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            I've always wanted a pet butterfly. But have you ever tried to catch a butterfly without harming it? I've caught them before, but I usually damage their wings when I grab them, and they don't seem to do well after that. So I had an idea!

            I found a wooly caterpillar and caught him. (It might have been a her, but I don't know that much about caterpillars, but for convenience sake I will refer to my caterpillar as 'him'.) Catching the caterpillar was easy. They don't move too fast, and I was able to catch him without damaging him. I know that butterflies come from caterpillars, so I knew that with a little help I could have my butterfly. I also know that for a caterpillar to become a butterfly takes time, you know, that whole cocoon thing or waiting until he wraps himself in silk while that whole metamorphosis thing takes place. But I want my pet butterfly now!

            I began with some external work on my caterpillar. Butterflies done have that many legs, so I pulled off all the extra ones. Butterflies don't have all that hair, so I got out my shave cream and a razor and removed all the fuzz. Butterflies have long antennas so I took some cat whiskers and inserted them in his forehead. Then I took some tissue paper and fashioned a pair of wings and stuck them on his back using some super glue, and wha-laa! I had a caterpillar that looked like he was going to a Halloween party dressed as a butterfly! Needless to say, it wasn't the pet butterfly I had hoped for.

            All too often we think of Christianity as just putting on the right clothes, acting the right way, following the right rules, kind of like a caterpillar dressed up to look like a butterfly. But this was never what God had planned. God's plan was for an internal transformation.

            Jeremiah says, "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people." (Jer. 31:30-33, ESV, bold added)

            The law never worked at producing a new creation. It produced caterpillars dressed up and parading around like butterflies. Many churches produce the same thing by telling people that if they dress a certain way, keep certain external rules and regulations that God will be pleased with them. But God desires a metamorphosis, a transformation from the inside. We are to become a whole new creation. Our minds, our hearts, our soul changes. When this happens, the outside stuff will take care of itself.


Think about it.


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Teachings of Jesus from the book of Luke: Change │October 23, 2016

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