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How Fertile is Your Heart? Luke 8:4-15. Jesus said “He who has ears to hear let him hear.”. Jesus provides the meaning of the parable in Luke 8: 11-15 The seed = the Word of God The sower = you and I Today, we all have the responsibility of being sowers of the Word of God

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how fertile is your heart luke 8 4 15
How Fertile is Your Heart?Luke 8:4-15

Jesus said “He who has ears to hear let him hear.”

slide2

Jesus provides the meaning of the parable in Luke 8: 11-15

  • The seed = the Word of God
  • The sower = you and I
  • Today, we all have the responsibility of being sowers of the Word of God
  • Matthew 28: 19,20 [NIV] – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
slide3

2 Corinthians 5: 19-20 [NIV] – “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.”

  • The power to give life comes from the seed itself – the Word of God
slide4

KEY POINT: Every person is responsible for how he or she responds to God’s Word.

  • It comes down to the QUALITY of our hearing.
  • The quality of our hearing depends on the condition of our heart.
    • The Meaning
    • Application 1: Identification
    • Application 2: Implementation
slide5

1. The Hard Soil

  • Luke 8: 12 [NIV] - “Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”
  • Today people hear the Word of God many ways:
  • a Sunday morning sermon.
  • a preacher on a radio program
  • a gospel track
  • a Gideon Bible.
slide6

They hear the words BUT their heart is not listening to the message.

  • This is a “hard heart”
  • Satan is always eager to snatch the Word from our lives…
  • …but the person’s heart was already hard
  • Why a hard heart?
  • Bad experience with Christians or church
  • Pride
  • Feeling of superior intellect
slide7

2. The Shallow Soil

  • The soil is rocky
  • Need to understand the geography of Palestine
  • Slabs of limestone under a thin layer of fertile soil
  • Luke 8: 13 [NIV] - “Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.”
slide8

These people initially respond to the Word

  • …But when the difficulties of life come they abandon their faith – turn their back on God.
  • They were never truly followers of Jesus.
  • God promises that he will always be with us in the good times and the bad
  • Being a committed follower of him comes with a cost – the cost of submitting our lives to him in spite of difficulties
  • Hardships and even persecution test the strength of our faith.
slide9

3. The Thorny Soil

  • The third soil filled with thorns and weeds
  • Weeds choke out young plants by robbing them of the nutrients and moisture they need to survive.
  • Luke 8: 14 [NIV] – “The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.”
slide10

These are people who hear the Word of God and respond to it…

  • …But again, the message is not internalized in their heart.
  • The seed sprouts but never bears fruit.
  • Things that hinder growth (c.f. Mark 4)
  • Cares of life – things we worrying about
  • Riches - the deceitfulness of wealth
  • Pleasures – the things we desire in life
  • Jesus is talking about our priorities.
slide11

4. The Fertile Soil

  • This is the fertile ground that receives the seed and it grows and bears fruit
  • Luke 8: 15 [NIV] - “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
  • These are people who hear the Word of God and actually listen to it.
slide12

The Application:

  • a. Identification: Which Soil Are You?
  • What is the condition of your heart this morning?
  • Hard Soil?
  • Hosea 10:12 - “Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.”
  • Ask God to open up your heart to hear his Word and respond to it.
slide13

Rocky soil?

  • Matthew 16:24 [NIV] - “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
  • God is faithful. He promises to help us through the trials.
  • First fully committee yourself to him!
  • A life of trials with Christ at your side is far better than a life of trials with Christ.
slide14

Weedy soil?

  • Matthew 16:26[NLT] – “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”
  • Make Jesus a priority in your life.
  • Matthew 6:33 [NIV] – “But seek first the kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be added to you.”
slide15

Fertile Soil?

  • Then become a sower yourself!
  • b. Implementation: Preparing the Soil
    • Hard Soil - Cultivate
    • Shallow Soil - Water
    • Thorny Soil - Weed
    • Fertile Soil – Harvest
  • Are you listening to the voice of God’s Spirit speaking to you?
  • How fertile is your heart?