Summary: God is graciously speaking (if we will only listen).
THE VOICE OF GOD
Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23
Th: Grace-Full Living (the grace of God communicating)
Pr: GOD IS GRACIOUSLY SPEAKING (IF WE WILL ONLY LISTEN).
?: How? How will we respond?
TS: We will find in “The Parable of the Sower” four responses we can have to His gracious words.
The ____ response we can have to His gracious word is one of…
I. “PAY NO MIND”
RMBC 11/12/00 AM
ILL Notebook: Listening (Roosevelt)
The story is told of Franklin Roosevelt, who often endured long receiving lines at the White House. He complained that no one really paid any attention to what was said. One day, during a reception, he decided to try an experiment. To each person who passed down the line and shook his hand, he murmured, "I murdered my grandmother this morning." The guests responded with phrases like, "Marvelous! Keep up the good work. We are proud of you. God bless you, sir." It was not until the end of the line, while greeting the ambassador from Bolivia, that his words were actually heard. Nonplussed, the ambassador leaned over and whispered, "I’m sure she had it coming."
Can I tell you a secret?
I have always wanted to do that as you go out after the service, just to see if anyone is listening.
Well, so much for confessions!
Do you ever wonder if anyone is really listening?
ILL Notebook: Listen (thank you your honor)
In a jury pool, Ann Ripp watched people trying to persuade the judge to exempt them from serving. One man explained that he had a severe hearing problem and wouldn’t be able to follow the proceedings. “You’re excused,” the judge informed him. “What did you say?” the man asked. The judge repeated himself and motioned to the exit. As the man reached the door, the judge told the clerk, “Juror No. 9 is excused, but he will still be paid for his time.” “Thank you, Your Honor!” came a familiar voice from the far end of the courtroom.
Do you think he gave it away?
Well, this story does point out a serious human flaw and that is…
1. To our own detriment, we can be selective in our hearing.
You see, the question is not so much about what is being said, but about our listening.
Are we listening?
Jesus wanted to get people’s attention because he had important matters to speak about.
So to get their attention, Jesus used parables.
Simply, they were stories.
And He used them to make the truth more clear to those that were really seeking the truth.
But to those that were not seeking the truth, the stories had a way of making things more obscure.
Today, we consider a very familiar story called “The Parable of the Sower.”
2. The familiar parable about the sower makes the following representations:
2.1 The seed represents God’s message of good news.
Jesus had good news to tell.
There was an entrance into the kingdom of God that comes by grace through faith.
Through this message, life comes to the one who believes.
For, just as the power of plant life is in the seed, the power of new spiritual life is in the Word, this message of good news.
2.2 The soils represent man’s varying responses to the good news.
These are “heart” soils.
And we should note that the soils are basically the same.
It is the same dirt, that given the right conditions, could support the growth of crops.
So we should also note outright that although every human heart is naturally sinful and hostile toward God, every heart is also capable of being redeemed.
There is no such thing as a naturally unredeemable heart.
If a person is not saved, it is because they do not want to be saved, not because they were a different or wrong kind of soil.
Having acknowledged these two basic representations in this parable, let me return to our main point this morning.
It is simply this…
3. GOD IS GRACIOUSLY SPEAKING (IF WE WILL ONLY LISTEN).
You will have to pardon me for my attitude here, but sometimes it seems like a waste to me.
God does a lot of speaking and we miss most of it.
Just like the sower who scatters the seed.
It lands in all these places where it will not grow.
Why bother to speak so much when so little is welcomed?
God speaks because it is His nature to do so.
He desires to reveal Himself to us.
And even though what God has to say to us is so large and our minds are so small, He keeps speaking.
Now…if we will only listen…