John 12:24-25, NIV
“I tell you the truth, except a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life,”
I can understand why some people have a love-hate relationship with Jesus. They love it when He said things they like and which give them comfort. They love it when Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened” (Matthew 11:28). They love it when, talking about Heaven, Jesus said, “I am going to prepare a place for you”. (John 14:2). They love it when they realise that because of Jesus, their sins can be forgiven.
But then they hear Jesus telling people to forgive their enemies, to give away what they have to others and then to take up a cross in order to follow Him! Suddenly, it seems, Jesus is no longer such a welcome friend. His teaching cuts right across the desires of the flesh.
After all, there is only one purpose for a cross – and that’s to cause death! Not an attractive proposition at the best of times. And yet, the cross is at the heart of the Gospel – for without death, there could be no resurrection and without the resurrection there could be no eternal life.
Our Scripture for today illustrates this vital principle. Just as a grain of wheat has to give up its own life before there can be multiplication, it is only as we choose to live for God, instead of ourselves, that we can enjoy amazing Kingdom multiplication. Our life, our time, our money and all our possessions are ultimately a gift from God. How we use them is up to us. But if we desire our lives to bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God, then first we must choose to die. We must learn to love the things we want to hate!
Action Line: Think about the things Jesus said which, if you are really honest, you don’t like. Ask God for His grace and understanding so you can learn to love all that Jesus said.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus that you were willing to take up your cross that I might live. Forgive me Lord for the times I forget that everything I have belongs to you. I pray now that my whole life may, as good seed, be sown into this world, producing a large harvest for your Kingdom. Amen