Give up your small ambitions

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
John 12:24 (NIV)

Read: John 12:20-36

Consider: Do you want to be productive for God?  If so, it is time to let God decide how best to use your time and talents.

Today’s passage from John 12 centres around the upcoming death of Jesus on the cross.  However, within this section he uses the illustration of a seed losing its life (it dies) so as to create life.  The death of the seed that Jesus refers to (John 12:24) is not physical death, but the transition from one state to another.  The seed ceases to be a seed and becomes a plant, which finally produces more seed.  Does the original seed cease to exist?  In one sense yes, as it is no longer a seed.  In another sense no, as the essence of the seed is carried into the plant.

Elsewhere in John’s gospel Jesus speaks of himself as being the vine and his followers being the branches (John 15:5).  We read: ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit – fruit that will last – and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you’ (John 15:1-2, 16).

What links what we have read Jesus saying in John 12 and John 15?  Both are about being productive for God and God’s desire to use our time and talents to further his kingdom, by sharing the good news of the gospel with others.

The title of the book Give up your small ambitions written by Michael Griffiths (published in 1972) adequately sums up the true meaning of John 12:24 – ‘… unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds’.  Are you prepared to give up your small ambitions to discover what God has in store for you?

Pray: Father, may each of us who love you and who have committed our lives to Christ be fruitful and productive in your service.  Reveal to each of us what you have called us to do and may we readily accept your leading.  Amen

Every blessing

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