You Reap What You Sow

Today we’ll be studying Mt 13 (Parable of Sower) 1)That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. As Jesus’ ministry began to grow,  word began to spread More & more people came to hear. On this day, Jesus used a boat for a pulpit. 2) Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred,sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Jesus used common examples  to illustrate a point. On this day, he talked about a  farmer scattering seed for a crop. If you’ve ever tried to plant grass,  you understand this illustration well. 3) Jesus says, there are 4 kinds of soil: 1. Hard Soil (the Path) 2. Rocky Soil 3. Thorny Soil 4. Good Soil In the hard soil, It never took root (Birds ate it up) In the rocky soil, It had shallow roots (Sun baked it) In the thorny soil The plants were choked-out In the good soil, They flourished The people heard what he was saying, But wondered, “Why are you using stories?” 4) 10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” They wondered why he didn’t  just get to the point. 5)  11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. This sounds like an elitist answer. Was he trying to exclude anyone? (Not at all) It’s a matter of, “Do you want to hear?” Many people go to church, just  to make a mom, dad, spouse happy.  They may go to church their entire life  & never have a relationship w/Jesus. 6) It’s a matter of WHO  you’re trying to please. If you’re only trying to  make a family member happy,  you’ll never get anything out of it. I know. I did it as a teenager. IF, you’re truly seeking, You’ll find. When you’re truly seeking, you'll WANT  -to come to church -to study your Bible -walk with Jesus  No one is going to have to -beg you -coerce you It’s going to be your choice. If your ears aren’t open to spiritual truth,  You won’t hear a thing. If your eyes aren’t open to spiritual truth,  You’ll go to sleep. 7) 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ If you sincerely seek him,  you’ll find Him. 8) 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. It’s not about religion, It’s about a relationship. After Jesus explains WHY  he teaches in parables,  he explains this one. 9) 18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means:19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. When I preach,  I sow the Word. For those,  who don’t want to be here,  they leave unchanged. The soil is hard. The seed doesn’t have a chance. It was sown,  but the devil snatches it away. 10) 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.  Many years ago, I had Thanksgiving dinner  w/ my boss & his wife. After dinner, she & I were doing dishes,  & I led her to Jesus. She was joyful & so excited about her new faith,  Her husband didn’t  share that joy. He kept her from attending church. That seed that I planted sprung-up,  but had no root. Because of persecution,  it lasted only a short time & quickly fell away. I’ve seen many young believers  fall prey to rocky soil. In 26 years of preaching here,  I’ve had dozens of people (on 1st Sunday) say: “I love this church. I’m ready to join.” Less than three months later,  you never see them again. They fall prey because they  never understood this parable. People need to pay attention. 11) 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. There are two things listed  as THORNS. 12) Wealth & Worry We live in the wealthiest nation on earth. This is a real danger. We like our wealth. We don’t want it to go away. But if our wealth & pleasure  take precedence over God,  that seed gets choked-out. There is nothing wrong with a weekend getaway. But if recreation precedes worship,  there’s danger. Jesus says, it’s deceitful. We rationalize, “God wants me to have fun.” “I only have one day a week to sleep-in.” In our minds, we can rationalize it. Again, Jesus says, it’s deceitful. Wealth is easily understood, But what about worry? We say,  “Well worry is only natural.” (Not according to God) We rationalize worry. In our minds, we make it acceptable. In scripture, it’s never acceptable. Jesus says it’s a thorn  that chokes your faith. Faith is blind trust. Worry requires everything to be seen. Worry doubts God’s abilities, but Faith steps into the unknown. Again, God says that wealth & worry  make your faith unfruitful. Then, we get to the good soil. 12.5) 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” The good soil produces good fruit. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness & Self Control. Good soil produces a harvest for God. Godly living has no regrets. I’ve never known anyone  who regretted a Godly life. Look at what God promises: 13) This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” That’s good living. Throughout your life God’s been sowing seeds. 14) Your life = ONE GROWING SEASON When you get to the harvest (end of life),  what do you have to show?  15) What do your fields look like? Are they barren? Are they plentiful? 16) You Reap What You Sow

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