Sermon Overview & Prayer: "The Seed, The Savior, and You"
John 12:20-26 – PRAYER POINTS
The Seed, the Savior, and You by Jon Payne
These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer.
And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12: 23-25)
God, as our heavenly Father, comes to us, his own children, treasuring our lives; and gently presents this glorious truth and opportunity to us…We must give our lives to the One Who gave his life to save us.
The Request: “We wish to see Jesus” (v.21)
PRAYER: Lord, when I pray to see you...to know your nearness...to experience your grace...to behold your glory... fill me with faith that enables me to trust you for what that will look like. Let me not confine you to my own desires, as valid as those desires might be. May a desire for your honor and glory, and the fulfillment of your purposes, always transcend any other desire in my heart.
Jesus’s Response: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” (v.23)
PRAYER: Father, please deepen my trust in your timing, in your purposes, and in your means. When all else seems mysterious, grant me comfort in the greater mystery – that by your love and mercy and grace, I know you!
The Paradox: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. (v. 24)
Jesus is explaining the way in which he is going to be glorified. He is the grain of wheat that will reveal his glory by sacrificing his own life to produce a harvest. The glory of a seed is in its death…and the glory of the Savior is in his sacrifice…
PRAYER: Lord, let me never forget the glory of the hill called Calvary. Help me to frequently pause and wonder at all that was displayed in those few hours, and in that humiliating death. And may I be filled with worship because what was horribly sown in death, has been triumphantly bearing a harvest (including me) that will last into eternity!
Discipleship Defined: Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also... (v. 25-26)
John Piper – Anything can stand in the way of true discipleship—not just evil, but anything. Nor should it be surprising that the greatest competitors for our devotion and affection for God would be some of his most precious gifts.
PRAYER: Father, thank you for your manifold goodness in giving me so much of life to enjoy! At the same time, please show me – through friends and family, through my calendar and bank account, and through my use of time – if there are any interests, desires, or pursuits that seem to inordinately capture my heart and passions. Please open my eyes to those things that distract me from a desire to seek first your kingdom and your righteousness.
This passage means that as we marvel at the death of Christ for us, we should grow in our willingness to lay down our lives for his harvest. As we see the glory of his death, we should be willing to take up our cross for the sake of his harvest. Sacrifice is the road of glory for every follower of Jesus Christ.
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, show me where I can lay down my life, and give more of what you’ve given me, for the sake of the harvest and your glory. What can I pursue less of, in order to pursue more of you! What steps can I begin to take to sow seeds that will contribute to the harvest, and hence your glory?
The Reward: “If anyone serves me, the Father will honor” (v. 26b)
This is your future – as you lay down your life for Jesus, look to the day when you will be raised to honor with Jesus. Look to the “Well Done”.
Amy Carmichael – We will have eternity to celebrate the victories but only a few hours before sunset to win them.
PRAYER: Lord, as we await that day and your “well done”, inspire us, and prompt us to specifically thank those that display such a compelling example of forsaking all to follow you – mothers, young students, generous givers, cheerful servants. They are all around us! Help us to see and thank them, as precious examples and means of your grace!
Friends, we will have eternity to celebrate the victories of grace in our sowing…an eternity to see the harvest...and eternity to enjoy the honor of the Father...but we have only a few hours before sunset to win them…Let us sow...while the daylight remains…Eternity comes quickly upon us, with all of its glory.
PRAYER: Father, by your grace...Let us give our lives to the ONE who gave his life to save us…let us look to the well done. With our hearts in awe of the death of Christ, and longing for the honor of the Father…let us sow our seeds for the harvest to come.
- Jon (and John) highlight the double meaning of the Greeks desire to “see” Jesus as both a physical and spiritual request (verse 21). Consider your own salvation and share your own experience of God giving you sight.
- Jesus says his hour has come (verse 23). He goes the way of the seed, dying to bear much fruit. What a glorious truth! What recourses and/or resources do you use to keep an eye on Calvary and the work Christ accomplished there?
- When someone sees and responds to Jesus as Savior, an opportunity presents itself to “voluntarily give up some good things for the sake of something greater”. What are some of the good things you might need to give up for something greater, for the sake of the Harvest?
- Faithful Christian discipleship is not without its reward. The Father promises honor to all who serve him (verse 26). How has the greater joy of being honored by the Father allowed you to endure a “painful blink” of time?
- Jesus’ words to his first hearers would have been radical. How does this radical call encourage you to share the gospel in order to bear more fruit?
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