“I want to have a closer relationship with God.” This is usually the sentiment from Christ followers. Many of the spiritual disciplines we practice are for us to be “closer.” We want to have that connection and to feel His closeness. The cross brings believers near. The cross makes us one with God and other followers. The cross was Jesus’ ultimate act of service for humanity. It was his purpose for coming in the flesh. The cross reconciles and makes us close but we will never feel close to Jesus unless we choose to follow him in death and service.
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. 27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” ~ John 12:23-28
A seed must “die” for it to give life. It must be transformed, (die) becoming a plant to produce more fruit (yielding a harvest) and to produce more seeds. For Jesus to forgive the world and reconcile mankind to God he had to die. For Jesus to multiply his followers he had to die in service to them. For Christ followers, we multiply Jesus’ impact on the world through self-sacrificial service, bringing honor to the Father.
As we follow Jesus we serve him and his mission. His promise is that he will be with us in the journey of service. He also promises to grant his servants eternal life. To serve is to be centered in the life of Jesus. He walks with us and we become more like him.
To serve leads the server into the eternal fullness of God’s love. The servant receives an eternal embrace.
It’s a long walk.
With a long embrace.
I’m not sure you can get any closer.
If you want to feel the closeness of the Father you must go through the service of the cross. You must take up your own cross in faith and walk the path of service and mission with Christ and in Christ.
The hour came for Christ to give up his life for the world.
How will you choose to serve the world for which Jesus died?
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