Caterpillars are ugly. Now I don't mean to be critical, but let's face it, those hairy crawlers are not the beauty queens of the animal kingdom. I've never heard of anyone with a caterpillar collection, have you? Oh, I suppose someone could try a makeover on a caterpillar, you know, just shave off some of that hair, give him a little color. But who could ever imagine that one of the uglier critters around could actually become one of the most beautiful animals in the world - a butterfly! You don't see many pictures of caterpillars on things, but you see pictures of butterflies everywhere! A critter covered with ugly black hair becomes a butterfly splashed with amazing colors. An animal that lives off the leaves on the ground becomes the connoisseur of flower nectar...and a creature that once crawled everywhere becomes one that can fly everywhere. We're not talking makeover here. We're talking miracle!
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Caterpillar Miracle."
The Creator who so miraculously transforms caterpillars does something far more amazing. He does it for people...like you and me. He did it for my wife's grandfather, and changed the course of her family's history...not to mention my history.
My wife's grandfather, Bill Hadley, was a handsome, successful man with a fatal flaw - alcohol. He'd been hooked since he was 12 years old, and no one could get him unhooked...including himself. His addiction eventually cost him his job, his relationship with his family, even his freedom...landing him in prison for a while. He was, in essence, crawling through life on a caterpillar level because of something inside him he couldn't change.
So, one night Bill Hadley decided to die. He was on his way to Lake Michigan in Chicago to end his life when he heard this vaguely familiar song coming out of an old rescue mission. It was a song his mother used to sing. He decided to go in for a minute - never dreaming that the caterpillar who went into that mission would emerge a butterfly. From that night on, Bill Hadley never touched a drop of alcohol again. He became a wonderful husband, a loving father, and a respected spokesman for the Man who changed his life. That night he was planning to die, Bill Hadley began a new life - by beginning a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Now, while your struggles with your own darkness may be different from Bill Hadley's, the same kind of miracle can happen to you. It's described in our word for today from the Word of God, 2 Corinthians 5:17. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" For the rest of his life, my wife's grandfather dedicated himself to telling as many people as possible about the life-changing miracle only Jesus could accomplish. And I'm married to some of his heritage - a heritage of spiritual transformation that has now affected another generation in our own children.
Transformation is what Jesus does. Bill Hadley would always tell people, "An old derelict like me could never be reformed - I was transformed by Jesus Christ!" That's the testimony of millions of people over hundreds of years, including the guy talking with you right now. We all fight our own monsters inside us - the sinful, hurtful, even shameful urges and attitudes and actions that we have never been able to conquer. And even being religious or spiritual, even our best efforts at self-improvement have only turned out to be an unsuccessful makeover for a caterpillar.
See, Jesus died on the cross to pay for the sin that enslaves you...and now He offers to begin transforming you from the inside out - if you'll invite Him to be your Savior. If you have never begun this life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ, tell Him you want to begin it now - please visit YoursForLife.net.
Trying to be reformed can only change you on the outside. Jesus offers to transform you from the inside out - to make what had been so ugly into something so beautiful. It's time to let Jesus do what only He can do.