When you think of death you immediately think of something negative. It is really difficult to associate death with anything good however death produces fruit.
Let me explain this using the analogy of a wheat.
The Bible in John 12:24 says “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but it if dies, it bears much fruit. Another version says “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies it remains just a single grain but if it dies it beats much fruit.”
A few years ago, I spent sometime researching on wheat. I particularly wanted to visualize what this scripture meant and how a wheat of grain dies.
We all know a farmer will take a seed and bury it into the ground. Then He will pray rains come and the seed grows. I spent sometime researching on the process of germination i.e. how the seed grows and I found that it is made up of three parts which includes an internal food storage and so when it gets into the ground it feeds on its own internal storage then after, it begins to attract moisture, water and nutrients. Eventually it begins to grow roots downwards while it also grows upwards and above the ground where it then attracts sunlight. Amazing thing. But this time I wanted to know how the grain of seed actually dies.
The first thing that came to my mind is that it dies when it is buried in the ground. But burying doesn’t mean death. Jesus died before was He buried. Humans die before they are buried in the ground. The process of being buried is not the process of dying. So I really wanted to find out how the grain of seed dies and I did.
Excerpts of an article I read “Wheat is a cultivated grass, and for thousands of years people have cultivated those strains in which the kernels cling to the head. And we understand if the kernels are loose on the head, the wind just blows them off. https://www.reformedworship.org/article/march-2003/unless-grain-wheat-falls-sermon
To get food from wheat, you have to thresh the grain off the head. The grain of wheat “dies” not by falling into the ground. It dies by being stripped from the head. It’s viable off the head, but it will generate life only if it is pulled away from its old source of life and buried in the ground where moisture and nutrients will bring forth its life.”
Therefore, the kernels are stripped and removed from the head.
This is a process of death because it is stripped from its source. On the head it is not alone, it is amongst other kernels and it receives its source from the head but then for it to be productive on its own. It must be stripped off the head and be alone. Then it must be buried in the ground. Then and only then can it begin to produce fruit. The beautiful thing is that it is made up of its own internal storage that enables it to thrive on its own but it would never know if it clings to the head.
Another example of death that is linked to positivity is when the caterpillar enters the cocoon and begins its transformation process. The process has been said to be equivalent to the process of death. The caterpillar sheds everything that is in itself and becomes a completely new being. It becomes a butterfly and looks nothing like its old self. Without this process of death it would never become a beautiful butterfly.
As I write this its December and we celebrate the birth of Jesus. There are many people who cannot understand why Jesus had to come to die and how His death is considered a good thing. I remember when I was younger I didn’t understand how we could call the day that Jesus died, Good Friday. In my head there was nothing good about the Friday but you see Jesus had to die to bear fruit.
Jesus was stripped off everything. He was stripped off His own desires. He was a King but stripped off His royal heavenly garments and throne to walk on the earth. He died a painful/ shameful death in between two criminals/sinners. He stripped off His own will. He was stripped off His own reputation. He died to self while alive even before He died a physical death. Then He died the physical death.
Let us go back to the analogy of the wheat.
Now after this process of death the wheat grain can now bear fruit.
Excerpts of the same article I read: “The result is remarkable not only because a dead seed generates life, but especially because it generates so much life. A week ago, I spoke with a farmer in South Dakota about this. I wanted to know his yield. “What do you put in the ground?” I asked. “Two bushel of seed an acre,” he said. “And what do you get back?” “Forty to fifty bushel” he said. Two bushels of seed. Forty to fifty bushels of yield. Think about it. One acre is roughly the size of a football field, and two bushels of kernels sown into it a grain at a time yields enough wheat for about 2,500 loaves of bread.” –https://www.reformedworship.org/article/march-2003/unless-grain-wheat-falls-sermon
When the grain is with the others on the head, it is just part of the many grains. It receives from the head which is its source but it does not bear fruit. When it dies, by being stripped of the head and the other grains, it is then buried and only then can it bear fruit.
In John 12 verses 9-11 The Bible says….The people came to take a look, not only at Jesus but also at Lazarus”. Lazarus needed to die to be resurrected. After his death, Lazarus had the opportunity to witness and He became a point of reference only because he died and was raised from the dead.
As a result of Jesus death, many are saved and are reconciled with God.
Jesus took upon our sins on himself. Prior to his death, we were all condemned to die and spend eternity in hell fire because of the sins of Adam and Eve. There had to be judgment for our sins. Jesus came to earth so that He could pay for our sins with his blood. He took upon our sins and the punishment of our sins which was death. He died and went to hell and after three days He rose again. His death gave us life. Therefore because of His death we don’t have to die a spiritual death, We may die a physical death but we don’t have to spend eternity in hell. We get to go and spend eternity in Heaven where God gives us eternal life.
Jesus’s death was a glorious thing. Death brings life. We cannot access eternal life if we don’t die.
When a woman is pregnant the baby essentially goes through a process equivalent to the process of dying before it receives new life on earth. The baby leaves the womb and then receives new life. It is separated from its only source for the first 9 months of existence. It is separated from the umbilical cord. The same way for us to have eternal life where we get to live with Jesus and God and the Holy Spirit forever we also have to go through a process of death in this earthly realm.
