2017 is finally here and it’s time to start making those resolutions! This year instead of making a goal to exercise and build muscle, I’m making the goal to exercise my faith and build my relationship with God. With that being said, I thought I would share a few ideas I’ve come up with that will help bring me (and you) closer to the Lord!
Read the entire Bible
Few Christians ever manage to read through the entire Bible, which is crazy considering how vital scripture is to the Christian walk. One of my main goals for 2017 is to read the Bible in its entirety.
Starting today I am following a plan where I read a small portion of the Old Testament, New Testament, a section of Psalms, and Proverbs each day (each daily reading is around 15 minutes long.) You can also read the Bible chronologically, which means you read in the order of when the events occurred.
I have a group on Facebook for both plans so that everyone who joins can encourage one another and hold each other accountable. There is also a place where you can discuss the readings! If you would like to join (there’s over 40 of us right now!) click here.
Start a faith journal
It’s always nice to look back on life and see how things have changed, it’s also very motivating to see how much you have improved. For this reason, I recommend documenting your faith. Grab a notebook, binder, or even make a Microsoft document where you keep your prayers (answered and unanswered), your Bible studies, areas in your life where you need to grow and your set goals, your ups and downs, etc.
Have praise and worship everyday
Nothing will bring you closer to God than getting down on your knees and humbling yourself before Him every single day. You don’t even have to say anything. Just make a playlist of your favorite worship music, put it on repeat, and just sit in His presence. Let your heart connect with Him and you will be refreshed, energized, and completely changed!
Join a small group
Christians are meant to fellowship with one another. Not only do we need the encouragement that comes with fellowship, but we need the accountability (help to stay on track.) Join a small group at your church or school, if there isn’t one already then start one (I promise there will be at least one person who wants to join you.)
Read devotionals and Christian living books
Devotionals are great for getting you in the Word everyday and also are great for breaking down scripture and make it easy to understand. There are also a ton of Christian living books out there, which admittedly can be a tad harder to read and stay actively involved with then say, Harry Potter. However, I recommend choosing a Christian living book about a topic that interests you and then reading one chapter a day. That’s right, read just one chapter a day, take notes, highlight key points, and read any scripture referenced. You’ll be surprised the number of books you can get through by reading this way, it also gives you the ability to process what you’re reading without being overwhelming.
Here’s a few Christian living books I recommend: Fervent by Priscilla Shirer, Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere, Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry by Lisa Bevere (great if you have questions about remaining sexually pure!), Unashamed by Lecrae, Undaunted by Christine Caine, and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.
Start a scripture writing plan
These are becoming extremely popular! A scripture writing plan is simply hand writing a scripture every single day in order to help memorize scripture. All you have to do is Google “scripture writing plan” and you will have tons of monthly plans to choose from.
Choose a “word”
This is something new I discovered just recently. In essence, you pray and ask God to reveal a word to you; something that you need to work on spiritually. Once He gives you a word, you spend your year studying it, reading scripture about it, and learning how to apply it to your life. For 2017 I feel that God is pressing the word “boldness” upon my heart. I have already begun finding references to it in scripture and I plan on starting my full study of it today!
How do you plan on growing closer to God this year?
Happy New Year!