In the previous post, I challenged readers to get to know God NOW, as early as you can! To not wait until you are “an adult” to get to know God personally, for yourself. To not wait until you are “all grown-up” to become a passionate and fully-devoted follower of Jesus. You don’t have to wait!
So… How does a person do that? Let’s look back at those first 4 teenagers/young men whom Jesus called to leave their fathers’ fishing businesses in order to be His disciples: Simon, Andrew, James, and John. How did they spend their mid-to-late teen years?
They walked with Jesus. Everyday, for 3 years, they walked with, and got to know, and learned from Jesus. So how do we walk with Jesus today?
We consume His Word. Consume mass quantities of God’s Word – as much as you can, in as many different ways as you can – every single day.
Read it. Think about it. Pray about it – ask God to explain it to you as you read.
Read out loud to yourself – that way you get it 3 times all at once:
- you are reading it,
- you are speaking it,
- and you are hearing it!
When you sit down to read the Bible, take a moment beforehand to pause and recognize that you are about to meet together with the God of the universe in His Word!
- Start with prayer.
- Invite God in.
- Ask Him to speak to you through His Word.
- Then, read slowly – thoughtfully – deliberately –
- always asking God, “what are You saying to me through this? What is Your message for me in these verses?”
Take your time. There’s no rush. And if you have any thoughts or insights that come to your mind or heart as you read, write them down in a journal to share with another Christian friend later.
Listen to God’s Word – download an audio version of the Bible, and listen to it while you exercise or as you are falling asleep at night. Search for quality music that sets Bible verses to song. There is some really good stuff out there for this – I can show you where – just comment below if you are interested.
Memorize it! Determine a few verses you really want (or feel you need) to commit to memory. Start with a few verses your first month. Then add a new verse each week, while reviewing the older ones.
How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your Word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. –Psalm 119:9-11
Devour the Bible. Soak in it. Digest it. Live with it and in it. Saturate your life with it.
- Stick verses to your mirror.
- Use sticky-tack or magnets to put verses up on the walls of your bedroom and inside the door of your wardrobe at home or your locker at school.
- Post images of Bible verses as the background on your computers and digital devices.
Deuteronomy 6 lists all kinds of different ways to interact with God’s Word –
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. –Deuteronomy 6:5-9
Talk with others about it. Talk about the Bible with the Christian mentors in your life. Talk about the Bible with your Christian friends. Study it together; digest it together!
And hey, teenager – you wanna totally blow your Mom’s or Dad’s mind? Talk about it with them. Over lunch one weekend or in the evening one week night, just say, “I came across this verse last night during my time alone with God, and the message I felt God was speaking to me through this verse was __________… What do you think…?”
Jesus had an unbelievably close relationship with the heavenly Father. Well, we say, He was God – and that’s right. Jesus was fully God… BUT, He was also fully man. And as a man, He had to grow, develop, mature, learn.
Did you know… that Jesus had to learn how to walk? He had to be potty-trained. He had to learn how to read. He had to learn His multiplication tables. Just like us, Jesus had to learn how to develop physically and mentally.
And just like us, He had to learn how to develop spiritually, too. The fully human Jesus had to daily cultivate a relationship with the heavenly Father, just like the rest of us do. How did He do that?
Luke 5:16 tells us that “Jesus often went out to lonely places to pray…”
In Revelation 3:20, Jesus offers us an amazing invitation. In it, He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with with him – and he with Me.” This is an invitation to a close, personal friendship!
I urge you to accept Jesus’ gracious invitation to come in and share close personal friendship with Him!
“Behold” teenager, Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock.” Don’t wait until you’re a grown-up to answer the door and invite Him in. There’s no reason to wait! Get up and go answer the door right now. Begin getting to know Him on a deep, personal level, today. Devote yourself to loving Him and following after Him, starting right now!
Click on the following link to download a PDF “handout” version of this 4-part series on Knowing GOD: Knowing GOD handout