Colossians 2:6-7, "As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so continue to live in him. 7 Keep your roots deep in him and have your lives built on him. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always be thankful."
We know the parable of the seeds found in Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23. I've talked a lot about it in previous blogs. Today I want to sum up what Jesus is saying. As with everything in our walk with God it comes down to, where is our heart. Is Jesus rooted deeply in the soil of our heart? Jesus talks about four seeds, some that fall on the roadside or path; Some that fall on rocky ground; Some that fall among thorns; And some that fall on good soil. In verses 18-23, He shows us how each way the seeds fall represent a person's heart.
The hard heart (seeds on the hard path): These are people that even if the Bible could be proven without a shadow of a doubt, would not believe it. Those who have the full knowledge and assurance that the gospel is true. Yet still refuse to believe it. They are flat out unreceptive to the gospel. How can we reach these people? Simple, we pray, we love, we listen, we serve, and we wait because we never know how God is working on their hearts or what He's going to do.
The insincere heart (seed on rocky ground): These are people who want to add Jesus to their life but instead of ‘take my life and let it be’, they are saying ‘I'll take what I get from Jesus and just add it into my life- He is just a life enhancer. They want Jesus on their terms because once they realize the cost it will be, they choose their old life over this new life in Jesus. They have received the gospel without the Savior and soon lose their desire of the gospel.
The crowded heart (seeds among thorns): These are people who are caught up more in the cares of this world than allowing Jesus in. Their pleasures, their riches, their ‘things’ crowd Jesus out of their heart. 1 John 2:16, “These are the ways of the world: wanting to please our sinful selves, wanting the sinful things we see, and being too proud of what we have. None of these come from the Father, but all of them come from the world.” These are those who may want Jesus, but they have to figure out how they can cram Him into their already ‘full and busy’ life.
The open heart (seeds on good soil): The beauty of this seed is that not all the seeds produce the same amount. Our job is to be faithful; God's job is to give the increase. These are the people who fully embrace the gospel, want Jesus fully in their life leading them, they do as the Lord asks and spread the good news. God then brings the crops in no matter the amount.
Jesus continues His teaching in Matthew 13:24-30 along the same idea as the seeds. Now He adds a little more depth and talks about the Kingdom of Heaven. There is a man who sowed good seed yet overnight the enemy also planted weeds among the wheat. When the crops grew so did the weeds among them, and the farmer lets them grow together until harvest. If you try to pull the weeds before then, it could pull the roots of the wheat with them. At harvest time the weeds can be gathered, separated from the good wheat, bound, and burned while the wheat is stored in the barn.
Truth with a little error will mess up so many things if we aren't rooted in Jesus. Yet if, at times, we are too quick to point out the errors in others, we could pull out the good roots also growing in their hearts.
Matthew 13:37-43 Jesus explains the wheat and weeds. The sower (Jesus), the field (the world), the wheat (those who follow Jesus), the weeds (satan), the harvest (the second coming), the reapers (angels).
The heavenly idea Jesus was teaching then still resonates with us today. I learned the history of what the weeds really were back then. They, actually once growing looked very similar to wheat so it was hard to always know the difference until harvest. It was even a crime for someone to destroy another farmer's crops by planting the weed seeds because it could ruin one's livelihood.
Jesus had 12 disciples with Him all the time, yes? But were all twelve of them on team Jesus? Well, no, we know Judas’ heart was not fully with Jesus. Did any of the disciples know that? No, as far as they knew Judas was like them. He acted like them, walked among them, for all purposes he was all in on team Jesus. Yet, we have come to know differently. That is the same thing with people today. So many claim to be Christians, even among our own churches. Yet, some who are similar in so many ways yet have their heart still on the fence. They may be half in it, but something could tip the scale the other way and their influence could begin to choke out the true followers of Christ.
But, knowing this, God in His goodness already has a plan. Let the crops (His church) grow. There will come a day when the harvest is ready, and Jesus will come again. At that time the reapers will separate the wheat and weeds. The weeds will be bound and burned, and the wheat stored in His barn (heaven).
So, how do we grow like wheat and not be choked out by the weeds? It comes from spending time with Jesus, knowing scripture, and letting the Holy Spirit help our spiritual growth. In order to have spiritual growth we need to learn the following.
- I must be receptive to God: I need an open heart and mind in order for God to help me grow to produce spiritual fruit.
- I have to be resolved to grow: Do you desire to grow in Jesus? If so, does your life reflect it? In your resolve to say yes to Jesus are you prepared to say no to other things that you may desire in your life? To grow spiritually, some things will have to diminish. We don't have the capacity to take on everything.
- I have to be ruthless with distractions: Beware of the burdens of a busy life. It's always easy to become busy doing the wrong things or too busy doing too many of the right things. We've almost all seen the example of a jar filled with rocks, sand and water. If filled incorrectly there is no room for more. Distractions can be one way we fill our life incorrectly. But when we balance or fill our life the right way (less business and distractions), we have room for everything including Jesus.
- I have to be respectful of others: God loves to amaze us with who He is saving and who He is using. Think about some of you who have found Jesus, what your high school teachers or neighbors may say. I'm sure there is a rebel or two among all of us. Yet, when God saved you, you found a great new life and your heart is rooted in Him. So, let's not judge, we all have our flaws. Love like Jesus and trust God's plan.
- I must be relentless to know truth: Seek truth, know the why, it's a beautiful why. The more we want to know Jesus the more we learn and the more we understand our Savior. Seek the truth, then your roots will go deeply in Jesus and He will live in your heart.
Have you allowed the seeds to grow on good ground in your life today? Do you hunger and thirst for Jesus? We are told those who seek Jesus are blessed. If you have found Jesus in your life, spread the good seeds to others and let others find Jesus. Keep your roots firmly planted in Him daily, and when the harvest comes you will be gathered and taken to heaven along with all who find Jesus and allow Him into their hearts.
Have you been able to take a few moments with me as we have been going through our Walking with God Bible study? Even just a few more minutes a day in God's Word can lighten your steps and give you the boost you may be looking for. I hope you can make a little more time with Him each day and if you can, join me in the study. Today we will be walking with Moses as we learn to walk with confidence.
Study 4, Walking with Confidence- https://www.docdroid.net/7Ym5zmP/week-4-docx
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