I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels – a plentiful harvest of new lives. – John 12:24
24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels – a plentiful harvest of new lives.
25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.
26 Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
Germination is an amazing paradox that is not yet fully comprehended by modern science. Plant seeds are like miniature survival packages. Each one contains enough food, nutrients, and instructions to burst into life and begin growing roots and a small plant. It then will break through the soil and sprout. This entire process is referred to as germination. To continue growth, it requires light, water, and nutrients found in growing location.
Before the seed is planted it is dormant, and for all appearances seemingly dead. By itself, the seed serves no function and it is practically speaking, useless. When it is planted everything changes. It truly dies and then becomes truly alive.
Spiritual germination is also a miracle. It is likewise an amazing paradox. Spiritual life and growth only comes by death. In order to bring redemption to the world, the Lord Jesus Christ had to die. But his death was not the end of the story. By the mighty power of the Father, Jesus was raised from the dead to live again. He offers salvation and eternal life to anyone who will take it. Life comes from death.
“Jesus used the image of a seed to illustrate the great spiritual truth that there can be no glory without suffering, no fruitful life without death, no victory without surrender” (Wiersbe). All of the Father’s children are His seeds. Each of us come with life within, the Father’s eternal life, and an instruction manual of sorts. New pages are added continually to the manual as we walk with Him.
REFLECT & PRAY
It is only when we die to our personal ambitions and goals, that we truly began to live for the Father.
Father how I long to fulfill Your dreams for my life. Encourage me to continually surrender my personal ambitions and goals in exchange for yours.
As children of the King, to truly live and fulfill His dreams and ambitions for our lives we have to make an exchange. Dying to self is difficult and each of us struggle with it. This personal challenge is presented to each of the Father’s children.
“If a seed could talk, it would no doubt complain about being put into the cold, dark earth. But the only way it can achieve its goal is by being planted” (Wiersbe).
We have the option of choosing to remain alone, isolated, seemingly protected, and comfortable. But as such we are not producing the spiritual life that the Father intended for us. It is a decision that we have to choose for ourselves. Once we make the choice to die to ourselves, we must continue making it throughout our lives.
John 12:25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.
We are the Father’s seeds; He is the one who does the planting. Consider a story involving a very remote mission station. A group of outsiders went to visit to speak with the missionaries there. The conversation went like this:
“You certainly have buried yourself out here!” one of the visitors exclaimed.
“We haven’t buried ourselves,” the missionary replied. “We were planted!” (Wiersbe)
But there’s more. It is only when we make the choice to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, that we become servants of the Father and disciples.
John 12:26 Anyone who wants to be my disciple must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
While the statement “I serve at the pleasure of the President” has been used since the 1700s. The phrase “I serve at the pleasure of” was commonly used by people who served kings and other royal leaders. To serve the King was a great privilege.
How great is it to be a servant of the King of Kings?
How do we achieve the most in this life? The Lord Jesus Christ teaches very clearly that it is done by living sacrificially and dying to ourselves, rather than living for ourselves. Putting it either terms, a self-centered life is a life wasted. Whatever we gain is temporal and fleeting. But if we live a Father-centered life, we gain eternal value and worth. The Father will honor anyone who serves me (John 12:26). “People whose priorities are right have such an attitude of love for the things of God that all interest in the affairs of this life appear by comparison as hatred” (Constable).