It’s 2022 and God is still with us. He’s still good, and He’s still moving. Now is the best time to grow closer to Him. Whether this is something you usually try to do, you used to do, or you have never tried before, He is here for you and wants you to start seeking Him.
To help with this ambition, I have five things you can do this week to be intentional in your relationship with God and grow closer to Him. You can try one, a few, or all. Don’t feel like you must restrict yourself to just one week. If you feel inspired to continue longer, then keep going!
- See God in a stranger
One of my favorite things to do is to go to a store or restaurant and try to be the kindest person I can possibly be to everyone I meet. I love seeing people walk away so touched. My goal is not simply to pat myself on the back or feel good about myself.
When you are out and about, keep in mind the reality of the people you meet. Each one of them is created in the image of God and is totally and unconditionally loved by Him. Whether they are Christian or not, every human being is special in God’s eyes. When you view someone in this way and love them accordingly, you discover more of God.
- Find God in yourself
You can discover God more by loving yourself. Finding God in yourself showcases God’s presence in your soul. God is within you. Close your eyes, quiet your mind, and speak to God who is closer to you than the air you breathe.
- Give up one simple thing you enjoy as a sacrifice
In the Gospel, Jesus shows us the power of sacrifice. To sacrifice means to give something up for a greater good. You can give up a good thing in and of itself, however, you give it up anyway because you know that by doing so, something better will come from it.
For instance, Jesus gave up His life knowing that our salvation would come from it. We can offer up sacrifices in imitation of Jesus to help us to be more like Him, thus showing God we love Him even more than what we are sacrificing. This is a big part of the motivation for fasting, which Jesus says is needed on top of prayer at times in our Christian life.
Some examples of simple things to give up are sleeping without a pillow, eating salad without salad dressing, taking cold showers, giving up coffee or other foods you enjoy, or only eating bread and water.
- Read the Gospel of Mark
With 16 chapters, the Gospel of Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels. This makes it very concise and to the point while also still delivering the profound message and meaning found in the Life of Christ. By reading and meditating on the Gospel of Mark in one week, you can once deeply peer into what Christ has said and done to better discover the reality of Who He is and how you can imitate Him.
Follow the reading plan below to embark on the journey through the birth, teaching, miracles, sacrificial death, and Resurrection of Jesus in one week. There is a good bit of reading each day, but not too much. Make sure you leave some time to meditate and reflect on what you read to allow the reading to sink more firmly into your mind and soul.
Here is the reading plan:
Sunday: Chapters 1 and 2
Monday: Chapters 3, 4, and 5
Tuesday: Chapters 6 and 7
Wednesday: Chapters 8 and 9
Thursday: Chapters 10, 11, and 12
Friday: Chapters 13 and 14
Saturday: Chapters 15 and 16
- Journal each day about moments in the past when God delivered you or you felt close to Him
God has always been with you in your life. Sometimes we need to think about it, but if we do, we will discover that He has come through for us many times before. Unfortunately, humans can be forgetful and easily move on too quickly from those times when God has helped us.
Spend some time each day this week recalling those amazing moments when God has rescued you, helped you through a difficult time, kept you from getting seriously hurt, or helped you heal. There is a lot to journal about!
If these tips help you and you think they will benefit others, please share this blog with your friends! We would love to hear your thoughts on some other things you can do to grow closer to God this week. Do you have any ideas? Let us know by commenting below or sending us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.