Stand Tall and Stand Out

“Do not be conformed to this world,but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

(Romans 12:2)

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Paul tells the church in Rome to not conform to the world.  Rome was the center of the Roman Empire, and at that time, a very pagan and secular place.  What does it mean to “conform”?  The definition of conform that applies here is to “be similar in form or type; to agree with.”  Paul emphasized that the Christians in Rome should NOT be similar in type or form with the pagan, secular world.  Rather, they should stand out and be dissimilar from the crowd and the rest of the world.

This timely message applies to us today too.  God was speaking to us through Paul’s letter.  Today, our culture is completely void of godliness and righteousness.  Movies and shows, music, fashion, social media, etc.  It all screams self-preservation and self-glorification, which is the opposite of God’s self-sacrificing love.  Of course, there are some glimpses of goodness in this world, and we should cling to those things (Phil. 4:8).

God calls us to stand out and show others His beautiful character in this ugly world.   We have to make choices that reflect what God would want for us, even when we feel like we are going against the crowd.  We have to stand tall and stand out, even if this world doesn’t agree with our choices.  Even when we feel like we are all alone.  But we aren’t alone–He is standing there with us, to help us stand tall and stand out.  Like a beautiful flamingo standing tall.

I used the new Be a Flamingo stamp set from Sweet ‘N Sassy Stamps, as well the Bitty Minnie Alpha set and the Beach Blessings Printable.  You can see how I masked the leaves and flowers to create the tropical background.  I tried out the Jane Davenport brights watercolor set to paint the images and loved the vibrancy.

How is God calling you to stand out?  How has He helped you stand tall, even when you had to stand alone?

GOD WINS!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“And that spells trouble, with a capital T!”  This line comes from The Music Man, one of my favorite musicals.  The trouble it was speaking of was actually a pool hall opening in town.  Oh, if only that were all the trouble we had to worry about.  These days, there’s school shootings, suicides, road rage incidents, politics, international insecurity, financial worries, marital struggles, parental difficulties, etc., etc., etc.  Jesus wasn’t kidding when He told the disciples that “…in this world you will have trouble.”  There’s trouble everywhere!

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I know I have troubles.  In my home.  At work. With my kids. With my marriage. With my health.  Don’t get me wrong–I am so very blessed. But there are certainly trials and tribulations in all areas of my life.  Satan knows just where to attack us.  But Jesus promises here in this passage that He has overcome these troubles, and He guides and helps me to overcome them too.  Actually, it’s simply a matter of letting Him doing the overcoming and me just trusting Him and allowing Him to work everything out.  Simple, but not necessarily a simple task to do.

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But, oh, if only those were all the troubles we had to worry about.  It’s not the troubles in the world that are most troublesome, but the trouble the world is in.  Did you get that?  Let me say it again.  The troubles IN the world don’t compare to the trouble the world is in.  The world is in trouble because of the sin problem, because Adam and Eve sinned, which allowed Satan to gain control.  We and all humanity were doomed to die for all eternity because God cannot be in the presence of sin.  But take heart!  Jesus, with His perfect life lived, and perfect death offered on the Cross, took back control of this world.  He has overcome!  Now, we are offered eternal life with God through faith.

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For this faith art journaling page, I journaled in my 100 Days of Bible Promises Devotional by Dayspring.  I used the June Faith Art Box by Creative Retreat Kits, and I used some Shimmerz products:  Cotton Candy Spritz and Don’t Rain on My Parade Vibez.  You can see the entire process video below or on my YouTube Channel.

How has God helped you to overcome troubles, both little and big problems, in your life?

 

 

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Creative Retreat Kits June Faith Art Box
100 Days of Bible Promises Devotional
100 Days of Bible Promises Devotional