Quite Possibly The First Of 37 Parables Spoken By Our Lord.
Matthew Records 7 Of These As Having Been Spoken On This Particular Day And Mark Adds an Eight.(Mark 4:26--29)
2. THE OCCASION:
It Was Springtime By The Sea Of Galilee And Jesus Was Near The City Of Capernaum. Great Multitudes Had Come From Every City, To Hear, Even As Far As Jerusalem. (Luke 8:4)
"The People Pressed Upon Him To Hear His Words, And To Touch Him." (Luke 5:1) HIS WORDS TRANSFORMS THEM.
Matthew 13:2. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.
It Was A Busy Scene, Fishermen Washing Their Nets, Other Fishermen Mending Their Nets, With Their Boats Drawn Up To The Shore.
Jesus Began His Work As Teacher (Matthew 7, 8, 9) And Would Let Nothing Turn Him Aside From This Course.
He Taught His Disciples When The Crowds Left Him. He Spent His Last Days, Teaching In The Temple At Jerusalem, Making A Final Appeal To The People. (John 12-17; Luke 19-21; Mark 11-13; Matthew 21-25)
Jesus' Last Night Is Given To His Disciples In Instruction.
The Parable Of The Sower Shows Jesus’ Faith In Teaching.
Jesus Scattered The Good Seed Wherever He Went.
He Saw The Hard Hearts Upon Which It Fell In Vain.
He Saw The Shallow Hearts Of Those Who Responded With Enthusiasm Only To Turn Away Quickly.
None Of These Things Moved Him Away From His Purpose. He Knew There Was Life In The Seed, In His Message, And It Was His Work To Sow.
He Saw A Future Harvest Of Thirty, Sixty, And A Hundred Fold.
Jesus Was A Sower Of Living Words To All Men On All Occasions.
To Eager Throngs In Galilee, During The Year Of Popularity,
To Hostile Crowds In Jerusalem,
To His Little Company Of Disciples,
To Children In The Marketplace,
To Folks He Met By The Wayside… (Woman At The Well, etc.)
Only A Few Of His Words Have Come Down To Us, Yet They Live In The Hearts Of Men,
To Cast Down,
To Lift Up,
To Transform Peoples Lives.
No Other Teacher Ever Carried So Great An Influence. Today Some Seventeen Hundred Million People Follow Him In Some Measure.
Jesus Walked Through The World Of Men And Brought Truth To Them
He Saw Men Anxious And Troubled And Showed Them Birds And Flowers For Which God Was Caring.
When Two Disciples Came With Petty Ambitions, He Took The Occasion For A Lesson, Telling Them That Life Is A Chance To Give, Not To Get.
Jesus Said Little About Rights, But Much About Duty.
Jesus Was Interested,
In Reformation Of Life.
He Spoke In Parables, 37 In All Have Been Preserved.
The Net In The Sea,
The Wheat And The Tares,
The Pearl Of Great Price,
A Treasure Buried In A Field.
Jesus Also Spoke In Allegories
The Rich Man And Lazarus,
The Branches In The Vineyard And The Husbandman.
He Spoke In Folk Lore
The Sun Setting Red.
Jesus Talked About Things The People Knew And Applied It To Their Lives.
We See The World Of Nature
A Glowing Sunset = Fair Weather,
Red Of Morning Suggest A Storm,
Bright Flowers And Quickly Fading Grass,
The Slow Growing Grain,
The Wheat Mixed With Tares,
The Fig Tree Putting Forth Tender Green Leaves,
He Talked About A Vineyard Ready For Gathering And The Hunt For Laborers,
A Field Of Wheat Ready For Harvest And Winnowing The Grain,
Fishermen Casting A Net And Gathering Of Every Kind, And Then Casting Away The Bad.
We See The World Of Living Creatures
The Birds With Their Nests,
Foxes With Holes
Eagles Gathering Where The Carcass Is,
The Sparrow God See Fall To The Ground
We See Men Busy With Their Tasks
The Farmer Plowing,
The Fisherman Washing And Mending Their Nets,
The Merchant Looking For Goodly Pearls,
The Land Owner,
The King Going To War,
The Unjust Judge,
The Poor Widow,
The Faithful Shepherd Looking For Lost Sheep,
The Poor Beggar And The Rich Man.
Jesus Talks About The Home.
The Children Around The Table And The Dogs Underneath,
The Mother Kneading Dough With Leaven To Make It Rise,
The Woman Searching For A Lost Coin
Jesus Also Talks About The Dark Side Of Life
The Laborers Waiting In The Market-Place With No One To Hire Them
Those That Toil All Day In The Field And Come Home To Serve Their Master,
He Spoke Of Beggars Laying At The Gate,
The Debtors On The Way To Prison,
Of Criminal Bearing His Own Cross To The Place Of Execution
WORDS OF LIFE,
WORDS OF HOPE,
WORDS OF PROMISE.
These Were Words That The World Had Waited For Many Thousands Of Years To Hear. IT IS NO WONDER, "They Pressed Upon Him To Hear His Words And To Touch Him." (Luke 5:1)
Jesus Was A Very Intense Observer Of Nature And The Men And Women Who Went About Daily Tasks
While Growing Up In Nazareth He Was Out In The Fields With,
The Plowman, The Sower,
The Reaper, The Husbandman,
With The Men On The Threshing Floor,
"Who Had His Fan In His Hand And Thoroughly Purging His Floor."
He Must Have Walked And Talked With Each, And As He Did The Spirit Of All Truth Was Descending Into His Heart Which He Would Use To Teach Us A Lesson About Life.
It Was SPRINGTIME And SEEDTIME, When Jesus Had Led His Disciples To The Sea Side That Day. On The Way They Had Passed By A Field In Which A SOWER WAS SOWING SEED.
The Farmer Reached Into His Seed Bag And Cast Hands Full Of Grain As He Walked And Some Of The Seed Fell In The Pathway Under The Disciples Feet And The Birds Swooped Down And Devoured Whole Hands Full Of The Precious Seed.
