It Is Only a Dead Me That Can Live Powerfully for Him

John 12:23-27, 42-43

I have no power in and of myself if I continue to live for me.  But if I die to self, I can produce so much more.  In the passage, Jesus compares Himself to a seed.  I can also represent a seed.  Therefore, the production of seeds (plural) means many more of me.  In my life, I am to reproduce and the only way to reproduce is to die to self like the seed dies and thus becomes many seeds.

The problem is that often enough I love this life.  By loving it, I'm losing it.  In order to keep it for eternity, I must hate this life.

How do I hate this life?  Jesus gives the answer. By serving and following Jesus I am demonstrating distaste for this life as I savor Christ instead.  A reward awaits me if I follow this path and that reward is the Father's honor.

Many leaders of Jesus' day believed in Jesus. That is good, right?  Well, maybe.  Fear stopped them from confessing Him openly.  They counted the cost and judged it to be too expensive.  Christ's assessment of them was that they loved this world's praise much more than God's (vs. 42-43).  Ouch.

Dying to self is expensive.  It is difficult.  As Jesus stated, His heart was troubled as He drew near to the cross.  Apparently, the temptation was present to ask the Father to spare Him this cost; the pain of the cross.  Instead, Jesus recognized that this was the very reason He stood facing death.  To turn back would mean gain for Him but He would be minimal in His impact upon the world as a singular seed in a particular time in human history. His influence would be short-lived; His glory passing with time.

However, to embrace the cross and all of its suffering, though it brought heartache to even think about it would bring about a far greater accomplishment than any other thing that Jesus did to that point in time.  Like nothing else Jesus did, it would bring God the Father glory.  And by glorifying God the Father, Jesus would be glorified.  The catch was that no other way would lead to either glory.  It was only through the cross.

How about me?  Whom do I love more?  The world or God?  The praise of men or the praise of God?  Am I afraid, well of course I am!  Yet, will I seek God's glory above my own self-interest as Jesus did, even if it means heartache and pain?  To serve Jesus is to follow Jesus.  Furthermore, to follow Jesus is to pick up my own cross and die to self.  For it is only a dead me that can live powerfully for Him.

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