The Parable of the Sower

April 16, 2023 Preacher: Todd Miller Series: The Gospel of Mark

Topic: Parables Scripture: Mark 4:1–20

Good morning again. If you have your Bibles up for them to mark for Mark four, we're going to start in verse one. This is the parable, you could call it the parable, the sower parable of soils, parable of the seed. There's a lot of ways in which this has been referenced, but this is one of the most popular parables that people over and over again recite.

If you have questions with talks with people, they will talk about this passage as well. So it is a impactful passage and it is a switch from what Jesus had been doing in our scriptures and Mark at this point to where he's going to teach using a parable. So I do find it funny because I've heard lots of people teach on this, and I've also heard people reference this and talk about this.

And what always seems to happen is, you know, in the parable of the sower, the seed or the soil or how they reference it, you know, Jesus said this, and I believe what he meant was, don't you love it when people tell you what you meant to say, when you have clearly said what you said and you told them what you said as a pastor, that's happened a few times, as a teacher, as a coach after games, I've been told many times what I thought I should have done.

There's many times that I've been told, Well, you should have done this or should have done that. And then there's many times that my children have mis understood and thought they understood what I was trying to say. The interesting thing is, is that there are times where Jesus says something and we have to really dive in and go, okay, you said this.

Now let's dissect it by looking at this and this, this and this and this. What's interesting about this and why it gets it kind of almost makes me laugh every single time is because at the towards the end of the passage, he says what he meant, like it's not that we're left with this mystery, he actually tells us.

And so we're going to read verses one through 20. It'll be on the screen for you if you do not have your Bibles. But we is. I'm reading from the SD version, starting in verse one again. He began to teach beside the sea and a very large crowd gathered about him. So he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.

And he was teaching them many things in parables and in his teaching. He said to them, Listen, behold, a saw went out to sow, and as he sowed, some see fell along the path. The birds came and devoured it. Other sea fell on the rock seed fell on the rocky ground where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up since they had no depth of soil.

And when the sun rose, it was scorched and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked. It and it yielded no grain, and other seeds fell into good soil and produce grain growing up and increasing and yielding 30 fold and 60 fold in 100 fold. And he said he who has ears to hear, let him here.

And when he was done, when he was alone, those are those around him with the 12 asked him about the parables and he said to them, to you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God. But for those outside, everything is in parables so that they may indeed see but not perceive. They may indeed here, but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.

And he said to them, Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word, and these are the ones along the path where the word was sown. And when they hear Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. And these are the ones who are sown on rocky ground, the ones who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy and they have no root in themselves but endure for a while.

Then when tribulation and persecution arise on account of the word, immediately they fall away and others are the ones sown among thorns. They are those who hear the word of the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches and the desires of other things. Enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. But those that were sown on good soil and are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit 30 fold and 60 fold and 100 fold.

Let's pray, God, we pray that you would do the work in us today through your Word. Nothing that comes out of my mouth is anything other than what you want us to hear and to know. We pray that you would make the word come alive to us. We pray these things in Christ's name, and then so the very first thing is we're looking at this as a transition to parables.

This is where Jesus kind of takes his teaching from one method or one form, and he's kind of got his ministry started. He's brought his disciples in. He's figured out who those people are going to be. He's he has confronted the Pharisees over and over again to this point and will do so even more. So these healed a lot of people, and he's gained a larger following to this point.

And here he's teaching using parables. He's trying to use something that they understand, which would be agriculture. They all would have gotten this even if they weren't necessarily farmers, they would have understood the process. And he's using something very familiar to help explain spiritual things. That doesn't mean everyone's going to get it. Clearly, he says that there's people who just aren't going to get this or understand yet He's doing this to try and teach in a way that they can grasp, even though later they'll say, What does that mean?

But there are certain things to understand. As we approach this passage before we get to the meat of the passage, because everybody wants to run to the well, what do these different soils mean? But we kind of have to understand a few things first. And the very first thing is right off the bat, when he starts talking here, we need to take notice of the fact that he says, listen, this is an imperative.

