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Devotional - The Parable Of The Sower; Applied To Believers

Discussion in 'Thoughts for Today' started by anthony wade, Jul 24, 2013.



  1. The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” - Matthew 13: 23 (NLT)


    The Parable of the Sower. Usually used theologically to discuss how people initially react to the Word of God we can also use it today to examine how the believer reacts to the Word on an individual basis. In this day of modern technology we are exposed more frequently to the Word through different mediums. We go to hear the Word preached at church on Sundays or maybe a prayer service. We can read the Word on our own at home. We can watch our favorite preachers on television. Through the Internet we can listen to pod-casts, watch YouTube, or use various computer programs to further enhance the Word for us. Each separate time we have the Word imparted to us it is an opportunity for so many things. It can be a moment of great revelation for us. It can be an opportunity for God to speak directly into our lives and current situations. It can reassure us. It can build our faith. It can confirm something we have been seeking an answer on. All of this and so much more await us every single time we receive God's Word. We need to treat it with a greater importance than we currently do. Because there are four outcomes from hearing the Word of God according to the Parable of the Sower and only one of them is positive.


    God uses the metaphor of a sower and seed to emphasize certain inherent truths. The Word of God is meant to go down deep inside of us and grow. It is meant to help us grow. It carries with it the essentials of life, as a seed does. It is meant to be tended to. We water the seed when we pray. We water the seed when we study. We water the seed by seeking out the deeper things of God. We are meant to be good soil beloved. Good soil is ready to receive the seed. A farmer tills the soil before planting so that the soil is less dense on the surface, allowing seeds to be easily buried once sown. The more we are about the business of God the less dense our topsoil will be. The more we fall away the harder it is for the seed to find its way down into who we are. Then there are always the elements which wage war against us:


    The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. - Matthew 13: 19 (NLT)


    The birds came and snatched away the seed. I often have spoken to Christians who simply did not understand the Word that was preached. Often embarrassed, Christians will not want to admit such for the risk of not appearing as "spiritual" as everyone else. I have even heard some twisted Christianese logic such as "the Word must not have been meant for me." ALL of God's Word is meant for us. It is the enemy who seeks to steal away the seeds God is trying to plant inside of us. I have also heard the lament from Christians that they do not understand the Bible when they read it. Instead of internalizing the message from God they end up internalizing the guilt from the enemy. This of course leads to less Bible reading habits. Who wants to feel inferior? This is of course exactly what the enemy wants.

    We need to practice our other Christian disciplines better if we are to expect to start receiving the deeper truths of God in His Word. The Bible says that the things of God are spiritually discerned. We try too often to turn the Bible into an academic exercise when it really is a spiritual one. What is our prayer life like? How is our daily relationship with God? The Spirit of God living inside of us will lead us into all truth. Also, a quick word about expectancy. I think as Christians we fall so short sometimes in what we expect from God. I do not understand how we can go to church and not expect to have an encounter with God. Why go? Because we serve in a ministry? Because all our friends are there? Because we feel we are supposed to? None of those are good reasons for going to church. We should be going to meet God. He will always show up. Likewise, when we sit down to read the Bible; what are our expectations? Are we reading the Bible because we think we are required to? Because the Pastor said we should? Beloved, if we want to get more out of the Words God is speaking into our hearts then we must prepare the soil better by expecting more from God.


    The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. - Matthew 13: 20-21 (NLT)


    Have you ever dealt with someone who is full of the Christian bells and whistles while in church but cannot seem to apply any of the learned principles to their everyday lives? Have you been there before? I know I have. Knowledge without application is useless. We all know how to play church. We know how to play the part. We know when to shout amen and take copious notes during the sermon. Then we know how to even discuss it when we go out for coffee after service. The Word was meant for so much more than that. It was meant to empower us through the valleys we face in this life. I remember once dealing with someone close who was struggling in the faith. I would recite a Scripture and she would say "I know that." My answer would be that knowing it is not enough because you have stopped believing it. Faith is an action verb. It requires something from us. The three Hebrew boys knew the God they served:


    Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.” - Daniel 3: 16-18 (NLT)


    Read those verses carefully. The statement they make to the king shows that they understand the God they serve but the last sentence applies that knowledge. Today we have too many Christians who like to tell the king off but then bow down to the statue anyway. They do not have deep roots in the things of God. Their soil doesn't go down deep enough. Christians leading fully bound lives. Saved by the grace of God but crawling into heaven because their faith is too shallow. It is shallow faith that produces shallow Christians.