Some Of The Seed Fell On The Rocks Which Were So Prevalent On The Hillsides, Still More Of The Seed Was Cast Along The Outer Edge Of The Field Which Had Not Been Plowed And Was Overgrown With Weeds And Thorns. (A Thicket)
Other Handfuls Of The Precious Seed Fell In The Well Prepared Soil Which Was Expected To Bring Forth A Bountiful Harvest.
Later As Our Lord Sat Down By The Seaside He Recalled To Their Minds What Had Happened That Day. (Matt. 13:1-3)
He Gave Them The Parable, Then Gave Them The Answer In Words Which We Want To Consider In This Lesson.
1. "The Seed Is The Word Of God." (Luke 8:11)
2. The Sower Is The Preacher Minister, Teacher Of God’s Word.
3. The Field Is The Human Heart Into Which The Seed Is Sown.
4. "The Harvest Is The End Of The World; The Reapers Are The Angels." (Matthew 13:39b.)
We Want To Look At Each Of These,
So That We Might Be Able To Understand The Role That Each Plays In The Kingdom Of God, And Finally At The Harvest.
Many Things Have A Bearing Upon How Much Product The Seed Will Produce.
The General Health Of The Plants,
Time To Mature,
Food Or Fertilizer,
All Play A Vital Role In Production Of Fruit Or Grain.
3. The Sower Is The Minister
"Behold A Sower Went Forth To Sow His Seed." (Matthew 13:3)
"Hearken; Behold A Sower Went Forth To Sow." (Mark 4:3)
"A Sower Went Out To Sow His Seed." (Luke 8:5)
"Hearken" = "Listen With Stillness Or Attention," "Hear What I Have To Say."
It Is The Lord Who Speaks. We Must Listen. We Must Give Him The Attention Which He Claims. Ponder Over What He Has To Say.His Words Are Simple, But They Are Full Of Spiritual Instruction. Meditate On Them; Pray Over Them. They Will Throw A Light On The Dark Mysteries Of Human Life; They Will Guide Us On Our Way To God.
We Gather From Jesus’ Interpretation Of This Parable That The Sower Is The Minister Or A Teacher Of God’s Word.
In A Larger Sense He Represents Everyone Who Lives A Christian Life. Every Christian Is A Sower. It Is A Privilege, And Also An Obligation, Of All, TO SOW THE GOOD SEED.
Jesus Said, "Go Ye, And Teach All Nations,.." (Make Disciples)
Jesus Is Referring To All Of Us, Not Merely To Preachers And Teachers. A Child May Drop A Seed As Effectually As A Man.
There Must Be A Sower. The Earth Never Brings Forth Corn Or Wheat Of Itself. Of Itself It Brings Forth Weeds, Thorns, Or Thistles. The Hands Of Man Must Plow It And Scatter The Seed.
Likewise The Heart Of Man Will Never Turn To God Of Itself.
Jeremiah 17:9. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
It Seems To Be Entirely Dead Towards God. The Heart Is Unable To Give Spiritual Life Of Itself. The Spirit Of God Must Move To Break It Up. The Good Seed Must Be Scattered Or Planted In It By God’s Minister.
The Grace Of God Is Something Which Comes From Without—Sent Down From Above. Left To Himself No Man Would Seek God.
All The Sower Has To Do Is To Sow. It Is Beyond His Power To Make The Seed Grow.
If All Who Witness For The Lord Were Responsible For The Effect Of The Gospel Upon The Hearts Of Men, Theirs Would Be A Sorry Plight Indeed.
MAKE IT SIMPLE, "That A Wayfaring Man, Though He Be A Fool, Need Not Err Therein." (Isaiah 35:8)
SOW BOUNTIFULLY, By Day, By Night, To Any, And All, We Meet—By The Handfuls—Cast The Good Seed.
The Bible Places Great Emphasis On The Kind Of Seed That We Sow.
Galatians 6:7. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Charles Darwin, In His ‘Origin Of Species,’ In The First Few Chapters Deals At Great Length And Depth On The Reproduction Of The Life Of Plants. "Each After It’s Own Order Through Seeds, Spores, Roots And etc."
Psalm 126:5. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
It Is The Responsibility Of The Sower To Put Good Seed In The Seed Bag.
With Both Hands He Sows Nothing Else, But The Word Of God. He Should Put Nothing Else In His Seed Basket—Every Sunday—But The Pure Unadulterated Words From God, And Mixed With Tears And Prayers For A Good Harvest.
The Pulpit Is Not Set (Ordained) For Anything Else But The Sowing Of The Seed Of God’s Word Into The Hearts And Lives Of Men And Women. The Young, The Old, The Middle Age, All Must Hear The Word Of God Or They Cannot Be Saved.
Six Days Shalt Thou Read And Write—History, Biography, Philosophy, Poetry, News Papers, etc.—But This Is The Day That The Lord Has Made To Read, To Preach, To Teach, His Word.
This Day God Has Set Aside In His Providence For Sowing Of That Intellectual And Spiritual Seed Which Alone Springs Up To Everlasting Life.
We All Love To Hear A Well Tailored Sermon—One With Time Spent In Preparation, And Seasoned With Prayer.
A Sermon Should Have Meaning, Not Dull Or Uninteresting, Nor Filled With Jokes And Humor. Some Things That A Congregation Is Subjected To— And Pass As A Sermon—They Deserve Better.
We Spend All Our Lives Getting Ready To Preach A Sermon, So, Put Every Ounce Of Energy Behind It.
Every Moment Of Meditation,
Every Hour, Every Day, Every Week, Every Month, Every Year,
Every Experience Of Our Lives Is Manifested In It.
Never Be Tempted Not To Do Your Best.
Never Tell The Congregation That It Is Something You Got On The Way To Church For They Will Be Able To Tell It Any Way.
God Says That We Shall Be Saved By Preaching.
Romans 10:14. "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"
1 Corinthians 1:21. "For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
2 Timothy 4:2. "PREACH THE WORD; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine."
God Has Ordained Preaching As The Means Whereby The Gospel Should Be Delivered To All Men. God Has Sanctioned Preaching.
I Believe That Through Preaching Is God’s Way—I Must Believe It.
Do You Believe In Preaching?
How Much Do You Believe In It?
A Couple Of Layers Of The Mind And Doubt With The Rest?
