Summary: We know in farming & agriculture that long before a harvest is reaped there has been some ploughing of the soil. Any farmer can tell you that the idea of reaping a crop without ploughing the soil is ludicrous! Is it any different with the soil of the hear
“The call of the ploughman”
Intro: *** Yesterday at the in-laws I did something I had never done b/4 ….. at least not w/ a machine. I ploughed some ground for my father in-law w/ a rotary hoeing machine. At first I found it quite a task to control & manoeuvre the machine but after a bit of perseverance I got the hang of it. B/4 too long there was a patch of ground all freshly ploughed& rid of the things that prevented the soil from being fruitful.
This pict is one we see in the Bible ….. the ground / soil needing ploughed is the soil of our hearts.
The pict in the W.o.G. id that of ground that had b/co so calloused that it can no longer even sustain life.
Effectively Gods says …… when I look into the hearts of men, that’s what I see!
Fortunately its not a hopeless situation, there is hope for hearts that are getting to the point where they will no longer even sustain life.
When we think about your heart God says that its His plan to make a place that is teaming w/ life & fruitfulness.
Speaking about just such a heart in the parable of the sower Jesus says that its His will for the soil of your heart to be fertile & in such good condition that it would abound in fruitfulness.
Matthew 13:23 ( NKJV ) 23But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
For our hearts but also the hearts of others to b/co like fields that abound w/ fruitfulness there is going to have to be a serious commitment to the ploughing of the soil.
This is something that you personally are going to have to make a commitment to.
I want to preach a sermon t/m on ‘The call of the ploughman’.
Text: Hosea 10:12 ( NKJV ) 12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
# 1. The soil we plough.
A. The first field we plough is the soil of our own hearts.
a. The term the Bible uses to speak to soil that won’t bear / produce fruit is ‘fallow’.
i. When the Bible refers to fallow ground it is speaking about the condition of a human heart.
ii. That’s b/c the heart like soil left to itself goes through a process of hardening!
iii. Left to itself ground b/co covered in weeds, b/co compacted & develops all kinds of problems that make it unable to bear fruit – it b/co worse off, not better off.
Hebrews 3:12-13 ( NKJV ) 12Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
iv. This is something that doesn’t just happen in a single day but over a period of time.
b. What hardens our hearts is sin & unbelief.
i. The writer of Hebrews here is speaking to Christian people, people who go to church & believe in God.
ii. Think about it! How do we define unbelief?
iii. To answer that question ….. what is belief? Believing / belief as we all know is not just hearing & agreeing w/ the Word but also doing the Word.
James 1:22 ( NKJV ) 22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
iv. So if this is true it means that unbelief is to hear the Word & not do it!
c. You can’t be a believer if you haven’t even heard the truth to begin w/.
i. But if you hear the truth continually & don’t do it / obey it you b/co hardened to that truth.
ii. Think about the definition of hardened …….. it lit = to make indurate / stubborn / harsh insensitive.
*** There is a story about a man by the name of Herecles a Greek man who was so fat that he would pass out from eating! His physicians to try to wake him would take skewers & push them into the fat trying to find a nerve & wake him from his unconsciousness.
The problem w/ Herecles was that he had b/co so fat that he had lost much of his sensitivity / feeling.
iii. The other definition of hardened is the thought of ‘unimpressionable’ – just like plasticine can be taken & moulded / impressed into certain shapes & forms your heart can lose this ability.