Posts Tagged ‘the word of god’

the-parable-of-the-sower-3-638The parable of the sower-2

“Becoming Good Soil”

Luke 8:1-15

Anthony Iovino

12-23-15

 

*Written from Charlotte, NC

Commentary- Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible.

Bible-NIV

Scripture: Luke 8:1-15

The Parable of the Sower

8  After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.

4 While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable:

5 “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. 6 Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”

When he said this, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,

“ ‘though seeing, they may not see;

though hearing, they may not understand.’

11 “This is the meaning of the parable:

The seed is the word of God. 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. 13 Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. 14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. 15 But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. [1]

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While on vacation in Charlotte, NC I am studying the book of Luke and today I am looking at Chapter 8- The Parable of the Sower.

In this chapter of the bible we get an amazing picture of Jesus the preacher, healer and creator.

As the Twelve followed Him and observed Him, they learned deep truths that would be a motivating force as they embarked on their own ministries in the future. (8:1-2).

Many women who were healed of various diseases, evil spirits and emotional maladies, followed and supported our Lord. (8:2-3).

Large crowds of people gathered to hear Jesus. They came from all over; towns, villages and cities. Perhaps they heard Jesus speak before and yearned to hear more. Perhaps someone told them about Jesus and they wanted to hear for themselves or witness His healings. Whatever the reason, Jesus commanded large audiences and this certainly would enrage His enemies.

Now we hear this great parable- (The Parable of the Sower). In looking at this parable closely we can see the light and truth that can deliver a person freely from the bondage of sin and darkness. You will be forever indebted to free grace! Meditate on the truths of this parable and allow it to change you, enlighten you and govern your soul. That is its purpose- to expose the bad soil of your soul and change it to good soil, in order for the seed of God’s mighty word to take root. Our care therefore, must be to bring the seed and the soil together.

A Quote from Mathew Henry’s Commentary-

“The success of the seeding is very much according to the nature and temper of the soil, and as that is, or is not, disposed to receive the seed. The word of God is to us, as we are, a savour of life unto life, or death unto death.”

The devil makes it his business to hinder our profiting by the word of God. He takes the Word out of the hearts of careless hearers, so they “may not believe and be saved.”

We cannot be saved unless we believe!

  1. 11-12- Seed Along the Path

The word of the Gospel will not be saving word to us, unless it be mixed with faith.

The devil will do all he can to keep us from believing. Make us not believe the word when we read and hear it, or if we do start to move towards belief, he can make us forget it again and let it slip.

Quote Hebrews 2:1-

We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away .

If we do remember the Word, the devil can create prejudices in our minds against it or divert our minds from it to something else. All to get us not to believe and be saved.

The Screwtape Letters- C.S. Lewis:

The Safe Road to Hell

“Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one—the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”

Very often the road to Hell is very uneventful. The devil is a master of distraction and one distraction after the other over the course of a lifetime can barely be noticed. Busyness at work, playing cards on Saturday nights with your friends, volunteering in the community, or even attending church on Sunday’s. Just living a seemingly normal productive life can be the gradual road that leads to Hell.

Too many people hear the Word of God carelessly or even with contempt. There ears are shut to the Word and the Word is trodden or trampled down. (Luke 8:5).

NOTE:

The grace that is lost was but seeming grace, was never true. Shows of religion will be lost and forfeited. “They went out from us, because they were not of us.” (1 John 2:19).

V.13- Seed Along Rock

In some, the Word makes some impression, but if those impressions are not deep rooted, they will not endure. Superficial belief. In time of temptation they fall away from the good they first heard. The Word tests them and they fail the test.

A person can wither very fast without the moisture of the Word to nurture them. Many other things in life can get in the way and prevent growth.

V.14-Seed Along Thorns

I remember as a young boy, me and my friends would play in the woods. We played many different games, hiked around, built forts, blazed new trails etc. One hazard that I remember vividly was getting caught in a patch of “pricker bushes”, as we called them. Thorns. Once you were caught in these bushes it was very painful and hard to escape. The more you moved around, the more deeply you became entangled. It could be a real mess and often very painful.

The love of the “world”, its riches, pleasures and allurements is a primary cause of many people ending up in hell.

Or as Matthew Henry would say:

“The delights of sense may ruin the soul, even in lawful delights, indulged, and too much delighted in.”

Friends, whatever in this world keeps you from coming to Christ can become a thorn that entangles you and keeps you from the Heavenly City.

The thorns of this world can stunt your growth as a Christian and sideline you in Kingdom work.

Perseverance is necessary to the perfection of a work:

1 John 2:15-

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them.

Romans 12:2-

 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

John 17:5-

And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

We must be crucified with Christ- Galatians 2:20-

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

We must turn away from any and all of world’s many allurements and focus on our Savior.

(Movies, TV, chasing riches/wealth, idolizing sports, recreational drugs, drinking, material possessions, prosperity, vanity…)

Listen to this Devotion from “The Manual of a Country Clergyman”

“Almighty God, and most merciful Father, thou hast encompassed me with blessings, and crowned me with mercy and loving-kindness: thou hast filled even to overflowing, my cup of earthly felicity: suffer it not, I beseech thee, to intoxicate my judgement, nor corrupt my affections; let not prosperity blind my eyes to the vanity of the world, nor harden my heart to the calamities of others. Suffer me not be lured into the folly, or ensnared in sin, through the temptations of a too prosperous state. Safe on the steps of thy throne, O Blessed Jesus, may I remain tranquil and blest: and bid the world go by with all its deceiving vanities: neither let me become too deeply engaged even in serious pursuits, lest my heart be overcharged with its cares, and forget the one thing needful: lest my soul cleave unto dust, and lose its heavenly inheritance.”

V.15- The Good Soil

The seed – (God’s Word), needs good soil, (an honest and good heart), well disposed to receive instruction and commandment.

A heart free of sinful pollution

A heart firmly fixed for God and duty

An upright heart

A tender heart

A heart that trembles at the Word

A heart that understands the word, receives the word and keeps the word

As the soil not only receives, but keeps the seed: and the stomach not only receives, but keeps the food for nourishment.

Persevering to produce a crop”- This phrase from our Lord should be given high priority.

With the word well planted on good soil and growing, there must be patience on our part.

Patience to suffer tribulations and persecution which may arise because of the Word.

Patience to continue until the end.

Closing-

Today, if you are watching or reading this devotional, it is no accident.

Perhaps you have seen through the renewing of your mind scripture where you stand.

Are you the soil trodden down on the path?

Are you the soil with very little depth among the rocks?

Are you the soil spread throughout the thorns?

Or are you already good soil receiving God’s Word and doing Kingdom work?

Are you ready to receive the seed that will take root in a heart made ready by the Holy Spirit?

A heart that was once beating for the “world”, but now beats for Christ!

Make today the day the unfruitful soil is changed out for fruitful soil that will produce a continual crop year after year.

Give your life to Christ!

In your own words and from your heart- tell Him you are sorry for trying to do everything in your own strength and that you need Him to change your heart. Tell Him you have sinned and missed the mark over and over again and that you need to be made righteous by His sacrifice on the cross. Tell Him you understand the great weight of sin that was placed upon Him that all those who would confess and believe would be saved and born again. Soil that can never turn bad! Tell Him you want to be empowered to advance His Kingdom and want strength to persevere in any and all circumstances.

Tell Him you love Him with all your heart!

Amen.

Closing Prayer.

[1] The Holy Bible: New International Version. (1984). (Lk 8:1–15). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.