Wednesday, June 02, 2010

SACRIFICING TO LIVE


“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.” John 12:24 (NIV)
Imagine a grain of wheat talking to itself, admiring itself, noticing how round and brown and fully packed it is. Imagine it thinking about that physiology and psychology of falling into the cold, dark ground. The grain of wheat might say, “I’m feeling a little uncomfortable with this concept. I like myself as I am and think that falling into the ground would be a waste of my life.”
Jesus is not talking about wheat in this verse. He is talking to us! He’s reminding us that a sacrifice given out of a loving heart for Him always results in new life for ourselves and for others. Yet most of us have felt like our mythical grain of wheat. Sacrifice is a great idea... for other people or for some other time.
We all want to do something great with our lives. We think, “I’ll finish those goals and then I’ll have time to make the sacrifices.” Jesus says to us, “Sacrifice comes first!” Jesus led the way for us. He sacrificed His life, literally, so that we could be forgiven. The most significant sacrifice in history brought about the most significant impact upon history.
This sacrifice is not a simplistic “no pain, no gain” philosophy. We’re not talking about working hard. (Although there’s nothing wrong with hard work.) Nor is this an invitation to a “martyr complex” faith. We’re talking about true sacrifice: giving up that which is most important to you. Jesus could not have been clearer. Losing your life comes before finding your life. And find it you will! Someone once said to a group of missionaries serving in a remote area “you have certainly buried yourselves here.” The missionary replied, “We were not buried here, we were planted here.”
Family Discussion Question: How do we get past the “I’m not sure I really want to do this” feeling that goes along with all genuine sacrifices?
Children’s Activity: Plant some seeds and watch them grow.

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