Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it stays alone: but if it die…
I. THE COURSE OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE. What are men's ideas of life? The gratification of animal appetites, the desire for social pleasures, the love of distinction. Is it any wonder that these ideas should prompt the question, "Is life worth living?" These are ends which life itself will ultimately disdain. Turn, then, to Christ's idea — service true and lasting.
1. Christ's life was one of full consecration to God. This consecration was —
(1) Active — "I come to do Thy will."
(2) Entire — "My meat is to do the will," etc.
(3) Realized in the largest degree — "Into Thy hands I commit My Spirit."
(4) Triumphant, "It is finished."
(5) Was maintained by prayer.
2. Christ's life was inspired with one aim — the elevation of mankind. Archimedes said that if he could find a fulcrum he would make a lever that would lift the world. The fulcrum in our redemption was God's eternal purpose, and the lever Christ's own life — His teaching and example. This is the Church's mission today.
3. Jesus never made present success the ground of His life. After 1800 years there is more power in it than when He saved the dying thief.
II. THIS SERVICE LEANS WHERE JESUS IS. There is elevation in the very nature of Christian service. Men wearing titles and honours which they have never deserved are looked upon with contempt. To bear Christ's name and to wear His livery without serving Him is despicable. But that service is calculated to destroy one of our most debasing passions — selfishness; and the moment that that is dead at the feet of Jesus we begin to rise. We are not Mind to other elevating influences — knowledge, taste, industry, uprightness, but a heart consecrated to Christ is higher than all. It has higher conceptions of life, sweeter sentiments of duty, aims at higher ends.
III. THIS LIFE OF SERVICE WILL BE CROWNED WITH DIVINE HONOURS.
1. A place in heaven.
2. Distinguished signs of approbation.
3. Association with Jesus.
Parallel VersesKJV: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.