3 Ways to Stay Connected With Jesus in 2021

By: Sophia Rivera, Class of 2022
Growing closer to Jesus is a New Year’s resolution you’ll never regret. Sophia Rivera, a junior at Calvary Christian Academy, shares three practical ways we can develop spiritual disciplines that will help you experience the depths of His unconditional love — the only love that can truly satisfy our souls.

I’ve got some good news and not-so-good news. Since most people like to hear the latter first, here it is: you’ll never be able to consistently stay connected and in love with someone you don’t know.

This may strike you as an odd thing to say and start an article with, but I say it because I know that so many of us are frustrated with the fact that we have trouble staying consistently connected to the Lord. We wish we were more motivated to wake up early and start our day with Jesus and devote more time to speaking to Him through prayer.

Let me tell you, I’ve been there. I know what it feels like, and I felt like this my entire sophomore year. What you’re frustrated with right now is nothing but a byproduct of your heart. You may WANT to have that connection, which is wonderful, but that desire alone doesn’t seem to be deepening your walk with Him.

“So what do I do, Sophia? How can my love for Him grow?” So here’s the good news that was promised earlier! You do the only thing you can. Just like any other relationship, get to know Him.
Just like any other relationship, get to know Him.
Jesus wasn’t just some stranger who died on the cross. He intimately knows you. I encourage you to read Psalm 139 (my favorite). It talks about just how well God knows you. He knew you when you were still in the womb! Shouldn’t we want to intimately know someone who knows us intimately?

When He was on that cross, He showed His unconditional agape love and actually prayed on our behalf, asking His Father to forgive us (Luke 23:34 ). You can also see more of His majesty and divinity in Isaiah 6. Pastor Schott, Head of Calvary Christian Academy’s Bible department, taught us an awesome lesson on this chapter, which beautifully shows the Lord in all His glory.
Now that we have a better understanding of who exactly we have direct access to, let’s get to know and love Him better!
Now that we have a better understanding of who exactly we have direct access to, let’s get to know and love Him better! Here are some practical tips to stay connected to Jesus Christ regardless of what storms or challenges we may face in our society or in our personal lives this year. Remember, we are not promised pain-free lives as Christians, but He does promise to be with us always and carry us through the valleys.

  1. PRIORITIZE

    First things first, God is a God of order, and in order for us to be good stewards of everything the Lord has abundantly blessed us with, it’s important we manage our time wisely and prioritize in a way that honors Him. Time is something us humans cannot buy or tamper with. It’s a precious gift that should not be squandered while we’re on this Earth living out our God-given callings.
    Time is something us humans cannot buy or tamper with. It’s a precious gift that should not be squandered while we’re on this Earth living out our God-given callings.
    We are many things. We are students, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, employees, dreamers, believers, and more, which means we have responsibilities and duties that accompany these titles. In order to excel in our various roles, I encourage you to make a list of priorities and create a schedule that will help you keep track of them. I have found agendas to be a great tool to ensure that I’m fulfilling all of my commitments. The beauty of agendas is that once a task or event is written down, you can free up your brain to focus on and remember other things!

  2. RISE & SHINE

    We are children of God above everything else, and as such, we should intentionally be involving Him in our daily lives. One way we can do this is by starting our day with Him. Maybe this means spending an hour or half hour in the morning in prayer, worship, and in deep reading of the scripture. Or maybe this looks like a five-minute devotional in the car with K-Love playing in the background. Establish a routine that helps foster that spiritual connection you’re seeking. Let’s not pass up the opportunity to surrender each day to Him with gratitude!
    Let’s not pass up the opportunity to surrender each day to Him with gratitude!
    If this is a spiritual discipline that has been challenging for you, start with baby steps. When you set reasonable goals and invite someone into your life to help keep you accountable, you will develop healthy spiritual habits in no time!

  3. GET CREATIVE!

    A great way to get to know our Lord better is by taking time to read more about His character and miracles. Or maybe you just need to kneel and cry out to God; tell Him everything that’s on your mind and heart. He hears you and cares.

    “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” –1 John 5:14-15

    If you want to intercede for others, perhaps you can play some instrumental music, pull out a prayer journal, and get to writing/praying. If you connect to God best when you’re surrounded by His creation, make it a point to consistently carve out time in your schedule to get outdoors and do just that.

    The best way to hear from God is by going to His Word, so if you’re looking for answers, you know exactly where to go. Everyone’s walk with the Lord will look different, so keep that in mind, and don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others.
    The best way to hear from God is by going to His Word, so if you’re looking for answers, you know exactly where to go.


Something I saw on the Calvary House ministry’s Instagram page was a quote that said, “I’ve never seen someone regret getting sober.” I think this can apply to all of us. You won’t regret getting sober-minded and setting your sights on Jesus. Don’t delay; start today! You got this, friend.

I leave you with this verse of encouragement from Ephesians 3:15-19 to treasure in your heart this new year:

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

 

Sophia Rivera is an 11th grade student at Calvary Christian Academy and has attended the school since ninth grade. She is involved in CCA’s Discipleship Department, serving in the Underrowers club and as a singer on the school’s worship team. She has many aspirations for her life after high school, including getting more immersed in ministry opportunities and practicing her writing skills professionally.
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  • Vilma Rodriguez
    Sophia excellent writing, it has touched my heart deeply. No matter how many year we had serve the Lord is always refreshing that a young girl like you remind me to stay connected in my relationship with God. Sometime we get “into the busyness mode and neglected that importan connection with Him”. I encourage you to keep writing and letting God leads as you write. Love Sophy. Merry Christmas to all the family. Vilma
  • Ever Amaris
    Thank you for this practical advise Sophia. We will strive to implement some it for 2021, Happy Holidays

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