Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: sin (page 2 of 2)

FirstFruits~What Are You Pursuing?

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to Part 2 of the FirstFruits series, where we explore the concepts of James 1.

What runs your life? That is the question James asks his fellow believers in verse 11.

For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beautiful appearance perishes. So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits (James 1:11 NKJV).

A lot of people think that James is condemning all rich people, and that it is evil to have money. That’s not true, as sin affects us all no matter if we are rich or poor. The key is this sentence: “So the rich man also will fade away in his pursuits.”

It’s not the money that hurts us, but rather our pursuit of it. This isn’t just about riches either. We often have many pursuits that are not about Jesus. Maybe it’s attention, relationships, our career or grades. Maybe it’s approval, or our appearance.

The truth is, we spend a lot of our time focusing on the wrong things and then wonder why our souls are left empty.

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Again, the Word provides the answer we need.

 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (James 1:14-15 NKJV). 

Sometimes our desires for the things of this world get out of hand. Instead of setting our hearts on God and His perfect will, we focus on what we think the world can satisfy us with. Verse 15 clearly shows us that the world cannot fulfill our deepest needs. In fact, when not aligned with the will of God, our wants can lead to sin, and this sin leads to spiritual death.

Here’s some real talk–I’m not a perfect person. I know what it’s like to pursue the world and wind up empty. I tried to find acceptance in my grades, appearance, and approval of others. I was looking for the acceptance that I had no idea was right in front of me the whole time.

Even though I still struggle with temptations (after all, I am only human), I know the secret to a fulfilled life and soul. When we pursue Jesus and His grace and love, we become fully alive in Him (Romans 6:8)!

God has more in store for us than we can ever imagine. He alone can satisfy our every need and desire, so we can fully enjoy the world around us the way He intended.

Right now I want you to take a few minutes to ask yourself, “what have I been pursuing lately?” Is it things of God or things of this world? Wherever you’re at, ask Jesus for His abundant life as you surrender your heart. I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.


Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share 🙂

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Worthy or Not?

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Sinner. Bad. Weak. Ugly. Stupid. Dirty. Either we have had these words hurled at us by others, or we have given at least one of them to ourselves. If you are anything like me, then you are one of the many Christians who battle low self-esteem or self hatred.

However, this isn’t working. As Christians we are told to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength–and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27).

How can we love others the way Christ does if we can’t even like ourselves?

So many issues that people, especially teens, face today reflect our failure to see ourselves the way God does. Depression, eating disorders, self-harm, addictions, sexual promiscuity, and other unhealthy behaviors often stem from a root of self hatred. We don’t see ourselves as good or worthy of love, so how can God love us?

First of all, God really does love you.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16 KJV).

It does not surprise God that we aren’t perfect. He knows we screw up. He knows we make mistakes, and that we can’t possibly save ourselves. The Old Testament laws only served to remind humanity that we are inadequate on our own; we need a Savior.

God gave us His perfect, sinless Son Jesus Christ as payment for our sins and short-comings. Now even though Jesus is perfect and lived a sinless life, that doesn’t mean He can’t understand our imperfections. Jesus was tempted in every way we are (Hebrews 4:15), so He totally understands our weaknesses.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Okay, so I’m a new creation in Christ now that I’ve accepted Him as my Savior. So why aren’t I perfect now? Here’s the thing–as Christians, we will still struggle with sin. In fact, the struggle might seem even worse as our hearts are convicted by the Holy Spirit.

Don’t worry. God knows this, and we are still covered by the blood of Jesus. All of our sins–past, present, and future–are covered by the blood of Jesus. This is not an excuse to go on sinning without a care, but it gives us the freedom to walk in the righteousness of Christ.

We are God’s children. You are His precious child. He knows you and loves you. He thinks you’re beautiful.  Even though you still struggle with sin, even though society tells you that you’re not enough, even though life can be hard, God loves you and nothing else can change this.

God’s love is relentless. 

You are worth it to God. You are worth being here. Once you believe that Jesus died for your sins and you surrender your life to Him, God gives you a new heart that is like His.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

Even though our flesh may fail, God knows our hearts. As long as we repent and have faith, He will forgive. The power of Jesus’ blood is greater than any sin we could ever commit. We are no longer stained or in bondage by our past mistakes. Instead we need to walk in the freedom that is made possible by what Jesus did for us!

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share 🙂

Just a reminder! This weekend I will be at winter camp with my church’s youth group, so there will be no post on Friday. Please pray for our trip, and that the students experience God in miraculous ways!

Don’t forget to join the #GoLoveSomeoneChallenge on Instagram (@fearfullywonderfullyme)!

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Did God Really Ask Me to Do That?

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I recently got into a conversation with an older, intelligent woman who claimed to be a Christian. As we were talking, the topics of faith and sinful lifestyles were brought up. The woman kept shaking her head at me, saying how there couldn’t be a loving God who would judge us so harshly on our fleshly tendencies. 

I really wasn’t exactly sure how to respond at first. I knew that God is indeed loving, but that He is also just. We must try to overcome our sinful nature on our walk with God. I also mentioned that I couldn’t really judge another person’s sinful lifestyle, as I had my own temptations and sins to worry about.

The more time I spent alone, the more I started to think about this topic. It doesn’t seem fair does it? There are just some things I would really like to do/say/think that God doesn’t like. Why does He want us to be so miserable? After all, He created us this way.

The thing is, God doesn’t want us to be miserable. He wants us to be holy–like Him. And since the fall of Adam and Eve and the sin that entered the world, us humans have a hard time understanding what is truly holy. We have an even harder time trying to desire what is holy.

