6.1. Study Material

Précis:    To point out the beauty and purpose for being; the differences between caterpillar and butterfly thinking; encourage the choice for a better life.

Text:       Romans 12:1-2

Introduction:

For some people life is anything but a joy unspeakable and full of glory! (1 Peter 1:8)  On a scale from one to ten, it falls somewhere short of one. For these, life is not a “bowl of cherries” or a “piece of cake”. It better resembles a bowl of cherry pits and the crumbs. For the majority of people, life is something that must be endured rather than enjoyed. Depression has become a national pastime. To find temporary relief, Americans consume hundreds of tons of tranquilizing, mind altering, mood elevating drugs yearly; Stelazine, Prozac,  Elavil, and Librium to name a few. 

The seventeenth century was called the “Age Of Enlightenment”. New worlds were discovered and settled. The eighteenth century was called the “Age Of Progress”. Science and technology were worshipped as new doors were opened to the world. The nineteenth century was called the “Age Of Development” as manufacturing and industry turned farmlands into urban sprawling. All this has given birth to a twentieth century mass neurosis and universal hysteria. Statistics write a dismal commentary on modern-day man.

We have accomplished more in the last fifty years of this century than the accumulated accomplishments of all time. Man has walked on the moon and photos have been taken from the edge of our solar system. Engineers have divided one second into twenty billion usable functions called gigaseconds and entire libraries can be stored in a space the size of a matchbox. Modern day men walk about with replacement parts such as donor hearts, lungs and kidneys. Genetically engineered clones offers exciting possibilities. Despite these astounding developments, we have not been able to bring peace, joy, purpose or meaning to life. It is not surprising then that masses are turning to metaphysics, cult and occult activity, substance abuse, deviate sex and violence. Twentieth Century man finds himself confined to an inextricable pit. It is little wonder then that ours has been called the “Age Of Anxiety!”

Did you know that:

🗹   Three of five marriages end in divorce.

🗹   72% of  children come from broken homes.

🗹   60% of our work force is single adults.

🗹   2 of every 10 people seek professional help for emotional problems.

🗹   Mental health incapacitates more people than all other health problems combined.

🗹   Yearly alcohol consumption exceeds 40 gallons per capita.

🗹   Worldwide weapons sales exceeds 1.7 million dollars every minute.

🗹   $30,000 is spent yearly to equip a soldier, but only $455 per child on education.

🗹   10 million yearly is spent for guards in USA high schools; more than on text books.

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Lesson:                    Born To Fly High

18.1 The Sad Reality

1.  “Waldo the Weatherman” – A 1940 vagrant of notable distinction

2.  They saw themselves as grasshoppers and lost – Num. 13:33

3.  Say not “These nations are greater that we” – Deut. 7:16-18

4.  “If thou hadst known …” – Luke 19:41-44

18.2 The Magnificent Potential

1.  I have set before thee life and good – Deut. 30:15-18

2.  Prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn – 1 Kings 2:2-4 

3.  You shall prosper if – 1 Chron. 22:13

4.  If you seek Him, He will be found of thee – 2 Chron. 28:9

18.3  The Process Of Becoming A New You – Romans 12:1-2

1.  Plea – A literal begging

  – I beseech you therefore  

2.  People – Not strangers to the Kingdom of God

brethren

3.  Persuasion – Issues from God Himself

  – by the mercies of God

4.  Prerequisite – An imperative requirement

  – that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God

  1. Propriety – The correct thing to do

  – which is your reasonable service

  1. Prohibition – Be not conformed to this world

  – And be not conformed to this world  (soos-khay-mat-id’-zo)

7.  Prescription – The essential alternative 

  – but be ye transformed  (met-am-or-fo’-o)

8.  Process – God’s means for renewal; reprogramming the mind

  – by the renewing of your mind

9.  Potential – The command to be transformed

  – that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and

10.  Product – Perfect will of God; the final result

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Two caterpillars were dragging themselves across the grass and gravel. Looking up into the sky they saw a majestic butterfly fluttering high above them. After a momentary pause, one said to the other; “Man, you will never get me to fly in one of those things!”  

Ponder the following question:

1. What areas of your life represent the caterpillar?

2. What areas of your life are represented by the butterfly?

3. When and how do you plan on changing?