John 12:20-36

During my first ministerial internship, the pastor went out of town,
which meant I was the minister in charge. A week later, a church
member died. I had never planned or preached a funeral before, but
as it turned out that was not the most difficult part. Just before I
stood up to preach the eulogy, I heard a commotion coming from
the vestibule. In a few moments, someone brought me a note to
inform me that a guest at the service had collapsed and died of heat
exhaustion. That was the moment that I first understood the gravity
of answering a call to Christian ministry.

More than twenty years later, that moment is seared into my memory and reminds me that following Jesus is not for the faint of heart. Following Jesus is a way of life that makes us intimately acquainted with death. He intentionally talks to his followers about his death, as well as their own. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit (v. 24).

Our culture tries to avoid serious conversations about the reality of death, but disciples of Jesus understand that until we die to self, we cannot fully live. In a society that encourages us to do whatever we want, whenever we want, humbly choosing to die to self and do what God wants is a serious commitment for disciples to make. Dying to self means being willing to go wherever God leads us. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant
be also
(v. 26). We will not find the life we want until we humbly and fully surrender our lives to God.

Consider

What needs to die in you so that you can find a more abundant life in Christ?

Pray

Dear Lord, may I lay down my life today so that I can follow you and be found with you. Amen.



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