This morning over coffee I read in Mathew The Parable of The Sower. (Mathew 13:3-9) According to this parable 75% of the people presented with the Gospel will eventually lose the ability to see it through to fruition. I don’t know about you but I am definitely thankful to be in the other 25%. Hearing the Gospel then is not a guarantee of salvation, it’s the very first step towards it though, and it’s an important one! Every journey starts with the first step and it is often the hardest one to take. I want to help you to plant seed today by sharing some insight on this scripture. The Seed is a symbol of the message of Jesus Christ – planted through The Word and it results in the indwelling of God in your heart – the ground is your heart – the external circumstances are the worldly forces that negatively effect the growth of the seed.
The Fowls Came And Devoured Them…
Jesus plainly tells us that some will hear it but the seed is immediately ate up by outside forces it never even gets a chance to take root. Someone tells you The Good News, it kinda falls on deaf ears, never even gets a chance to take root. The worldly forces of the evil one quickly dispatch forces that gather the seed and remove it from your life. It’s gone as quickly as it came and no effect is felt at all in the one who initially received it. Imagine sitting in the park feeding ducks or pidgeons, as soon as the bread crumb hits the ground several birds will scamper to devour it. Spiritually this happens to some people’s hearts, as soon as the seed is cast, a flock of doubt, worldliness, or unbelief swoops in and removes every little speck.
Some Fell Upon Stony Places…
The next batch of seeds in this Parable sprouted in stony places. As a gardener I know what happens here, the seed sprouts but its roots have nowhere to go, the rock or compacted soil beneath it forces the roots to be exposed and vulnerable to the sun and the plant shrivels and dies. If it does survive for sometime it is never very healthy and the first storm that comes along blows it over from its lack of roots. This seed fell on a hard heart. A hardened heart resists the message of Jesus Christ and it often comes from unforgiveness and bitterness. Being unforgiving turns your heart into a rock. That is why repentance before salvation is so important, it is like The Holy Spirit running a plow throw your heart, breaking up all that hard packed rocky soil and making it loose and receptive for the message of Jesus Christ’s forgiveness. When we repent we truly understand that we freely receive Gods forgiveness and because of such, we must freely forgive others. Since God is faithful to forgive us, are we somehow more important than God, that the sins that others commit against us are somehow worse than those we have committed against God? We must repent, to break up that soil, and allow the seed to have room to grow. Otherwise the hardened heart is not nurturing and the seed dies.
And Some Fell Amongst Thorns…
The next seed sprouts up amongst thorns and the thorns choke them out. Baby plants are vulnerable, especially those worth anything. It seems weeds and thorn bushes are ferocious in growth compared to other plants like a grapevine which takes years to be established. I have multifloral rose bushes here and they grow so thick and dense and become this big, thorny, prison that becomes impenetrable in a very short time. This seed is choked out by the thorns overpowering it for resources. Sunlight & water. We know the Bible makes reference to Jesus being both of these things – the light and the water. The thorns are hostile, actively they are attacking the volnurable little seedlings basic needs for survival. The thorns can be anything that you hold onto that separates you from God. Riches, pride,vanity, self glorying in your intellect or accomplishment, anything that is preestablished and destructive. Anything that throws shade on the new sprout. Again this is where repentance comes in, The Holy Spirit can remove all of these obstructions when we repent of them before accepting Christ! See why the Gospel continually says “REPENT AND BE SAVED”.
God prepares the heart through repentance, he makes sure the growing conditions are optimal for his seed to grow! Repentance prepares the plot of your heart to receive the Gospel and be fruitful!
And the fourth group is the group that actually hears it, has the soil to nurture it, and the space to allow it to get the resources it needs to flourish that actually produces fruit. A bountiful harvest of a hundred, sixty or thirty fold. So as we go out planting seeds for God bare this in mind, the Bible says only 1 and 4 is successful. That’s not my opinion on it, that’s what the Bible says. I would also conclude, that much like the Farmers Almanac is given each year to farmers to help them reap the most at harvest time, Jesus is telling us here what will aid us in successfully sharing The Gospel.
Prayer Preps The Receivers Heart!
Start by praying that the receiver is open and willing and praying that outer influences that might want to sweep in and steal it are kept away. Pray that God starts working on their hearts, that the soil is loosening and all weedy thornbushes are shriveling and dying at the root, that their heart will be receptive to the Gospel. Pray that they are being called to repentance to really get that ground good and ready for planting. Then when you drop the seed, it has a much better chance of growing to fruition!