Some Preachers Have Lost Faith In It.
Real Preaching, Heart Rending, Soul Winning Preaching, Saint Building Preaching, Is Hard Work. Work To Excel In Preaching.
Real Preaching Is One Of The Most Grueling, And One Of The Most Demanding, Occupations Or Vocations That One Can Ever Choose, And Yet, By Far, The Most Rewarding.
But, Really, It Is Not A Choice, It Is A "Calling."
If One Has Never Experienced "The Call," It Is, But, An Occupation Or A Vocation.
Some Preach Because They Are Expected To,
They Don’t Want To Disappoint Friends Or Family,
Every Preacher Should Ask Himself, Do I Believe In The Message? (We Cannot Convince Others Unless We Believe The Message Ourselves.)
Let Us Ask Ourselves, Do I Believe In Preaching As God’s Way Of Proclaiming The Message?
If There Is Any Equivocation, Any Doubt Whatsoever,
We Must First Deal With The Doubt In Our Heart.
Doubts Are Termites Of Unbelief,
Not An Evil Heart Of Unbelief,
But A Heart With Some Unbelief.
Do Not Let Any Doubt Pass Through Your Mind Unchallenged.
In Your Deepest Thinking, Hardest Praying, Take That Doubt Out And Wrestle With It, Hew It To Pieces.
A Harbored Doubt Will Take It’s Toll.
That Is The Food Of Those Termites Of Unbelief.
Nourish Your Faith In The Gospel Itself.
Every Preacher Should Guard The Citadel Of His Own Faith. Somewhere In Your Mind And Heart There Must Be A Stronghold, A Fortress, That Is Fortified With The Knowledge Of God’s Word, Where We Can Say With Confidence, "This I Believe."
When You Go To The Pulpit Remember All That God Has Done Through Preaching His Word In The Past.
1. He Has Changed Individuals.
2. He Has Changed Towns and Cities.
3. He Has Changed Countries.
4. He Has Changed The World.
So Preacher Take Aim, "Preach The Word," Sow The Seed.
Your Strength And Your Power Is In Preaching.
Enter The Pulpit With Your Faith, Your Confidence, In The Gospel, Believing That God Has Called You To Preach It.
Let The Real Consequences Rest With Those Who Hear. Make It Plain, Make It Simple. Do Not Preach From The Latest Book, Article, Or Commentary, But Keep To The Gospel And Work At It.
Do Not Become A Political Activist, Nor A Herald For A Political Candidate, Because When You Do This You Have Polarized Yourself Against Fifty Percent Of Your Congregation. These Things Should Never Be Delivered From The Pulpit. Preach The Gospel Of Jesus Christ, And Leave The Political Agenda To The News Agency, Which Has Far More Knowledge Of These Things. The Preacher’s Primary, Nay, Total, Concern Should Be The Spiritual Welfare Of His Charge.
2 Timothy 2:4. (Paul To His Heir Apparent) No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Acts 20:28. (Paul To The Elders Of Ephesus) Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Try To Prepare The Soil By Gaining The Confidence Of Those You Minister To. Try To Help People To Understand The Gospel.
Our Lord Was A Man Of Understanding And He Labored And Taught Continually To Make His Disciples To Be Men Of Understanding. We As Ministers And Teachers And Workers For His Kingdom To Be Of Any Real, And Lasting, Benefit Must Labor To Be Men Of Understanding.
We Must Understand "The Word Of The Kingdom," Then We Must Labor To Help Someone Else Understand.
Matthew 13:1. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
If The People Are Void Of Understanding, We Are Largely To Blame. We Must Make It Plain And Simple. Jesus Never Taught Above The Fifth Grade Level.
I Believe In Education. Every Person Should Obtain All The Education And Learning That Is Available To Them.
One Of The Greatest Contributions Of Samuel To The Jewish Nation Was The Schools Of The Prophets Which He Is Credited With Starting, Where Young Men Studied, And Learned To Read And Write The Laws And Commandments Of God.
The Jewish Nation Left Us A Better Record Of Their People Than Any Other Nation, Simply Because Of Their Educational System. Yet Education Alone, Even Though An Aid To Understanding, Is Not Altogether The Answer To Understanding The Bible. Preachers Should Pray Over Their Sermons And Ask God To Open The Understanding Of The Hearers Of The Gospel.
Luke 24:45. (Jesus To His Disciples) Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
There Are People In Every Congregation Which The Lord Himself Could Not Make To Understand Simply Because These Never Let Their Minds Or Intellect Become Involved.
"Understandeth Thou What Thou Readest?" Says Phillip To The Treasurer Of Ethiopia. (Acts 8:30b.) This Man Was Reading From Isaiah, And He Was No Dummy.
"How Can I, Except Some Man Should Guide (Explain It To) Me?" Phillip Went Into The Chariot And Sowed The Seed Of The Kingdom Of God In The Understanding Heart Of That Man. (Acts 8:31-38)
The First Duty Of Every Occupant Of This, And Every, Pulpit Is To Sow The Seed, The Word Of God Only.
The Second Duty Is To See To It That The People Understand What They Read And What They Hear, This Only Causes The Seed To Bring Forth Eternal Life. (Tell It Twice Or Three Times)
The Third Duty Is To Cultivate The Ground To Keep The Weeds And Tares Out.
Luke 13:6. He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
7. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
8. And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
9. And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
These Should Be The Words And Thinking Of Every Pastor, Minister, Teacher, And Anyone Else Interested In Helping Lost Souls. Every Minister Of The Word Should Endeavor To Prepare The Soil Of The Human Heart For The Receiving Of The Seed Of The Word Of God To The Best Of His Ability. It Is Our Duty.
4. THE SEED
"The Word Of The Kingdom…" (Matt.13:9)
"The Seed Is The Word Of God." (Luke 8:11b)
There Is Life In The Seed, It Has Life Saving Qualities, And, If Properly Received, It Will Bring Forth Eternal Life.
James 1:21b. "…, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls."
No Other Book, No Other Revelation, Regardless Of Seeming Authenticity, Has This Quality. The Gospel Of Jesus Christ Will Change The Heart And Life Of Any Individual If It Is Presented In The Proper Manner And Spirit.
