COMPLINE – ADDRESS – Sermon 276

7th January 2019 Off By Derek

COMPLINE – ADDRESS – Tuesday
7.30 pm – 11th April 2017

Prayer to start

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ

AMEN

Introduction

Jesus – had just been welcomed – by the crowds – in Jerusalem – as a king – they’d been with Him – since He called Lazarus – out of the Tomb – and raised Him from the dead –

And – when a group of Gentiles arrived – Jesus – knew His time has come – and it was time – to preach – about one of the most important – and most difficult concepts in the Christian life –

That we must live to die – and die to live

‘In very truth I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains that and nothing more; but if it dies, it bears a rich harvest –

Whoever loves himself is lost, but he who hates himself in this world will be kept safe for eternal life.  If anyone is to serve me, he must follow me; where I am there will my servant be.  Whoever serves me will be honoured by the Father”

point 1

Dying to self – is probably – one of the hardest things – we’ll have to face

It means we have to allow – ourselves to be changed – broken – We have to let go – of many  – of the things we have depended on  – to survive – independence  –  self sufficiency – ‘standing on our two feet’ –

The grain of wheat – not only represents – Jesus’ death – but also the death of everyone that wants to follow Him –

Left to its own devices – a seed won’t change –

If we leave seeds – in the packet – in a dry place – – and forget to plant them – which I often do – they’ll still be there next year – and the year after –although their chances of success – if they ever do get put in the ground – gets less and less each time – seed grains over 3000 years old have been found in some Egyptian Tombs – and they look exactly the same as the ones we use today –

But if the outer-casing is broken – and nourishment is added – then something spectacular happens – new life begins –

I’m sure we’ve all done the bean – and damp kitchen roll – in a jam jar  – experiment – try it if you’ve not done it lately  –

An amazing transformation takes place – and what’s inside the seed comes alive – and grows into something many times its original size –

We’ve only got think of Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed – to realize the extent of what’s possible

And once that seed starts to grow – it grows taller and stronger – if we keep it in the light –

“trust to the light while you have it, so that you may become children of the light”

Most of us go through life deliberately avoiding hard decisions – sometimes we are afraid to take chances for God – we have doubts about our own capabilities and gifts

But Jesus tells us – that if we trust in Him – open up our defenses – and offer our true selves to God – then we will be amazed at the changes that will happen to us –

The cross demonstrates what can be achieved if we focus – not our own glory – but on the glory of God 

Jesus is the way that God has chosen to reach us and bring us to Him –  The way of sacrificial love

His life story is that grain of wheat that breaks and dies in order to bring in a rich harvest for God–

He could have chosen a different way – and followed the crowd – instead He chose to die for you and me –

Today – Jesus calls us to choose that same way of the cross – in order to be part of His harvest for God – He encourages us to come alive – and take the path to freedom – and a new creation –

It will be costly – our old self has to go – we will be tempted to take an easier path – to stay as we are- even Jesus was tempted – but Jesus promises that if we trust and serve Him – and are willing to be fed by Him  – He will helps us grow towards the Kingdom –

John doesn’t say whether the Gentiles took any notice of Jesus – but the Jews certainly got the message –

He warns them – that time is short – they must respond while the light is still with them –

We too need to respond while the light is with us – to risk all in His service – and not be tempted to put our seed back in the drawer for another year –

Conclusion

Are we ready to be broken for God – to be transformed into something beautiful in God’s eyes – there’s still time –  

AMEN