Quest for Hope
Producing True Life 3-22-16
Yesterday, in our quest for Hope from the Word of God, we could empathize with David and Jesus as they both looked for God to lift them from very hard places in life, only to feel somewhat abandoned by God. God was present but silent. When we feel that way, we must stay the course like Jesus, because God fulfilled everything that was planned for his life. He is the exalted and glorious Stairway to eternity; the Way, the Truth, and the Life to the Father (John 14:6). Today, Jesus affirms that truth through a parable when he tells his disciples to follow, remain connected to him, and be ready to serve at a moment’s notice. It’s a picture of finding and producing true life with God, but it means setting down our own desires, interests, rights, and agendas in exchange for a higher purpose.
John 12:23-26 (NLT)
23 Jesus replied, “Now the time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. 26 Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
A kernel of wheat remains singular unless it is buried in the soil. That makes sense. Jesus uses this grain-multiplying analogy to tell his disciples the wheat has to “die” in order to produce. Which leads Jesus, who is true Life, to cast the spiritual vision that he has to physically die in order to produce more spiritual disciples who produce true life. As followers of Christ, if we are going to stay connected and produce spiritual life, that means we are going to have to lay down our self-driven lives for God’s kingdom cause. Laying down our wills to live our life they way we want is a place of suffering. We cannot be effective for the kingdom, unless our wills are buried. Remember, Jesus said, “Father, if you are willing, please take the cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine!” (Luke 22:42).
Prayer: Father, I will not pretend to fully understand how spiritual life is produced and multiplied in and through my life as I am willing to lay it down. But, I can look back over the many years I have followed you, Jesus, and see that it is Truth. Even as I write these devotions, I must lay down my desire for how I use my time. In doing so, I put my hope in Jesus—the Living Word—to produce a greater understanding of your love and the work of your kingdom in those who read it. So, help me to stay connected and continue the journey with you. I want to serve in a way that produces true life; so here is mine. Today, I lay my will before you, Father. In Jesus’ name. Amen.