Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Kernel of Wheat

John 12:24

How will God’s plan for your increase and influence be accomplished? Jeremiah 29:11

That’s a pretty big and loaded question. I suppose a person could come up with all sorts of nice sounding churchy answers, but I’m leaning toward one that Jesus offered. It may not seem appealing at first, but once we realize the gravity of it, there will be no doubt as to its veracity.

Because we’re a culture bent on self-preservation, material acquisition, and because our very nature leans toward using others to get ahead in life, what Jesus proposes will often seem counter intuitive. But then again, Jesus talked the language and wisdom of God, and God’s ways and thoughts are not ours and vise versa.

If we ever find ourselves seeking to take, so that we might gain, we are not on the same page with God. The funny (or sad) thing is, within the church world, many a vision to get something done, in the name of God’s will, was accomplished on the backs of humble individuals who thought they were earning brownie points with God, all the while they were simply advancing the pride and the pocket book of the hireling.

I wonder how much we’ve embraced Jesus’ teaching on the death and burial of a kernel of wheat. That’s right, the kernel of wheat that must die and be buried before it can be of great increase and influence.

Now granted, we do not have to go and die on a physical cross to pay for any of our own sins or the sins of others. Jesus did that once for all. So to even think or suggest that I can save myself by crucifying myself is totally contrary to the New Testament doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone.

But, there is a doctrine of death to self that IS incorporated into the gospel of Jesus.

Jesus taught that unless we take up our cross and follow Him, we cannot share in His increase or influence. We will not be His disciples. This truth is very often confused by people as a means of salvation, but it is not. What Jesus is telling us is that unless we place our will beneath the will of the Father, we cannot fully know the power and provision of all God has planned for us.

Let me ask you; what kernel of wheat in your life needs to die and be buried before the increase and influence of God is made know in and through you?

Much like a kernel of wheat our souls have DNA. That DNA is comprised of THREE PARTS: our affection for things, our affiliation with thoughts, and the aftermath of telltale life experiences. Unless we allow these things to see the sting of death and be buried in the soil of God’s grace and truth, absolutely no increase or influence will be found, despite the fact that we are saved and going to heaven.

The FIRST PART of our souls DNA: our AFFECTION for THINGS. If we have great needs in our material sphere, the only way to find increase and influence and to reverse those needs and convert them into surplus is to give. That’s right; the Bible tells us that it is better to give than receive. It further tells us that as we give it shall be given to us, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Yet even before we can begin to find increase and influence in the material things of our lives, we must STOP. That’s right; we must STOP the process of taking for ourselves. We must STOP indulging in the folly of further acquisition. We must agree with God’s principles for our material needs and wants. We must go beyond simple credence; too actually living out what God tells us is best for us.

Further we must by faith, develop greater TRUST that His way IS the best way. And the only way for us to prove our TRUST or faith in God’s promises, is to act upon His very Word. What does the Bible tell us about the love of stuff over the love of God? What has the Spirit of God spoken to our inner man regarding how we should manage our things on this side of eternity? If we are not following His guidance, then we do not trust Him. Once a person comes to the place of stopping the old patterns of acquisition and truly begins to TRUST that God’s way is best, then and only then can they become cheerful and fearless givers.

So GIVE and it shall be given. To the amount or the measure you GIVE it shall be given back unto you. Test God in the area of tithes. Give offerings. Make faith promises. Go above and beyond what non believers do. Tip more, give more patience, give more love, give more hope, give more joy, give more assistance or help; simply put GIVE. Stop taking and start GIVING!

The SECOND PART of our souls DNA: our AFFILIATION with THOUGHTS. If our thoughts are not set on things above, but on things below, we need a change. Because as a man thinks so is he. So how is your thought life? Are you constantly plagued by negative thoughts, doubts or fears? Do you control your thinking or does your thinking control you? Are you a thermostat or a thermometer regarding your emotions and feelings? (Do you know the difference?) The Bible is very clear; we are advised to take captive every thought for the sake of Christ. In other word, we have the responsibility to CONTROL our thoughts or our thinking. If we are ever unwilling to let God have our thought life change will never come.

God’s Word is CRITICAL for our ongoing transformation. We must be open and willing to receive His spoken Word to our inner man. The inner man is the place where our conscious thoughts have no rule; but where lies are seated and cause all sorts of destructive feelings and behaviors. It is the place where our past and present collide. It is the place of greatest influence upon our outward behavior. It is the place that the Apostle Paul prayed would be strengthened the most.

Further we must be open and willing to receive God’s written Word the Bible. The only way that we can begin to understand the nature and character of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit, is by reading and studying their composite appearances and patterns displayed in the written scriptures. If you desire to know God, begin to know His written Word, then you will be better equipped to hear His spoken voice to your inner man.

The bottom line is INPUT determines OUTPUT. If you are willing to break the affiliations you have with certain thoughts, thoughts that are not God’s, then you are moments away from a pure death and resurrection that holds life for that once single kernel of wheat. Increase and influence will soon be realized and life will never be the same.

Finally the THIRD PART of our souls DNA: the AFTERMATH of TELLTALE life experiences. Because our lives are based upon our past, whether we like it or not, we must deal with the aftermath that those experiences have caused us.

When we realize that all of our feelings are based upon experiences we’ve had in the PAST. Those past experiences will be interpreted for good or for ill, depending upon how much truth or lie is mixed into the memory picture of the experience.

Scratch the surface of most people and lots of ugly stuff comes out. The present and initial scratch is not what causes the amplified or reaction of emotions, but their PAST experiences, misinterpreted and unresolved because of lies believed to be true about themselves, God or others. I know that sounds like mumbo-jumbo but it’s not.

If we will let the Lord Jesus Christ speak to the specific experiences logged in our memories TRUTH will prevail over the lies we believe to be true. I can confidently say our past affects our PRESENT. Granted, in Christ, the eternal consequences of the lies and sin has been dealt with on the cross through Jesus’ shed blood and death, but unless we give Him liberty to dispel the lies of our past, with His truth, our present situations will go unchanged.

The Bible tells us that our transformation in Christ is brought to fruition, by a deep experiential encounter with the truth and that truth has the power to renew our minds. Meaning; the aftermath of telltale life experiences that have historically weighed us down and kept us from living the fullness of Jeremiah 29:11, can be completely gone and without affect upon our PRESENT.

So I ask you: Are you ready to die and be planted in the depths of God’s grace and truth?

What kernels of wheat need to fall into the open soil of God’s best for your life right NOW?


Break your AFFILIATION with THOUGHTS that are not His. CONTROL the CRITICAL INPUT to your soul, so that your OUTPUT will be reflective of His mind and not yours.

Let Jesus speak to the AFTERMATH of TELLTALE life experiences that are weighing you down. Sandwiched between your PAST and your PRESENT is the TRUTH of God. His Word to you is very alive and sharp and able to separate the things that are so homogenized you can’t tell them apart. Often we cannot discern the influence of our past from our present. That’s where the razor sharp accuracy of God’s spoken Word to our souls brings full liberation and peace.

Are you ready for increase and influence? You can be; but unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed. No bounty, no harvest, no Jeremiah 29:11.

Today is a good day to die, that we might live. Amen?

No comments:

Post a Comment