Friday, April 5, 2019

Outdoor Object Lesson 93: Growing In Christ

Key Text

“Putting away therefore all wickedness, all deceit, hypocrisies, envies, and all evil speaking, as newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, that with it you may grow, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious: coming to him, a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God, precious.” 1 Peter‬ ‭2:1-4‬ ‭(WEB‬‬)


Birds can be funny and odd creatures at times. Perhaps one of the most unusual things birds do is called “anting.” A bird will deliberately find an ant hill, sit on top, spread its feathers, and let the ants crawl all over it. Sometimes, the bird may even pick up the ants with it’s beak and place them on itself! If humans tried this they would certainly regret it. But many bird species are known to do this purposely and suffer no ill effects.

Over 200 species of birds have been observed performing this odd ritual including blue jays, crows, and turkeys. Scientists have studied this peculiar behavior since the 1930’s but still cannot fully explain why birds do it. Several theories have been proposed to explain this behavior including that the ants help to remove small parasites from the birds feathers and skin. Other theories suggest that perhaps the birds just enjoy it. But no one knows for sure why birds put ants all over their bodies.1

It can be similar for outsiders watching Christians. Why do Christians do weird things regular people don’t? It has been this way since Jesus called his disciples. Outsiders often can’t understand why someone would give up their money or possessions, leave a comfortable life or even risk their life for some guy named Jesus. Why do Christians give up some behaviors that might feel good or be easy? Why do they waist time going to church and reading some old book? Why do Christians make such a fuss about good behavior? What’s wrong with a little white lie or getting revenge on someone who really deserves it?

When we accept Jesus into our life and invite the Holy Spirit to change us from the inside, we are sure to change our behaviors and ideas. Growing in Christ means we become more like him. We put away the “normal” things of this world such as wickedness, deceit, hypocrisy, and evil speech. We do “unusual” things like spend a lot of time getting to know Jesus and risking our reputations and our lives for him. God said his ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Jesus said we may even be hated because we are different when we follow him (Matthew 10:22). It is ok to be different. It is a sign of your spiritual growth. Being different may cause people to ask why, and this is a great opportunity to tell them about Jesus!


Have you ever felt odd because of the choices you have made for Jesus?

What changes have you seen in your life that let you know you are growing in Christ?

Does being different guarantee that we will experience persecution?

If we don’t feel odd about our behavior as Christians does that mean we are not living like Christ?

What changes do want to see in the future in your life? Pray that God will continue to make you more like Jesus.

1. Birds Rub Ants on Themselves, and No One Knows Exactly Why," Atlas Obscura online, (November 21, 2017), accessed March 11, 2019 from

Written by David F. Garner
Photo credit: 442683 via

SDA Belief Series 11/28