“I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just one grain; it never becomes more but lives by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest. Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. Whoever has no love for, no concern for, no regard for his life here on earth, but despises it, preserves his life forever and ever. If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me, to cleave steadfastly to Me, to conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”
(John 12:24-26. The Amplified Study Bible)

This is Jesus speaking to His disciples.
This is Jesus speaking to us.

I have often shied away from this scripture. Oh, to be sure, I desire for Jesus to be Lord of my life, not just my Savior. But, there was something about the wording in these verses that seemed harsh to me. I love my life and I love Jesus in my life. I acknowledge that Elohim is the giver of my life. So how could loving my life be a bad thing? And what about the hate part? I have to HATE my life in order to live in eternity with My Savior? That’s a little hard to swallow.

And then today the words, “in this world” jumped off the page at me. Sure, I had read them before, but I had never SEEN them before.

My solution was to just skim over the words and not look at them carefully.
Maybe my spirit knew these verses lead to self-reflection…

I read a quote this morning by E. Stanley Jones that went through me like a sword. He said, “If you make a compromise with surrender, you can remain interested in the abundant life, all the riches of freedom, love, and peace, but it is the same as looking at a display in a shop window. You look through the window but do not go in and buy. You will not pay the price – surrender.” (Each New Day, Corrie ten Boom)

I know. That’ll get your attention, won’t it?

But, let’s put this into the context of today’s scripture. I want to KNOW my Lord. You may think I’m crazy, but I want Him to call me friend, like He did Abraham. Abraham was completed surrendered to the authority of Almighty God and God called him friend.

I want to be like that – not just in words, but in actuality.
God is teaching me. I am learning.
But, it ain’t easy!

Jesus doesn’t have a thing against life. After all He came to bring life – life abundantly! But our life is no longer our own – or at least it’s not supposed to be. We have been redeemed, bought with a price. When we understand this vital link in our salvation, we understand His Lordship – not just Savior, not just a ticket to heaven – LORDSHIP!!

If you noticed, Jesus made this statement after using a metaphor of the grain of wheat dying and producing more wheat.

The Message says it this way, “Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over.”

The Lord opened the eyes of my heart to understand the beauty of this statement. I saw the grain of wheat planted by the Master Gardner. It was tenderly cared for, watered, weeds removed (*grin*), watched over with anticipation. The hull (or shell) responded to the Gardner’s nurturing. The life inside that hull was BURSTING to come forth. But first, the hull had to break. It died to itself so that the life within could escape and fulfill its purpose.

But first, the grain of wheat had to surrender itself to the Gardner’s hand.

I pray the words of this song will bless you.

With All I AM
by Hillsong

Into Your hand I commit again with all I am, for You, Lord.
You hold my world in the palm of Your hand and I am Yours forever.

Jesus, I believe in You.
Jesus, I belong to You.
You’re the reason that I live,
You’re the reason that I sing
With all I am.

I’ll walk with You wherever You go, through tears and joy I’ll trust in You.
I will live in all of Your ways, Your promises forever.

Jesus, I believe in You.
Jesus, I belong to You.
You’re the reason that I live,
You’re the reason that I sing
With all I am.

I will worship.
I will worship You.

Father, How do I say thank You for what You are doing in my life? It is so hard to die to self, but You are showing me the beauty of a deeper walk with You. Take my life, Lord. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me. Be glorified in me, Lord. I love you.