Five Activities You Can Do Today
I wondered the mall that day trying to kill time. I had the day off and meandered through the stores, bored. I stopped in front of the Christian bookstore, thinking it had been almost three years since I had even thought about God.
My life in college had been filled with papers, partying, and friends. In my sophomore and junior year, I was a member of the Baptist Student Union, but stopped going because of the pressures of my senior year. Now a journalist, working long hours, church and God seemed to be the farthest thing from my mind until that day. At that point, I’d fallen out of the practice of going to church. I didn’t pray or read my Bible. I lived in a new community and did not know many people. My husband then was also not into church. He stayed at home sick and tired most days.
Something drew me into that store, however. I picked up a few of the devotional books, and my fingers seemed to tingle with a longing. My heart ached, and I heard the song, “Amazing Grace” in my mind. How had I missed more than two years of church? How had I gone so long without even thinking about Christ? Two long years ….
I heard a whisper in my mind, “I’m still here. I still love you.”
How was I going to find my way back to Him? Panic filled my heart.
“I am still here. I love you,” the still, quiet voice reassured me.
I made my way back to Him slowly.
I started by realizing that I had lost my first love. I had turned away from Him. In the middle of a Christian bookstore, I sat on the floor in the stacks. No one was around.
“God, I am sorry,” I cried. “I miss you so much.”
I repented. My first step made, I felt relief and a rush of wind in my soul.
Next, I scooped up another Bible and bought a devotional. I can’t even remember which one I bought now.
Then, on Sunday that week, I sought out a church of God: a holy sanctuary in which to offer up my worship to Jesus for all the His wondrous deeds in my life, His unfailing love, and His grace. I determined I would not miss a service. I joined a lady’s Sunday School class and a special class on Seeking Jesus.
I may have had periods of not attending for a week or two, but since the early-1990s, I haven’t been out of church. My church fellowship is so important because my life has hit rocky shores and snags: suffering abuse and then divorce; hospitalizations; sickness; and disability. Through all my troubles, Jesus holds me and comforts me, and my local church friends offer love, help, and continuous fellowship.
Some days I feel closer to Him than others. One thing is constant; I feel a daily desire to draw close to Him. I want to snuggle up to Him. I want to feel His love; His power; His grace; His beauty. I know I share this state of mind with many of you. How do I draw close to Him? How do I know I am walking with Him and doing my best for Him?
I know that I cannot go on feelings; even though it is ironic, my feelings of longing were the catalyst He used to draw me back to Him more than 20 years ago.
The simplest ways to draw near to Jesus and to stay in His bosom are to do what we know we need to do as Christians: pray, read, worship and fellowship, and minister to others.
- Pray: We need to pray daily, constantly. Talk to Him as we move throughout our days. Pray to Him. Let Him know how much He means to us. It is simple as saying, “Good morning, Lord. I love you.” every morning. When you hear a need from a friend; see something on Facebook that impact you; when you have a care or worry: Pray. Keep a prayer journal. 1 Thessalonian 5:17 Pray without ceasing. 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
- Read: We need to open our Bibles and studying His Holy Word at least daily. Praising Him through the Psalms. Loving Him and re-reading His story and His miracles in the Gospels. Learning the depths to which He went to save us on the cross. Seeking the meat of the word by reading the Epistles of Paul. Learning the History of His church and His people by reading Acts, Hebrews and the Old Testament. Fall in love with His precepts. His Word. Making it a lamp unto our paths, guiding us to where Jesus wants us to be. Read devotionals. Read books about true stories of missionaries. Read blogs written by Christian women who are connected to Jesus and want to share their walk so they can help others. Read life-lifting fiction and poetry (not junk). I know I love escapist reading that might have questionable content; but does my reading this type of writing grieve His spirit?
I don’t believe in telling others what they should read or even taking books that I don’t agree with from libraries. I don’t agree with censorship. Adults have the right to read what they want to read, period. I, however, suggest and pray that you see the benefit in reading materials that uplift you and help you focus on Jesus as the Center of Your Life.
- Worship doesn’t have to happen just in church. We need to praise Him daily and take every opportunity to rejoice, praise and thank Him for all that He does in our lives.
1 Thessalonian 5: 16 Rejoice evermore.
1 Thessalonian 5: 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Take a nature walk and rejoice in His creation. Listen to Christian worship songs and just meditate on How much you love Him.
- Attend Church Regularly. Forsake not the gathering of His saints together. We need to gather and fellowship in a local church; outside of church; on weekends; on weeknights. On the phone; through email. We need saints that will be in our corner, hold us accountable and encourage us in our walk with Him.
- Minister to Others. When we have a mindset of service to others; we take our eyes off of selfish wants. We put them on Him. We answer a drive that burns in our souls to point others to Him. We want to share His love and to spread it around. We desire to create community. God has ordained appointments for each of us, and He knows who we are going to witness to before we even do it. He knows who we will best reach with His message. He knows how we will best reach those He has put in our paths. As we minister, we worship and focus on Him, but our ministry should never replace our worship and our praying lives. Remember Martha. She busily served and cooked for Jesus and his disciples. She complained about Mary who sat at His feet in worship.
Luke 10:42 “… one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
The good part: drawing close to Jesus. Sitting at His feet, loving Him. That is where I want to be. Don’t you?
I close with a story that one of my pastors love to tell.
A woman rode in the car with her husband through the years in his old pickup truck. When they were first married, she sat next to him, cuddling and allowing him to wrap his arms around her as he drove. Through the years, she sat further and further away from him, finally scooting over to the passenger side door.
One day she looked over at Him and said, “I miss snuggling up with you when you drive.”
He looked up at her and said, “Woman, you’re the one that moved. I have been sitting in the same place for the last 40 years.”
Where are you in your walk with Christ? Are you scooted over to the passenger-side window, longing to slide over and love on Jesus. He is waiting on you. Do you feel the tingle in your fingers and your heart. Slide over.
Questions on which to ponder and share comments: What do you do to draw closer to Jesus? How do enrich your spiritual life in Him? Share.
Sharing with these hops:
And: LifeGivingLinkup, Tuesdays with a Twist, Words With Winter Linkup, Grace at Home party, #Grace &Truth , #LiveFreeThursdays, Faith & Friends, Faith Filled Fridays, Fellowship Fridays,Friendship Fridays, and Fridays Unfolded.