During the three short years of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He performed many miracles and preached to crowds large and small. But the moment of greatest acceptance came the week before Jesus was crucified as He entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey. A large number had gathered from all over Israel in preparation of the Passover: “They took palm branches and went out to meet Him, shouting ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!'” (John 12:13).
Many would view this as the high point of Jesus’ ministry. He had gained a great following and the people even hailed Him as the new King of Israel. But Jesus knew this was not His Father’s will. Jesus came for a much greater purpose than to be a temporary king; He came for an eternal glory which required His death.
“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”
Jesus spoke these words in reference to His sacrifice on the cross which would occur in a few short days, but His message of death was also intended for us today. Obviously Jesus is not saying we should all be physically crucified, but He IS saying we must experience a death; “whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will find it” (Matthew 16:25). Paul explains this even more directly; “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature” (Colossians 3:5).
Our earthly nature is home to all our sinful desires, but it is also the source of all the ambitions and dreams not formed by God. When we tightly hold to our dreams and are driven (or drive others) by our own ambitions, we choke what God desires to accomplish and never see the full potential of Christ – never see the abundant life God desires us to live.
We have a tendency to dream and make plans, and then spend our time and energy pursuing the dream rather than truly pursuing Christ. Our dream may even appear very Godly – we may strive for a dynamic ministry or children who love and follow God – but until we allow EVERYTHING within us to die and be replaced by the love of God, we will never experience His very best or witness His most beautiful fruit; “and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Let’s allow the plans of Christ to reign absolutely supreme. We were created for so much more than we can imagine! Let’s cast off all sin and leave ALL we hold dear at His feet. He will raise up what He desires to use for the glory of His name, but first we must resolve to let it die.
Have a Christ Centered Day!
God’s Daily Word Ministries
**** Reading Plan ****
Jul 18 1 Chronicles 26:12-27:34; Romans 4:14-5:2; Psalm 14:1-7; Proverbs 19:17