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 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you.” —1 Peter 1:3-4, NIV

When God created the world, He planted the hope of resurrection into the structure and makeup of His creation. We see the pattern repeated in multitudes of poetic and practical ways everywhere we look.

Before a seed is planted, it must die. The new life that emerges is very different from what was put into the ground. A tiny, bare seed becomes a life-giving plant, providing beauty, nourishment, or protection. God gives it a form that allows it to live a useful, abundant life.

Think of the caterpillar. Does it think of flying when it is earthbound with a slug-like body and tiny legs? Does it know it has a more beautiful and adventurous destiny than it can imagine?

One day that caterpillar crawls up a tree, exudes a little glue, and spins a chrysalis around itself, following an ancient pattern infused into its DNA. In time, the chrysalis will shake and vibrate with convulsive movements. Within that cocoon, wings unfold to reveal beautiful colors or stripes. Soon the new creature emerges as a butterfly, ready to soar in the winds, over fields and fences, free to live to its full potential.

A metamorphosis has changed the body and nature of the caterpillar.

That is what God does with us. We are born again, new creatures in Christ, emerging from a long sleep to become beautiful new creatures growing in His love. Sometimes, we grow slowly, learning the lessons He longs to teach us to help us live to our full potential. No matter how old we are or how long we’ve known the Lord, we will be changed, and we will grow, for “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6, NIV).

Jesus set the precedent by dying for us —and resurrecting. Through Him we experience hope, new life, beauty, and the love that will nourish and carry us through the end of our days and into eternity.

Spring is here. Time to start celebrating new life and the Resurrection!

Pastor Ray Bentley

Love God. Love People. Pastor Ray Bentley lived by those words. His love for the Lord and the people he served was demonstrated every day through his actions, leadership, ministry, teaching, sharing, and caring.

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