The people that would have read this initially in the Greek would have read this word, would they? Okay, something big, something grant something. Something is going to happen here. I, I need to lock in and focus right now where Jesus says to listen. It is an imperative. Jesus begins and ends the section with listen, those who have ears to hear, hear what I'm saying in his language would have caused again, the listener then and should today cause the listener reading this passage to listen carefully, to dive in intently, to absorb and to read and to to, to really take in the words that Jesus is saying.

I think too often we read through the Bible and we get to certain passages at certain points that are familiar to us, and we're like, I know this one, and we read through it, but we don't really take into account what it's actually saying, the farmer going out that Jesus says. So he says, Listen, behold a sower or a farmer went out to sow.

And when he uses this language, this is the same language going out when the when the farmer, the sower goes out. This is the same language he uses earlier in March to explain what his purpose is. So he's referencing right now, This is the purpose of the farmer, the sower. This is my purpose. As I come, I'm going to sow the word So the seed for people to hear.

And in this passage, Jesus is the sower. He is the farmer. He is the one who is casting out the seed. And in a secondary way, we two as believers, if we are believers, are also sowers of the seed later on, like down the line, every believer will become a sower of seed. Sadly, many believers never so seed.

We'll get to that later. So the seed that Jesus is talking about here is the word. It is the truth of God and the seed that He is talking about here. Like every seed, every seed that you plant has potential life in it. If cared for and nurtured correctly. The seed that he is talking about has life. There's no potential life.

It is the response of those people who hear the word as to whether that life comes alive in them. And it is for those who hear this truth, to hear it and respond in obedience. One of the things I want to make sure we get as Jesus begins to teach, not just here, I mean, when he calls out the Pharisees in a previous passage for blaspheming the Holy Spirit is he gets really he gets really direct here in his teaching and will continue to be so throughout the gospel.

But we need to get away from and this idea of a social wimp Jesus, we need to get away from the idea that Jesus only taught nice things. He wants me to be happy. He wants me to live my life the way I want to live it. And he's just going to kind of accept me and bring me into the fold.

Never in Jesus teaching ministry does he teach that way. Never. There will be a separation of the goats and the sheep. You will be like the vine. If you stay in me, then you will be in me. If you fall away, then you will be cast into the fire. There's nowhere the Jesus goes. You know what, darling? You guys just deserve to be happy.

So just do what you do. And I got you look no further than the disciples. They all died horrible deaths because they were so convinced and knew the truth of who God was and followed him with their entire lives. You think the people closest to him would be the ones he's like, Now, these are my guys. I'll take care of them.

Everybody else might be some tribulation that Jesus faced tribulation and says, Well, won't you also? If I do, they don't like me. You think they're going to like you? Do You keep repeating what I said and and so he came to teach hard truths. Jesus didn't come to add to the some of our happiness sinful man hearing divine hard truths is going to cause friction.

I'm a believer in Jesus Christ. I read the Bible and there are things, especially in James, because that kind of hits home every time I read James And there's things in there when I'm reading the passage that pierces me deeply, it's hard to hear when you are looking at yourself in the mirror, seeing back the sins in your own personal lives and hating those sins.

So imagine people who love their sin almost as a pig wallows in the mud and loves it and gets confronted by the truth of the gospel of There's a better way, Christ is a better answer. And of course they're going to hate that again. Never in Jesus ministry did he pull back from the truth so as not to hurt people's feelings.

I don't I'm not proclaiming that we need to use the Bible as a weapon. That is ridiculous. There are people who have hurt people. There is church trauma for a lot of people in this world because of people who have misused scripture to go after people. But what I'm saying is lovingly, it is unloving not to share the gospel.

It is so unloving to if I really believe Jesus is the son of God and I do, if I really believe that he came to Earth and I do, and if I really believe that he died on the cross and took all sin on himself. For those who will confess and believe and I do, and if I believe that that's the only way to heaven, then if you don't confess, you're saying and put your faith and trust in God, then you will go to hell.

