Our church family recently celebrated the life of our friend Lee Jordan, who went home to be with the Lord for all eternity last week. Elder Lee was one of my closest friends and biggest supporters—I could always count on him for a word of encouragement and wisdom when I needed it. Simply put, he was one of the best men I knew.
It’s difficult to think about continuing our earth bound journey without the friendship and support of someone we cared about as much as Elder Lee. But even though our temporary separation from Elder Lee will be difficult, those of us who are born again understand this separation differently than the world does. Even though we will never see him again on this side of Heaven, the fruit of the life of Elder Lee will live on in the hearts and actions of those who knew him.
1 Corinthians 15:37-38, KJV:
And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
Genesis 3:15, KJV:
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
In the first verse Paul gives us insight about seed and sowing. When a seed is sown, it is dead and bears no resemblance to the plant it will eventually become—it has no obvious connection to what it will grow into until God gives it the new body that He wants it to become. The same is true of the seed of Jesus Christ spoken of in the first messianic promise in Genesis 3:15. Here the Lord promised a seed that would come from a woman and would crush the head of the enemy. As with every other seed He has made, God chose the body this seed would be housed in—the precious body of Jesus Christ.
In the same way you wouldn’t know what type of plant would grow from examining its seed, Jesus wasn’t recognized as the Messiah when he took his message to Jerusalem—He didn’t look like what they expected and He didn’t act the way leaders of the day wanted Him to act. Jesus was kind to sinners and tax collectors. In stark contrast to the religious and social norms of His region, Jesus even ate and hung out with these people. This is why His message was rejected by the Jewish people. They were looking for a Jewish Messiah who strictly adhered to their law and customs and who focused His actions and attention solely on those borne of the lineage of Abraham. But Jesus repeatedly turned this expectation on its head by ministering to and healing everyone He came across, regardless of their ethnicity or religion.
Jesus taught that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone. In other words, the blessing contained in the seed cannot come forth until it dies. This is what brings forth abundantly. Jesus was the seed for us all, making eternal salvation achievable and making it possible for a great harvest of souls to continue until He returns. Without a doubt Jesus accomplished much in His short time on Earth, but the fruit He yielded during His earthly ministry is far outweighed by the fruit that has come and continues to grow since His death, burial and resurrection!
We cannot determine when we are born or what we will look like and we have no way to know when we will pass from this life. What we do have is the ability to determine how we will live the life God has given us and though we face challenges, we must never allow our lives to be defined by the pain we have to endure at times. Your life counts and must be seen in that light in order to fulfill the potential God has placed in You. A believer’s life will bear much fruit that he can enjoy here on earth, but like Jesus’ life, our real and enduring success comes after we finish our course. Will our fruit remain in the hearts and memories of those we have touched? Will our effort to serve Christ inspire others to greatness?
As believers we are challenged daily to choose God’s way and not our own. At times, espescially during a time of grief and loss, we rely much too heavily on our natural vision. Trust the Lord for the ability to see beyond the present and consider the eternal impact of having lived wholly unto God. I for one know that the fruit of the life of Lee Jordan has only begun to be seen.
Be blessed! See you all tomorrow.
– Ps. Ken