As you begin 2014, you probably have a few things that you would like to focus on, whether or not you frame them as New Year’s Resolutions. For example, you may want to earn a graduate degree or save up a down payment for a house. However, the item at the top of your list should be building a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Try these simple strategies to spend more time getting to know Jesus (and letting him get to know you) more in 2014.
Read the Bible:
Whether it’s five minutes or an hour, you should spend time every day reading the Bible for you; not for classwork or preparing to teach a lesson at church or a small group. The time you spend will help you re-focus yourself on Jesus, and maybe even learn some new things about his life on Earth and how his death and resurrection impact you today. Consider using the YouVersion app to choose a Bible reading plan that you can use on your phone, e-reader, or tablet while you’re on the go.
Talk to Jesus:
This is more formally known as prayer, but it feels more interesting and personal when you frame it as just talking to Jesus. Whether you talk aloud or in your head, get in the habit of telling Jesus what you’re thinking about, both the good and the bad. This promotes a feeling of openness, and it also postures you to receive guidance and peace from your savior Jesus Christ.
Join a Small Group:
Although your relationship with Jesus Christ is a personal one that’s ultimately between you and him, others can support you in building the relationship. When you participate in a Bible study, book discussion group, prayer group, or other type of small group, you’re opening yourself up to direct input from others who have similar beliefs. Allow these people to get to know you so they can speak directly to the struggles or questions you have. Their words and prayers can have a significant impact on your relationship with Jesus this year.
Building a personal relationship with Jesus Christ may not feel as urgent as the other items on your to-do list this year. However, it is the one that will have the most significant impact in an eternal sense. Make a commitment now to invest in the relationship and see spiritual growth in your life this year.