How much would I have to hate you to not tell you? So Jesus didn't want to fluff it out there and make it such an easy, palatable thing. And throughout the gospels here in the parables. John six he's got tons of people follow him and John six And you think, Man, most people would hear this. And if you're if you're if you're doing great and you've got a crowd following, you're like me, How do I keep these people?

How do I make them more entertained? And he turns around, goes, If you're willing to eat my flesh, well, I'm out. And all these people started to walk away. He knew that they were there for the miracle. He knew they were there to hear the teaching. He knew they were there for the other stuff that wasn't really him.

And so when a hard truth comes, they left the goal. When people walk away or the crowds thinned out, never was, How do I get them back and how do I keep them entertained? One out there said this. Jesus sighed over, warned and wept over sinners, but never sought to amuse them because the confidence of heaven is in the word itself and the so-and-so's the word.

No approach, no program, no fancy light shows, no other things are going to really, truly impact people. But the word will change lives. And so as we approach these different soils, consider Jesus words very carefully. Now let's take a look at what each type of soil represents. Jesus tells us where the seed landed, and in the first part of the passage gives the earthly explanation.

So it landed on the path. The birds came and ate. It landed here. This is what happened. That's the earthly explanation of the seed. And the second half, after the disciples ask him, What does this mean? He gives the spiritual explanation of what that means. And so he shares with the crowd by the sea. In verses two through nine, he is in the boat.

He is sharing with the crowd by the sea. And then Mark takes us from that by the sea interaction of him, sharing the parable and takes us to a private location that we don't know about for sure. But it's just it's almost like a side note here they are now. There was a time when Jesus, after sharing the Bible, was with his disciples, and they asked him about that, about the parables.

And this is how Jesus explained the parables to him. So the people that were following him, that truly were following him and the disciples were together, and they said, Tell us about this. Explain it to us. And Jesus begins to explain to them. And Jesus gives a warning that not everyone who hears will receive. They may see, but not perceive.

Again, Isaiah's talking about the Israel. In fact, Isaiah man, he had to go tell people stuff that he's like, God's like, you're going to go tell them and they're not going to listen anyway, but you're going to go tell them, Oh, that sounds like fun. That's a good time. And so when Jesus is pouring this, though, it is still true that as a silver so as the seed, there are people who are going to hear it and flat out reject it and move away from it.

And as a silver so as a seed, he cast the seed out broadly. He throws it out, he casts it out. Now, it is interesting if you go into a deeper study, which I'm not going to take a forever on, there's a lot of thought and actually disagreement on. Okay, was the soil plowed beforehand? Was it plowed after ham was applied before and after the seed was cast?

That's not the point of the passage. There's one commentator that literally spent three pages on whether the ground got plowed before, plowed after or both. That was fun reading, but the sower sows the seed out, knowing that as it cast the seed out, it's going to some of it's going to land in a great spot and it's going to get in the right soil.

Some of it's going to land here, some of it's going to end there knowing, but casting broadly, purposefully. Take note that these first few seeds never produce and never endure. As we read through the passage and as we're going to talk about them more, make sure you understand that they never produce, they never endure. They never really, truly grow to be what they're supposed to be.

And so they are not people who lost their salvation. That is not what this passage is talking about. Let me assure you, for the one millionth time that I've done on this stage, you cannot lose your salvation if you were truly saved in Christ Jesus, if he bought and paid for it with his blood, does his blood ever become void?

Never. If he grabbed your name in his hands when you became a true believer of Jesus Christ, will that engraving ever leave his hands? No. What it says those are the Father has given me. I hold them and nothing can snatch me out of their hand. You cannot be snatched out of his hand. So what we're looking at here in the first few examples are people who never truly knew who Christ was.

Some of them didn't even try to act like they believe to Christ was some of them are people who did for a little while, some even a little bit more, and kind of almost look like they might be a Christian. And then there were others who actually received the seed and the soil and truly became followers of Jesus Christ.

