“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.” (ESV)
The passage above is out of the New Testament Gospels in the bible. The Physician and Apostle Luke wrote this account of arguably ‘the’ most complete parable ever shared by Jesus about His coming Kingdom. (Luke 8:11-15)
Here’s the 30,000 foot view… we have to ‘own’ and take good care of the promises and truths we receive from God. If we don’t, we risk losing the truth and wandering further and further from what we were meant to be and do.
The word of God is the seed in the parable, it comes from being in the presence of God. (Prayer, Worship, Scripture, Sermons, Dreams, Visions) When we hear the word of God speaking to us about our life, about who we are, and what He has called us to be… we must ‘receive’ it and keep a firm hold on it. We can’t let it fly by and decide to come back to it later. (Think of the “manna’ in the old testament – good for only one day)
We ‘hear’ with our hearts, not our ears. Yes, our senses work off of vibration and interpretation of the audible sensory organs, but this parable is focused on the ‘ears’ of our hearts. The passions and pursuits of our life come from the desires of our heart. The struggles and destructive habits we wrestle with also come from our hearts. What we believe about ourselves is all important, and what God speaks to us is powerful and unstoppable truth if it’s received and believed. In this parable, when we believe the words of God, the seed of our life is implanted into the soil of our heart.
Here the battle begins – God’s Word is contested at the “heart” level and before it can become implanted deep enough to affect our behaviors and beliefs we must “receive” it guard it as our own.
We have an enemy, the deceiver and accuser of the brethren and he is strategic and aggressive in his desire to steal our identities and purpose in Christ… he wants to;
- Steal our faith
- Dash our hope
- Distract our attention
- Prevent us from receiving the Word as ours
- De-legitimize the word as inaccurate & unreliable
- To convince us we are unworthy – God’s will and blessing is unattainable for us.
In the parable Jesus differentiates between long-term growth and short-term, in doing so He reveals that to grow and mature we have to not only “receive” the word and claim it as our own (Implant the Seed), but we have to clean up our hearts by throwing out the rocks and tending to the weeds.
Without removing the rocks and tending to our soil we won’t grow deep enough roots to endure and mature. We need our life to grow, for our hearts to expand deeper until we have established a regular access to tap the living water of God’s truth. (Psalm 1)
Rocks are the hardened spaces and places in our lives where we cannot compromise or forgive – areas of disbelief and hurt, chronic wounds that form emotional walls and barriers between us and God. Those struggles we have given up on ever overcoming, those lies we accept… they block us from receiving the living water. Rocks keep us from growing beyond our wounds into stronger and mature disciples. Men and women who become stronger, more stable, and more consistent in their Christian life.
Weeding our garden = simplifying our lives. Once we grow roots, we gain stability and experience more and more sustained spiritual growth, our faith gains substance and sustainability – we elevate our perspective and see our lives differently.
Take away truths;
1. “Am I tending to the garden of my heart?
2. Have I received and believed what God has told me about Himself, about myself… about others? If not, I may need to remember the truth and dig out the lies.
Peace out, Pastor B.