Four ways to grow your love for God this year
We know God loves us. But do we love Him? Do we sometimes feel that we don’t love God as much as we ought to? Do our words, thoughts, and actions reflect how much we love God?
Like any love relationship, our relationship with God takes work. We need to invest time and effort to grow the intimate bond we have with our Creator. If you’ve been wanting to deepen your relationship with God, here are some tips to get you started.
Meditate on and memorize Bible verses.
One of the ways to know God more is to read his word. Reading the Bible and meditating on a few lines daily increases our appreciation of who God is. Take time to just dwell on a key verse that spoke to you, and commit it to memory. Recite it to yourself every day. And once you’ve internalized it, pick another verse to dwell on. Absorbing God’s word this way changes how we see God, and how we think about life and the world. Ask God to speak to you as you dwell on his word daily.
Spend time with other people who love God.
No man is an island. God intended man to live and grow in community, that’s why we have the church. Faith-based groups are a great way to deepen your love and appreciation of who God is, and to demonstrate that love to others. People are the hands and feet of Christ, and what better place to be those hands and feet than in a community of like-minded believers? Community is also where our love gets tested – after all, not everyone can be lovable every time. People will be quirks or habits that annoy you, but loving God also means loving the people whom God loves. Being with other Christians will strengthen your relationship with God in ways that individual study and prayer cannot.
Seek God in quiet, unhurried prayer.
We grow our relationships with people by talking with them. Quiet, heart-to-heart talks really deepen bonds. The same is true for God. He is a relational being and wants to hear from you. Reading the Bible is a way to hear from God; prayer is your way to speak with God. In our world of information and activity overload, it’s hard for us to find time to slow down and just be. But that’s what God wants from us in prayer – to just sit with Him and talk with Him. Allow yourself a few minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time each day to speak with God and enjoy his presence. It may be what you need to reset and renew your mind.
Read books that expand your understanding of God.
There are so many great Christian writings outside of the Bible that can enrich your spiritual growth. Seeking to love God more has been a human pursuit for centuries, and we can all benefit from the knowledge and learning of those who have gone before us. A short, classic read is A.W. Tozer’s Pursuit of God, and its prequel, God’s Pursuit of Man. If you’re more inclined to read biographies, look for The Forgotten Spurgeon – the story behind the great revivalist preacher in 19th-century London. If fiction is more your preference, pick up The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. These books communicate rich truths that will help you see God in new ways.
Now is as good a time as any to start – or continue – nurturing your relationship with God. Knowing our Creator more helps us to love others better.
We love because he first loved us. – 1 John 4:19