And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 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. Matthew 13:3-4, 19 KJV --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/pastor-lucy-paynter/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/pastor-lucy-paynter/support
<span;> Have you ever wondered why some of the greatest civilizations that were founded on agriculture fell? Or even why communities abandoned and some still abandon their settlements in search of better lands? Why entire communities were wiped out by drought when they had a history of successful agriculture for centuries. Some of these civilizations fell because the soil they were relying on became so degraded that it could not support any more meaningful farming. Soil, as a critical and original source of nutrients for crops, is a part of any successful agricultural undertaking. The healthiest soils produce most food. For a farmer, the aftermath of a failed crop is devastating. After investing so much on preserving a seed of the highest quality, you expect a good yield. The discouragement when such seeds not only fail to bear any fruit but just get eaten by rodents and birds before they could even germinate is untold. One could give up all hope of ever sowing in that land again. No one would want to waste their seed on a land that seedlings wouldn’t get their radicle primary root through.
<span;> The Bible, in Matthew chapter 13:3-4 tells a story of one such farmer as was narrated by Jesus in the form of a parable. “Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them.
<span;> You realize that even though this parable is referred to as the parable of the sower, it does not focus on the sower as much as it does on the fate of the seeds and the type of soil. In verse 19, Jesus proceeds to explain the meaning of this part of the parable. He tells the disciples that 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.
<span;> You see, the ground on which these seeds fell was so hard that the seeds could not sprout and they ended up becoming nothing more than food for the birds. The truth is, we are all served by the same Word but just as a soil’s reception of seeds is determined by the condition of that soil, so is our reception of the Word of God determined by the condition of our hearts.
<span;>For most of us, upon hearing the Word of God, our reception of it, even when it may appear joyful, is usually superficial.
<span;>We hear the Word but we do not understand its proclamation.
<span;>We hear the Word but we do not discern Gods saving presence in it.
<span;> The word of God is brought right to where we are but does it change the lackluster state of our hearts? Or are our hearts <span;>hardened<span;> so much that our own resistance makes it easy for the evil one to just snatch the Word?
<span;>Does The Word of God has effect on us or because we may have hardened the very core, the very center, of our commitment. Because we may have hardened the center of our will and action so much that we become blind to God’s purpose for our lives. Our lives become so laden and hardened by sin that even exposure to something that has so much life in it, the living Word of the kingdom of God, leaves no impression on us.
<span;> The soil on the footpath is akin to those of us who merely hear the Word of God but do not care to understand it. Those who have fallen into Satan’s trap of keeping men in the darkness so that they may never understand God’s Word. And so have some of us become like rocks in the rain that only become wet on the surface but not even a little impression is made on the inside. You see, it’s the heedless, dawdling hearers of the Word that fall prey to Satan and the Word of God does them no good for though the grace given unto us is the same, we yield not the same harvest. For those who are like the soil on the wayside do not let the Word grow into them and as others become fathers, others young men and others children, these bear no fruit whatsoever. They remain as they were before they heard the Word because their hearts are like unplowed, unturned, hard soil into which no seed can sink.
<span;> We need to understand that hearing the word of the Lord is just but the beginning of the journey towards salvation. A lot happens in between that determines if we will bear any fruit. The state of our hearts, the environment we’re in and our own efforts after the Word of truth has been sown onto us affects how and if the Word will grow in us and yield any fruits.
<span;> The sower knows the right time of sowing and He comes bearing, the seed of choice, the seed that holds our salvation. May you ready your heart to receive the Word of God. May you not harden your heart and let the Devil steal it before it could take root in you. May you allow the Word of God to be sown into your heart, to grow in you, and to grow you into fruition. May you purpose to hear, to receive and to understand the Word of God. May you allow the Word to take root and accomplish it’s purpose in your life so that you could bear the fruits and have salvation as its proof.