January 10, 2024
- By Ed Powell
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"But other seeds fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold." Matthew 13:8
Jesus often spoke to the people in a parable to illustrate and apply--through familiar, everyday experiences in life--spiritual truth to their lives. Living largely in an agricultural society, Jesus is here using an account of a sower casting seed over a field. Scattering the seed by hand, he was throwing it in all directions. He realized that some of the seed would fall on unproductive ground, but he expected most to fall on fertile ground and bring a harvest. Jesus gives four examples that relate to the reception of the gospel as it is spread among the people.
"When he sowed, some of the seeds fell by the wayside, and the fowls came and devoured them." This relates to those who come under the sound of the gospel, are attentive, and follow the form and traditions exercised in the service. Their minds are occupied with "other things"--plans, business, pleasure, relationships. They hear but they do not respond nor give place to the Word that is preached. Satan, like the fowls of the air, hovers over them to catch the seed, diverting their minds from the truth.
"Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth, and forthwith they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth." These hear the Word gladly, but their affections are like a thin layer of earth upon a rock. They are attracted by the "novelty" of the gospel: It delights their mind, they are moved by the sufferings of Christ, and they are impressed with the promises of God. Immediately, they begin to make a "profession" of faith. However, when tribulation comes, their profession withers and is burned up, because the seed was never rooted in their understanding or will. "And some fell among thorns: and the thorns sprung up, and choked them." They maintain a regard for the gospel, associate with believers, and try to be consistent in their character and profession, but the fruit they produce is not "perfect." Their hearts were never purged from the "thorns." Care and pleasures corrode their lives; there is always something they desire more than real holiness; there is lack of focus upon God. Therefore, "things" choke out the seed and it is unfruitful.
"But other seeds fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit." These receive the Word with humility, desiring to be instructed, applying the Word to their lives, and having a hunger and thirst in their hearts to grow in grace. They are receptive and responsive to the Holy Spirit and bear abundant fruit. Let me challenge you. Look within your life.
Examine and judge yourself to see which of the four examples characterizes your life the most. Oh, that we might "plow into our hearts" the seed of God's Word by faith, meditation, and prayer...and so labor that there may be a bountiful harvest! May we have the desire to have the seed fall on good ground of a receptive heart and responsive spirit.
Satan seeks to divert our attention, encumber our lives, and cause us to be unresponsive to every "planting of the seed" in our hearts. May we be sensitive to God seeking to draw us to Himself that we may be fruitful. It is only as He lives His Life through us that there will be any fruit for eternity and for His glory..."by their fruit ye shall know them."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2024-01-10
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