Hey! Okay quick disclaimer, just remember I am not Bible College Graduate, and I really don't have any previous training in this "live your life with Jesus" thing, other than my experience in itself.
I'm unsure of your story and background with faith, but I am sure of one thing - it doesn't matter how much or how little you know Jesus, he loves you and it is NEVER too late to get started living a life with your faith at the forefront.
Today I covered over on my IGTV this concept of taking steps to growing in your faith, so you can click this link here and go check out my profile. Follow along to stay up to date on some encouraging posts: My Instagram!
Okay so you ready to see some really easy opportunities for you to invite Jesus into your everyday life & take baby steps towards a growing faith? Sweet, lets rock and roll baby!
1.) Own a Bible.
I feel like almost every one has a Bible in there house. Whether it sits in a box or on a bookshelf, most homes have one. Which is cool but here's my advice - have your OWN Bible. One you love, understand, and want to carry around through the house or on your vacation.
GIRLS - I am a huge fan of the She Reads Truth brand. The Bible's are written in a format that is so easy to understand, and the authors even have fun little devotionals & stories about real life situations to help us better understand a Bible story. I bought mine at a local Hobby Lobby, but you can also check them out on Amazon. Click here!
GUYS - I have a recommendation for you too! I actually recently bought a more masculine aesthetically pleasing Jesus Bible and have been writing and highlighting verses in it so someday I can give it to my future husband. I really enjoy this Bible because it too is easy to understand, it's appealing to the eye, and has good strong stories on the sides to help you connect with God's word. Click here!
There are tons of cool Bibles out there for each gender, phase of life, and whatever else but at the end of the day a Bible is a Bible. It shares God's word and has the power to influence your faith by teaching. I just personally think when you enjoy your Bible and looking at it, you're more likely to indulge in it!
2.) Get a Devotional or Bible Study.
When I first decided I was going to refind my faith I purchased a coloring book & devotional by Jordan Lee Dooley called Wholehearted. Guys, sorry this is a little girly but I am sure I could hit up one of my dude friends and ask for a recommendation for you!
There are a bunch of Bible Study books and devotionals online. I recently purchased The Good Gospel, and it comes with videos to walk me through each weeks topic. It's a 6 week Bible study but I am really enjoying it. You can check out some of the study options at https://www.ifgathering.com/ifequip/
3.) Follow & Unfollow
A. ) You need an accountable community, and because of our homie Corona, nobody is getting that face to face community they want. So use your social media to follow accounts of people who speak life into you. The more you are exposed to people of faith, the more influenced you become. It's basic knowledge of social media, duh.
Girls - Sadie Robertson, Audrey Roloff, Lysa Terkuerst, Jordan Lee Dooley are some good starters!
Guys - Christian Huff, Jeremy Roloff, Bob Goff are encouraging individuals for you guys!
B.) In contrast to following and exposing yourself to people of faith for a virtual community, it's time you unfollow people too. You know who I am talking about too. The people you compare yourself too, the girl who is always posting half naked photos making you insecure if you're a girl, or drool if you're a guy because both of those mindsets are not Gods intentions for you. Unfollow the people who just tweet drama, or who post negativity on Facebook. And before you get your knickers in a twist - if they are bothered by it, then they should probably reevaluate the way they portray themselves online. You can't be apologetic for doing what is best for your spiritual growth. Heck, some of my family is blocked on my social because they're negative and I'll be the first to tell them LOL!
4.) Set a Time to Pray
Maybe it's before bed in a prayer journal, or when you wake up and sip your coffee. Maybe it's turning down the radio and talking to God on the way to work, or while you're in the shower. Whatever it is - talk to God.
Oh and ditch all the flavorful talk. "God, Ye know my exhaustions, thou ---" stop. Just speak to Him like He is a homie ya know? I do. I'm like "Okay God, I messed up and messed up bad but I am hurt and I am angry. I don't get it and it's annoying.", because the thing is He already knows the things you are thinking so why not just speak it into existence and get it off your chest? The sooner you lay it down for all that it truly is, the sooner you feel freedom.
5.) Be Unafraid.
I'm about to sound like a hypocrite because I still get afraid, but hey let's keep each other accountable then right?
But be unafraid of the people, the feedback, the world. God is the One True King. He created the heavens, and the earth. He made man, he made it all and He loves you. He loves you so much more than your Instagram followers, your third cousin Joe, and your snobby aunt. Okay? So if He loves you for all that you are, then you need to love Him back with all that you have. Not all that you can, all that you have. Your entire heart and soul.
Screw the haters who only knew you in your past. They're the ones that I mentioned about unfollowing BTW. Our God did not send His only son to die on a cross for you to be afraid of the opinions of others. If you want to be redeemed, and live a new and better life - because thats a guarantee by following Jesus - then you can be. Just be stronger then their opinions and hold your head high, and grace higher.
I hope this was encouraging. I pray at least one of these ideas help you take a baby step to living a life consumed with God and His people.
Trust me, I get the intimidation of choosing to change your life and I get how scary it can be because we all want to be liked and not judged. But at the end of the day the only person you are with everyday 24/7 is you. So love yourself, and love yourself well & if a life with Jesus at the center is what you crave, then a life with Jesus is what you deserve. Be strong and persistent! I am here for you, and I will always be open-armed to befriending a Jesus lovin' weirdo like myself :)