Recently, the Lord has been reminding me of the importance of looking to the cross. It was about seven years ago that the Lord first began to impress my heart with the beauty of the cross. That old rugged cross so despised by the world began to have a special attraction for me. In a past article I shared the experience of beholding the cross of Calvary. But as is often the case in our walk, desire is never lacking but consistency is. So after awhile, I ceased to look at the cross and as a flower shut out from the warming rays of the sun, I began to wither. Thank God for His loving mercies. Through the promptings of His Holy Spirit, He has sought to draw my attention back to this all-important topic. In my future articles, the cross will be prominent because this truth above all others is what gives weight to everything else.

Harvest is a word the Lord has laid on my heart in connection with this topic! Now you might wonder, what does the cross have to do with harvest? It has everything to do with harvest. As I sought the Lord in prayer as to what He would have me to share, He led me to John 12:24. “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” I don’t know if the force of that scripture resonates for you, but if it doesn’t by God’s grace as you continue to read it will.

I’ve often heard the question asked, “why did God create the world if He knew we would sin?” The answer to this lies in an understanding of the principle of love. For “God is love.” 1 John 4:8. It has been said, “love cannot long exist without expression.”[1] Love of a necessity needs an object on which to bestow it’s affection. God created man as an expression of His love and so that He might enjoy communion with him.

When the poison of sin entered into the world, God had a choice to make. He could blot man from existence, for the “wages of sin is death” Romans 6:23, or He could sacrifice Himself to maintain communion with man. What choice did He make? He chose to “fall into the ground and die,” so that He would not abide alone or without mankind. His heart of love was broken at the thought of separation from the objects of His great affection. Hosea 11:8 encapsulates the thoughts of God to fallen man, “how shall I give thee up?”

Yes, our God is self-existent, having no beginning or end. He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. Yet, He still enjoys the companionship of His children. He did not desire to have the whole world to Himself. It’s one thing to enjoy a beautiful sun kissed sky alone; it’s a totally different experience to enjoy it with someone dear to your heart. And so like the corn of wheat, Christ was willing to fall to the ground so that He could enjoy countless sunsets with you and me.

The principle of the cross is that of self-sacrifice and self-denial. It’s a willingness to be crushed so that a greater harvest would result. The example of Christ must be brought into the life of all those who seek to follow Him. But what does that look like practically?

All around us there are souls languishing in sin and despair. Suicides are rampant, marriages and families are in disarray. People are in desperate need of hope. In an age of the Internet and connectivity we have become even more disconnected. Individuals are thirsty and dehydrated from drinking from the broken cisterns of this world. They are craving living water. But who will give them that water?

Now more than ever the principle of self-sacrifice must be manifested in the lives of those who profess true godliness. As Christians we must be willing to fall to the ground, and to suffer inconvenience so that souls might be harvested. Tertullian an early church father once said, “The blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church.” The early Christians were willing to sacrifice all, even their very lives, so that others might receive the gospel. Oh that there would be such a spirit in Christians today!

[1] Ellen G. White, Adventist Home, Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Pub Assn, 1955), 107