Planting God's Seed; Reaping A Harvest
 

 PLANTING GOD’S SEED; REAPING GOD’S HARVEST # 1

    Scripture Reading: Matt 13:3-9; 1 Thess 2:13

After Jesus told His disciples the parable of the sower sowing his seed, they came to Him and wanted a full explanation of the meaning of the parable. So Jesus proceeded to interpret the parable. We all need to pay very careful attention to Jesus’ explanation as this parable is the foundational truth to learn how to live a victorious Christian life and to see our lives transformed by the power of God’s Word.

 

Jesus interpreted the parable in Matt 13:18-23. He said, 18 "Hear then the parable of the sower.  

1.      THE CARELESS HEARER- THE ONE ON WHOM SEED WAS SOWN BESIDE THE WAYSIDE.

"When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road ( Mt 13: 19) .

The careless hearer does not even let the seed of God’s Word fall on the soil of his heart. The seed of the Word falls by the wayside. That’s why He does not understand the Word of the kingdom.

Notice what Jesus says next, he says that when a man or woman is careless in their approach to listening to God’s Word, then immediately the evil one ( the devil) comes and snatches away the Word. It is most interesting that the Greek word that Jesus uses to describe how the devil “snatches away “the Word is “ harpazo” which meansto snatch away or to steal away with violent force.

Which begs the question: Why is the devil so fearful of the seed of God’s Word being planted firmly in the heart of a believer? The answer is evident. The devil knows the potential and the power of the seed of God’s Word to completely transform the believer’s life. 

2.      THE SHALLOW HEARER-THE ONE ON WHOM SEED WAS SOWN ON THE ROCKY PLACES

"… this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the  word, immediately he  falls away ( Mt 13: 20 – 21) .

The shallow hearer receives the Word into the soil of his heart. However because he ( or she ) does not water this precious seed through delighting in the Word and meditating on the Word, the seed does not have a deep penetration into his heart. Thus the word does not have a deep effect on His life.It does not produce in him godly convictions and spiritual change. It is amazing to see how many believers in the average church remain shallow hearers. Though they hear hundreds of messages every year, they do not let the Word penetrate deep into their hearts. Their spiritual maturity is only an inch deep. Thus when a major trial comes or when they have to endure any persecution from their friends or family or something small offends them, they fall away.

3.      THE DISTRACTED HEARER-THE ONE ON WHOM SEED WAS SOWN AMONG THE THORNS

"And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful ( Mt 13: 22).

How many Christians sit in church but their hearts are far away focused on the, “
cares of their life”?  Instead of listening to God’s eternal and powerful Word which is able to transform their lives and give them wisdom, strength and guidance for their life situations, they are so focused on their life’s problems that the Word of God is rendered ineffective.

Let’s never forget what the apostle Paul said in 1 Thess 2:13. In one literal Greek translation, this is how the verse reads

 “ 13And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe – or in literal Greek - exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it. ( Amplified)

In another Greek translation, this is how this verse is rendered -

And on this account, as for us, we also are constantly giving thanks to God, and that unceasingly, because when you appropriated to yourselves the word of the message which came from us, even the word of God, you welcomed it, not as a word finding its source in men but as it truly is, God's word which is being constantly set in operation in you who believe.(Wuest Expanded Translation)    

Imagine someone sitting in Church focused on all of their life’s situations, while God’s eternal Word  which is able to transform not only them but also their situations, is being preached. Remember, God’s Word is powerful seed which is constantly set in operation ONLY WHEN WE BELIEVE. It exercises its supernatural power ONLY WHEN WE BELIEVE!

4.      THE HONEST HEARER-THE ONE ON WHOM SEED WAS SOWN ON THE GOOD SOIL

"And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty " ( Mt 13: 23).

In another parallel passage in Luke 8: 15, Jesus said something similar. "But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance ( Luke 8: 15).

Think on this. Jesus declares that ONLY the believer who hears the Word with an honest heart will be transformed by the Word. This is the only good soil in which the Word of God can have its full life changing power it is in this believer that the Word of God is CONSTANTLY SET IN OPERATION.

Who is this believer with an honest and good heart ? It is a believer who comes to God with humility and listens to the Word of God with reverence desiring God’s Word to change every aspect of his ( or her ) life.In Isaiah 66: 2, the Lord describes the man with an honest heart.

Thus says the Lord, “But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands”( Isaiah 66: 2) .