Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 30: Butterly Progress

Photo Credit: David F. Garner

Key Verse

“I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14 WEB


Butterflies are beautiful. Have you ever wondered where they got this name? It is because in England the first butterfly to hatch in the spring is completely yellow, the color of butter.1 Butterfly’s are amazing too. Did you know they smell with their antenna and taste with their feet? It’s a good thing we don’t taste with our feet! Butterflies cannot hear though. They feel small vibrations to sense danger. The Monarch butterfly migrates over 1800 miles (3000km) every year. Butterflies are impressive creatures and important too. They are the second largest pollinators of flowers next to bees.2 Without them we would not have as much food.

Butterflies do not hatch beautiful and colorful though. They must go through three other stages before they become butterflies. They begin as small defenseless eggs. They hatch into small caterpillars with no wings (larva stage). As caterpillars they can only eat a few kinds of leaves. So it is vital that the mother lays the eggs on the correct plant or they will die. As caterpillars they eat and grow. Then they go through a process called metamorphosis in a chrysalis, similar to a cocoon. This is the pupa stage. In metamorphosis their entire body, tissue, limbs, and organs all completely change. Then they emerge from the chrysalis beautiful butterflies.

As humans we share many similarities with the life cycle of butterflies. We are born as defenseless babies. We must be given food like the newborn caterpillars. We must be patient and grow to become something great. This is called progress. In our spiritual lives we must grow one stage at a time. Spiritual progress or growth means beginning small and growing one day at a time. We must face new challenges that will test and strengthen our faith in God. This is the only way to become a beautiful child of God.

The heroes of the Bible all grew slowly into great followers of God. King David, Job, Abraham, Mary, Queen Ester, and many others understood the principle of spiritual progress. As Paul says in Philippians 1:6, He who started a good work in you when you accepted Jesus into your heart will complete it. And he said in Philippians 3:14 that we must press on toward the goal to receive the high calling of Jesus just as the caterpillar must press on to become all that God intended it to be.


What is the most beautiful butterfly you have ever seen? Describe it.

What does spiritual progress or growth mean for a Christian?

What do we need to do to make sure we are growing spiritually?

How do we know that we are growing and progressing spiritually?