Summary: God wants us to invest his Word; how can we do this?
1. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our little worlds that we forget we are building an international Kingdom, the Kingdom of God.
2. Look how silly we act: FAIRBANKS, Alaska, July 19 (UPI) -- Police in Alaska said they arrested a man accused of punching himself in the face and attempting to blame it on his neighbor.
The Fairbanks Department of Public Safety said troopers responded around 11:30 p.m. July 14 to a Fairbanks address when Tony Gesin, 50, called 911 and accused his neighbor of assaulting him, the Fairbanks News-Miner reported Friday.
Gesin told troopers the same story he had told the 911 dispatcher, but he soon admitted he had hit himself in the face because he wanted to have his neighbor arrested.;;[they have been]engaged in a civil dispute about property.
3. Nice to have the Dawsons and Aldridges visit to remind us that life is not just about our tomato plants or where we go out for dinner…
4. God has entrusted us all with seed.. the seed of his Word; we are sowers.
Main Idea: God wants us to invest his Word; how can we do this?
I. We Are to Broadcast Jesus’ Teachings, Not HIDE Them (22-25)
A. Others need INSTRUCTION
1. In this context, not talking about good works, as in Matthew
2. Many illustrations used 2 ways (Satan and Jesus called lions, morning stars]
3. Those of us who understand the Word have a responsibility to spread it!
4. Locally and through missions like Wycliffe
B. God’s Word is MEANT to be understood (clarity/perspicuity)
• We must model the idea of working at understanding Scripture
• One thing I love about our Sunday night Bible study is the questions…
C. Keep learning or LOSE ground
1. Similar in meaning to the parable of the talents…(Matt. 25:14ff)
2. The way to grow in knowledge is to use what you have, keep adding to it…
3. The widows mite…she gave what she had
D. The connection to Ecclesiastes 11:1, 4 and casting BREAD
1. The measure…. Cheap with the kingdom, meager eternal profits…
2. Loss avoidance…
“Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days… He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap.”
E. Procrastination: Waiting for an IDEAL time
Eccl. 11:4, “He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap…”
F. In contrast to mystery religions (initiated only), freely [incorporate into our lives]
II. God Controls How EFFECTIVE the Word Is (26-29)
A. MIDRASH on Ecclesiastes 11:5-6
“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.”
B. He controls the HARVEST
I Corinthians 3:6-7, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
1. The parable of the Sower suggests that God uses we believers to sow the seed
2. Even a three year old can sow seed…anyone with a testimony of faith in Jesus
3. It is an honor to be used of God… to be included… sowing seed is important
4. One heart ache truth: we cannot control the seed [even family]
5. There is mystery: people we think would respond do not and vice-versa
C. We must have CONFIDENCE in the Word!
Isaiah 55:10-11, ““For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Hebrews 4:12, “ For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Many Christians are tired of the Word, have lost confidence in it, or are ashamed at its teachings. Surrender the Word and you surrender Jesus.
III. Being Faithful With Little Can Produce MUCH
A. The mustard seed: the smallest seed farmers SOWED
B. God’s Kingdom can seem small, but it will CONQUER all
A gardener, prompted by curiosity, counted the seed pods on a medium-sized mustard plant. There were 85. The average number of seeds in each pod was eight. Since two crops in a given year could be matured, the gardener figured that it was possible in the interim between February and mid-October to produce a yield of 462,000 seeds, all from one original plant. Many other species of plants far exceed that increase. [Sermon Central, Nick Scarpa]