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. (NIV)
There has never been an age so focused on itself as this one. The ancient Romans may have indulged in physical excess, but we take the cake when it comes to being obsessed with ourselves. A person says, “I have to do what is right for me,” and the rest of society cheers because that is what we all want to say about ourselves. It is in our songs, advertisements, entertainment, news, and schools. It seems to be in the air.
Jesus proposes something radical to our age. He proposes that we die to ourselves, and He uses the simplest of illustrations to show why we must. It is a small, cramped life that lives in a mansion with no thought for others. It is a vast, expansive one that lives in a shack while giving its last dollar to one in need. How much of my life is spent thinking about my life? How much of my time, energy, and resources are spent serving my own needs?
Jesus tells us a simple truth. If we want a full life, one with meaning and relevance, we must die to ourselves. We must look away from the mirror, the checkbook, and the daily agenda. We must look up to Him and out to the world to which He has called us.
Father, I spend far too much time thinking about myself. Even in prayer to You, the focus is usually on me. Help me to die to myself this week that I may grow and flourish for You. In the name of Jesus, Who died on a cross and rose again to bring life to all, amen.
Copyright © 2012 by Steven R. Perkins