On Being a Caterpillar

One thing I love about God's creativity in creation is that we can see spiritual realities mirrored in it. For example:

(Source unknown)

We call this a caterpillar. 

A caterpillar is actually a butterfly, not a unique entity called a caterpillar. It's an immature, baby butterfly, but as long as nothing disrupts its life cycle, it will surely become what it is. What I mean is that the internal reality will be seen outwardly, in its fullness, in due time. It's built into its DNA to build a cocoon and be transformed into a butterfly. There's work involved but it doesn't try really hard, necessarily. It simply follows its inward promptings, sets the environment and boom...wings, colors, beauty...butterfly. It becomes something that looks completely (almost) different. 

(Photo from http://www.webexhibits.org/causesofcolor/15A.html )

Of course we learned in elementary school that it's called metamorphosis. From the Greek word, "metamorphoo," meaning, "to change into another form, to transform, to transfigure." 

We see that same word used in scripture in these verses...

Matthew 17:2 And He [Jesus] was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.

2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

Does that blow your mind like it does mine? The same word used to describe the transfiguration of Jesus is used for our transfiguration into His image. What?! We behold His glory and we are being transformed into that same image...the image of His glory! Are you kidding, God? 

 In the same way we see the caterpillar transfigured - in that small, yet huge, example - when we are saved, when we accept the salvation provided to us through Jesus and make Him Lord over our lives, we have the glory of Christ within us. We are immature, baby, bearers of His glory, but just as surely as a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, we will be transformed into the image of His glory. It, too, involves work, in a sense, but it's not that we try hard, it's that we follow the inward promptings of the spirit...step by step, from "glory to glory." We see in part while we are here and will see it in fullness in eternity. It's in our spiritual DNA and will be seen not only spiritually, but physically. In due time. 

Glory is in you, believer. His glory is in you.



Grace and Obedience Are Not Opposites

Grace and obedience are not Biblical opposites, so why do they seem to be consistently set in opposition to one another? 

Love for God can no more simply be an emotion, than marital love can. If you can just fall in love with God then you could presumably fall right back out when things get difficult, or boring. Love involves emotion, but love is ultimately a choice and love is action. I didn't make that up. God did.

God's love is not earned by obedience, but our love for Him is demonstrated and seen through our obedience to His Word. If there is no fruit of obedience, dare I say, works, then, perhaps, there is no love. 

Why is this a problem for people? Seriously. What are people afraid of when love, grace and works are all mentioned in the same sentence?