John 12:32. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
The Gospel Of Jesus Christ Is The Most Powerful Compelling Force In The World.
Hebrews 4:12. "For the Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
The Seed That Is To Be Sown Is Described In A Two Fold Way,
"The Word Of The Kingdom" (Matthew 13:9)
"The Word Of God." (Luke 8:11)
All The Seed Must Be Sown.
"The Whole Counsel Of God." (Acts 20:27)
To Paul "Preaching The Kingdom" Was, "Testifying Of The Grace Of God."
And, "Teaching The Things Concerning The Lord Jesus Christ." (Acts 28:31)
The Seed We Sow Is Spoken Of As Being,
1. "Living" And "Incorruptible." (1 Peter 1:22-25)
2. "Powerful’ And "Soul Saving," (Romans 1:16; 10:17)
3. "Engrafted And Able To Save…" (James 1:17)
The Word Of God Is The Seed, And Jesus Came As The Word Of God. (John 1:1, 14)
"How Do You Know That This Is Good Seed At All?
Said A Man To One Who Was Sowing.
The Sower's Face Lights Up With A Smile.
"Know It Sir? Why, How Should I Know It, But One Way.
I Have Been Feeding Upon It For Months Past.
I Have Got The Strength Of It In Me Now.
I Had My Breakfast Off It This Morning,
As Fine Of Wheaten Bread As Ever I Wish To Eat."
5. THE FIELD, THE HUMAN HEART
The Pathway Of Life
Throughout His Ministry Jesus Emphasized The Responsibility Of Those Who Hear The Gospel Preached.
Luke 8:18a. Take heed therefore how ye hear:
The Writer Of The Book Of Hebrews Also Tells Us That Hearing The Gospel Is Not A Certainty Of Salvation, But It Must Be Also Believed, And Acted Upon.
Hebrews 4:2. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3a. For we which have believed do enter into rest,…
God Directs So Much Of His Time And Energy In The Cultivation Of Our Lives, Then He Comes Seeking Fruit (Luke 13:7), And Sometimes He Is Disappointed, There Is No Fruit, Or Sparse And Sickly.
Despite His Diligent Care, And Labor, There Is Little, Or No, Production. Sometimes There Are Wild Vines (Isaiah. 5:2), Or Untamed Weeds Which Choke The Production. (Matthew 13:25)
We Now Want To Turn Our Attention To The Field Into Which The Sower Casts The Seeds, Much Of It Non Productive Soils Or Marginal Land. It Is Very Important What Kind Of Soil We Offer The Seed To Grow In, This Is Our Responsibility.
It Is Very Important How We Get Started In Our Christian Experience, Listen Carefully, Because The Hearing Of The Gospel Is The Most Important Instructions You Will Ever Receive.
The Different Soils To Which Jesus Calls Attention To Are The Outstanding Features Of This Parable. Attention Is Focused, Not On The Sower Or His Seeds, But On The Soil And Its Reaction To The Seed That Is Sown.
Here We Have Come To The Most Important Part Of The Parable.
It Is Of Such Importance That We Cannot Exaggerate It.
Jesus Said Of It, "Know Ye Not This Parable? And How Shall Ye Know All Parables? (Mark 4:13)
The Seed Sown In All Four Soils Was The Same—But What A Difference In Results.
Where The Word Of God Fails To Have Any Effect, The Fault Lies, Not In The Sower, Nor In The Seed, But In The Ground.
The Fundamental Truth, Which Jesus Is Proclaiming In This Parable, Is The Proclamation Of The Gospel To Sinners.
We Should Really Call This Parable, "The Parable Of The Soils."
We Should Understand That These Soils Represent Different States, Or Conditions, Of The Heart And Its Reaction To The Gospel.
In Our Study Of Them, We Want To Be Honest In Our Opinion, Which Of These Soils Represent Our Own Heart.
The Sower Has Done His Work Well, And The Good Seed Finds Its Way Into Every Corner Of The Field. The Sower Has Given Every Square Yard Its Chance To Produce Fruit.
6. THE WAYSIDE, OR THE PATHWAY
Matthew 13:4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
Mark 4:4. And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
Luke 8:5. A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
Now Let Us Read The Interpretation Of These Verses By Jesus Himself.
Matthew 13:19. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
Mark 4:15. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.
Luke 8:12. Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.
As Jesus Spoke This Parable He Knew That There Were Many Who Did Not Comprehend His Message. What Could He Do? At The Moment Nothing. He Could Do Nothing Until God Should Drive A Plowshare Of Pain, Or Loss, In Cruel Mercy Through Their Lives To Make New Furrows For The Seed.
Tragedy Is Indeed Gain That Compels Men To Meet Life With Serious Purpose.
It Is So With Nations,
It May Be Choice Earth,
But Still Trodden Down.
It Must Be Broken Up Someway And Softened.
The Failure Of The Seed Is The Hard Trodden Wayside Path Which The Seed Is Unable To Penetrate. It Is Never Really Grasped By The Mind Of Some.
Jesus Said, "Understandeth It Not, Then cometh the wicked one..." (Matthew 13:19)
"Lest They Should Believe And Be Saved." (Luke 8:12)
Mark records "Satan Cometh…" (The Adversary)
Luke records "Then Cometh The Devil…" (The Tempter)
He Is Also Called, "The Accuser, Afflicter, Deceiver, Slanderer."
We Could Call Them Wayside People, Or, Pathway People, The Hearer With The Closed Mind.
This Is Ground Along A Path That Is Beaten Hard By Passing Feet. Many Of Us Have Seen Such A Path. Jesus Himself Had Walked Many Of Those Paths.
He Also Saw The Seeds Cast On Such Soil Only To Never Gain Root Because, "The Fowls Came And Devoured Them Up."
Jesus Did Not Tell Us Who Those Strangers And Visitors Were That Packed The Soil.
But For All Of Us There Are Certain People, And Influences That Beat A Path Through Our Lives. Some Of These Can Hinder, Or Even Stop The Growth Of The Word Of God Which Was Planted There.
Jesus Tells Us The Devil Uses These Influences To Take Away The Seed That Was Sown In Our Heart.
