Words from the Heart for Tuesday March 7th, 2017
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.
John 12:24 (NLT)
A Harvest of New Lives
As Jesus taught His disciples He used many different word pictures. This one is about a seed being planted into the ground. That good seed will come back up. It will be multiplied. What a wonderful picture of the potential of the work of Jesus on the cross. He died as one man. Now many can have eternal life!
We live off globalization. With our relatively small population, Canada’s economy depends on exports. This is true in many sectors, but particularly in agriculture. So when a major purchaser of Canadian goods puts roadblocks up on imports, it can cause angst. This is the case with Canadian canola producers. Canola, used to produce cooking oil and animal feed, was invented in Canada four decades ago, and Canada remains its top producer. In 2016 Canada produced 17 million metric tons of canola, the third largest harvest in history. The problem is that China, who last year received 3.9 million metrics ton of Canadian grown canola, as of this past September 1, imposed tighter certification standards on imports of the commodity that experts say may all but halt the export of Canadian canola.
The Bible is filled with agricultural themes. As we are approaching spring in the next few weeks, we start to think about planting season and Jesus teaches us a vital Kingdom of God principle in the planting of crops. In John 12:24 he says “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.” On one level, Jesus was speaking of Himself. He knew that the reason He had come to earth was to die – to take upon Himself our sins and the punishment that we deserve. By His death and burial, and resurrection, He would provide life for millions of people. All those who have sought His forgiveness and trusted in Him, have experienced the joy of sin removed and guilt and shame lifted. But there is another level of truth here. He is speaking of us as well. It isn’t that we can physically die and by so doing offer salvation to another human being. Only Jesus, because of his sinlessness was able to do that. But as we die daily to self – as I am crucified with Christ, to use Biblical terminology, do I truly live. And as I die daily, and Jesus life rises up in me, I bring His life to those around me. Followers of Jesus are called to die and then truly live.
These have been words from the heart.