Summary: Jesus told the Parable about the Sower (or Farmer, as I've written throughout). This sermon displays a unique approach to that parable, along with a special acronym of FLOWER. We must use the FLOWER method in our everyday walk with God.
Intro: How many people here have gone to the local Farmer’s Market to get you some fresh produce? Imagine taking a bite out of a sweet, juicy watermelon. In order to bring that fresh watermelon to you, the farmer or grower would have to do some digging (pun intended) to find out the perfect climate for that fruit. In the same way, we as Christians have to work diligently in order to perfect our Christian lives. Once we take a look at the farmer (or “Sower” in some Bible versions of this passage of scripture), I’ve got 6 core principles we all must follow in order to live in the positive, uplifting, Godly lifestyle.
1. Some seeds were planted in the road (v. 4)
a. These were quickly devoured by the birds, so these seeds didn’t have a chance to grow at all.
b. It’s later revealed in V. 19-20 that this error in plantation is like someone who hears the word about the Kingdom of God but doesn’t understand it. The evil one, known as the devil, uses this opportunity to snatch that person in the wrong direction, thus devouring whatever chance he had to build his faith up, not even giving the smallest chance for faith to grow.
2. Some seeds were planted on rocky ground (vv. 5-6)
a. These seeds were grown with little soil, so it was a little better chance at growing the grain in this situation. But, when the plants DID grow here, they were scorched and died because their roots weren’t that deep down in the soil.
b. This illustration is like the person who, as stated in VV. 20-21, accepts the word as he hears it, and is very joyful in the beginning. All is well and good for a little while, and then the first roadblock of suffering comes along, and this person falls back to their wicked ways because they had too little faith in order to grow spiritually.
3. Some seeds were planted on thorn bushes (V. 7)
a. The bushes grew up and choked the seeds, making them unable to grow.
b. (v. 22) This is another example of the person who knows the word. The worries of life and deceitful pleasures of the world’s riches choke the word so it can’t produce any fruit.
4. Seeds were planted on good ground (v. 8)
a. The good ground produced grain, and plenty of it! This grain can be used as food and nourishment for the people.
b. V. 23 says that this seed on Good ground is the person who hears and understands the word. This produces crops, or Blessings from God himself that are double, triple, even ten times the amount sown. That’s how great and merciful God really is!
Part II: FLOWER approach to living
Since we’re talking about planting and harvesting today, I came up with a sure-fire method that will keep us on the path of God’s righteousness. It’s called simply “FLOWER”. It stands for this:
1. Faith – Without faith, all our hopes, all our dreams, all that we long for means nothing. But when we turn our hearts, souls and minds over to God, He helps us keep that faith in our daily lives
a. Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1)
b. Jesus answered them, “I can guarantee this truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will be able to do what I did to the fig tree. You could also say to this mountain ‘Be uprooted and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.
2. Love – Love is a wonderful characteristic that God has given to us. If we are to be Christ-like, we need to share His love wherever we go.
a. The person who doesn’t love, doesn’t know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)
b. So these things remain: faith, hope and love. But the best one of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
3. Obedience – In order for us to follow what God wants for our lives, we have to be obedient to what his Word says.
a. If you carefully obey me and are faithful to the terms of my promise, then out of all the nations you will be my own special possession, even though the whole world is mine. (Exodus 19:5)
b. Love the Lord your God and do what he wants you to do. Always obey his laws, rules, and commands. (Deuteronomy 11:1)
4. Worship – God loves us when we worship His name. There are many scriptures that show the people of bible times worshiping God.
a. Serve (Worship) the Lord cheerfully. Come into his presence with joyful song. (Psalms 100:2)