Summary: The key to a fruitful and abundant life is with our response to the Word. The way we receive the Word is critical to having a fruitful and blessed life. The seed is productive only if the soil is receptive. The Word is good seed; are you the good soil?

This is a parable.

Jesus explains: “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man” (Mt 13:37)

• The field is the world, people of the world (13:38).

• And the seed is the Word of God.

The sower throws seed onto the ground. God is speaking to the world.

• The seed falls onto the ground without discrimination.

• The Word of God is preached to all men, no favouritism.

• The Lord says in Matt 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

• God’s desire is to see all men hear the truth and be saved.

Every seed that is sown has the potential to bear fruit.

• Jesus says it can yield a crop 30, 60 or even a 100 times what is sown.

• In order words, God’s Word can change our life.

• It can bring us an abundant and fruitful life, if you receive it well.

In Jesus’ time, a 7-fold harvest was considered to be a very good harvest.

• So a harvest of even 30-fold would have been miraculous, not to mention 60 or a 100-fold.

• God can bless you in miraculous ways, if we would just believe His Word.

The problem is not with the seed.

• The Word of God, if understood and believed, will bring fruit in our lives.

• Heb 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword…” NKJV

• Jesus says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

The seed can bring fruits. The Word of God can bring a change to our lives.

• Even our faith in God “comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.” (Rom 10:17)

• The Word of God gives us hope in life. We find comfort and peace through the Word of God.

So the seed is good. The Word is effective.

• If we see no fruit, according to the parable, it has to do with the ground that the seed falls on.

• Jesus says it has to do with our response to the Word.

The key to a fruitful and abundant life is with our response to the Word.

• The big difference between a dry and dying life, and one that is fruitful and blessed, is simply this: Our attitude towards the Word.

The seed can fall on the hard and dry path. It is rejected.

• It cannot penetrate the heart. There is no place for God in their lives.

• Rom 3:18 says “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

The Word of God cannot live. It cannot even get started. The Word never sinks in.

• The problem is not a lack of understanding. It is an unwillingness to receive.

• The Lord says in Ezek 3:7 that the people of Israel “are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate.”

The seed can fall on soil full of rocks.

• The Word is received with enthusiasm at the beginning but something happens.

• Hardship and trouble come, as they always do.

• And people cannot understand why God would allow something like this to happen. They become angry with God and turn away.

The seed can fall on soil full of thorns.

• Jesus describes them as “the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things.” (13:22)

• The Word really has no chance to grow.

• Worldly pursuits squeezed it out of the soil. God is pushed out to the sidelines.

• He is not in the game. He is the passive watcher while you struggle through the game of life on your own.

All these describe the different responses we have to the Word of God.

• Are you listening? Are you really listening? That’s the key.

• Jesus says we need to be the good soil if you want to have an abundant harvest; a blessed life.

• The difference between the good soil and the others is that they “hear the word and accept it”.

The way we receive the Word is critical to having a fruitful and blessed life.

The seed is productive only if the soil is receptive.

Our hearts cannot be hard – we must listen, believe and obey the Word.

• We can expect a bumper harvest – 30, 60 or 100-fold harvest – not because we are talented or skilful, because God’s Word is true.

• We have an abundant life today because we heard His Word, and believed it.

• Jesus says, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (Jn 6:63)

In our zeal to serve the Lord, it’s easy to think that it’s our responsibility to produce fruit in our life.

• This causes us to place too much faith in our ability and too little faith in God’s.

• What is needed today is a desire to hear and understand God’s Word, to listen and obey.

I read a fable about a man who was browsing in a store when he made the shocking discovery that God was behind a sales counter.

So the man walked over and asked, "What are You selling?"

God replied, "What does your heart desire?"

The man said, "I want happiness, peace of mind, and freedom from fear… for me and the whole world."

God smiled and said, "I don’t sell fruit here. Only seeds."

We want fruits, but we are not accepting the seeds.

• We are not listening, not hearing Him out, we have little faith in His Word, and we are not obeying Him…

• But then we want to see fruits – we want God to bless us, we want a good life.

• This parable tells us the fruit will only come when we receive the seeds into our heart, and let them sink in.

When we accept His Word – believe and do what He says - we’ll see fruits – 30-fold, 60-fold, and even a 100-fold, more than we ask or think.

• God expects a harvest. God expects us to grow, and to grow, we must be receptive to His Word.

• When our heart is saturated with His Word, there is no room for fear or anxiety.

• When we have a need, we go to the Word of God.

God is still sowing His seed today. The seed will continue to grow.

• God does not play favourites. Even when men refuse to accept the Word, God still gives them an opportunity to hear and respond.

• God’s goodness is not determined by our response – it is founded upon His character.

• He loves you, and He wants to speak to you. So we treasure every opportunity we have to listen, and to study His Word.

• All it takes is a humble heart that is willing to accept the Word.

What kind of a soil are you?

Your response to His Word will determine your fruitfulness in life.

If you take a look at your life this morning and realize that you are not growing spiritually, then it could be because you have been hardening your heart to what God is trying to teach you.

Just like the farmer and the path, God has been sowing seeds but your heart has become too hard to receive them.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matt 5:6).

• If we keep our heart soft and receptive, God’s Word will take root, grow, and produce fruit.

• We can’t make ourselves grow, any more than we can force growth from the seeds in our gardens.

• But we can tend the soil, keeping our hearts soft, receptive, and obedient to God’s Word. Then we will yield the fruit of righteousness.

God’s Word is good seed. Is your heart good soil?

God’s desire is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9)

• Everyone is given an opportunity to respond to God in some way.

• Jesus said in Rev. 3:20 “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

Are you listening? Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart.

• He has been knocking in many ways and by means of many people.

• If you heard Him, you need to respond.

• Invite Him into your life today.