The SECRET to growing closer to God this year (PART TWO)

The SECRET to growing closer to God this year (PART TWO)

"So then, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you may do, do all for the honor and glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10:31, AMPC)

Now that we've broken down what it actually means to give God honor and glory, you might be wondering, now what?

The theory of honoring God is great, but I love having practical ways to put it into action. And that's exactly what I have for you here, a list of a few ways we can intentionally bring glory and honor to TODAY!

1. Read the Bible Daily

An obvious one, right? Reading the Word of God is the way we learn more about who He is, which, in turn, instructs us on how to live our lives. When we open our Bibles, we open our hearts to hear from God and transform our minds to be more like Jesus. When we open the Bible, we are encountering the tangible Presence of God. John 1:1 says that the Word was with God, and the Word WAS God!

Challenge yourself to read daily for a few minutes, adding more time as you develop your habit. Start a Bible study, grab a copy of The Abide Guide, or make the decision to read the Bible in a year (we have a FREE plan for that HERE!)

2. Develop a Habit of Prayer

Another obvious one, but there is always room to pray more, right? Prayer invites us into a conversation with the Almighty God of the Universe. No other "god" shows such a concern in what their followers have to say. We serve the True God, the One who knows us intimately and yearns to spend time with us. He invites us into prayer so we may co-labor with Him, petitioning for specific things to change in the world around us. What a beautiful privilege it is, yet many of us hardly pray. 

Ways to grow in this habit could be writing prayers on sticky notes to read throughout the day, creating alarms, setting a reminder app for a few minutes at a time, or talking to God as you complete tasks like commuting, cleaning, etc. Engaging in conversation with Him throughout our day is a simple way to acknowledge who He is in our lives. 

3. Honoring Him with Our Body

The body is a temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19), so we should have a conviction to take care of what we've been given. Not only does this fulfill the literal words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 10:31, but, as a result, we are healthier and more physically up to accomplishing all the things God calls us to do in our lives.

We can only last so long in ministry, jobs, or other roles we have if we don't take care of ourselves, so let's make the steps little-by-little to make our bodies temples that honor God.

We can tangibly honor God in our day-to-day lives by watching the things we put in our bodies, sleeping well, drinking enough water, and exercising.

4. Loving Others Well

We love because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). The way we love those around us is directly connected to how we have been loved by God and love Him. In all that we do, we can find new ways to love the people around us in little ways like:

Texting a friend to let them know you're thinking of them
Serving someone in need
Telling your spouse/loved ones how you appreciate them
Speaking kindly to others - even when they don't "deserve it"

    If we honor and respect God, we must love others. Each person is created BY God and in the IMAGE OF God; therefore, if we honor God, we must honor the God in those around us.

    5. Be on the Lookout for Those in Need

    The Bible tells us to look out for the people around us in need - we are more blessed by giving than receiving! The world is overwhelmed by people in need. We are Christians are able to act as the hands and feet of Jesus. When we take care of others, Jesus takes it seriously. In Matthew 25:40, He tells His disciples that whatever we do for others is as if we do it for Him. What a way to honor God!

    Find ways to sow into ministries, charities, or give to someone in your mind. One of my favorite ways to do this is by putting together bags of necessities to hand out to homeless in the area I live. I could share so many testimonies of the people I've given them to, and the opportunities I had to tell them how much Jesus loved them! It's truly the little acts of kindness that make the most impact!

    6. Learn to Sabbath

    Our fast-paced world is way too "busy" to Sabbath. Yet, Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath. Rest is a gift from God - not just because it helps us but because it also helps us reconnect with God. Sabbath is a dedicated time to pursue the One who provides all things for us, including rest. If this is something God takes seriously, then we should too! The busy list of to-do's will always be there, but taking time to practice Sabbath can be a life-changer!

    Sabbath will not look the same for everyone. Depending on your circumstances, it might not even be a full day. But, we can use the time we do have to intentionally rest, enjoying a gift that honors God. For more information, John Mark Comer has dedicated several years to studying Sabbath and recently created a resource to teach others about it. 

    7. Be Thankful: Practice Gratitude

    When we live a life of gratitude, something in our hearts shift. We can connect to God in a deeper way; honoring Him for all that He has given us. When we're tempted to be discontent with our lives, we lose joy and perspective. Practicing daily gratitude is a way to reposition our hearts, aligning ourselves with the One who provides everything we have!

    When you're tempted to complain, try to catch yourself and redirect your attention to something you are thankful for. God doesn't like a complainer. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to rejoice in every circumstance. Be careful of the words that come out of your mouth!

    8. Be More Present - Don't Get Consumed by the To-Do's

    This world is fast-paced, making intentionality and stay present a feat. Yet, how can we give honor if we aren't present? It is our responsibility to finish our daily list of to-do's, but we cannot afford to become so fixated on what we're doing that we forget WHO we're doing it all for.

    Doing something in the name of God is great, but if our heart isn't presently in it, what good is it? He doesn't need "obligatory honor" - He wants (and deserves) our full heart. 

    Jesus doesn't expect us to not be focused on other things, but He does expect us to pursue His Kingdom first (Matthew 6:33). And, to do this, we must make it our first priority. Then, everything else will fall into its rightful place. Don't become so fixated on the tasks around that you forget WHO is with you!

    9. Obey What He Asks of You

    If you've ever wondered what God's position on obedience is, 1 Samuel 15:22 is the place to turn to. 

    "And Samuel said, 'Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.'"

    The Message Translation adds this, which I think emphasizes how bad disobedience is: "Not doing what God tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult."

    Is there something that God has instructed you to do that you said no to? Something you felt you should do but ignored? Not acting on something God told you to do is just as disobedient as saying no. Disobedience, no matter the size of task, is a sin and dishonors God. If there's something that comes to mind that you haven't acted on, do it now!

    10. Get Active in a Local Church

    When Jesus comes back to Earth, He's coming for His Bride. The Bride isn't just you or me - it is His glorious Church! In Hebrews 10:25, Paul instructs us to not forsake meeting with our fellow brothers and sisters. This is about the Church!

    If aren't attending a local church, I encourage you to take this opportunity to start looking for one. Yes, we are to be the salt and light of the world (Matthew 5:13), but we also are to be a part of the body. You were created with specific talents and gifts made to help strengthen the church. When you use your gifts for the church, you are doing your part to take care of the Bride that Jesus died for!

    There are countless ways for us to bring honor and glory to God in our daily lives. What other ones can you think of? Share them with us in the comments below!
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