Let Us Look At Some Of The Things Which Pass Through Our Lives Day By Day And Ask Ourselves In What Way They Are Affecting Us.
Some Of Those Things I Will Not Elaborate On, But Will Just Ask The Question And Leave Each Person To Ponder On It For Themselves. Pray That God Will Stir Our Hearts To Hear From Him.
Here Are Some Of The Things That Can Cause A Pathway In Our Life.
1. Our Friends And Associates.
A. Who Are The People Who Most Frequently Pound A Path Through My Life?
The People In My Home, My Family, My Relatives.
The People I Work With, My Boss, My Co-Workers.
The Neighbors, The People I Run around With, Those I Seek Out For Recreation, Or Pastime.
B. What Sort Of Impact Do They Make Upon My Mind?
Do They Always Take The Lead In The Things I Do?
What Are The Things We Talk About Mostly?
Where Do We Spend Our Time?
C. Are They Slowly Hardening Me Against God?
Do I Feel Free To Express My Desire To Serve God When I Am With Them? Or Do They Compact And Compress My Convictions About God? Are They Slowly Solidifying My Sentiments Against His Spirit?
2. The Literature And The Books That I Read, The Television Programs, And The Movies I Watch, The Music I Listen To.
A. All These Things Are Having An Impact On Our Minds. Most Of The Men And Women Who Dominate The Media Are Non Christians, And Many Are Immoral, Or Very Lacking In Christian Standards.
B. The Things We Feed Our Minds, And Eyes, And Our Ears Upon Have A Very Great Impact Upon Us, For Good Or Evil. Let The Reading Material Be Good And Wholesome, The Movies And Television Not Be Degrading, The Music We Listen To Not Be Sensual And Devilish.
3. The Pleasures We Pursue.
A. There Are Good Wholesome Things We Can Enjoy As A Family Which Are Not Detrimental To Our Spiritual Welfare.
B. There Are Many Things, Which We Will Discuss In The Next Plot Of Ground, Which Satan Will Use To Stir Up Our Human Emotions, That Will Impact The Soil Of Our Heart Until The Seed That Was Sown Will Not Grow.
4. Our Personal Ambitions. (This Also We Will Discuss Later)
5. Our Private Thought Life.
A. The Things That Occupy Our Thoughts Will Impact The Soil Of Our Heart And Shape Our Lives More Than Any Other Thing.
B. Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: … (KJV)
7. THE STONEY GROUND
Matthew 13:5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
Mark 4:5. And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6. But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
Luke 8:6. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
Again Let Us Read Jesus’ Interpretation.
Matthew 13:20. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon (Immediately) with joy receiveth it;
21. Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Mark 4:16. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17. And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.
Luke 8:13. They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.
We Could Call This, "The Shallow Soil, Or The Emotional Hearer."
"Some Fell On Stony Ground, Where It Had Not Much Earth."
Our Lord Speaks Of Rocky Ground, Where A Thin Surface Of Dirt Overlies An Impenetrable Layer Of Rock. On Such Ground The Seed Quickly Springs Up—But There Is No Deepness Of Earth To Allow The Roots To Find Food And Water.
"But When The Sun Was Up It Was Scorched; And Because They Had No Root, They Withered Away." (Matt. 13:6)
The Plants Ordinarily Love The Warmth Of The Sun—But The Rocky Soil Radiates The Heat Back And Dries The Soil And Causes The Plants To Wither From Lack Of Moisture.
Jesus Likens The Rocky Soil To The Emotional Hearer Who Is Easily Persuaded By The Appeal Of The Gospel.
".., And Anon (Immediately) With Joy Receive It;" (Matt.13:20)
They Like What The Gospel Has To Offer. A Better Way Of Life, Peace, Joy, Happiness, etc.
Matthew 11:28. (Words Of Jesus) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We Preach, And We Teach, These Beautiful Promises Of Our Lord, And Emotions Run High, Because They Appeal To All Classes Of People. We Never Want Emotions To Die Out Of Our Christian Experience, But We Cannot Live On Emotions Alone. Emotions Alone Will Not Carry Us Through The Difficult Times.
That’s The Reason Paul Spoke Of The,
"Whole Counsel Of God." (Acts 20:27)
Paul Is Saying That We Need All The Instruction, Information, And Advise Contained In The Bible To Be Able To Grow Good Christian Character, And To Stand Against The Devil.
Jesus Also Spoke Of Commitment—To Be A Christian Or A Disciple Of His He Asks Us To Make A Commitment. The Sermon On The Mount Is An Example Of The Commitment He Asks Us To Make. (Matt. 4; 5; 6)
The Deeper Our Commitment, The Deeper Our Roots—Or The Real Life Sustaining Virtue We Have Access To.
Jesus Spoke Of Crosses To Be Borne, Of Strait Gates To Be Entered, Of Narrow Ways To Be Walked. He Also Spoke Of Suffering With Him, Even Of Losing Our Lives For His Sake.
These Are Hard Sayings For Those Who Have No Deep Rooted Feelings And Have Made Little Commitment To Him.
Many Are Utterly Unaware Of The Hardships Of Disciple Life.
Jesus Knew That The Throng By The Lake That Day, To Which The Parable Of The Sower Was Spoken, Was Full Of Such Hearers As The Rocky Soil. There Was Great Religious Enthusiasm In Galilee During This Period Of Jesus’ Ministry.
Matthew 4:23. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
24. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
25. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan. (KJV)
Luke 5:1. And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
We Would Call It, In Our Day, ‘Great Revival.’ Yet Later We Read Of These Same People, "They Went Back, And Walked No More With Him." (John 6:66)
It Comes To This—The Word Of God Must Get Down To A Person’s Will; For His "Inner Self" Is What He Is Willing To Be. Unless Our Religion Is Conceived As An Obligation It Cannot Stand The Strain Of Christianity. An Obligation Is Something—A Power—Which Reaches, Grasps, And, Holds The Will.
Paul Is A Good Example Of A Committed Christian, And He Left Us Instructions For Our Own Commitment.
