Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 056 A Passionate Life for Jesus
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #056 – A Passionate Life for Jesus
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.
This week I was surprised to receive my first angry and vulgar message online. I knew this would happen at some point, and I had just lifted a prayer of gratitude to my Heavenly Father about this very subject the week before. I had thanked Him that His timing is always best. Since the Live With Eternal Perspective ministry is small right now, I have not suffered the hardships big platforms have with people who throw cruelty like confetti while they hide behind the internet wall. I knew that God would make me ready when the time arrived, and I believe the Holy Spirit led me to pray for what He knew was coming.
I lift up what God is building through Live With Eternal Perspective daily in prayer, and I am attempting to follow the plans God gives to me. Only my Heavenly Father knows what He has for me to share on the podcast and beyond. As I consistently post online about Jesus, more people will eventually see my words. They will learn my beliefs, and of course, not everyone will agree with them. More and more people may use the bravery of invisibility to throw insults and hate because they don’t know or live in the truth and freedom Jesus offers.
After reading curse words and accusations from this stranger about how I was brain-washing and ruining the lives of children by encouraging mothers to raise them to know Jesus, I stopped to praise God for this person. Why? Because God had exposed his pain to me and allowed me the opportunity to pray for him right then. I don't know his story, but God does. Our Heavenly Father knows every heartache and joy this person has ever had. He knows what emotions drive the cruel words and the reason he feels them. God knows whether or not this person will ever be saved by the sacrifice of Jesus. My prayer is that he will.
Luke 6:22 says, "Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man."
Yesterday this stranger unknowingly sent me a blessing. Because I am faithfully allowing truth, hope, and encouragement to flow from my heart and words, and I am attempting to obediently follow where I believe God is calling, this person saw my message and hated me for it. What I shared went against what many people in this world choose to believe. More people are speaking out against godly values and morals, while less speak the truths of and for Jesus.
How long will Christians keep silent?
God is calling me to allow Him to work through me even more. If you are a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, then He is calling you to more, too. If others use the freedom to speak against Jesus, we must exercise our right to speak for Him. Christians have been complacent; we've been lazy. We are losing our right to worship, freely express beliefs, and follow the Lord without fear of retaliation. Why is it allowable for non-believers to spew hate and lies, but they cannot tolerate believers having freedom to say or show what we desire? I am not angry at those who make the choice to reject Jesus. That decision is strictly between them and God. However, Christians deserve the same privilege to exercise our first amendment right. Freedom goes both ways.
It is time for each of us to deeply examine our heart.
What do we truly believe?
Who do we follow?
Would we rather chase Jesus or the ungodly culture we live in?
Unbelievers are watching us.
Although they do not act like it, they are waiting and watching to see how we handle complications, stress, and heartache.
They want to see whether their words and actions against us will stop us.
They wonder whether they have power over what we profess to be true.
They are looking to see whether our actions match our words.
They wonder whether Jesus really does make a difference.
What will they see?
If we do not stand for Jesus, we stand against Him.
Revelation 3:15-16 says, “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
Are you hot, cold, or lukewarm?
Have you obediently followed Christ with a passion?
Are you aware that the word "passion" doesn’t mean just a strong feeling or desire? The Latin meaning of "passion" is to suffer, bear, or endure.
Jesus suffered a passionate sacrifice for each of us.
Why aren’t each of us living with a passionate desire for pleasing Christ and becoming more like Him?
Why aren't most Christians living with a passion to obediently follow and share Him, despite the cost?
Joshua 24:14-15 says, "Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; cast aside the gods your fathers served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if it is unpleasing in your sight to serve the Lord, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”
Do you realize that criticism is acceptable?
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me." John 15:18-21
When people make accusations, spread lies, misunderstand us, spew hateful words at us, or attack us, we must remember that Jesus understands. He has already faced anything we can receive. Do we want to be attacked? Of course not! Yet, we know that the boldness we show for Christ will attract the cruel and reckless comments and actions of those against Jesus. What peace and encouragement that truth provides!
What we allow God to produce through us is for Him.
John 15:1-11 says, "I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!"
As we mature our walk with God through Jesus, we should never want to remain the same person from day to day. I urge you to view your life with eternal perspective.
What are your end goals?
What are your beliefs about eternity?
The way we schedule, prioritize, and live our life proves our perspective on eternity.
If you rest in assurance through Jesus, your goal should be to glorify and honor God more each day. You should expect to awaken a new person every morning because your faith and obedience has shifted your heart and mindset closer to His in every way. Ask God to release a passion inside you for Him. Seek Him in a deeper walk and relationship. He will shift your thoughts, words, and actions as you understand that everything we do can affect those around us for eternity. He is faithful to give new life, hope, and joy to those who desire Him, no matter the circumstances we endure, as we allow Him to direct and carry us. Don’t worry about how you will manage life. Just grow closer to Him. He will work out every detail as you trust in Him.
