Hello beautiful Reader and welcome back to the Sunday Series!
Our beloved Sunday Series has taken on a life of her own these past few weeks, with a decided direction towards faith-focused topics. This feels absolutely right in my soul, as I believe it is my duty and calling to share my faith with everyone I love, and that includes you, my dearest Reader!
Of course, if you are not a Christian or even interested in Christianity, I am NOT here to force you to consider it, or push you to any decision. I am merely here to help those who are interested in growing their faith and learning more: we must all choose our paths out of a fierce free will and personal desire.
Now, I am of course not an expert theologian, nor an ordained pastor, but I do wish to help you grow into your faith, or merely explore it as an option if you're unsure about it, so today I have compiled some thoughts about starting up your faith and how to grow!
My first tip for beginner sisters in faith is to remain patient with yourself. Go easy on yourself if you are just starting out a new faith journey!
Everyone has to start somewhere, and although it might feel like your other Sisters in Christ are lightyears ahead of you in their faiths, the reality is that we are all just simple sinners, saved by the grace of God. Just because I have been a Christian "longer" than you does not mean I am actually more advanced in this long journey of walking with Christ.
So, please do not feel intimated. Faith is a lifelong journey that you will never really complete, even before you die. Of course, we can all grow, advance, and become more useful to the Lord as we shed our sinful habits, choices, and behaviors, but when you are beginning, it is good to remain in a state of patience with yourself and the journey.
My second tip is to make sure you establish the basics of your faith foundation! It is imperative, when you are starting out a new faith journey, to establish the basics: repentance of your sins, acceptance of God's great forgiveness through Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, and finally, a commitment to continually turn away from sin and towards God for the rest of your life.
At the end of the day, whether you are protestant or Catholic, whether you are Baptist or non-denominational, we must all lay our sins at the feet of Jesus and humbly as for His forgiveness.
So these are the basics: God is a good and gracious God who made us in His image at the beginning of creation. Unfortunately, we humans chose to sin, and therefore we are unfit and unable to be in relationship with our perfect heavenly father. The consequence of sin is death and a life separated from God.
Fortunately for us, God sent His only son to be born into human carnation as a man on earth, to live a Holy and perfect life, and then to die in our stead, offering himself up to sin, hell, and as a sacrifice for our sins, despite His Holy and perfect life. When we recognize that Jesus died so that we would not have to pay the price for our sins, we can begin to live freely in His beautiful grace, and move forward with the excitement and hope of eternal life.
I'm sure you can think of many things you've done in your life up until now that would qualify as "sinful." In my life, I have lied, hurt people, been envious, and been cruel. I have so much in my life to repent from, and am forever grateful for God's forgiveness.
Try to not lose sight of the fact that the truth of Scripture pointing out our sins isn't to shame us or make us feel like terrible beings, rather it is to point out the vast difference between us and God, and to show us that despite our wretched selfish souls, God still chose us.
At the end of the day, whether or not you choose to go to church or mass, or whether or not you read the Bible on your phone or in an actual book, all you need to do is to accept Christ as our personal Lord and savior, and commit to living your life for him, in rejection of your sin, and in pursuit of His word and holiness.
My next tip is to focus on the commitment you are making to God.
Accepting Christ is all well and good, but if you go out the next day and continue living your life as if nothing happened, then there was truly no real emphasis or meaning behind even accepting His grace in the first place.
Jesus' grace and His forgiveness for your sins means that you must choose to "go and sin no more." Of course we are all going to sin again in our lifetimes, probably even before today is over! But there is a difference between choosing not to sin while actively trying to live for God, and then just putting the label of "God's love" all over your sinful decisions and refusing to change your life for Him.
My final tip is this: LEARN and CONNECT as much as possible.
I learned awhile back that your faith can be built upon two areas of connection with God: "General Revelation," which is the experience of learning about God through observing His creation, and participating in general philosophy or reasoning. And then "Personal Revelation," which is the emotional connection and experience you have through personally praying to God, experiencing His word through His Spirit, and learning about His love for you in an emotional sense.
I like to think of general revelation as "learning" and personal revelation as "connection." So as you build your faith, I urge you to work on both of these areas of your growth: learning, AND connection.
Learn about God and salvation by reading the Gospel of Matthew or John, and then the book of Romans and Hebrews in the Bible. Romans is a great book to read if you feel confused about salvation and the purpose of Jesus' death because the Apostle Paul wrote it as a letter to the ACTUAL Romans to explain the message of Salvation to them.
You can also learn about your faith by reading Scripture faithfully, and by reading the devotions on https://www.proverbs31.org/ or listening to the podcast, SetApartGirl. These are ministries and resources specifically set up for women that should be quite useful to you.
Finally, connect with God and your faith by listening to worship music, praying, and pouring out your heart to Him in a journal. Write about your life, your fears, your desires, and how you feel about Him. Cry out to God when you are in need, and always make sure you connect your emotions to your faith by expressing yourself to God and relying on Him for your strength.
Psalms is a wonderful book of the Bible to read when you want to emotionally connect with God and your faith, and don't forget to open it up even when you are feeling like you are in the pit! All the emotions you could ever feel are covered in Scripture. Read Scripture and take time to write down your feelings towards God, and choose worship music or even classical music to connect with the beauty of God, and even take time to walk in nature and feel His creation around you.
Experience the beauty of Creation and never stop thanking God for His mighty work in your life, even if you do not fully understand it, or even His plan for you just yet.
Alright my love! This will be it for today. I hope this was somewhat helpful, but if it was not, I will link a few resources below to help you even further.
I am wishing you all the best in your journey my Sister, and please know that I keep you all in my prayers. God loves you, and He has an incredible plan for your life, if only you choose to accept Him.
Christianity for beginners: