Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 053 Lifeline of Christ
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #053 –Lifeline of Christ
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to grow in Jesus together. I am blessed to be back with you to discuss more ways to live with eternal perspective.
I wish you each a joyous new year! I don’t think I’ve said that on the podcast yet.
It’s probably not a surprise to hear that I’m not a big “turn the calendar and get a fresh start with a brand new year” kind of person. While it’s always very fun to celebrate New Years Eve with my family by playing games together and eating great snacks, that’s as far as we go. But it is so much fun to be together on New Year’s Eve and I honestly never want it to end. But as I have already raised a set of children to adulthood, I know it does. Parents, savor every moment you can.
While we adore time spent together and appreciate moments because none of us know how long we are here or how many new years we will have the privilege to enjoy with each other, our family doesn’t recognize new year “superstitions” or heavy cultural influences, but I think it is super fun to hear the different ways other cultures celebrate.
Let me share a few of the different ways various countries experience ringing in the new year. Some are humorous, some superstitious, but all are interesting.
Did you know that in Spain a person will select twelve grapes and as the clock begins to strike midnight, you are to eat one grape at every chime of the clock, up to twelve o’clock? Each grape is supposed to symbolize one month of good luck.
In Denmark people will throw old plates and glasses against the doors of their family and friends. Why? Because this act is supposed to banish evil spirits. They also stand on chairs and jump off of them together at midnight to signify leaping into January with the hope of good luck.
Have you heard that in Brazil people supposedly wear special underwear on New Year’s Eve? The most popular colors are supposedly red, which is thought to bring love to the new year, and yellow, which is thought to bring money. Hmm. Which would you prefer?
In Colombia people will place three potatoes under their beds on New Year’s Eve. One potato is unpeeled, one peeled, and one half-peeled. At midnight, people will reach beneath the bed and pull out one potato – the first one they touch. They believe that if you retrieve a peeled potato, you will suffer a year of financial problems. If you grab an unpeeled potato, you will receive abundance, and a half-peeled potato means a year containing a mixture of both.
In the Philippines, people serve round fruits – twelve in all. The round shape is supposed to symbolize coins – meaning prosperity and wealth for each month of the new year.
These are just a few of the interesting ways other cultures ring in the new year. I wonder which you found most interesting. I find Colombia and the potatoes humorous; can you imagine forgetting those potatoes and fighting the smell of rotten potato later?!
Although each country has unique ways to celebrate at midnight, people around the world have one thing in common when celebrating the new year.
It doesn’t matter where you live. Many people around the world make changes when the new year arrives. Unfortunately, by February, most resolutions have been broken or forgotten. Thankfully, when we build our hope around Jesus, we can enjoy hearing the various ways people celebrate, but we don’t rely on superstitious traditions to carry us into the new year or through life.
I’ve never been interested in making resolutions to begin a new year, but I am always alert for lifestyle habit changes I need to make. However, I recognize, as I hope you do, that when I see the need to shift my ways, I do not wait until the new year. I want to begin when I realize the need for adjustment. Especially when it comes to my relationship with God.
In reality, our walk with Him should be maturing every single day. Some days we may fall back and not do a single thing we wanted to do with God, but our reservoir should be so full from previous time with Him that we remain strong and growing no matter what circumstances swirl around us.
Even when we are sick or going through an extremely taxing time, our goal is to still be able to be doing something daily to grow our walk with God through Jesus. What if we are sick and cannot even hold our head up to read His word? We can still converse with Him and listen for His response. We can be sustained by the words we hold in our minds and heart. If we have not invested time with Him, it will set us back and be noticed quickly, but if we usually spend our days wisely growing through Jesus, allowing Him to carry, stretch, and grow us, we will continue to rest and mature in Him through other ways during that time.
When we know God intimately through Jesus, we will see events and circumstances through His eyes and mindset. We purposely look for eternal value in each day. Our words, actions, and attitudes should continue to reflect and seek Him. We understand that there is value in problems and set-backs because we allow them to thrust us into His arms instead of whining and complaining or pulling away from Him. Circumstances and pains are valued in the life of a believer, because we want to be able to stand the tests of this world and still be standing strong in Him. In order to utilize that mindset, we must exercise it daily.
1 Peter 5:6-11 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To Him be the power for ever and ever.”
To live this way, we must desire Him above all else.
We must be committed to maturing our walk with the Lord to have the ability to put Him first. A decision must be made to cleave to Him through all things.
Luke 12:31 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.”