To all of you who are bummed out by God’s expectations–to all of you who may be turned off to Christianity because of your current life situation–I get it. There are changes I have had to make in my life, and there are still things that I am working on. It isn’t always easy, and sometimes I really don’t want to. So why do I bother?

I bother because I love God so much that I want to please Him more than I want to please my own flesh. Sometimes I waver and fail (aka sin), but my heart really is set on Jesus, so I am quick to repent. I know that no matter what I am loved by God and saved by the blood of His Son Jesus, but a guaranteed ticket to heaven is not where the story ends.

We can have the holy and beautiful life that God has in store for us starting now if we submit to His word. If you really know God–if you really have experienced the love and freedom of Jesus–then everything else in life will fail to measure up. Even the people and things we love most will hold second place to God (even though they can still matter).

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone (James 2:17 KJV).

You can tell who is a true follower of Jesus by how the Holy Spirit is working in their life. A true Christian will not live the same way as everyone else. We will not watch the same movies, listen to all of the same music, or say the same things.

I see this in my own life every day. I used to watch a show on T.V. that I thought was funny. I recently was flipping through the channels to find re-runs of it playing. It was so vulgar and raunchy that I had to change the channel. Not only did I not find it funny anymore, but I truly did not want it. Obviously I am not perfect here, and I still watch mainstream shows. It’s just that I am more careful with my choices.

Still, some things are harder to give up. Sometimes it can even take time and maybe some extra help from older Christians or professionals. But I know that I want everything in my life, including the decisions I make, to glorify God. Every time we choose God over this world, we get to experience the full joy of God’s presence. We also get to live the life He wants us to have.

A lot of us will nod our heads and say “amen” to this. Here’s a question for you ladies: Will you give up that super cute and charming boyfriend who isn’t a mature Christian for God? 

It can be hard, but if you truly love God and know how much He loves you, then you will become convicted of the things in your life that you need to change. Spiritual maturity and growth takes time, but it’s worth it. Even though giving up some of our fleshly ways isn’t fun in the beginning, if we have faith and keep persevering, we will reap the rewards. 

 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (Galatians 6:9 NKJV).

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Chosen–How God Loves Us

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 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love“… You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you (John 15:9,16 NIV).

Do you understand the weight of this verse? God chose you; He keeps choosing you no matter what you say or do. You can’t stop His incredible love. In fact, the more you try to resist or deny God’s love, the more He will pursue your heart. 

If you’re like me, then you’ve probably wondered, “how do I feel God’s love? How do I know it exists?” 

You won’t ever feel the true weight of God’s love by doing all of the right things in life, or by trying to live up to some perfect religious standards. The only way we can truly understand how much the Savior adores us is to realize how awful our sin is and how far we have fallen. 

And you know what?  We don’t have to try to impress God with our religiosity or good works in order to show we love Him. The only way to truly love God is to surrender our lives to His love, and to let Him have His way in our lives. 

The effects of the fall of man are still obvious today. But through it all, God decided to choose us. He chose you, even in those moments when you wouldn’t have chosen yourself. There is nothing you can do to stop the relentless love of God, so you might as well embrace it. You might as well choose to believe in it. 

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Happy Monday and thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share 🙂

That Post About Sin

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Let’s talk about sin. I know, it’s uncomfortable. Why don’t I just write about God’s love or amazing grace? Well, I do love writing about all that, but it’s kind of hard to get a grip on how unfathomable God’s love is for us until we realize how much we really don’t deserve it. 

That last sentence hurts, but we have to remember that Jesus didn’t die for perfect people. He died for murderers, liars, gluttons, adulterers, and selfish people. He died for you and me.

The good news of the Gospel is because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can be forgiven of all of these sins. We can go to heaven. We can know God and have a personal relationship with Him! And you know what? We can be free from the chains of our sins. 

You heard me, we can be free from the destructive clutches of our past! But in order to become free from our sin, we need to understand what sin is. In a nutshell, there are two main “groups” of sins:

The first group of sins are the things that are not God’s will. They go against everything He is, and were never things He intended for us to have. They are sins like anger, jealousy, greed, and perversion. These are sins of the heart and can be very had to “weed out.”

Again, the good news is that God can work in us and turn these sins into good fruits that are a part of His will–things like joy, contentment, love, and purity.

The next group of sins are the thing that are of God’s will and plan for our lives, but that the devil twists for his evil purposes. Basically, anything can turn into a sin. Food is good, but eating way too much of it isn’t. Sex is good, but not outside of marriage. Beauty is good, but not when we become obsessed with it.

 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies (Matthew 15:19 NKJV).

These two groups of sins go hand in hand. The heart sin plants a seed, and what manifests is the “twisted” sin. For example, we can become obsessed with competition or material items. This is the outward sin (behavior), and the heart sin would be jealousy.

In order to stop the outward sin and bring good fruits into our hearts (such as contentment and a normal attitude toward others and material goods), we must root out the impurity that is causing us to sin. This is how we find balance. 

This method works with any type of sin. A lot of people have sex before marriage because we all want to be loved. The heart issue can be solved when we spend time with God and realize that He loves us more than anyone else could.

This is why the Bible tells us to examine our hearts.

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5 NIV)

The best way to kick sin in the butt is to get in touch with our hearts and ask God to show us what’s chaining us down. Once we surrender our sin to God, the chains can be broken. 

There is no sin that is too great for the Lord to forgive. Some sins may have more earthly consequences than others, but all of them can be forgiven through the blood of Jesus. All you have to do is search your heart, ask for forgiveness, and watch the chains fall off.

 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 NKJV).

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share 🙂

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