Do you ever get distracted from the things of God? No? Okay, you can go, unless you just want to read about my struggles.
I allow the cares of this world and my workaday week to knock me of the path of doing Godâ€™s Will. Why is that? Well it doesnâ€™t just happen to Christians, it happens to seekers of Christ who hear the gospel and yet do not receive it. Sometimes as a Christian I forget how so few will hear and not receive. Jesus told us the Parable of the Sower to explain this enigma:
â€œAnd when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable: â€˜A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it. But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.â€™ When He had said these things He cried, â€˜He who has ears to hear, let him hear!â€™â€ (Luke 8:4-8)
Ah, thereâ€™s that â€œHe who has ears to hear, let him hear!â€ Jesus explains the purpose of a parable in the next two verses but let me remind us that a parable is an earthly story with an heavenly meaning. In Luke 8:10 Jesus quotes Isaiah 6:9 by saying â€œSeeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.â€
This is true today; Iâ€™ve heard the Parable of the Sower so badly applied exegetically that I doubt the preacher understood himself. And that in itself is an enigma within an enigma because Jesus explains this parable:
â€œNow the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.â€ (Luke 8:11-15)
I think the reason many of us do not share the Gospel is that we donâ€™t think we are qualified. How much training does it take to spread seed? A mere child can take a handful of seed and spread it wherever you point! We too often confuse sower with grower; the former is to scatter seed and the latter actually tends to the seed once it sprouts.
The problem with the gospel spreading is not in who (sower) spreads the Word or in the Word (seed) itself , it is in the hearerâ€™s heart (soil). Thatâ€™s how Warren Wiersbe explains it:
This parable shows that Jesus was not impressed by the great crowds that followed Him. He knew that most of the people did not really â€œhearâ€ the Word and receive it in their hearts. He gave this story to encourage the disciples in their future ministry, and to encourage us today. When you consider how much teaching, preaching, and witnessing goes on in the course of a month or a year, you wonder why there is such a small harvest. The fault does not lie with the sower or the seed. The problem is with the soil. The human heart will not submit to God, repent and receive the Word, and be saved.
Does that not encourage you dear Christian? Sow the seed! But perhaps while your heart is not like the bad soil, your life is entangled with the cares, riches, and pleasures of life and your time gets choked by all of it. You find yourself in many a thorny situation. That should not be! You and I need to rearrange some priorities in life so that we can be about spreading the seed of the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ.
But perhaps some of you have hearts that are of soil on the wayside. I am praying that the Devil will leave your heart alone.
Or maybe your heart is of rocky soil and you have heard the gospel and even received it with joy, and yet the moment temptation came, you fell away and realized you were never really saved.
Or perhaps your heart belongs to material things, the cares of this world, or its riches and pleasures it all has to offer, and the gospel has absolutely no chance of growing in your heart.
Know that I am praying that whatever the condition of your heart, that its soil would become good soil, a heart that is noble and good, and that it would receive the gospel, keep it through true repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and keep it.
Whether you are a Christian or not, trust in Jesus and His Word to bring a plentiful harvest for Godâ€™s glory.
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Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers