I have been thinking about seeds a lot lately. All kinds of seed. Seed to produce crops, babies – you name it – seed. I know that might sound odd, but truly, they are amazing things. The fact that something could grow from seed form just takes my breath away.
In John 12:24, we see Jesus speak to the amazingness of seeds.
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest. (John 12:24 AMP)
Jesus had a way of making it simple. But did you catch it? Don’t read it too fast. Read it again. If a grain does not die, it will not produce a harvest. That marvels me a bit. It seems contradictory to what one would expect. In order to grow, multiply, produce – it must die.
But, let’s face it, Jesus wasn’t speaking to just farmers here – He was not giving advice on how to produce a good wheat crop. He was speaking directly to us. This is a hard word to digest. But it all goes back to the simple truth that this is not our story, but His story.
We all wonder through life searching for meaning, purpose, definition. We seem to always focus on the next “big thing”. That could be a job, a vacation, a purchase – we think that it is that “thing” which will give us meaning. But in an almost strange twist, it is not more stuff that will provide us purpose but rather, dying to those things – dying to self.
This is heard more than once from Jesus:
He who finds life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39 NKJV)
I read this, and at first glance, this can be somewhat discouraging. Truly though, it is through this that you can find freedom. It is not the work you do, the things you accomplish that will provide you with Life. It is when you acknowledge that He is the sole reason for living, and you surrender to Him that Life begins.
Just like the grain of wheat that must die to produce a rich harvest, we too must die to produce a rich harvest in our lives.
Do you want to leave a legacy? You must die to self. Do you want to make an impact for your family? You must die to self. Do you want help the hurting, give joy to those that are mourning, provide hope to the hopeless? You must die to self.
How do we do that? We surrender. We focus on Him. We ask for His guidance, help and direction.
This is a daily action. We must do this every day. When I wake up, I need to surrender to Him and put aside my own ambitions and desires – and focus on Him. I don’t believe I am alone in the desire to produce a rich harvest for Him in my life. And in order to do so, I am prepared to put aside everything for Him.
Question: What does it mean to you when Jesus says we must lose our life to find it?