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HEART ISSUES

Jesus People   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Why do people hear the Gospel and never respond? Is it the preacher? Is it the environment? What is the variable? Check out this weeks sermon as we continue in our series entitled "Jesus People" as we go through the Gospel of Matthew.

Notes & Transcripts

LAST WEEK

We looked at the only sign that Jesus would give the Pharisees
We saw how normally we would think of the sign of Jonah as the sign of the resurrection
But the language used by Jesus is very particular
He uses the sign of Jonah being 3 Days & 3 Nights in the Belly
As a reference to how He would be 3 days and 3 nights in the heart of the earth.
To me that is specifically talking about the death of Jesus
The satisfying payment on behalf of sinful man
The Propitiative Act that would enable the redemption of man
From the requirement of the law
From the desire to work for your Salvation
From the false security that the Pharisees were building upon
Jesus needed the Pharisees to know that He didn’t come to meet their political needs or fit the mold of their “Messiah”
He came to meet the requirements of Messiah.
He came to meet the standard of holiness
He came to save the Pharisees from their sin.
How he did that was by dying on a cross for all man kind.
It was also done on a cross
He did that by absorbing the just and deserved punishment of all mankind
Not only by the crucifixion, but also by experiencing the full impact of death.

THIS WEEK

This is what the Justice of God demanded
We will look at how people respond to the Gospel.
We will look at the biggest variable in preaching the Gospel
Most people think it might be the preacher
Which of course is important
But I think what is most important
And what often goes unprayed for is
THE CONDITION OF THE HEART
Ask yourself this question:
What is the primary reason why you are here?
Are you here to just hangout?
Are you here to hear another sermon?
Are you here because you got dragged along?
Or are you here to hang out, hear another sermon, because someone brought you here?
Second question:
Is your heart ready to receive?
Has the first set of worship unlocked the door to your heart?
Are you going to allow God to speak to the depths of your soul and your heart?
Why is it that so often, we come to church, and we leave unchanged?
Because
The same way we came in
Is the same way we came out
There is something about the condition of our heart that tells a greater story
Until we deal with the soil of our heart, we will remain unchanged
Check out how Jesus confronts the condition of the heart
READ
Matthew 13:1–23 NKJV
1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” 10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. 18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
PRAY THAT THE HEARTS OF EVERYONE LISTENING ARE OPEN, TEACHABLE, MOLDABLE, PLIABLE. PRAY THAT WE WOULD HAVE COURAGE TO BE VULNERABLE BEFORE THE LORD. THAT HIS WORD WOULD PIERCE THROUGH BONE AND MARROW, SOUL AND SPIRIT, AND TODAY THAT WE WOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE WORD OF GOD KNOWS THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART.
Matthew 13:1–30 NKJV
1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” 10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it. 18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” 24 Another parable He put forth to them, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field; 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. 26 But when the grain had sprouted and produced a crop, then the tares also appeared. 27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ’ ”
PRAY THAT THE HEARTS OF EVERYONE LISTENING ARE OPEN, TEACHABLE, MOLDABLE, PLIABLE. PRAY THAT WE WOULD HAVE COURAGE TO BE VULNERABLE BEFORE THE LORD. THAT HIS WORD WOULD PIERCE THROUGH BONE AND MARROW, SOUL AND SPIRIT, AND TODAY THAT WE WOULD ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE WORD OF GOD KNOWS THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART.
Matthew 13:1–9 NKJV
1 On the same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the sea. 2 And great multitudes were gathered together to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. 3 Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: “Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. 7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. 8 But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
Matthew 13:1-
Jesus has got a multitude before him
So much so that he had to get into a boat to teach while the multitudes stood on the shore.
This is Jesus’ 3rd Major discourse recorded by Matthew
From this point on, Jesus turns his focus from teaching the general public to teaching his disciples, his students, those following for more than just entertainment.
From this point on, Jesus turns his focus from teaching the general public to teaching his followers
Jesus changes his teaching style from teaching in a very direct manner, to teaching in parables
That word in the Greek is Parabole
To cast alongside
A Juxtaposition
A Comparison
To take a kingdom principle and place it alongside a realtime example for our understanding
Why Parables?
Why Parables?
To teach in a way that makes the kingdom relatable.
To teach in a way that only those willing to hear will understand
To separate the multitudes from the true followers of Christ
Let’s take a look at this Parable:
Jesus has got a multitude before him
So much so that he had to get into a boat to teach while the multitudes stood on the shore.
Behold a sower went out to sow
He sowed and seed fell in 4 different places
The Wayside
Stony Places
Among Thorns
Good Ground
Before we get into the 4 types of Soils
Lets take a look at the why.
Matthew 13:10–17 NKJV
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; 17 for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Matthew 13:10
Jesus is creating space between two types of people
The ones who were listening and allowing the Word of God to do its work
Those allowing the Word of God to change them
Those who are actively listening
Those whose eyes have been opened by the Good News of Jesus.
Those who have received the Word and have allowed the soil of their heart to nurture the seed
But to “them” it has not been given.
Who is “them”?
Those who see all that God is doing and turn a blind eye to it
Those who hear the word of God but aren’t listening to the options its presenting
It is those spoken of in
They hear but they don’t understand and live into their passivity
They see but they don’t perceive what Jesus is trying to do in their lives
The hearts of the people have grown dull
Their ears are hard of hearing
They have closed their eyes
How?
They have done so in a way that is preventing Christ from working
They have closed off their heart to the Word of God
They have rejected the message of repentance
They have neglected the need for repentance
This process has prevented them from calling on the name of the Lord
It has hindered the ultimate goal of the Gospel
Which is to bring healing
But those who have listened, and who have allowed the word of God to put in work
Blessed are their eyes, for they see how God is working
Blessed are their ears, for they hear that still small voice
For many prophets of old desired to hear and see the words and work of Jesus
But they were not able to
So many prophets of old would have given anything to be front and center as Jesus was preaching and doing in the holy land
They would have loved to see the message they preached come to life in the person of Jesus
But they didn’t
They were separated by the incarnation by at least 400 years
Matthew 13:18–23 NKJV
18 “Therefore hear the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. 20 But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. 22 Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. 23 But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Matthew 13:18
Now that we have some context for the Parable, lets look at the four soils:
Who is the Sower? Jesus
What is He sowing? His Word
Who are the Soils? The World

