Christian Living
Loving God with All Your Heart
Michael Youssef, Ph.D.
May 3, 2023

jgc 24


Read 1 John 4:16-18.

Intimacy is the connection of spirit to spirit, soul to soul, heart to heart. It's the connection people have when they love Jesus and each other. It's a beautiful, wonderful thing. Of course, true intimacy is rare these days. That's because intimacy requires trust, the kind of trust that allows a person to be his or her true self.

When the Biblical writers use the term heart, they are talking about the core of our being.

There is a friend who knows all about your motives—the pure motives and the mixed motives—and yet He loves you still. He wants you to be intimate with Him, to draw near to Him. In fact, He will never reject you. He will always forgive you when you confess. He will always welcome you with open arms when you return to Him. He always has your best interests at heart. Of course, I'm talking about Jesus. Though He offers us this kind of intimacy, many people have trouble giving their entire heart to Him.

In Scripture, the heart is the center of a person's personality. When the Biblical writers use the term heart, they are talking about the core of our being. For this reason, when we invite someone to receive Jesus into their heart, we're really saying, "Let Him dwell at the very center of your life. Let Him dwell at the very center of your being. Let Him be the focus of your life."

When my son Jonathan was about nine years old, my study was in the basement. Not many people would come down unless they needed something because they didn't want to disturb my work. But Jonathan would come in and just sit in my study. I would be reading, writing, studying, and praying, and he would just quietly sit there.

"What do you need?" I would ask. "Nothing," he would say. "Anything I can do for you?" I would ask again later, checking in. "Nope," he would answer.

Finally, it dawned in my thick head that this child was simply content to sit quietly in his father's presence. And that, my friend, taught me a huge lesson about intimacy with my heavenly Father. It taught me to be content to sit quietly in His presence.

If you take time and focus on the depth and the width and the breadth and the height of Jesus' love for you, He will consume you, and you will be strengthened. You will experience more peace and joy than you ever thought possible—because you will love Him with all your heart.

Prayer: Lord, I want to draw near to You, to trust You with all aspects of my life. Grant me the discipline I need by the power of Your Spirit to sit quietly in Your presence, that I might know You more. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them" (1 John 4:16).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon series Growing in Your Love for Jesus: LISTEN NOW | WATCH NOW