01 Aug 2003

A Seed Must Die In The Soil

Town Bus 17 in Melaka turned into the Portuguese community off Jalan Ujong Pasir. I sat up and strained forward to have a closer look at the historical spot...and recalled that two of our American friends came all the way from Kuala Lumpur just to see the remnants European settlements in Melaka. Then the thought hit me that the gospel of Jesus Christ actually reached the shores of Malaya around the time the flame was passed on to the continent of North America. I guess that in both cases, the natives did not know the God revealed in the Scriptures yet. How is it that in the other country, God's word took root and spread faster than it did here, so that for a long time it was called a Christian nation (not currently), while this nation has hardly been affected as a whole?

Is it because the hot and humid climate in this country and it's long distance from Europe were not conducive for many European to settle down here with their families? Perhaps they came, traded and returned to their lands to enjoy their riches wheareas those who travelled to America actually emigrated there, never to return to their country of origin.

If this was the case, then His Word, embodied in flesh and blood, took to the soil and grew in America, bringing forth much fruit. Is not the dying of the seed the basic principle for church growth that the Lord of the harvest left for us? Will not the seed that dies in the soil take root, grow...and produce fruits ten-fold, thirty- fold...a hundred fold?

Yes, how often we still seek to plant and build churches where we are reluctant to die, take root and grow in Him. Instead, we may also end up like our missionary predecessors in our land...God out, evangelise and run home to our suburban comforts before we reach out again the next day. Are we really "mixing our sweat with the sweat" of those we seek to love for Him, like the Son did for us? If not, how can the people know who He really is?

For Meditation and Prayer:
John 12:23-26; Matthew 13:31-32