When Jesus began His public ministry after His baptism one of the first things He did was start teaching about the kingdom of God. Now the Kingdom of God is not like this world. That’s why Jesus knew we needed to understand the difference, and He constantly taught about the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 are an example of some of these Kingdom truths.
I was thinking about one of the Kingdom truths that I`ve learned over the years. This truth is contained in today’s scripture. “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.” Now my husband and I are farmers, and the imagery from this verse is vivid to me. When Leigh gets out the tractor, prepares the ground and sows a combination of oat and grass seeds and fertiliser, the seed goes under the ground. It looks like it’s dead. Depending on conditions it`s not for 4-6 weeks until the first shoots are seen. But as the crop continues to grow, it multiplies abundantly. Had those single seeds stayed in the seed bags they wouldn`t have multiplied. But in going into the ground, and being seemingly dead, those seeds actually could multiply beyond measure and produce an abundant harvest. Then we have cattle that are extremely well fed on an abundant crop.
This is what I`d describe as a kingdom truth. It has many applications. First and foremost it describes what happened when Jesus died on the cross. Jesus was like the single seed that ‘died and went to ground.` Yet of course He rose again and produced amazing fruit. In laying down His life Jesus made it possible for each person across history since then to enter into a relationship with Him, and gain eternal life. The fruit has been abundant. It reminds me of the story of the huge haul of fish in Mark 5:1-11.
But there`s an application to our own lives. When we follow Jesus, as we face the challenges of life, there`s a very real challenge to lay down what we want, or what we think we need. The world says - if you want it have it. The kingdom of God says - if you want it lay it down, die to it! Think about the challenges you`re facing today. Maybe you want to have a husband or wife, a child, or you`re facing challenges in business. Maybe you want to buy land or property, or you want to get something for your home that`s out of reach. The challenge of being a Christian is to apply kingdom principles to your life. Whatever it is you want you bring to the feet of the cross and lay it down there. You can`t demand of Jesus “I want this” or “I must have that.” You come to Jesus in humility and say “This is what I want. I submit it to You. I lay it down before You and let it go. I pray this would only come to me if You want me to have it, and it`s truly for my good and for Your glory.” There you`ll find freedom as you release your heart`s wants and needs to Jesus.
The miracle then is in the Lord`s wonderful hands. So many times I`ve seen this happen in my life. It seems so unnatural to die to what you`re crying out for. But as that seed goes into the ground, then the resurrection power can come and fill that seed you`ve laid down, and a miracle can take place. It will nearly always be different to the way you`d envisioned it. You may receive your seed back in abundance. But be aware, if you truly submit to the Lord and the seed you give Him doesn`t come back to you as you hoped, then you must trust His wisdom. We live for the glory of Jesus, and He truly knows what`s best for us. However if your seed does come back to you, remember Jesus is the one who gave you the gift and always give Him the glory. And never forget the principle - unless it dies it can`t live!
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