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The Parable of the Soils
The Parable of the Soils – Matthew 13:1-9
“That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears, let him hear.”
The Parable of the Sower Explained – Matthew 13:18-23
18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path.20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.[b] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
We all know that the world has the tendency to pull us in many different directions. As we just read, sometimes, people hear the Word but immediately fall away because there is no root. Others may hear the Word, but the world distracts them, and they reject the Word of the Lord. Finally, there are some who hear the Word, understand it, and bear fruit.
How are Riches Deceiving? Isn’t more always better?
Many people, including Christians, believe riches will always bring happiness. Many get stuck in their mind that they want to make a super high income because it is then that they can be generous and give to the poor. But what usually happens is when one actually makes that amount of income, they find themselves spending more on their lifestyle than their original desire to be a person of great generosity.
Think of it as the appeal of a credit card, which is perceived riches. You can buy ‘whatever you want’.. But in reality, what you get is a bill for your purchases that is loaded with VERY high interest, along with debt that keeps you from giving to those in need (which is why you wanted to be rich) and also it keeps you from giving to your church.
Riches can keep Christians from their worship in many ways
As a Pastor for almost 30 years, I saw it over and over, where one’s riches were keeping them from their church on a Sunday morning. I saw people with boats, RV’s, and certain hobbies (expensive ones) keeping them from weekly worship, and for some, for an extended period of time. It is not wrong to have a vacation home, but the lure of having one or more vacation homes that need tending to can keep you from regular corporate worship and also serving
Riches very well could keep one from spending time in prayer. Netflix, television, and entertainment. In today’s digital world it is a lot easier to sit in front of the TV every night after work than it is to sit down and pray. A great quote by John Piper is this, “One of the great uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time” (John Piper).
What is Worship?
“Therefore I urge you, brothers, on account of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” (Romans 12:1)
- Singing on Sunday morning.
- Listening to faithful preaching.
- Giving your tithe to the church
- Inviting your church friend over for lunch and fellowshipping
- Inviting your lost neighbor over to build a relationship.
- Praying with your family at the dinner table
- Working faithfully unto the Lord at your job
- Saving for retirement to protect your family and be [even more] generous later in life
- Paying for someone’s missions trip
- Dying and leaving money to your heirs and church
- ALL OF LIFE IS AN ACT OF WORSHIP
- Use Priorities! God is your chief love. Fall in love with Him again! Take a heart/mind check…and see if you may be falling in love with the world and its riches. Remember the age-old song, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus? Well there is a line of that song that says. When you prioritize God, you will be more interested in using your riches for God’s glory, sacrificing the use of your space, time, and things in order to minister to other people.
- Use your stuff to serve and bless others – Most everything has redeeming value. Come before God and allow Him to work in and through you to find a way to use your home, car, things, income, and time for…as Paul states in Romans, for “reasonable acts of service” which is worship.
- Remember, it’s not wrong to own nice things (riches). Vacation homes and RVs are all amazing gifts that the Lord has provided, as long as they are purchased and enjoyed in the proper order of financial and spiritual priorities.
- What is in my possession that I hold on to a little too tightly? Are there things that take up more real estate in your heart than the worship of our Lord?
- Have you let, or are you gradually letting the world and its riches take over the throne of your heart and replace…or even become your one and only true God!
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