Romans 15:13 says, "I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."
Live a passionate, Spirit-led life!
Let us purpose to live by the passionate power of the Holy Spirit alive inside us!
Galatians 5:22-25 offers this promise and command, "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives."
What is the best way to ensure we are able to live with passion for Christ and follow the Spirit in every area of our life?
We must live with a mindset purposed for eternity.
Set specific goals for Christian Living so you intentionally seek to glorify God and imitate Jesus.
1. Expect to suffer for Him.
1 Thessalonians 1:6 says, “So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.”
Acts 5:41 says, “Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.”
Bad things happen daily in this fallen world. It doesn’t matter how much you love Jesus or how closely you try to follow and please Him. You will still have hardships and difficulties. Loved ones will die. People will let you down. I can list so many things that can happen. You know the list is endless. Yet, as followers of Christ, we have Him to carry us whether times are easy or hard. He makes life bearable. We know as followers, we will face hardships because we believe. Stand strong, but not in yourself. In Him.
As Isaiah 45:24a says, “The people will declare, “The LORD is the source of all my righteousness and strength.”
Matthew 11:29 says, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
2. Be grateful and joyful despite circumstances.
2 Corinthians 6:10 says, “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.”
When those trials, hardships, failures, and pain come, live in gratitude. Even though we suffer and grieve, we can still choose to praise Him because we know He is there to comfort us. He is there to carry us and we know each difficulty will bring us closer to Him and extend the roots of our faith in deeper and richer soil. Each time we release control, and look to Jesus, we realize the importance and truth of our faith.
3. Follow the Holy Spirit
James 1:1-4 says, “In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up, after He had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom He had chosen. He presented Himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. And while staying with them He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, He said, “you heard from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Seek heavenly wisdom that is only available from a holy and sovereign source. The Holy Spirit He sends to us is active and alive. 2 Corinthians 1:22 says, “ He has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.”
4. Seek God’s wisdom
James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”
Proverbs 3:13-17 says, “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”
Wisdom from the Lord is pure, loving, steady, genuine, and although it is extended to every believer, it is also personal to each one of us.
5. Carry the mindset of Christ
Ephesians 5:1 says, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.”
Pure peace comes from allowing God to handle all areas of our life. That is only possible through a relationship with God through Jesus. Only He can sooth us with a perfect peace that passes understanding and deposit joy in our spirit, despite circumstances swirling around us.
Psalm 119:165 says, “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.”
Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
6. Worship God
James 4:8 says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”
We must find the balance of living in the world while not being a part of it. This is not our final home. Eternal perspective allows us to appreciate what God has allowed us and strive to honor Him with our riches, even when they are meager. We simply cannot love this world and passionately follow culture and trends. If we value what this world tells us to honor and seek, we go against all that God has for us.
7. Live with passion for Christ
Philippians 4:7 says, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Struggles, bitterness, sorrow, disunity, and animosity exist when we search for happiness and wisdom from self or this world. In contrast, when we follow Jesus, we receive and treasure His wisdom, guidance, and joy. Yielding to His commands and mindset become a balm and encouragement, as well as our source of strength in life.
1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for He called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.”
Heavenly Father, we thank you for giving us every resource we need to stand before You with the choice and ability to live a pure life of passion for You. Lord, I pray that as I close this podcast today, and read Your biblical truths, that you will pierce my heart. Prick the heart of every listener, Lord. Carry us closer to You. Bring us to a clearer understanding of where we need to change and help us mold ourselves closer to Jesus and where You want us to be. In Your very precious name I pray. Amen.
As I close, please absorb the truth of the following scriptures and ponder how different we would be if we experienced the passion of living for Christ. How different our life, home, and world would be if we each purposely step into closer alignment with God.
Ephesians 4:13 says, “This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”
Ephesians 4:17-31 says, “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardness of their hearts. Having lost all sense of shame, they have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity, with a craving for more.
But this is not the way you came to know Christ. Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him—in keeping with the truth that is in Jesus—to put off your former way of life, your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be renewed in the spirit of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one another. “Be angry, yet do not sin.” Do not let the sun set upon your anger, and do not give the devil a foothold.
He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing good with his own hands, that he may have something to share with the one in need. Let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building up the one in need and bringing grace to those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and tenderhearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Matthew 7:24 says, “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
Passionately build your purpose, your life, and eternal focus on the holy, solid rock of Jesus Christ.
Thank you for listening to this episode. Please visit terrihitt.com to access podcast episodes housed in one convenient location, read blog posts, transcripts, and access additional resources designed to mature your walk with Christ and encourage you to raise or influence children to chase Jesus instead of this world.
Be sure to sign up for my email list to be notified when my next resource, “Scattering Seeds: Planting Character and Faith in Your Child” releases soon. This eBook is an excellent encouragement and support for mothers or grandmothers of young children.
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.