4/29/15, 4/30/15 Different Kinds Of Hearts Receive The Word

“Now I will explain this parable to you.  The seed is the Word of God.  For now, I AM the sower of the seed.  Soon, I will send you out to sow, and to teach others to sow.  Some people hear the Word, but Satan blinds them so that they immediately dismiss it as nonsense and go on about their lives.  This is the seed that falls on the path, and is immediately eaten by the birds.  Some people hear the Word and receive it with joy in their hearts, but they do not change their lives because of it.  They do not immerse themselves in studying the Word and what it should mean for them.  They do not try to live out what they have just heard.  They do not show any outward sign that what they have heard has made any difference in their lives whatsoever.  This is the seed that falls on rocky ground, and is not able to grow because it has no root.  Some people receive the Word with joy in their hearts, and they start to grow in their faith, learning and understanding more each day.  But Satan puts many obstacles in their paths and they do not have enough faith to overcome them.  Worldly things – worries about money, work, family, social standing – begin to crowd out Heavenly things in their hearts, and the outward signs of a changed life begin to falter and fail.  This is the seed that falls among the thorn bushes and is crowded out and choked by the thorns of the daily complications of life.”

“But some people hear the Word, receive it with joy in their hearts, and make it the center of their new lives.  They grow in their faith, learning and understanding more each day, hungrily devouring every Heavenly lesson they can.  Because their faith is a vibrant, living part of them, the center of their lives, they are able to deal with obstacles that are placed in front of them every day without getting overwhelmed and giving up in exhaustion.  They bear much fruit, passing on the Word and all that they have received from it to everyone they meet.  This is the seed that falls on fertile soil and thrives.  Yet even among those who would be fertile soil, there are differences.  Some produce a crop 100 times what is sown, some 60 times, and some 30.  This is not to say that some are better than others, but rather that some have greater opportunities to reach more people than others.  A rich man who may be able to gather an audience of thousands of friends and acquaintances may be able to do far more than a poor man who is known only by his neighbors and family.  But it is the quality of your fruit that the Lord looks at, not the quantity, because it can also work in the opposite way.  The rich man who has gathered a large audience to proclaim the Word may not be able to reach more than a handful of people with the message he brings, and so will change only a few hearts.  And because the method of reaching these people is not a personal one, the Word may not be sown as deeply in their hearts as it is in the man proclaiming it.  On the other hand, the poor man may be deeply respected by his few friends and family, and because of this he may reach a whole community of people, who in turn develop a deeply rooted faith of their own and become the new generation of sowers.  Until you reach the Kingdom of Heaven, you will never know the full extent of your influence here on earth.”

Matthew 13:18-23, Mark 4:13-20, Luke 8:11-15

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