What happens after the sowing of the seed is the vital matter. When I finished preaching what you do with God’s and what becomes of it will decide your eternity.
Thorns stopped the seed becoming fruitful. Where did thorns come from?
There were no thorns in God’s original creation. “And unto Adam he (God) said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field,” Genesis 3:17-18.
Man’s sin was followed by God’s judgment and the growth of thorns. These thorns represent “the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things,” Mark 4:19. “Cares” means distractions. Notice riches are “deceitful.” These are the things which kill of that which springs up in shallow soil. Such soil will support thorns!
We come to the Saviour’s teaching regarding the soil in the parable of the Sower.
1. There were 4 kinds of soil. Verses 4-8. Not every heart is the same!
2. The majority of people do not benefit from the gospel. 3 out of 4 came to nothing! No fruit but there were different reasons why that was so.
A. The work of the devil. Verses 4, 15.
How active he is! Wonderful fact that the birds are very quick to spot seed being sown. The devil would rob us of the Seed of Life and so rob us of Heaven!
B. The shallowness of soil. Verses 16-17. There is a superficial hearing of the Word. No deep consideration of what God is saying. Shallow soil may produce some growth above ground but no root beneath the ground!! So it fails when it faces any difficulty or opposition.
That means it is alive! It is the living Word. Life springs up from it. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever,” 1 Peter 1:23.
(A sapling germinated 2005 from a 2,000-year-old date palm seed, found at Masada in 1973 and which lay in a drawer until planted in 2005, is thriving, according to Israeli researchers who are cultivating the historic plant.)
The word must be planted by the hand of God in the heart before it will take root and grow. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people,” Jeremiah 31:33.
Such a person is easily known.“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart,” Psalm 40:8. The true Christians begins to GROW to look and act like the Lord!
A message preached in Garvagh Free Presbyterian Church, Lord’s Day evening, October 1st, 2017 by Rev Ivan Foster.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen,” Matthew 28:18-20.
Was there ever a farewell of more significance than this? “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” said Shakespeare. That which added sweetness to the sorrow the disciples felt were these final words of the Lord Jesus.
It is very obvious that He was very conscious of their timorous, doubting state and He spoke to them accordingly. They would have been most fearful as they faced the future, given the tidal wave of opposition and hatred they had encountered. His words were aimed at allaying those fears.
I. CONSIDER THE POWER OF THE LORD JESUS
1. He speaks of it as a ‘given’ power’. Of course, such power was the Saviour’s by right but He had laid aside his glory and undertook the humility of a servant in order to redeem his people, Php 2:6-10; Mark 16:19; Rev 5:12-14; Eph 1:17-22.
2. His power is equivalent to omnipotence. The origins of this word simply means “all power”!
3. His is the power of God. It is all power “in heaven and in earth!” There is no power that can resist Christ! The power manifested in the Flood, in Egypt, in the judgment of Korah, in the resurrection of Lazarus and especially in His own resurrection.
4. Christ has power where man feels he rules supreme. Dan 4:17, 25. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will,” Proverbs 21:1. “He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty,” Job 12:19.
5. There is no realm where Christ’s power is not exercised. “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases,” Luke 9:1; Jude 6. “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels,” Matthew 25:41.
II. LET US CONSIDER HOW CHRIST EXERCISES THAT POWER.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.” His power is displayed and exercised chiefly through the preaching of the gospel. “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God,” 1 Cor 1:18.
1. It is not through the circus-like antics of modern religion. How many delight in the mere entertainment that is offered in the name of religion! The charismatic, man-centred activities that are shameful.
2. It is through only that taught by the Saviour. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” The Old Testament and the New Testament contain the sum of all doctrine to be taught. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” Isaiah 8:20.
3. We are to preach so as to make disciples, to win souls. “Teaching them to observe.” The word first appears as “keep”, Matt 19:17. It also appears as “watch”, Matt 27:36. That is how YOU should look at the gospel, sinner! And having looked to receive the Word of the gospel.
4. Where there is such preaching there the presence of Christ will be known. “ . . . . and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen,” Matthew 28:20.
May His presence and power accompany His Word tonight and may there be conversions to Christ.