* Know the reasons behind what you believe. Don’t just buy into faith simply because your parents did or because you want to fit in or please others. Seriously think about what you personally believe, and why. Be able to tell others why you’ve chosen faith.

 

* Trust. Realize that trusting Jesus is the key that unlocks all the treasures of heaven here on Earth. Understand that even when you don’t understand a situation or can’t predict its outcome, you can rely on the fact that you do know Jesus and trust that He will act according to what’s best for you. Remember that nothing is impossible for you if you call God on His promises and attempt whatever He leads you undertake.

 

* Embrace freedom. Watch out for people who claim to know it all and charlatans and cheats who claim to speak for God. Remember that, when you’re in a strong relationship with Jesus, you’re free to think for yourself. Exercise your freedom from pressure to please others or to fit into their agenda.

 

* Savor the sacred now. Be alert to God at work all around you. Look for the extraordinary hidden in the ordinary. Be fully engaged in the present time rather than stuck in the past or preoccupied with the future. View every day as the gift from God that it is, and be grateful. Take time to enjoy life. Never postpone anything that can bring joy into your life or that of someone else.

 

* Don’t be afraid of mystery. Break out of your comfort zone and stop expecting easy answers or pat formulas to life’s questions. Understand that, while Jesus is the answer to all things, that doesn’t mean all the answers are available to you. Know that God is too big to be owned, analyzed, or sanitized. Realize that any doctrinal statements people can make about God are descriptive, but not exhaustive, since we can’t know anywhere near all there is to know about God here on Earth. But also realize that God reveals enough for us to be sure that He is worthy of our trust. When talking with people about God, engage them in two-sided conversation rather than lecturing. Constantly seek to learn more. Embrace the mysteries of life as opportunities to keep seeking God.

 

* Live an abundant life. Don’t just eke out a small, safe existence. Instead, dare to do whatever God leads you to do, trusting that you can rely on His strength and the gifts and talents He has given you.

 

* Grow into greatness. Give your best effort to all you do, pursuing excellence. Rather than trying to use your talents to make yourself great, use them unselfishly to bless others and watch God make you great as a result. Be humble, acknowledging that your power is actually God’s power flowing through you.