I plan to begin a new series on sermons this coming Sunday on the Parable of the Sower that I am calling: “The Heart’s Response to God’s Word.” It’s recorded in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. But I will do my work from Matthew’s version – Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23.
I find it most difficult and exhilarating to preach the parables of Jesus. They are so simple. And yet the profundity of these simple teachings is staggering. I am looking forward to the plowing through my own soul as I prepare myself to preach these messages.
Amid growing animosity and resistance to his ministry and message, Jesus tells this parable to his disciples to say to them that there is nothing wrong with the good seed of the word. It is alive, powerful, and life-changing. But the soil of the heart is not always good ground for the word to take root and grow and bear fruit.
My intention for this series are pretty similar to what I believe Jesus was up to when he told this parable. I want to encourage the church to have confidence in the power of the word. And I want them to understand that spiritual reasons behind people’s response (or lack of response) to the word of God. Ultimately, I want them to know that when the good seed falls on good ground, there is no limit to what God can do.
Here is the schedule for these upcoming message:
3/1 – The Sower, The Seed, and the Soil (Matt. 13:1-9, 18-23)
3/8 – Good Seed Along the Path (Matt. 13:4, 19)
3/15 – Good Seed on Rocky Ground (Matt. 13: 5-6, 20-21)
3/22 – Good Seed Among Thorns (Matt. 13:7, 22)
3/29 – Good Seed on Good Soil (Matt. 13:8, 23)
Please remember this series of messages in your prayers. May the Lord help me to speak his word with faithfulness and clarity. And may the hearts of those who hear these messages be good soil and fertile ground to receive the implanted word that is able to save our souls.
The Most Important Commandment
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. – Mark 12:28-34 Armies win…