’s Voice Series

Buy Book Now! – 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice

Let Me Direct Your Path

My dear one, it is so good to speak with you again. Thank you for spending this time with Me. I desire to sit with you every day and connect in conversation with you again. I desire to direct your days, to minister to you, to educate you, to prepare you, and to motivate you to carry out My work. I want to fill you with My goodness, relay My thoughts to you, fill you with My wisdom, and help you appreciate My presence in your life. I am with you always.

You may speak to Me any time. However, I do appreciate when you start your day spending time with Me. It shows Me that you are trying to make Me your first priority. It shows Me that you are eager to know My will and plan for your life. It warms My heart to know that you care enough about Me to give up a little sleep. I am blessed by meeting with you in the morning, before you begin your day with your own plans.

Your plans may be good, but they may not be My best for you. My ways are higher than your ways. My thoughts are higher than your thoughts. I see the future. I know the past. I see all and know all. It is in your best interest to seek Me first, before you set out to accomplish anything. Do not run ahead in a direction I have not prepared for you. When you do, you may encounter snares, traps, conflicts, and barriers. But when you run the race I have marked out for you, everything you come up against has been ordained by Me.

On My path, any trials you face have been allowed by Me. It is My goal to mature you spiritually. In order to accomplish this, sometimes I have to get your attention. Seek first My kingdom and My righteousness. I use all things for your good, to get your attention, to challenge your faith, to increase your trust in Me, to refine your character, and to return you to Myself.

“For I know the plans I have for you, 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, and will bring you back from captivity.” (See Jeremiah 29:11-14)

You have been held in captivity by the things of this world. Seek Me with your whole heart again, and you will find Me. Call upon Me, come and pray to Me, and I will listen. I am the Lord. I am your Lord. I know what is best for you, and I want to guide you on the path I have planned out for you. Please seek Me first, before everything else, and then listen for My voice within throughout the day. I am with you always. You have access to Me at all times. I love you, My child. Let Me direct your path.

Busyness Can Be a Roadblock to Hearing God’s Voice

Fro6 Busynessm God’s Heart to Yours

            Sweet child of Mine, I desire first place in your life. I request your best, your first fruits, not your leftovers. I want the first of your time as well. My plans are to prosper you, to give you hope and a future. I designed you with a specific purpose in mind. How do you know My best for you unless you listen to My voice? How will you receive My wisdom without turning to My Word? How will you know Me without spending time with Me?

            Your best-laid plans may not be My best for you. Your life is on GO sixteen hours a day, but how much of that time is dedicated to Me? To My work? Sixty minutes? Twenty? Ten? Any at all? You won’t comprehend the great depth of My love for you until you hear My whispers. You can’t begin to understand Me when you don’t make time for Me. You ask why you do not hear Me. Are you listening? Do you give Me time to speak? I do have something to say.


 Will you meet with Me in the morning?

Will you turn to Me mid-day?

Will you seek My face in the evening?

I do have something to say.

 

Will you turn off the television?

Will you put your phone away?

Will you shut down the computer?

I do have something to say.

 

Will you take Me with you golfing?

Will you walk with Me by the bay?

Will you talk to Me in your office?

I do have something to say.

 

Will you ask Me for My wisdom?

Will you bend your ear My way?

Will you listen with excitement?

I do have something to say.

 

Will you look for Me when you’re lonely?

Will you make time for Me in your day?

Will you call on Me in your trials?

I do have something to say.

 

Will you recognize My whispers?

Will you listen to Me when you pray?

Will you greet Me with anticipation?

I do have something to say.


Please make time for Me, My friend. I desire to walk through this life with you, but I’d prefer to lead. I am with you always. I’ll never leave you or forsake you. Please do not forget I am with you at all times, in all places. You are My beloved child. I am pleased by you. I wait with excitement to spend time with you. Please make that happen soon. I am here for you.


 


 

 

 

Three Gifts for Christmas

th3Great things come in threes. God gives Christ followers many awesome gifts, too numerous to mention here, but the greatest are these three: 1) God the Father, 2) Jesus the Son, and 3) God the Holy Spirit—a.k.a. the Trinitarian, Three-In-One God.

God, the Father, sent His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to: 1) be born of a virgin, 2) walk the earth in the flesh as a man, and 3) die on the cross as a sacrificial lamb of atonement for the sins of all people. Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb. He descended into hell to bear the punishment for all our sins. Three days later, God: 1) raised Jesus from the dead, 2) seated Him next to Himself at His right hand, and 3) placed all things under His feet, appointing Jesus to be head over everything (Eph. 1:22).

Matthew narrates the Christmas story highlighting the visit from the Magi in Matthew 2:9-11,

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Again, the number three triumphs. The wise men from the east bowed down and worshiped the Christ child. They presented Him with three treasured gifts: 1) gold, 2) incense, and 3) myrrh.

As you honor Jesus this Christmas by giving gifts to family and friends, bosses and co-workers, employees and charities, think about what three gifts you could present directly to the Christ child. Will it be,

1)     love, obedience, and trust,

2)     glory, praise, and worship, or

3)     tithes, offerings, and service?

Whatever you decide, you can’t out-give God. He already demonstrated the great depth of His love for you by giving the ultimate gift—the birth and death of His Son, Jesus Christ, as payment for your sin.

Perhaps you could honor the Christ child today with these three gifts: 1) your time, 2) your attentiveness, and 3) your discerning ears.

1)     Make TIME to BE STILL with God today.

2)     Escape the crowds and noise, and FOCUS your attention on Him only.

3)     LISTEN to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit within.

God loves you more than you will ever comprehend. He wants to spend time with you, showing you and telling you. In your quiet time with Jesus today, bow down and worship the King on His birthday. Present Him with your three gifts: 1) time, 2) attentiveness, and 3) listening ears. It is better to give AND receive JESUS.

My three gifts to God and you today are three FREE Kindle books, 1) Manna for Today, 2) 7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice, and 3) 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak. Download your three FREE Kindle books today, in honor of Jesus Christ, my King.

Manna for Todayhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B019T6OWTU

7 Simple Steps to Hearing God’s Voice https://www.amazon.com/dp/B017XXKPYM

7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speakhttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M10Z420

 

In the love and service of Christ,

Sindy Nagel

Author/Speaker/Blogger

 

 

Patience is a Virtue

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14)

My child, your heart is in My hands. I hold you close to Me. I know your desires; your longings are pure and holy. I will give you all that you ask for, in due time. Wait for Me. Good things come to those who wait expectantly for the Lord. You have heard Me say, “Ask for anything in My name and you will receive it, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:24). When you ask in My name, you will receive what you ask for. In the waiting, let your heart overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is patience. Let your countenance be full of joy as you wait upon the Lord. You will receive what you ask for in My perfect timing.