Planting A Disciple
Verily, verily I say unto you, Except a grain of wheat fall
into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone;
but if it die, it beareth much fruit.
He that loveth his life loseth it; and the that hateth his life
in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
If any man serve me, let him follow me;
and where I am, there shall also my servant be:
if any man serve me, him with the Father honor
This is the time of year when farmers and gardeners are planting seed for a harvest of crops, fruits, and vegetables. Nature shows us the only way for glory to come from a garden or a farmer’s land is plant the seed. Unless the corn, bean, or watermelon seed enters the earth, no harvest will come by July, August, or September. Seed has to die to reproduce. By means of warmth of the sun and rain from the heavens, signs of life come forth from the ground more glorious than when it was planted (1 Corinthians 15:36,37,43). Left alone and unplanted, many plates on the tables of America would be barren.
Discipleship carries the same concept - dying to become. Dying seems such an unlikely road toward glory and life. That is wy so many lose their life. We love self; what self can do; where self can go; and how important self has become. Jesus says the real love of life comes from hating his life in this world. It is not that you hate yourself to the point of suicide. It is loving less what you want than what God wants for you to be - a disciple. The wealth our society receives in the form of wisdom, happiness, knowledge, progress, and morality does not come from the proud, wealthy, and those who care only for self. It comes from those who die to self and toil, endure, suffer, sacrifice, maintain control, and exercise patience.
We are forever indebted to Christ for showing us the way of being truly fruitful in life. His whole life was a death to self to serve and die for man. He knew the hour of glory was in death. Being a disciple requires no less than dying to our way. It is a life of service, not bondage. A commitment to following that involves obedience to His commands (John 14:15), conforming to His character (Romans 8:29), and endurance of temptations and trials (James 1:2,4,12). The promises of being a disciple bring eternal life and honor from God (v. 26). It all begins with planting the seed.