Like I Love Country Music

It doesn’t take more than a few minutes with me to figure out that I’m a country girl. I love the country and I love country music. It’s a part of who I am and I’m not ashamed of it, instead I embrace it.

Recently, Granger Smith (one of my favorite artists) came out with some new music and I was SOO EXCITED! His song, Country Things, quickly became one of my favorites and I wanted to tell everyone to go listen to it. “If you’re like me you’ll always be a sucker for country things,” and well…I’m a sucker for country things. But then this question popped into my head:

Do I love Jesus as much as I love country music?

Something else I’ve come to love lately is the Unashamed podcast with Phil Robertson and his two sons, Al and Jase (maybe you remember them from the hit TV show, Duck Dynasty). Now these guys LOVE THE COUNTRY! Seriously, there’s not an episode goes by where they don’t talk about hunting, fishing, or something else that’s very country; but you know what they love even more? Jesus. Their love for Jesus is so clear, so real, and so much a part of them, it’s inspiring- but also very convicting!

People say that you can always tell someone’s heart by what they talk about the most, because when you really love something, you can’t help but talk about it! When something is super important to you, you feel compelled to let everyone know. That’s just the way we as humans are wired. I’m sure you can think of plenty examples of this in your own life whether its a love for Fox Meadows ice cream, a new boyfriend, or a sports team. When you love something, you talk about it.

Well like I said, it’s pretty obvious that I love country, but is it just as obvious that I love Jesus? Do I feel COMPELLED to tell everyone of the joy I’ve found in Him? My love for Him should be way more important and way more obvious than anything else. He’s God! And He created me! Nothing can top that! But I’ve realized that my life doesn’t always reflect this.

Yes, the music I listen to is a part of me and has shaped me into who I am, but being a Christian has shaped me so much more. My relationship with the Lord is the most crucial part of my existence. It’s the reason I am who I am. It’s the reason I’m even alive. That relationship should be the most cherished and protected thing in my life. But do I truly love Him that much? And if not, why don’t I?

Do I even know Jesus well enough to love Him like that? Do you?

I’d argue that if we don’t love Him that much, it’s because we really don’t know Him that well. Try this with me: see if you can describe Jesus for 2 minutes without repeating yourself. Can you do it? Now try and describe someone you love, your best friend, or your favorite singer. Was that easier or harder? I bet it was way easier because it was for me too. I bet you don’t actually know Jesus as well as you thought you did.

Did you know that He could cook? (John 21:9) Did you know He knew a trade?(Mark 6:3) Did you know that He got angry? (Matt. 21:12–13) Did you know that He was tempted in the same ways that we are? (Matt. 4:1–11) Did you know that His brothers thought He was crazy? (Matt. 13:53–58) Did you know that He gave up all the riches and glory of heaven to come to this broken and dying world just for you? (Phil. 2:6–8) Did you know that He defeated death so that you could live? (2 Tim. 1:10, 1 Pet. 3:18) Do you really know Jesus?

I don’t. At least not nearly as well as I’d like to. But I do know that if I knew Him better, my life would make a lot more sense and I’d sin a whole lot less.

You see, lately I’ve been studying the way God designed us. When He created humanity, He put a lot of care into how He made us and He intended for us to live and function in a very specific way. Part of that design is for us to know Him and be more like Him. And He gave us Jesus to be our example! Jesus perfectly lived out God’s design for humanity, so it only makes sense for us to get to know Him so we can live it too!

I can’t even begin to list all the benefits of knowing and loving Jesus. There’s too many. But here’s a few that stand out to me at the moment:

· Every temptation, every sin we struggle with, would become a nonissue if we had enough of Jesus in our lives. Would He take away all of our struggles and pain? No, Paul (a man who REALLY loved Jesus) begged God three times to take away a hardship he described as a “thorn in his side,” but God left it there. Rather than changing the circumstance, God changed Paul’s perspective on it so that he could see how his own weakness was acting as a witness to God’s power. (2 Cor. 11:16–12:10) So yes, even with Jesus, we will struggle and be tempted, but we will have the power and perspective to get though it and come out on top.

· We would become better people. I don’t think this takes much explaining. Jesus tells us to love Him and love others. Loving others means a lot of things but to put it simply, it means being nice. There are so many people in this world who just aren’t nice people; they aren’t pleasant to be around and they don’t really make the world a better place. If we all truly loved Jesus and sought to love people the same, just imagine what the world would look like!

· Anxiety, stress, and fear would not rule our lives. Those three things are some of Satan’s chosen weapons meant to destroy us in this time of covid, politics, and all things crazy. But we don’t have to let him use them on us. Loving Jesus comes with trusting Him, letting Him carry our burdens, and looking at things from His eternal perspective. He is bigger and stronger than all our anxiety, stress, and fear put together and no matter how horrible, the troubles of this world will not last forever because this world is not our home. Loving Jesus is our defense against Satan’s chosen weapons.

Not to mention the kind of impact a true and obvious love for Jesus would have on the Kingdom. If all of us who claim to love Jesus would let that love be as obvious as our love for things like music, how many more people would come to know Christ? How much of a better place would this country be?

That’s why I want to love Jesus like I love country music…but I’m not there yet. There’s a lot of work to be done in my life before I reach that point. And work is what it will be. Just like any relationship takes work to grow, so will this one. It will take time in His Word, time in prayer, and time in fellowship with other believers.

To love Jesus like I love country music will take “a little bit of grit, a lot of grace, and a whole lot of God.” –Amber Smith

If you want to add a little more Jesus and a little more country into your life, here’s some links that you may enjoy!

Spotify link to the podcast Unashamed with Phil & Jase Robertson (or watch on YouTube)

Spotify link to Country Things by Granger Smith

YouTube link to the Arise with Amber videos which I also find very encouraging and inspiring!

Lately, God has been teaching me a lot of different things that I wanted to share with you, things that I thought could help and encourage you, and I realized they all fit around the theme of how we are designed. God created us to live and function in a very specific way, but more often than not, I haven’t been living that way and chances are, you haven’t been either. So from now until I don’t know when, I’m going to be digging into this, I’m going to study our Designer and the way He designed us. I don’t quite know what this will look like yet but I invite you to learn along with me! Each area of design that I learn about, I will be posting about so that you can learn as well. Let’s learn to live the way we were designed!



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