Summary: God is extremely generous with His word and people respond in various ways.

How do you respond to the Bible?

How do you respond to God’s Word?

Our attitudes and expectations affect how we hear

and receive God’s Word.

They also affect how we use God’s Word for our life.

For many years, I saw God’s Word as something that had to be laboured through.

As something that only demanded I do something…and if I didn’t it made me feel bad.

Other times I treated God’s Word as if it needed to meet my expectations,

and would quickly dismiss it as irrelevant if I didn’t understand something.

But over time something changed.

What I was heard in the bible resulted in me developing a thirst to explore God further.

To wrestle with what I was reading.

To explore further what God had been doing and what He was going to do.

One holidays I remember reading one of the Gospels in one sitting.

And as a result saw God not as someone who demanded things from us

But as someone who is generous, who is forgiving, who is loving and wants everyone to have a great future.

And today we are going to explore how our attitudes affect how we receive what God has to say

and a bit about how God goes about dealing with us.

Some quick background to put you in the picture.

Today’s reading is a parable, a story told to explain something about God and about us.

Jesus told this story early in his ministry.

He had selected his twelve disciples.

Individuals had left their jobs to learn from him and be his disciples.

And already he had a huge following.

People had started to recognise there was something special about Jesus.

Mostlikely caused by a number of things

His teaching that often confronted the rigid religious leaders of the time who were so focussed on point the finger at others.

The fact that he had driven out demons.

The fact that he had publicly healed many people.

The fact that he welcomed people as his disciples who others considered as outcasts.

At like today people followed him for different reasons and with different expectations

As so to the crowd he tells the story we heard the Grades 3 and 4’s tell to us.

And this is a story that has now been told to crowds for over 2000 years

And we are part of that crowd.

So I would like you to put yourself in the crowd.

And listen carefully to what he has to say…

3 “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.” “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

(if we use the dvd Matthew 13:3-8)

What did you hear?

Did you just hear a story about some farmer who was a bit careless and threw seed into places that had no hope of bearing much crop, and one place that did prove very profitable?

As Jesus reveals later to his disciples this story is about how you and me hear God’s Word and also how generous God is.

In verse 14, Jesus says the seed is God’s Word.

The seed is an interesting picture to use for God’s Word.

Hidden in a seed is life.

Life that can grow quite large and sprawling, and produce many more seeds.

For some God’s Word can appear not that important or even relevant

but it always contains life

As Jesus says in John 6 verse 63

The Spirit is the one who gives life; human nature is of no help! The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

And in John 5 verse 26

26 The Father has life in himself, and he has granted that same life-giving power to his Son.

And so as we read and hear scripture it is important to ask the question,

How is this part of God’s Word revealing that God is giving me life, now and in the future?

How is this part of God’s Word revealing that God is giving me life, now and in the future?

This is an essential question to ask every time you engage with scripture.

And at times it may not be so obvious.

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