Isaiah 26:8-9 says, “Lord, we show our trust in You by obeying Your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify Your name. In the night I search for You; in the morning I earnestly seek You.”
Both of these verses show us facets of dedication to God. Seek Him, lift Him above all else, obey Him, keep His commands (not just to follow laws, but because we want to love and honor Him), seek His kingdom and righteousness, and strive to glorify Him.
When we know and trust God, we do not have to follow superstitions or seek ungodly “worldly” counsel. We can go straight to “the Source” through Jesus. Courage and freedom are found through Jesus Christ alone.
So often we want to know and love God, but we allow life circumstances or something from our past to trip us up. We wonder how to find a deeper walk with God and don’t know how to reach Him through a true and deepening walk.
It is my desire to lead you to Him. I know the changes He has made in my own life. I know His word and promises are true.
Jesus is our lifeline.
When you think of the definition of the word, lifeline, what comes to mind? Several explanations for the word include the following: a line or rope for saving a life. It is also any of various lines running above the decks of a ship or boat to give sailors something to grasp when there is danger of falling or being washed away. How often are we in danger of falling or being washed away in this life? A lifeline is also defined as assistance at a critical time. Life is full of dire or pivotal times. It is essential that we hold fast to Christ at each step of our walk and maturation with Him.
It is my prayer that each person listening to this podcast will stop and make the time to do three things today.
I don’t care how close you feel you are to the Lord already. We will never be close enough.
Each day is meant to carry the purpose of relying on and growing more deeply with Him and shining Him to others.
When we are His, we must realize the importance of following Him above all else in this world. Romans 11:36 says, “For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever!”
How many people live like that? We have to purpose our life for His if we are to begin living the way God truly calls for us to do.
Please stop today to ponder and complete five acts that will prepare or enable you to grasp Jesus as your continuous lifeline.
1. Reflect on your walk with Jesus.
Reflect on your spiritual walk. Spend time in prayer – speaking to and listening for God. Ask Him to expose sin and to guide you on what to change in your life. Reflect on His word. Even when we may fall short by not reading God’s word daily, our desire and plan should be to do it. Why? Because if we plan to read God’s word daily, we will actually do so more times than not. When we plan to read the Bible daily, it will become habit. When something becomes a habit, we will do it almost daily. Life doesn’t feel the same when we miss it. We crave the routine and, most importantly, our life shows the difference God makes when we truly know and follow Him.
2. Repent to God.
2 Corinthians 7:10 says, “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”
Boldly asking God what He desires us to change leads to profound spiritual growth when we listen and obey Him. God loves prayers that follow His will for us. Until we each begin or continue to change our relationship with God and truly follow Him with love, honor, trust, and obedience, this world will not change. Our children and families will continue to slide more and more into what this ungodly world teaches and what our twisted culture teaches.
3. Renew your commitment to the Lord.
Each moment with the Lord is new. We don’t have to wait for the next day. We can come before Him at any time! We should be cognizant of our walk with Him at all times. Why? Because when we truly care about someone, we think about them. We honor them and want to please them. Once we understand our relationship with Jesus, and our place in it, we understand that this world is broken and so far from what God wants for our life.
What bothers you? What has God put on your heart to allow Him to change through you? As each of us are created for a purpose, part of the joy of being a follower of Jesus is realizing what He desires from and for us. Our relationship with Him is meant to make a bright difference in this dark world. First, we must allow God to shift our life, attitude, and beliefs. Next, our family must not remain the same. In fact, they will not remain untouched when they see the difference Christ makes in us.
4. React to God.
2 Corinthians 6:14-18 says, “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said:
“I will live in them
and walk among them.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
Therefore, come out from among unbelievers,
and separate yourselves from them, says the Lord.
Don’t touch their filthy things,
and I will welcome you.
And I will be your Father,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”
It is said that when oxen of different sizes are yoked together, they will move in circles. Just like a relationship with believers and non-believers, they are “unequally yoked.” Any type of unequally yoked partnership will not prosper.
I believe this is such an important point to consider and remember. I have actually seen this proven during my life. God’s word is always established to be genuine.
Here is where it gets tricky in our culture, however, and I think it is very important to mention.
The world we live in is looking to take offense at absolutely everything. God should be our guide and lifeline. We must be strong enough in and through Him that we can withstand the pressures of this world because He is our shield. We do not have to believe what our culture, entertainment, fashion and others tell us. When we are firm in Him, we take everything back to the word of God for authentication. I want to be captive to the word of God and the life of Jesus and live the way they desire.