Ephesians 3:17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18. May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19. And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Colossians 2:6.As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7. Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
In Other Words, Permanently Adhering To The Faith,
Firm Decision, Not Changing Or Fluctuating,
Steady In Purpose, Firm In Resolution, Not Subject To Insecurity.
Not Just A Mental Attitude Or Belief In God, But The Whole Of The Teachings Of The Scripture Concerning Salvation And Christian Conduct.
Like A Big Oak Tree We Must Put Down Roots, Deep Roots Placed So As To Resist Forces Which Tend To Cause Motion Or Change Of Direction. These Roots Are Designed To Develop Forces That Restore One To The Original Condition When Disturbed From It.
Jesus Tells Us, That The Rains, The Winds, The Storms, Will Come And Beat Upon Every One. (Matt. 7:27)
Jesus Also Says That Because Of, "Tribulation Or Persecution, Which Ariseth Because Of The Word, By And By He Is Offended." (Matt. 13:21)
"When Affliction Or Persecution…" (Mark 4:17)
"In Time Of Temptation Fall Away." (Luke 8:13)
It Is Sad To Say But Many Who Have Been Won To Christ Do Not Continue To Walk Very Long With Him Because Of These Four Words, Tribulation, Persecution, Affliction, And Temptation.
There So Many Who Are Swept In By The High Emotional Feelings Of Revival Services, And Thank God For Revival Services--Many Of Us Were Won In Revival Services--But Seemingly Numbers Of People, Are Not Prepared For What Lies Ahead In The Next Few Week Or Months. Their Hearts And Minds Were Not Fully Prepared For The Really, True Christian Walk.
When Great Multitudes Followed Jesus One Time (Luke 14:25-33) He Gave Them A Great Lesson On What He Expected Of His Followers. The Main Part Of This Lesson Was On "Counting The Cost Of Discipleship."
Another Time When One Came In The Excitement Of The Moment And Exclaimed That He Would Follow Him Whithersoever He Goest, That Jesus Told Him Of The Hardships Which Lay Ahead Of Any One Who Pledged Allegiance To Him.
Jesus’ Charge To All Who Would Follow Him Was, Full Devotion.
Luke 9:57. And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.
62. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Let Us Take A Look At These Four Words Which Are Used In This Part Of The Parable (The Stony Ground) Which Hinder The Growth Of The Seed.
The First Three Words, Tribulation, Persecution, And Affliction Have Practically The Same Meaning As They Are Used Here. All Of These Are Brought On By Outside Influences.
The Primary Meaning Of Each Is,
Trouble, Anguish, Burdened, A Pressing Or Pressure, And Distress.
In Each Of The Interpretations Jesus Says, "And When The Sun Was Up...," Typifying That The Heat And Weariness Of The Battle Against The Devil Would Wither Those Who Have Not Put Down Deep Roots.
It Is A Mistake To Think That Once We Have Received The Lord Into Our Hearts That All Our Troubles Are Over And All The Worry And Anxiety Of Everyday Life Is Behind Us.
There Is An Adversary That Brings Trouble Our Way, Which Challenges One's Character, Faith, And Holiness. Satan Is An Adversary Which Never Gives Up Or Goes Away And Leaves Us Alone.
1 Peter 5:8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9. Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
Tribulation Or Persecution In Some Form Comes To All Who Follow The Lord. Few Or None Of Us Has Suffered Bodily Harm Like Those We Read About In The Early Centuries. Yet, It Still Exist In Many Parts Of The World.
The "Stony Ground" Is The Shallow Christian Who "Has No Root In Himself …….. When Tribulation Or Persecution Ariseth ….. He Is Offended."
The Hardships Of Disciple Life Drive Them Back—They Had No Real Conviction Or Obligation In Them.
John Bunyan (1628—1688) Lived During The "Act Of Uniformity" Which Demanded That Everyone Conform To The Church Of England.
John Bunyan Became A "Separatist" For Which He Was Imprisoned In Bedford Prison For 7 Years. During This Period He Wrote
Pliable, One Of The Characters In This Book, Upon Hearing
Christian’s, Glowing Descriptions Of Heaven Remarked,
"The Hearing Of This Is Enough To Ravish One’s Heart,…
My Good Companion, Glad Am I To Hear Of These Things.
Come On, Let Us Mend Our Pace."
But Let Us Note This Reception "With Joy," Of Christian’s Testimony, Was Before The "Slough Of Despond." After This Test His Tune Changed. "May I Get Out Again With My Life, You Shall Posses The Brave Country Alone For Me."
This Is Typical Of Those Who Jesus Said That "Received The Seed On Stony Ground, And Had No Root In Themselves." These Will Turn Back During The Testing Times.
When The Devil Cannot Cause Physical Harm He Will Bring Mental Distress Upon The Christian Believer, Many Times Through The Ordinary Affairs Of Life.
Distress Might Come Through Family Problems,
Or Financial Problems, Problems At Work,
Problems With Neighbors Or Friends.
All Of These The Devil Will Magnify To Cause Trouble, Anguish,
And Burdened Feelings, Bringing Pressure, Distress,
And Anxiety Into The Heart And Mind Of The Christian.
The Fourth Thing Mentioned That Causes The Seed To Wilt Is Temptation.
Temptation Is The Trial Of Man’s Fidelity Or Integrity.
An Enticement To Sin, Arising From Desires Within,
Or From The Outward Circumstances.
James 1:14. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (KJV)
Also, In Each Of These Interpretations Jesus Says, "Because Of The Word, By And By He Is Offended." (Matthew 13:21)
Those Who Have Received The Seed In The Stony Ground Have Not Put Roots Down In The Word Of God Which Keeps Them Steadfast When Trials Arise In Their Life. We Must Develop A Love For The Word Of God. We Should Read The Word Of God And Let It Speak To Our Hearts And Become The Ruling Force In Our Lives.
There Are Things In The Word Of God That Are Hard To Under-stand, And We Should Pray That The Holy Spirit Will Help Us That Our Hearts And Minds Will Understand And Cleave To The Truth.
In The Sixth Chapter Of John There Is An Example Of The Way That People Get Offended By The Word Of God And Go Back From Following Jesus.
