Monday, December 31, 2012

Part 14 Section 4: The Follow-Through

Matthew 13:3-8,18-23 "Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

The parable of the sower illustrates the importance of the follow-through. Only one fourth of the soil was ready for seed, so only one fourth of the seed brought forth fruit. Jesus explains the parable in (verses 18-23), and we learn that:

(1) The sower is the witness.
(2) The seed is the word of God.
(3) The soil is the heart.

We also learn that there are four types of hearts. They are:

(1) The hard heart; this is the wayside soil, fertile but hard.
(2) The shallow heart;; this is the stony soil,, fertile but depthless.
(3) The worldly heart; this is the thorny soil, fertile but possessed.
(4) The understanding heart; this is good soil, fertile and prepared.

The lesson here is a simple one if we expect the seed, the word of God to bear fruit, the heart must be made ready. The hard heart must be broken; the shallow heart must be given depth and the worldly heart must be taught that the things of this world are temporal (Mark 8:36,37). This requires time, work and patience. 

And as we learn and touch up skills on how to witness never forget it is never a bad time to witness to yourself! According to this lesson only the understanding heart is a heart capable of witnessing to others. Have you found your self in one of the other three hearts. I can personally tell you that I find myself in number three occasionally. And it's okay if you find yourself in one of them too. As the part directly above this states, the heart must be taught. And once it is taught it must be reminded! When you go to school and learn something by the end of the year when testing comes you forget half of it! So what do you do? You study or remind yourself of what has been taught to you. Your not expected to ever at all times know the material so without constant reminders you will forget. We must use this approach in our Walk With Jesus. We must do our best to stay on our heels because unlike school our final exams are coming when? According to Matthew 24:26 "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." No one knows so we must live and study as if tomorrow is our test. But don't confuse it, we will forget sometimes, we will fall, we are not perfect but God expects us to bounce back when we fall and to grow from the fall we just made.

So test your heart and once you test it, begin to test others. See where they are with their walk and figure out where their heart is, use this before "the approach" we learned about last bible study and begin to gather a foundation and a style on how you will witness to others. 

Be sure to come back next time as we look at "How To Share God's Plan Of Salvation"