Too often, I get my feelings hurt because I don’t get the recognition I think I deserve for the work I do for Christ, for the work I do to expand the Faith beyond its previous levels.
As if the reason I’m doing this is for my own benefit.
The reason I’m supposed to be doing this blog, the reason I’m supposed to be running this ministry, the reason I’m supposed to be sharing the Gospel with the hurting people around me is NOT for MY benefit. It’s for THEIRS.
All I’m supposed to be is a SEED.
Remember the Parable of the Sower?
“A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”
This parable, from Matthew 13:3-9, is one of the most famous of His stories, and it explains how different people can hear the gospel but gain different depths of understanding from it – well, let’s let Jesus Himself explain what He meant (this is from the same chapter, verses 19 through 23):
When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
I am but a seed My job is not to be glorified, for who glorifies a seed? A seed’s job is to die! But in dying, the seed provides life for something much greater than itself – perhaps thirty, sixty, a hundred times greater! And what that seed produces will look NOTHING like the seed itself – a corn stalk doesn’t resemble its seed, nor does an apple tree resemble its.
Jesus tells Andrew and Philip this in John 12:24-26 →
“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.
“If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.“
And there, in verse 26, is the key I should have been looking for the entire time. “If anyone serves Me,” says Christ, “the Father will honor him.”
That is the recognition I should have been seeking the entire time! It’s not unlike what He says in the Beatitudes (Matthew 5) – those who seek their recognition on earth, they have their reward already. It’s those of us who work for the Lord WITHOUT thought of earthly reward who are “saving up our treasures in Heaven.”
And beyond the recognition, beyond being a metaphorical seed for the saving belief in Christ as Lord, we as physical beings are also seeds for the Heavenly self that is to come! Consider First Corinthians 15, verses 35 through 50…
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another…
So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
The bodies we will ascend to Heaven with will not be like the ones we live in here – just as we are metaphorical seeds to raise other Christian believers, we are physical seeds for Christ to raise us at His first return (any day or week now – we are still firmly in belief that the moment may come at any time!), whether we are then dead or alive, corporeal or scattered (if you don’t think the God that created the universe with His Voice can find enough atoms of every cremated Christian to serve as a seed, your faith isn’t strong enough yet!), into the Heavenly forms we will live out eternity in.
These bodies won’t make the trip. I’m coming more and more to the conclusion that it won’t be like the “Left Behind” type movies, where there are all these vanished Christians. God has no need of the physical body, or cremation would be a ton of work for Him. He’s just housing our eternal soul in a new form – so the old forms will still be on earth.
The non-Believers aren’t going to have millions of missing Christians (and children, remember); they’re going to have millions of seemingly dead Christians and children to explain.
(That might actually be easier to rationalize for the anti-Christ: death by some strange fate rather than complete annihilation or evaporation or kidnapping? Yeah, probably easier. But we won’t have a reason to care…)
So, fellow Christians, the next time you come across a seed, remember that every seed is representative of YOU – an important step in the reproduction of the Christian Faith, both here on earth and in Heaven down the road. Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you. Don’t worry about earthly rewards or recognition – that’s immaterial in the long run, even counterproductive.
“Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”