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Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 66 – Seek Me First

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 66

Seek Me First

Lord, I am ashamed to say that so often I do not ‘Seek You First’. I run ahead making my own plans and do not consult You until later, after the plans have been made. Lord, this will be a good lesson for me. Teach me Your will, Lord. Show me Your heart. What do You want me to know? How do I keep You my highest priority—in the forefront of my mind at all times? Glory to Your holy name. You deserve all my heart—my first fruits, not the leftovers. Train me in holiness and righteousness. Let me live in to the person You had in mind when You formed me in the secret place. Transform me into the likeness of Jesus Christ, Your Son, who was obedient to You at all cost—even death on a cross. I want to be pleasing to You. I submit my heart to You now, Lord. Educate me in Your desires.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

My beloved child, here is My heart for you. I created you so I could show My love to you. I created you so you could show your love to Me. I created you so I could have an intimate relationship with you. You are My bride and I am your Bridegroom. Yes, that intimate.

Think of your marriage relationship. That is the type of relationship I desire with you. Remember your marriage vows, the promises you made to one another on that sacred wedding day: to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.

I want to have all of your heart, and hold you in My arms of love. Seek Me in good times and bad—for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. I love you and cherish you. I desire the same—love Me and cherish Me.

When you relate to your spouse in a healthy, godly way, you will put them in first place, second only to Me. You are willing to lay down your life, setting aside your desires, for the good of your spouse and your relationship. You put his or her wants and needs ahead of your own. You consult with your spouse before you make plans for yourself.

That is all I ask of you. Treat Me as your marriage partner. Seek Me first. Out of reverence and respect, consult with Me before making your plans. 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 on 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 (Jeremiah 29:11-13). Seek Me first; My plans are always in your best interest.

Also, think of a parent/child relationship. You want your child to seek you before he or she makes his or her plans. You want to give your permission, your blessing, your wisdom to your child. You may have better plans for them, than they are making for themselves. You are always looking out for the best interest of your child. You help them avoid traps and pitfalls. That is all I want for you too—I want the best for you. I want to help you avoid the negative consequences of plans made in haste without seeking Me first. Your plans may be good, but My plans are always the best. You are My child, and I love you. Will you seek Me first?

Because you don’t see Me, you forget about Me. I am as real as your spouse, your parent, your child. When you think of your spouse, think of Me also. When you think of your child, remember Me at the same time. When you think of your parent, reflect on Me also. When you consider those who are closest to you, include Me in that list. You may not see Me, but I am here—remember Me, and put Me first. I care for you, and I desire a close relationship with you.

Love Me with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37). Seek first My kingdom and My righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33). I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me find Me (Proverbs 8:17). Seek Me with all your heart; seek Me first. I love you, My child. Remember Me.

Prayer:

Father God, You are so right. You are so righteous. You have my best interests in mind. I will seek You first. I will find You. I will remember You. I desire a close, intimate relationship with You also. Lord, Holy Spirit, help me remember You. Remind me at all times that You are here with me—You never leave me or forget about me (Joshua 1:5). Speak to me now as I put You first for the next few moments with You, Lord. Let me hear clearly from You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father, I love You. Please share Your heart with me now. How do You feel about me? (Record all the thoughts He pours into your heart and mind.)

 

  • Jesus, You are the ultimate model of putting God first and seeking Him first in all things. Lord, teach me Your ways. How do I do this? (Write every idea and thought He gives you now.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, empower me to remember God at all times. Remind me of His presence and His truth. Help me remember to seek Him first in all things. What do I need to seek Him first about today? (Journal all your thoughts and impressions.)

 

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:

Jesus, my Bridegroom, help me to be a loving, devoted bride. I want to honor You with my love and respect, my attention and obedience, my commitment and steadfastness. Remind me to put You ahead of everything and everyone. Help me to remember You and seek You before I make any plans of any kind. I love You with all my heart, soul, and mind. Help me live out that kind of love and devotion to You. Help me be the kind of bride that pleases You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Deuteronomy 4:29, But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 5:7, “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

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

Joshua 1:5, “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you or forsake you.”

Joshua 24:15, But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

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

Psalm 105:3-4, Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always.

Proverbs 8:17, I love those who love Me, and those who seek Me find Me.

Isaiah 55:6, Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.

Jeremiah 29:11-13, “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 on 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.”

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 6:33, But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 22:36-39, 36“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 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.’”