    The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. - Matthew 13: 22 (NLT)


    Besides the enemy we also have the world battling for our attentions and desires. Let's be fair. With the current state of the world, we can have plenty to worry about if we so choose. It is interesting that God uses the thorn to describe these things. The dictionary defines a thorn as something that "wounds, annoys, or causes discomfort." The sad truth that escapes so many is that the Word of God has the power to heal those wounds, soothe that annoyance, and ease that discomfort. I remember many times listening to believers bemoan a certain situation they were facing in the world. My answer is always - have you forgotten who you serve? Is there anything in this world that God is not above?


    “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? - Matthew 6: 25-27 (NLT)


    Can all your worries add a single moment to our lives? The answer is no. But while our worries cannot add a single hour they sure can take them away. In modern Christianity there is still too much focus on the problem instead of the problem solver. God has told us that nothing will be impossible for he who believes. That we could speak to the mountain we are facing and command it to be removed. God did not say to analyze the mountain. He did not say to talk to your friends about about the size of the mountain. He did not say to hire a therapist to work out your feelings about the mountain. He did not say to take medication so you aren't as intimidated by the mountain. He said to speak to it and remove it! It is difficult to hear what God is trying to say to us when we are burdened by the problems we face in this life.


    Likewise, the lure of wealth will also be a thorn in our efforts to hear from God. It is interesting that God differentiates between the worries of life and the pursuit of wealth. This is yet another Scripture that shows the ungodliness of prosperity doctrine. We cannot serve two masters beloved. We will end up loving one and hating the other. The Bible says that these two things, the worries of this world and the pursuit of wealth will actually choke out the Word of God in our lives. Realize that we can walk the walk and talk the talk but still have the heart wrong. We can say blessed and highly favored to any who ask how we are doing yet still be choking on the inside. We can be like the rich young ruler who fancied himself so righteous yet still held his wealth before God. We can be like Simon the Sorcerer who followed the Way and was baptized but still pursued wealth above all else and it was his undoing. We can be like Ananias and Sapphira who lied about how good they were. The pursuit of wealth blinding their eyes and choking them. That we would pursue God with the zeal we pursue wealth beloved. Then we would be open to the riches found in His Word.


    The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” - Matthew 13: 23 (NLT)


    So we come to the key verse for today and the final explanation for the Parable of the Sower. The first thing we notice is that we are supposed to be ready to receive the Word of God. We are supposed to be "good soil." God understands we have an enemy to our souls looking to steal whatever seed he can from us. He understands that our worldly worries and pursuit of wealth can choke out His Word from our lives. But we have responsibilities as Christians beloved. Too often these days we are sold a false bill of goods. That everything is singing kumbya and holding hands. That Christianity is all puppy dogs and rainbows. That is doesn't cost us anything when in reality is costs us the rest of this life. If we want to truly hear and understand God's Word then our soil must be good. It must be ready to receive.


    The second point from the key verse is that there is supposed to be a harvest. The sower does not scatter seed not caring what happens. He is expecting something to grow from His efforts. He is expecting a harvest beloved. A hundred times as much as been planted! That harvest might be our finally being able to climb that mountain or remove it from our lives. It might be a strengthening of our faith so that the enemy cannot keep pressing the same old buttons on us and expect the same old results. The harvest might be that we are freer to share our faith with the unsaved and bring more people to the foot of the cross. When we ensure our soil is good and we pursue God and His Word then we are assured of a harvest:


    It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. - Isaiah 55: 11 (NLT)


    The Word of God is not just a collections of writings. It contains untold power in our lives if we would treat it as such and expect God to meet us. Realize that whenever we hear His Word, one of these four options are possible. We could walk away without understanding it and watch the enemy steal it from us. We could receive it with great joy but no roots and watch as it withers. We could see the worries of this life and the pursuit of wealth choke it out of our lives. Or we can have properly prepared our own soil and watch as God starts to produce a great harvest in our lives far exceeding our own expectations. Let us till the soil today, expect God to show up, and be ready for the harvest He wants to bring forth in our lives.



    Reverend Anthony Wade - July 24, 2013
     
  2. The sower sowed seeds on all types of ground. We are to share the gospel with all those we can even though they may not recieve.
     

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