The text for this week’s LR is Colossians 3:1-17…..
Have you ever wondered if that when a butterfly sees a plain white moth, it boasts because its wings beautiful and filled with many colors? Or if that majestic butterfly looks at the caterpillar with a snobbish, elitist, or prejudice attitude?
Other then genetics, what does the butterfly does not have anything to boast about over the moth. The butterfly did nothing that the moth failed to do to make it’s wings brighter. It did not work out more, go to a tanning booth, or read more issues of GQ to gain its beauty. Even the genetics it has been blessed were not earned by the butterfly, but were rather chosen by God.
Likewise, what right does the butterfly have to think it is an any way better then the caterpillar? It was once also a caterpillar and did nothing of it own doing to get rid of its old self and break from the cocoon into its news self. The only reason it is what it is, is because that was it’s Creator’s plan for it to be so.
And so if I may, because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the regeneration and rebirth that it brings to the lives of those who have faith in it, we find ourselves in this Butterfly Effect. (No, I am not talking about the cheesy Ashton Kutcher movies) I am saying that we were like the lowly, creepy, disgusting caterpillar that could try and try all day long but could never become a butterfly until God stepped in and took control of the process. And now because of the mind-blowing power of the Gospel, we caterpillars can become what we were always intended to be….some gnarly looking butterflies!!
The Bible says that we were once completely dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1), unable to comprehend spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14) and that we would still be there if not for the amazing act of love of Jesus on the Cross, which then allowed the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and awaken our hearts to see our desperate need for God’s salvation in our lives. That is, we were our old self, apart from God, and now are our new self, united with Christ.
How then, does our new self differ from our old self?
To answer that I think we must first remind ourselves again how we became our new self. The answer is provided in verse 1 of chapter 3 in Colossians, “If then you have been raised with Christ…” We died with Christ when he went to his grave and we were raised with him during the resurrection!!! Because of Jesus alone, we died to our old self and were given a new life in Him. So since we did not do anything by our own power to “earn” or “deserve” this new life then we must not succumb to pride or idolatry that gives us glory and robs it from God.
If Christ is our ALL, then we do not consider ourselves better because of the color of our skin or our nationality.
If Christ is our ALL, then we do not love money more then we love His grace.
If Christ is our ALL, then we do not boast about our intelligence or athletic ability.
If Christ is our ALL, then we do not love sex more then we love intimacy with God.
If Christ is our ALL, then we do not think more highly of ourselves because of our church attendance record, quiet times, prayer life or service to the needy.
If Christ is our ALL, then we do not praising our favorite sports team more then we love praising our savior.
So since by the will of God, Christ IS our ALL we can put on our new self and run to him and follow his ways because he first loved us.
So since by the will of God, Christ IS our ALL and because he first loved us, we can put on our new self and love others, have patience with one another, forgive our brothers and do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Think everyday, every hour, every minute about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how that effects your life.
Love those around you (even the people you don’t like), because Christ loved you….even when you were a caterpillar!
Live as your new self, because as my boy Justin would say, “The old Me’s dead and gone…dead and gone…ohhhh!”