My grandparents have this “roller” tool for picking up fallen fruit, primarily apples and nuts. When I first saw it, I was fascinated! I loved the way it worked. And, I, along with my siblings, loved using it. Usually we didn’t like picking up fallen fruit, but the new device made it fun.
Fun, that it is, until we’d used it for a few days, until we’d each picked up 150+ apples and nuts. Then it became a chore. It was tiring. It was exhausting. Why? Because the “newness” and the excitement had worn off.
Sometimes it’s the same thing with our faith. We have moments in which we are so “on fire” for God. We love reading the Bible, prayer is the highlight of our day, and we can’t wait to tell others about God.
But sometimes, we get tired of praying without answers. Sometimes we just don’t want to pick up our Bibles. And Sometimes we fear telling others about what we believe.
When you feel like that, remember this verse!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)
Keep on spreading your faith, even if people make fun of you! Continue to pray, even if you don’t have an answer yet! And go read your Bible (Even when you’d rather do something else!) So that we, with Paul can say:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2. Timothy 4:7 (NIV)
Trust me – it’s worth it!
Sarah Susanna Rhomberg is a sixteen-year-old child of God, who lives in Europe, and is fluent in both English and German. Besides writing she spends most of her free time reading, practicing her instruments or doing crafts. She wants to live her life for Christ and writes to glorify Him.
This guest post by Sara Rhomberg is absolutely amazing! Thank you so much for guest posting, Sara! You did an awesome job, and this devotional is super encouraging! 😀
Your turn! What did you think of Sara’s guest post? Were you encouraged? Are you going to submit a guest post like Sara here? Did anyone else Google “apple/nut/fruit roller thingy”? (No? Just me? :P)
In today’s Christian culture, we see a lot of preaching, but not a lot of practicing what you preach. In fact, we’ve seen this throughout Biblical history. in Matthew 23:3, Jesus himself says,
“So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.”
They were talkers, but not walkers. The Pharisees, (who Jesus was talking to in the verse above), preached many good things, but of course they also taught wrong things, like Jesus was not God, or the Oral Law (a man-made add-on to the Torah). We can see that throughout the Bible.
And just like the Pharisees, sometimes Christians can fall into the habit of talking, and not walking. As Christians, we are examples for non-believers. So, what are non-believers supposed to think? It’s fair for them to be very confused.
If I wasn’t a Christian, I would be confused if I saw some of the Christians I see today! I know a lot of “Christians” but I don’t know a lot of true Christians, who practice what they preach, who walk and not just talk.
I have this one friend who is extremely close to God and she truly searches out for the truth. She is a prayer warrior, an amazing friend, and she loves like crazy. That’s God in her life! I’ve rarely seen a Christian such as her.
My friend, who’s name shall remain unknown for her privacy’s sake, even differs on her beliefs than her parents because she has different beliefs, (it’s on a few small things, it’s not much), but I used to say, “My parents believe it so it’s right.” Of course, that’s when I was about seven-years-old, because I read the Bible, I had faith that was boundless, but I didn’t know the words theology, doctrine, or supernatural being.
Of course, my mother talked to me about these things, she always pushed me to be better and think deeper. I loved to think about motives of actions, since I was seven. I had probably heard those words, yet I didn’t know exactly what they meant. Now, as I’ve grown older, I’ve grown as a Christian.
Unfortunately, many people stay at a state where they aren’t growing as Christians. Then, when they get older, those people stray from the faith and trust in God and possibly all religions because they were never rooted in their own faith, they were holding their parents hands. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” If we do not have conviction, a firmly held belief, then we do not have true faith.
We hear a lot of sermons on doing good but we never make an effort to. We read a lot of quotes on being kinder but don’t try to be kinder. We see a lot of people that we admire but we don’t model ourselves after them.
Where’s the disconnect? I’ll tell you. It is this: Holding onto someone else’s faith, like your parent’s, instead of your own.Not looking out for answers for yourself. Not caring enough. “I will go to Heaven anyway…” or “It doesn’t matter. I’m not dead yet!”
Those are wrong attitudes/beliefs to have as a child of God. My challenge to you is this: Practice what you preach and believe in it to the fullest.
How to Start:
Read the Bible for yourself.
Look up root words and know their meanings instead of just reading them.
And finally, just pray like you mean it!
Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye. shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
And with that I leave you. Good bye and good luck! Thanks, Emmie, for letting me guest post. ❤
Meet The Guest Blogger:
Ariana Evans is a Christian teenager, who very much loves her family and friends. I she wants to be a lawyer and counselor when she grows up, and loves to write and practice photography. She was saved when she was four years old, and blogs at Ariana’s Archives.
Hey there people, my name is Julia. I’m a writer, blogger, bookdragon, Ice cream lover, and a kazillion other things. (Annoying being one of those.)
You know what else I am? A Christian.
Now, if you’ve been around the blogosphere a time or two you may have noticed something. Many bloggers, in their bios, mention a handful of things that define them – such as a writer, reader, entrepreneur, etc. And in the same way, they will also include things like “Christian”, “Child of God”, “Believer”, and “Jesus follower” to let people know about their Faith in God. This is all perfectly fine, I firmly believe that we who are saved should make it clear Who it is that we serve.
Christians have fallen into the incredibly deep pit of LABELS. And this habit is starting to not only dampen our lives — but it’s also the very source of our IDENTITY PROBLEMS.
