Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: In the parable of the sower Jesus speaks about four different kinds of hearers or listeners.

INTRO.- ILL.- An excited little boy was telling his daddy about something that had happened to him that day. His daddy said, "Slow up, honey, you are talking too fast!" His boy shot back at him, "Oh, no, Daddy, I’m not talking too fast. You’re just listening too slow!" ARE YOU LISTENING?

ILL.- It’s been said that we think four to five times faster than we talk. This means that if a speaker talks at 120 words a minute, the audience thinks at about 500 words a minute!

I suppose I need to talk a lot faster in my preaching or else you need to listen slower, otherwise I will put you to sleep.

James 1:19 “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry."

ILL.- The story is told that when Napoleon was making plans to invade England, he was told that an American wanted to see him. "I can give him two minutes," Napoleon said. But two minutes was not long enough to understand the revolutionary idea of a ship propelled by steam. Had Napoleon listened longer to Robert Fulton the history of the world might have been altered.

ARE YOU LISTENING? It pays to listen to the right person, at the right time, and for the right length of time.

After Jesus was transfigured on the mountain, God said in Matthew 17:5 "This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. LISTEN TO HIM!" It always pays to listen to Jesus!

ILL.- An 80-year-old grandfather went to his daughter’s house for Sunday dinner. When the meal was over, he announced that he was going to take a walk through the neighborhood. "I’ll be back in twenty minutes," he said. But two hours had passed before he finally returned. "Sorry I’m late," he said. "But I stopped to talk to an old friend and he just wouldn’t stop listening."

ARE YOU LISTENING? Sometimes it pays to listen a very long time. Especially, when it comes to listening to God in His Word. We should never stop listening to the Word of God.

It pays big dividends to listen to the Lord and learn from Him whether through a sermon, a Sunday School lesson, a radio program, or through your own personal reading of God’s Word.

PROP.- In our text about the parable of the sower Jesus speaks of four different kinds of hearers or listeners.

1- The hard-hearted listener

2- The shallow-hearted listener

3- The clutter-hearted listener

4- The good-hearted listener


Matt. 13:19 "When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path."

The hard-hearted listener is hardened to the Gospel because they can’t seem to understand it or grasp it. Satan snatches any little bit that was sown in that person’s heart before it can start to grow and bear fruit.

ILL.- At one point during a game, the baseball coach said to one of his young players, "Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?" The little boy nodded yes.

"Do you understand that what matters is whether we win together as a team?" The little boy nodded yes.

"So," the coach continued, "when a strike is called, or you’re out at first, you don’t argue or cuss or attack the umpire. Do you understand all that?" Again the little boy nodded.

"Good," said the coach. "Now go over there and explain that to your mother"

Brothers and sisters, there are some things that some people just don’t seem to understand in life! However, understanding all about baseball is not nearly as important as understanding the basics or the essentials of the gospel.

ILL.- Three boys were talking about their fathers. One of them said, “My father is a great professor. When he is talking about a subject, only 10 people in the world can understand him!” The second boy said, “My father is great brain surgeon and when he is talking about his surgery only 5 people in the whole world can understand what he is saying.” The third boy said, “My father is a preacher and when he is preaching nobody can understand what he is saying.”

Col. 4:3-4 "Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly..."

In order to keep Satan from stealing what has been sown in people’s hearts and minds we must make the message of Christ as clear and as interesting as possible!


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Rodney Buchanan

commented on Nov 22, 2006

Steve, your sermons are always insightful and full of great illustrations. Thanks for your faithful and careful preparation.

Sharon Harris

commented on Jul 4, 2011

Thanks Steve! I often use your sermons and illustrations as a resource.

David Buchanan

commented on Dec 3, 2013

Great thoughts and illustrations...Really enjoyed reading it. David Buchanan

Steve Shepherd

commented on Dec 3, 2013

Thanks, David. God bless you!

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