At the beginning of the year, following Joseph Prince’s first sermon of the year, I posted that 2012 would be for me a Year of Unceasing Fruitfulness. Reflecting over the 7 months that has already come and gone, I am all the more convinced of this.
Last week, I was watching the movie adaptation of Dr Seuss’s The Lorax. I thought it as a kiddy film, but Ling wanted to watch it so we bought the DVD.
I’ve never read the book before, but essentially the film is about a completely synthetic society devoid of trees. Years ago, a young, ambitious citizen exploited the environment out of capitalist greed to produce something called a Thneed (it’s sort of like a snuggy-like product) and decimated the entire tree population. And so, the next generation grew up never having seen a real tree. (Yes I know, there seems to be a strong environmental agenda!)
The plot revolves around one boy’s quest to find the last remaining seed in order to regrow the tree population. And his attempts to thwart his arch-villain who tries to eradicate that last seed so that he can continue to sell air to the inhabitants of the town.
And the theme of the film centres around the word “Unless…” The entire motif is revealed at the end as the moral of the story:
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
As the movie was unfolding, and I was trying to figure what “Unless” was all about, my mind was led to another “unless” quote, this time, found in John 12:24 in the words of Jesus:
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.
I was struck by the significance of these two quotes together. In The Lorax, it took a boy to care a whole lot, to risk his life in order to plant a seed, so that society might be redeemed.
And then I think about how God cared about the world a whole lot, that He sent His son to lay down his life, so that humanity might be redeemed.
When Jesus was talking about the kernel of wheat falling to the ground and dying, He was alluding to His own death and sacrifice, so that many seeds would be produced; so that amongst other things, we can experience unceasing fruitfulness.
Paul says it this way in Galatians 3:16-18:
The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds” meaning many people, but “and to your seed”, meaning one person, who is Christ… For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise, but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.
In other words, we enter into the inheritance and promises of blessings to Abraham not by our adherence to the law, but through the sacrifice of Christ in laying His life down (the seed falling to the ground and dying) so that many seeds, and ultimately, fruitfulness would be produced. Aren’t you grateful for the grace of God?
In this context, I want to highlight some fruitful blessings for the month of July:
First, I am grateful for the opportunity to spend a few days with my cousins, aunt and uncle from Canada, whom I have not seen for over 15 years! They’re all really blessed and doing well, but it was great to hang out with them and get to know them a bit better. They are really wonderful people!
Second, I believe that Ling is increasing in anointing in her healing ministry. She has always had an unusual compassion for the sick and this year, when we planted ourselves in Faith Community Church, Ling wanted to join the healing ministry even though she had for the longest time served in the music ministry. But over the last few months, she has read a lot about healing and actively taken part in FCC’s Healing Rooms.
During the time I was sick with the flu, I was coughing incessantly one night and by about 2 am, I was still awake coughing. It must have kept Ling up too, but I think she was more concerned about me! She turned to me, sharply rebuked the cough and then told me to breathe deeply five times and I would fall asleep. Admittedly, I am not too good with this whole healing business (I believe God heals, but sometimes my experiences don’t match up with what I’m supposed to believe) but I was too tired to argue, so I started breathing deeply. Once…twice…three times. By the fourth breath, Ling tells me, I was snoring away. What an amazing grace of God over Ling’s ministry!
And lastly, I was really blessed by Pastor Benny’s message about surrender versus commitment. It was one of the most profound messages I’ve heard in recent years, and it has impacted me deeply.
I’m excited about the next five months of unceasing fruiltfulness and how God will use me, even in some small way, to impact the world. I am blessed so that I can be a blessing.
Have you been blessed lately? If so, please feel free to share here.