Heart

The soil of Your Heart – Worship

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Worship, praise

It is vitally important for ever Christian to grow spiritually. We ought to seek growth in our relationship with God. We do this by preparing the soil of our hearts. That is the theme of this post – prepare the soil of your heart. Today, we look at Worship and how worship helps prepare the soil of your heart.

Scripture: “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness”. Psalm 29:2

Worship

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One of the most powerful ways to prepare the soil of your heart is through worship. Authentic worship is a powerful exchange of God pouring his love out on us and us giving him our hearts in return. In worshiping through music, our hearts naturally become soft and receptive to God’s love as we encounter his goodness and engage in adoration of the only One worthy of our affections.

God created music with an innate ability to affect us at our core. Music has the power to fill us with peace, joy, and anger; it can cause tears to well up in our eyes and even make the most mundane events beautiful. Martin Luther said, “Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” By consistently engaging in worship through beautiful music, we provide a framework for the Holy Spirit both to prepare the soil of our hearts and to fill us with the seeds of God’s presence and perfect character. 

What the Bible says about worship

The Bible is brimming with admonishment to worship through song. Paul tells us in Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Hebrews 12:28 says, “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe.” Scripture is so clear about the importance of worship because God longs for us to be a people marked by consistent reminders of his unconditional love. He longs for us to live in response to his presence and plans rather than struggling through life by placing our trust in the world over him. 

God’s heart

God longs to reveal his heart to you in worship. He longs to show up and meet you in your room, car, workplace, and house of worship. You were created to encounter God and engage in the cyclical act of giving and receiving love throughout your day. When you worship here on earth, you posture your heart towards eternity. Making the willful choice to give your affections to the One you will spend eternity with, you also discover your purpose for which you were made: to live in unhindered communion with your heavenly Father.

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If you feel like the soil of your heart is hard, your life isn’t marked by the fruit of the Spirit or you can’t escape from a temptation—simply take some time and encounter God in worship. God’s presence is wholly available to you today. His love and grace are steadfast towards you. May your time in guided prayer be marked by the nearness and power of the Holy Spirit as you encounter the unconditional love of God. 

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1. Reflect on the faithful and loving character of your heavenly Father. 

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28

“This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” Psalm 18:30

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

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2. Now respond to God’s character with thankfulness. 

Take Scripture and thank God for who He is. Look at your life and thank God for any good gifts he’s given you. Allow his goodness to stir up thankfulness within you. 

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” Psalm 107:1

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3. What changed in your heart as you engaged in thanksgiving? 

If you journal – write about the power of thankfulness. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you see how God is at work in your life today and offer thanksgiving in response. 

If you start to feel your heart begin to harden because of something that happens today, simply reflect on the goodness of God and give thanks. Negativity and sin have an incredibly harmful effect on our hearts. Decide to put away any form of sloth, slander, impurity and anything negative at all, and instead focus on the goodness of what God is doing. Choose to love today and align your thoughts and emotions with faith and trust in who God is. To walk in relationship with God is to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit at all times. If you get off track for a bit, simply ask the Spirit to lead you back to the perspective and posture of heart He desires for you! God’s grace is abounding and powerful. He longs to walk in relationship with you all day today.

May your day be filled with peace, joy and a passionate pursuit of bringing his kingdom to earth all around you.

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Prepare the soil of Your Heart

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It is vitally important for ever Christian to grow spiritually. We ought to seek growth in our relationship with God. We do this by preparing the soil of our hearts. That is the theme of this post – prepare the soil of your heart.

God longs for us to prepare our hearts soil, our spiritual soil, so we are receptive to His Word and His plan for our lives so we may bear good fruit.

May your heart become receptive and responsive to the presence, will and love of God as you self-assess your heart and – are open to change – through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Spiritual Soil

22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.Matthew 13:22-23

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The principle of good and bad soil is something Jesus’s followers would, and should, understood well. The difference between having food or going without, having money or not is achieved by planting in good or bad soil. For their agricultural culture it was a matter of survival.

Jesus’s parable might not have as direct a correlation to us, because we aren’t all agriculturally inclined- its principle remains as important. We all have spiritual soil. Through our wellness, mindfulness and condition of our heart we can receive the seed of God’s word which will in turn yield life-giving fruit. Or, we can allow the soil of our hearts to make us unreceptive to the powerful work God in our lives.

