22 Dec Die to Self so Others May Live
Jesus replied, “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 life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 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: 23-25
Jesus explains that in the same way that He was to lay His life down, there is the call for those who would follow Jesus to die to self in order for others to come into a relationship with Jesus. In a sometimes self-centered society it is not a popular message to die to self and serve others. But God so loved the world that He sent His Son to die for us. We have the gift of eternal life because Jesus died for us.
It is only right for us to be compelled by the love of Christ to live for Him and invite many others to respond to the cross of Christ. This dying to self has to do with devoting ourselves to knowing the heart of God through prayer and reading His Word. The power to die to self comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit each day as the Apostle Paul encouraged in his letter to the Ephesians. Dying to self involves showing Christ’s love to the people who need Him. Dying to self means that we will care enough about others so that we will do everything possible to help them to come to Jesus and disciple them into a strong walk with the Lord.
In this Christmas season of giving, it is so important for me to look for ways to serve people and extend the love of Christ in practical ways. It is important to look for those opportunities to share Christ’s love and the message of the Gospel, but often people need to hear and see the evidence of the gospel in our lives before they are ready to respond to the message.
I am reminded here to encourage the people I pastor to look for opportunities to reach out to people who need Him, and to disciple young believers so that they will influence many through their lives. We all need to allow God to reproduce many seeds as we die to self and invest our time and energy in people. I continue to enjoy helping our youth leaders and investing in many young people on Wednesday nights. Some of them come from tough backgrounds and where they don’t have much of a fatherly influence. It’s important for me to at times be a father to the fatherless.
Thank You, Lord for helping me to die to self so that others may live. Show me how I can lay my life down for others and help me to be ready to share about your love to those who are in need of your salvation. Fill me with your Holy Spirit and teach me to number my days so that I make the most of every opportunity.