Have you ever stopped to think about how amazing it is that a little caterpillar can go into a cocoon and after a period of time he comes out as a completely different creature than what he was? No longer a caterpillar but a creature with wings. Once this little caterpillar’s world was only on the ground and limited to where he wanted to go. Now he is able to fly and see even more things than he ever has before. Now, he can rise and fly freely living a new life of adventure.
To me this is something I find quite fascinating. You know God can speak to us in many ways and one of the ways that He speaks to us is through His creation. For example, in Matthew 6:26 Jesus says, Look at the birds in the sky. They do not store food for winter. They don’t plant gardens. They do not sow or reap—and yet, they are always fed because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are even more precious to Him than a beautiful bird. If He looks after them, of course He will look after you.
Sometimes, I think God points out different things about His creation to teach us about how He desires for us to live. In the example of the birds, He is teaching us about how He always provides for the birds of the air. But, then He takes it a step further in saying that He values us even more than the birds. If He takes care of them how much more will He take care of us? What an amazing promise!! We can trust Him to take care of us. We don’t have to worry or question for a moment if He will. We can rest assured that because He said it, He will do it. Not because He has to but because He wants to. Because He loves us.
The caterpillar is also an amazing example of what God wants to do in our lives. Let me explain. Here is a definition that I found in an encyclopedia about caterpillars it says this, caterpillars are voracious feeders and many of them are considered to be pests in agriculture. Interesting huh? They are considered to be pests. One of the definitions of the word pest is something resembling a pest in destructiveness.
Jesus began to show me that before I invited Him into my life I was much like the caterpillar. I was headed down the road of destruction that would eventually lead to death. Then He showed me that He died for the sins that I had committed so that I could live with Him. He also presented to me the choice of starting completely over and living a new life. I have never fully understood what all that meant but now He has begun to show me more and more what it means. He presented to me the chance to have a life filled with joy, peace, grace, blessing, wholeness and the list goes on and on. So I decided to take Him up on the offer. As I asked Him into my heart, the next thing that happened is what I call the metamorphosis. What is metamorphosis? Metamorphosis is a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.
1 Corinthians 5 says, For if a man is in Christ he becomes a new person altogether—the past is finished and gone, everything has become fresh and new. All this is God’s doing, for He has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ; and He has made us agents of the reconciliation. God was in Christ personally reconciling the world to Himself—not counting their sins against them—and has commissioned us with the message of reconciliation.
Once I received Jesus, He changed me into a new creation. He changed me from a caterpillar into a beautiful butterfly. Here is the definition of a butterfly. They are believed to be free spirits in their flight and lack on constraints. They are also thought of as harmless, innocent creatures. My life went from being on a path of destruction to one of freedom with no constraints. My life changed from a life of devastation to a life of restoration. The thought of a new life and being forgiven brought such joy to my heart. But, I must admit, I have at times struggled with the question am I really a new creation? Am I truly forgiven like it says in the Bible? I believed that God might forgive my sins but there were some sins I was only forgiven of to a degree. Those sins were too ugly to be completely forgiven. Those sins were sins that I must carry the rest of my life. Sure I would live a good life, but not a great life. I would receive some blessings but not all of the blessings God could give me if He wanted to. Why? Because those sins still needed to be punished. I have thought that the sins I committed were uglier than other people’s sins. I would stand by and watch as people I knew would receive blessing after blessing and joy after joy in their lives. Yes I did see some of the mistakes that they had made but thought well God overlooks what they have done. Sure their may have committed ugly sins but not as ugly as the sins I had committed. I believed that was why I would not receive the fullness of the inheritance that Jesus had for me.
Now that I look back though, I can see how Jesus began to take me on a journey since I first came to know Him. I remember it in the words that He spoke to me. I remember Him speaking to me about the transformation that had taken in my life. I no longer had to mourn over the past but I could walk into the joy of what He has given me. Even in the darkest moments of my life I began to question why I was still alive on earth. I felt I had already messed up God’s plan for my life and I just had to bear the burden of the pain of what I had done. Still, He stood beside me and kept telling me that He loved me, that He is for me, that He had fully forgiven me. It wasn’t until recently that this finally begin to settle in my heart. Psalms 103 says, He forgives all our sins. Then further on in Psalms 103 it says You see, God takes all our crimes—our seemingly inexhaustible sins—and removes them. As far as east is from the west, He removes them from us. Isaiah 43:25 says, “I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake and will never think of them again.
He doesn’t look at me and see all my wrongdoings (past, present and future); He sees what is right with me. He doesn’t even think of them anymore. Why? Because of one reason and one reason only and that is Jesus. Isaiah 53 says, it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins! But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Jesus saw beforehand all the sins I would ever commit and He chose to take them upon Himself. Jesus took the punishment that I deserved upon Himself so that I could be made whole, so that I could be forgiven of a debt that I could not pay, so that I could be made right before God. The other day I was listening to someone speak about what it means to be in Christ and this is an amazing example that she gave. She said it like this imagine Jesus standing before you and you walking up to Him and unzipping the side of His body and stepping into His body and zipping it back up. Does God still see you? No, He sees Jesus. He sees that He is righteous before Him and because you are in Him you also are righteous before God.
This is what it means to be in Christ. I want to give one last example about the caterpillar and the butterfly before I end. Once the caterpillar turns into a butterfly, it can never change back into a caterpillar. It can never be what it once was. Now, that it is learning to fly each day not only does the butterfly become stronger and stronger but it becomes more and more free as the days go by. I want to encourage you, you may have asked Jesus into your heart and yet you still feel like you have failed God. You may even feel that you have messed up your life and that there is no hope. You may have even questioned how could God love you when you’ve messed up? Well, I have good news for you. He loves you unconditionally with no strings attached. A great passage to read over and over in the Bible is Romans chapter 8. I want to encourage you to take time and read it. I am just going to highlight some of the verses. In Romans 8, it talks about what happens when we have given our heart to Jesus. It says this, But for you who welcome Him, in whom He dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, He’ll do the same thing in you that He did in Jesus, bringing you alive to Himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and He does, as surely as He did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With His Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s! So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go! This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who He is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance!
You are a new creation you no longer have to live under condemnation. Jesus has paid the price for you to be free from all of your sins! You are forgiven! You can let go of your past and move into a life of freedom. You can receive the unbelievable inheritance that He has for you. Know and believe that God is not mad at you and that He loves you with an everlasting love.
In Romans 8 it also says this, God knew what He was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love Him along the same lines as the life of His Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity He restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in Him. After God made that decision of what His children should be like, He followed it up by calling people by name. After He called them by name, He set them on a solid basis with Himself. And then, after getting them established, He stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what He had begun. So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
In Jesus you are no longer like the caterpillar, you are like the beautiful butterfly. You Are A New Creation!! You can let go of your past and live the life Jesus fully intended for you to live!!