Luke 8.1-21 Parable of the Sower.doc

Intro: I love to study the gospels because it allows us to clearly see our Lord - Catch His heart / Understand His ways

  1. And as we behold the picture of Him given to us in the word - a

transformation takes place in our lives

  1. Paul spoke of this in 2 Cor. 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
  1. Now Paul says that we are beholding Him as in a mirror - what does a

mirror do ? IT REFLECTS

  1. The reason this transformation begins to take place IN OUR LIVES as we behold the Lord in His word is the scriptures become like a mirror
    1. A mirror that reflects the condition of our hearts and reveals what is different from in our lives / from Jesusí life.

E) So as we look at Jesus / Like Isa. We see ourselves - I am undone

 

James picks up on the mirror idea James 1:23

23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.

  1. This is a great illustration of the Bible as a mirror because when we look at it we are seeing ourselves in light of Godís standard - JESUS
  1. We see Jesus - immediately think - I need to change !!!!

 

 

 

  1. We have that same feeling when we get up & look in the mirror each

morning - WOW!!! / I need to change / talking over haul

1) There is an active aggressive attitude & action that goes w/ that need

sometimes / major repair work

  1. As a result we get in the shower - brush our teeth - comb our hair - if you are a lady - might put on some make up Perfume
    1. guys cologne / Out of the PJís & into something more presentable to wear our in public
  1. I see that all of you did that this morning - and so did I / Now for some the process took 20 minutes / others several hrs.

1)Now why do we do that? Well to be truthful - We are concerned

about How we Look - because how we look refection where we are at

  1. We donít want to look like a bum - if we are not one - so we actively approach making ourselves look presentable

 

THE SAME IS TRUE SPIRITUALLY We come to the mirror of Godís word seeing changes that need to take place - and we actively involve ourselves in that process

  1. That PROCESS IS A PROGRESS PURSUIT - that says I am willing to be changed !
    1. And the thing we need to realize is there are no short cuts in that in that process / Canít cut corners
  1. Physically Some of you gals know this from experience - your late for work / so you decide Iíll put my make up on in the car
    1. We see you out on I-5 or HWY 78 - really amazing how you do this
  1. Knee on the steering wheel - the rear view mirror is turned toward you / the car has become a PARLOR so to speak - / somehow you pull it off.
    1. But I wonder how many of you ladies find yourself - once you get to work -and get in front of a real mirror - WHAT DID I DO??
  1. Now in some regards that is a poor analogy because some of you gals have mastered that whole process. But get the picture - no shorts cuts
    1. Same is true spiritually

 

Now the reason I have taken the time to preface this portion of scripture we are going to look at today w/ this truth

A)Is because this portion of scripture is such a good analogy of the idea of that mirrored image !

  1. You see the Bible declares that our hearts reveal our true condition / where we are really at
  1. So today as we look at this Parable we see 4 types of hearts

represented

  1. And as we look at this parable today we are each going to see ourselves in some light
    1. Familiar passage - but I pray we can see some fresh insight today

Read.v1-8 8:1 Now it came to pass, afterward, that He went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him, 2 and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities; Mary called Magdalene, out of whom had come seven demons, 3 and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.

COMMENT GROUP OF LADIES -

 

4 And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable:

5 "A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it.

6 "Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. 7 "And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.8 "But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold." When He had said these things He cried, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" COMMENT

  1. A "Parable" is the using of a KNOWN subject to ILLUSTRATE

and reveal a HIDDEN truth.

  1. So Jesus takes something that the LISTENER of His day knew a great

deal about...... "Sowing" and "Seed".....

1) In order to teach them something that they knew nothing about:

The UNSEEN response of the heart of man to the Word of God.

  1. Jesus describes a farmer a Sower going out to sow seed - Bag take the seed in his hand & fling it out .

  1. Now they didnít have the same type of machinery in that day as we do today - so their fields were different - Israel rocky terrain anyway

  1. Picture a big field - not necessarily plowed - and in between the farms was a hard path way - used to access your field.