Matthew 28:20, “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Mark 1:35, Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.

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.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

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

Are You Ready?

“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” (Revelation 19:7).

Planning a wedding ceremony and reception is a monumental task. The bride and groom spend months scheduling, organizing, and formulating all the details—the attendants, the pastor, the church, the reception venue, the DJ, the photographer, the wedding music, the colors, the decorations, the meal, and so on.

A year in advance, the bride shops for the wedding dress of her dreams. Next, it’s the veil, shoes, jewelry, and lingerie. Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.

As the big day draws near, the bride begins to prepare herself personally. She tans her body, so her skin tone makes that beautiful dress come alive. She cuts and colors or highlights her hair the week before so it’s at that perfect stage on the day of. She enjoys a manicure and pedicure the day before with her bridal party. A “run through” of the wedding ceremony is practiced that evening so the attendants know what’s expected of them, and the wedding affair will be executed perfectly the next day. The groom’s parents host a rehearsal dinner, where the bride and groom relay their gratitude for the presence and support of their close family and friends who participate in the wedding.

Finally, the special day arrives. The exciting event the bride and groom so carefully planned comes to a culmination. The bride wakes up early and starts her day with a warm, relaxing shower or a soak in the tub. Her nerves surge and her mind races going over all the details of the day. The entire day is devoted to preparing herself for her groom. A professional artist styles her hair and applies her makeup with great perfection. At her side, her attendants help her get ready, physically and emotionally. The bride’s mother holds her daughter’s dress as she steps into it. The groom’s mother assists her with her veil. The maid of honor fastens a necklace around the bride’s neck. At last, she is ready to join the bridegroom for the long-awaited wedding—a union of their hearts, minds, and bodies. The two shall become one.   *******

Are we as diligent about getting ourselves ready for our Bridegroom? Do we spend months and years preparing for our marriage to the Lamb? Will we be ready when that special day arrives?

When we accept that Jesus Christ died for our sins, believe that God raised Him from the dead, and confess Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we become a child of the King. He washes us whiter than snow and clothes us in His righteousness, so that we may be reconciled to God. Then, He sends His Holy Spirit, our Best Man, to make ready our spirits. He dwells in us and prepares us for the day we will meet our Bridegroom. This begins our sanctification process where the Spirit counsels us, encourages us, teaches us, and guides us to become more Christ-like.

It is such a blessing that Jesus receives us just as we are. We need no special hairstyles or manicures to prepare ourselves for Him. We don’t have to shed bad habits and sinful behavior before coming to Christ. By His amazing grace, Bride getting readyHe accepts us in whatever condition we approach Him. And then, He begins His transforming work in us, making us a new creation in Christ. The old fades away, the new life is here. Rejoice and be glad. Give Him all the glory!Sindy-Bride001

Becoming more like Jesus is the “getting ready” process. We need to get to know God better by reading His Word daily, allowing the Scriptures to permeate our hearts and minds. Tuning in to the voice of the Holy Spirit within us is vital in developing a mind and heart like Christ. We need to make time to walk in close relationship with Jesus by talking to Him, listening to Him, and obeying Him. Loving and serving others, by laying down our lives for our friends, will provide opportunities to share with them the goodness of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ. These efforts describe some of our preparation work for our special event. This life is our rehearsal to get us ready for the big day when we will meet our Bridegroom, become united in marriage, and live happily ever after in eternity with Him.

Are you ready for your Bridegroom? How will you prepare for your big day—the wedding of the Lamb?

My Help Comes from the Lord

'O Jerusalem' by Greg OlsenPsalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

O Jerusalem © Greg Olsen. Used with Permission. For more information visit, www.GregOlsen.com 

My precious one, I am here to protect you from harm. I watch over you day and night. I do not slumber nor sleep. My eyes are on you every moment of every day. Not only do I see your every move, but I am present with you always. I am your Maker and your Helper. Find your strength in me. Receive your help from me. Turn to me in all things, at all times. I will turn your sorrow into joy, your mourning into dancing, your trial into triumph. I am in control, and I want the best for you. Come to me; cast all your burdens upon me, and I will give you rest. I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I make all things new. Let me transform your life and set you on the path to the destiny I have planned for you. I will work all things together for your good and mine. Put your trust in me; I will not let you down. Put your hope in my unfailing love. You are very precious to me. I love you beyond your comprehension.