There Were Great Multitudes Of People Who Followed Him Because Of The Miracles He Did (John 6:2) On That Day Jesus Fed The Multitude With The Loaves And Fish (John 6:11). The Next Day They Came Running Around The Sea Seeking Him On The Other Side.
Jesus Used This Occasion To Preach To Them About Spiritual Things Concerning Himself, And The Commitment He Expected Of His Followers. They Failed To Understand The Spiritual Meaning Of His Words And Were Anxious To Have The Bread He Spake Of (John 6:34).
As Jesus Continued His Preaching The People Began To "Murmur Among Themselves"
John 6:41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
42. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
They Became Discontented And Began To Grumble And Complain Among Themselves About Him. Notice How They Were Offended Because Jesus Said That He Came Down From Heaven. Then As Jesus Continued To Bring To Them More Spiritual Words The People Complained Out Loud.
John 6:52. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
"They Strove Among Themselves, …" They Engaged In A War Of Words With One Another. They Quarreled And Wrangled Over His Words, Disputing With Him. Even Some Of His Close Followers Found The Words Hard To Take.
John 6:60. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61. When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
Jesus Knew That Many Would Become Offended Because Of The Word And Return From Following Him, But He Also Had Confidence In The Seed He Was Sowing And Simon Peter Spoke For The Millions Who Would Cleave To Him.
John 6:66. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68. Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (KJV)
In This Day, In The Life Of Jesus, We Learn The Importance Of Having The Seed Of The Word Of God Planted Deep In Our Hearts And Committing The Principals Thereof Into Practice In Our Everyday Life.
Note The Progression Of Their Falling Away.
(1) "They Murmured" (John 6:41),
(2) "They Strove Among Themselves" (John 6:52),
(3) At The Last "Many Went Back" (John 6:66),
Because Of Lack Of Depth In The Soil Of Their Soul. "No Root In Themselves" (Mark 4:1)
8. AMONG THE THORNS
Matthew 13:7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
Mark 4:7. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
Luke 8:7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
Once Again Let Us Read Jesus’ Interpretation.
Matthew 13:22. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. (KJV)
Mark 4:18. And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19. And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
Luke 8:14. And that which fell among thorns are they, choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
Jesus Tells Us That There Are A Trio Of Antagonists Which Can Grow Along With The Seed (Word) Only To Finally, If Allowed To Stay In The Soil, Overcome And Choke It Till The Fruit Withers.
Jesus Tells What These "Thorns" Or Forces Are Which "Choke The Word."
1. "The Cares Of This World…"
Filling One's Life With So Many Things That God Is Crowded Out, Or At Best, Has Only A Small Portion Of Our Time.
Jesus Reminded Martha Of This In (Luke 10:40a.) "But Martha Was Cumbered About Much Serving, .." & (Luke 10:41.) And Jesus Answered And Said Unto Her, Martha, Martha, Thou Art Careful (Anxious) And Troubled About Many Things:
We Could Say This Is Simply The Business Of Living And Occupying Our Place In This World. The "Cares" Of Making A Living For One’s Family.
A Man Is Beset By, "What He Shall Eat, And Wherewithal He Shall Be Clothed." As Well As Many Other Debts And Necessities Of This Life.
These Cares, Of Course, Are Not Wrong In Themselves, They Can All Rightfully Claim Their Share Of Our Time And Energies At Home Or At Work.
What Jesus Is Referring To Is An Anxious, Unremitting Attention To The Business Of This Present Life Which Chokes The Seed Of The Christian Experience.
A Hundred Interests, All Legitimate In Their Place, Are Allowed To Dominate One’s Life--While Religion Is Just Another Phase Of Life That Must Wait It’s Turn.
These People, Like Martha Are, "Cumbered With Much Serving," Crowd The Joy And Privilege Of Sitting At The Master’s Feet Out Of Their Life.
Jesus Said It So Well
Luke 14:18. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.
19. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused.
20. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
Jesus Is Emphasizing That The Kingdom Of God Should Occupy The Most Important Role In Our Lives.
"The Deceitfulness Of Riches,.."
This Is The Second Antagonist Which Wars Against Us.
What Is Implied Here Are Those Riches Gained As The Fruit Of Worldly Care And Anxiety--Neglecting Heavenly Treasures And Keeping Our Nose To The Grindstone.
"The Deceitfulness Of Riches,.."
The False Impression That Material Possessions Brings Peace, Happiness, And Satisfaction.
To 'Have' Is To Find All I Need..
We Should Ask Ourselves,
"Where Do Our Treasures Lie?"
If Our Treasure, The Thing We Cherish The Most, Is Tangible (Discernible By Touch), We Too Have Been Deceived.
3. "The Lusts Of Other Things.."
The Third Antagonist Which "Chokes The Word" In Our Lives Is The Lust Of Other Things." (Mark 4:19)
In Another Place It Is Translated As "The Pleasures Of This Life." (Luke 13:14)
We Are Living In A Pleasure Mad World,
A World Which Has Its Thoughts Absorbed By The Flesh,
And No Thought To The Secret Place Of Prayer.
"And The Lusts Of Other Things…" Are The Thorns Which Grow Up To Choke The Word, And It Becometh Unfruitful." (Mark 18-19)
Lust Is A Powerful Force.
Lust Is Usually Stronger Than The Strongest Will.
The Word, "Lust," Is Used Many Times In The New Testament And Everytime But 3, It Is Used In The Bad, Or Evil Sense.
It Usually Refers To Evil Desires, The Base And Immoral Nature Of A Person. (Matthew 15:19; Galatians 5:16-21; Ephesians 2:3; 4:22; James 1:14-15)
These Are Always Ready To Express Themselves In Bodily Activity.
Even Though The Seed Begins To Grow It Is Soon Choked By The Thorns Of Lust, Cares, And Riches.
9. The Fourth Type Of Soil, "Good Ground"
Slow Growing Grain
Matthew 13:23. But He That Receiveth The Seed Into The Good Ground Is He That Heareth The Word, And Understandeth It; Which Also Beareth Fruit, And Bringeth Forth Some An Hundredfold, Some Sixty, Some Thirty."
Luke 8:15. But That On Good Ground Are They, Which In An Honest And Good Heart, Having Heard The Word, Keep It, And Bring Forth Fruit With Patience.
