Monday, September 9, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Soldiers Of Christ Arise"1 (Lyrics)

On a cool, breezy September day, I ventured out with a friend to fly kites at Stinson Beach, which is on the northern coast of California, U.S.A., just north of San Francisco. While we began to fly our kites skyward, our eyes were drawn to the adjacent cypress trees. As it turned out, we had timed our visit with the arrival of the monarch butterflies. Flying high, the butterflies flutter gaily in the air where they land and cling to the cypress trees by the thousands for approximately seven months, where they are free from anxiety, sorrow, and care.

The North American monarch butterfly is the only insect known to make an annual, long-distance migration. The monarchs are famous for their southward migration, from the northern United States and southern Canada to Mexico and coastal California, and their northward return in spring, which occurs over the lifespan of three to four generations. With a wingspan of about 4 inches, they can fly as fast as 30 miles (48 kilometres) per hour.

An unexplained phenomenon is that the fourth generation flies all the way south and winters over in the same trees as their great-grandparents the year before! No one can explain how the fourth generation knows how to get back to where the first generation wintered, or why the first three generations die so quickly and the fourth flies south and lives all winter. It's God's creation at work!

It is easy to understand why so many traditions and cultures across the world embrace the butterfly as a symbol of extreme transformation and change from something earthly and material into something spiritual and free. Just as butterflies undergo complete transformation through different life stages from egg to caterpillar to butterfly, the Christian goes through different spiritual life stages:

  • New Birth – Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." (John 3:3 NIV)
  • Childhood – Desire God's pure word as newborn babies desire milk. Then you will grow in your salvation. (1 Peter 2:2 GWT)
  • Adult – Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14 NASB)

Consider this: Just as a child needs bodily health in order to move from infancy to adulthood, a Christian needs spiritual health in order to move from an infant faith to a mature Christian character. Is there anything that we can do to spur ourselves on to greater maturity? Is there anything that we can do to help others in the body of Christ to become more mature? Yes!

We can cling to Christ for guidance and direction just as the monarchs cling to the cypress trees. Then, we can study the Scriptures as individuals and in groups "until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:13 NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your transforming power. Thank You for the promise that we will attain maturity as we read and study Your Word. As we grow in the knowledge of Your Son, Jesus Christ, may we also assist others in their quest for spiritual maturity. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Parise Arakelian

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Enjoyed that.

    A good reminder Parise.

    Thank you with blessings.

    Beautiful Parise, Thank you.

    Lovely Parise, thanks for sharing.

    Really enjoyed this and learned a lot.

    A good and encouraging word today Parise. Thanks and blessings.

    Just loved it – beautiful metaphors and also great information. Thank you.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. We are also blessed to have the monarch butterflies in our area each summer.

    So proud of you, this is your best. I love the way you use the butterfly to guide us through our “spiritual transformation”.
    Let the Holy Spirit continue his work through you.

    Amen Parise!
    In my men’s group I continually emphasize the need for them to keep growing in the Lord.

    What a lovely teaching devotional. My minds eye wandered and I could imagine what a glorious sight the butterflies were in flight.
    They were free, free, free, to fly and do as they please…Just as we are free in Christ who grants us the solid word to cling to for guidance and direction enabling us to grow and and become more vibrantly free for Him.
    As always, a beautiful message.

    An outstanding and timely devotional. A great transition form the butterfly to the transformation of the believer’s life. I’m also reminded of the Romans 12:2 “..the renewing of your mind..” Keep up the good work as an ambassador for Christ. My prayer is that many are transformed through your devotional.
    May God Bless you always.

    About 30 years or so ago we were walking on our ranch property when we came across a live oak tree absolutely covered with Monarch butterflies who were “resting” on their flight south for the winter. Our county is in the migration path, but we have only seen this phenomenon one time, but it is a memory of a lifetime. Consequently, I especially appreciated your devotional illustration. Thank you.

    A beautiful message Parise.
    I am so happy to hear that monarch’s have been seen at all this year. Sadly, we have not had the pleasure of their beauty at all. Normally, we are blessed with their appearance in our gardens and countryside. This year, for whatever reason, I have seen none in our region of Canada.
    Hope you are well and have enjoyed a good summer.

    Hi Parise,
    Thank you for a fine devotional to remind us of the similarity between the stages both the butterflies and Christians have to negotiate in growth. May God grant all mature Christians the grace and ability to recognize the stages in all converts and to assist them in their growth from new birth to adulthood in the Christian world. So often we neglect them in our prayers and in the daily doings and necessities of our own lives.

    Dear Parise,
    What a wonderful illustration of the monarch butterflies transformation – a fascinating demonstration of the wisdom and glory of our Creator! I also loved your bullet proof presentation for spiritual growth. May God’s truth become increasingly evident in our lives whereby we can experience a mature faith through the fullness of Christ.
    Thank you for for taking the time to write this beautiful devotional.
    Stay blessed always.

    Good reminder.
    Soul touching.
    Thank you again.
    I still think of your devotional when you told of your father bravery.
    Such faith & drive serving our FATHER & HIS son, JESUS my Lord & SAVIOR.
    I pray FATHER rain down the blessings covering all your needs and always guide your path HE desires you to follow doing HIS work.
    AMEN & AMEN,

    Parise – This Devotional is one of your best ever! Please keep on writing.

    This is one of your best devotionals! I really enjoyed it and hope you have many positive comments from the readers. It brought back many memories!!
    Keep on writing, Please!

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