Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cross (as in the Cross of Christ) (08/17/06)

TITLE: Dying to Live
By Charles Salmon


Dying To Live
Be careful how you put those seeds in the ground! Mom shouted at me from across the garden. Our garden occupied about half an acre on the lower part of the yard at my boyhood home. In my mind, I can still picture it flanked with peach trees on one side and mulberry trees on the other. Along the side where the mulberries grew flowed a small stream of water, its bed yellowed by sulfur from the strip mine where it originated. Occasionally, that stream would swell in a storm and flood the garden, depositing a rich layer of silt and fertilizer from the farm upstream. The garden was very important to my mother.
She was fussy about the planting. Each bean, for example, had to be carefully placed in the row. Good gardening practice demanded they be planted six inches apart in rows three feet apart. I dont know where she learned these practices, but she did produce a marvelous harvest every year the creek didnt rise and bury her crops.
In those days my curiosity outweighed discretion and I uprooted a seedling recently sprouted from the soil. On the bottom of the infant plant, I found the shriveled, rotting remains of the bean I had hidden so carefully in the earth just days earlier. The bean had within it the mysterious spark of life that would make it grow, flourish, and multiply itself (If I had the good sense to leave it in the ground.) But, in order for new life to arise, the seed must perish, providing nourishment for the emerging seedling.
Jesus was looking toward the cross when He spoke the words recorded in John 12:24; I tell you the truth, 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. (New International Version.) He comforted His disciples with the knowledge His death would bear fruit far beyond any they could imagine at the time.
Its trite to say anything worth accomplishing requires sacrifice. Jesus was going about the most worthwhile enterprise conceivable, the salvation of lost humanity. It would require of Him the ultimate sacrifice.
We are often required to sacrifice for the greater good. We expect to place family before personal pleasure, others before self, and right before profit. A Christian knows, if his life is to bear fruit in eternity, he must make a sacrifice. He must surrender his life to God.
Just like the bean, the kernel of wheat, or any other seed, one must die to live the larger life. This is what the Apostle Paul meant when he wrote, I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. (Galatians 2:20.)
Jesus also said, The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:25 NIV.) Death must precede resurrection. The way to really live is to die to sin, self, and Satan. God required it of Jesus and He requires it of us.
e n d

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 627 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/25/06
This is an effective way to write a devotional--starting with a story and then proceeding to the lesson. Thanks for sharing this.
terri tiffany08/26/06
What I like - I like how well you explained your concept. This is a great devotional. I hope you submit someplace if you don't win here.

What I might change - you already probably saw it - your spacing. Type it out single spaced and then double space the whole thing with extra to separate the paragraphs. We will all be able to read it better and the layout can add to the drama so to speak of the peace!:))
Marilyn Schnepp 11/24/06
Don't know how to contact you. But answer is "no".