No two people’s relationship with Jesus looks the same—and that’s understandable. He loves each of us in a special, unique way, and He has a plan He wants to bring about in each of our lives. Read on to find ways to strengthen your connection with and grow closer to Him.
The first time I ever held a Bible was as a little girl sitting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. I opened the first pages and read until the story of Cain and Abel, the first murder in history. Oh, this is scary! thought my little grade school mind. Then as a teenager, I picked up the Bible again and decided to start from the end this time! So I began reading the book of Revelation. This is some really weird stuff! I thought, and once again, I closed the book, no more enlightened than I had been.
“If you abide in My word,” Jesus said, “you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”1 We all know that consistent time reading and meditating on God’s Word, along with prayer and hearing God’s still small voice, is critical to our spiritual health and fruitfulness. But sometimes we aren’t as consistent as we would like in doing those things. We skip our Bible reading, we hurry through prayer time, and we put off seeking God’s counsel on important matters.
I was born in 1955 into a family of blue-collar workers. At the time, Germany was in reconstruction mode after the devastation of WW2. “Work hard and grit your teeth” seemed to be my family’s motto. Life was tough, supplies sparse, and my parents both worked, leaving my sister and me to ourselves most afternoons after school. There wasn’t much talk of faith or prayer, or even time for addressing our emotional needs.
“What’s that?” my friend asked, pointing to a small brown stone on my coffee table. I had to smile, thinking how odd that plain little rock must look to her. Usually, people’s coffee tables showcase something valuable, or at least, beautiful. Instead, I had a plain old garden-variety rock.
Have you ever felt unfairly characterized by others? Perhaps you’ve been in a situation where someone interacts with you on the basis of what they think they “know” about you (meaning, what they’ve heard about you here and there), without knowing or understanding the real you—maybe without having ever met or spoken with you before.
How will reading God’s Word make your life better?
Food for spiritual strength and growth. Just as your body needs food to survive and grow strong, your spirit needs spiritual nourishment from God’s Word. This little analogy crops up repeatedly in both the Old and New Testaments:
A few years ago, it came to me that I had a superficial relationship with the Bible. I was a bit taken aback, since I had spent my entire life as a follower of the Bible. I knew many verses, stories, and interpretations like the back of my hand, but I realized there was a whole lot of stuff I had no idea about.
The victories, battles, triumphs, tests, problems, and obstacles you face are all part of life. Everyone faces problems, but I am the answer man, and for each problem, there is always a solution, or many solutions. For each struggle, there is always a lesson and a victory. For each test, there is always a testimony. As My followers turn to Me and lean on Me and call on Me, I will never fail to answer and provide.