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Don't let your relationship with God fall into a mechanical rut.

If you’re like me, you’re already thinking about how to make the new year better than the current year. Been thinking about that for a while, actually.

In fact, I’m using this week of holidays to get a few things moving. Today I set up my bike trainer in the family room, started outlining a new book and am going to tackle some family projects.

I also think about how I want to recalibrate my own relationship with God.

Like any relationship, it can fall into a rut. If you’re not careful, what was once meaningful can easily become mechanical.

Or maybe you’re new to a relationship with God, and you’re looking for a way to begin a relationship with him. I realize my tips are mostly around reading the Bible, but here’s what I find:

The more I engage the Scriptures, the more I engage God.

Here are five ways to kickstart your devotional life:

1. Find Your Best Personal Time.

For me, it’s a no-brainer. I’m always best in the morning. If I try to spend time with God at night, I fall asleep (it’s nothing personal—I also treat late-night movies, friends and family the exact same way after 10 p.m.). I love having time with God between 5 and 6 a.m. I’m fully awake, engaged and present.

What’s your best personal time? Give it to God. You’ll grow.

OK, I better come clean. I have a bias. I think everyone should become a morning person. I think there are inherent advantages you don’t get any other way. I started becoming a morning person in my early 30s and have never looked back.

Think you can’t do it? Michael Hyatt shows you how.

2. Find the Medium That’s Best for You.

I’m a reader, so a written Bible has always equaled awesome for me. But a few years ago I discovered I had stopped reading my Bible in a fresh way because I had been reading it for so many years. The words didn’t feel fresh anymore because they had become so familiar.

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Around that time I had bought my first iPhone. I downloaded the YouVersion app and suddenly I found I was reading the Bible as though it was the first time. Every word looked new, even though I had read it before. And that meant my connection with God and the Bible was stronger. The only thing I changed was the media. Now I read it off my tablet with the same effect.

Experiment with mediums. See which one works best for you. If you don’t like reading, get an audio Bible and listen.

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Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof

Carey Nieuwhof is founding pastor of Connexus Church and the author of several books, including his latest best-selling work, 'Lasting Impact: 7 Powerful Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow.' Carey speaks to church leaders around the world about leadership and personal growth.

Carey on ChurchLeaders   Carey's Website

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