Transformed, Made New

“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.”  
Romans 12:2

The butterfly is a picture of transformation from its old life to a new life.  It can remind us of our change that comes in Jesus Christ.  Like a butterfly, we are  “born again.”  2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come!”

In Romans 12, Paul says love is the evidence of the transformed people of God. It is not like clothing we take off and put on again.  It is a new core of who He has made us to be.  Consider verses 9-21.

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.  In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”   Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Paul also reminds us that this transformation is not without struggle.  The caterpillar struggles in the chrysalis.   Don’t we struggle with our flesh in this world every day?  And notice the levels of struggle and peace through the passage:  the further we move away from a life in Christ, the more struggle there is!  But Paul encourages us that the victory of our struggle will be by Jesus’ grace and forgiveness and love that will heal divisions and hurts.  These will unite His people to Him and to each other.

“The Gospel comes, not as an addition to your life, but in exchange for it.”

………………………………………………………………………..Rosaria Butterfield

by Lauren Dillard
All pictures and video donated by Rachel Spinuzzi, Praise and Worship leader at Fort Leavenworth PWOC.  From start to finish, she was able to watch the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly.
Our God is truly creative and wonderful!