Growing My Affection for Jesus

Following Christ can be very challenging. Most of the time, growing in your faith in that way is defensive and reactionary. More helpfully, the Christian can be proactive or offensive in how they grow in faith and holiness.

We must realize that our heart is the root of our behavior.

43 For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.
Luke 6:43–45

If  all of life is worship, then we are either worshiping Jesus or any number of empty alternatives (idols). 

So, when it comes to cultivating our own spiritual life, we should approach it with the goal to grow our affections for Jesus. Here are three things that help us do just that.

1. Reading and Studying

It blows my mind that the God who created quasars and DNA, love and humor has revealed himself to us in his story in the Bible. God’s Word is sharp in its depth and broad in its application (2 Tim. 3:16) because it is ultimately all about Jesus. When we read, here are some questions to ask ourselves:

·         What does the Scripture say? (Scriptural question)
·         What does it mean? (Theological question)
·         Why don’t I believe it? (Heart question)
·         How is Jesus the hero? (Christological question)
·         Why does this matter for my mission? (Missional question)

2. Be Willing to Share

Sometimes cultivating a horizontal relationship with someone in your life affects your vertical one with Christ. For example, I take time each week to meet with a couple of guys to do a couple of things:

·         Share my life by eating and/or drinking.
·         Share what God has been telling me to do.
·         Share where I have succeed and failed in obeying God.
·         Share how God has blessed me.
·         Share prayers with one another.

I do the same things about every 3-4 weeks with my mentor, I drive up to Leander/Cedar Park and we get together to eat, pray and encourage one another.

As I commit more and more to share my life with these guys, I found that I was leave feeling amazing and really connected to Jesus. 

I started to do it to love and serve these guys and to continually build my affection for them, but what I found as I did this was that every time I hung out with these guys I was overwhelmed with thankfulness to God for the gift that they are. This builds my affection for not only my community, but also for the good God who brought us together.

3. Celebrate What Jesus has Done in Our Church

Throughout the Old Testament, and especially the Psalms, God constantly calls his people to remember who he is, what he had redeemed them from, and what he had done for them.

So what does this look like practically? Here are some things to do:

·         Share evidences of God’s grace as a family on Sunday. So this means we cannot keep those amazing tidbits to ourselves.  We have to come on Sunday ready to share how God has touched us the previous week.
·         Share our vulnerability and how we are in need.  We must be humble enough to let people know we need them and Jesus!  We need to be willing to share the hard stuff and let the body of Christ work in the power of the Holy Spirit.
·         Share and remember that Jesus is our hero-this will lead to thankful worship!

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