Scripture for Week of March 30 – April 5

John 12:24-26 (NIV)

24 Very truly I tell you, 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. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

 

5 replies
  1. Ben Brezina
    Ben Brezina says:

    What powerful teaching and how opposite it is from the wisdom of this world. I was talking to someone yesterday and she was fearful of surrendering her life to Christ. She told me that she loves to be in control of her life and do what she wants to do when she wants to do it. Where is that fear of surrender coming from? I know when I fear surrendering to God, my fear comes from an incorrect belief of who God is and who He created me to be. John tells us that God is love. That means that He always acts in our best interest no matter what we do or how much it costs Him.

    If I really believe that God is my dad and that He loves me fully, then I will surrender to him. King David said in Psalm 63:3 that God’s love is better than life. Is that true? Did David really know what he was talking about? When I believe God’s love for me and receive it, His love drives out our fear (1 John 4:18). But we must be firmly grounded in the truth of His love for us. The trials and burdens of this fallen world come upon us and Satan is right there saying that if God loves you, He wouldn’t have allowed this to happen. Ten bad things happen in a row and his arguments seem to be even more believable. But we cannot allow our trials and pain to change our view of reality. Our enemy has nothing new. He uses the same lies that he used on Adam and Eve. If we will believe His lie that God is not good and has a hidden evil agenda, then we will choose to rely on our self and walk in sin which leads to death. The TRUTH says that even when circumstances are tough, God is still good, His heart is still full of love, He desires to use the trial to build my faith, prove His character, show His promises are true, and shine His supernatural life and love through me and my trials to a world full of darkness and depression.

    To me the Easter story is a continual, “in my face” reminder of the love of God for me. Jesus said “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” God cannot love me any more than He already has. Heaven went bankrupt to buy me back. That is how much I am worth. Knowing and believing God’s love allows me to get on the cross with Him spiritually, be crucified with Him, be buried with Him, be raised with Him a new creation, receive the Holy Spirit and in newness of life bear much fruit for His glory and praise.

  2. Mark Matson
    Mark Matson says:

    This life I live is not about me; I am nothing but a vapor.

    My flesh and sinful nature tells me I better get
    all I can get and get it now! I am to get what’s mine without
    any regard to authority and at whatever cost.

    However, the other side of the coin tells me something totally
    different. Because of what Creator God did for me in taking
    His Son to a horrible Cross, my life must be exemplary of
    what Christ is doing in and through my life RIGHT NOW!
    I must decrease while He must increase….I must die to self
    daily, not just when I want to or feel like it.

    For me it begs two critical questions:
    1. What am I doing with Jesus today?
    2. What am I doing to make disciples?

    Psalm 51:10-13

  3. Art Fulks
    Art Fulks says:

    Jesus had just entered Jerusalem with the crowds of people who had witnessed the raising of Lazarus from the dead. It is no wonder that people (like these Greeks in verse 20-22) wanted an audience with Jesus. We really do not know what they wanted with Him. However, it would appear from Jesus’ response that He knew they were interested in the human aspect or benefit they might gain from a personal encounter. Jesus seems here to tell His disciples that His death would bring a vast multiplication of the benefits (fruit) verses one physical encounter with these few men. And in turn, our lives fully surrendered to the cause of Christ, would reap much eternal fruit.

    Jesus did value His personal encounters with individuals, but always rememberd that His primary purpose for coming to earth was to die for the sins of the entire human race. On this week of the Passion, it reminds me that I too should not neglect my personal encounters with people. But I should always remember that my relational encounters (when focused on the purpose of the Gospel in personal surender) can be used of God to make a multiplied, eternal difference that far out lasts that few moments.

  4. David Bearden
    David Bearden says:

    As an American Christian, I think it’s very easy to look at life through rose colored glasses. In fact, I believe it’s easy for this perspective to leak into every aspect of our lives and completely deceive us. It’s easy for me to say that I hate this life because, like many American Christians, I’ve never feared for my life or dealt with a life-threatening illness.

    Over the past month, I’ve seen a lot of sickness, spiritually and physically, in more than one account—more than normal. In addition, I went to a big city last week and experienced a bit of culture shock, where, to me, it seems that Christ is quickly decreasing to the ever expanding colossus of the ‘self.’ This is not a judgement, more than anything, God showed me a picture of myself in the light of all of these things. He’s changing me because I know these changes have to come, and I’m learning more and more—every day—that I can’t do it without Him.

  5. Joey Rodgers
    Joey Rodgers says:

    This short parable from Jesus is about the cost of salvation and followship. What did it cost God to rescue humanity from the power, penalty, and problem of sin? EVERYTHING! He sacrificed Himself by stepping out of heaven and into flesh in the person of Jesus Christ to die on the cross to provide forgiveness and life for humanity. Philippians 2 tells us that God emptied Himself by taking on the form of a man, humbling Himself by becoming obedient to death on a cross… Simply stated, our life required His death.

    As a result of His gracious act of mercy, the cross now requires something of each of us – EVERYTHING! Just as Christ died to sin to give us life, now we must die to self and to the ambitions of this world to lay hold of Him by faith. His death provides life eternal, but our faith response requires our surrender to His death. Galatians 2:20 explains that when I by faith embrace the grace of God unto salvation that a wonderful and miraculous miracle takes place – “I become crucified with Christ…” In Luke 9:23-26, Jesus said that if a person would desire to follow Him, he must deny himself and take up his cross… He then concludes, what does it profit a man to gain the world but forfeit his soul. Meaning, my faith in His death requires my surrender.

    In John 12, Jesus simply says, “True life can only come through death – so let me show you the way!” Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life – no person can come into a relationship with God except through Him.

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