The average female butterfly will deposit from one hundred to three hundred eggs, some will produce as few as a dozen, and others more than a thousand. Some butterflies will place the eggs on the leaf one at a time. Others will deposit a group or a cluster of eggs, stacking them neatly, one on top of another. Still others will release a mass of eggs in a pile. Whatever method the butterfly uses, she will glue them onto the leaf, stem, or flower to make sure they won’t come off. The glue is so strong that it’s impossible to remove the egg without destroying the creature inside.
There are two similarities to Butterfly Believers I’d like to point out here. First, in the same way some eggs are laid one at a time and others are piled or grouped in a mass, some people come to faith in Christ individually while others are part of a large gathering where there may be hundreds who respond to the gospel at the same time.
The other similarity has to do with the church or fellowship we choose to attend. Some people live in a place where there is no church or congregation, so they worship, read the scriptures, and pray all by themselves. Many people around the world attend small churches of anywhere from ten people to fifty or sixty. And a lot of people prefer what may be called a megachurch, which may have hundreds or thousands gathering at the same time and place.
I met one man who dreamed that he met Jesus. That dream led him to “count the cost” and commit his life to Christ, even though he lived in a place where there was serious persecution. The expression “count the cost” comes from Luke 14:28, where Jesus said to a large crowd:
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it? Later, when talking to his disciples, he told them, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny the self, take up his or her cross and follow me (Matthew 16:24).
I was six years old when my mother took our family to a camp meeting in a revival tent. Listening to the preacher, I understood for the first time that Jesus went to the cross for my sins. I turned to my brother and said, “I’m going up to get saved,” and he replied, “Me too!” We ran up the center aisle, around to the wooden benches behind the platform, and knelt until someone came and prayed with us. I don’t remember if there was anyone else praying to receive Christ as Lord and Savior that night, but there were at least two of us.
Years later, I attended several Billy Graham rallies in huge stadiums. When Dr. Graham gave a salvation altar call, literally hundreds of people left their seats, found their way to the ball field below, and en masse, committed their lives to Jesus Christ. It was an individual decision each person had to make, but it happened in a much larger setting than my boyhood experience or the man who had the dream.
There are many ways to come to and participate in the body of Christ. Size or numbers isn’t the point. What matters is devotion to the Lord, growing in your faith, and recognizing that you are part of the family of God.
This is an excerpt from the book, Butterfly Believers, a collection of devotional readings based on Romans 12:2 and butterfly metamorphosis. Paul Linzey is a former pastor & military chaplain, now teaching Spiritual Formation and Practical Ministry at Called College & North Central University.