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

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 59

Fruit of the Spirit

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

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

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

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

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

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

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

Prayer:

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

Two-way Conversation with God: 

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

 

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

 

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

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

Prayer:

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

Supporting Scripture:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

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

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 36

Self-Control

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

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

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

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

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

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

Prayer:

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

Two-way Conversation with God: 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Prayer:

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

Supporting Scripture:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Galatians 5:22-23, 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

Do you feel like winter wheat?

winter wheat

winter wheat

perennial wheat grass

perennial wheat grass

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Will, Your Way

Lord, the other morning, you woke me up to the Rush of Fools song Lay Me Down with the chorus playing over and over in my mind:

It will be my joy to say Your will, Your way. It will be my joy to say Your will, Your way. It will be my joy to say Your will, Your way. Always.

May these words forever be the song and attitude of my heart. I am here to please You alone, not myself and others. I want to do Your will, Your way. May I always be yielded to You and seek Your will in everything I do and say. Let those words marinate my soul and imprint on my mind. Lord, Your way is perfect. You are my shield and my refuge. You arm me with strength and make my way perfect. I am yours. Lead me where you want me to go and keep me in your perfect will, your perfect way. It will be my joy to say, “Your will, Your way!”

“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (2 Samuel 22:31-33)

My child, I am the Way. My way is perfect. When you are surrendered to me, I will make your way perfect too. Seek me and my will for everything you do. I have a plan for you. I know what is best for you. I will be your strength and your refuge. I will lead you in the way everlasting. Yield your heart, your mind, and your body to me. I am in control. I am your stronghold. I am your Rock. I will take care of you. PA191596

Go and Bear My Fruit

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

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

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