Romans 12 talks about how Born-again (John 3:3) believers are supposed to conduct ourselves in a fallen world. Though all human beings live in this world, all of us that gave our lives to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ no longer belong to this world (ruled by Satan). The very moment we confessed our sins and made Jesus our personal Lord and Savior was the very day we became citizens of the kingdom of God. We died from ourselves and went from self centered to Christ centered. At the Cross, Jesus won the victory over Sin and Death and by faith (trust, dependence, belief, reliance) in His finished work (His death, burial and resurrection) at the Cross, we were saved. His victory became our victory. He made us One in/with Him as He is in/with the Father. He sealed that deal by giving us His Holy Spirit (the power of God) to enable, empower and direct us to fulfill every purpose that God Almighty has predestined us to do from before time when He created us with different talents, abilities and unique personalities. These various gifts that God uniquely placed upon every believer, when used in obedience to the Word of God, are meant to move in fluidity in edifying and equipping the Body of Christ (Church, Ekklesia) to accomplish His Great Commission for the salvation of many souls. In Mark 16:15-16, "He (Jesus) said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned." We are members of One Body in which Christ is the Head. Just as the human body have different parts, we are to function as part of His Body in accordance to the assignment He placed upon our hearts. We need every part of the Church to stay where the Spirit of God specifically anoints us to operate---all in accordance to His Word to work harmoniously and effectively. Each one equally important to God and to one another, no matter how big or small the responsibility we are tasked to accomplish.
I love what My Life Application Bible shared pertaining to Romans 12:1-6. It says, "When sacrificing an animal according to God's law, a priest would kill the animal, cut it in pieces, and place it on the altar. Sacrifice was important, but even in the Old Testament God made it clear that obedience from the heart was much more important (1 Samuel 15:22, Psalm 40:6, Amos 5:21-24). God wants us to offer ourselves, not animals as living sacrifices---daily laying aside our own desires to follow Him, putting all our energy and resources at His disposal and trusting Him to guide us. We do this out of gratitude that our sins have been forgiven. God has a good, pleasing and perfect plans for His children. He wants us to be transformed people with renewed minds, living to honor and obey Him. Because He wants only what is best for us, and because He gave His Son to make our new lives possible, we should joyfully give ourselves as living sacrifices for His service. Christians are called to "not conform any longer to the pattern of this world," with its behavior and customs that are usually selfish and often corrupting. Many Christians wisely decide that much worldly behavior is off limits for them. Our refusal to conform to this world's values, however, must go even deeper than the level of behavior and customs---it must be firmly planted in our minds---"be transformed by the renewing of your mind." It is possible to avoid most worldly customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn and arrogant. Only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates, and redirects our minds are we truly transformed. Healthy self-esteem is important because some of us think too little of ourselves; on the other hand, some of us overestimate ourselves. The key to an honest and accurate evaluation is knowing the basis of our self-worth---our identity in Christ. Apart from Him, we aren't capable of very much by eternal standards; in Him, we are valuable and capable of worthy service. Evaluating yourself by the worldly standards of success and achievement can cause you to think too much about your worth in the eyes of others and thus miss your true value in God's eyes. Paul uses the concept of the human body to teach how Christians should live and work together. Just as the parts of the body function under the direction of the brain, so Christians are to work together under the command and authority of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Ephesians 4:1-16). God gives us gifts so we can build up His church. To use them effectively, we must (1) realize that all gifts and abilities come from God; (2) understand that not everyone has the same gifts; (3) know who we are and what we do best; (4) dedicate our gifts to God's service and not to our personal success; (5) be willing to utilize our gifts wholeheartedly, not holding back anything from God's service. God's gifts differ in nature, power and effectiveness according to His wisdom and graciousness, not according to our faith. Our role is to be faithful and to seek ways to serve others with what Christ has given us.
For this Card, I used an image from Art Impressions called "Live Laugh Love" that I watercolored using my Stabilo 68 markers. The base is white CS, cut and scored to make a 5.5 inches square card. The DP's are from Paper Studio, the layered flowers from Prima and the brads from Recollections. Some of the leaves are die-cuts using Spellbinders and some are punched with an MS punch. I also used washi tapes from Tape Works, glitters from Stickles (Crystal) and ran some panels through my sewing machine for some wonderful stitching. I always wanted a space for a personal message from the sender so, I created a side slot to accommodate a message tab. Love it!
This Card is entered into the following Challenges:
Make sure you join us at WAW Challenge. You can use the free Word Art in your creation and link it to our Challenge but is not a requirement. As long as it's family-friendly, uplifting and inspirational, you can enter up to 5 times each week. Great prize package to be won from our wonderful sponsor--- Stix 2 Anything. Always remember that every believer is important to the Body of Christ and none of us are without talents and gifts to contribute to the Body. God placed us at this time when many have succumb to darkness and the hope and light of the Gospel is the only cure. Time is running out!
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