Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Seed Must First Be Buried...

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." (John 12:24-26)

Seeds are pretty amazing- something so small that holds so much promise. When buried in the ground and given the proper care, life springs forth from something that appeared certainly dead, and grows and brings forth more than ever could have been imagined. To reap the reward of the seed, it must first be buried.

All that I have seen with my eyes belongs to this life. I can observe how things function in the present. I can read documents of how life was lived in the past. People on the street, or at work, or in my neighborhood can testify to what makes a life valuable or successful because they have seen what this world offers. Jesus, though, knowing what lies beyond this world tells me to be willing to give away all that is offered here for something better than waits beyond. There is a kingdom here that is certain, but this Man tells me of another that is better. To gain the greater I must be willing to forfeit what I know by sight. My life is a seed that must be placed in the ground, and Jesus promises that by placing it there, an eternal reward, honor from the Father (v.26), will be given to me and any other that would lose his life for Christ's sake.

Will I trust Him? Am I willing to live a life of sacrifice now, probably forsaking many of the comforts offered me here for a greater gain, not just for me, but for those God has called me (and you) to minister to? My motivation in my words and actions with the people who are central in my life often come from selfish desires- my flesh always making war with the Spirit, battling for my own kingdom-creature-comforts. The flesh seeks to influence my every decision toward self-centeredness, rather than Gospel-centered love, which benefits others rather than myself. Jesus chose to give His life for the sake of a greater joy, both for Himself and for other people. His death meant greater gain for all. If I truly follow Him, my life will look more like His. What I should find is that to choose this path really isn't a sacrifice (more like wisdom), at least not in the long run, because my eyes are firmly set, not on what is offered here, but in Christ in the life to come.

So, trust in the Word of Christ rather than what you see with your eyes. Place the seed in the ground with the expectation of great fruit to come, and what we'll find is joy right now in the midst of dying for His sake and His glory, and a greater joy when we see with new eyes what we cling to now by faith.