In the same way to bear fruit on earth we also have to go through a process of death which I would like to call dying to self. This is the only way you can move from one level to the other.
Through dying to self and allowing God to birth The Richer Woman through me, thousands of women around the world have been impacted. Many have been healed, marriages restored, purpose birthed etc. Through being obedient and sharing about Gods plans for people struggling with their sexuality and sharing my own experience as a child many have been set free and no longer feel condemned, ministries are begin confirmed and birthed in this area. Even writing this is a form of dying to self.
What does God need to strip off you? Are you clinging to your old life? Are you clinging to worldly desires? Are you clinging to friends that you know are not good for you or don’t have the same values as you? Are you clinging to pride or anger? Are you clinging to the lusts of the flesh and this world? Are you clinging to your own will, your own rights, your own plans? Let God strip you off it. Embrace the process of death to self.
At the beginning of the pandemic, the Lord asked me to leave certain WhatsApp groups and social media. From my inactivity on social media it seemed like I had died but you see God was doing a major inner work in me. Just like how it seems the caterpillar is dead when its in the cocoon but instead a major transformation is going on. God did a lot in me during that period. He transformed my health, my business, my family etc. Like the wheat I had to be separated from communities and so that I could bear much fruit. Since then almost 600 women have started The Fathers Daughter Challenge which helps them develop an intimate relationship with the Father. I also pray weekly with a group of women. If I was in those communities or on still on social media perhaps I would not have been able to achieve all the things I achieved.
I recently heard that President Obama went into a period of consecration before He became President. Jesus went into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights before He started His ministry. He also went alone to pray in the Garden of Gethsamene before He went to the cross to die for our sins. Sometimes you need to separate yourself like the wheat so you can bear fruit. Sometimes God will strip you off many things just before you move into the next level He is calling you to.
No matter what age you are you need to begin to think about your legacy. Let us look at the Olive Tree. I love this Bible verse that says “Your children will be like Olive shoots round about your table” – Psalm 128 verse 3
An olive tree is a fascinating tree. It lives for about 2000 years. It bears the olive fruit which can be used for different things. One profound thing about the olive tree is that when it gets old, it becomes hollow in the middle and therefore it is susceptible to damage from elements like wind etc. Now the fascinating thing is that at this stage you begin to see little shoots at the base of the tree. These are its offspring. They grow round the Olive tree and protect it from damage. Eventually one of those trees takes the position of the parent tree.
You cannot be said to be truly successful if your children are not successful. God forbid you make so much money and you use it running from one rehab centre to another to treat your child or your children end up squandering wealth you have accumulated for so many years.
It is important to invest in your children. You should give them the best education that you can afford but most importantly ensure you instill values they have good character.
Unfortunately, many people who started from nothing end up over pampering their kids. They say they don’t want their kids to suffer but if you spoil them now, they will suffer for it later. In actual fact you will also suffer because when you should be enjoying your wealth you would be worrying and spending so much on your children.
Start teaching them about life’s principles when they are young. Teach them the value of hard work. Discover and develop their gifts. Let them know that they need to also create wealth. Their inheritance is not their right, it is a privilege. They must not depend on the inheritance. It should be an added benefit. In actual fact there is a trend now with some of the worlds famous billionaires who are giving all their money away and have signed contracts to give most of their money to charity when they die.
My favourite book the Bible says a good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children (Proverbs 13 verse 22). From this verse you can conclude that the inheritance you leave is actually for your grandchildren and not your children. This means your children should focus on creating wealth for their own grandchildren.
The wealthy actually teach their children about wealth from a young age. I remember when my dad’s friends came to visit from the states with his son. They were on their way to another African country to build a hospital and so they stopped by in Nigeria to visit. At dinner we were told that his son had made his first million dollars and he was only 18.
I set up a club called the richer kids club ( www.richerkidsclub.com) to help kids from age 6 -15 learn the principles of living the richer life which is a life of true wealth. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to sign them up.
Asides from your children, you should ensure that you don’t spend all your time on earth working for money. You should use your time and effort to impact lives. In 2012 after a plane crash that so many young people I knew died, I attended different funerals almost about 5 in a short space of time. At these funerals, tributes were giving for the deceased. No one talked about how much money the deceased made. This is the same for even deaths of older people. All they talked about was the life the deceased touched. My uncle passed away about two years ago and he spent a lot of his time taking young ladies from the streets, rehabilitating them, giving them a place to stay and teaching them to play basketball for a living. Mrs Ibukun Awosika founder of Chair Centre, spends a lot of her time and wealth helping missionaries who live in very poor conditions. Every year she hosts a ball, where funds are raised to help the missionaries and their children. I attended the ball in 2018 and she gave a moving speech about the conditions of the missionaries and how she needs the support of the people who attended. This is clearly a woman who is using her time, efforts, money and resources to make impact.
I would like to end this with this question whose life are you impacting.
Lastly, my husbant gave a different perspective to the Bible verse that says a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children. This inheritance should not be only material wealth but spiritual wealth such as salvation. I would also add that it should be wealth in God’s eyes which is the Richer Life.