What Jesus Did! 'Planted for the Harvest' — John 12:24-26

Saturday, August 27, 2022

[After saying his time had come, Jesus continued,] "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels — a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me."
— John 12:24-26 NLT

Key Thought

We try to do so much of what we want to do for God by ourselves. Our motives are right. Our hearts are right. Our plans are made with prayer. The problem is that we sometimes end up doing everything except the crucial thing: We are not willing to die. Our identity gets involved in pulling off our plans. Our hopes and our feelings about Christian service get tangled up in the success of our plans. Jesus reminds us that there is no harvest without death — the seed has to be planted and die before it can germinate and grow. [1] Jesus submitted everything, including his fears and his friends, to the will of God. It cost him his life. It won him the harvest. What have you not surrendered to God? Why?

[1] For all of us, our voluntary death is first death to our old selves (Romans 6:1-4) rather than physical death, but there are many places where our brothers and sisters are also suffering physical death for their faith.

Today's Prayer

Forgive me, Father. I confess that I have wanted my discipleship and my ministry to be done my way, but I want to die to my will and have your will come to life in me. Please show me how to do that because I want to be an agent of your great harvest. In the name of your submissive and triumphant Son, Jesus. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 9:23-26
  • Luke 10:2
  • John 4:34-38


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Illustration of John 12:24-26 NLT — "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.