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How do i get closer to God?

Ways to Be Closer to God

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Sermon Notes

God wants a relationship with us and promises to reward those who seek to draw closer to Him (Hebrews 11:6). Here are some things each of us can do to foster a greater relationship with our creator

1. Pray
This is how we talk with God. It’s an open line of communication that allows us to build a relationship with Him. Remember, prayer is about you and God, so be humble and don’t make a show of it to others. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6 NIV). Not sure how to pray? Check out the template Jesus gives us in Matthew 6:9-13— otherwise known as The Lord’s Prayer.

2. Read the Bible.
This is how we know who God is and how He works—because Scripture is literally His inspired Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). As we study the Bible, we understand God’s purpose for our lives, so it’s important to consider the context of what we read. We’re told to meditate on the Word day and night (Joshua 1:8), so take your time. Just like other relationships, there’s no need to rush things with God. Remember, everything is in His timing already.

3. Give thanks.
When we properly show gratitude by obeying God’s commandments, we’re acknowledging what He’s done for us.

4. Practice humility.
Pride is selfishness, which goes against God’s Will. Being humble allows us to be used by God, as He shows favor to those who put His Will above their own (Proverbs 3:34).

5. Memorize scripture.
As humans, it’s natural for us to sin. But committing scripture to memory stores it in our heart and makes it less likely for us to sin (Psalm 119:11). “All Scripture is breathed by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16 ESV).

6. Honor God with your body.
Maintain good health, keep your purity and use your body only in ways that glorify God. “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV).

7. Start and End your day with God.
Bookend your days with gratitude toward God, so He’ll be on your mind all day.

8. Take thoughts captive.
Cut out the distractions, as frivolous and ungodly thoughts negatively impact our relationship with God. Remember, it takes conscious effort to identify and eliminate distraction from our lives. Rather than asking God to remove distractions, ask Him to identify them to you—then for the strength to overcome them.

9. Give back to God.
Earnestly give the best of every part of your life to God—time, money, possessions, thought, etc.—as a way to show gratitude. “Whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NIV).

10. Take communion.
Participate in a public gathering of believers to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, along with what His actions accomplished (Luke 22:19-21).

11. Repent of sins.
If we confess our sins to God, He will forgive them and make us right (1 John 1:9). However, if we deliberately sin, His sacrifice no longer remains (Hebrews 10:26). So, if you’re struggling with a particular sin, it’s better to remove yourself from any environment where you’ll be tempted to act on that sin (Matthew 5:29).

12. Keep a journal of blessings and answered prayers.
Continually remind yourself of God’s faithfulness and His blessings.

13. Sing Praise.
“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise” (James 5:13 ESV). We serve an all-powerful, all-loving God who saved us from eternity in hell. We should be cheerful about that.

14. Fast.
Scripture (Luke 5:35) recommends temporarily abstaining from necessities, like eating, to intensify our dependence on God through prayer (1 Corinthians 7:5). This helps us to put our sole focus on Him before important decisions. Matthew 6:16-18 gives insight on what our fasting should look like.

15. Share the Gospel.
As believers, we’re commanded to tell everyone the full Gospel (the Good News) of Jesus Christ through our words and actions (Matthew 28:19-20). Don’t worry about persuading anyone to believe this message, as it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to change people’s hearts (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). We just need to clearly communicate it and demonstrate it in a Christ-like manner.

16. Rejoice in the Lord and be glad in it.
We’re commanded to be joyful. If you’re having difficulty doing so, talk with God. You may have an unresolved sin issue. So confess, repent and return to the joyful life that God has planned for you.

17. Tend the earth.
Nurturing plants is nurturing God’s creation—not only by fostering beauty but by raising nutritious, life-sustaining food. “Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food’” (Genesis 1:29 NIV). Share your bounty with others, particularly homeless shelters. “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16 NIV).

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