Summary: The Word of God is sown into our heart & it must come to fruition within our heart. The condition of our heart determines the fruition of the Word of God that is sown.
[Matters of the Heart Series]
RESPONSES OF THE HEART
LUKE 8: 11-15
[Mt. 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Isa. 55:10-11]
Here we have the various responses of the heart to the Word of God illustrated in the Parable of the Sower. The Word of God is sown into our heart and it must come to fruition within our heart. The condition of our heart determines the fruition of the Word of God that is sown (CIT). [If we respond to the Word of God out of a desire to be obedient to God we will become responsible and productive believers.]
The story itself is a simple lesson from every day life. Farmers sow with different results. All seeds, even those hand sown do not hit the target, nor is every seed left alone to germinate in the warm soil. Much seed never germinates. But good seed in good soil brings abundance fruitfulness.
The parable teaches that if we hear God’s Word, believe it and hold fast to it we can be “good soil” in which the Word of God multiplies and bears fruit abundantly. Make sure you are good ground, make sure you have a receptive fertile heart for the Word of God so that you may produce the wonderful harvest the Lord of the harvest so desires you to product.
To Jesus the Word was God’s unique revelation to mankind. Not everyone truthfully embraces its message, but those who do yield a life of God honoring fruitfulness. To embrace and follow the message of Jesus is to become a fruitful blessing.
Jesus ended His parable of the sower, seed and soil by calling out, He who has ears to hear, let him hear. Jesus calling out denotes that He was making the major point. The expression, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” describes the fact that receptive hearts can discern the intended spiritual meaning of a parable. The implication is that unspiritual people would understand no more than the parable’s surface meaning.
It is also very revealing that right after Jesus told His disciples the meaning of the parable, He says in verse 18, "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." How we listen and respond to God, as He speaks to us, will determine the amount of growth and spiritual fruit we will produce. The condition of your heart will determine what God’s Word can do in your life Another way to say it is that the condition of our heart will determine what happens to the Word of God’s Word that comes to us throughout our life. Only if we listen with receptive hearts to God’s Word will it produce or yield its fruit.
I. THE HARD HEART, 12.
II. THE SHALLOW HEART, 13.
III. THE DISTRACTED HEART, 14.
IV. THE GOOD HEART, 15.
[BACKGROUND] The parable of the sower contains a mystery that the disciples have the privilege to learn while outsiders are blinded and unable to see its truth. Before the coming of the Holy Spirit the disciples did not fully understand the parable either. But they had the desire and faith to speak up and ask Jesus. What God speaks and what God teaches, He will explain to those disciples who follow Him.