Summary: How a beleiver can check the vital signs of their relationship with God.
Intro: It amazes me sometimes when I go to some people’s home and they have all this vegetation growing in their home. I mean real live plants, not the fake plastic stuff. Anybody can have the fake plastic stuff, but it takes what we call somewhat of a green thumb to keep plants alive in your home. Julie and I will have a real living plant in our home from time to time, but our house could be considered a hospice for plants. You see, plants come to our house to die. The only green stuff we any success growing around our house in is our refrigerator. It’s amazing we can put in cream potatoes and leave them in their a few months and take them out and their “cream potatoes and broccoli” it’s amazing! Even though I don’t have a green thumb it’s obvious that when the plant turns brown and the leaves fall off – it’s dead. And I know that if the leaves are dead it’s a good indication that the roots aren’t doing so well.
James 2:17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Faith is the root of our salvation and our deeds are the fruit of our salvation. So if the fruit of our salvation is dead brown and drying up then something is wrong with the root of our salvation.
The Bible tells us that we should examine ourselves. “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). We all need to take regular spiritual inventories of our lives to see where we stand with God.
Illustration: When a paramedic arrives on an accident scene and approaches someone who has been injured the first thing they do is begin to check their vital signs. They don’t’ go directly to the injury they first check to make sure the victim is breathing, heart is beating, blood is flowing properly, blood pressure, check pupils for abnormalities. The broken leg or burned skin or whatever the exterior injury may be is not important if the heart isn’t beating or if they are getting enough oxygen. The paramedic’s job is to get him to the hospital alive and let the doctors take it from there. If an untrained person like myself arrives on the scene the first thing I would be concerned with is the exterior injury. The same is true for us spiritually we are too concerned with the exterior appearance of our faith. We need to take a close examination of our interior relationship with God.
This morning we’re going to look at a parable that Jesus taught called the parable of the sower. Now a parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. In this parable the SOWER represents the one sharing the gospel, he’s broadcasting the seed. He’s taking it and spreading it everywhere, not being particular as to where the seeds land. The SEEDS represent the gospel (the good news of the kingdom of God and the forgiveness of sins). The SOILS represent the recipients, how people respond to the gospel.
Luke 8:12 Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.