The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Thursday, May 25, 2017
Message summary: Christ continues to transform lives today and He is either transforming yours or waiting for you to call on His Name so you can be transformed. Please do so today!
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"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" (Romans 12:2). "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Tuesday afternoon following a chaplain visit we walked through the beautiful Hershey Gardens in Hershey Pennsylvania. According to the website: "Hershey Gardens opened in 1937 with Milton Hershey’s request to 'create a nice garden of roses.' More than 75 years later, the small rose garden has blossomed into 23 acres of botanical beauty providing visitors with unique experiences and enriching opportunities."
A newer feature of Hershey Gardens is the Conservatory with a Butterfly Atrium. We enjoyed walking through the tropical-like room and seeing the wide variety of our favorite insect. I wondered if the Bible has anything to say about butterflies so I checked it out using the nifty concordance found on Bible programs like Bible Gateway. It doesn't use the word in any standard Bible translation.
But a word often associated with the butterfly is used. In fact it was one of the first really big words I recall learning in grade school; "metamorphosis". As most of you know that is the scientific word describing the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly. The butterfly larvae feed for about two weeks developing into worm like caterpillars about 2 inches long. Next it will transform into a pupa (or chrysalis) and in about two weeks complete the transformation into a colorful butterfly. We were surprised to learn that most butterfly species live only one to two weeks
Metamorphosis is actually a Greek word and Greek is the language used in the original New Testament. It is used in Romans 12:2 which is translated in English as "be transformed".
"Be transformed" (from metá = denotes change of place or condition + morphoo = to form from morphe = form, shape referring to the essential form of a thing.) It has the basic meaning of changing into another form and is the term from which we get metamorphosis, which in biology denotes the amazing change of a lowly worm into a beautiful butterfly. So the change in view here is not a superficial fluctuation of fashion or conduct but a vital change revealing a new life.
In 2 Corinthians 3:18 we read of the process of "being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory."
In the second daily text the Apostle Paul describes the wonderful transformation that Christ brings, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17). When a person turns to Christ a wonderful transformation takes place. In one sense it's instantaneous. In another sense it's a life-long process. And the tremendous blessing is that our spiritual transformation prepares us for eternity in heaven. I'm sure thankful that our metamorphosis brings about more than just a temporal behavioral change and mindset but it also provides us with an eternal nature.
"Transformed" is present tense signifying that this is not a one-time event, not a single crisis experience, but a transformation that is progressively realized, a gradual process.
Romans 12:2 instructs, "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind."
We read this in a commentary:
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Jesus, how grateful I am that You turned the darkness of my soul into the sunshine of Your glory. You transformed my heart and renewed my mind when I received You as my personal Savior. You took away sin's sorrows and filled me with everlasting joy. Sin no longer is my master, but You are my Lord and Master. It is Your voice that I hear and it is Your paths that I follow! Continue the process of transformation in my life until that final day when Your work is complete. You gave me my first breath and I want to give You my final breath as I am transformed into immortality. Amen.
Study notes for Romans 12:2 from the Precept Austin commentary compendium
The Butterfly atrium was almost enchanting as butterflies zoomed all over the place and comfortably rested long periods of time as they ate which was great for photographers. I believe this is the Postman Butterfly (common in Central & South America)
(Common in Southeast Asia)
Entering and departing the butterfly atrium is through double doors and they warn you to check for hitchhikers such as this Blue Morpho attracted to Brooksyne's bright pink jacket. Inside the wings of this Morpho is a solid sea blue which doesn't seem to go with the outer wing pattern or color. Blue Morpho is common in Central & South America.
Statue of a little girl catching butterflies on the grounds.
Of course we saw many flowers and took many photos but today we will merely share this beautiful bloom from the American Wisteria.
The view from Conservatory looking past the fountain to the Hotel Hershey.
Another view of the fountain with the Conservatory in the background.
We enjoyed the bench under this unusual tree!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Change Me" Video Musician not identified
"Since Jesus Came Into My Heart" Video Collingsworth Family
"Thanks To Calvary" Video Dailey and Vincent
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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