  1. Often times the farmer wouldnít know what the ground was like harvest time - indicated by the crop - produced

  1. Jesus describes 4 types of soil the seed falls on / Hard / Stony/ thorny/ good!

 

 

Now Jesus gives us the primary interpretation of this parable in v. 9-15

9 Then His disciples asked Him, saying, "What does this parable mean?"

10 And He said, "To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that 'Seeing they may not see, And hearing they may not understand.' 11 "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 "Those by the wayside or pathway are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved. 13 "But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away. 14 "Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

So Jesus describes here the primary interpretation - THE SEED IS THE WORD OF GOD - GOSPEL - or really any true teaching

  1. Now think about this for a minute - A seed is that which has life in it / it is active - put it in dirt little water - starts to move

a) Peter touches on this in 1 Pet. 1:23 When he says we have been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,

  1. The Bible & specifically the gospel message is likened to seed - ACTIVE & LIVING / ABIDING

  1. Isa. 55:11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

  1. Isa. Presents a picture of the word - being active it accomplishes what the Lord desires / it goes out / doesnít return void.

  1. So the WORD IS like this seed and our hearts are like a piece of dirt /

like soil - but the seed only produces fruit in one kind of soil.

The 4 different soils are 4 different hearts - the hearts of 4 diff. Individuals & their response to the word.

A) So that is the primary interpretation / Break this down in a moment

  1. But I believe there is a secondary interpretation that really applies to those of us here who have been walking w/ the Lord for a while !

  1. That is that the 4 soils represent - 4 different places w/ in our own hearts as it relates to the hearing & receiving of Godís word

  1. And the bearing of fruit in every area of our lives - spiritually speaking !

  1. NOTE One field - not 4 diff. Fields / but one field w/ 4 different types of

soil / I will explain this as we go along!

 

1ST SOIL - PATHWAY GROUND

  1. The fields had these paths going thru them where people would pass / or access their field there would be a road side next to the field

  1. The Pathway soil represents the HARD HEART - the heart that has been walked on & taken advantage of so many times - NO TRUST

  1. Hurt too many times / by professed Christians who didnít act like one

/ by other people / and by Just life in general -

  1. Some how you associate those past experiences are w/ the Lord & there is a resistance to the Word

  1. If God was really there He wouldnít allow those things to happen to

me.

D) So when the Word is presented to you there is this - RESISTANCE & the Devil comes and snatches the seed before it even has time to take root.

  1. Because he only wants to keep you in bondage / bitterness & guilt

But lets Consider the secondary application as well - I believe that even as mature believers we can have areas where - hearts are hard

  1. EXAMPLE - Some Christian women have a real problem in the area of submission - to their husbands

  1. Whenever the subject is brought up in a teaching - they tune out

SELECTIVE LISTENERS

  1. Women who love the Lord - who are fruitful in many areas of their life - but when it comes to this particular - aspect - real hardness

  1. That results in a barrenness in their marriage

  1. There is fruit in so many different areas of the field but that is an area / that they are hard & resisting - no fruit what so ever

  1. Sad thing is that hardness will spread if it is not dealt w/

  1. Now that is one analogy but I think we all have those areas / that when they are brought up / we get uncomfortable - tune out /

  1. Aaron is sharp - sometimes tries to give / Amy advice / Amy can be stubborn - fingers in her ears I am not listening -

1) We do that same thing w/ the Lord

F) But if we are going to grow & bear fruit in every area of our lives

spiritually - there needs to be a softening in our lives to those areas

  1. There can not be a RESISTNCE in our hearts to any part of Godís

word if we are going to bear much fruit

 

Lets MOVE TO 2ND TYPE OF SOIL - SEED SOWN AMONG ROCKS / STONY GROUND - SHALLOW HEART

  1. In Israel much of the Land is a thin two or three inch veneer of soil over a Limestone bedrock

B) THE PROBLEM in this case is that there is NO DEPTH of soil for the seed to get roots down to get life sustaining moisture.

  1. We have seen many of this type of HEARER. / They are not openly

hostile towards the Lord.

  1. When they hear of the love of God they respond eagerly./ V. 13 receive the word with joy;

  1. But often times their response is only a emotionally response - there is a realization of the need of a savior / & a conviction of sin -

E) In THAT moment they profess faith in Jesus and their faith appears to be sincere.

1) Maybe There were even tears and smiles.

  1. There appears to be life in them..... They begin coming to fellowship

regularly.

 

BUT THEN THE SUN COMES UP AND THINGS START TO GET HOT!!