There are no carnal Christians. Now, let me explain that We are people who are pursuing Christ but flawed and sinful. I'm a sinful man who's pursuing Christ, who's who's a believer in him and believes with everything that I have, that I will stand before him one day. But at the same time, I'm still fighting the fight of my flesh.

We're all doing that. So don't take away from any of this that I'm fighting the fight of my flesh. There's a difference between that and truly being found in Christ and those people who just live in their sin never even have a second thought about their sin, except for maybe on the sun and then continue to live this way and never truly convicted about what's going on in their lives.

So the first thing falls on the path and versus for we see it in versus 15 where Jesus is explaining and the imagery of the bird. And the first one actually is a pointed thing that God Jesus will use and other people will use for Satan, for the evil that they will come in snatch, they will come take away.

Birds are gross. I know. So me all my have me as a pet. They're kind of yucky. They are birds of prey. There's birds of chaos, there's robber birds are essentially robbers. And take everything. Blue jays are dumb. And what do you think? Whenever a flock of birds flies over, you're not like, beautiful. You think they're going to poop on me?

Birds are not things that are imagery. For most of us as beautiful things. There are some pretty birds, but in this imagery it's pointing to the evil is pointing to Satan, it's pointing to those who are going to pluck away to take to cause chaos, to rob. And then again, when he gives his explanation, he just flat out and Satan immediately comes and takes it away.

These people have no desire. This is the hard part. This is the hard hearted. These are people who have no desire for truly knowing who Jesus is in his day and age is probably would have been the Pharisees, the scribes, others who completely cat put their cast against him. In our day and age there are those who are completely and fully against Christ, those people who are the hard ground that when you cast that seed out and if you've ever shared your faith more than just a few times, if you actually cast the seed out there, you've actually shared the gospel in the world with massive amounts of people.

You will run into this person. And it is it can be extremely intimidating. I've run into this person who literally on a mission trip, I was trying to share the gospel and food with them and I got spit on in Atlanta. You're going to face pushback if you share the gospel and these are going to push back even harder.

The path is a hard ground that will not even receive the seed at all. There is nowhere for the seed to go but to rest on top and to be snatched away. There's never growth in this people again until Christ gets a hold of any of these first few pockets to redeem. So don't go. Oh man, if I was a hard seed at one point, I guess I'm the hard seed forever.

No, you're not. But if you continuously and persistently be a fruitless ear of the word and there's no desire for the truth, then you will not ever be saved. In verse 15, we see that Satan immediately comes and takes it away. I've seen people who were in church with me. I invited them, they were sitting there. There was this one guy specifically that I can remember.

His name was Gerald. And I remember the very the only time Gerald came are youth pastor was sharing the gospel with death, and Gerald was leaning into that. And by the time Gerald got to school the next day, God, like there was no faith put in. But I'm like, Oh man, he is getting it. Like something's happening here, gone, and no desire to come back again.

There are those who are snatched away that quickly. This is a reminder that the fight also when when Jesus says Satan here in this picture and again for the astute listener, the bird initially, but then Satan right in your face. The fight is a spiritual fight. The fight is a spiritual one. Again, the Pharisees and the scribes and anyone else.

We're not talking about just a skeptical people. We're not the people who were like, I don't know if it's all true. We're talking about the people who have set their face against those who had set themselves so against Jesus they had to accuse him that he was working with Satan. And then Jesus says, You have that you have spoken against the Holy Spirit.

It's there's so many people who have set themselves against Jesus. And if you've shared your faith with someone who has set themselves against Jesus, keep sharing the word. You don't save them any way. You never know when the soil has turned to the good soil that God is doing the work in their life. Keep sharing the word. The second seed falls on the rocky soil, so that in versus five through six and 16 through 70, we see that these people have received it.

And actually it talks about the fact that they received it with joy. Initially they hear the word and immediately receive it with joy in verse 16. However, they have no root, there's no depth. It's landed on rock. And so when it grows up, it dies almost immediately. Those we have ever tried to plant grass. That's why my yard looks awful.

You have to plant it and you have to stick with it and you have to dig out the rocks and you have to keep watering it. You have to take care of it. You have to create the good soil for it and all that kind of good stuff. Or you can plant it, water it for a while, and sure hope it makes it.

