Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 080 - Do You Love Jesus?
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #080 – Do You Love 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.
What do you feel when you think of love? Possibly intense feelings of affection or a great interest in someone (or something)? Love affects us emotionally, mentally, physically, financially, and spiritually. This is exactly what a relationship with Christ does; Jesus alters our life in every way. I find it fascinating to consider that the extent to which He changes me lies in my hands. For example: Am I clinging to Him? What good work am I allowing Him to cultivate? Am I clay in His capable hands, or am I an unyielding stone that must endure years of living water dripped and poured over me?
Culture tries to downplay the significance of relationship with God through Christ. This world places high hopes and expectations on experiences. Feelings and emotions have become the new cultural foundation. We easily share “our truths” and “ways we identify” and expect it to become instantly validated by everyone as fact. Even when the Bible says differently.
God’s word also proves that no one is an afterthought. Our Heavenly Father lovingly and intentionally planned each person, and knew the days of our life before any of us existed. Through His holy and sacred instruction to us, we can come to know and honor Him with devotion and love, patterned by a relationship with His son, Jesus.
The Bible often teaches and instructs us to live completely opposite of what the world teaches or indoctrinates. Instead of basing truth on experiences, opinions, or agendas, God desires that we establish hope, faith, and trust through scriptural living. God’s holy word presents a living storehouse of wisdom, principles, and revelation breathed directly from the Father of creation.
Through His word, God penetrates our core, confronts, challenges, convicts, and carries us as we release self and sin to our Savior.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Unblemished, authentic love was established by the Father and fulfilled by the Son. No other measure of love should exist or be accepted but what His word instructs. Yet, our selfish, foolish, ignorant lifestyles seek and receive imitation love through various forms, and in our emptiness, we wonder why we never experience fulfillment, purpose, or joy.
Because God desired and first sought us with purposed grace, we know He plays a very active role in our relationship with and understanding of Him.
John 6:44 says, “No one is able to come to Me unless the Father, the one having sent Me, draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day.”
John 6:65 says, “Then Jesus said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless the Father has granted it to him.”
Through the sacrificial love of Jesus, the Holy Spirit of the Living God exists within us! Without the work of the Holy Spirit in and through us, first initiating connection, then miraculously and gradually transforming us, we would never recognize the need for new life or spiritual renewal. Only God can reveal and pierce our spirit with His truth and prompt us to respond by faith to the mysteries of His truths.
Our relationship maturation with God heavily relies on whether we allow the Holy Spirit to truly penetrate the core of our being. I believe the difference is largely explained as experiential versus scriptural faith. Do we rely on the experiences and history of our life on earth or believe the truths found in God’s word? Do we dig into what the Spirit reveals when we know and follow Jesus? Do we ask God for, and receive His wisdom, understanding, and discernment?
Once we understand that God first pursued us, how will we respond? Do we continue living as usual, or do we allow the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit to shift our intentions, thoughts, actions, and beliefs? Do we pursue Him with relentless abandonment of self?
Luke 12:31 says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need.”
Such easy words to read and hope for. How hard that verse can be to believe in the course of daily life, schedules, and plans.
The words of Jesus speaking to Martha about her sister, Mary touch my heart and free my soul to yearn for more, to intentionally cultivate a deep desire for Jesus.
Luke 10:42 says, “But one thing is needed: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
There is nothing more important than abiding in the presence of Jesus.
Strive to be more engaged with Jesus than engaged for Him. Relationship with Jesus, constructed on the foundation of His love and sacrifice for us builds a devotion for Him that discerns and withstands what this world might call us to accomplish or believe and instead, awaits the calling He places within us.
Psalm 63:8 says, “My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me.”
When we allow our fleshly desires, plans, or failures to pull us away from the heart of Jesus, distracted by the shallowness of this world, we lose sight of the weighty destruction of sin and forget the joy of sweet fellowship with our Savior. God has created us for fellowship with Him. Never ignore the depth of the fruits of the Spirit God graciously deposits within us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Remember the promise of the Spirit of the Lord Himself is resting within us—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and strength, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord.
Such solemn, holy endowments should be examined with a heart set for Him and an attitude of reverence at the work He is completing within us because of His love for us. How will you respond? Will you love Jesus or be in love with Him?
Proverbs 16:20-21 says, “Whoever heeds instruction will find success, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant speech promotes instruction.”
As we use discernment from the Lord, we understand that we increase the depth of our relationship with Him when we intentionally love Him more than this world. We cling to Him because we discover He is the only rock that stands firm. We move Him into the center of our world and pursue Him with an eagerness that although imperfect, is genuine and consistent. We believe the solid truths, promises, and instructions of the Bible because we trust and adore the Source more than the deceitful wisdom of this world.
Once our hearts are soothed with the balm of His love despite the heartaches of this life, we understand that God has graciously and permanently lifted the veil once separating us from Him, and we never desire to leave His Holy and loving presence. After we discover that we have been the stumbling block keeping us from eternity with Him, we allow ourselves to begin preparing now to abide with Him in our eternal home.
We must build the structure of our life upon the foundation only God can provide. Do not base your construction of beliefs, attitudes, actions, or love on what this world offers or the experiences you have suffered or endured. God is enough. His strength and grace are more than sufficient and are tailor-made for your every need or desire. As we deepen our relationship with Him, He shifts desires to truly satisfy our heart and fulfill wishes we often never even knew we had. At the same time, God also shifts our aspirations into alignment with His in beautiful and miraculous ways. Develop the courage and stamina to live for Christ by delving into His word with a desire for truth and fulfillment, allowing your faith and trust to grow scripture by scripture and prayer by prayer as you learn of, speak to, and listen for the Lord.
The mindset of this world is in direct opposition to God because they are not in love with Him. As we seek to know, follow, and love Him completely, we recognize inconsistencies and lies that threaten society and entrap our culture. Through Jesus, we are able to escape the snares and live with grace and faith that guides us to deeper truth and fuels us with a holy desire to know and show Him to an empty world.
Father God, You are good. Your righteousness and faithfulness to us are unimaginable. No one can completely understand Your ways, yet You still surround us with Your beautiful and loving gifts. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but Your word stands forever. Help us develop a true desire for You and Your word. Allow us to recognize our need for You, then step aside to enable You to work mighty miracles within us that will honor and glorify You. We have come to know and believe the love that You have for us, for You are love; and Your word tells us that whoever abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Abide in us, Father, when we passionately, relentlessly pursue You because we not only love you, but are in love with You. In Your holy and precious name we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to this episode. I invite you to visit terrihitt.com to access additional podcast episodes housed in one convenient location, read blog posts, transcripts, and access additional resources designed to mature your walk with Jesus through an eternal perspective and encourage you to raise or influence children to choose Christ over culture as You rely on God to direct your steps because you are in love with Him.
I pray this podcast draws you nearer to the Lord and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.