|John 12:20-50||Read Online|
“I assure you: Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop. The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
On any given day, I might come home to find a Styrofoam cup full of dirt on my kitchen counter. It usually appears to contain nothing else, and has the name of one of my children scrawled illegibly across the side. (NOTE: If you should find a similar cup on your counter, do NOT throw it away.)
The presence of such a cup means someone in my house has planted a seed, along with a little hope and curiosity, in that dirt for safe keeping. In most cases, assuming that certain someone remembers to water it, that submerged seed eventually yields some variety of mystery plant that will probably make my wife sneeze.
But what if, upon seeing the plant one day, we poured out the dirt and pulled back the curtain on this horticultural wonder? Would we still find a seed beneath the plant? No. It would be gone, having given up its existence to provide life for the plant.
Jesus says, “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains by itself. But if it dies, it produces a large crop.”
Here's another question: What if that seed had never been planted? What if we’d simply been satisfied with its potential to produce a plant and refused to bury it in the cup, preferring instead to just admire the pretty little seed? I suspect, months later, we might find the same seed on the same counter doing the same thing—nothing.
Jesus said, “The one who loves his life will lose it, and the one who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
So is it easy to plant (or bury) a seed? Absolutely not. Even Jesus struggled with it. He was to die and be buried, to become our seed. He knew He couldn't sit on the counter. Our lives depended on it. Even still, he freely admitted, "Now My soul is troubled. What should I say—Father, save Me from this hour? But that is why I came to this hour” (John 12:27).
Don't you just love how human our God is? It's important as we take inventory of the seeds in our lives that we remember Jesus isn't asking anything of us He hasn’t already done himself.
So what seeds are sitting on the kitchen counter of our lives? Habits? Comforts? Maybe we drive our seeds, or even live in them. We might even be dating a seed right now. Then of course, there are those seeds we can't see. Those are the seeds of fear ("What if I fail?") or anxiety ("I'm not good enough") or pride ("But I earned what I have").
What things in our lives are we convinced we need, but which might hold exponentially greater value once they've been buried? If we’re God's laborers in the field, then the harvest of His kingdom might depend largely on the seeds we're willing to sow.
- Are seeds limited to material things? Or can they be anything that causes us to trust in the blessing more than the Blesser? What can we learn from Abraham and Isaac?
- How often does the Bible say we should bury our seeds (read: die to self)? HINT: Read Luke 9:23.
- Are we prepared to trust God when we can't see the work He's doing under the soil?