4 Hearts – Which is Yours?

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The Parable of the Sower

Seeds of Truth

Jesus taught many things by parables.  These were His tales about regular life subjects, which He used to illustrate deeper, valuable moral lessons.

The parable of the sower is a very important parable to understand.  It helps us to know that people differ in their responses to the gospel, that Jesus makes available to EVERYONE who wants to come to Him.

The parable of the sower can be looked at from two distinct angles.

  • Firstly, we can look externally, at how the seed of the gospel is received or rejected by others.
  • Secondly, we can look internally, at how the seed is growing in our own lives.

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In this short post, I want us to consider this latter aspect primarily.  I simply request that you just take a moment in your busy day to examine your own heart condition before the Lord, to see if any changes need to be worked upon.  I trust this will do you good.

I will start this post with one of my poems, before we settle down to deeper digging into this parable.

 

The Sower’s Seeds

Behold a sower went out to sow some seed along the way;

It fell in various types of ground,

And various results were to be found,

From the sowing of the seed that day.

 

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It happened that some fell by the path at the start,

Where the birds devoured it all,

This is like those who hear the call,

But Satan snatches the word away from their heart.

 

004-parable-sower-seedThen it happened some fell upon stony ground;

Where immediately large it grew,

Yet shallow soil meant roots were few,

So when troubles arose such faith could not be found.

 

desert-447244__480Thirdly some seed fell into a patch of thorn.

Likened to the lures of wealth,

The thorns choked with greatest stealth,

And life’s cares too meant no fruit here was borne.

 

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And finally, the last seed fell upon some wholesome soil;

This grew steady and strong,

And when trials came along,

More sturdy and fruitful became such lives of toil.

 

Some bore thirty, some sixty and some a hundredfold.

So let us always pray,

That the seeds sown today,

Such bounty for the Lord we may one day behold.

 

Wheat field with blue sky

Original Poem written By Helen at Grain of Wheat Blog.  

If sharing poem, please keep this credit with it.  Thank you.

Parable of the Sower, from the Bible

Matthew 13:3-9 & 18-23

“Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.

Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.

And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.

But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

…..

Jesus said, “Therefore hear the parable of the sower:

temptation-picture-id1206520091.  When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart.  This is he who received seed by the wayside.

 

2. 005-parable-sower-seed But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

 

3. 005-parable-sower-preschoolNow he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

 

4. 006-parable-sower-preschoolBut he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

 

This parable is also in Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15,  (which you can read via these links).

It was initially told to “the multitudes,” and then explained later to the disciples.

“Then His disciples asked Him, saying, “What does this parable mean?”

And He said, “To you it has been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God, but to the rest it is given in parables, that;

‘Seeing they may not see,
And hearing they may not understand.’”  Luke 8:9-10  &  Mark 4:11

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4 Soil Types – Which is Your Heart Like?

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1. the wayside
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2. stony ground
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3. thorny ground
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4. good soil

 

1st Type – Wayside Wanderers

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Have you heard the gospel (good news) about the fact that Jesus’ death was sufficient to pay the total price to forgive your sins, when you turn to Him in faith and ask His forgiveness?   He claimed that He was the ONLY way to the Father God.  There is no other way to deal with all your sins.

If this is news to you today, please read the gospel accounts in the Bible and pray that God will give you understanding.  This is the seed, His word, His truth.

Through reading and praying for understanding you can pass into His Kingdom of Light, out of the kingdom of darkness, and you can become a Christian follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.  You can become part of “the body of Christ” that have eternal life with Him in heaven.

It really is GOOD NEWS. God IS LOVE.  Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no person comes to the Father except through Him.

Only the devil, or Satan, wants to snatch these truths from your heart and mind!  I do hope that you are not part of Group 1, “the seed by the wayside”.

2nd Type – Stony Soil

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I have looked at all three synoptic gospel accounts and amalgamated them into this list of what happens to those on rocky, stony ground.  Such people:-

  1. receive the word with joy and gladness
  2. have no root in themselves
  3. believe and endure only for a while
  4. they stumble, or fall away, when temptation, persecution or tribulation arises.

I have known this happen to people I cared about.  I was filled with great joy initially when they expressed their own personal joy at the spiritual changes, and the love they felt from the Lord.  They were truly changed.  They started their Christian journeys so happily and were reading their new Bible’s with great joy.  It was a blessed delight to observe them.

