how to have a deeper relationship with jesus

10 Ways To Deepen Your Relationship With Jesus, Starting Today

These simple steps can help improve your faith life!

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As a college student, it can be tough to make time for all the important aspects of your life. Balancing school, family, a social life, work, and extracurriculars can be so demanding that finding time to get further involved in your faith can seem like an overwhelming burden. Having a solid faith foundation can be life-changing, however, and can help eliminate stress and give your life meaning.

Here are 10 simple ways to deepen your faith in your everyday life!

1. Find a church buddy

Going to church can easily become something we say we're going to do but when it actually comes down to it, staying home or sleeping in is an easier option. Whether it be a family member or friend, having someone to go to church with you and hold you accountable can be really motivating and more fun!

2. Read Scripture

Read Scripture is my favorite faith-related app. It's run by a non-profit called "The Bible Project" that makes videos about themes and chapters of the Bible in a way that's simple and easy to understand. They also have a variety of Bible reading plans and study guides for different chapters.

3. Read a Bible verse in the morning

Starting out your day with prayer can be really refreshing and help to get your morning started on the right foot. Websites like verseoftheday.com and others have a daily Bible verse you can read with a short reflection. Reading something that resonates with you early in the day makes you feel motivated and accomplished, and helps you grow closer to God.

4. Read a chapter of one of the Gospels every day

Sometimes knowing exactly who God is can be confusing, but luckily he revealed himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. All of the accounts of Jesus on Earth are in the four Gospels in the New Testament, so starting off by reading these can give you a good glimpse into who God is, and it is a solid place to start if you're intimidated by the Bible.

5. Incorporates your interests into your faith life

Faith can seem distant and uninteresting to some, but a key to developing a sold faith life is to use your interests and passions to deepen your motivation to learn more about God. Whether that means finding new Christian music on Spotify, reading interesting books about God or people involved in their faith, or something else, finding faith-related activities or interests that you enjoy can give your faith a new meaning in your life.

6. Let go of past guilt

In order to fully embrace developing a relationship with God, it's imperative to let go of the idea of guilt. For me personally, I never got involved with my faith for a while because every time I would mess up, forget to go to church or pray, or do something I knew I shouldn't, I would become discouraged and not feel worthy to have a relationship with Jesus. It was so encouraging to find out that it's quite the opposite! Jesus literally said, "I have come not to call the righteous but sinners" (Mark 2:17). Sinning does not define you, and slipping up sometimes is part of human nature and should never discourage you from diving deeper into your faith.

7. Talk to God every day in a way that feels right to you

Praying as often as you can is a great way to deepen your relationship with Jesus. A big misconception, however, is that this has to be through speaking or praying internally to God. I express myself more clearly through writing, for example, so when I pray I write to God on my laptop or phone. Listening to music, meditating, reading, drawing, or speaking to God are all great ways to pray.

8. Listen to God

Equally as important as praying to God is listening to God. Another misconception is that this means listening for God to speak literal words to you or send you an obvious sign, because that's not what happens 99% of the time. Listening to God is usually just noticing how God is present in your everyday life, whether that be through friends, in nature, in a meaningful movie you just watched, or anything else. The more you begin to look for God in the everyday, the more you'll feel his presence in your life.

9. Find a church you connect to

Attending a church service on Sunday helps fuel you up for the rest of the week, and gives you practical ways to incorporate faith in your everyday life. To deepen your faith, its important to find a church that resonates with you, no matter what denomination that may be. Church can vary so much depending on the type of service or Christian denomination, so trying out different churches is a good way to find out what's right for your faith.

10. Find role models for your faith life

Finding Christians who inspire you and who practice what they preach is a good way to make you feel inspired, and gives you something to look up to. This can be anything from a friend, a celebrity, or anyone else whose faith life inspires you. My grandma, Bethany Hamilton, Jess and Gabriel Conte, and my youth minister are just some people whose faith motivates me in my life.

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I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

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To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

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My Relationship With Religion Will Never Be Black And White

and that's okay!

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I was raised Christian let's get that out the way. Growing up in a small town I went to Awana (a children's church group Wednesday nights) and then once I was in middle school started youth group that night instead as well as a normal church on Sundays. If you would ask me from me being really young to probably around 15 I was all about church and building a relationship with God.

After leaving public school and growing my presence online and meeting so many people from all walks of life, I started questioning things.

Suddenly, I was immersed in this community with the best people who just loved everyone regardless of gender or sexuality or race and it was the place I was able to come to terms with something I had always repressed, my feelings towards girls.

I knew the moment I started talking to a girl named Laura that I had feelings for her I would normally have for a boy and because of the people I now had around me I just didn't suppress it. I identified online and eventually to family and friends as bisexual.

My questions started with wondering how my god this loving all knowing entity I had always known was un-accepting and promoted the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from the Christian faith. I knew that this community was full of the most loving and creative and beautiful people I have ever met and that was the start of me knowing my relationship with God would never be the same.

As I grew up and have become an activist for the things that mean a lot to me I have stopped attending church and have begun to see that I do not want any part in ANY religion that takes part in shunning anyone based on how they identify. I have been vocal about this to many people some more excepting then others but regardless I will never again take part in something that I myself am not 100% accepted within

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