little stories…BIG TRUTH // The Parable of the Sower
[ECC Lead Pastor, Scott Moore, Covington Campus]
Real faith produces fruit.
“A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.” “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest. (Luke 8:5-8, 11-15 NLT)
First thing we need to understand from this parable is where the problem is. It's not with the sower. It's not with the seed. It's with the soil (heart.)
There are four kinds of soil (heart) mentioned:
- Hardened – (you feel God has let you down, unforgiveness toward other has led to bitterness)
- Shallow – (you believe for a moment but then are quickly
- Crowded – (you believe and sincerely desire to follow Christ but the distractions of the world are too great and crowd your heart)
- Good – (you repent, believe and follow hard after Christ)
How can I cultivate my heart?
1. Repent (not a bad word..it simply means “change your direction”)
Picture a rattlesnake. Because it will KILL you, you don't pick up a rattlesnake. You don't play with it. You don't let it live in your house. And you help those around you avoid it too.
The same is true with sin. It will kill you.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NLT)
- You don't play with it.
- You don't pick it up.
- You don't let it live in your house.
- And you help those around you to avoid it too.
Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. (Matthew 3:8 NLT)
It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ (Luke 24:47 NLT)
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. (James 1:21 NLT)
2. Receive the Word. (Hear and apply/obey.)
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. (James 1:22 NLT)
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (James 2:14-17 NLT)
3. Reap the harvest.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:9 NLT)
DON'T GIVE UP!!
Remember it isn't about what you've done anyway..it's about what Christ has done for us..and for the world.
- Could you imagine what your life would look like if you lived like this?
- Could you imagine what Eastridge would look like if we lived like this?
- Could you imagine what our community would look like if we all lived like this?
- Are we ready for His Word?
- Do we believe He will be faithful?
- Do we believe that IT WILL BE WORTH IT!?!
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. (Psalms 1:1-3 NLT)
Bottom line: Real faith produces fruit.
1. Repent. Run toward God – and change my ways.
2. Start reading the Bible (Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer)
3. Do what God is telling me to do.