18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 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. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 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. 22 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.
The interpretation of this parable of the sower matters so much to our understanding of the spread of the gospel. The first three examples given show that the seed of the gospel can be unfruitful, which means it never germinates to the giving of life. We would say that the first three examples of the seed sown are examples of people who remain in their unsaved condition. This should deeply concern us.
As we have opportunity to spread the seed of the gospel we must pray that God will bless the sowing of the seed. In the first example, Satan himself takes away the seed. We must notice the spiritual battle taking place here. The gospel seed is good. It is given, and then Satan takes it away. Not all of those who reject the gospel are doing so of their own volition; Satan does not want them to hear, receive, be saved and bear spiritual fruit. In the second example there is reception of the gospel but not deeply into the soul to bring about life-changed fruit. They like the sound but not the surrender. The flesh of men and women is the enemy in this example. They don’t really want to change. In the third example, the enemy of the gospel seed is the world around us. Because someone loves the world, its pleasures, its draws, and its glory, they cannot pull themselves away from the entangling and chocking cares around them to be saved.
When we give the gospel seeds we must give them out in the power of God with prayerful preparation and prayerful continuation. The gospel is the power of God unto salvation yet Jesus said that the enemies of the gospel effect 75% of those who hear it. I used to be a wrestler giving all that my mind and body could give to pin my opponent or to not get pinned by my opponent. Wrestling is an all-out sport for three two-minute periods. I have never been as exhausted as I was after a grueling match. Have you ever wrestled for someone’s soul? If you have then you know it is laborious prayer, laborious discussions, and a wrestling for the spiritual well-being of another person. When we understand the spiritual battle behind sowing the gospel seed, we will take this with the seriousness of the eternal battle that it is. Who needs you to wrestle for the germination of the gospel seed in their soul?
Last night we took the teens to a park, played, ordered pizza, sang and talked about preparing our hearts to listen to God. I took them to Matthew 13 where Jesus said that there were those who would hear but not understand what he said. Pray for our teenagers that when they hear the Word of God that they would understand, ask questions, and want to know what God has for them to hear and then to live. We have several teens who seem to be falling by the wayside or be being choked by the world around them. Pray for these today that they would hear and follow the Word of God which they know.
Sunday is our dinner day. Please plan to bring some food and to stay and fellowship around lunch.
My parents are moving into Plum Creek Assisted Living on Monday. It will harder to get together with them up there. If you have been making plans to stop by be sure to do so between now and Sunday night.
Have a great day in the Lord,