OH! THE POSSIBILITIES WHICH EXIST WHEN ONE HEARS THE WORD OF GOD.
Some An Hundred Fold.
Signifying The Complete Productiveness Of The Seed Of God's Word.
I Wonder Who, If Anyone, Has Ever Reached, Or Achieved,
The Full Potential Of The Productive Power Of The Seed Of God's Word In Their Life?
Has God Ever Looked Upon An Individual And Said,
"Now That's All The Power That The Word Can Produce?"
"That’s The Biggest Harvest, The Most Fruit That One Can Possibly Produce!"
"You Have Exhausted Your Potential In Me!"
I Think Of Men Like The Apostle Peter, The Apostle John, The Apostle Paul, And The Other Preachers And Writers Of The New Testament, In Which Their Teachings Have, For Twenty Centuries, Been The Herald Whereby Millions Upon Millions Have Come To Know Jesus Christ.
Yet, After Twenty Centuries, Their Potential For Good Has Never Been Exhausted.
"AN HUNDRED FOLD"
10. The Harvest
"Then cometh the harvest"
An Astronomical Number.
Not A "Hundred Times," But, " An Hundred Fold.
Take A Piece Of Cloth And Fold It, You Have Two Plies,
Fold It Again, You Have Four Plies,
Fold It Again, You Have Eight Plies,
Fold It Again, You Have Sixteen Plies,
And So Far You Have Folded It Only Four Times.
Run This Out To One Hundred Times And You Have A Number
"As The Sand Of The Sea,
And The Stars In The Heavens.
An Inconceivable, An Enormous, An Unlimited Potential, Exists If We Present The Proper Soil For The Word Of God To Grow In.
In Fact I Ran This Out To Thirty Fold And The Number Is, 864,073,984 Times As Much.
I Said "Oh, God Can I Ever Reach The Potential Of Even The Smallest Number You Gave?"
"Some A Hundred Fold,
"Oh, Lord Will You Accept Ten, Or Even Five?"
The Meaning Is That The One Infallible Mark Of A True Saint Is His Life.
John 15:8. Herein Is My Father Glorified, That Ye Bear Much Fruit; So Shall Ye Be My Disciple.
These Which Received The Seed Into The Good Ground Had What The Others Lacked.
1. First They, "Keep The Word."
2. Second They Receive It, In An Honest And Good Heart."
3. Third They, Bring Forth Fruit With Patience."
11. The Growth Factor
THE GROWTH FACTOR
Jesus Says, Brings Forth Fruit With Patience.
It Takes Only A Moment To Become A Christian,
But The Making Of A Saint Is The Work Of A Lifetime.
It Takes Time For The Fruit To Mature.
We Must Take Into Consideration The Weather, Sunshine, Rain, The Cultivation, Pruning, The Feeding Of The Plants.
James 5:7. Be Patient Therefore, Brethren, Unto The Coming Of The Lord. Behold, The Husbandman Waiteth For The Precious Fruit Of The Earth, And Hath Long Patience For It, Until He Receive The Early And The Latter Rain."
In This Parable We Have Studied, The Church Is Likened To A Field Of Grain.
In John 15:1-6, The Church Is Likened To A Vineyard.
In 1 Corinthians 3:9, The Church Is Likened To A Garden.
In Psalms 1, The Church Is Likened To A Fruit Tree.
These All Have One Thing In Common; They Are Planted With The Intentions Of Bearing Fruit. Many Thing Have A Bearing Upon How Much They Will Produce.
Time To Mature
Not The Speed With Which We Run, But The Direction We Are Going In Is The Important Thing.
1 Peter 2:2. As Newborn Babes, Desire The Sincere Milk Of The Word, That Ye May Grow Thereby:
Radish Seeds Grow To Maturity In 21 Days.
A Corn Crop Takes 115-125 Days To Mature.
Salvation Is The Work Of A Moment,
But, The Making Of A Saint Is The Work Of A Lifetime.
Give New Converts Time To Develop Personal Convictions And Understanding Of Holiness Principals. Their Hearts Must Be Changed By The Spirit Of God, And If They Do Not Understand The Reason For Certain Teachings, They Will Not Follow Them.
Give God Time To Work With Them.
1 Peter 2:5. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to kindness charity.
8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Even God does not judge until the end, "Neither Do I Condemn Thee."
I feel that this Parable (Of The Sower) describes what goes on, as a general rule, in all congregations.
The Minister Is The Sower
The Seed Is The Word Of God
The Field Is The World Or The Hearer
"The Wayside" or the person whose heart has become hardened and his mind closed toward God.
Like The Sower, The Preacher must be diligent. He Must Use Every Possible Means To Make His Work Prosper.
Philemon 1:6a. That The Communication Of Thy Faith May Become Effectual …
Galatians 6:6. Let Him That Is Taught In The Word Communicate Unto Him That Teacheth In All Good Things.
He Must Patiently "Sow Beside All Waters,… (Isaiah 32:20)
He Must "Sow In Hope:"
He Must "Sow In The Morning."
He Must "Sow In The Evening." (Ecclesiastes 11:6)
He Must "Be Instant In Season And Out Of Season." 2 Timothy 4:2
He Must Not Be Deterred By Difficulties And Discouragement.
"He That Observeth The Wind Shall Not Sow." (Ecclesiastes 11:4)
It Is No Light Thing To Be A Minister Of God's Word.
Preachers Ought To Be Specially Remembered In Our Prayers.
Like The Sower, The Preacher Cannot Give Life.
He Can Scatter The Seed Committed To His Charge,
But Cannot Command It To Grow.
He May Offer The Word Of Truth To A People,
But Cannot Make Them Receive It And Bear Fruit.
To Give Life Is God's Sovereign Prerogative.
"It Is The Spirit That Quickeneth." (John 6:63a)
God Alone Can, "Give The Increase." (1 Corinthians 3:7b)
Hope You Enjoyed Reading This Study And I Pray That It Be Of Benefit To Every One.
We Invite You To Read The Other Studies On This Web Site,
Write To Us
E-Mail Address, Godsgrazingfield@att.net
Back To Top
Back To Home Page
James L. Thornton