Free Will – God’s Will

It’s incredibly important for us to understand that God will never force his desires on us. He will wait patiently—hoping that open our hearts fully to him. He gently shows us his love, whispers his perfect plans to us, and waits for us to trust Him and surrender. With the grace of God, we can prepare the soil of our hearts, living receptively and surrendered to his loving kindness and perfect will. If we will cultivate a willing heart, God will mold and shape us into children free from the cares of the world and empowered to live Christ-like, fruitful lives.

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Take the time to assess your own life. What parts of your heart are hardened to God? Where do you feel unreceptive to his goodness? Where do you need to say yes to God today. God is calling you to a lifestyle of trust and surrender that he might lead you to green pastures and still waters. There is abundant life in store as you cultivate good soil.

May the Holy Spirit help you look honestly at the posture of your heart today as you enter into a time of guided prayer. 

How to Prepare your soil

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1. Take some time to receive God’s presence. 

Open your heart to feel the peace and rest that comes from encountering him.

“My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

2. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you ways in which you aren’t fully open to God. 

How are you not fully saying yes to God? In what ways are you living your life apart from the leadership and presence of God? Where don’t you fully trust him? Where aren’t you bearing the fruit of the Spirit? 

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

3. Confess those things to God. 

Receive his love and forgiveness as you repent and turn away from hardness of heart. Spend time resting in God’s presence and experiencing the new found peace that comes from having your heart more surrendered and receptive to God.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Preparing our hearts into good soil is important to do daily. The more often you do it, the more you’ll realise the need to have good soil. Having our hearts fully open to God takes the mundane and makes it wonderful. It takes sunsets, conversations, prayers, work, and church and fills them with life, value, beauty, and joy.

Take what you’ve learned today and continue to put it into practice.

Choose to live a life positioned to receive all that God has in store for you. May your day be marked by the fruit of the Spirit.

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Introduction

Ever wonder “Who are you?” More importantly, have you wondered what it means to have an identity as a Christ follower? Ephesians 1 and 2 can revolutionise our understanding of who we are in Christ. Why? Because it is the gospel! Spend this journey with me through Ephesians and other Scriptures to help you develop the habit of taking these truths from these chapters to heart and become who you have been called to be—bring the gospel to life! I challenge you to take every thought captive and test and see if you are thinking, feeling, and living in light of these truths!

The first three chapters of Ephesians are doctrinal (theory), while the last three are practical. Chapter 1 establishes Paul’s view on the value of our salvation in Christ, and the blessings we obtain from it. He does this in the form of praise, directed at God, and describing in detail what it means to have an inheritance in heaven. Later chapters will build on these ideas as Paul connects who we are in Christ to how we should live as Christians.

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Who you are in Christ

So, I guess you thought I would just drop a list and be done with this topic? This topic is far too deep and real to just drop a list and be done with it.

Don’t be discouraged. Don’t procrastinate. Remember the power you have been given in Christ and replace any untruths with these truths from Ephesians and be radically transformed by the renewing of your mind. Look forward to living the rest of your days in the truths of who you are in Christ.

He died that we might live.

Be who Christ has made you to be

Enjoy His life and His power and His righteousness and walk forward by faith in every spiritual blessing you have been given in Christ and bring glory to His name! Throughout the upcoming days, prayerfully meditate upon who you are and give thanks to the Lord. Imagine the lives of those around you who will be impacted as you fully receive every spiritual blessing you have been given.

Thank you, Lord, for all we have been given in Christ!

Praise Him!

You are Chosen

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love. Ephesians 1:4

God chose every person who believe in Him before He created anything. These words have tremendous implications regarding the wisdom and plan of God. His wisdom and power are so great that He knew the present, even from the beginning. Likewise, He knew the end before the start. God exists outside of time, and created time. He is the only being able to know all things because He created all things.

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You are Predestined

“he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will–“ Ephesians 1:5.

Paul continues to discuss the theme of predestination, connecting it to the themes of love and adoption. Because of His love, God chose in advance for us to become His children. Jesus came at just the right time for Paul’s readers to hear the gospel message and believe. When they did, they became members in God’s family. Though they were not Jews, they were adopted as sons through Jesus. (Romans 8:15, 23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5).

Paul also teaches why God chose believers to be His children. It was “according to the purpose of his will.” In an act of love and as part of His divine plan, God designed a way for all men and women, even those not part of the Jewish people.

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