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 John 12:23-26

 

“But Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”

Every spring, I’m overwhelmed by the riot of color on our local hillsides. The oranges of poppies mixed with the bright purples of lupines and yellow dill would be outrageous anywhere else, but they coexist in glorious perfection in nature. Only God would paint with such technicolor, and in the extravagance of those hills, I see a visual reminder of Jesus’ words. 

John recorded Jesus’ surprising words following His triumphal entry into Jerusalem when people clamored, “We wish to see Jesus.” No doubt some just wanted to lay eyes on the One everyone was talking about, along with those who wanted to know Jesus better. But to all who listened, He offered the same profound spiritual truth. 

Abundance is a sign of new life, but it begins by dying.

Jesus died a physical death to give us eternal life, but now our new life in Him necessitates following Him by dying to self. (Galatians 2:20) Yes, it is difficult, but like Jesus’ illustration of a grain of wheat, it will bear abundant fruit. When wheat is buried, dies, and germinates, it produces a stalk topped by a head with fifty-plus kernels – each ready to keep on producing.

What about you, do you wish to see Jesus? And do you want others to see Christ alive in you? Then determine to take up your cross – that instrument of death – and embrace the very thing that chafes and causes you sorrow. Crucify every fleshly desire contrary to God’s will and live with one purpose: following Him. 

Awaiting His return,

– Pastor Jack

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