Summary: Part two of the series where we look at the soils that God's Word ministers too. We quickly see that the Word of God is powerful enough to minister to any soil given that God has prepared it to be seeded by the Word of God.
Let’s look at the different heart conditions mentioned in this parable.
I. A Hard Heart. (Uninterested Heart)
Verse 4: “And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.”
Fields in Israel were small and were separated from one another by paths that became like concrete from all the people and animals walking on them.
The seed that hit this hard ground would just lie there until the birds gobbled it up.
Today it would be like throwing grass seed on the sidewalk.
We all know people like this- no time for the things of God. You mention God and they get defensive and tell you what a good person they are and how much kindness they spread in the world. They don’t need God to be a good person. There not as bad as so and so. Look at all the hypocrites in the church, I a better than them.
Verse 15: “And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them.”
There two forces in the world today- God and Satan- both physically unseen, we don’t see angels floating around and we do not see red man with a pitch fork, but we see both active in the world today. God in the midst of all this evil and selfishness still does miracles, but it is back page news. We still see people risking their lives to help the underdog, third world countries in poverty, we still see people spreading the good news of God in times where a society would rather praise a noted criminal than turn their lives over to God. Wait hours in a line to watch a sports event but cannot give God a n hour of their time on a Sunday morning.
The phrase, “takes away” means, “to seize with force, to rob.” Notice that Satan does this immediately. He loves to bring confusion and to cause callousness when the gospel is communicated.
When we do not accept the things of God intentional and desire to bury the truths of God deep in our hearts, we allow Satan to steal, kill, and destroy the things God intended us to have.
I think each one of us can relate to the hard heart, I think we all relate to each different heart here because we have been at each level and hopefully we will let God work in us to the perfection of our faith.
I know the hard heart.
I know the shallow heart.
I know the selfish heart.
I am working on the humble heart- With God’s help.
Are there any hard hearts here today? Do you feel cold or calloused? Have the feet of others beat you into a hard place? Have you been trampled upon? Do you have protracted pain or has bitterness put you in a bad place? Have you been burned in the past, maybe even by a church, and you’ve locked your heart into a vault? God wants to touch that heart in you. Then He wants to use you to reach other hard hearts.
When you go and sow, the kingdom of God will grow.
II. A Rocky Heart. (Shallow Heart)
Verses 5-6: “Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.”
In that part of the world, much of the land was solid rock with just a thin layer of soil on top. The sun would bake the rock, which would keep the soil warm, thus causing the seed to germinate quickly. But because there was no root system, these plants would wither and die.
When these people hear the message, they become very exuberant and emotional.
Look at verse 16: “And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy.”
Pastor, I loved your message.
The people are so…..friendly here.
I want to get involved.
I want to give to this…
This soil looks ready but the problem comes when problems come. (Repeat)
Because of their emotional enthusiasm, their roots didn’t go down deep as we see in verse 17:
“But since they have no root, they last only a short time.”When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.”
Trouble comes because of the Word- remember the word is powerful and it begins to cut away things that God wants out of our lives- the problem comes when we do not want to let God cut it out.