And then your yard looks like my yard looks. The second seed falls in the rocky soil. It grew up. It might even look good for a while, but because the sun can't and it's not truly rooted in Christ, it's not really redeemed by Christ, those things that come up in its life actually cause it to fall away. And there's a number of these people as well who never grow at any depth.

And in the end, there's no true saving faith in the person. They seem excited about it. You may have seen these people. They're super stoked about Jesus, about salvation, about a lot of things. But when really the trials come, when really things happen, they start to disappear, to walk away from what they said was their faith. I mean, they may have liked what he did.

I mean, this is a lot like the people following him. This is the people in John six when they're like, Man, he's doing miracles. He's turning water into wine, he's healing people, He's feeding all sorts of people. He's doing great stuff. We love this guy. And then he gives them a hard truth and they walk away from the hearts again.

They may have liked the idea of heaven. They may have liked the idea of their sins being forgiven. Who wouldn't like that? Who hasn't heard the truth of the gospel and thought, Man, I've done a lot of stuff. He's truly a savior and can forgive all. Since I like that, I want that there's plenty of people who have made a false confession of their sin and who believe for a short time.

But again, when everything that comes along our way, they fall away. What it was was an emotional response that doesn't jive with pick up your cross and follow me. I have had to learn and I'm learning still to be more gracious than I am honest. But I will tell you that my heart turned and wrenches every time I see a church service or a group that just tries to create this performance, this emotion, let's just keep singing the song.

Let's keep singing this chorus until it erupts. Enough emotion in you that you're willing to make a response Emotions not bad. If God is working in your life and you show emotion because that the great Too many times people have relied on their emotions, got hyped up on their emotions. And guess what? When your emotions are here, everything's fine.

But when your emotions go to the valley, it's not going to support you in many times in Jesus ministry, people followed and were amazed, but then they walked away from the gospel. Now it says in the previous verse that Satan immediately comes and takes away for the hard path. Make no mistake, Satan is still active in this. Make no mistake that Satan is only mentioned in chapter 15, but he is at work here as well, trying to disrupt what's taking place in a person's life.

They are hearing the gospel, they have heard the truth. They have responded in a way, but they have not responded in a way that is truly following Christ. And instead, in the end, much like in Romans, these people will exchange the word of God for a lot must focus in our churches on teaching and preaching the one true gospel in its entirety.

We got to get away from the goofy slogans or catchphrases or other things or get away from the I'm going to use this analogy that has nothing to do with truly telling people about Jesus. Can't give a false gospel. You can't give a false gospel that feels good. Jesus wasn't doing that. If we're truly going to model our message, preach Christ and Christ crucified, we cannot give them something palatable.

Trials and tribulations will come. It's not as if saying it's when they come. Only true faith will stand, and it comes from a relationship with Christ that we are able to stand. And I've told you about this multiple times, but when I got really, really sick, I was a believer in Jesus. I was a youth pastor. You would think the people that our youth pastor, pastors, especially youth pastors, they can't get sick, they only eat pizza and they hang out with sick people all the time.

I was sick as a dog. In fact, nobody really knew how sick I was except for me and nobody believed me. I was so sick that I was laying on the stall floor of a truck stop bathroom, unable to get up, coming from a person who always until I got sick in 2014, 2015, refuse to use public bathrooms at all to that.

Only because of my faith in Christ was I able in those moments to believe even if I die, even if and again, I wasn't trying to be overly dramatic, but I didn't know what was happening. But even if God takes me, my faith is so certain in him that he's still good, that my faith can still stand even in the midst of my trials because it's rooted deeply in him, unlike these people in the sect.

What we're talking about here with the the rocky soil, that when the trials come, there's no root there. And so they slowly and quickly fall away. I'm not saying there's not going to be struggles. I'm not saying you're not going to cry out to God at some point because something hit you so hard that it's rocking your life.

