Die to Self, Bear Much Fruit

S (Scripture) – John 12:24-26 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.  If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” NASB

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat.  But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over.  In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life.  But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” The Message

O (Observation) – Lord, I see You clearly telling us that our perspective is to be eternal (focused on You and Your kingdom agenda) rather than temporal (focusing on just the things of this world that are temporary).  When we “die to self,” what we are really doing is putting our hopes, dreams, and desires at the foot of the cross, and submitting to You and Your authority.  Once we are in a posture of yielding to You, we are then able to be used by You for moving Your kingdom forward on earth.  This is what it means to “bear much fruit.”  The fruit that You want us to bear includes, but is not limited to: complete life transformation from the inside out, restored relationships, mending of broken hearts, complete trust in You in every season of life, humble hearts that beat with love and compassion for everyone, as well as an unrelenting desire to follow after You always.

A (Application) – Psalm 37:4 tells us, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  This is really a question and matter of who is in the driver’s seat of our lives.  If we are driving, making our own decisions apart from You, and then hoping that You will bless our plans, that is not living a life yielded to Your Holy Spirit.  That is holding on to the single grain of wheat.  When we do pass away from this earth still clenching the single grain of wheat, it remains the same – a single grain.  However, if You are in the driver’s seat of our lives, we better fasten our seatbelt – for the life You have for us to live far exceeds our wildest dreams, and is so much more than anything we could come up with on our own.  Our single grain of wheat dies when it is planted for You, but You take care of it, water it, and make it grow…then an entire farm of wheat comes from our lives submitted to You.

P (Prayer) – Lord Jesus, You are so good to us – You will give us the desires of our heart if we delight ourselves in You.  When we put You first above all, You want to pour out Your blessing and favor on our lives.  This does not free us from affliction and trials.  In fact, we may experience some of the most difficult pain known during our time on earth.  In all of it, Your promise is true – You will not leave us, and You will not forsake us.  You will be with us through everything.  “If God is for us, who can stand against us? (Romans 8:31)”  Thank You for taking the broken mess of my life and turning it into a field of wheat for You.

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