Monday, March 10, 2014

The Parable of the Sower

Matt. 13:1-9

IF, we do a study of Parables, we must consider Matthew 13 - because:
1)  it tells us why Jesus taught in Parables, and
2) contains 8 parables itself.

So, today - Parable of the Sower.  (Seed, Soil)
1)  Jesus gives the meaning --> Matt. 13:18-23
2)  Mark and Luke give additional information!!  - (Luke 8 and Mark 4)

Luke's Explanation:
Luke 8:11 - the seed = Word of God
                - the soil = heart of individual

4 Types of Soil - (heart)

#1.  Hard Ground - Luke 8:12 - unattended, careless, indifferent, defiant?   Satan snatches "seed" 'so that they may not believe and be saved'.
(Satan's attacks do not appear demonic!!)  - There is hearing (natural) and super hearing.  Super hearing translates obey! 

#2.  Rocky Ground - (shallow soil)  Luke 8:13
On one hand - "received Word with joy" - however, has no root.
Therefore, in testing ---> fall away.  Believe for a while.

#3.  Thorny Ground - Luke 8:14 - on one hand = "hear", but seduced by temporal concerns (need to attend to these concerns, but not at expense of God's Word) - do not mature, choked out, never grow up so never any fruit.  Compare:  Heb. 2:1

#4.  Fruitful Ground - Luke 8:15
Those who .... hear the Word
                 .... retain the Word - doesn't get snatched away
                 .... persevere - in times of testing, discomfort
                .... produce - crop (fruit)

Question:  Why did Jesus give us this parable???
Answer: to suggest - I.  Heart Examination - own
                                II.  Heart Improvement
Parable can be very condemning, but God's purpose = for correction, redemption, improvement

I.  Heart Examination - (inspection, appraisal, evaluation of own heart)
     Requires:  1)  deliberate, intentional introspection - on purpose.  Will not happen coincidentally.
                        2)  Brutal honesty - Jer. 17:9
                        3) Spiritual assistance ( Holy Spirit) - almost impossible to do without His help

Note:  #1.  This = Introspection - because there's only one heart you can truly assess = OWN!!  Can judge other people's actions but can only judge own heart.

Note:  #2.  This = the heart response in RELATION to the WORD!!!  - "seed"
Example:  "good old boy heart" - which still may be indifferent, defiant to God's Word.  This is not about helping with flat tire.  Helping with flat tire will not get you to Heaven.

II.  Heart Improvement       How to?  Luke 8:15 
This = the means as well as the ending, the process AND outcome!!
YOU choose what kind of heart you'll have -= your responsibility!!

A.  Hear = exposure to God's Word - "seed is the Word of God" - via:  reading, studying, attending church, Sunday School, etc.  Vital to HEAR in order to grow

B.  Retain truth, things God shows you - more than remembering = hold on to those things!!  Heb. 2:1

C.  Persevere - doesn't mean never fail, never fall.  Means get up and go on...

D.  Produce - Matt. 21:18-10  John 15:1-2,8  Eph. 2:8-10 (prepared to do good works) - fruitfulness is important

POINT:  On one hand #s A - D = result of good heart (good soil)
                  On other hand A - D = means/process that leads to a good heart!!

Often asked question:  How little must I do to insure going to Heaven?   Very dangerous attitude - question whether have the LORD or not!!!

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