|Matthew 13:18-24 The Law of Sowing and Reaping|
Matthew 13:18-24 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
This parable applies to those who are not yet born again, but it applies even more to those who have been born again. There is a reason that the Bible says that everything in the church must be for edification. We need to be built up. The children of God are to go from glory to glory and from faith to faith. The path of the just is as a shining light that shines more and more to the perfect Day.
There is a Word of the Kingdom of the Heavens. When that word goes out, it is the Word of the Lord. The Word of the Lord goes out only from Jesus. That Word can be said by a person who has Christ in His or Her heart. It can come from the Bible. We know of instances where it has come directly to an unbeliever from the Throne of God. That Word of the Kingdom is vital to your walk from glory to glory. You see, faith comes by hearing and hearing can only come by a Word from God. That is the Word of the Kingdom. And it is essential to faith. Faith gives us access to Grace. Grace, the free gift, flows from the Throne of God and does so much that we really can't describe all that it does--although we do know some of what it does. The Holy Spirit, the anointing, is the free gift of God to us. It is the anointing that sets us free from sin. Righteousness is the free gift of God to us. We no longer are slaves of Satan. We can now walk in righteousness--it's a free gift from God. When this grace flows from the Throne of God, we can yield our minds, hands, feet, mouths, and ears to this grace. When we do that, the grace of God does the work of God through us. God can think His thoughts through us. Our ears and eyes begin to see the Kingdom of the Heavens more clearly.
Observing the laws that govern sowing and reaping, we can see that these laws are easy to understand. You reap what you sow, whether good or bad. You reap more than you sow. If you sow good seed, you are amazed at how much more you reap than what you sowed. If you sow evil seed, it is the same, you will be appalled at how much more you reap than what you sowed. You always reap later than you sow. Some people who are sowing evil seeds think that they are not going to sow because some time has passed.
In the process of this flow of righteousness through our being, something wonderful happens. Our minds are changed in their very nature. Seeds are sown into our hearts as a result of this righteousness. The flow of the anointing cleanses our hearts. This change is incremental holiness. Righteousness is something that God does in us. Holiness is something that we are becoming. When the sin seeds of our past spring up, we need to be certain that we don't allow them to spread new seeds into our hearts and into the hearts of others. The sin gardens in our hearts are the old man, the self, or the fleshly nature. When the root of the self spring up, we need to die to self. We dare not make any provision for the flesh. When anger flares, to justify the anger would be the same as spreading weed seed on your garden. If lust sprouts because of the sin thoughts of the past, we don't want the seeds of that sin to plant new seeds.
By the Way Side: (trampled Path) No Response
The first person had this Word of the Kingdom sown into his heart but didn't understand it. When we have always thought about something in a certain way, it's very hard for us to accept anything that does not look like our own mental picture. When we have a trampled path, that is constantly going to ungodly counselors, we get a very hard heart that will not respond to God's good seed. We can't really interact with reality when we have a worldview that conflicts with reality. For instance, scientists who are supposedly objective have worldviews that keep them from seeing reality. Even for the person who can't understand, the Word would have its effect, so the wicked one comes and snatches away the Word of the Kingdom so that this person cannot be set free.
In the parable, this first person is represented by the wayside, the place where everyone walks. The foot traffic hardens the ground so that the seed can't take root. If we expose ourselves to philosophies, we build a worldview of those philosophies. If we expose ourselves to theologies rather than to the Word of the Kingdom of the Heavens we will find that our hearts will be controlled and hardened by the worldview of those theologies. Other factors can harden our hearts. Those who listen to worldly music find that their hearts become hard to God, though they may be very religious in an empty religion of entertainments and worldliness. There are even some who try to take Christian words and set them to rock music. It may be that some Christians can get away with that, but for those who are called to the first resurrection, those of the first-fruits company, God never leads us in this way because it would lead us right out of the Kingdom of the Heavens. Our hearts would become hard and resistant to the Word of the Kingdom, and we would walk away from our calling.
Stony Places: An Emotional or Intellectual Response: Not dealing with the stoney heart
The second person was represented by the stony ground. Stony ground is representative of another type of hard heart. The stones have been there a long time. Perhaps you were born with them in the form of original sin. The seed can take root, but the root cannot go deep. When God speaks to you and His seed falls on your stony ground, you actually do understand enough to have an emotional or intellectual response. You receive the Word of the Kingdom of the Heavens with joy. This Word of the Kingdom brings you into some form of trial or persecution. But the stony attitudes in your heart have not allowed the seed to take deep root. The roots are not able to bear the trial or the persecution. These stones are not the result of outside influences. These are stones that are naturally in the heart. This is original sin, the sin we were born with. (some caveats about hearing God's Voice)
How do we get rid of the stony ground in the natural? We plow and then we pick up the stones. Every farmer knows this process. Jesus said that anyone having put his hand to the plow and looking back is not worthy of the Kingdom of the Heavens. The church has been equipped with all that is needed to plow the stones and to pick them out. These are removed by baptism in water, baptism of the Holy Spirit, the nine gifts of the Spirit, the Body of Christ ministering by that which every joint supplies, the holy communion, the local elders and deacons, the traveling elders and deacons (apostles and prophets), and every other part of the scriptural order of the Church.
Among Thorns: Cares of this world--Straining to be Rich
The third person is represented by the thorny ground. If we allow ourselves to follow after money, success, entertainments, fear, anger, Addictions, or any other worldly distraction, we will miss the Kingdom of the Heavens. Some have thought that the government would offer the solutions, and they have followed politics so the government could solve all the problems: poverty, family problems, prejudice, ecology, etc. Others have fought for corporate success. Still others have tried hedonism. Some have traded the Kingdom in favor of sports or hobbies. The thorns spring up as the result of bad seed that has been sown into the heart. Any of these thorns can choke the Christian so that he or she becomes unable to function in the Kingdom of the Heavens. This is not to say that a person who is participating in the Kingdom of the Heavens will not vote or go to work or ever enjoy any leisure. It does mean that the child of the Kingdom must seek first the Kingdom of the Heavens.
The Good Ground
The fourth person is represented by the good ground. Note that different plants bring forth different amounts of fruit, and that is normal--nothing to worry about. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God. Don't stand in the counsel of the ungodly, Christian or Secularist. Get into a Church that follows the order of the Scripture. Get baptized in water. Get baptized in the Holy Spirit. Pray that you be indicated by the Holy Spirit to receive the gifts of the Spirit. Spend much time reading your Bible. Pray that the Holy Spirit reveal it to you. Pray in the Holy Spirit and with the understanding.
Last updated: Dec, 2013
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