Summary: Illustrated sermon on the parable of the sower
It’s time to listen
ILL: I read about a lady who had a hearing problem. One day she and her husband were driving from Tennessee to Little Rock, Arkansas. They were pulled over by a state trooper who asked if the husband knew how fast he was driving. The wife asked, "What did he say?” The husband replied, "HE ASKED IF I KNEW THAT I WAS SPEEDING.” Looking at the driver’s license the trooper said, "I see you’re not from around here.” The husband said, "No we are from Memphis.” The wife again asked, "What did you say?” The husband told her, "I SAID WE ARE FROM MEMPHIS.” The state trooper then commented, "You know, the meanest woman I ever met was from Memphis.” The wife again asked, "What did he say?” The husband replied, "HE SAYS HE THINKS HE KNOWS YOU!"
A. How many of you think that you are good listeners?
1. They tell us women tend to be better listeners than men.
ILL: Husbands are notorious for being poor listeners. We are all familiar with the scene of a husband reading the newspaper while his wife is trying to talk. His response is "Yes, dear. Uhuh. Mmmm. Is that so?"
But we all know he’s not really listening. Suddenly she pulls down the paper and says, "Have you heard a word I’ve said?”
-Two men were talking one day. One of them said, "My wife talks to herself a lot." His friend answered, "Mine does, too, but she doesn’t know it. She thinks I’m listening."
B. Too often, we feel that we are listening to what God is saying to us, but we really hear only what we want to hear.
I. A Severe Warning about how we hear.
Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him."
A. God desires to speak to us. He desires to reveal His will to us, and to be actively involved in leading us.
"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.
1. Jesus declares that He came to reveal the truth and not to hide it.
2. The warning Christ gives in verse 18 is in reference to hearing that truth and with what you do with it after having heard it.
3. How you listen and what you do with it will determine what you receive.
4. It’s the Law of Use: "Use It or Lose It.”
ILL: Quote from Christianity Today,
“How can you expect to keep your powers of hearing when you never want to listen?”
Blessed is the man who listens to me . . .
"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up.
6Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture.
7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants.
8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown." When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
II. Four Types of Hearers
1. Care-Less Hearers
A. The message goes in one ear and out the other. They could care less what they hear.