The verse of the day is John 12:24. “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (NASB)
This weekend Dad started digging up potatoes. The cool September weather was perfect to begin uncovering this buried treasure. You carefully penetrate the earth at the base of the hill with your fork, turn over the soil, and examine what you find. The dirt falls through the fork tines leaving an abundance of tubers.
I am always amazed at the harvest when I think back to the spring when we first planted the seeds. From down in the root cellar we excavate all the left over potatoes from the year before. They have gotten old and started to get soft. But the amazing thing is that from these useless potato leftovers sprouts have begun to grow. By cutting pieces containing potato eyes and planting them in the newly turned earth they begin to take root. When the autumn rolls around you can easily expect to harvest 5-10 new fresh potatoes from each plant. What an investment!
Jesus used the example of a grain of wheat falling into the earth and dying. One little grain when it dies will grow into a plant that bears much fruit. He was explaining that His time to die was about to come. It would seem like such a waste to those who loved Him, but in giving up His life many other lives would receive the opportunity to live. This was the only way to save the world from the spiritual death of eternal separation from God. The fruit of His resurrected life would be all those who believed in Him and accepted the everlasting life He offered.
Jesus also calls all who would follow Him to this same kind of sacrifice – first being willing to give up the right to our own life and letting Him be our Master. Then to live our lives to glorify God and let our light shine before others so they may see the new life we have received and desire it for themselves. “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.”
Some believers have actually been called to give their physical lives for the sake of the gospel, but all of us are called to be living sacrifices. This is our spiritual act of service to the One who gave up everything for us. We no longer live for ourselves but for God. Galatians 2:20 says, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”
Learn a lesson from dead shriveled up potatoes. In letting them die and planting them in the ground, they produced a crop that will keep us fed this winter. By accepting Christ as your Savior and allowing your old way of living to die with Him, He will produce the amazing crop of eternal life for you and for all those around you who believe. Now that is something that is worth the investment!