10 ways to help you grow in 2015

1. New school year resolutions- This new school year, I have a couple of resolutions that I want to do. I want to read the Bible in a year. I want to better love the person in front of me.  I want to be a good steward of my time by being there for my friends, going to peoples special events, writing thank you notes to people that go out of their way for me. Lastly, I want to give more of my money away to God because He continually blessing me with more than I can ever handle…I encourage you to be thoughtful and think through your resolutions so that you grow spiritually, mentally and physically. Once you have written down your resolutions, put them up on your mirror in your bathroom, in your school binder, in your bible or place them somewhere that you normally look so that you do not forget.

2. Forgive- Is there somebody in your life you need to forgive? Someone who may have hurt you deeply or has been tremendously cruel? Jesus says in Colossions 3:13 to “forgive as I have forgiven you.” Lay down your pride and call up that person! A huge weight will be lifted off of your shoulders when you do.

3. “Where am I going?”- This should be a constant question as you think back on this past year. The right road always leads to the right place; therefore, get on the right road and go as far as you can on it.

4. Stand alone, fall alone- If the only time you see Christians is at Refuge or Impact, you got problems. You need to find at least two people that will push you, encourage you, help you and call you out when you do fall into temptation so that they can help you move forward. Jesus sent out his disciples in twos…you cant do this Christian walk in isolation.

5. Conformity- You were never called to fit in so stop trying to do so. People should be asking these questions: “what is so different about you?” “Why are you okay with walking out of the locker room when everyone else is talking about crazy stuff?” “Why do you love people that hate you?” Why do you treat people like that?” Why are you happy to stand up for the right things when everyone is going the other way?” “Why do you not cheat when others are.” “Why are your standards so high for guys to date you?” Check out Romans Chapter 12 and lets not become the world that we are trying to reach. The culture shouldn’t change you, you should change the culture.

6. Your Character Counts- Being clean is cool. Anybody can be a jerk or sleep around or throw their life away. It takes a person with real character to stand against the tide of low expectations. Don’t feel like you have to go crazy to relate to people and if you have, start fresh and stand firm this next year. Be proud of what God has done in your life and stand strong! Remember, He uses everything for His good. Be you, not a counterfeit. God made you an original. This world needs you to dream bigger, to write better songs, do better businesses, etc.

7. Trust Him- God is not like us. He sees far beyond our situations & knows what needs to be done deep within our lives to prepare us for the future. You may not know what He is doing now but if Jesus is in it and you are trusting Him, its not over. He is so much bigger, greater, grander and more lovely than we can even comprehend.

8. Don’t worry, ask Jesus to bear it- God likes to interrupt our schedules. Be thankful for His disruptions, He leads us to life. Only God knows what our hearts can handle. Read Matthew 6:25-34.

9. Solitude- Make a point to open your bible. His Bible is living and active and will change your life. Read it. Start a bible plan to read the bible in a year. If you don’t know where to start, text a leader and check out the “Bible” app and start a year plan… https://www.bible.com/app

10. Family- Everyone has tough family situations but God calls us all to honor our father and mothers. What does it look like for you to show your parents honor this next year? Usually, we get in conflicts because of miscommunication. Pray for them and then try placing yourself in your parents shoes and see what happens.