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The Parables #12

Consider the good and fruitful ground.

“And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred,” Mark 4:20. Note that as there were three types of bad ground so there are three types of good ground.

1. What makes good ground?

Three features: “Hear”, “Receive”, “Bring forth”. You can see the progress of growth here.

  • “Hear” – first use in NT. “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him,” Matthew 2:3. Hearing followed by reaction.
  • “Receive” – akin to “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet,” Matthew 10:14. Door shut in the face of!
  • “Bring forth fruit”: Here is what it means. “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God,” Cols 1:10.

2. This how to have a successful, fruitful Christian life.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” Galatians 5:22.

3. Note the different degrees of fruitfulness.

“Some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Paul speaks “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Cors 15:10. Notice Paul takes no honour for his labours. All Christians do not attain to the same level of fruitfulness. Not every stalk of barley brings forth the same number of kernels. Some more than others.
“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” 1 Cor 3:8. Read 1 Cor 12:6-11.

All we are asked to do is our best. “And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord,” Matthew 25:20-23.

Faithfulness is rewarded and not really the amount done! “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing,” 2 Timothy 4:8.

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The Parables #11

The opposition of thorns. Verse 18-19. 

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!

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The Parables #10

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.

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The parables #9

God’s Word is likened unto seed.

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!

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The Parables #8

The Parable of the sower cont’d
Once more, the Saviour uses a very common happening to illustrate the gospel.
Nature has been so created as to set forth divine truth. How important it must be for us to learn the message of the gospel. There is an echo of the Bible in all of creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard,” Psalms 19:1-3.
Men would remove the authorship of God from creation. Evolutionists deny that God is Creator. This is in order to stifle Creation’s message in just the same fashion as men seek to tamper with the Bible in order to destroy the message of God.
The Saviour Himself is the chief subject of the parable. He is the Sower, and those who preach the gospel are employed by Him in the same task. He is passing today as the seed is sown here amongst us!