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Stumble & fall

Then out of the blue, they just quit!!  That was it!  Over and done!  Back to their old ways of living.  No longer reading the Bible.  No longer wanting to speak of Christian things at all.  It seems that for some, the temptations, persecutions or tribulations only need to be light, for them to flip the switch back to the darkness that they were saved from.  This is certainly not just for the severe cases of persecutions and tribulations, but can occur anywhere at any time.

For me, it caused such grief and sorrow to observe.  It still does.  I occasionally pray for these people who were brief believers but of the stony ground type.

Without this parable told by Jesus, we would be most mystified indeed.  But with the understanding this brings, we can be more realistic about these situations.  Yes, we can continue asking the Lord in prayer to bring about another change in their hearts, but there appears to be such a total hardening of such hearts as to make it unlikely.  Perhaps more so than there was to begin with.

Then there are, of course, the terrible situations of those who suffer most dreadfully for their faith in the Saviour, Jesus Christ.  I occasionally read of such countries and times in history when both mental and physical persecutions are brought to bear on people of the Christian faith.

A couple of years ago, I wrote an article called, Exploding Eggs and Fresh Manna, where I mentioned the serious side of persecution.  I copied a few of Richard Wurmbrand’s thoughts on coping with such horrors, as well as a believer called Helen Berhane who suffered in Eritrea.

3rd Type – Thorny Things

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For those who live comfortably, I think that most often it can be the thorns that become a stumbling block to the Christian follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.  These are the things that lead to unfruitfulness.  Such a state of being is not good. 

I will reiterate the warning from Matthew’s gospel above.

“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word,

and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches

choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

entrepreneur-1103722__480.jpgLuke’s gospel writes:

 Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity.

Mark’s gospel writes:

“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.”

So the list of thorny warnings in total is as follows: –

  1. cares of this worldmoney-2831511_1280.png
  2. deceitfulness of riches
  3. pleasures of life
  4. desires for other things

There are MANY warnings in the Bible about not being anxious, nor loving money or anything of this world.  We have warnings of the various sins that we must flee from and the various Godly characteristics that will grow in the good hearts of true believers.

We MUST take an active part in reading the maker’s instructions for our lives and heeding the commands that He gives to us.  We MUST pray continually that the Lord would keep revealing to us those things in our lives that hinder our walk with Him, in order that we may repent and live more holy lives.

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Put God FIRST and He will provide what you need.

Do you sincerely desire to be free of those things that seek to ensnare and entangle you in a worldly life?  Such things as love of the world, or anything in the world, will lead to fruitlessness?

Are you content to spend your days merely with your cares, money, pleasures and things of this life?

I personally have found the small phrase, “cares of this life,” to be totally convicting!

And yet, 1 Peter 5:6 teaches us how to deal with this problem.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

How easy it was for me to go from one worry to the next!  How easy to muddle through my life, seeking solutions to life’s continual troubles, feeling weighed down and stickman-310588__480burdened by them.

BUT Jesus doesn’t want us to live in such a fashion.  He had much to say, particularly in the “sermon on the mount,” about how we ought to live to please Him.

 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”   Mth 6:33-34

Then similarly, the phrase, “desires for other things,” seems so … well … almost harmless.  But not from God’s perspective it’s not.  And that is the important and eternal perspective that we need to continually hold in our minds.

Some years ago the Lord used the poem Church Walking With The World to pull me up short with His conviction, that there were things in my heart and mind that really needed to change.  I was desiring “other things,” that were keeping me from being a fruit-producing Christian.

A couple of years ago, I worked hard to improve the actual soil condition for my weed and thorn-infested garden lawn.  Here is an excerpt from that blog post, All Flesh is as Grass.

grass-303857_1280Whilst I was outdoors working on the grass situation this year I was often thinking of the way the Lord deals with me and believers in general. I was seeing that my lack of any care and attention to my lawn over a long period of time had led to such an unhealthy, weed-infested situation.

I thought of the similarities to our spiritual lives when we likewise are complacent with things that hinder and damage us spiritually.

