Death leads to life


                “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  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.  The man who loves his own life will lose it, while the man who hates his own life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me” (John 12: 23-26.)


                Jesus Christ lived a completely selfless life.  He continually denied his own wants and desires in order to serve and love others.  Eventually he was whipped, beaten, and crucified so that many could come to know and be reconciled to the almighty and everlasting God.  Because Jesus died, millions have received the gift of life.

                Often one of the first words a toddler learns is “mine.”  Small children tirelessly seek out self-gratification, because from birth, selfishness is inherent in human beings.  Many however are eventually ‘reborn,’ as the children of God.  The Lord then enables them to display signs of true spiritual maturity.  Those who are genuinely mature consistently deny their own wants and desires in order to love and serve their’ fellows.  The apostle Paul was one of the greatest examples of selflessness and Christian maturity the world has ever known.  After persecuting the church for many years, he converted to the faith.  He denied his own desires for a wife and family, knowing that as a single man he could more effectively spread the gospel message throughout the nations.  He traveled from city to city calling ‘nowhere’ his home.  He willingly embraced the hatred of the masses; he received many beatings, and was formally scourged (whipped) on numerous occasions.  One day he was stoned to death, and his lifeless body was disposed of outside the city; suddenly he sprang to life; he did not flee as most would have; instead he marched back in to the city to continue preaching.  Ultimately, after many years of bringing others to Jesus, he was imprisoned and executed for the faith.  Paul continues to be a wonderful example of self-denial and genuine Christianity to millions around the world.

                Like Paul, those who seek to follow Jesus Christ must deny themselves and embrace a life of selflessness.  Every Christian must actively put to death their own desires so that others might see the true love of God.  We are called to serve others in church, at work, in our homes, and out in the community.  We must continually elevate the needs of our fellows above our own.  Denying ourselves will produce much fruit for the Lord.  Selflessness isn’t easy but it is always rewarding; for those who die in this life, will one day live forever in God’s eternal kingdom.

                “Lord Heavenly Father, may we die so that some might live.  May we continue to serve others, love others, and provide for others.  Give us the strength to lay aside our own wants and desires in order to fulfill Your perfect will.  May our hearts and minds be devoid of selfishness, that we, by our actions, might draw many to You.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you.

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