THE WAYSIDE

When anyone hears the word of the Kingdom, but does not understand it:
The wicked one comes and snatches what was sown in the heart
Sown by who?
Jesus
It is our job to make it understandable
It is our job to interpret it correctly
As we preach this word, the Word of God goes forward in Power
God begins to speak to His people
That the hearer would understand
He begins to speak life into the depths of your soul
That it would be received and nurtured by the good soil of the heart.
However, because the message
He begins to sow the word that is preached into your life
If you understand what God is trying to do
If you understand what He wants to accomplish
If you have ears to hear and eyes to sea and are willing to turn
Then the results will be a fruitful life
But the reality is
We don’t understand
Therefore we allow the word to be snatched from our hearts
This reality unveils the condition of our heart
Unwilling to understand
Unwilling to repent
Unwilling to let Jesus be Lord
Because it means that our lives will forever be different
Because it means we might actually have to repent.

THE STONY PLACES

What about those who recieve the word with Joy?
They are so pumped by the word of God
They are so excited to walk with Jesus
They have listened to the Word
Allowed the word to put in work
Allowed the word to begin a transformational process
Allowed Jesus to be Jesus in their lives
But when tribulation or persecution arises
When your faith is tried
When drama comes and knocks on your door
You have to options:
Have peace, because God is with you
Bail, because following Jesus is not worth the fight
Jesus said this in
John 16:33 NKJV
33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Church, we are not promised a stress free life
We are set apart for His glory
That means if we are living it out, the dark side of this world is going to put up a fight.
When we are tried
Will we continue to let Jesus be Jesus?
Will we allow His word to guide our steps and be a lamp to our path?
Will we allow the word to strengthen us as it did the day we got saved?
Or will we stumble?
How can we prevent ourselves from stumbling?
Jesus in preparing the disciples for persecution said this in John 15:26-16:1
John 15:26–16:1 NKJV
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. 1 “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.
Matthew 15:26–16:1 NKJV
26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour. 29 Jesus departed from there, skirted the Sea of Galilee, and went up on the mountain and sat down there. 30 Then great multitudes came to Him, having with them the lame, blind, mute, maimed, and many others; and they laid them down at Jesus’ feet, and He healed them. 31 So the multitude marveled when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing; and they glorified the God of Israel. 32 Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.” 33 Then His disciples said to Him, “Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?” 34 Jesus said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few little fish.” 35 So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. 36 And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. 37 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. 38 Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 And He sent away the multitude, got into the boat, and came to the region of Magdala. 1 Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven.

AMONG THE THORNS

This soil represents most of us
We receive the word
God begins to do a work
You begin to trust him
You get involved in church
You serve weekly
You share the gospel
Then slowly but surely, you allow things to get in the way of serving
You allow the cares of this world
You allow the deceitfulness of riches
To choke your spiritual life
Bottomline
You allow the culture to drive your actions
Because the Culture values Property, Nice Cars, Cool Clothes, Vacations, Leisure
You begin to see the value of these things
You begin to care about these things
The pursuit of these things becomes obligatory
Care turns into goals
You begin to care about these things
Care turns into goals
Goals turn into obsessions
Obsessions rule the heart
The same heart that once welcomed in a lifestyle of humility and contentment.
We allow our lives to be defined by what we have
Instead of who we have
What was a good goal and c
We do it with our phones
We do it with our stuff
We do it with our social status
All at the sake of the people who are closest to us.
The cares of this world choke out the life of the word
The deceitfulness of money chokes out the life of the word
The value by which we define ourselves has the ability to choke out the word
SO WHAT CAN WE DO?

THE GOOD SOIL

It is simple
You hear the Word
You understand what God wants to do in your heart is on another level
You move forward understanding your sinful nature
You move forward understanding that following Jesus means transformation
You move forward understanding that things cant stay the way they have been
You move forward understanding you must decrease and He must increase
You move forward understanding that His will is better than yours.
You move forward understanding that what He allows is for His glory.
1 John 5:20 NKJV
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
How do we understand this faith? BY HEARING
How do we believe this is true? BY THE WORD OF GOD
You move forward knowing that He who has begun a good work will finish it.
You move forward knowing that you are his masterpiece.
You move forward knowing that you are a child of God.
You move forward knowing that you are a new creation in Christ.
You move forward knowing that He is not tame but He is good. TLWW
This reality yields fruit.
This reality brings life.
This reality changes the story.
This reality is brought to us through a continual dependance in who He is.
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