Do you have to GO to church to be a strong devoted Christian?

The last time I went to a church, it was in May and I was back on Maui with a friend. Since I left Hawaii, became a Florida resident and have been traveling for the last few months, I haven’t been to a church. I still do bible studies on my own and read devotionals every day, but I got to thinking the other day: Do you have to physically go to church to be a strong, devoted Christian? What constitutes a “strong Christian”? Is it the activity of going to church? Or is the stronghold of faith within your heart and the steady studying of the Word?

What is a ‘Christian’ anyway?

When I looked it up, the definition of “Christian” is:

 A person who has received Christian baptism, or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.

Nowhere in that definition does it say “A person who attends church.” To be a Christian means to essentially just be a follower of Christ, in whatever capacity that may be. If you are able to attend church, great. If not, that’s great too.

And if you give your heart to God, that’s all He wants. Isn’t that cool?

What do we have to do to be ‘good’ Christians?

There are tons and tons of verses that will all say something along these lines: All God wants is your heart, and being a true follower of Christ is all about what happens on the inside.

What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means that certain customs or traditions, appearances that we keep, or being an active member of a particular church are not the things that define what being a Christian is.

Keep in mind, God warns against keeping up with a certain “image,” and teaches that what’s most important is that our hearts are pure and true.

“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9)

So, if that’s all it takes, is it even necessary to go to church? As long as I have God’s Word that shows me the life that Jesus lived, I can follow Him on my own, right?

Following God on your own

Of course, you can be a strong Christian on your own. But remember that we were not created to be alone! When you go to church and feel the music, praise and worship Jesus with everyone around you, doesn’t your heart just explode? Isn’t that the greatest, most inexplainable feeling in the world? Going to church just feels good.

Here are some verses that prove we, as followers, need our brothers and sisters in faith:

We are not created to be alone. We were created to have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7)

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them (Matthew 18:20)

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

While there are no written rules in the Bible about attending church, a true follower will find that in their heart they do need to go to church. Sure, you can absorb all there is to absorb on your own with solo Bible studies and prayer and podcasts. In attending church, you can receive encouragement and fellowship from those who are also working toward strengthening their faith and building the body of Christ.


Do you attend a home church? If not, why? For me, I’m not currently attending a church because I’m traveling! I do solo bible studies, but I can’t wait to discover my new home church once I settle down in a place! 😊🙏🏼

Do you have to GO to church to be a strong devoted Christian?

Bible Studies I’m Doing Right Now

I’ve been a strong Christian for a while now, and since I’ve been traveling I’ve been doing bible studies on my own. I’ll occasionally watch a sermon online, but for the most part, my Jesus time consists of me sitting down with my bible for an hour or so each day. Here’s the studies I’m doing right now and favorite ones I’ve completed in the past. Plus, tools and resources to make your study time easier and more beneficial! 🙏🏼

bible study

How I Study the Bible On My Own

I started studying the bible on my own by using my physical bible and an app, and over time I brought in a devotional, other tools, and various online websites. My bible study time is ever-changing, but it works for me right now. Here’s how I make it work!

Tips

The biggest thing when it comes to studying the bible, is to carve out a dedicated time and quiet space where you can let yourself be totally comfortable and dive freely into the word. For me, this is 9-10pm, right before I go to sleep. I do my bible study in bed for about an hour before I sleep every night. It’s the perfect way for me to wind down the day, and recenter my thoughts on Jesus.

Bible Studies I’m Doing Right Now

Decisions

Deeper Into Scripture: Matthew

Deeper Into Scripture: Mark

Life Experiences: Lessons From the Book of Luke

Faith: Fig Tree VS Mountain

The Stories We Tell: 28 Days of Truth-Telling for the Soul

All Time Favorite Bible Studies

James: Faith/Works

Hope in the Dark

God’s Plan for Your Life

Enduring with Job: 7 Days of Hope

Philippians: Choosing Joy

Check out these other blogs 🙏🏼

Here are more blogs I’ve written about faith. What other faith-related blogs would you like to see from me?

My Faith Journey

Trusting His Timing When You’re Impatient

How to Study the Bible on Your Own

Bible Studies I’m Doing Right Now

How to Study the Bible On Your Own

Over the years, my faith has grown and it’s become something that I hold very close to my heart. While I’m not always able to actually attend church, I try to crack open the bible and dive deep into studying the Word every day. It’s personally something that keeps me grounded, calm and focused on my future – especially when things get rough.

In the past, I had been a part of an incredible bible study group and I loved it! We met weekly to talk about Sunday’s sermon, we did bible studies together, watched biblical movies and had lots of potlucks (one of my favorite parts, while we’re being honest! 😉) I have also been a part of a bible study at work, which was the biggest blessing. Myself, my boss and two of my coworkers met at lunch to cover bible studies. It was so heart-warming to be able to share my faith in the workplace, and that’s something I’ll always cherish. I’ve also had bible studies with friends, and it’s been the greatest experience to share faith with close friends.

While being a part of a group is a great way to dive deep into the Word, you don’t have to! I have found that doing my own solo bible studies and having quiet Jesus time every day to myself, is amazing too!

Here is everything I do to study the Bible on my own, I hope it helps you get started too!

bible study

1. Use an app!

I have used the YouVersion Bible app for years. I was traveling and needed something that was easy to use, so I downloaded it. Little did I know, it would help open up the Bible for me in ways I never thought imaginable.

There are tons and tons of Bible study plans available on this app for FREE, and they’re all so good. (I’ve completed over 200 of them already!)

