The Parable of the Sower teaches us how very important the state of our heart is to receiving the Gospel.
(1)Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. (2) And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: (3)“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. (4)And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. (5)Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. (6)And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. (7)Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. (8)And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” (9)And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
The Purpose of the Parables
(10) And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. (11) And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, (12)so that
“‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”
(13) And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? (14) The sower sows the word. (15) And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. (16) And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy. (17) And they have no root in themselves, but endure for a while; then, when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away.(18) And others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word, (19) but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires for other things enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (20) But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold” (ESV).
[image:image-1]The value of God’s Message to you will be misunderstood and in one way or another discarded if you hear but do not understand. My effectiveness as a guide of God’s Word is in your heart. I take my “calling” as a guide of God’s Word just as serious as the next breath of air I must fill my lungs with. One of my most frequent requests to our God is that He shows me how, provides the strength and means, and then grant me the extreme honor of bringing the light to a deeper understanding of His Word to others. Although you cannot rush spiritual maturity you CAN constantly continue to “prepare the soil” for when it is time to better understand and receive God’s Word. Donald Whitney wrote in Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life, "I've never known a man or woman who came to spiritual maturity except through discipline." I am not a farmer but as an amateur gardener of many years, I can tell you that soil preparation is vital. Even after you sow seed, or plant the seedlings, the soil MUST still be regularly taken care of. Borrowing from a reading at Christians Leaders Institue I pray this will help you "take care of the soil." Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, "The word of Scripture should never stop sounding in your ears and working in you all day long, just like the words of someone you love. And just as you do not analyze the words of someone your love, but accept them as they are said to you, accept the Word of Scripture and ponder it in your heart, as Mary did... Do not ask, 'How shall I pass this on?' but 'What does it say to me?' Then ponder on this word long in your heart until it has gone right into you and taken possession of you."
To those of you that I personally minister to or have ministered to, it will come as no surprise that I believe Matthew 22:37-40 is vital to share at this point. Reflect on this — God is love. “Love” is a verb, an action word. “Love” is NOT an emotion! Love involves discipline. Love is a verb, not an emotion. God is love. Love requires us to completely surrender ourself to God. Love is a verb, not an emotion. By sowing the seed you are physically broadcasting the word of God - and God is love!
One of the Pharisees, a lawyer trying to entangle Jesus in His own words asked, (36) Master, which is the great commandment in the law? (37 ) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (KJV). The Law and the prophets are the foundation of the New Testament. Keep in mind that Christ Jesus said that He came to fulfill it (the Law and the prophets) — NOT to do away with it. Christ Jesus showed us what love really is - and what it really isn’t! Please don’t allow yourself to be drawn into the snare of modern day semantics with regard to the word love. Love is an action(s).
God is love. Love is a verb, an action word. “Love” is NOT an emotion! Love involves discipline. God is love! Love requires you to completely surrender yourself to God. Pray, study Scripture - which is God's word - His gift of complete love to humans and then receive His word not just to your head but let it spread and then grow deep in your heart. It takes a great many more people to plant and to sow than it does to reap; but when the reaping time comes, the difference is that the reaping will be done at all once. Borrowing from God's word in John 4 -- Behold, I say onto you, lift up your eyes and look upon the fields: for they are white already for the harvest (KJV).Sow the seed my friend...love is a verb, not an emotion.