“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Don’t love your life more than you love Jesus
And Jesus answered them, The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified and exalted. 24 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest. 25 Anyone who loves his life loses it, but anyone who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. [Whoever has no love for, no concern for, no regard for his life here on earth, but despises it, preserves his life forever and ever.] 26 If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. 27 Now My soul is troubled and distressed, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour [of trial and agony]? But it was for this very purpose that I have come to this hour [that I might undergo it]. 28[Rather, I will say,] Father, glorify (honor and extol) Your [own] name! Then there came a voice out of heaven saying, I have already glorified it, and I will glorify it again. 29 The crowd of bystanders heard the sound and said that it had thundered; others said, An angel has spoken to Him! 30 Jesus answered, This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sake. 31 Now the judgment (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world shall be cast out (expelled). 32 And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw and attract all men [Gentiles as well as Jews] to Myself. 33 He said this to signify in what manner He would die. John 12:23-33 AMP
Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just one grain – it never becomes more – but if it dies, it produces many more and yields a rich harvest. There is always a price to pay to see a harvest. Jesus had to die – sown as a seed – to reap the harvest of millions and millions of people. Hebrews 12:2 AMP says that Jesus, “for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
There is a price that we have to pay – there is a seed that must be sown – to see the harvest of souls come to the Lord in this generation. We must follow Jesus and conform to His example in all things. No, it is not possible, neither is it necessary, for us to be crucified in the same manner as Jesus. He had a specific purpose in dying and was the only one who could die to save us from sin, but if we want to be used by God it is important that we do take the steps necessary to crucify our own flesh. We must lay down our own life and allow our flesh, plans, desires, will, opinions, and selfishness to die. As we give up our life into God’s hands, only then can He anoint us and use us to further His kingdom on this earth.
And the word of the Lord came to me: 3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and put the stumbling block of their iniquity and guilt before their faces; should I permit Myself to be inquired of at all by them? 4 Therefore speak to them and say to them, Thus says the Lord God: Every man of the house of Israel who takes his idols [of self-will and unsubmissiveness] into his heart and puts the stumbling block of his iniquity [idols of silver and gold] before his face, and yet comes to the prophet [to inquire of him], I the Lord will answer him, answer him according to the multitude of his idols, 5 That I may lay hold of the house of Israel in the thoughts of their own mind and heart, because they are all estranged from Me through their idols. 6 Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations. Ezekiel 14:2-6 AMP
Self-will and unsubmissiveness are idols and are as unacceptable to God as much as idols of silver and gold. Anyone who loves their life too much to lay it down and to give it into God’s hands will lose it. If you have no respect for your eternity and are too focused on the world and your life in the world, you will lose your life and see hell. Jesus was completely unselfish and utterly yielded and obedient to the Father. Jesus did not love His life more than He loves His Father or more than He loves us. He was willing to obey God and lose – give up – His life for our sakes. If you will lay your life down, if you will have no love or concern for it, you will find it. If nothing on this earth, in this world, is more important than Jesus, than God’s will for you, you will find your life and see heaven.
You must be prepared to make the sacrifices that are required in order for you to be like Jesus, follow after Him, and continue to do His work on the earth as you represent Him to the world. The Father honored Jesus for his obedience and sacrifice. If you will make the sacrifices, He will do the same for you!