Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Fruit Through Death

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.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  FRUIT THROUGH DEATH.  Today’s scripture is from the Lord Jesus and identifies the non-negotiable truth all Christians must embrace if they would have a fruit-bearing life. And every true Christian will bear fruit. Our union with Christ guarantees it, but there must a death to self. The fruit-bearing Christian must die to self-desires, personal ambitions, public acclaim, and worldly achievements. Unless there is the reality of death to self and the crucified, risen with Christ life, we may accomplish much service for the Lord but not produce lasting spiritual fruit for the Lord. This truth is wonderfully illustrated in the following true story.  Settle in and ask the Lord to drive home its truth and personal application.  I warn us.  It is a gripping story that leaves us without excuse.


One day Joseph who was walking along one of these hot, dirty African roads, met someone who shared the gospel of Jesus Christ with him. Then and there he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. The power of the Spirit began transforming his life; he was filled with such excitement and joy that the first thing he wanted to do was return to his own village and share that same Good News with the members of his local tribe. Joseph began going from door-to-door, telling everyone he met about the cross of Jesus and the salvation it offered, expecting to see their faces light up the way his had. To his amazement the villagers not only didn’t care, they became violent. The men of the village seized him and held him to the ground while the women beat him with strands of barbed wire. He was dragged from the village and left to die alone in the bush.


Joseph somehow managed to crawl to a waterhole, and there, after days of passing in and out of consciousness, found the strength to get up. He wondered about the hostile reception he had received from people he had known all his life. He decided he must have left something out or told the story of Jesus incorrectly. After rehearsing the message he had first heard, he decided to go back and share his faith once more.  Joseph limped into the circle of huts and began to proclaim Jesus. Again he was grabbed by the men of the village and held while the women beat him reopening wounds that had just began to heal. Once more they dragged him unconscious from the village and left him to die.  To have survived the first beating was truly remarkable. To live through the second was a miracle. Again, days later, Joseph awoke in the wilderness bruised, scarred and determined to go back. He returned to the small village and this time, they attacked him before he had a chance to open his mouth. As they flogged him for the third and probably the last time, he again spoke of Jesus Christ the Lord. Before he passed out, the last thing he saw was that the women who were beating him began to weep. This time he awoke in his own bed. The ones who had so severely beaten him were now trying to save his life and nurse him back to health. The entire village had come to Christ.


Friends, how can we not die to self on a daily basis for the Lord Jesus after what He has done for us?  Truly we love Him so little if we know of such little sacrifice for Him and His gospel.  May it no longer be!  May we know what it means to say AND live – For me to live is Christ and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).


PRAYER: “Father, help me to see that to die to myself is the way to a fruitful life.”


QUOTE: “To live the crucified and risen with Christ life, there must be the death to self life.”


In the affection of Christ Jesus,


Pastor Jim