John 12:24-26 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. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If any one serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there shall my servant be also; if any one serves me, the Father will honor him.
The grain is absolutely necessary. The grain has the great potential to grow, become food, and nourish many people. However, if it remains in its current state, it will never produce any wheat!
That begs for us to read it again out loud and let it sink in!
Jesus was sent by God to be the grain. Jesus could have rejected being planted in the soil and broken open for the world. He had the choice to surrender to his Fathers will. All the glory to God because by his death, he provided eternal fruit to all mankind.
So how does this verse apply to us? Jesus asks us to "die to self" in order that we also may bare much fruit on earth for his Kingdom...Everlasting fruit. It's through our dying to self that we have the same potential to grow like the grain of wheat everyday! Not just in the big things! The reality is that we are called to "die" many times throughout our lives, whether through a tragic loss of a child or love one, financial difficulties, illness, or letting go of a dream.
These few verses of John bring back so much pain, sadness, and uncomfortable times in my life. The good news is that God uses all of these things and works them for our good. My life completely changed in these times & so did I. I can most certainly look back now, and I can see the fruits of my labor. He provided hand over fist.
And although I don't like looking back, it's such a great reminder of what fully trusting him allows. It's much greater then what I can pull off myself. I relish in the reminders of the peace that I felt in those moments of complete surrender and trust.
By reaching the end of myself, I was forced to turn to God for the grace and strength that I desperately needed, and God was there waiting.
The Lord never asks us to do something he hasn't already done first. The fruit we will bear in this process will be phenomenal, and through the surrender, we are promised eternal life! Wow!
Do we trust and believe Jesus' promise? Let's remember that there is life after death. We don't have to wait for eternity. God gives us the option for new life every.single.day!
Be focused on it! Be intentional about it! Look for the "God Wink"! Expect it!
Take some time this week to really dig deep and remember those "dying to self" moments in your life. You may be in those times right now. Remember how you were called back to love, laugh, and experience the joy of bearing fruit.
Write down the gifts you received during these painful times and praise God.
Reflect & Pray with Song for the week...
Father God, I am clay in your hands Help me to stay that way through all life's demands 'Cause they chip and they nag and they pull at me And every little thing I make up my mind to be Like I'm gonna be a daddy who's in the mix And I'm gonna be a husband who stays legit And I pray that I'm an artist who rises above The road that is wide and filled with self-love Everything that I see draws me Though it's only in You that I can truly see That its a feast for the eyes - a low blow to purpose And I'm a little kid at a three ring circus
I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul
You can find a new verse, virtue, song, and purposed steps every week in our devotional, Pursuing Peace.