You can either choose to study by Book, seasons (Christmas, Easter, etc), a life event you’re facing, or your current emotions/struggles.

I’ll be posting a blog soon on the current Bible Studies I’m doing, but in the meantime I highly suggest you download it if you aren’t already using it. It’s so, so helpful.

2. Find a good, seasoned mentor

When I was living in Canada, my faith deepened and strengthened and that is all thanks to the incredible mentors in faith I had! I am thankful for my last relationship, because we both helped each other grow in our faith. Through him, I also joined an amazing church community that opened my eyes to what faith and religion means.

I met so many people who have walked in their faith for so long, I listened to their stories, they prayed over me, and I learned so much about God and myself that I simply could not have learned on my own.

Reach out to your church community, find a solid mentor to learn from, find someone who can show you God in a different light that makes sense to you.

3. Buy a journaling Bible

I should preface this with: Buy a bible you will actually understand. I use the NLT (New Living Translation) because it’s written in common english, so it’s easily relatable. But, if you’re fine with the King James Version, go for it!

I’ve seen many people using journaling Bibles, but it wasn’t until just a few months ago that I got one myself. It was a gift from my mother, and it’s one of my most cherished possessions! I open it every day, it’s highlighted, scribbled in, loved. There are huge margins to write notes in, the pages are a little thicker so pens/highlighters don’t bleed through the pages (but I also use these Bible highlighters!)

4. Crank the worship tunes

One of the many things I love about church is the worship music. It’s uplifting, motivating, calming, exhilarating – all at once.

While you’re doing your own Bible study, bust out a good worship playlist! (Or my Spotify playlist 😉)

https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/jasminekeclipse/playlist/5QC0YDvw2n6XnSZyw0ABF2


Do you do Bible studies on your own? If you have tips, leave them below! ❤

How to Study the Bible On Your Own

Trusting His Timing When You’re Impatient

I’m impatient.

I’m the type of person who wants results, wants to get things done, and I don’t like wasting time or waiting around for things to happen. And I certainly don’t like waiting on other people to do something for me.

The kicker? Christianity tells us to trust in God’s timing.

So, this led to me to share this today.

This is easily one of the hardest parts of being a Christian. Being patient and trusting that He knows what He is doing and He knows what is best for us.

So how can you trust in His perfect timing when you’re impatient like me? Well, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite verses that have helped me be more patient, trusting and faithful during times when I’d rather not be patient.


There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (2 Peter 3:8)

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. (Ephesians 4:2)

Let your hope keep you joyful, be patient in your troubles, and pray at all times. (Romans 12:12)

The end of something is better than its beginning. Patience is better than pride. (Ecclesiastes 7:8)


What are your favorite bible verses for staying patient and trusting God? ❤️

Trusting His Timing When You’re Impatient

My Faith Journey

I’ve been wanting to somehow incorporate my faith into this blog for a long time now. I touch on it here and there and I occasionally throw a few verses on Twitter now and again, but I want to go more in depth. So I thought: Why not add a section to my blog dedicated entirely to my faith? There’s so much I want to discuss and talk about and offer advice on, but I figured I should start with a little backstory on my journey through faith. So that’s exactly what this is!


I was raised in a Christian home. God was mentioned. There was a cross on the wall. We went to church on the big days (Christmas, Easter, etc). I attended a religious school. But growing up, I never felt a true connection to God and faith. It was always there, but it wasn’t really there.

When I went off to college, that’s when my faith really started to slip. And no, it wasn’t because of college life, parties, boys, staying up late, and faith not being the “cool” thing. That wasn’t it at all. During college, I went through some of the toughest times of my life. I lost a friend in a drunk driving accident, another drowned in a lake, another committed suicide, my grandfather was killed by a speeding driver, my stepmother lost her battle to cancer, and my uncle lost his battle to cancer, and I was also sexually assaulted toward the end of college.

All of this left me questioning where God was and why He would allow these things to happen. I fell out of my faith. I didn’t completely stop believing, but I just fell away from it all for a while.

It wasn’t until I moved to China a few months after graduation, that I cracked open my bible again. I was homesick and feeling extremely lost living in a foreign country, that I felt all that could help me was scripture. So I started daily devotionals, and they brought me peace, but still I didn’t feel that connection to Him.

When I met my last boyfriend, God was everywhere. We met because of a bible scripture. When we were long distance, we prayed together every night. I got a job with a lady who went to their church. I started going to church again and really getting involved with volunteering and I joined a bible study group. I even had a bible study group at work, and we met at lunch to go through bible studies together. And there were just so many other incredible things that had God’s name written all over it, but basically I actually felt God.

Through this, I felt His presence. I felt a strong connection with Him. I finally felt like I developed a strong, real relationship with my faith. And now, I read the Bible every day. I do devotionals and bible study plans every day, I read my Christian bloggers, and I talk with friends about faith.

Right now, I’m at such a great place with my faith and I owe it all to the hardships I faced. I think sometimes, it takes getting to a really low point to realize the only way to go is up. I was at one of the lowest points of my life and after straying away from my faith, I was pulled back to it in a completely unexpected way that can only be explained by God.

One of the things I love so much about religion is that faith aspect: Believing in something without even seeing it. Because if you can believe in that, anything is possible, and so far that’s proven to be true for me and my journey.

I love my journey because it’s so uniquely mine, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me and my faith.


Are you religious? Have you ever strayed from your religion? I’d love to hear your stories of how you came to faith! ❤️

My Faith Journey