A VERSE AT A TIME
TOPIC: THE PROCESS OF MULTIPLICATION
AIM: TO HELP BELIEVERS ALIGN WITH A PROVEN PATHWAY
TEXT: JOHN 12:24-26
KEY VERSE: I assure you, most solemnly, I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.JOHN 12:24(AMPC)
Jesus, as a great teacher, often taught profound spiritual principles using natural things that people could relate to and understand. Using agriculture, he signified the multiplication process in the kingdom of God. Jesus was referring to his mission on earth to die so that many more sons of God would arise after him.
Just as a natural seed filled with potential remains just a seed until planted in the ground, a believer remains alone without multiplying himself until he is willing to die to his own will and take up the master’s will. A plant must bear fruit before it starts to multiply. A banana tree has an interesting growth pattern. Before the tree produces any fruit, it will first produce suckers that will eventually replace it. These suckers will grow into new trees that will bear fruit in the future. This process ensures that the banana tree’s legacy continues even after the original tree has fulfilled its purpose. It’s a beautiful reminder that sometimes, the things we do today may not bear fruit immediately, but they can pave the way for future success and growth.
Jesus’ act of sacrificing himself on the cross serves as a powerful example of dying to multiply. Despite the immense difficulty of the task, he willingly laid down his life, knowing that it was God’s will. While he did struggle with the decision, he ultimately prayed and received help to answer the call.
Yet while Christ was here on earth he pleaded with God, praying with tears and agony of soul to the only one who would save him from premature death. And God heard his prayers because of his strong desire to obey God at all times. And even though Jesus was God’s Son, he had to learn from experience what it was like to obey when obeying meant suffering Hebrews 5:6-8(TLB)
And it was right and proper that God, who made everything for his own glory, should allow Jesus to suffer, for in doing this he was bringing vast multitudes of God’s people to heaven; for his suffering made Jesus a perfect Leader, one fit to bring them into their salvation. Hebrews 2:10(TLB)
A believer in Christ has different options for getting things done, but the heavenly Father has a will about how He wants it done. When we can step down from our plans to follow God’s way, then we are dying to ourselves. Many times, this choice is difficult to make because it may involve suffering. The story of Abraham is an excellent example of this – he had to leave behind everything he knew to follow God’s call, but in doing so, he ended up being blessed beyond measure. It’s not always easy, but amazing things can happen when we die to ourselves and put our trust in God.
Abraham is your Father, so look at him. Look at Sarah, who gave birth to you. Abraham was alone when I called him. Then I blessed him, and he began a great family with many descendants.” Isaiah 51:2(AMPC)
Moses knew he was destined to be a deliverer for his people. However, his plans for accomplishing the task differed from what God wanted. Hence, preparing and commissioning him for the work required a profound transformation within him.
(Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.) Numbers 12:3
Paul’s zeal to serve God was misguided. After encountering God, he changed his values and motives, abandoning his plans to take up the Cross of Jesus.
But all these things that I once thought very worthwhile—now I’ve thrown them all away so that I can put my trust and hope in Christ alone. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord. I have put aside all else, counting it worth less than nothing, in order that I can have Christ and become one with him, no longer counting on being saved by being good enough or by obeying God’s laws, but by trusting Christ to save me; for God’s way of making us right with himself. Philippians 3:7-9
John the Baptist preached a message of repentance that must precede faith in the son of God. The believer’s old life must die for the new life in Christ to be revealed. Baptism also models the principle of dying to old ways of living before the new life begins.
John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness (desert), preaching a baptism [obligating] repentance (a change of one’s mind for the better, heartily amending one’s ways, with abhorrence of his past sins) in order to obtain forgiveness of and release from sins. Mark 1:4(AMP)
You may ask how my dying to my desires and plans will bring multiplication. God knows your potential and will plant you where you will bloom best. Trust him with all your heart.
What a foolish question! You will find the answer in your own garden! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it “dies” first. And when the green shoot comes up out of the seed, it is very different from the seed you first planted. For all you put into the ground is a dry little seed of wheat or whatever it is you are planting, then God gives it a beautiful new body—just the kind he wants it to have; a different kind of plant grows from each kind of seed. 1Corinthians 15:36-38(TLB)
God receives our act of obedience to do his will, and he multiplies it to produce a harvest in different ways we never imagined. Some of the harvests we receive in our lifetime, while others continue long after we are gone. Take up the Cross of Jesus today, and follow his leading to a life of multiplication.
Then Jesus called the crowd and his followers to him. He said, “Any of you who want to be my follower must stop thinking about yourself and what you want. You must be willing to carry the Cross that is given to you for following me. Mark 8:34(ERV)
- What is the Lord saying to you about his plans?
- What does the banana tree teach you about multiplication?
- What decision are you facing today? How would Jesus respond?
- How does Jesus’ example challenge you?