I'm not saying that there's even a moment where you're like, Lord, I don't hear from you and I need you. But what I am saying is that you continuously go back to the Lord because that's where you're rooted and the people are who are deconstructing their faith. This is the soil along with the next one that they're they were probably rooted in.

There's no death or what they thought they have was not a real relationship with Christ. It was an emotional experience. The seed was sown where there's no death. And so now I'm deconstructing away from something that I never really was grasped by to start with. And the third seed falls amongst the thorns that in versus seven and then in 18 and 19.

And the seed here, unlike the first to actually survive. Do you read that? It actually says it grows up amongst the thorns and the thorns choke it, but they don't kill it. But what does it say? That never happens. It never produces a brain, never produces, never produces anything in it, because it has been choked out by the things around the farmers not looking for survival, the farmers looking for fruit the sower is going to sow.

And it's not that this came up. I can so grass, but weeds show up. I have not succeeded. There's something. There's something there. But it's not the thing I served. Seed here survives. It's not suffocated. But there's no true faith because we see that it does not produce anything good of it in this group and possibly the one before it.

It is not a decisive moment in time where this happens. It's not I'm going live my life. And right here is where I decided that the faith wasn't for me anymore. I'm out. It's usually slow over time, choking or whispering. That happens. These may be people in our church right now, or those who have been in our churches in the past.

You may be here and this is where you are. You have lived what you thought was a Christian life. You may have started out excited. You may have started out with I pray in prayer. I walked in. I'll once those things can be true of a true conversion, not saying the art. I'm telling you, though, that you maybe did some sort of action or had some sort of thing take place.

You thought you became a believer at that moment, even though there was no true understanding of what your sin was before a holy God. And now you're in the midst of all of it and there's no fruit. There hasn't been any fruit in your life ever. There's no growth taking place. You're still a part of the church, but you're not really actively engaged.

Your desires are for the world and the things that can give you desire has rarely, if ever, been for God and truly knowing Him and obeying him. And I cry out to everyone here, no matter the soil. If you find that you are in one of the first three, there is still hope again. There's still hope is there's breath in your lungs and you are living.

Then there is still hope that you can turn and follow price, that the work can still be done. If we care enough about the people around us, in the church and outside the church, then believers, you will be sowing the seed and God will be doing the work. So don't sit there and go, It's hopeless. I know a friend.

This is kind of a friend of a friend who had gone to church his entire life, been baptized and the whole thing been doing a deal. Probably about 35, 36 years old, somewhere in there when this happened. I mean, he had been a Christian since he was eight or nine. It started to feel like I think I think I'm the one in the vines or in the thorns.

I don't think I've actually ever been saved. I think I've just kind of been doing the thing. So for the next year or two, he continued doing the thing while embarrassed about the idea that he knew he should lay his pride down and truly follow price for the first time ever. I mean, if you're here and that's kind of maybe where you're at, think about that.

Everybody's like, Man, you're really solid Christian, and then all of a sudden it hits you like a ton of bricks that you didn't know. Christ Well, I can't do it now because then everybody will think weird things about me.

Run to the altar, fall on your knees in prayer. And I tell you what, if there's true Christians in the room, they will rejoice with you. Don't sit there and go, Well, I can't do that now. I shouldn't even have to finish the sermon. Do it now, Believers. You could actually find yourself at times in life struggles again.

I'm not trying to throw us into all of this. I'm not trying to create something that's not there. But as a believer, we do have seasons, don't we? There There have been seasons in my life where I almost feel like the hard path I, I was sitting in church and I never heard a word that person said. I so set my heart against something that I was sitting there not even engaged whatsoever.

And Satan took whatever word was given that day and it was gone again. Scene has no power over my life as far as a believer. I can't be possessed. But he can and will actively engage in taking us away from what we are supposed to be doing. I have been there in the moments where my life, where my heart and my soul felt like I really wasn't nurtured and I wasn't growing in my faith.

So I'm like sitting there almost like I'm in rocky soil again. I'm a believer. I'm in the good soil, I'm saved. But you almost feel that way because you're like, I just don't feel like I'm growing in him. Hear me carefully. If you truly are a believer, you can go through seasons, but there will be, over time, a bearing of grain and fruit in your life.