The weeds are rather like sins that we don’t attend to as they crop up.  Such sins can grow and become quite deep-rooted.  One year I had a few little weeds amongst my grass, then this year I had a veritable infestation of giant, ugly weeds!

If we become complacent about little sins then the end result is likewise, our consciences become somewhat seared, and then bigger sins can take root and get a hold of us.

The Solution
  • mar-4-18-ww-notrace-9xWe need to remain prayerfully alert to the need to make changes to our lives as the Lord continues with His Fatherly chastisement of those He loves.
  • We need to be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, as He reveals what changes are necessary in our hearts and lives.
  • We need to be obedient servants of our Lord Jesus, and quickly obey Him, when He points out where these wily weeds have been wrapping their lures around our hearts.

4th Type – Good Ground

And finally we reach the GOOD bit.  That is those who have Good Hearts, likened to good soil in the parable.  Once again, I have checked out all 3 gospel accounts and amalgamated the following list from them.

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The good ground types of people are as follows:-

accepts and understands the word

– with a noble and good heart

– bears fruit, with patience

– some 30, others 60 and yet others 100 times.

We see immediately that Christians can live different types of lives, producing differing amounts of fruitfulness.

I think the main point here is that ALL of the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ ought to be aiming to be increasingly fruitful for the Lord.

We are not meant to be lazy servants, idling away our days in self-indulgence.  We are meant to be “hearers and doers” of His word.  The seeds of truth are meant to germinate and grow, transforming us in the process.

Are YOU growing any good fruit?
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Galatians 5:22-23

Growing anything takes hard work and perseverance.  It takes the right conditions, water, sunlight and nutrition.  Keeping the ground good, and weed-free, takes hard work and diligence.

As in this parable, if no soil preparation was done and no maintenance was undertaken, simply  throwing seeds around in an ad hoc fashion, the results would be rather disappointing.

I therefore urge you to likewise consider your “soil conditions,” to determine what is the true state of your heart in God’s sight.

  • Are you working willingly with the Lord to improve its “good soil” condition?
  • Are you nurturing a closer walk with Him, the Head Gardener?
  • Are you remaining “yoked to Him” as you plough the furrows of life?
  • Are you “abiding in Him” who is the true vine?
  • Are you aiming and striving to grow a bumper crop – to offer Him the increases, that He spoke of?

Remember also the Lord’s  clear words regarding good and bad trees and their fruits.

“Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”  Matthew 7:17-20

I will just end this post with Jesus’ words, taken from John 12:24-26.  The Lord is looking for His word, or seeds of truth, that He offers to us, to produce a harvest of righteousness for His glory.

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“…the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are the angels.”  Mth 13:39

 

“Most assuredly, I say to you,

unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,

it remains alone;

but if it dies, it produces much grain.

He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world

will keep it for eternal life.

May we all keep on growing in the good fruit of holiness and Godliness!

Amen & Blessings to all,

Helen

You may also like the following posts:-

Exploding Eggs & Fresh Manna, that touches on the topic of persecution.

All Flesh is as Grass, that deals with real garden soil preparation and the spiritual lessons I learnt as I worked hard on its improvement.

Church Walking With The World, this is a brilliant poem by Matilda C Edwards, and will surely bless you, as it did me.

I welcome your input, so if you would like to share any comments please feel free to do so in the section below.  Thank you.

(You can find my full Comments Policy here.)

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2 comments

  1. I read this article and all the accompanying ones, and I praise God for your solid truth and boldness in writing them! I so much agree that it is time for us to prepare our brethren for what is soon coming.

    A dear friend and I have been discussing the following verse for quite a while now: Jeremiah 12:5 (NKJV) The Lord Answers Jeremiah,

    “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, Then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, In which you trusted, they wearied you, Then how will you do in the floodplain of the Jordan?”

    She knew something I did not: that is when the Jordan floods, the lions come out and attack the people. We are being prepared for the tougher times ahead.

    Love, Barbara
    “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.” Psalm 63:3

    Like

    • Thanks for your comment Barbara.

      I think that I am growing gradually in boldness. It is certainly something we all need to keep praying for – a holy boldness to speak the truth, in love.

      Re the lions: I am just so glad I don’t live in a country with such wild animals roaming around. However, in the spiritual sense, I know that we are told in 1 Peter 5:8 to,

      “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

      Blessings
      Helen

      Like

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