Saturday, March 16, 2013

March 16, 2013 … Birth, Death, and Fulfillment – the Cycle of Life

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 75

Passage of the Day: John 12: 24 [in the context of verses 20-25] [NLT] …  
20 Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem to attend the Passover 21paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.” 22Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus. 
23 Jesus replied, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into His glory. 24 The truth is, a kernel of wheat must be planted in the soil. Unless it dies it will be alone — a single seed. But its death will produce many new kernels — a plentiful harvest of new lives. 25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who despise their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  ..."
Contextual Study of today’s passage: John, Chapter 12 [NLT] … Go to this link … 

Reference Passage #1: Luke 9: 23 : [The cycle of life in discipleship.] …[NLT] …  
23 Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be My follower, you must put aside your selfish ambition, shoulder your cross daily, and follow Me.

My Journal for Today: Os Hillman begins his devotional entry for this morning with this statement of truth: … “Almost every significant thing God births He allows to die before the vision is fulfilled in His own way.” And I seldom disagree with Brother Os; but I think he’s understated this truth here by saying “ALMOST every significant thing God births… .” Actually, in restating what Christ told His disciples in today’s highlight text [see John 12: 24] and then again in stating Jesus’ treatise on discipleship in Luke 9: 23, our Lord was much more inclusive and exhaustive in His stating what is God’s spiritual life cycle.

 As Jesus put it to His followers, for God to birth a vision, or a dream, or a prophesy in someone’s heart, that one must experience a death of self in order for God’s harvest to be realized. And Hillman went on, in his entry today to give several biblical examples …  
… Abraham had a vision of being the father of a great nation (birth). Sarah was barren and became too old to have children (death). God gave Abraham and Sarah a son in their old age. He became the father of a great nation (fulfillment). 
… Joseph had a vision that he would be a great leader and that many would bow down to him (birth). Joseph’s brothers sold him to some merchants and he became a slave. Later he was falsely condemned to spend his years in prison (death). God allowed Joseph to interpret the dreams of the butler and baker and later the king, whereupon, he was made a ruler in the land (fulfillment). 
… Moses had a vision of leading his people out of the bondage of Egypt (birth). Pharaoh as well as his own people drove Moses out of Egypt after Moses’ first attempt to relieve their bondage (death). God gave Moses signs and wonders to convince Pharaoh to free the people and bring them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land (fulfillment). 
… The disciples had a vision of establishing the Kingdom of God with Jesus (birth). The very ones He came to save killed Jesus, and the disciples saw Him buried in a tomb (death). God raised Jesus from the dead, and the disciples performed great miracles until the gospel had spread through all the world (fulfillment).

I don’t know where you are in your spiritual life cycle; but I know that God has a vision or a dream for the fulfillment of His purpose for you and why you are here on this earth. But for that seed to be harvested as God’s fulfilled wheat field, the seed must be planted in the soil of God’s field and then it must die unto itself before it is nourished, grows, and is ultimately harvested for God’s glory. Perhaps the seed of God’s dream for your life has yet to be planted. Perhaps it’s in the ground now and you are experiencing the death of self; or maybe you’re in the agonizing stage of growth where that seed has been morphed into the plant of God’s plan. And maybe … you’re in the stage of God’s life cycle where you’re experiencing the harvest God intended for your life.

Years ago, God birthed a dream in my life; … that I would become an agent for God to use in helping Christian men experience a walk from death into life … by shedding the chains of sexual sin to walk in freedom with Christ. But for this purpose to be fulfilled, I had to go through God’s life cycle of discipleship, dying to self, being transformed in Gods’ soil of change, and then seeing God’s purpose being fulfilled in the harvest of my being used by God to help others walk away from the bondage of habitual sexual sin into the light of freedom with Christ.

I don’t know where you are now in God’s plan and purpose for your life; but I do know that for God to birth a dream in your life, you are going to have to traverse His death-to-life cycle in order for God to bring the fulfillment of His purpose for your life. And I pray you will die to self, take up your cross daily, and follow Him in allowing God’s Spirit to birth a dream for you and to see it harvested for His glory.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, thank You for letting Your dream to be planted in my life so that I might see its continuing fulfillment in my lifetime. … Amen

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