Beth Hartley a Yr 11 student from Trinity Christian School shares some top tips on how to grow in Jesus now that you've made the decision to follow him.
How awesome was our first ACT and the regions Soul Survivor Conference! I am so excited by what God did, and that we can welcome over 10 young people into the Kingdom of God!! The decision you have made to follow Jesus is the greatest one you will ever make; however it doesn’t end here. Salvation is not just a once-off activity. It is a continual journey through every aspect of our lives. Each and every day we have the choice to keep going deeper into a relationship with God.
It can be tricky to know where to start in this relationship, so here are a few practical tips that will help.
1. Read Your Bible
It is the Word of God, so it is the best place to learn more about Him. You may think it is an old boring book, but the Bible is full of action, adventure, romance and suspense, and is made up of stories, poems, songs and so much more. The entire book points to Jesus, and is a foundation for us to live by. A good place to start would be the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) as they tell the story of Jesus’ life. My personal favourites are Paul’s writings (All the books from Romans to Philemon), as he talks a lot about living the normal Christian life.
Don’t worry, it’s not as big and scary as it sounds – it is simply a conversation between you and your Heavenly Father. If you don’t know where to start, just tell Him about your day, and as you feel more comfortable with Him you can share the deeper parts of your heart. God loves to hear everything, whether big or small! Make sure you also leave room to listen to what He wants to say to you. God communicates in many different ways; like directly to you, through the Bible or through other people. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear anything straight away. The more time you give Him to speak, the more likely you are to hear and recognise His voice.
That doesn’t just mean singing, although singing is a part of it. Worship is anything that brings adoration and praise to God. You can worship Him in everything you do, from unstacking the dishwasher to doing your homework as an offering to God. Singing praises to God is also a big part of giving Him the adoration He deserves, both with other people and alone. One way of bringing worship into your everyday life is to listen to worship music while doing other things. The psalms are also a good model of worship and are still relevant today.
4. Set aside a specific time
to intentionally spend with God to read your bible, pray and worship. Whether you’re a morning or night person, pick a time in your day that suits you best (it doesn’t have to be long; 15 minutes can be enough) and make a habit of it!
5. Join a youth group!
(if you haven’t already 😂) It’s really important to have the support of your brothers and sisters in Christ, and youth group is an awesome way to spend time with them and Jesus while having fun! Try your local church, or ask your mates for a few suggestions, as there are plenty of great youths around Canberra and the regions. If you are really stuck, get in touch with Soul Survivor and they would love to help you connect with a youth group near you!
6. Find like-minded friends
who will encourage you in your walk with Jesus. Whilst our non-Christian friends are still very important, it is our Christian friends who understand what it’s like to follow Jesus and can encourage and support us when the walk gets hard. We were made for relationship, ultimately with God, but also with those around us. Your Christian peers, family, teachers, pastors, and mentors are all there to encourage you, and receive encouragement from you, as we walk this narrow path together.
I hope this encourages you as you step out in a journey of faith with the One who loves you more than you could ever imagine! He is so excited to welcome you into His Kingdom, and will walk this journey with you every step of the way. I am praying for you and look forward to seeing what God has in store for you!
For a laugh and some more information, check out this mini series below by the guys at Soul Survivor UK!