We should study, know, recognize, and follow God’s word, not others in the world, no matter who they are. There are many false prophets and teachers, and I urge you to take anything you hear, even my words, and hold it against what God’s word teaches. Do not allow yourself to be misled. Don’t break that lifeline to Jesus and don’t let it get tangled by confusion or corrupted beliefs.
I do believe that God wants us to follow and shine Him in this world. In order to do that well, we must study the life of Jesus and allow Him to be our mentor and guide, as well as allow Him to direct us through the Holy Spirit.
Many Christians are perceived as being judgmental and of living with a holier than thou attitude. This is not what God desires. We are to be a sweet fragrance that attracts, not repels others to Him. We are imperfect people trying to follow a perfect God. We will make mistakes, but do not let that be an excuse! As we lean on the Lord, holding firmly to our lifeline, and truly take moments captive for eternity, we will see how vitally important it is that we allow Him to work within us.
This world does not need us to preach to them what they should do. They need to see us living a humble life filled with the spirit of Jesus. When they see our attitude, actions, and mindset, and it remains consistent, not attacking others, but setting an example that is different, He will be noticed. Of course, I know that in the world we live in, there is so much to address, but as we let the Lord guide us, He will show us what actions to take.
I try to live my life in ways that Jesus would approve of, and each day when I fall short in some way, I take it to Him and allow Him to change and guide me. As I grow in the Lord, I want my thoughts to match His. Jesus offers the only life-changing and saving words this world needs.
Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 speak to the point I am attempting to make. He says, “We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”
People need to see God’s truths in us, not hear us start reciting how they should live. I pray I will live in such a way that I am loving and kind to all. It is God’s job to judge. I can share the gospel and tell how profoundly Jesus has changed my life, I can raise my children to know Him and allow them to choose to love and follow Him because they have not only heard the gospel, but they have seen it in my attitude and actions.
What you do is not my business. If you do not believe the same as I do, I am not obligated to try to force your mind or point out flaws. I have enough of my own and each one of us sins every single day. God gives each of us a choice, but we should have the freedom to express what has happened in our life and what Jesus has done for us. I want you to see Him so strongly in me that you will choose Him for yourself and God will change what needs to be corrected in you, as He does in me.
I do believe this world is broken in many ways. We have strayed so far from where God wants us to be. I do believe our nation is in for troubled times as we move farther and farther from where God’s word tells us to be or from the example Jesus set for us. Our children and grandchildren will suffer greatly because we have drifted so far.
Now is the time to react with a heart change as we allow the Holy Spirit to alter us with light and truth. We must prepare ourselves for battles, including physical, mental, verbal, and spiritual, by living with values and virtues of Christ and arming ourselves with power from the Lord and truth from His word.
5. Rest in God.
As we grow in spiritual maturity, trust, and love for God, we are better able to simply rest in Him. Instead of living with constant worry over the state of the nation, our finances, our health, our children, or innumerable potential problems, we humbly fall to our knees and beg the only One who can actually change our situation. We intentionally live in ways that are pleasing to Him and honor the commands He gives us, as only God knows what will truly fulfill us. The closer we move to Him, we become bound to Him as our lifeline, and our heart and mindset reflect the desires and motivations God requires.
Ephesians 3:16-19 says, “I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:38-39, “Whoever does not take up their cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for My sake will find it.”
So. Stop. Make time today to reflect, repent, renew, react, and rest.
Pay attention to what God says and shows to you. This should be a daily habit we desire, a natural response like breathing.
Just like love for those we know on earth, our love for the Lord should be so strong and such a part of us that we fight for it. If your first love, Jesus is not a strong attraction anymore, remember why you became a follower and nurture that light and love until it is a burning flame that will never be extinguished.
Dear Heavenly Father, You tell us in Your word that You are the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. You promise us that You never grow tired or weary and that we cannot fathom Your understanding. You give strength to the weary and You increase the power of the weak. You teach us that although youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, those who hope in You will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, and will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint. It is only through relying on You and clinging to the lifeline You offer us, Lord that we will experience this truth. Help us to look to You and never release our grip on the lifeline that connects us to You. We need You, Lord. Enable us to live like it more each day. In Your precious name we boldly and humbly pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this episode. The Live With Eternal Perspective podcast is currently linked to terrihitt.com, where you can access the episodes housed in one convenient location, as well as receive access to blog posts, transcripts, and additional resources designed to mature your walk with Christ and equip you to raise or influence children with love and purpose through Him.
I pray this podcast draws you nearer to Jesus and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up and find new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.