A) trials invade - difficulties arise

B) They actually have to LIVE for Jesus and STAND for Jesus before their friends or in their jobs. AT FIRST they stand up to it

  1. but it becomes too much for them./ they begin to fade/ TO WITHER

  1. They begin to come to church without the zeal they had at first.

  1. They begin to miss church - then suddenly donít see them anymore at

all

  1. they begin to associate once more with their old friends or get involved in their old habits

1) until TRAGICALLY they are back to living the same life as before.

 

Matthew's Gospel adds this light to the Parable: Matt. 13:21 "yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

  1. Now We are told in the Word of God that these same things

persecution, trials & Trib / STRENGTHEN TRUE FAITH in Christ.

  1. Such things APPROVE faith.

B) But The faith of this listener is not saving faith at all./ Never rooted

  1. And Because their was NO DEPTH of commitment they forsake the

Lord.

C) They had not reckoned the cost of following Jesus & when the difficulties come they wither up and die.

D) Their hearts were not truly affected by His great love.

  1. They were moved, but not in the depth of their hearts so as to commit all to Him who loved them and died for them!!

NOW AGAIN CONSIDERING THIS SECONDARY APPLICATION THERE ARE PLACES IN OUR HEARTS / NO DEPTH

  1. We are all in this process of needing to be changed - we know God wants to work - we need to be changed

  1. And so we come to church - hear a message / convicted / moved & perhaps come forward for prayer or purpose in our hearts to apply

  1. But as soon as things start to heat up / trials start - they say forget this I will just stay the way that I am.

  1. There is a saying in working out - NO PAIN / NO GAIN - If you are really going to get in shape & see results - it is going to hurt

  1. The same thing is true spiritually speaking - because the growth process in our lives - involves a dying to self / a breaking of pride

  1. And self sufficiency - that transformation - can be painful

 

NEXT SOIL IS THE THORNY SOIL DISTACTED HEART - Here there is NO LACK of SOIL/ PLENTY OF DIRT & DEPTH / also THORNS

  1. Jesus describes The "cares, riches, and pleasures of life" as the

"thorns and briars" that "choke" spiritual life.

B) This person hears the word & is moved by it / and convicted / the seed

goes down deep - takes root And even sprouts

1)but never bears any fruit - / Doesnít come to maturity V.14 / Fruit but

it is Sour & inedible

  1. because before that takes place - the word gets choked out by The

cares, riches & pleasure

NOTE THIS JESUS MENTIONS 3 THINGS THAT CHOKE OUT THE WORD - Cause us to not be fruitful cares, riches & pleasure

A) Mark 4: 18 "Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,

19 "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

B) Letís break this down because we see many of this kind of hearer.

1) They BELIEVE what they are hearing and ARE NOT OPPOSED to

the Word.

C) But their hearts are busied with other concerns other than the concerns of God and thus there is NO ROOM for God to work in their hearts.

CARES OF THIS LIFE ? Worries & concerns over finances / bills / just stuff - Never let go of - Word never has affect

A) We are such a busy culture - so many things that demand our time &

attention. So easy to get caught up in the cares of this world

  1. Enemies biggest tactics - Focused on other things -

  1. Instead of seeking Jesus

 

2nd DECIETFULNESS OF RICHES

  1. I like that def. The deceitfulness of riches - because there are so many people who are - deceived into thinking - just a little more happy

  1. But They are never satisfied !

  1. "Money, " says the managing editor of Money magazine, "has become the new sex in this country," meaning that money is the number-one obsession of Americans.

  1. What makes a person a materialist? Even secular dictionary definitions speak of emphasizing material things to the neglect of spiritual things.

  1. This preoccupation with the world is not a matter of merely having

things; it involves being obsessed with them

D) 55:1 "Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy?

SUCH A TRAP & DECEPTION !!!!!!

3rd WORLDLY PURSUITS / DESIRE FOR OTHER THINGS

NOTE: I believe that this is the PREDOMINANT SOIL in America &

So. California today

A) There are Thousands of things which are innocent in and of themselves that are pursued to excess

  1. and thus the Word of God is choked off in the lives of such hearers.

B) Guys We have too many distractions that can "choke" the Word of God.

  1. NOTE: OPEN SIN is not the only thing which will keep you from

Christ.

D) The love of other things will choke off the Word and keep it from bearing fruit..... love for Christ...... in your life.

1) We need to GUARD our hearts from such cares.

