Spiritual germination ∙
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 fully understood and and 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 its growing area.
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 it becomes truly alive.
Spiritual germination is also a miracle. It is likewise an amazing paradox. Spiritual life and growth only come 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, the Lord Jesus Christ 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 comes 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 the Father’s dreams and ambitions for our lives we have to make an exchange. Dying to self is difficult and each of us struggles 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 choose 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 the Father’s servants and Christ’s 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.
The phrase “the pleasure of (someone)” according to Webster that “something is done or can be done because someone wants it to be done.” 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.
The statement “I serve at the pleasure of the President” has been used since the 1700s. When somebody uses the phrase means, “I will continue to serve as long as the president wants me to.” It’s an official way to explain that the President is one’s direct boss and it’s only the President, who has the authority to remove that person from their post …and no one else. That person will continue to serve as long as the president wants them to. “The origin(of the phrase) is the Latin durante bene placito regis, which translates as “during the pleasure of the king” (William Safire).
Children of the King have the great honor and privilege of serving the pleasure of the King of Kings. What a high and great calling to be a servant of the King. Yet the Father has called every child of the King to be just that.
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 in different terms, a self-centered life is a wasted life. Whatever we gain through self-centered living 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 the Lord Jesus Christ (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 appears by comparison as hatred” (Constable).
“Of itself, a seed is weak and useless; but when it is planted, it ‘dies’ and becomes fruitful. There is both beauty and bounty when a seed ‘dies’ and fulfills its purpose. 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.”
“God’s children are like seeds. They are small and insignificant, but they have life in them, God’s life. However, that life can never be fulfilled unless we yield ourselves to God and permit Him to ‘plant us.’ We must die to self so that we may live unto God (Romans 6; Galatians 2:20). The only way to have a fruitful life is to follow Jesus Christ in death, burial, and resurrection.”
“In these words, Jesus challenges us today to surrender our lives to Him. Note the contrasts: loneliness or fruitfulness; losing your life or keeping your life; serving self or serving Christ; pleasing self or receiving God’s honor” (Wiersbe).
“Death is the way to life” (BKC).