Summary: A sermon about the parable of the sower: preparing the soil, sowing the seed, watering the seed, pulling weeds, and waiting for the harvest.
Luke, Chapter 8: We’re going to talk this morning…If I had to say there were three or four passages of Scripture that I think are very important to my life personally, I would say the prodigal son is by far my favorite, my favorite parable that’s ever been written. We’re going to talk about that later in Luke Chapter 15. I also love the story of the Good Samaritan; it’s one of my favorite stories. It’s so rich; there’s so many things in the Good Samaritan. And we’re going to talk about that too. It’s coming up in Luke.
But this morning, I want to talk to you about the law of the farm. The law of the farm. I mentioned a minute ago that 3 ½ years ago, over 3 ½ years ago, we had a tragedy on our campus. And it was, it was such a dark day. And I get asked all the time, “How in the world is New Life Church not a big used car lot because that what, really, there’s no church in American history—Bill Heigel’s told me this, he said, “Brady, there’s not a single church in American history that has undergone two death blows like your fellowship has and has survived, much less thrived. Last year, last year we baptized nine hundred people last year. [Applause] You know that? Nine hundred people baptized last year.
And I’ll be looking for more than that this year. And I don’t care about attendance. I don’t ask about attendance. Pastor Garvin will tell you. I’m not fixated on it. I don’t care. Pastors ask me all the time how big is New Life? I say I don’t know. I know my family and I go there. I have no idea, I don’t care. I don’t fixate on attendance. What I do know is God is among us. The lampstand of God is among us. There’s life happening here. There’s peoples’ hearts being changed here. There’s friendships and families being formed here. And for that I am thankful.
So pastors ask me all the time, “Well, you know”—and I’m speaking at a couple of pastors’ events in the next couple of months. And the question is “How in the world did all that happen? You guys should not exist. You guys should be like a small gathering of people trying to figure out how to gracefully sell the building.” And honestly that’s what should have happened. But somewhere along the way, God showed me something. And I have watched it happen among us.
What I’m going to share this morning is not only I believe a clear picture of what God did in us as a church, but I believe it’s a clear picture of what God wants to do in every one of us in our hearts if you’ll embrace the law of the farm. You know, last week we talked about being disappointed in Jesus, about Jesus going to John the Baptist and not answering all of his prayers. And we talked about each of us last week about having prayers that we prayed to God that were not answered and how that can lead to disappointment.
And I certainly do believe that God is a miraculous God. I believe that God can immediately answer a prayer, He can immediately heal a body, He can immediately bring marriages back together, He can immediately bring the prodigal home. God can do anything immediately. But most often the way God does things in our lives is through a process. And we have to learn as Americans, in our microwave culture, that God is not into microwaving all the time. Most often he’s into marinating. And a lot of times the work of God that happens in our lives is a process. It is something that is formed and shaped over time.
And so I’m going to share this with you this morning in the law of the farm. Luke, Chapter 8: are you there? All right; now I want you to notice something. I’m going to start reading in just a minute in verse 11. But would you look. If you have your Bible open, look down to verse 4 and notice something very important here. In verse 4, it says that Jesus stood before a big crowd and said this parable. Is that what it says there in verse 4 in your Bible—that Jesus was in front of a big crowd and he told this parable about the four types of soil? Now, I’m going to point this out to you because I believe this is important for the way we do church, the way we are as a fellowship.
So Jesus stands before a crowd maybe this size, maybe bigger, smaller—I don’t know. It doesn’t say the number of people who were listening. And he shares, really, about a five or ten minute talk with a big crowd of people. And he gives a parable for them to think about. Then in verse 11, the disciples, the twelve men that he primarily spent his time with, they came to Jesus and said, “Hey, Jesus”—it was probably Peter. Peter probably came to Jesus and said, “Jesus that was a good talk. Man that was good. I mean, they laughed at all your jokes. You were on, man. If you were ever on, you were on this morning. And that message—Wow! Life changing; I will never forget it.