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Summary: People struggle for their life. They fight for their right and wrestle for their greatness - only to find that it is the other way around that we can find them.

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THE THREE PARADOXES TO A FRUITFUL LIFE

John 12:24-26

People struggle for their life. They fight for their right and wrestle for their greatness - only to find that it is the other way around that we can find them. Jesus said:

Joh 12:24 I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Joh 12:25 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.

Joh 12:26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.

What was this amazing paradox which Jesus was teaching? He was saying three things:

I. IT IS ONLY BY DEATH THAT YOU CAN GAIN LIFE.

Joh 12:24 I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

The grain of wheat was ineffective and unfruitful so long as it was preserved, as it were, in safety and security. It was when it was thrown into the cold ground, and buried there as if in a tomb, that it bore fruit.

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS:

• It is by dying to sin through repentance and total surrender to Christ that we can gain eternal life in God

• It is only when we buried our personal aims and ambitions that we begin to be of real use to God

• It is by the death of our personal desires and ambition that we become servant of God

• It is by surrendering our own ways to God’s way that we become fruitful and effective for God

It was by the death of the martyrs that the Church grew. In the famous phrase: "The blood of the martyrs was the seed of the Church."

II. IT IS ONLY BY SPENDING LIFE THAT YOU CAN RETAIN IT.

Joh 12:25 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.

The man who loves his life is moved by two aims, by selfishness and by the desire for security. Not once or twice but many times Jesus insisted that the man who hoarded his life must in the end lose it, and the man who spent his life must in the end gain it.

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

• People usually choose personal safety and avoid risk. But it is by taking the risk of being called Christian and ridiculed for the same faith that we can retain life with God

• People are resisting rules and cry for freedom. But it is by spending life according to rules of God’s word that we can gain real happiness freedom and peace

• People avoid danger and persecution so they choose what is generally accepted. But it is by living and dying for Christ that we can really gain eternal life

We have only to think of what this world would have lost if there had not been men prepared to forget their personal safety, security, selfish gain and selfish advancement. The world owes everything to people who recklessly spent their strength and gave themselves to God and to others.

No doubt we will exist longer if we take things easily, if we avoid all strain, if we sit at the fire and husband life, if we look after ourselves as a hypochondriac looks after his health. No doubt we will exist longer--but we will never live. (Barclay)


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