Heavenly Challenge

Once again I sit in awe of Jesus this morning as I read:

Jesus replied, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 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. 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. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. 'Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.' -- John 12:23-27

Did you catch how Jesus starts with being glorified and ends with a troubled heart ... it is as if He got a glimpse of the 3 nails and wooden cross? Only hindsight gives us understanding into this passage ... those present on that day certainly didn't understand that Jesus was speaking of himself as a kernel of wheat dying. Can you catch the significance of glory in the context of not loving your life? Can you even relate to not holding on to your life in the same way that Jesus didn't cling to His? I honestly have difficulty getting my arms around this. It puts denying myself into context ... it causes me to wonder what servanthood really looks like. Can God only be glorified through death?

So here I sit, once again challenged to die to my ego, to my comfort, to my dreams ... to deny myself ... to take up my cross ... to follow Jesus ... to be where He is. Jesus doesn't ask more of us than He required of Himself. He gave Himself for us ... we in turn are required to also give ourselves for others. It is heavenly challenge.

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