Do you call yourself a “writer”? — that tells people that you write (obviously) and gives them a picture of one of the things you spend your time doing. But, what if I was to take away that title – that label of a “writer” from you. Guess what? You would still be you! Me taking away that label does absolutely nothing to change you.
Are you a “reader” or a “bookworm”? That tells us you like to read — a lot. But if that label of a “reader” was taken away, you’d still be the same book-loving person as before.
The same is with an artist, or a plumber, or a chef – you strip them of their labels and they remain the same people.
Labels help define you, but they are not you.
This is because, like Colin Wright once said, these labels — they are an easy and fast way to let people know what sort of things you like to do or are interested in. But they are still just labels – and no matter how well a label may describe you, it is still not truly who you are.
This is why people have such a hard time with their identity and knowing who they are.
Because we put so much on labels. We want to be able to grasp a title and say “THIS IS WHO I AM” – but its not that easy, and often, even once you’ve found a title that fits you really well, you’ll still feel discontented because that’s not who you are – things that define something can never be that thing themselves.
So how do you discover your true identity?
Speaking specifically to Christians, the answer to this is the same thing we forget while telling the world “I’m a Christian”.
We’re so busy using the title or label of a Christian, that we forget what that actually means. We start to view it as this thing, something we put on as our identity – like clothes.
The key to truly finding our identities is in remembering that Christianity is NOT a label – Christianity is WHO WE ARE.
26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
Galatians 3:26 NIV
You are a child of the Great I AM. Once you were the child of Sin, but now you have been adopted into God’s family. Which means, that old identity, that old name, that old person you used to be is GONE. Now you are a Christian and that’s not just some title or label that describes you.
THAT IS WHO YOU ARE – Inside – The REAL YOU.
When you’re saved, that Sinful person dies and a new person is born – not on the outside, but on the inside – your identity – your very being is made new.
A Christian is not WHAT I am, a Christian is WHO I am.
You can strip away my claims of being a “writer”, “reader”, or “blogger” –you can tear away all the labels I’ve ever used to describe myself — but you can NEVER, NEVER, take away my identity.
All those labels, they can be lost, after all, they’re only temporal – but my position as a child of GOD is ETERNAL.
Because that’s the deepest part of who I am.
And behind all the labels – that’s who you are too.
So let’s not forget it.
Meet the Blogger:
Julia Skinner is a lover of fantasies, cleanliness, and sarcasm with a rather concerning fondness of sharp things. She dwells in the reclusive Texas countryside with her parents and 4 siblings where she bemourns her ruthless nemesis: MATH, fumes at her computer’s unresponsiveness whenever she attempts to do her college and buries herself between pages of words. Her existence solely relies on the constant, never-ending mercy of her Savior Jesus Christ and she lives to bring Him glory in all things.
Julia writes about all things inspiring, from books to hobbies, every week over at LITAFLAME.BLOG
Hey guys. It’s Emmie here. I’m honestly at loss for words at how wonderful this post is and how incredible the message is. Thank you so much to Julia for writing it and congratulations to her on winning the giveaway!
If you would like your guest post featured like this one, I am opening guest post submission in a few weeks! (Think March 6). I’m looking forward to seeing your submissions!
Are you planning on submitting a guest post when submissions open? Did you like this post as much as I did? Do you find your identity in God, not labels?
If all we ever did was go by how things looked like, yeah, we’d be finished. Any dummy can look at a follower count and go “oh, that’s low.” It takes a real person of faith to look at the same thing and see the precious hearts and souls of people behind that count.
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
God doesn’t only throw a party when 100 people get saved. All of Heaven rejoices over one precious soul who comes to Jesus.
Numbers really don’t mean a thing; first point them to the King. Whether ten people got saved or a hundred, don’t focus on the numbers. Focus on keeping at what God’s told you to do.
BOTTOM LINE: YOU DON’T KNOW THE IMPACT.
The bottom line is that you don’t know. You don’t know the seeds you’ve planted in people’s hearts. You don’t know the untold impact you had in encouraging someone with the love of God. You don’t know the stories. You don’t know just how God is using what you’ve consecrated and dedicated to Him.
Not everyone tells you about the impact you’ve had on them. I know I don’t—with 300 blogs I follow, I can’t comment on every single post. And I can’t shake every preacher’s hand or track down a random stranger and tell them I liked what they said.
But there are still certain posts that stick out to me this day that have encouraged me in reminding me that little, everyday things you do for people matter. There are messages I’ve listened to that the preacher has no idea that they have radically changed my life and brought me out of being a pessimist.
They don’t know my story. They don’t know the impact they’ve had on me. And they don’t let that stop them.
Never let yourself become discouraged by what it looks like. Because when you trust God and use what you have to bring Him glory and share Jesus with others, He will use you to do great and mighty things for the Kingdom of God, even if it doesn’t look like it on the outside. Because ultimately, you’renot really the one making the impact—God is working through you.
Give God your best, then let Him do what He does best and trust that He know what He’s doing.
Challenge yourself this week!
If you have a passion for sharing Jesus with people, don’t be daunted by what it looks like! Don’t let outward appearances and what things look like hold you back. You don’t know what God is doing through your life and talents. Keep at it!
Madison Grace is a professional blogger, writer, doll collector, & minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition to traveling and speaking to youth, she blogs about living an undefeated lifestyle at madigrace.org, professional doll collecting at delightfulworldofdolls.com, and writing excellent moral fiction at madisongraceauthor.com.