A new year equals a new me and maybe even a new you. I don’t know why people decide to make changes in their lives at the start of a new year rather than the day the idea of change first pops into their head; I guess it’s just what humans do! I plan on making changes in my life throughout 2017. The changes I’m more focused on aren’t physical but rather spiritual. You see, my relationship with God isn’t as strong as it should be and that’s my fault. God has always been there for me but I haven’t put forth enough effort to strengthen my relationship with Him. In 2017 I’m going to work on strengthening my relationship with God and I challenge you to do the same! Now, you may be thinking, “how do I do that?!?!” Well, if you continue reading you will find some suggestions that I have come up with.
How to develop a deeper relationship with God:
Pray often. Prayer is how we talk to God and you can’t have a strong relationship with someone without talking to them. Talk to God like He’s your best friend because He really is our best friend. He is always there for us no matter what happens; He will “never leave you, nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Talk to God multiple times every single day; pour out your heart to Him because God will hear your prayers and He will answer them. The answer may not be what you wanted but rather what is right for you. When you talk to God express gratitude, thank Him for everything He has done for you (i.e. sending His Son to die for our sins, mercy, a way to be saved, etc.). “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” Colossians 4:2. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” Philippians 4:6.
Study His word. Studying the Bible is very important. How can we know how God wants us to live if we don’t read what He inspired men to write? “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16. Spending time in God’s word is time spent with God. Spending more time with God produces a deeper relationship with Him. John 14:23 states, “Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’” God and Jesus will make Their home within us if we obey the commands of the Bible, His word. I don’t know about you, but I have a strong relationship with the people that I live with. Having God living in us is how we grow a deeper relationship with God.
We need to pray, study God’s word, and follow His commands to have a stronger relationship with our Savior. If you need someone to pray for you, someone to study with you, or someone to help you find how God wants you to live your life, please don’t hesitate to shoot me a message either on the questions and suggestions page or via Facebook. I pray that you accept the challenge of strengthening your relationship with God.
By Jennifer Odom
Dear energetic high school freshman,
You have either started your new adventure this week or you will be starting next week. The following is a list of things that I have learned in the past three years that I wish I knew or others knew upon starting high school. My prayer for you is to utilize these things so that you may glorify God in all that you do and have a fantastic high school career.
I absolutely love traveling to new places. This past weekend I had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Dallas, Texas for a tournament with some of my best friends. While I was there, I learned a lot of lessons that will help me grow as a Christian and I wanted to share some of them with y'all.
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A lighthouse shines its light in the midst of the darkness, searching for lost boats in the sea. It guides ships to the safety of the shore, a lighthouse is a helper to the lost. We, as Christians, need to be like a lighthouse shining God's light to those who have fallen away from Him and searching daily for those who are lost. We need to be guiding the lost souls of the world to the narrow path that will lead them to Heaven (Matthew 7:13,14). The question is how. How can we be like a lighthouse? How can we effectively win souls for Christ?
During the end of last October, I was at my grandparent’s house visiting. The newspaper came (as usual) and I was sitting next to my grandmother as she read it. When she got to the section that is considered the “faith” section, I saw an advertisement for a wedding dress. Weddings are usually held in a church building, so that’s nothing out of the blue. But, the wedding dress was not a “normal” dress. The dress was called “Barely There,” and let me tell you, it was barely there!! They even put a picture of a girl wearing the dress in the advertisement! There are so many things that are wrong with that wedding dress, but that’s another topic for another article. Things that are barely there are not the best, like barely there clothing or chocolate that is barely there. But what about your faith? Is it barely there?
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My name is Jennifer Odom and I've been a Christian since October 2011. I'm an 18-year-old sophomore at Freed-Hardeman University. I like reading, crocheting, and Bible journaling. My favorite verse is Philippians 1:21. I write for Tomorrow's Church, Today and am the editor for Beyond the Foam. I hope to speak at several ladies days, become a music teacher, get involved with mission work, and bring as many people as I can with me to heaven. Stepping in Light is affiliated with the church of Christ.