Butterfly Rules

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We studied the book of Galatians in Sunday School last week. 

I asked the children, “Do Christians have rules?”

Well, of course they do. They shouldn’t steal or lie or hit their sisters. 

Then I asked the children, “Does keeping the rules make them Christians?” 

This one was more difficult, and they scratched their heads just like I do when I read Paul’s words to the churches in Galatia, “a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ…” 

We all want a neat list of rules to check off, but the Lord wants our complete surrender in faith.

I held up a caterpillar. (Well, it actually was a popsicle stick with pompoms glued on.) I asked the children, “Can a caterpillar keep butterfly rules? Can he fly? Can he sip nectar?”

Obviously, he can’t. He doesn’t have wings or a proboscis. He is stuck acting like a caterpillar because, well, he is a caterpillar. He would need to be changed before he could keep butterfly rules.

I held up a butterfly. Once transformed, the butterfly can do the things that it was designed to do. It can fly and sip nectar. It can lay eggs and dazzle our eyes with its radiant patterns.

We talked about how silly it would be for a butterfly to try to go back to acting like a caterpillar. Who wants to walk when they have wings?

Our works don’t save our souls. There is no prayer you could say, no offering you could sacrifice, no penance you could do, no altruistic feat you could perform, and no spiritual mountain you could climb to achieve salvation. You’d look as silly as a caterpillar trying to keep butterfly rules.

The burden of salvation sits squarely on God’s shoulders. 

Job cried out, “There is no arbiter between us who might lay his hand on us both!” because he understood his deep need for a mediator to go between him and God. He yearned for a Savior who could bear the burden of salvation. It was too heavy for him.

The Good News is that Jesus came to be just such a Mediator. Paul wrote to Timothy: “For there is one God, and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all.”

He transforms us from sinner to saint, just like He performs His transformative work in a caterpillar, bringing it to new life as a butterfly.

As Christ followers, then, we live differently than we used to. Paul wrote to the Galatians, “Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh.”

We’ve been redeemed and remade, and the rules are different now. 

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”

Would you like to use these lessons with the children in your life? You can find them as a free download on my website www.SarahDixonYoung.com/lettersoflove . You can also find my new book “The Winning of Lady Wisdom” at www.SarahDixonYoung.com/wisdom .

Enter to win your copy HERE. Purchase your own copy HERE.

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