A Christian who was born and raised in a log house visited his boyhood home after being away for 35 years. As he walked up to the now-deserted cabin, he remembered that as a youngster he had planted some walnuts along a stream that ran through the farm. When he went down to the creek, he discovered a beautiful row of stately walnut trees.

Then he recalled that he had also hidden some nuts in the attic. He was curious to see what had happened to them, so he climbed into the dark attic and poked around in a corner until he found them. What a difference! Those he had stored were nothing but dry and dust-covered nuts, while the ones he had planted had become flourishing green trees! Immediately the words of Jesus came to his mind with new meaning: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain” (Jn. 12:24).

The Lord had His own death in mind when He spoke those words. But they apply to believers as well. If we refuse to “die” to our own selfish desires, we “remain alone.” In Christ’s death on the cross for man’s sin and in the Christian’s death to his own sin, the same principle applies: In dying there is living!