Going Deep Into God’s Word | Guest Post By Ariana Evans (From Ariana’s Archives)

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.”

Matthew 23:3

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.
  • Ask questions!
  • 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:

Matthew 7:7

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.

Blog: https://arianasflyinglife.wordpress.com

Podcast: https://anchor.fm/ariana-i-evans

Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com/arianaisabella1023/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/78127957-ariana-classified

Hey guys. It’s Emmie here. Thank you so much for reading! This was such an amazing guest post by Ariana, and I’m so amazed at how it turned out!

If you would like your guest post featured like this one, I am opening guest post submissions are now open! You can submit your guest post here, and I’m looking forward to seeing your guest posts!

Are you planning on submitting a guest post? What do you think about this topic?

PS. Before you go, we’d love it if you would reblog or sign up to be an author! Don’t forget to send us your prayer requests, too!

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What Christians Forget About Their Identity: Finding YOU Behind Life’s Labels (Guest Post by Julia)

Read this post on the website

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.  

HOWEVER.  

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.

-Colin Wright

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

FIND ME:

BLOG

INSTAGRAM

PINTEREST

GOODREADS


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?

PS. Before you go, we’d love it if you would reblog or sign up to be an author! Don’t forget to send us your prayer requests, too!

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Blessed.

I worked super hard on the new site design! I’d love it if you read this post on the website by clicking here.

Sometimes we need to take a step back and be thankful for all that God has done for us.

Today I heard my dad tell my mom to not worry about wasting because he found out that our insulin was free. Our insurance covers it.

Why am I telling you this? Because when I heard that I realized how incredibly blessed we are. How so many families struggle to get insulin and other basic needs for diabetics. How I need to be more thankful!

There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.

You’ve seen this on signs, Bibles, home decor, posters. For me, just looking at this phrase conjures up images of a wooden sign with a brush font. But despite how common or cliche this saying might be, it really is true.

There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Because even if somehow you’re in the worst situation even possible, you’re trapped in the darkness and you’re broken inside, God still loves you. And that is something to be thankful for!

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)

So today, I want you to take a look around you. At the food on your table, the roof over your head, and the clothes on your back. Because these are things that too many people don’t have. Be thankful, for you are blessed!

Thank you, Lord, for all of my blessings. Thank you for the little things. Thank you for the big things. Thank you, God, for running clean water and light and food and a home and a family. Thank you for all you do for me. Please help me to be thankful. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

(I’m ending my devotionals with prayer now, so you can follow along and pray with me or just read the prayer while you think about the devotional. What do you think?)

What do you think of the new design? The prayer at the end? What are you thankful for?

PS. Before you go, we’d love it if you would reblog or sign up to be an author! Don’t forget to send us your prayer requests, too!

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Release

Every year, my family picks a word for the new year. This year, we picked a word that has a lot of meaning and I really want to strive towards this year: release.

 Release [ri-leese]
verb (used with object),re·leased, re·leas·ing.
    1. to free from confinement, bondage, obligation, pain, etc.; let go
    2. to free from anything that restrains, fastens, etc.
Last year, was full of many hardships and pain. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes, my grandfather died, and I had a lot of anxiety. So this year, my family is making a resolution to let go from the pain and hurt and worry, let go of old problems and arguments, and let go of 2018.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9 

Letting go makes room for new things. Sometimes those new things can be hard, but sometimes they can be the most abundant blessings that you never dared dream of. In 2019, ask God to help you Take the Plunge and release your old self.

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Ecclesiastes 3:6 (MSG)

When we become Christians, the blood of Jesus washes away our sins. We are made new in the eyes of Jesus! All you have to do to become a Christian is say this prayer aloud with me:

Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart. Forgive me of my sin. Wash me and cleanse me. Set me free. Release me, Jesus. Jesus, thank You that You died for me. I believe that You have risen from the dead and that You’re coming back again for me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit. Give me a passion for the lost, a hunger for the things of God and a holy boldness to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m saved; I’m born again, I’m forgiven and I’m on my way to Heaven because I have Jesus in my heart.

Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.

-Romans 10:9-10

Thank you for reading, and have a lovely day! God is on your side in 2019! Stay tuned for a post on my personal word of the year, flexible. This trusting God in 2019 has become sort of a series!

PS Thank you for 50 followers! It means so much to me that you all like my devotionals. I’m working on something awesome for our 1-year blogaversiary + 50 followers celebration! Make sure to check back on Monday, the 21st of January, because that’s when SFMF will be turning 1!

PPS Thank you to Bigskybuckeye for the inspiration for this post! In the comments, your shared your words for 2019 and that prompted me to write about mine!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

What does the word release mean to you? What’s you or your family’s word of the year? What does that word mean to you?

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PS. Before you go, we’d love it if you would reblog or sign up to be an author! Don’t forget to send us your prayer requests, too!

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Take the Plunge: A Devotional

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”

Revelation 21:5

It’s the new year. 2019 will be full of blessings, hardships, joys, and challenges alike, but God’s got you this year!

10 days into 2019, it may seem like you’re dipping your feet into the waters of new things. You’ve probably written down resolutions and goals and have an idea of who you want to be this year, but don’t know how to dive in and start making this year the best one yet.

Continue reading “Take the Plunge: A Devotional”

A Reminder

Worries.

Everyone hates them. Seriously, who likes to feel like their stomach is inside-out? Like their heart is going to burst out of their chest? Like nothing will ever feel safe again?

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

God offers to take away this feeling – like we discussed in the last post, God takes our burdens away from us. He offers us His Peace!

This was a very quick, short, (so short, I’m not even sure it qualifies as a mini-devotional!) but hopefully meaningful reminder post about just how much God loves and cares for you. You matter so much to Him – you’re His child, after all!

“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:8)

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Rest in His Presence

Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks.  Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus.

-Philippians 4:6-7

Have you ever lay on your bed, on the verge of tears? Have you ever chased rest, but it slipped away from you the moment you thought sleep was finally going to come?

 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

-Matthew 11:28-30

The dictionary says a yoke is ‘a frame fitting the neck and shoulders of a person, for carrying a pair of buckets or the like, one at each end.’

A yoke is a heavy thing to carry; it takes extreme strength and perseverance to simply lift it on to your shoulders. If we lived our lives carrying a burden such as this, we would eventually give out or give up.

But we no longer have to carry this yoke, for God says that we can give all of our troubles and burdens to Him! He will take them away or use them for our good. He loves us, even at 2:00 a.m. when our eyes can’t seem to close.

Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

-1 Peter 5:7 ESV

 

That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

– Romans 8:28 MSG*

The next time you just can’t sleep, don’t worry. God is there by your side, no matter what. Every storm eventually passes.

God will give you rest!

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*The Message (MSG) is a modern Bible translation. It doesn’t add to the Bible, for God’s Word speaks for itself, but offers modern wording to help aid the ordinary reader’s understanding.


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