Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

How's Your Spiritual Health Since You Died?
John 12:24-26 and Others

24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. 26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. NAS

Introduction
I have given each of you a seed. All of these seeds remain alone. None of them are bearing fruit. Why are none of this seeds bearing fruit? Obviously they have not been planted. These seeds have life in them but they must die in order for this life to come forth.

I have heard stories about seeds being found in old graves. As I remember these seeds were several hundred years old and when they were planted they brought forth the appropriate fruit.

This seed each of us hold in our hands can remind us we are to be dead to the desires of the flesh in order to live in the spiritual realm.

We can be channels for the fruit God produces or we can remain alone. All who are Christians have had the death I am talking about today. You have been crucified with Christ

So how is your spiritual health.
 
 

1.    How's Your Spiritual Health Since Your . . Deliberate Death. v 24 - 26


24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. 26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. NAS

A.    A Deliberate Death to . . Self. v 24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Gal 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. NAS
 

Illustration The Lord's Prayer By Spiros Zodhiates

You cannot pray the Lord's Prayer
And even once say I.
You cannot pray the Lord's Prayer
And even once say My.
Nor can you pray the Lord's Prayer
And not pray for one another,

For when you ask for daily bread
You must include your brother.
For others are included
In each and every plea--
From the beginning to the end of it,
It never once says Me!             From the book The Lord's Prayer
 
 

A.    A Deliberate Death to . . Sin. v 25 26 25 "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.

    1.    Jesus is not saying we should not love life.
    2.    Jesus is saying in contrast to our love for the Lord this love of life should look very dim.
            a.    Christian's pray Lord let me live for you.
            b.    Let my life be used to exalt Jesus.
            c.    Sin never exalts Jesus.

Rom 6:2 & 11 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. NAS

C.    A Deliberate Death FOR . . Service. John 11:26
        26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. NAS

Illustration
My youngest Grandson will be 4 in February. He is bossed by Mom, Dad. An Older brother and 3 older sisters. Add Grand Parents to that and it must seem like every one is his boss.

If you ask Stephen what he wants to be when he gets older he will say a "bosser." He wants to boss somebody.

I think all of us are a little like that when it comes to a spiritual death. We have to put down a reoccurring desire to be boss.

Application

Ps 12:4 Who have said, "With our tongue we will prevail;  Our lips are our own;
who is lord over us?" NAS
 
 

2.    How's Your Spiritual Health Since Your . . Disciplined Death. v 24-26


24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. 26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. NAS

A.    Disciplined Death Is A . . Living Sacrifice. 24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat
        falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
            1.    The Discipline to Die Represents Sacrifice.
            2.    The seed has to be planted through discipline.
            3.    The seed must die.

Rom. 12:1 I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. NAS

        4.    You Will Discipline your: Speech.
                a.    While my daughters were home they never heard me say a curse word.
        5.    You Will Discipline your: Thoughts
        6.    You Will Discipline your: Actions
        7.    You Will Discipline your: Pride

Illustration
I will use the book "How to Pray by Ronnie Floyd in the discipleship class I will begin teaching next year. In this book Dr. Floyd relates about his personal prayer time.

He says I can not remember the last morning I did not rise at 4:00 AM to pray and have a devotional time with the Lord. He also has fasted for 40 days more than once. I would say he has a live of discipline where he has made several sacrifices in order to die so he can really live for the Lord.
 

B.    Disciplined Death Is A . . Logical Sacrifice. 25 "He who loves his life loses it; and he
        who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal.

        1.    It is logical when properly analyzed.
        2.    Would you trade the temporary for the Eternal?

1 Cor. 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. NAS
 

Illustration
I am a pragmatic person. I want to know what benefit I will receive from reading a book or attending a show or doing most anything outside my work and many times even in my work.

It make all the sense in the world to me to believe my creator knows more about my life than I do. To me it is logical to trust God. If he says "He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. I believe the Bible and want to do what God says.

At this point I used a dummy type of Puppet from a sock to illustrate a creator talking with His creation. It makes since to me for the created to yield to the creator as a discipline of their life.

Application

1 Tim 4:8 for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and {also} for the {life} to come. (NAS)
 
 

3.    How's Your Spiritual Health Since Your . . Daily Death. v 26


26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. NAS

A.    Daily Death is A . . Serving Life Style. v 26 a
        ". . . "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me;. . . "

    1 Cor. 15:31 I protest, brethren, by the boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord,
\    I die daily. NAS

B.    Daily Death is A . . Separated Life Style. v 26 b
        ". . . and where I am, there shall My servant also be; . . . "

        2 Cor 6:17 "Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate," says the Lord.
        "And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you. (NAS)

        1.    Speech,  Thoughts,  Actions,  Pride
        2.    Separated for Christ NEVER from Christ.

        Rom 8:38-39 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,
        nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other
        created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our
        Lord. (NAS)

Illustration
A missionary nurse spoke to a church gathering and told of her experiences. A woman who felt like she had wasted her life told this missionary nurse "I would give the world to be where you are and have the testimony you can give.

The missionary said "that exactly what I have given to be where I am. I gave up the world to follow Jesus and He has given me a world of influence and opportunity for service and ministry
 

Application

Matt 19:27-29 27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You; what then will there be for us?" 28 And Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you, that you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on His glorious throne, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, shall receive many times as much, and shall inherit eternal life. (NAS)
 
 

How's Your Spiritual Health Since You Died?

Your . . Deliberate Death.

Your . . Disciplined Death.

Your . . Daily Death.