Saturday, June 19, 2010
AM I A WILLING SEED?
AM I A WILLING SEED?
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing
“If only in this life we have hope in Christ,
we are to be pitied more than all men.”
1 Cor. 15:19
Each of us is a seed. Our body, our mind, our heart--everything that makes us into the person we are as we walk around on this earth--is just a small, insignificant kernel of what the future holds. Seeds must die in order to grow into what they are designed to be: a stalk of wheat, an apple tree, a giant redwood.
What is required of us as seeds is the one thing we are afraid to give. We are required to give up the “seed life” and become this new creation, which is far more glorious than just being a seed. Death must come to us in order for us to find our true purpose, in order for us to blossom and grow into the divinely appointed new form in Christ.
There are two deaths. One now—the death of self—and one later—the death of this earthly body.
First, there is the death we are to die when we are called to follow Jesus, and this death is the death to self. Jesus talked about it, and many would not follow Him because He required it.
It is the death Jesus died when He left behind His throne and all His power and wealth in heaven, and came to be with us and to die for us. (John 12:24)
It is the death Jesus died every day while on this earth, giving up what He wanted, what would have been better for Him, what would have made life easy, what would have given Him a comfortable, normal existence—in favor of doing His Father’s will. He put all His own things aside to do what His Father asked Him to do.
This is the death Jesus requires of us, and the death we don’t want to die.
“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.”
This death is essential to the release of God’s power in our lives, as it was essential that Christ died to show the power of God in His resurrection. It is foolishness to the world, and a stumbling block to religious people, yet it is “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
1 Cor. 1:24
We often romanticize the cross, and relegate it to being an icon, yet it is as real today for you and me as it was the day Christ Jesus was fastened to it with huge spikes.
This cross—this daily dying to what we want, to our own plans and dreams, to our own desires for this life—this cross is ours. It is newly hewn each moment, each hour, each day, and each day we must lay on it and give up all to do the will of the Father, as Jesus did.
As Jesus died to His own will, so we must die each day to ours.
The power that is released in our daily death is the power of the resurrection. When we lose our own lives, suddenly the life of Christ in us is evident.
Second, this daily dying is what prepares us for the next death, the final death for those of us who have died to ourselves, and lived the Christ-life now.
We can know with certainty we will be raised to life when our bodies die, because we have already experienced the new life of Christ in our mortal bodies on this earth. As seeds, we have died, and seen the new man spring up out of the dead husk. We have already known resurrection power daily, having died daily to ourselves. At the end, we can give up this body happily, knowing the final resurrection is certain.
“If the dead are not raised, ‘Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die.’”
1 Cor. 15:32
Why would Paul say this if our lives as Christians in this earthly life were to be comfortable, easy, and full of the riches of enjoyment now? Why would he say this if we were to live smooth lives, receiving all we want, finding fulfillment now? He wouldn’t, and didn’t. It is because he could say, in obedience to His Lord Jesus:
“I die every day—I mean that, brothers—just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 1 Cor. 15:31
He had already died, and his life was hidden with Christ in God. He was willing to give up all his comfort and his good life now for Jesus, and therefore he had already experienced death. He was not afraid of dying one final time to his body, because he had already been dying to it every day, and was used to that process.
There are many today, as there always have been, who don’t wish to die to themselves. They want a good life now, and they teach it and preach it. These men are deceivers, and don’t represent the Lord Jesus, who told us the cost of following Him.
If you don’t feel certainty today about what will happen to you after your earthly, physical body dies, then perhaps you are not experiencing the first dying Jesus called you to know. You are not familiar with dying. You have not fallen to the ground, a willing seed for Jesus, and died to your own plans and dreams, your own desires in this life, your own interests and needs. Until you do, and practice this daily dying, then you won’t have the certainty that comes with resurrection power in your daily life. You won’t have the certainty, because you haven’t paid the price for that certainty.
Are we willing seeds? Willing to die so that the resurrection power of Christ may be shown in us, today, every day, and forever?
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