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Bringing Life From Death (published in The North Weld Herald/Voice 3/15/12)

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:17 PM by Fccea Webmaster
A farmer was showing off his stand of corn to the new pastor who commented, "Isn't it amazing to see what the Lord can do with a place? To which the farmer replied, "Yes, but you should have seen what it looked like when the Lord had it by himself!"

Well, it's true the farmer put a lot of work into that crop. It is equally true that he never could have done it himself.

Jesus pointed this out in Mark 4:26-27 when he said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how." The farmer knows that if he puts seed into the ground under the right conditions, it will sprout. But he has no clue how or why. He could not cause that part of the process if his life depended on it.

The fact is that with all of our technological acumen, we cannot by any human process make a kernel of corn that could suddenly become many when planted in the ground. All we can do is plant the real thing, water the ground, go to sleep and wait for the miracle God built into that seed.

But Jesus saw further application in this truth. To Him the physical world often illustrated spiritual truths, and this is no exception.
He says in John 12:24, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." He goes on in verse 24 to make clear that He is referring to people when He continues, "Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."

Eternal life requires some kind of change. The Bible teaches that in our natural state we are "dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph. 2:1). To gain eternal life we must accept that Jesus died in our place for those sins, and then accept His life by dying to our old self so He can remake us as a "new creation" in Christ (II Cor. 5:17).

Just as surely as He creates physical life, He creates spiritual life. But in each case, there must first be a death.

A Sunday school teacher was explaining how we must repent of our sins to go to heaven. When she finished she asked, "Now, where do you want to go?" The kids shouted out, "Heaven!" "And what must you do to get to heaven?" One little boy in back yelled out. "Die!"

Well, he was on the right track! It is in dying to self, that God is able to make us alive in Christ.

D. L. Moody once said, "Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead. Don't believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before." Can we say that with the same assurance he had?

By His Grace, Pastor Dave