Radio personality Paul Harvey tells the story of how an Eskimo kills a wolf.

"First the Eskimo coats his knife blade with animal blood and allows it to freeze. Then he adds another layer of blood, and another, until the blade is completely concealed by frozen blood."

"Next, the hunter fixes his knife in the ground with the blade up.

When a wolf follows his sensitive nose to the source of the scent and discovers the bait he licks it, tasting the fresh, frozen blood.

He begins to lick faster, more and more vigorously, lapping the blade until the keen edge is bare. Feverishly the wolf licks the blade harder and harder / So great is his craving for blood that the wolf doesn't notice the razor sharp sting of the naked blade on his tongue nor does he recognize the instant at which his insatiable thirst is being satisfied by his own warm blood.

His appetite just craves more -- until the dawn finds him dead in the snow!"

THE SAME IS TRUE OF THE PERSON WHO HEARS THE WORD BUT IS CHOKED OUT the CARES RICHES & PLEASURES

 

AGAIN SECONDARY INTERPRETATION - TO THE CHRISTIAN -

HEARS A WORD - WANTS GOD TO WORK BUT he is distracted by the cares of this world & pursuits of riches

A) Such a listener feels that Jesus is right and His promises are good......

Yet he sees the "cares, riches and pleasures of life" as equally good.

B) You might say: "I don't see those things as equally desirable as the Lord"

C) Question If that is true, then why do you spend SO MUCH on those supposedly less important things and so little time on the Lord?

  1. That is the REAL proof of our commitment.

Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

A) "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul?"

1) Quest. What is it that means the "whole world" to you?

  1. LEARN A LESSON FROM THE FROG

the frog's optical field of perception is like a blackboard wiped clean, and that the only images it receives are objects that directly concern him -- such as his natural enemies or the food he needs for survival. Therefore these amphibious little creatures are never distracted by unimportant things, but are aware only of essentials and whatever may be dangerous to them.

In the Christian life we frequently become preoccupied with the vain things of the world. We allow our lives to become so cluttered with materialistic and insignificant concerns that we lose perspective of the "things that endure

Psa. 119:37 37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, And revive me in Your way.

Prov. 30:8-9 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny YOU, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

LAST SOIL - GOOD GROUND - HEART THAT IS SOFT & RECEPTIVE TO GODíS WORD - TO GOSPEL

15 "But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience.

  1. Only GOOD SOIL produces fruit. The heart that is "Noble" is the

HEARER that will bear fruit.

B) Noble - Means honest and good

Honest - Speaks of being honest before God concerning his sin

Good - Means generous self-abandonment, overflowing devotion

C) NOTE Such soil does NOT exist in the heart of man by nature.

Such hearts are the product of the work of God.....

 

So How do we get the other soils to the place of being good

  1. Softened - water of the word - work of the Spirit

1st Not saved - Ezk. 36 God can change the hard heart

  1. Stony ground - needs to be plowed - Hosea 10:12 Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

C) Let the roots get deep God wants to take you beyond the superficial to a DEEP and LASTING relationship with Jesus Christ.

  1. Perhaps you have been listening for years with openness..... BUT have never seen any real and lasting fruit in your life

1)and you know that your heart is full of "THORNS"

E) God wants to begin to UPROOT those things that have been "CHOKING OFF" the Word of God in your life.

1) Thorns - needs to be cleared -

F) Thorns - SEE THAT ETERNITY MATTERS

 

 

RESULT - OF GOOD SOIL - NOTE 3 THINGS INCLUDE V.16-21 IN THIS BEACAUSE ALL DEAL W/ HEARING

1ST BEARS FRUIT

2ND THAT PERSON SHINES -

3rd PROOF OF BEING A Child

 

No matter which soil most speaks of your heart and thus represents the kind of hearer that you are, the Bible declares that all three failures can be changed

A) Perhaps you've sat and heard of the "nail pierced hands" of JESUS and those words fell like seed upon HARD GROUND.

B) Let me tell you tonight, God can break even the hardest of hearts and make them fit for His Word!!

Luke 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear:

For the unbeliever

Perhaps tonight the Lord has prepared the soil of your heart for the Gospel

RESPOND to Him and give your life to Jesus

For the Christian

Ask God to keep the soil of your heart GOOD

Pray for Good Soil in the hearts of your unsaved friends