Sunday, March 11, 2012

If You're a Butterfly, You Can't Become a Caterpillar Again

A butterfly can not undo the process that made it a butterfly and it cannot become a chubby little caterpillar again. It's wings may get soiled. It may get mangled by other bugs. It may lose it's ability to fly. But it cannot undo what's been done. It cannot become a caterpillar again, no matter what it thinks about itself.
What about Christians? As a believer, have you ever struggled with where you stand with God?

As a Christian, I personally struggled for several years, wondering if I'd somehow out-sinned God's grace. I wondered if I had lost my salvation and wrestled very deeply with it to the point of deep depression.

I tried to do more things to assure me that I was saved. I tried to clean up my act on my own and felt that I was saved on the days I behaved and that I'd somehow lost salvation on the days that I had not behaved. I even wrote in my Bible years ago { several times of course, because I was going by feeling and not by faith }, "This is the day that I was TRULY saved. I really meant it this day."

But there is a problem with that way of thinking when I look at God's Word. Ephesians 2:8-9 says:

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast."

Did you catch that? It says that grace is a gift.

When was the last time someone gave you a gift and you said, "Oh no....I had a bad day, so they're going to take that gift back from me." ? Probably never. They gave a gift in love. You accepted it. Now it's yours to keep.

God gives us the gift of salvation through faith when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. We may lose some of His blessings when we sin, but we don't lose our salvation.

It's taken me a long time to learn, but when we accept Jesus, we are REDEEMED, meaning that we become a part of God's family, are forgiven of our sins and are saved from God's eternal punishment.

Then God's Spirit begins to activate His influence and work in us and we are SANCTIFIED.  He begins to transform the inner parts of us to become increasingly more and more like the character of God.

Redemption happens in a moment and Sanctification happens all throughout our lives until we meet Him.

So, if you're a butterfly--if you've already given your heart and life to the Lord, but you're fretting that you feel like a caterpillar again, take heart. The Lord doesn't take back His promises. He may remove some blessings from us in order to return us to Him, but we're not kicked out of the family. You can never become a caterpillar again once you've been given the wings of grace and accepted in faith what Jesus has already done for you.

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