Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: Romans 12:2

purple sunrise

What if the Sky was Purple?

Purple sunrise

My middle son is not black and white colorblind, but he can’t tell the difference between blues and purples. His brothers love to point out when he’s colored a purple sky or when his clothes don’t match. The funny thing is, he’s the artist of the family. He’s shown the gift of being artistically inclined since kindergarten, and it has only improved with age. Now he’s moved on to creating animated characters through software programs like Blender. He’ll sit for hours, drawing elaborate landscapes and detailed creatures where the leaves ruffle in the breeze or fur ripples down the animal’s back.

It’s as if he can see things in layers – the bones or basic structure overlaid with curves and lines, followed by the intricate details that give a drawing life, and lastly, shading and touches of light. He may not be able to tell the color blue from purple, but he has a unique ability to see shapes, shadows, and details in a way other people do not.

God wants us to see differently.

Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”

After leading the Israelites out of Egypt and up to Canaan, Moses sent out twelve men to collect intel on the city’s people, crops, and fortifications. The men went out and came back, stating that it, indeed, was the promised land, flowing with milk and honey. They also brought back a cluster of grapes, so huge two men had to carry it on a stick between them.

Giant fairytale

They also reported back of the great city’s thick walls, mighty fortifications, and powerful giants. Yes, giants. The men shook in their sandals as they relayed how the Israelites appeared like grasshoppers to the Canaan giants. Only Joshua and Caleb silenced the men and said, “We should go and take possession of the land.” However, it was too late. Fear had already begun to spread like a contagious disease throughout the Israel camp. Because of their doubts and fears, the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years, and only Caleb and Joshua ever stepped foot in the promised land.

Joshua and Caleb witnessed the same land as ten other explorers, but whereas the men saw giants, Caleb and Joshua saw victory. Whereas the other explorers took into account their human abilities, Caleb and Joshua considered God’s capabilities.

The world may tell us we’re small, incapable, or colorblind, but God says, look out and see victory.

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There’s More to Life Than This.

After the age of twenty-one, our bodies begin to die.

I first heard this morbid declaration from one of my college professors. I remember it clearly because I had just turned twenty-one. My friend, who was nineteen leaned in and said, “Stinks to be you.”

Elderly Man who looks strangly similar to my college professor

My professor wasn’t crazy. Research shows starting at around age twenty our cells don’t sequence the way they used to in the past (How we age, The Scientist, March 2015). Think of our cell reproduction in terms of a photocopy. If you keep photocopying the original, you end up with decent copies, but if you photocopy a photocopy and then photocopy that photocopy, the quality goes down significantly. The nice term for this process is called aging.

So, what do we do when most of us still have another three-quarter of our lives to go? Do we fall into a funk? Do we long for the good old days back when our skin was still tone, and our bodies didn’t ache? Do we invest oodles of money in products and programs promising to reverse the aging process?

Can’t we get more out of life?

Absolutely! In Philippians 3: 20-21 (AMP) Paul says, “But [we are different, because] our citizenship is in heaven. And from there we eagerly await [the coming of] the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself, will [not only] transform [but completely refashion] our earthly bodies so that they will be like His glorious resurrected body.”

Don’t focus on the shell. Instead, nourish the seed. 

growing plant held in hand

In Genesis, Adam and Eve were formed in God’s perfect image, but then the fall of man happened (when Adam and Eve ate the apple), compound that with time, and you now have bodies that are corrupted, sinful, and weakened. Our bodies all have an expiration date. However, like the seed from a tree, new life lies within the old shell. Thanks to Jesus, we can believe that someday we will shed this dying shell and be clothed in a new glorious body.

Less of me and more of Jesus

While the world (especially commercials) concentrates on the exterior, God is growing and developing us spiritually. He is making us into His likeness. Romans 12:2 states, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Since the day my professor made that statement, another 20 years have passed. I now have a few smile lines and some gray hairs poking through, but I wouldn’t change my appearance if it meant losing the work God has done in my heart during that time. I’m still a work in progress, but God is making me into a new person, one with more grace, patience, and love than the old me.

Maybelline can’t do miracles, but God can. 

Be excited for our future, because we will be made new. When the day comes, and these earthly bodies have hit their expiration, we’ll slip out of these old rags and get down in our new garbs.

“And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[a]including the new bodies he has promised us.” –  Romans 8:23 (NLT)

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