Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Saturday, September 17, 2016 - Supplemental

Luke 8: 4-15

When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another
journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable.
“A sower went out to sow his seed.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled,
and the birds of the sky ate it up.
Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew,
it withered for lack of moisture.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew,
it produced fruit a hundredfold.”
After saying this, he called out,
“Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

Then his disciples asked him
what the meaning of this parable might be.
He answered,
“Knowledge of the mysteries of the Kingdom of God
has been granted to you;
but to the rest, they are made known through parables
so that they may look but not see, and hear but not understand.

“This is the meaning of the parable.
The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard,
but the Devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts
that they may not believe and be saved.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy, but they have no root;
they believe only for a time and fall away in time of temptation.
As for the seed that fell among thorns,
they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along,
they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life,
and they fail to produce mature fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil,
they are the ones who, when they have heard the word,
embrace it with a generous and good heart,
and bear fruit through perseverance.”

Man was put on the earth to care for the garden. When he sinned he was expelled from the garden and told that his living will only come after much work tilling the soil. Our hearts is that soil. God the Father is the sower and His Word, Jesus, is the seed. The Father sows Jesus into each and every heart. How have you prepared your heart?

Some hearts are stony hearts that the seed cannot penetrate. Other hearts are full of the love of self and material things. The seed is choked out by the thorns of desire. Some hearts have useable soil that is very, very thin. The seed germinates but cannot take root. It lives in the heart for a short time and then dies away. Such soil germinates many seeds but few can ever survive. Usually only scrub brush and weeds can survive in such a heart.

Being a good gardener is hard work. Because of sin we have to till the soil by the sweat of our brow. We have to weed and irrigate. The Word will not grow within us on its own. It takes dedicated, personal, and constant work on our behalf. We cannot till the soil in the spring, let the Father plant the seed, and then walk away expecting the plant to grow healthy on its own. Just as the Word can grown in rich soil, so too the weed. Seeds of hate, prejudice, bigotry, and evil all flourish in rich soil. We must be constantly vigilant to pluck these weeds out as soon as they germinate. Left unattended the garden will soon be overrun and the seed the Father plants will be choked out by the weeds we let creep into our lives.

Our hard work is rewarded by the many fruits of the Lord. A life lived with a well tended garden is in itself a reward.

Grab your shovels and your hoes and let’s get to work removing everything not planted by the Father in the gardens of our hearts.

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