That is evidence which is the fourth seed which is false on good soil versus eight, nine and 20. All four here the word make sure you understand that all four of them heard the word only the good soil accepts the message and is fruitful. All three of the first seeds produced no grain produce, no live produce, nothing of of of true faith in Christ.

These receive the word. It lands on fertile heart, and it grows with depth. Good soil is good because of the supernatural work of the soil by God and the Holy Spirit, and in the work of God in the Holy Spirit, in a person's life and the sowing of the Word into that person, then there is growth that takes place as they receive him, repent of their sin and follow him a new with their lives.

People want to feel like they have earned something. That's what our our world does. We earn this. I've earned all of the things that I have. There is no earning or deserving salvation. It is only by the blood of Christ. It is only through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Ascension and the fact that He's coming back.

There is only one way to heaven, only one way into salvation. No one earns their salvation by their works only because of the work of the world in their lives. We see a different in these seeds. We see active continuous growth over time. The word we use is sanctification, but it is growth by the believer over time. Ask yourself, is your faith actually active and are you a true disciple?

That's our last point. Is true discipleship Quickly on this one. True disciples are those who hear, believe, follow and obey doesn't stop here. Then even stop start at a brief belief is follow and fully obey These disciples. Trust fully in the truth of God's Word and live actively their faith. The life of true disciple is not an easy one.

I think that's kind of the picture that people have or outside people think, Well, Christians have it easy. If you truly live your life in this world out for Christ and sold out for Him, you will not have an easy life. You will face persecution. But that's if we live our lives out. I mean, there's things that I could have avoided.

There's hardships in my life that I could have avoided or things I could have done had I not been a follower of Jesus Christ. But because I was I had to decide to take this road instead and follow him with my life and really live my faith out is a fight worth fighting for. The believer, though, But it is a fight the world wants to draw your attention away.

What did you do last night to prepare yourself for worship? Or did you stay up extremely late doing something else? What did you do this morning and preparing yourself for worship? Did you wake up late, rush around trying to get everything thrown together and then squealing to the parking lot with your five children in tow thinking, Oh, we need a no criticism if you're towing five children, squeal into the parking lot all you want to write.

I've only got three and I want to squeal into the parking lot and I don't even have to get them here. Most weeks my wife does. Are we preparing our heart, though? Is my heart for the things of this world are the things that attract me. Here is my heart really to prepare myself, to prepare the soil of my heart, to pray before I get into the word every day and then pray after that God would make the word come alive and change and direct me in different ways.

Do I prepare the soil of my heart to come into church and actually worship together? Or am I walking in hoping we sing certain songs? And he says, The pastor says certain things, and I really hope he gets us out of here on time because I need to get to lunch before this. Other people get to lunch. The evil one would love nothing more than for you to stay away from your Bible in prayer.

Life would be real busy and you'll start to reflect that in your own life. If that's the life that you are living. This faith is dynamic. It's not static. It matures by hearing, receiving and bearing fruit. This is a continually ongoing query. In fact, in the original language, you could translate it into hyper hearing. We should be preparing a soil of our hearts.

If you're hearing you and you're you're hearing the word maybe even for the first time, you want to know who Christ is. You want to follow him truly with your life. Today's the day to respond. If you've realized by the grace of God and by the work of the Holy Spirit that you have been in one of these other soils and you want to know him respond today.

And if you're a believer who has really not been living your life out, repent of that and follow him with your life fully. Let's pray God, we thank you for the truth of your Word. Lord, there are so many parts of this passage that we could have gone through today. There's so many things that could have been said, but, Lord, we trust you and your Word and what's going on.

The two are working in our lives and the things that you have shown us through your word. I pray, Lord, that those in this room would respond. It's not embarrassing to respond to the gospel. It is life. I pray that we would respond in whatever way the Lord is leading us to respond. And ultimately God is for your glory and your glory alone for these things in Christ.



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